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Affordable Prototyping Options for Playtesting game with over-sized board and many cards

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AzemOcram
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I designed a board game with similarities to SimCity and Monopoly. So far, I have playtested with prints from local print shops, which are expensive. I have finalized the design (I'm an amateur graphical artist) and just need to balance numbers but I don't want to spend $50 every time I print out a new board (24x36") and $14 for the cards (Chance, Move, Charity, and Deeds, 13 11x17" pages for 2 decks). I just reuse standard playing dice, cm cubes, and movement tokens every time I play with friends but I need to playtest where none of the players have played my game.

Any suggestions for making affordable prototypes would be appreciated.

Gabe
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Look into some of these:
I Will Never Gr...
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AzemOcram wrote:I designed a

AzemOcram wrote:
I designed a board game with similarities to SimCity and Monopoly. So far, I have playtested with prints from local print shops, which are expensive. I have finalized the design (I'm an amateur graphical artist) and just need to balance numbers but I don't want to spend $50 every time I print out a new board (24x36") and $14 for the cards (Chance, Move, Charity, and Deeds, 13 11x17" pages for 2 decks). I just reuse standard playing dice, cm cubes, and movement tokens every time I play with friends but I need to playtest where none of the players have played my game.

Any suggestions for making affordable prototypes would be appreciated.

At 24x36", your board is going to cost you around that for any prototype (print on demand, single printing) unfortunately.

PrintPlayGames.com has 24x18 boards, of which you would require 2, for $20 each plus shipping costs, so right there you're in the $50 range and that's the best price I have found on having an actual board printed.

I would strongly suggest NOT having actual game boards printed out for playtesting. It gets expensive and is merely a money sink. Play test on printed paper. It's cheaper, portable, and if it's going to change (or may change again) much more realistic.

As for the cards, you can get those printed at any of the PoD shops listed in the link Gabe provided OR, use standard cards with printed items attached to them (many people use cards in sleeves and they just insert their card in front, printed on standard paper in black and white).

Playtesting with strangers may feel like you need to go all out on it, but you really don't. If you have a good looking game and can find those willing to do it, printed paper works!

Rick-Holzgrafe
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How much color do you need?

If your board doesn't need a lot of color, you can print it on a single large sheet of paper in grayscale for around $6—much cheaper than a color print. I did a game with a large board (Railways of the Western U.S., about 24x36") that needed color in certain spots but not all over. I had it printed (just on paper, no backing) in grayscale at my local printshop, then used colored markers to fill in the spots that needed color. It took a little time but produced a perfectly good prototype board, very cheaply.

Remember, your prototypes don't have to be gorgeous, just playable!

As for cards: I print mine on card stock, cut them out, and sleeve them. Again, much cheaper than having real cards made. They're perfectly playable in a prototype, and the sleeves are re-usable so I don't have to buy new ones just because I changed a card or two.

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