A custom surface is more complicated to implement, but in most cases it looks much better than a table (there some exceptions of course).
In theory you can make your surface very colorful, and full of pictures etc. but we recommend it be kept simple in order to not distract players from the actual game objects.
It is also possible to use a custom surface which gives players some helpful info.
You can make visual placeholders on the surface to emphasize things like decks, bags, tiles, etc.
Sometimes, this can also be used not only for decorative purposes but to guide players where to place their workers for example.
In many cases the game board looks much better when it is cut in some creative way. The same is true for player board, special game zones, summary sheets etc.
And when you play with the thickness of the board you can create an effect such as a stone plateau.
Or even make it look like a custom table with a complicated shape (here the game board is just bigger than the real table under it)
One of the most interesting visual effects you can achieve is when the game board is part of the table (you put its image on the surface itself instead of creating a game board object).
Below you will find some examplesof this approach (left - before, right - after)
You can make the center of your surface brighter than the edges. This looks especially good on dark surfaces.
It is important to avoid stepped gradients. A texture with a visible uneven pattern will help to achieve this.
Replace some standard game components with custom ones. With a real game, you are limited by production costs and other reasons. However, with Tabletopia, you can let your imagination run free! We recommend using tokens of different shapes (both vertical or horizontal). They are very useful and flexible: you may set any shape, any thickness and use custom colours for them or pave pictures on both sides.
We have created custom resource tokens for Evolution. They are better suited for this game than plain wooden cubes.
You can creatively use dice game objects. It is possible to turn them into game pieces (switch off roll or flip actions) or even turn them into static objects (switch off select option). And now you can create cubes, pyramids etc. with a custom picture on each side.
If you have some 3D objects - you can use them for decorative purposes. Why not place a dwarf guardian near the bag of gold? In object settings you can make this object static - no accidental selection will be possible etc.
And even if you do not have 3D models you can use vertical tokens for guidance (announcements, marking player’s zones etc.) or just for visual appeal.