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Subject: What is reasonable to spend for P-n-P games? rss

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Steve Wood
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Hi guys,

When Gunship finally launches, I plan to release a free campaign system as promised. This will require the players to print and cut out 36 cards, a bunch of small boards and the required counters, etc.

To do this required me an hour or so of cut-out time and around 20 bucks to get good laser copies of everything from the local printer. Everything prints on 12x18 sheets but I suppose I could break it down to letter size so people could print at home (this will use a LOT of ink!)

What do you guys usually spend in time and materials for a typical P-n-P game? Is 20 bucks too much? If I had the components maunfactured in the same quality as the Gunship core game, it would retail for at least that, maybe more.

Not sure if this is the right forum but I assume Mods will move if needed.

Thanks for any feedback!

Steve
Escape Pod Games

 
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David Gorski

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I haven't made my own PnP but I have done a lot of printing recently. $20 seems right. However here are some tips to cut spending.

* Do your printing at an office supply, computer, printer, or courier store. It will save you money on ink and they often have paper cutters and tables for you to use. E.g. I print full color on premium paper for 60¢ a sheet at Staples.

* Don't use cardstock for cards. Print on normal paper then put them into sleeves.

* When printing make everything idiot proof for the clerk. Scale everything yourself and turn everything into PDFs. Put all the PDFs on a pen/thumb/usb drive. If you put them into folders, label the folders with printing instructions. E.g. "1copy", "5copies", "color", "blackandwhite".
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Tim M-L
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I would say that a letter sized version would be needed. Many people have access to a method of printing that is cheaper than going to a copy shop. Even if you keep it big, 11x17 is much more common than 12x18. An ink saving version with only black and white, or maybe using pastel colors instead of saturated colors, would keep down printing costs too.
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Eric Etkin
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The OfficeMax near me lets me provide my own paper... I believe that makes the print cost .50 a page for a color whatever.

If you look online, you can source some REALLY cheap supplies of cardstock and/or 8x11 labels (which you could stick to chipboard).

Effectively, that would make your costs around eh... I'd say .60 a page.

So... if you have 32 cards, that's 4 pages... plus... I don't know... another 4 pages for your counters and such... that brings the whole thing in around five bucks.

The trick is to make your PNP files 1 sided, so the backs can stay blank... otherwise you doubled the cost (and maybe the assembly headache).
 
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Steve Wood
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Sounds promising.

It's no big trouble to get some of these down to letter size but the System Map is going to have to be split between two 11x17s and taped on the back for a hinge.

You ever try to fit an entire solar system on a LETTER sized page?
 
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Eric Etkin
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Steve - Since your intent is to just add low-cost campaign versatility to your base game, you might want to look into partnering with some of the existing POD services and seeing if you can get them to POD these pieces instead and have them act as a quasi-distributor (ie. gamers could order directly from them). Maybe you'd get a buck or so for your trouble, and everyone gets better looking parts.

Unless the POD cost is substantially more than $20, it seems like a good opportunity for everyone (since the POD could produce a reasonable amount of minor stock, and players wouldn't have to bother with the PNP hassles).
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Steve Wood
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That's actually one hell of an idea

I'm still offering the free system for those who WANT to build their own components and players can get the stuff finished from a POD if they want to go that route

Then, if the system is well-received and popular enough, I can run a bunch of them in China later, once everyone has helped me work out any bugs, etc.

 
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Nick Hayes
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What are you asking, exactly?

Are you asking how much it costs the average person to print all those boards and cards?

Or are you asking how much should you charge for the PnP files?
 
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Steve Wood
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No - what I was basically asking was if it was worth it for me to tout my campaign system as "free" if it was going to cost my customers a lot of money to download and print it.

I don't know too much about the P-n-P community and I wanted to be sure that what I'm doing is what is generally expected.

Seems like I'm close enough to the mark to proceed, especially since I will be setting something up with a POD soon.

Thanks,

Steve
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Jeff Cornelius
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It's always worth it to market a PnP as "free". That is basic marketing. In effect you are giving them something for free. You have provided them with a document for free. It is up to them whether they want to take the next step and do something with it to make it playable.

I have done PnP's for my own prototypes for games I have designed and paid about $15-$20 in ink and paper for a game of about 300 cards.

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Sean T
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Skygor wrote:

* When printing make everything idiot proof for the clerk. Scale everything yourself and turn everything into PDFs. Put all the PDFs on a pen/thumb/usb drive. If you put them into folders, label the folders with printing instructions. E.g. "1copy", "5copies", "color", "blackandwhite".


This has been my saving grace when working with my local print shop. Now when they see me, they bump me up to the front of the queue because they know that my stuff will take little time and little effort.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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$0's usually been my limit. Pretty much stopped PnP anyhow,
as the effort is too high. Without access to a printer now,
it's just not worth it. Someday, maybe I'll work in an office again.
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Nick Hayes
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I would definitely call it free.

A person may spend $0 to $1,000 building a copy of your game depending on how he decides to go about it. That's out of your control. But you're providing everything needed to build a copy of the game for free.
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