Saturday, October 25, 2014

How To: Put your GB/GBC/GBA games into Cassette Cases

Hello all and welcome to the first tutorial! Boxing up Game Boy Advance, Color, and Game Boy games is a pain, and really, there's not many cost-effective solutions to do it. I stumbled upon this at /r/gamecollecting and figured "Eh, why not give it a shot?" - With the chance to finally do this for my Project Management midterm on the basis that I had to make a tutorial, I decided to give back to those who helped me, so I really hope this helps out a few fellow Game Collectors manage to do what I did with little time on my shoulders. The final goal with this tutorial is to make this,

There is also a video version available over here for those of you that prefer videos, but I personally advise this text tutorial more,

Let's get started with a list of items we'll need:
-Game Boy games (duh) - Game Boy Advance and Color work too
-Colored Printer & Paper; each paper fits two art prints
-Cassette Cases; one per each Game Boy game
-Paint.Net or any alternative
-This set of Cassette Case Templates for Game Boy provided here
-A cutting board and pliers; pliers are not needed if doing Game Boy Advance games only
-Any Word editing software (OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, etc all work) - Yes, I'm serious.

In four (mostly) simple steps we'll cover all of these

Step #1. Acquiring Cassette Cases

This here is our first step, so let's get this one out of the way. Depending on your area, this may be a bit more complex than appearing. You're gifted with several options.

Amazon - Here is a bit pricey. 25 bucks per Cassette Case means 1$ per case; it means you'll be spending more on the Cassette Cases themselves than the actual project itself. There is one other flaw - To those looking to grab many of these, not only is it quite a pretty penny, but there's not many of them left on Amazon. It's safe to assume that these will restock, still, but I'm not putting my hopes up high. On the other hand, this is beneficial to the OCD. It saves a lot of time and they're all confirmed to come in the same size.

Goodwill - There's plenty of Goodwill locations; check the retail stores/outlets. This is probably the easiest method; they're only ten to twenty cents each! Unfortunately, there's a bigger problem for bulk collectors: Either your Goodwill could have forty nice cassette's or four that just all kind-of suck. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to hit up a Goodwill before trying Amazon.

Local Thrift Shops - Hit and miss This is where I found the most in terms of quantity, but that's about it. This one truly varies; if you have a few good local thrift shops, hit these up as well

Your Basement - You never know!

There's easily more as I'm sure, but these are the ones I found. For now, let's move onto Step #2

Step #2: Making the Covers for your games

We are *not* doing anything in Paint.Net / Photoshop beyond image editing. If you want to make your own stuff, that's your choice, but don't whine that art skill was needed because it's not.

Changes are, as with most games, your came will not have a cause made on default. It's the sad truth; or well, at least one to your standards, thus meaning you're left with two options

1. Requesting someone else to make one for you - You're on your own for this, but hey, you can try to hit me up an email.
2. Making it yourself

There are a few, though, so before going into Photoshop /, let's try these. Hopefully you find at least some cover links there (This link works if you copy and paste it)

Should templates not work for whatever reason, this is a great time to refer to this link here

That said, for the ones you couldn't find covers for, we're going to begin a slight Photoshop tutorial. I didn't do these in

First thing's first; I want all of you to google the cases you need for or the case art you prefer to use. For most of these, I used the official art. I want you to go try the cover project to see if they have the cases you need. If not, begin google search!

Done yet? Good. Let's proceed

0. Never ever ever save over the template ever.
1. Open one of the templates in your image editor of choice. Your image editor needs to work with layers
2. Open the art you plan on using; for simplicity case, we'll say that you used a replica box from the original game
3. Take whatever selection you like from the front cover art, select it, and copy it
4. Paste it where you have your template open. When pasting it, you can use free transform. Please, put it on a blank Layer.
5. Put the Blank Layer at the lowest and see how it looks; if it's not perfect, that's fine. You should have something that looks like this, but if there's parts in the checkered spaces, that's easily fixable;

This one is a bit sloppy here, but it was made purely for example.

