The preponderance of print on demand services coupled with Kickstarter has ushered in a new era of free games. It used to be, if I wanted to give players or reviewers a run with my game before I published it, I had to either provide them with print and play files, or hand-make a few copies to send out. If you’ve ever published a print and play game, you’ll know that it is very uncommon for someone to actually make, and play, your game.
What I’ve seen lately, is that many publishers are using print on demand services to produce high-quality previews of their games, and then offering to ship out a dozen or so to eager players just before the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. Personally, I love the idea. It’s a great way to build excitement and possibly pull in a few more backers. Plus, I absolutely love giving things away.
In my mind, free means FREE. I don’t want to give away a game with some angle spun on it. I don’t want to hand out a marketing ploy. I just want to give people great games. Not in exchange for anything, moneteary or otherwise. Just because I appreciate giving back. I want to take print and play to the next level: print and give away.
Yep, coming this fall, my next game, Me Booty! will be given away 100% free! Keep on reading to find out how you can score yourself a copy of this game.
A ship full of scallywags and a hold full of loot… it’s time to divvy up the booty. Keep an eye on the crew though, because everyone knows pirates be cheaters! Try to keep the best loot for yourself while giving the worst to your mates! Once all pirates have five treasures, the pirate with the most valuable loot wins.
Me Booty! is a card game for 3 to 6 scallywags. On your turn you must decide to take treasure for yourself, give it to another pirate, or use some sneaky back-stabbing to sabotage your mates.
That’s what the boardgamegeek.com page says. While a good synopsis, it doesn’t tell the whole story. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that a while back I created a game called Scallywags. Scallywags is a fun little pirate game, but I’ve always wondered if I could make it a little bit better. Being my freshman design, I matured greatly in the 4 years it took to bring to market. There are some issues with the game that have bothered me.
I had an idea on how to fix it sometime last fall. What if I removed the coins and just made it a deck of cards? What if I removed some of the awkwardness of face up and face down coins? What if I made it easier, but at the same time more strategic? The game I saw in my head just worked, and I knew that. There isn’t anything difficult or amazing baked in here. I knew I could put this game together relatively quickly and test it a few times to balance the deck.
Around this time, I learned about the 54 Card Challenge from Dice Hate Me Games. The timing was just right to force me to put something on paper. So, I did. The more I thought about it though, the less I wanted to let this one go. It’s my game, based on an earlier game… it’s my “fix” to something that isn’t really broken. If this game was going to be brought into this world, I was going to to be the one to do it.
And, so, here we are… I’m doing just that… and I’m setting the MSRP at $0.00.
Like most of my games, I’ll likely make a print and play version of Me Booty! at some point in the future. That’s a form of free, right? Sure, on a technicality I could call that free and feel good about myself. That’s not what I’m doing though.
I’ve printed 110 decks. Of those, 100 are available to the public. The other 10 are promised to the fine individuals credited in the manual who helped me make this game, and keep it a secret for the past 7 months. Inside these shiny tuck boxes is 54 poker sized playing cards and a rules booklet. Everything needed to play the game.
HOW DO I GET A COPY ALREADY?
At roughly $9 each, I can’t afford to just sling these things around all willy nilly on unsuspecting folks. I want them to go to people who actually want them, and would appreciate it for what it is. So, here’s the deal:
To get your very own copy of Me Booty!, all you have to do is ASK.
Yep, that’s it. Ask me, in person, and it’s yous. Gen Con 2014 will be the official start of this giveaway. If you see me in Indianapolis between the dates of August 13-17, simply ask me for a copy of Me Booty!… assuming I have any left on me, you win! I’ll only be carrying around about 30 a day, so if I run out, you may have to find me the following day.
This giveaway comes with absolutely no strings attached. I’m not launching a Kicsktarter for this game. I’m not selling it on Print on Demand sites. I’m not publishing it any time soon. I’m not asking that you rate and review it (though that would be awesome) on your favorite sites. I’m not asking you to share about it on social media (though, again, that would be awesome). I just want to give back… and this is the perfect game for that. The only request I will make of you is that you tell anyone who asks about the game, how to get their own copy. I don’t want to bring any back home with me. See you in Indy!