For the last few months I've been making a new prototype of Codename: Vacuum roughly once a month. I'd play the last version a few times, come up with some new ideas to try out and then make those changes on the computer. Then it was time to realise it in physical form. I bought a Canon Pixma iX6550 last year and I've been very pleased with it. When printing cards for games I lay the cards out in a 5x5 grid on a sheet of A3 card. So, clearly, I need some A3 card. Codename: Vacuum is a deck-building game with 350 cards. So I need a lot of card.
For the last few months I've been nipping to Ryman Stationery or Hobbycraft to get more card. They both sell A3 white card in packs of 25, so with the 17 sheets of card per copy of the game, I'm getting through quite a lot of packs! Hobbycraft has been my preferred stockist, their packs are £5 and are 210gsm card - which feels a reasonable thickness and weight for prototype game cards. Ryman's conversely are £6 and only 160gsm which feels cheap and flimsy by comparison.
So why do I ever go to Ryman? Because Hobbycraft are often out of stock - Ryman has been my fallback position if I need card at short notice and Hobbycraft have failed me yet again.
Since I need almost a full pack per game and I'm making roughly a game a monthly, trips to Hobbycraft for the inevitable disappointment of no stock followed by a trip into town to get the flimsy Ryman offering are regularly required.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the year I'm hoping to get playtesting copies to friends this month and more out in the summer - I'm going to be making a lot of copies. It doesn't make sense to continue to buy lots of these little packs when I need sheets a hundred or more at a time.
Time to man up:
3 inch thick pile of card! Manly.
I placed an order online with PaperCutz for 250 sheets! I've also gone with a heavier weight than even Hobbycraft sell: 240gsm. Having such a large stock will mean I don't need to keep making these disappointing trips and mean that when I'm ready to make a new copy I've got enough card to print it straight away. I also ordered 25 sheets of really heavy 300gsm card making for box inserts. If you're going to do a job - might as well do it properly :).