6. Once that's done, take color picker or pick a color of your choice. Put it on the background using the bucket tool on IT'S OWN LAYER.
7. Take that layer and place it at the bottom
8. This can be done in multiple ways, but for the final part that has the "Game Boy Advance" sideways and to make finding these games easier. Let's say you downloaded a DS template though; I want you to copy that part, paste it into the template image (IN IT'S OWN LAYER) - Once that's done, use the free transform tool to fit it in whatever way you would like. In some cases, it'll be simple to get it fitting, but in others, eh.

Step 8 Option B. Take the logo of the game, if you can find it on the internet in transparency, and download it. Rotate it in the document when you place it to the template and bam!

Step 9. Finishing Touches - Don't feel bad about any finishing touches that need to be made; you might learn a thing or two in Photoshop!

Step #3: Printing

If you have access to everything, this is the easiest part and probably the most expensive.

1. Take all your images you have and place them into word. Do not bother mass placing them. When placing an image, press the enter button three times, place another one, and you've got two on the same page - Rinse and repeat this process on each new page (only press the enter button three times every *other* time).
2. Save the document. For simplicity sake, I like to go with .pdf
3. Print. Before you do so, test printing and test if they fit fine on the Cassette Boxes you got; I made a mistake by not doing that

Step #4: Finalizing and Boxing up the games!

The final home stretch! If you've made it this far, please, pat yourself on the back.

So you've got all your art prints, right? All your games and cassette cases in one place? Let's begin.

1. Clean out cassette cases -  This should be obvious, but I figured I'd put it here anyways. Sometimes you may want to clean them as well before usage; thrift stores are messy.
2. Grab the cutting board - Begin cutting away! Be careful, and don't be afraid of getting too much of the white paper (or whatever color you used if you decided to be a rebel) on there; getting your cut right the first time probably won't happen
3. Once done, fold them up and place them in the Cassette cases; fold them by the part that has "Game Boy" sideways. Should be simple enough, but be minded, these *do* need to be folded to fit well
4. Explained down below. Skip this for now, depending on your situation.
5. Place your game in (if Game Boy Advance)

Viola, you're done!

Oh, wait, you have a Game Boy game or Game Boy Color game? Just hold on a bit longer and follow this extra step 4,

4. Use Pliers to cut off just one hinge of the Cassette case; just one should work. I prefer cutting the top one for this, but depending on your case, the bottom one may leave it less loose. Be very careful when doing this. You may mess up a few times, so have some extra ones handy! It might cause some wear and tear to the Cassette case itself, but if it has a scratch, you probably didn't break it. It's okay; you'll manage.

Final Step: Shelving it all!

Not a serious step, of course, but find somewhere to put these! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find an easy convenient storage solution, but I managed to make due with what I have,

Can't wait to see some covers and more templates. I want to see this catch on for sur. Hope this tutorial helped out at few fellow collectors and nets me an A!



  2. I would've felt guilty reading this page without giving you a proper thanks.

    Your guide helped tremendously. I now have a beautiful set of cases.

    I'm left to wonder how much nicer photo paper would look over plain old stock printer paper...

    1. Photo paper - AND using a photo-grade printer, will achieve excellent results... and cost a lot more money. You're making decent-looking game cases, not trying to forge original replicas to fool people. I wouldn't bother with high-grade printouts for game covers. If you have a decent color printer (I use a good quality color laser printer with plain ol' stock paper (90 brightness, though), and it does the job just fine! :-)

  3. I just wanted to express my thanks as well for these.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial! As a quick question, do you know where I might upload these cassette cases if I make them for other people to use? Thanks :)

  5. Hi everyone, I saw this a few months ago and loved the idea, I just wanted to share some covers I made, mostly for japanese versions.!BUVHgQ7C!Ur6eZgLItd-6LrUXo5c6Ew

    There's a template file in the PSD folder, it contains all the versions (gb, gbc, gba and gba japanese).

    Some photos:

    I'll be adding some more covers within the next few weeks.

    1. hi do you have the Japanee pokemon cases? i cant find them anywhere and i just cant work my head around making them myself?

  6. Its really amazing i will love to buy these first :D GBA games lovers never die