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Subject: Advice on making two games PnP ready? rss

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Asger Harding Granerud
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Hi folks.

I've designed two games, one is 95% finished (never 100%...), and the other has a fully functioning game engine, but has length issues that need to be solved.

I would really like to make these games available as Print and Play (to create interest and generate feedback), but I've never tried it before, so need your advice on how to proceed. What are the pitfalls I should avoid?

The two games are both 2p sports themed games. A Football/Soccer variant, and an American Football variant. Radically different games though.

MentalFootball: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ww5nrzus5upc5gk/Rule%20Book.pdf

MentalNFL: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rbr4j9otmiqnsh0/121118%20-%20Rules...

NFL Pitch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sobx4ynjc4ora23/NFL%20bane3.pdf

My question is how to present it.
- How do I best make the boards available for PnP?
- I'm currently using meeples for players. Can I request that PnP folks acquire those by themselves, or should I make versions that can be cut out and put on cardboard?
- A PDF with "stickers" for dice and meeples?


My thoughts would be to make the following available:
- PDF with the rules.
- Four A4 PDFs that combined make the board.
- One PDF that need to be printed on Label paper, to be cut out and applied as stickers on both meeples and cardboard.
- PDF with cards to be cut out and used in sleeves.

You would then personally need to collect 20 meeples, 4 dice, 20 card sleeves and a straight stick (more or less 20cm). If you wanted both games, just one of them would cut down on the needed materials.

Did I miss anything? Comments, help or critique is all very welcome!
- Should I make stickers for the players, or expect people to acquire the meeples?

Asger
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Ian Richard
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I'm not an expert on PnP, so this is clearly a personal opinion.

I would HIGHLY recommend you include an optional page of counters for the players, even if you recommend using Meeples. I would also a small "Cheat Sheet" for dice so that I don't need to put stickers on the dice for my first play.

With PnP, there is no motivation for a player to play your game after a download. If there is too much work in assembling the pieces prior to play, I can easily go do something else because it didn't cost me anything. A player can only like your game if he's played it.

Definitely include the stickers for both the meeples and dice for people who like the game and want the proper experience. You just can't rely on the fact that people will do work to play your game.
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Richard Morris
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McTeddy wrote:
I'm not an expert on PnP, so this is clearly a personal opinion.

I would HIGHLY recommend you include an optional page of counters for the players, even if you recommend using Meeples. I would also a small "Cheat Sheet" for dice so that I don't need to put stickers on the dice for my first play.

With PnP, there is no motivation for a player to play your game after a download. If there is too much work in assembling the pieces prior to play, I can easily go do something else because it didn't cost me anything. A player can only like your game if he's played it.

Definitely include the stickers for both the meeples and dice for people who like the game and want the proper experience. You just can't rely on the fact that people will do work to play your game.
Nod.

The easier you make it to build, the more likely people are to play it. So all the stuff you have suggested makes sense.

HOWEVER: If the games are not really ready for prime time, and you want people to play them to give you feedback (i.e. this is part of the playtesting), then you need to make that very clear indeed. There are forums on here for that. If there are complicated things to do, you may need to offer to send those bits. The number of people who will PnP a not yet finished game (unless they are a integral part of the playtesting, or are huge enthusiasts for the theme) can be counted on the fingers of one foot.
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B C Z
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I would also, in order to appease the lawyers, not refer in any way to the organization known as the NFL.

Given that sports bars cannot refer to the SuperBowl unless they pay a royalty, you will do yourself a great service to expunge that concept from your game now.
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B C Z
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Separate: for layouts.

A4 is European standard and a real pain for us US folks (who use US Letter).

Likewise, US Letter really messes with those who can print to A4.

If you make an image that fits on BOTH and let people center it to page, then that gets around both size formats very nicely without any issue.

Providing a parts manifest, especially for playtesting a game, is fine -- most play testers and PnPers have a supply of pawns or what have you.
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Nate K
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byronczimmer wrote:

Given that sports bars cannot refer to the SuperBowl unless they pay a royalty


Wait... really? Not to go off-topic, but what kind of stupidity lead to that decision?
 
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B C Z
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kurthl33t wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:

Given that sports bars cannot refer to the SuperBowl unless they pay a royalty


Wait... really? Not to go off-topic, but what kind of stupidity lead to that decision?


The realization by the NFL that the term 'superbowl' can be used to draw customers, so they wanted a cut.

Most bars/restaurants now refer to that day as 'the big game' (which the NFL then also tried to lay claim to).

