What is a Print & Play?
A Print & Play is a printable version of a game. It is used, among other things, to be able to try out a game before you buy it, but is also very suitable if you want to have your own game to test. Print & Play is the most accessible solution for blind play testing of a game.
What requirements do Print & Play have to meet?
1. Speaking title
Make sure you give your Print & Play a clear title if you promote it on forums, for example. With the title you should already get people excited so that they want to try out your game at all. You can always look for testers through this forum from Boardgamegeeks.
2. Avoid unnecessary ink
The Print & Play must also be easy to use in black and white. Many people would rather save the more expensive 'color ink' than have a beautiful Print & Play version.
3. Avoid unnecessary paper
Avoid unnecessary white space. Recently I saw a Print & Play for a card game where there were 6 cards per page and 1 example card of what the cards could eventually look like. This made 30% of the page unnecessary, so you need 30% more paper to print the Print & Play. Testing a Print and Play is a gift, make sure you treat those people well! Avoid white space and do not put unnecessary ink on the page when it is not needed.
4. Only the front is needed
There is no need to provide the back of cards or tokens. You can do this, but only a few would use it. Most people will not worry about this.
5. Adjust the game rules for the PnP
Expand the game rules with any information needed to use the Print & Play easily. For example, give an overview of how cards can be distinguished from each other or how you can play the game without the 3D construction that would be in the final version.
6. Don't show your complete design!
Make people want to buy your game even after they've played the Print & Play. By omitting certain elements, such as the color, people remain interested in the final version. This also prevents people from imitating your game completely.
7. Think about what feedback you want
The purpose of your Print & Play will be that you want to receive feedback. Think about how you want to get that feedback in advance. For example, do you want people to judge certain elements, or are they completely free to say something about everything? You can also work with a survey to give people direction, but for some testers this feels too impersonal.
8. Make your print & play playable
The time someone takes to test your game is incredibly valuable. Make sure your Print & Play is finished as much as possible and contains no errors. It is a shame if you have found someone who wants to test your game, but then quits after 5 minutes because there are errors in the rules that make the game unplayable. It is almost impossible to motivate someone again.
9. E-mail lock
You can choose to make your Print & Play available only if people leave an e-mail address. Especially if you are already a bit further in the development of your game and you want to show your game to people without actually looking for testers, it is nice if you can stay in touch with those people. An e-mail lock can help. See how we've done this in Tomb of Rasha.
Do you have other tips that you ran into while making a Print & Play? Share your tip in the comments at the bottom of the page.