Story Cubes

I made some story cubes over the weekend as a creative project.

story cubes

Story cubes seem to be used for brainstorming stories or narrative content. You roll them out and based on the icons that are showing formulate some kind of story. Since they are physical blocks it adds a tactile quality to the activity which is nice.

Searching further on the web resulted in screen shots of the illustrations on story cubes. I found a set for purchase called Rory’s Story Cubes which unfortunately appeared to be sold out. So, I went to Michael’s and got 1 inch wood blocks and a small basswood box to make my own set of cubes.

The cubes on the web seem to be in groups of nine. But the box at Michael’s would hold sixteen blocks. So I made nine blocks and then added six more blocks with generic shapes and colors. I suppose the extra cubes could come in handy for added brainstorming. I was planning on painting the cubes white and using a marker to draw the icons but decided to use my wood burning tool and just stained the wood.

It was a fun creative diversion from animation and perhaps it will help when generating ideas for future projects.


7 responses to “Story Cubes”

  1. Looks great, Grant. Hey–how about rolling the set of cubes and then showing what came up and what sort of story you might get from i. You know, like a demo…?

  2. Wow, well done Grant! I really like that you chose your own symbols and even added more to the concept. Should be a good tool to problem solve or just a fun game however you use it.

    It kind of reminds me of the “Oblique Strategies” card deck that Eno and Schmidt came up with. They made a cool Dashboard Widget for us Mac folks, but there is a web site for it too.

    Anyway, roll up a story and get to telling it!

  3. cool beans!

    never heard of this…..but it makes a ton of sence….

    you could get all kinds of fun stories…..they must have a program on line that does the same thing now adays too.


  4. Excellent! I love what the element of randomness can contribute to creative processes. 😀

  5. Hi Grant,

    Rory here, of Rory’s Story Cubes. I just wanted to say that at first, I didn’t know whether to be impressed or offended by your Story Cubes ;). In the end, I have to say that I am really impressed that you took the initiative to create your own Story Cubes.

    your initiative has confirmed for me, a decision I have made to make Rory’s Story Cubes an open source type project, encouraging people to design their own images to a shared library.

    And by the way, Rory’s Story Cubes are back in stock!


  6. Hi Rory.

    I was inspired by your cubes so thank you. It would be interesting if you could come up with something online (like jriggity posted above) or have a way to upload designs, or choose from sets of designs uploaded or tagged by users, and then have the ability to print them out…peel off stickers or something…or custom created cubes!

    If I could have designed my icons and then uploaded them for you to make a custom cube set…that would have been a very tempting option indeed.

    Best wishes.

  7. The story cube idea made me think of MIT’s siftables… they could make some awesome story cubes with infinite possiblities…great ideas.