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Justin Blaske
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I've been looking around and trying to find a good list of paper and printers that people are using and there is just no good place for this. Just a little bit of info here and there. I thought this would be a great place to centralize some of that information.

For those of you doing PnP or prototyping your games, please list out the paper that you use, and the printer that you print it on.

Or, if you have the work done, what do you have them use the print on, and how much do you expect to pay for a run of cards.

Ideally, if you can post as much info (with links to products) about your card prototyping process this can become a very handy thread for any up and coming designers (myself included) to make a more informed decision for the route they want to head for prototyping their games.

Some information to provide:
Card dimensions
Paper weight
Glossy or Matte?
What printer do you use?
How do you cut your cards? (KardKutter, Steel Ruler, etc.)
What do you use to round your corners?
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Edison
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jblaske wrote:
For those of you doing PnP or prototyping your games, please list out the paper that you use, and the printer that you print it on.

First, these are not the same thing. A PnP you probably expect to play a second time without modification. A prototype could be modified with 10 seconds of starting a game and become obsolete just as quickly. So what someone does for PnP is usually overkill for prototyping. And what one does for prototyping is probably to slipshod for PnP.

Card dimensions: 2.5 x 3.5, same size as penny sleeves for MtG and similar CCGs. Standard poker cards are also this size.

Paper weight: 24lb for sleeved content. 110lb for non-card content.

Glossy or Matte: matte. One trick I use for non-card objects is "laminate" the cardstock using clear shelf paper on both sides. Which I suppose makes the component glossy. But the paper starts out matte.

What printer do you use: Cheap inkjet for normal stuff. I have Epson Color Stylus 1400 (with 13" wide feed) for printing big things. But I rarely use it these days. Probably will fire it up for the game design contest ending shortly.

How do you cut your cards? Cheap slider cutter. They don't need to be exact inside sleeves so I never worry about being precise. Sometime I just use a pair of scissors.

What do you use to round your corners? Cheap corner punch from a craft store. I only do this for non-card object that are smallish, and usually find it unnecessary.

I also have a large collection of generic bits (wood cubes, etc) that get recycled for different games.
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Richard Irving
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For prototyping, the easiest way, is to use sleeves.

Print the card on regular paper, cut some card stock (or even old cards) for backing, slip in sleeve.

If you need to make a change, reprint the cards and re-insert in sleeve.

If you need a final playing copy of a game, then you go to Artscow have them do a deck.
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Ben Pinchback
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For prototyping I used black and white printed paper taped onto a couple decks of playing cards. It worked quite well actually.
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B-Rom
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recently touched on
 
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Just call me Erik
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Although I would agree that PnP and Prototyping are vastly different purposes with much varying requirements for quality, I do tend to do both the same way: I print a deck of cards using the snap-apart business cards made by Avery. They're nicely opaque, feel good, and no endless cutting stuff out, which is my least favorite part. Saving the digital file used to make them when prototyping also means a second set with a few changes is easy.
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Scott Nelson
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I like one side of the cards to be glossy, that way I can fan my hand out easily. The days of M:TG Tempest expansion really hit that one home for me.
 
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Martin Windischer
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My procedure for my very late (and nearly finished if you can ever say this) prototypes:

I print the cards on linen paper (~80g/m²). I use an inkjet printer, ideally 300 dpi.
The sheets get treated with a transparent acrylic spray (glossy).
I use spray glue to glue the sheets to some thicker paper (160g/m²).
I cut the cards with a steel ruler and a box cutter.
To round the corners I use a corner cutter.

The card dimensions depends on the game. I don't use standard sizes.
Until now I was lucky enough to never come in need of double sided cards. I'm a little bit afraid of the challenge to align front and back.
 
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Oliver Twitt
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Step 1. Buy a deck of cheap airline cards and sleeve them.
Step 2. Print out your cards on cheap copy paper, cut them out, and put them into the sleeves.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. PROFIT!
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Sturv Tafvherd
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jaybeethree wrote:
Step 1. Buy a deck of cheap airline cards and sleeve them.
Step 2. Print out your cards on cheap copy paper, cut them out, and put them into the sleeves.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. PROFIT!


Artscow is looking for game designers
...
with that around, it may be possible to:
Step 1. Use Artscow to produce your cards.
Step 2. Sign up for Artscow's commission system
Step 3. Tell your playtesters to buy their cards from Artscow.
Step 4. PROFIT!
 
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Justin Blaske
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I think my intent for this thread was missed.

The purpose was to be a list of scenarios of how various people prototype and/or do their PnP. Sort of a collection of knowledge, almost like a Stack Overflow item.

The idea being, that if somebody wanted to do some prototyping or some PnP they could look here see what people are doing for one or the other and see if that would be something they could do.

Which is why I asked for more specific information, such as model numbers and links to websites where you could buy the items.

I'm aware that PnP and Prototyping are not the same. What I meant was, that you provide your procedure for PnP and specify that's what you do for PnP, or if you do prototyping list out your procedure for prototyping and specify that as well.
 
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Ben Pinchback
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jaybeethree wrote:
Step 1. Buy a deck of cheap airline cards and sleeve them.
Step 2. Print out your cards on cheap copy paper, cut them out, and put them into the sleeves.
Step 3. ???
Step 4. PROFIT!

If you figure out #3, let the rest of us know will ya?
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Stormtower wrote:
Step 1. Use Artscow to produce your cards.
Step 2. Sign up for Artscow's commission system
Step 3. Tell your playtesters to buy their cards from Artscow.
Step 4. PROFIT!

You really shouldn't be charging playtesters to playtest, no matter how far along the game is. There's just something wrong about that.
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Mike L.
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I use business cards for my prototyping, 2"x3.5".

Just find online a cheap set of blank printable business cards (I bought a pack of 1000 business cards, basically 10 cards per 8.5" x11 page for $10 online), design the cards in some program (I use nandeck), print them out, punch them out and you are done. If you update something all you have to do is edit the program and print again.

This method is nice if you have to print out a lot of cards, if you don't need many or you won't be needing update them often go with other people's ideas.

You can use whatever style printer you want, since I am going to be doing a lot of printing and reprinting for my current project I purchased a laser printer to lower cost.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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jmucchiello wrote:
Stormtower wrote:
Step 1. Use Artscow to produce your cards.
Step 2. Sign up for Artscow's commission system
Step 3. Tell your playtesters to buy their cards from Artscow.
Step 4. PROFIT!

You really shouldn't be charging playtesters to playtest, no matter how far along the game is. There's just something wrong about that.


I understand, and I don't have anything on Artscow.

But it's funny: there's a ton of online games that do exactly that.

Heck, I've even seen enough card games with multiple pages of errata.
 
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Just call me Erik
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jmucchiello wrote:
Stormtower wrote:
Step 1. Use Artscow to produce your cards.
Step 2. Sign up for Artscow's commission system
Step 3. Tell your playtesters to buy their cards from Artscow.
Step 4. PROFIT!

You really shouldn't be charging playtesters to playtest, no matter how far along the game is. There's just something wrong about that.


I was a playtester (laughably..I still haven't tested it yet and it's been published for over 3 years now) for Ad Astra's Birds of Prey. They *did* charge for playtest copies, but 100% of the charge was applicable to a full copy of the game if you gave good feedback. They did this for two reasons. 1, to encourage people to give good feedback, and 2, to limit the number of playtest games in circulation. They seem to think it's effective, and I think it's perfectly reasonable.
 
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