I have the board made, and some rudimentary pieces. I need to figure out how to use the game engine to move the pieces around. I do not want to write script yet that actually plays the game, because it needs a lot of play testing to work out any issues. I've watched several game engine tutorials, but none I find relate specifically to moving pieces around on a 3D object like this. Any ideas about where I can look for this type of info? I will continue to work on better renditions of the board and pieces while I'm learning the rest of what I need to know.
Video of end solution:
Blend at end of whole post:
1) Create a red piece by creating a cube and scaling it on the Z axis. Give it a material with a red diffuse color, 'object color' enabled and give it the game property 'PIECE' (value does not matter)
2) Create a blue piece the same as before but with a blue diffuse color (If you already have pieces, make sure 'object color' is enabled and they have the game property 'PIECE'
4) Create a new text datablock with the name 'move_to_tile.py', and past into it the script from here: http://pastebin.com/tVgmqCkJ
Create an empty with the logic bricks:
Always -> Python
Put it in blender game mode, hit 'play' and you should be able to move the pieces around. If the pieces are all grey, make sure you are in GLSL 'textured' mode. You may need to add a light source.
Note that you can duplicate pieces and tiles as you will. Do whatever you like.
Creating a Spherical Board
Blend at end of this section (same as first link)
We don't want to have to place planes for all the faces in the platonic solid you have above. That would take far too long. Thankfully blender has some neat tools.
1) Add your base shape. Give it the tile material (object color enabled) and the game property 'TILE'
Now you should be able to move the pieces all over the spherical board.
Represent the board using a more abstract notation. Essentially, you need a way to store co-ordinates in 3D space.
One way would be to place empties at all possible piece locations. Then you can snap to them. This is quite a limited approach. A better solution is to use a mathematical representation. For example, a sphere is very easily notated in ... spherical co-ordinates (two angles and a radius). Thus to snap a piece to a location is just a coordinate conversion issue. An easy way to think about this if you don't have experience with spherical coordinate systems is if you have a single piece at the top of the board, parent it to an empty in the middle of the board, and then rotate the empty. The piece will follow the surface of the sphere.
You will need python for this for the reasons pointed out by Quacksilber. I can think of ways to do it using animations and logic bricks but it will be a huge huge huge effort that will be very tedious.
I am quite interested in your game. Looks a bit like chess? Programming chess is never easy at the best of times (aka a flat board)
Why not make one object for one tile?
When you know the tile, you know where to place the 3d model of the stone.
I think, the easiest way would be using a flat baord, I guess it's nearly impossible to do the 3D-board version without python scripts. The only way I see to move the figures on a 3D-board is by animating every figure, placing it manually on the fields, one "frame" per position. But that would cause a total mess if you want to move them all around - allready for a single figure you would have to connect one logic brick per field on your board. So let's say there 50 fields, multiply with let's say 40 figures makes around 2000 logic bricks you'd need to connect by hand. (If not using scripts)
By using a flat baord: You probably might search for videos on "point and click", so by clicking on a field, the selected figure would go to it. Then you should also look for the mouse-sensor option "mouse over", which tells you, whether the cursor is placed over an object (wich you can specificate by using game properties). Firstival, you should declare game properties like "turn" and "selected figures".
Please tell me, if you consider using a flat board, if not I could tell you more about the action-animation way and if using a flat board feel free to ask about the property stuff! :)