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Subject: Rules for PnP Games rss

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Zachery Cook
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Hello everyone,

This could be a discussion or it could just be a quick answer I don't know. Are there any rules for Print and Play games? I created a game I find really fun and I think others would really enjoy playing also. I was thinking of offering it as a PnP game.

But it requires 65 cards and I'm not sure if that's too many cards for a PnP game. If I give out my game as PnP can I later get better art for it and perhaps start a Kickstarter or Self-Publish it? Are there any other rules or guidelines to PnP that I should know about?

Anyway thanks for any help I get on this matter.
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Jake Staines
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ZacheryRCook wrote:

But it requires 65 cards and I'm not sure if that's too many cards for a PnP game. If I give out my game as PnP can I later get better art for it and perhaps start a Kickstarter or Self-Publish it? Are there any other rules or guidelines to PnP that I should know about?


There's no rules or guidelines other than "it should be possible to print it and then play it", really. And even then, there's cases of those 'rules' being bent...

65 cards is only just a little more than a standard deck; when there are PnP deckbuilders around, that's far from impossible. Obviously the harder your game is to build the less likely that people will bother, but it's not because there's some rule or guideline that's been breached. Similarly, you're free to revise your PnP offerings as often as you like with new art, rules changes and so on... but the more frequently you do so, the more people will be put off building a game that's going to be out of date in a week.

Certainly there have been cases where PnP games have gone on to be published, either traditionally, through KickStarter or self-published. Some people sell the PnP PDF in the first place, which is the easiest option but also will be harder to build up interest in.
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Zachery Cook
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Bichatse wrote:
ZacheryRCook wrote:

But it requires 65 cards and I'm not sure if that's too many cards for a PnP game. If I give out my game as PnP can I later get better art for it and perhaps start a Kickstarter or Self-Publish it? Are there any other rules or guidelines to PnP that I should know about?


There's no rules or guidelines other than "it should be possible to print it and then play it", really. And even then, there's cases of those 'rules' being bent...

65 cards is only just a little more than a standard deck; when there are PnP deckbuilders around, that's far from impossible. Obviously the harder your game is to build the less likely that people will bother, but it's not because there's some rule or guideline that's been breached. Similarly, you're free to revise your PnP offerings as often as you like with new art, rules changes and so on... but the more frequently you do so, the more people will be put off building a game that's going to be out of date in a week.

Certainly there have been cases where PnP games have gone on to be published, either traditionally, through KickStarter or self-published. Some people sell the PnP PDF in the first place, which is the easiest option but also will be harder to build up interest in.


Thanks for your response, every little bit is helpful. So in the end 65 cards isn't too bad.

Now since my game will be PnP it should also probably be printer friendly correct? My cards have prototype art on them currently and they're pretty dark themed so a lot of black ink may be used. I printed out my game myself using the draft print settings and the black ink took a little bit of a hit. Is this something I should adjust for my game as well?
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Jake Staines
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ZacheryRCook wrote:

Now since my game will be PnP it should also probably be printer friendly correct?


Again: you can publish an all-black ink-draining PnP if you like, but the more easy and cheap it is for people to print out, the more likely people are to try it. Some people produce their PnPs in two versions - one printer-friendly and one full-colour, so people who want a really nice copy can have one, but it's still possible to try the game out without draining all your ink. Other people seem to believe that having nice art is more of a draw to players than being printer-friendly.
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Zachery Cook
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Bichatse wrote:
ZacheryRCook wrote:

Now since my game will be PnP it should also probably be printer friendly correct?


Some people produce their PnPs in two versions - one printer-friendly and one full-colour, so people who want a really nice copy can have one, but it's still possible to try the game out without draining all your ink. Other people seem to believe that having nice art is more of a draw to players than being printer-friendly.


What's the best way to share my PnP? Google Drive I'd assume.
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Thomas Hoiland
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ZacheryRCook wrote:
What's the best way to share my PnP? Google Drive I'd assume.


I haven't done this, but if (when) I make a game, I'm going to add the game to the database here. Then, I'd probably upload the PnP files to BGG to be in the files section of the the game's BGG page. Alternatively, you could create a web link on the game's BGG page to a shared Google Drive folder.
As a PnP game consumer, I think it's a big toss up on which I'd prefer to see. Downloading PnP files from the files section of a game's page, you can see comments people have made on the files such as printing difficulties and questions. (As a game creator, you'd have a spot here to collect some GG donations here.) On the other hand, I hoard all of the PnP files for games I've downloaded on Google Drive so being able to go from Google Drive to Google Drive would be nice. Also, if you go the weblink route, your original PnP files cannot be buried in the files section of the game by other user uploads like player aids and rules summaries.

If the game looked fun and worth the print though, I think either way of sharing would get people playing your game.

As for PnP files for cards, just make sure it is easy to align the fronts and backs of the cards, have as many cards per sheet of paper as possible, and provide A4 and 8.5" x 11" sizes for all files. I realize that providing the game for 2 sizes of paper isn't a small hassle, but I ran into once case where the cards were available in 8.5" x 11" but some of the card backs were only on an old 11" x 17" file. This made for a painful assembly. With your game at 64 cards with either 9 or 6 cards per sheet, that wouldn't scare me off from building.
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Samuel Hinz
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Releasing aS pnp also doesn't stop you from publishing later. There have been a bunch of instances where a pnp game has then gone on to retail via publisher.
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Zachery Cook
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abodi wrote:
Releasing aS pnp also doesn't stop you from publishing later. There have been a bunch of instances where a pnp game has then gone on to retail via publisher.


