Okay, look. I admit it. I’ve got a problem. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge problem, but they say admitting it is the first step towards doing something about it. What’s my problem, you ask? Well, I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I’ve become enamored of small print and play games, the kind you print out and assemble yourself, which is weird because I don’t even really play games, although I’d like to start playing more.
It started innocently enough. I began by backing some pretty cool looking games on Kickstarter. Thing is, living here in Lithuania means shipping can get quite pricey, and that’s over and above the cost of the game itself. And games ain’t cheap. Now, some games you need a board and special pieces and all so it makes sense to get the whole package, but then I discovered this idea of Print and Play.
My first taste was when I came across the Monster Con Card Game. When I found it, the funding period for the game itself was long over, so I started looking for it online, just to see if it was available anywhere. I found it on DriveThruRPG.com, a print on demand clearinghouse for all sorts of games. At the time it was 10 bucks for the printed cards (it’s on sale now for $6.95) but if I wanted to print them up myself, the cards were only a buck. I figured that was worth the risk so I bought it. I’d also picked up a number of free games that looked kind of interesting.
Then I discovered Button Shy games. These guys make “wallet games.” Small card games, with a limited number of cards, which all fit inside a little wallet. I bought a few but then I realized that these would be perfect for making myself and skipping the postage. Sure, the final product isn’t as polished, but so what? It’s fun to put them all together.
I started narrowing down my Kickstarter activity to games which had a PnP already built-in, even going so far as to ask game makers who weren’t offering printed versions if they were going to at some point. Then I went even further.
I found this game called Timeline from Cheapass games. The thing about Timeline is that it, like a number of other games, needs a couple of other components to play. Mostly, these components are things like dice (in all manner of numbers of sides, although 6 sided is the most common) but every now and again you need counters or tokens or something. This game needed a number of markers to represent certain game elements. Turns out, I have a friend, Simas, who has a 3D printer. Simas, once I explained the situation, volunteered to help me out and not only made me all the tokens needed, but also an incredible box to hold them, the cards, and the little people markers (called “meeples“).
So now I’m addicted. I’ve got a stack of games needed to be cut out which I’ll get to soon, and I’m looking for ways to keep all the different games together. And I’m getting new ones (usually for free or very little) all the time from Kickstarter or places like DriveThruRpg or PNPArcade.
All I need now are some more people to play with – once this pandemic is over and the world opens up again, of course.
In the meantime, here’s a cool video about how to make cards on your own. It’s fun!