DIY Game Kit

BUILD YOUR DIY GAME KIT! (it's fun & worth it)

Your game kit are the dice, playing cards, pawns, and other materials that you buy once and then use to play all your DIY games. It saves money and adds a personal touch to your gaming universe with the DIY game kit you built!

Whether you build your game kit from knickknacks in a junk drawer (go green hoarder!), cannibalizing retro games from thrift stores (a great idea), making high end purchases from stores (if you got it, flaunt it), or even making your own (crafty!)...every DIY kit is a personal expression and an integral part of the DIY game experience.

Quick side of my poker buddy's chip set is made from actual casino ships from all over the world. One by one, he (and friends during their travels) collected chips for years and helped make a one-of-a-kind set that is everyone's favorite chips. Although it is an insanely expensive set, building it was an incredibly satisfying achievement and every time we play someone notices a particular chip, starts a conversation, or announces their favorite chip in the stacks. It's a spectacular example of a DIY chip set.

Build your DIY game kit how you want - and then use your set to play to play all the games!


DIY Game Kit check list

Different TMI Boom games may use different equipment (dice, cards, chips, etc.) and part of the DIY game movement is to, when possible, allow gamers to use the same gear across multiple games. 

Dice • Playing Cards • Pawns • Chips • Coins • Pencil & Paper • Timers • Extras



Dice are my favorite. The way they feel in your hand, the sounds they make when shaken and rolled, and of course the anticipation of the result. The simple math, probability, and effect on the game makes some of the best surprises in gaming.

d6 (six-sided)

d6 dice

D6: the classic standard die.

Dice have been played before recorded history. Very early sets have been excavated from archeological sites in Iran dating between 2800 - 2500 bce.

Choose a personal set you call all your own, AND buy a bunch of other colored sets so you and your friends can play a wide range of games.

Most TMI Boom dice games require 1-2 dice, but can go as high as 10 dice per player. 

12mm acryllic and 16mm dice are my standard d6 choices, but I enjoy a ton of quirky dice to add flavor, like my 55mm sealed foam die that is a quick grab and silent roll on any surface resolve quick disputes around the house.


Polyhedral dice 

polyhedral dice

The standard 7-dice polyhedral set (popularized by the iconic Dungeons & Dragons) includes: 

  • d4 (4 sides)
  • d6 (6 sides)
  • d8 (8 sides)
  • d10 (0-9) (10 sides)
  • d10 (00-90) (10 sides)
  • d12 (12 sides)
  • d20 (20 sides)

Polyhedral dice are becoming more mainstream everyday and offer a world of game playing possibilities. There is a tremendous variety of dice out there - explore and find the set you love to play with!


Special and custom dice 

special dice

100-sided dice (d100), blank dice (ready for you to customize), color cubes, and custom dice from 3rd party games are all fair game to play with DIY games. Once you start looking, you'll find them.

There are so many fun dice sets out there. I am still building my personal set, but for game development and group play I buy a variety of colored D6 in sets of ten and polyhedral sets in bulk. 

Everyone enjoys picking their favorite colors (or taking someone else's favorite color) before the game starts.

My daughter Nui has a special XL d20 "Cherry Blossom" die from Diffusion Dice and my son Koa a metal XL d20 from Norse Foundry (super cool, but too dangerous to roll on most of our table surfaces!) for D&D campaigns.



Playing cards

playing cards

Playing cards offer an amazingly diverse and balanced structure for an innumerable number of game play possibilities. The earliest reference to cards (and dominoes!) are from 10th century China and first appeared in Europe in the 1370s as hand painted luxury items.

Clubs, Spades, Diamonds, and Hearts in red & black, with values Ace, 2-10, Jack, Queen, King, and Jokers are iconic.

Poker size = 2.5" wide x 3.5" tall 

Bridge size = 2.25" wide x 3.5" tall 

Fun Fact: The World Series of Poker use bridge-sized cards, not poker sized.

I prefer playing poker with plastic bridge sized playing cards with a bit of texture so they slide across the table just right. My personal favorite brand is COPAG (feel free sponsor me COPAG!).

For game development and playing with my kids I often buy "Authentic Casino Played Cards" in bulk. They come from a bunch of random casinos, are inexpensive, fun to look at, and you can be rough & tumble with them.

There are so many cool and beautiful playing card set out there. Find the cards that get you excited to play and built your kit your way!





I used to just think of pawns as the little guys on a chess board. They are, but versions also appear in classic board games like Sorry®.

Pawns bring life to a table top game as avatars for players and as characters in the game. They are a great way to represent a team or group.

There are a variety of pawn designs, and the main considerations are a shape that is stable and easy to pick up and move. Variety of colors can be an important consideration.

As always, you can find something retro in a thrift store or junk drawer (I have done it!), look online and buy cost effective bulk pawns in 10 sets of 10 colors (I have done it!), or go deep and make your own by crafting or 3-D printing (I want to!).

They can look like a cousin of the chess pawns, they can be figurines, they can be old thread spools. Just make sure they have a solid design so they play better and you play better because you love the pawns you chose.




Chips can be anything shaped like a coin. In Poker and casino gaming they represent denominations of money (most coins are money!).

I have had clay and weighted poker chips that are a tone of fun to play with, but for the most cost effective and versatile use with DIY games, I think the best bet is to go with inexpensive, interlocking, plastic poker chips. 

You can stack them, you can roll them, you can throw them, or flick them. You can use them as markers, money, pawns, or action game pieces.

Feel free to hunt down a good deal, but make sure you get a quality interlocking plastic poker chip set. There are a number of good generic brands you can find online (with a wide range in colors) and you can always count on the tried and true classic plastic Bicycle and Hoyle brand poker chips (note: they only come in red, white (ivory), and blue).

Remember when I said inexpensive? Note that I did not say cheap. The lowest quality chips out there will feel flimsy, too lightweight, inconsistent quality, have poor color, and not stack well. I have bought them before and felt sad when playing with them. And we play games to feel great! 




Coins! Money, game tokens, souvenirs, collectibles, ....and DIY game kit pieces! Use them as pawns, markers, chips, or prizes. You can find them in your pockets, at the grocery store, during your vacation, or online. 

As a DIY game tool, coins have a special feature as a 50/50 probability decider, "Heads of Tails?". A truly classic gaming phrase and a rich history of public decision making. From who kicks-off at the Super Bowl® to military challenge coins, flipping them are fun and a great game mechanic.





If a game has a timed requirement (or if you have a house rule to keep deep thinkers under control), a timer comes in handy.

You have one on your mobile phone and your watch, but having some old school 1 or 2 minute sand timers adds to the special mood and physical experience when you are in the DIY game zone. 

It's fun to flip them over, everyone enjoys seeing the grains drop and time run out, and it adds to the shared experience.

If you want to go a bit more tech while still making the experience "game special", take a look at kitchen timers. With large displays everyone can see and a variety of styles, kitchen timers a good option add to your DIY game kit.



Dice trays / pads

 dice tray

Dice trays reduce noise, keep dice on the table, and can be another fun way to customize your DIY game kit to represent your specific gamer identity.

Find one online, in your local game shop, or make one on your own. It can be as simple as a small cardboard box or as well crafted as an embossed folding leather dice tray. The more special it is to you, the more fun you'll have.

Hard dice clanking on hard tabletops (especially glass) can be unappealing to listen to and we all know that certain player who rolls the dice into active game pieces or off the table onto the floor (I am pretty sure my son KOA does it on purpose). It happens! But it doesn't have to.