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Subject: Print and Play Designing rss

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Phil Thorogood
New Zealand
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Hey all,

I've whipped up the first prototype of my current game project, and I'm in the midst of playtesting it thoroughly (solo and with my girlfriend). I have a few friends around the world who I trust not to judge enough to send a PnP version of it through to (not to mention I'd like to have a PnP available when I eventually go to Kickstarter).

My question is; what is the best way to design a Print and Play version of my game?

I've done some searching online and on here, and all I can find are threads and articles and videos on how to assemble your PnP games after printing.

I'm after more of a "this works, this doesn't" guide to CREATING the file that people will then print and play.

Any help would be appreciated. In the meantime, I'm off to fumble around with my designs and see what I can cobble together alone!

Thanks.
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Cameron Rothlisberger
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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For my current PnP I have just created it in Publisher putting 9 cards on each page. I have kept it mostly black and white for ease of printing. I then converted it to a pdf before sending it to anyone.

What exactly are you struggling with? Also what components does your game require?
 
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Phil Thorogood
New Zealand
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Not struggling exactly, I've just not tried it before, and hence was wondering what things people use/avoid (programs, techniques etc) when making their games into a PnP version.

I don't have Publisher myself (I use on LibreOffice).

The full components list will be;

Rule Book
Map Book
Map Tiles (reversible)
Characters x24
Character Cards x24
Opponents x51
Items x48
Secret Objectives x15
3-D Houses x6
Garages x2
Averaging Die (Single)

In this first PnP iteration for personal and close-knit friends play testing I won't be making the full map book...I'll probably just give them the tiles and let them use their common sense to make up a variety of scenarios.

For the Houses and Garages I think I'll have squares/rectangles with roof patterns on top for use in the PnP.

Characters themselves can be stood in for by any Meeple as long as you can differentiate between them to know whose is whose.

The averaging die is a little more difficult, but perhaps just include a conversion table in the rules and they can use a normal D6?



 
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Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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You need to design your game to be on standard A4/Letter format paper and generally low-ink or monochrome, as this would encourage more people to take the time to print it.

There are numerous formats you could use but cards are generally standard poker size 3.5 x 2.5 inch and you can normally get 9 of them per page on a 3 x 3 grid.

The more complex the components, the less likely testers will want to go to the trouble and expense of producing your game.

I use Inkscape for my designs, but there is a huge range of applications you could use. Ideally, your files need to be in pdf format, so they maintain their size and integrity.

Don't worry too much about artwork and making it pretty. Most serious testers will happily accept text only cards, as long as they are functional and the game is fun. I know of a well established game designer who submitted a game to an international contest using just crappy green paper cards with rough text and it was happily accepted.

Thorough testing is more than you and/or your girlfriend. It is also way more than just a handful of people. The game needs to be blind-tested and played by dozens of different people many hundreds of times before you even consider going anywhere near a KS project. Do your homework and compare the successful KS projects to the abysmal ones, to gauge how much work is required before you even contemplate a project launch.

Don't be fearful of showing your game on these forums - the chances of it being so revolutionary that someone would steal it is virtually non-existent. Ideas are a dime-a-dozen and most designers have dozens of their own designs running concurrently, none are likely to want to steal yours.
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Eric Miller
United States
College Station
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Just as a "process" bit...

I've used InkScape, but have now switched to LibreOffice. I can add multiple pages with ease (I couldn't ever figure that out in InkScape.)

Rules and text-heavy stuff goes in the Writer part, parts go in Draw part. You'll need to put some thought into what can go where- it sounds like most of those would be individual files. If you lump them together then it's easier to make changes across multiple items, but the file gets big and clunky.

Sharing them here is good. Just make sure everything is a PDF and ZIP them all together. Then use an online file storage like dropbox, google, etc. to share the file.

There's contests you can always enter to get some feedback.
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Phil Thorogood
New Zealand
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anomander64 wrote:
Thorough testing is more than you and/or your girlfriend. It is also way more than just a handful of people. The game needs to be blind-tested and played by dozens of different people many hundreds of times before you even consider going anywhere near a KS project. Do your homework and compare the successful KS projects to the abysmal ones, to gauge how much work is required before you even contemplate a project launch.


Definitely! I've only just finished the first paper/card prototype this week - the comment about PnP being for me and close friends is just my initial playtesting step.

Once I'm happy with any and all adjustments made from "Playtesting 1.0", I've got several board game groups and shops near me that I'm going to plunder. My friends in other countries are going to do the same near them and gather feedback there also.

Beyond that step, I'll get several Game Crafter prototypes set up, to send off to reviewers, and I've got several events and conventions on my list to hit personally to show it off and build community.

I'm on KS every day doing research, and I daily find and read/watch articles and videos on Board Game Design, Kickstarter Campaigns, both together, and various other relevant topics.

Don't worry, I got this Thanks though.




The feedback from all is appreciated! I've downloaded Inkscape and am playing about with my company logo in an attempt to familiarise myself with it.
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Jeffery Hudson
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Utah
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The best thing I can tell you is to keep things 'stanard'. The Suggestion of A4/Letter paper and standard playing card sizes are great. Offload as much to cubes or other generic counters as possible really help.

If you do have counters you have to have for your game, i'd really suggest making them scrabble tile size. my biggest problem is PnP games that require a lot of square counters. i'm not good at gluing, cutting, making, etc...but cutting a peice of paper and gluing the top to a scrabble tile. Sure! and it makes the game look great. Most thrifters who also do PnP have a ton of tiles around...or can just wait a few days/weeks for a set of Scrabble to come through.

just my thoughts...
 
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Carel Teijgeler
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Vlaardingen
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Rule Book file document
Map Book file document,map spread out over multiple pages
Map Tiles (reversible) back and front on 1 page, adjacent, so could be folded, 1 tile or 2 tiles per page
Characters x24 counters, countersheet 14 rows with 10 tokens
Character Cards x24 card lay ouy 9x9
Opponents x51 counters
Items x48 counters
Secret Objectives x15 cards on 9x9 grid
3-D Houses x6 ignore 3d (it is PnP), 1 page for the lay out, instruction "print 6x"
Garages x2 1 page for the lay out, instruction "print 2x"
Averaging Die (Single) not supplied, player can take from another game

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