Friday, July 21

Published vs. Print and Play

A while ago I did a post on methods of getting your game published, and I included:

  • Submit it to a publisher,
  • Publish it yourself in an amateur fashion,
  • Publish it yourself professionally.

That very evening, Luke posted with his tales of his Print and Play experiences. I guess that begs the question: Why didn't I consider Print and Play? Technically it counts as publishing, as members of the public get the opportunity to own and play your game.

I've nothing against Print and Play games. I think it's a nice, selfless way of publicising your game - unlike the methods I suggested you are not going to make any money (whereas with the methods I suggested, it's unlikely you'll make any money - but there it that possibility). Here are my perceived pros and cons for Print and Play:


  • It's free for the designer,
  • It's almost effortless for the designer,
  • It's practically free for the players.


  • Giving you game away free may cause people to perceive it to be of lower value,
  • Not great for games with lots of (complicated) components,
  • Construction requirement may put people off.

I think it's the second listed con that stopped me considering Print and Play for Border Reivers, with it's seventy-two double sided tiles, fifty cards, and nearly one hundred wooden pieces in five different colours it's not an easy game to cobble together yourself. Luke's First Past The Post by contrast is perfect - a card game featuring only cards and a few small finance tokens.

So in conclusion, if you've got a game with simple components such as cards or tokens, that only requires pieces that most players will have to hand such as D6s, counters or pencil and paper and you've no intention to make money from it, then Print and Play could well be the way to go for you.

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