Thanks everyone, this was all very helpful information. I currently don't like the way I have my card sheets set-up, a lot of wasted paper. So I'm going to re do this. I'll probably be posting a link here to my PnP game for any of those who helped me out. I welcome you to try my PnP out.

Thank you again.
 
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Mike Strickland
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Certainly no rules for PnP, just organize everything nicely and make it convenient for people to print out. I'd recommend looking at some other games that offer a PnP version and see how they do it. Download their PDF files and study how they lay everything out. Also, you may want to have a "low ink" version, where you take out graphics that use lots of color/black ink that aren't essential to play the game.

You can certainly self-publish your game later, and you're doing the right thing by wanting to create a PnP first. This allows people to play test the game and try it out before they buy it. I'm working on a game now that I'll put on Kickstarter sometime in Sept/Oct, but I'm also going to release a free PnP version to the public so people can try it out first.
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Zachery Cook
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zorin_productions wrote:
Certainly no rules for PnP, just organize everything nicely and make it convenient for people to print out. I'd recommend looking at some other games that offer a PnP version and see how they do it. Download their PDF files and study how they lay everything out. Also, you may want to have a "low ink" version, where you take out graphics that use lots of color/black ink that aren't essential to play the game.

You can certainly self-publish your game later, and you're doing the right thing by wanting to create a PnP first. This allows people to play test the game and try it out before they buy it. I'm working on a game now that I'll put on Kickstarter sometime in Sept/Oct, but I'm also going to release a free PnP version to the public so people can try it out first.


Thanks Zorin, this is great advice, I'm going to download some PnP game today and I'm going to make my card more printer friendly and lay them out better. I look forward to your PnP game.
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Zachery Cook
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Thoi412 wrote:
ZacheryRCook wrote:
What's the best way to share my PnP? Google Drive I'd assume.


I haven't done this, but if (when) I make a game, I'm going to add the game to the database here. Then, I'd probably upload the PnP files to BGG to be in the files section of the the game's BGG page. Alternatively, you could create a web link on the game's BGG page to a shared Google Drive folder.
As a PnP game consumer, I think it's a big toss up on which I'd prefer to see. Downloading PnP files from the files section of a game's page, you can see comments people have made on the files such as printing difficulties and questions. (As a game creator, you'd have a spot here to collect some GG donations here.) On the other hand, I hoard all of the PnP files for games I've downloaded on Google Drive so being able to go from Google Drive to Google Drive would be nice. Also, if you go the weblink route, your original PnP files cannot be buried in the files section of the game by other user uploads like player aids and rules summaries.

If the game looked fun and worth the print though, I think either way of sharing would get people playing your game.

As for PnP files for cards, just make sure it is easy to align the fronts and backs of the cards, have as many cards per sheet of paper as possible, and provide A4 and 8.5" x 11" sizes for all files. I realize that providing the game for 2 sizes of paper isn't a small hassle, but I ran into once case where the cards were available in 8.5" x 11" but some of the card backs were only on an old 11" x 17" file. This made for a painful assembly. With your game at 64 cards with either 9 or 6 cards per sheet, that wouldn't scare me off from building.


Here's another question I just thought of. Should I put my game in the Board Game Geek? If I do this should I look and see if there is already a game with the same name as mine. Do I need to register anything for my PnP game?
 
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Derek H
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ZacheryRCook wrote:
abodi wrote:
Releasing aS pnp also doesn't stop you from publishing later. There have been a bunch of instances where a pnp game has then gone on to retail via publisher.

Thanks everyone, this was all very helpful information. I currently don't like the way I have my card sheets set-up, a lot of wasted paper. So I'm going to re do this.

If you can somehow be ruthless and cut out 2 cards, you'll be able to fit 63 onto seven pages with a 3x3 grid on each (assuming you have poker sized cards). And, yes, less ink == much better!
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Mike Strickland
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ZacheryRCook wrote:


Here's another question I just thought of. Should I put my game in the Board Game Geek? If I do this should I look and see if there is already a game with the same name as mine. Do I need to register anything for my PnP game?


Yes, definitely register your game here on BGG once you've got it developed to a point you're happy with. Just search the name at the top under board games. If it's ever been used it should be in the database here. Once you know the name is available go to the "misc" tab at the top, and you'll see "add to database" in red. Click on board game and just follow the steps from there. It might take about a week for it to be approved. Once you've got an official page for your game on here, you can upload the PnP file directly to that page.
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Zachery Cook
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gamesbook wrote:
ZacheryRCook wrote:
abodi wrote:
Releasing aS pnp also doesn't stop you from publishing later. There have been a bunch of instances where a pnp game has then gone on to retail via publisher.

Thanks everyone, this was all very helpful information. I currently don't like the way I have my card sheets set-up, a lot of wasted paper. So I'm going to re do this.

If you can somehow be ruthless and cut out 2 cards, you'll be able to fit 63 onto seven pages with a 3x3 grid on each (assuming you have poker sized cards). And, yes, less ink == much better!


I will work on a less ink version and on shortening up the cards, they are poker sized and already 3x3. I noticed some of the cards come up too often, so I should have no problem removing two cards from the number.

Look for DEFUSER under play testers wanted sometime before the end of the week. I plan on placing my game there for everyone. Well DEFUSER for now incase the name is already taken.
 
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Zachery Cook
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zorin_productions wrote:
ZacheryRCook wrote:


Here's another question I just thought of. Should I put my game in the Board Game Geek? If I do this should I look and see if there is already a game with the same name as mine. Do I need to register anything for my PnP game?


Yes, definitely register your game here on BGG once you've got it developed to a point you're happy with.


Thanks for the process I actually had no idea on how to do this.
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