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Subject: General advice on creating a print and play? rss

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Rocco Privetera
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I'm also a beginner, but I can tell you what I've learned so far with my current Pnp Game PRIVATIZE (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/789104/pnp-wip-privatize-pla...)

My first round I made the components trick to cut out - they were hexes. Redoing the hex layout to something not as efficient but easy to cut out helped.

From what it sounds like, a couple of boards and a few tokens is easy enough to print and play. For me I use Kinkos and print onto cardstock: it's still just pennies a page (well, maybe 50-75 cents a page) and I don't have to worry about toner. Cardstock cuts with scissors easily and shoves around on a table easily.

A PnP game with 300+ cards - say spread over 35+ sheets of paper - is asking a lot to cut out, especially for playtesters.


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Rocco Privetera
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I get it. I'm just a firm believer in limitations as a framework.

When I designed Privatize, I was very specific: I want to design a game that used tiles, no more that 2-3 pages of cutout tokens, and 5-6 pages of rules, tops. I've got other games in the queue that are more complex but for a first learning effort i felt this was a good start.

My best advice: design it and print it out and play it. There's a difference between theory and production. The first time I printed something my gamers said "these hexes are too small to pick up at 1/2" on a side" - something not that evident in the paint program.

Same goes for art. I have a different game I'm working on with some nice art, but when the counters were physically placed on the board, they were all swallowed up in the board colors. I never would have deduced that without printing it.

If you have a prototype design, print it out, put a snapshot up here and see what feedback you get.
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Oliver Kiley
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Ann Arbor
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I have a few suggestions I can share. I made a set of PnP Playtesting files available for a time for my game Hegemonic. There are a lot of components, but surprisingly a large number of people were up to the task of making their own copy.

Anyway, a few things to consider:

- I would focus on providing a low cost set of files that is as easy as possible to construct. In particular, ink-heavy PnP files should be avoided, your game is in a close to final state with strong artwork/graphics that would make an ink-heavy project worthwhile.

- If possible, layout your files to on to standard letter sized sheets, with enough margin space so that things don't get cut-off during printing. You can fit nine 2.5" x 3.5" standard size cards on a letter sheet for example. If you have a large board, split it up into tiles that fit on 8.5 x 11 sheets and let people assemble the board that way.

- Provide cut marks / guides on your files and layout components to minimize cuts. I.E., don't put a gap between cards, put the edges next to each other so one cut will cut two at once.

- If you game can se stock components as a substitute, suggest those (i.e. basic eurocubes). A lot of PnP'ers will have these basic components lying around.

- Provide instructions if your game is at all complicated, along with suggestions on materials. For example, if something uses a lot of hex tiles, it will be helpful to know whether they should be mounted to something heavier or not.

That's all for now. Good luck!
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B C Z
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Reston
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Remember you have two audiences.

One uses US LETTER sized paper (8.5" x 11")
The other uses ANSI STANDARD A4 paper, which is taller and thinner.

It is possible to make the PDF the union of these two sizes so that people can print it regardless of the standard their location uses.
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