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Print and play for play testing purposes

4 replies [Last post]
alandor's picture
Joined: 02/23/2014

My game is ready for "public" play testing now. I mean to make a few prototypes for friends and ask them to read the rules, learn it on their own, play it and get back to me. Seems good but it limits the number of play testers to the number of prototypes I can make.

So I had another idea – making the game available as P&P for people's enjoyment, but also for play testing purposes. The idea is to send people the files on request, not to put them on the web for everyone's direct download. In addition to getting feedback this would also serve to make my game known to the public, and create some knowledge it on the web which may be useful for the crowd funding that will probably be coming. My friend argues against doing this, saying that stores and retailers may be hesitant to buy the game if it's been available as print and play. Does he have a point? What are the odds that people will even bother to print and play a game which isn't finished yet? (It is finished to the point that it can be played and definitely enjoyed, but some balancing issues may still need improvement.)

Some feedback on how to do this would be appreciated.

Joined: 01/30/2014
If only the prototype is

If only the prototype is print and play, and even then only by request, i can't see distributors, publishers or retailers taking issue with that. Otherwise a valid point that I've heard mentioned in various threads.

alandor's picture
Joined: 02/23/2014
I guess that's a good point.

I guess that's a good point. The final artwork isn't done yet so that part won't be included in the P&P version anyway.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
PNP for other applications

Well to start PNP (Print-aNd-Play) games are only played by about 6% of the gamer population.

But if you do find people who are interested in playtesting your game perhaps PNP is a viable alternative. Even I struggle with buying prototypes of my WIP from The Game Crafter (TGC). It costs me $17.00. So if I had to send out copies to each playtester, that would be a lot of money.

So far I am only playtesting in-person with two (2) play testing groups. If I wanted to increase my amount of playtesting, I would first try to send prototypes to a LARGE group of designers (I know of such a group...) and get their feedback.

I'm basically not sure about the PNP route because it is very bothersome cutting cards. During the early stages of my current WIP, I was printing and cutting all the cards myself. About 150 cards. It was a real PAIN. So if I refuse to do it, I'm wondering how many other people would be willing to do it... :P

BTW my current prototypes are being produced in full colour by TGC... Yay! :D

Joined: 05/05/2014
You can use VASSAL to make

You can use VASSAL to make your prototype and test it online. VASSAL is a free engine to play board or card games.

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