Test Printing, Board Game Antics # 2
I printed out the new prototype for my space board game, including the newly tweaked board and cards for the decks and special cards available for purchase on city spots.
Before I printed all of the cards in the deck, though (around 200 cards), I printed out a couple test sheets in color. You never know how the screen will fully translate to the printed form, so it’s always good to test that out. Some colors end up darker or lighter or look closer to a different color entirely from the one intended. The test printing showed me that the lore on some cards was much too small to read, so I made the lore overall bigger and any other text that looked too small.
One must also consider the necessity of a major update. Can you get by merely tweaking a card here or there or must you print out the entire she bang, which will cost you more money and lots of potential time for set up, such as cutting and sleeving? Is a big update worth it at this stage?
This latest version I modified the ship templates to become the standard template for all the cards, which meant copying all the old card text over to the new format. Given that I needed to reassess many cards, anyhow, going to the new template now makes sense. Plus, weapons all have a special new piece to make them easier to read and use, which is yet another reason. On the other hand, I hadn’t counted on just how much time it would take to copy over that many cards, completely cutting some cards and remaking others. This delayed my release of the new version and I missed a deadline to show the game off at a playtest meeting. Luckily, this isn’t too much of a loss, as I’ll make the next one and I’ll showcase the game at my next boardgame tuesday night meet up (so instead of showing the game saturday, I show it the following tuesday.).
As you’ll notice in the above image, the temporary template I had been using was very basic and easy to print in black and white, but not altogether visually appealing. In playtesting, that doesn’t matter as much, but I’m still wanting to adapt the new template now, anyway, as it is one step closer.
Easily the most expensive part of board and card game design is test printing. You have to do mock ups, to know how everything is going to look in the real world. Mostly, you want to make the cheapest mock ups as possible, given that you will need to print again and again with updates by the time you reach anywhere near the finish line.
What are you experiences with test printing? Any words of wisdom to pass along?