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Subject: PNP Offensive? rss

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Alex Lim
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We're planning on launching a game in a month or two on Kickstarter but really want to offer a Print and Play version for free for people to try. We've heard people say it's a great idea, but there are others who are totally against it since we do not have a complete set of artwork yet (thus, we need Kickstarter funding to help us complete the artwork for the game.)

All the play mechanics have been finalized and playtested these past few months in control groups, but as proxy form (no artwork). We have about 1/3 of the artwork complete and will show it off soon, but as for the PNP it would be odd to mix cards with and without artwork.

So if we were to offer a free PNP download for the game for our KS launch, would you be turned off if it had no artwork and would rather we not offer it? Or would you be more interested?
 
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PnP without artwork makes more sense, since you want people who make it to have motivation to buy it too.
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Ned Ludd
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I'd prefer PnP with no art but all the intended text to try out the gameplay without a lot of ink use. Mind you, I'm not very active on KS. Partially because it's uncomfortable buying a cat in the bag. A PnP would be most welcome unless its way complicated - like hundreds of cards for example. In that case a demo might be better.

Thank you.
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Garry Rice
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If you're offering it for free, it makes sense to offer a no frills copy.

Minion Games for example almost always offers a pledge level for PnPers to get just the files with the full artwork (generally substantially cheaper than the other pledge levels since no physical materials are being supplied), but there is charge for it...however, the people pledging at this level usually get the files as soon as they are ready, so they can be playing the game before anyone else.
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Tim
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PnP is always a good idea. Most people won't even bother to build it, anyway. They'll download it, look it over, and then never get around to printing it. Yet, the fact that you made it available earns you a lot of good will and shows that you believe in your product enough to allow a "try before you buy".

Definitely consider ink-consumption when designing a PnP copy, but you probably want some sort of artwork even if it's royalty-free clipart or B&W sketches. Art adds to the gameplay experience. With no art, your players will have to be really vested in the game to get the full experience.

And let's face it. You're lucky in that this is an industry where people want to buy your product. Geeks are willing to fork over money for any minor update. I myself have bought second editions of games (The Resistance?) when my first edition copy was still in great shape. I've ordered multiple editions of games from different publishers (Love Letter?) just to have it... Being able to print out a game will not dissuade many (if any) people from owning the professionally published copy unless it's unavailable, or outrageously priced.
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Alex Lim
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That's great advice! We were afraid that offering PNP without artwork would give a bad first impression. Based on your suggestions, it seems like PNP is the way to go just as long as it has some graphics and isn't bogged down with a lot of text. Maybe we can use the graphic design of the cards but just leave the artwork area blank? (Kind of like "Heroes of Metro City".)

The only thing worrying me is that our game has 400 cards (200 are unique cards actually) and 30 player boards for each of the characters you could choose to play as. Would it be acceptable to offer maybe a portion of the game as a demo, just so people can get an idea of the gameplay mechanics? I figure that would be equivalent to going to gamestop to play a new Street Fighter demo and only being able to play as 2 of the 30 characters in the game?
 
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Sam
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ranma8 wrote:
Would it be acceptable to offer maybe a portion of the game as a demo, just so people can get an idea of the gameplay mechanics?

There are other games that have done that, e.g. the free version of BattleCON: War of Indines. It's a pretty good option.
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