More information:
http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/local/hampshire/bars-find-looph...

http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2012/01/articles/intellectua...

I'm sure there's more out there on it.


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Asger Harding Granerud
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Ok, thanks a bunch!

- Make sure everything could be made solely from paper.
- Include a cheat sheet for dice.
- Consider different formats. US/EU/??. Should I also make versions for folks with access to A2-3 sizes?
- Change name (knew that )
- Include a "content" list for folks that want to pimp it with meeples, etc. (Maybe even an amateur video for how I assemble my version?)

It isn't really because I need the playtests. Games are fully functioning, and the soccer variant in particular, has already been played 200+ times. It is mostly just to share it and get people playing them
If any positive comments or reviews come out of it, then it is an added bonus. At least for my ego!

Asger
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Filip W.
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I'd make one PDF with everything you need to play in it. Then I'd also add separate PDF:s as you're suggesting.

As for the board: make it a 5 page: one page with the entire board in hi-rez (so that people can scale/tile it any way they want) and then the board split into four parts as you're suggesting.

Meeples aren't a problem. You can let players use pretty much anything. Including a dice cheat sheet is good also.

I'd also include a grayscale version for those who can't print in color.

As for your current rules: you need more air in them (more distance between parts) especially between the two columns. Consider doing one column per page and filling out with art and/or examples. Generally if someone is willing to do PnP they're not lacking for paper. But if the rules are hard to read (too cluttered) they'll likely abandon the project entirely.

I'd open the rules by a short game overview, then what it takes to win, then go into rules themselves. Search in the forums for "writing rules" and you'll get a load of good suggestions; check out Re: What makes a good rulebook?

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Sturv Tafvherd
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Lot's of great suggestions here.

There are truly many different "levels" of effort for people who look for and play PnP games.

Some will want something that can be quickly printed out and assembled, sometimes with the minimum amount of printing. This means that components must be easy to cut out, or that the components can be replaced by other items -- for example, using the reference tables for dice rather than having dice with custom faces.

Others will want something that is close to production quality. So they'd prefer full-color cards and art.

I'm somewhere in between, leaning more toward the simple / utilitarian side. When I print-and-play, I don't want to pay a fortune in color printer ink; and I'm only willing to spend time cutting up a few cards. 60 cards is a happy upper limit.
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John A. White
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byronczimmer wrote:
I would also, in order to appease the lawyers, not refer in any way to the organization known as the NFL.

PFL
pro football league

What if you did USFL research and used their branding.
http://www.mghelmets.com/usfl/usfl07wq0.jpg
I think I see some weird social league playing virtual games (didn't look hard enough to figure out whats up)

byronczimmer wrote:

Given that sports bars cannot refer to the SuperBowl unless they pay a royalty, you will do yourself a great service to expunge that concept from your game now.

Super Battle Bowl
Battle Bowl
Final Finally Bowl
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Richard Morris
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byronczimmer wrote:
A4 is European standard and a real pain for us US folks (who use US Letter).
No, no, no. A4 (etc) is a worldwide standard. Apart from America, the number of countries that do not use A4 is very small indeed. According to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know)
Wikipedia wrote:
Today the standard has been adopted by all countries in the world except the United States and Canada. In Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and the Philippines the US letter format is still in common use, despite their official adoption of the ISO standard.
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_size).
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Nate K
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
A4 is European standard and a real pain for us US folks (who use US Letter).
No, no, no. A4 (etc) is a worldwide standard. Apart from America, the number of countries that do not use A4 is very small indeed. According to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah, I know)
Wikipedia wrote:
Today the standard has been adopted by all countries in the world except the United States and Canada. In Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and the Philippines the US letter format is still in common use, despite their official adoption of the ISO standard.
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_size).


Yeah, the US is weird. We haven't converted to Celsius or the metric system yet, either.
 
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Asger Harding Granerud
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Thank you so much for all the input!

I'm well aware that if it isn't relatively easy and accessible, then people wont try it... Those are the terms, and if I don't comply whatever effort I make will largely be wasted.

Hence I really appreciate all the suggestions. It is easy to see that most of it is very sound advice that I could easily have missed! Please keep it coming if you feel anything has been left out!

Asger
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Asger Harding Granerud
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Is there any advice on file sizes? What is too large, what is standard, and when should I split it into two sections?

Asger
 
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Philip Migas
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File size is not and issue. I use drop box for most of my prototypes.

Not mentioned
List of materials is required.
A read me file that describes how to assemble the game is helpful. It can describe how many sheets to print, what to make into tiles, what goes together etc.
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