Recently I went to a craft and hobby store, which was too glittery for my tastes, but it was for a good reason. I wanted to buy these:
You can get a better sense of scale here:
If you’re looking for items online or at a store, the circles and stars are just flat pieces by the appropriate name. The tall board game avatars are called doll pins. The mushroomy pieces are furniture plugs. Since I purchased so many of each type, the total price came out to less than $40. It’s very likely that I paid too much for them, or that I bought too many, but as you can see, I have an entire bag of these items. Why?
In the Game Design Concepts course that I’m taking online, there was a post early on about creating a prototyping kit. After messing around with paper cutouts which blow away too easily or stones from a wedding centerpiece which are a bit dirty to hold (sitting in water that evaporated years ago will result in that), I decided I wanted some hardier stuff. These pieces can be used as various tokens for game prototypes.
In my design project for the class, I’m doing a high school reunion game, and on paper I had rules about earning prestige points by accomplishing various goals. Initially I marked these points as stars that I drew with a pen, but now I have star pieces which are more tangible. You get 4 prestige points? Here are 4 star-shaped wooden pieces that have a decent weight to them and feel nice.
I bought 8 doll pins. They come in packs of two, and I was originally going to get 2 packs when I thought, “What if I want to do something massively multiplayer?” B-)
The furniture plugs just looked cool. I could see placing them on spaces to indicate that there are traps or coins available.
And if I feel so inclined, I could always paint each item various colors.
If you would rather have a ready-made kit, check out the Piecepack, or if you’re looking for awesome craft parts for your own custom kit, look at CraftParts.com. And of course, you can probably find such items at any local craft/hobby store.