Game Room: Gaming Table

This is most likely old news, as I know several blogs covered The Sutlan Game Table: The Ultimate Gaming Aide from Geek Chic that garnered its fair share of attention during GenCon.  I saw it, inspected it, and daydreamed about it.  The table on display at GenCon  was certainly a piece of fine craftsmanship and someone did their homework on what would make a good design.

The Sultan (c) Geek Chic
The Sultan (c) Geek Chic

The caveat? Well, its pricetag.  The Sultan would most likely be the most expensive piece of furniture I would I ever own as it costs $9,650!  I am sure this baby does indeed cost a fortune in materials (I’d approximate $1,500 – $2000) and of course the time and effort to craft by hand.

So I am not knocking the price they are asking.  I may be a hardcore geek, but I am also the consumate do-it-yourselfer.  I am my own mechanic (just re-installed a rebuilt transmission, new clutch, and a lightened flywheel in my Eclipse), my own handyman (repaired a hole in my drywall last week), and soon to be carpenter (if I can convince the wifey to let me spend the money on materials).

The Game Room

This is actually part of a few articles about what I “would like to do” with one of the bonus rooms in my house.  One of the rooms is above my two-car garage, but since it lies in what used to be an attic, it is probably about half the width of the garage, but still have plenty of room.  I have the measurements written down in my notebook, which I seem to have left at work.

I have few goals for my game room.  The first is having a kick-ass table to play my games one.  Some other goals include shelving for all my books, a display case for miniatures, boardgame shelving, and tasteful decoration.  I actually thought about cladding the walls in faux dungeon stone… but that may be too much.

My Table

Before I had ever laid eyes upon The Sultan, I had done some research on what would make a killer game table.  Here is a list of features I wanted:

  • Optimal Seating: 6 (the actual number of stations)
  • Maximum Seating: 10 (the number you could cram)
  • Built-in adjustable lighting (intensity & color)
  • Gaming Layers: 3 (tiered layers within the table)
  • Wet Erase Surfaces (Plexiglass)
  • 1″ Hex , 1″ Square, & 1.5″ Square grids
  • Private Messaging (IMFree?)
  • Digital Map Projection
  • Player Stations/Storage

So I have some general specifications, but to really be able to build this table I think I’ll need to mock up the footprint of a table that will fit comfortably in my bonus room and allow for traffic behind seated players.  Then I’ll want to take those dimensions and use them as the maximum tolerance on the width & length of the table as I model it in AutoCAD.  This way I can solve engineering dilemas and actually create the bill of materials to know exactly how much it would cost (assuming I cut everything right the first time!).

I’ll keep you posted as the CAD drawing develops.  As an aside, CAD is nothing new for me.  I actually made a living doing 3D modeling and drafting for an Aerospace company (we had contracts with GM, Rolls-Royce, and Boeing) while I was going to college and before I became a programmer.

Research Notes

  • Pen, Paper, & Pixel – A game table that uses a projector
  • The Avenger Game Table – Clean, well designed game table w/ instant messaging
  • Agrys’ Game Table – An insane looking table that uses orbs and tube for passing notes
  • The Sultan – For $10k this drool inducing table could be yours
  • Projection Table Plans – Simple plans for projecting from beneath a table
  • Motorola IMFree – Handheld wireless messaging
  • Acer Projector – Though I’d probably shop around eBay first, this is cheap
Listening to: Abney Park – Lost Horizons – Airship Pirates

8 thoughts on “Game Room: Gaming Table

  1. You should make it out of smoky-mirror like plexiglass — with beveled edges and natural curves and bows… something truly alien looking; but functional.

    Sounds awesome. I’m a big fan of HUGE projects that take up all your time that you didn’t know you had. If I lived closer I’d offer to help too (i have all the tools and materials for carpentry – i recently did a complete teardown and rebuild of my kitchen; before that it was the masterbath and now i’m knocking down walls in my basment)

    best of luck on your table!

    jonathan’s last blog post..Looking Back: Dragon Halloweens of the Late 70’s and 80’s

  2. Thanks for the support. I have all the tools one could possibly need (except for the sweet lookin’ cnc wood carving machine Sears offers…), and a personal font of wood working knowledge, all at my disposal.

    My grandfather lives about forty minutes away and has a complete workshop. He’s done woodwork as a hobby most of his life, and he and my grandmother would love the opportunity to have me and the family over more often, especially if it means sharing the love for his hobby.

  3. @Tony: I’ve tried to convince my father that he doesn’t need that tournament legal billiards table he has collecting dust in his basement for years, he won’t budge.

    @Marcel: Yeah, I was looking at 1/8″ thick abrasion resistent (Lexan) sheets. I can get 2’x4′ for about $42. The same sized sheet, but not abrasion resistance (regular acrylic) costs only $25 (or I can double the thickness for about the same cost). I need to get a sample of each and appraise which durability meets my needs.

  4. For the maps, I figure you could grab a big (and thin, the stuff is expensive)piece of plexiglass, and then have, underneath, a couple of different large pieces of paper that have the various maps you want on them.

    Alternatively, if you use the magnetic markers made by (the name escapes me at the moment) you could get a large rectangle of metal and put it underneath the paper and plexiglass.

  5. Just wanted to wish you the best of luck in your endeavor. I am totally un-handy, my girlfriend is the one who owns the power tools. Maybe I can get her to work on one for me. How do you think it would go down if I told my gaming group that the gaming table they were sitting at was built by my girlfriend, would they crown me “King of Gamers” or would it be so emasculating I would have to surrender my dice. I think I will just buy one.

    B.G.’s last blog post..RPG TURDUCKEN!

  6. @B.G.: LoL, none one in my group would give me a hard time if my wife made me a gaming table, because then there wouldn’t be any game time food available!

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