The People’s Army: A printer friendly, coffee-break, board game for the digital age

Hello everyone,

I have a great announcement for all of you! You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been extremely active on twitter for the past few months. That’s because I’ve been busy with trying a new game development foray: designing a physical board game for the digital era!

Here’s the thing, 3D Printers are now almost accessible to the masses. And the great part about them? You can now physically download my products!

Prototype pieces printed on my Wanhao I3 mini at the lowest resolution! For playtesting purposes!

The People’s Army – the board game

It’s a physical board game for the digital era! It’s designed to be played in quick sessions (like most of the games under the Bearded Giant Games catalog) by two players (with the possibility of adding more seats to the game). And, just like my other games, it’s hackable, modable and procedural in nature. Everything from the board pieces to the release of the STL files has been designed with modding and hacking in mind.

Here’s the feature list:

  • 3 unit types
    • The People: those that oppose the current regime
    • The Army: there to be commanded by the political leaders
    • The Dictators/Autocrats: ready and willing to squash the people and instate their rules
  • 3 building types
    • Cities: where the people dwell
    • Barracks: where tanks are produced
    • House of Parliament: where Dictators are molded and sent out into the world
  • A modular game board – designed to allow the expansion of the board and custom maps
  • 20 map templates that come pre-loaded with the game

It’s a fun game and the first one I decided to publish! And it’s all down to proper strategic decisions with just a little bit of randomness and luck thrown in for good measure. If you played my digital games, you know what I’m about.

Prototype pieces printed on my Wanhao I3 mini

The final stages of development

The game has been intensively playtested and the rules are final and set in stone. It’s fun! What’s left now is to finish and polish the game pieces. They’re still in the quick and hacky coder’s art stage and improvements can be made. That and the packaging details.

And yes there will be a physical version you can purchase. Printed and assembled by me, in my own home. It will be a limited run (only 10 copies in the first batch) that will come with a custom thank you note and a small video talking about the development process. I haven’t decided on the final price yet but it’s going to be premium.

As for the digital print-it-yourself version? That will be a PWYW model and will be distributed via itch.io. And before you ask, yes, if you get the physical edition you will also get access to the STL files!

If you’re a reviewer and don’t have access to a 3d printer reach out to me! It’s my first foray into self-publishing physical games and I want to get the game out to as many people as possible. The worst case scenario in this case is me having to purchase more 3D printers to keep up with demand 🙂

And if you’re in the Bucharest area give me a shout on twitter! I plan on doing more playtesting sessions in Nexus Pub in the upcomin weeks.

Bearded Giant Games embraces 3D printing

There’s a reason I went indie: I wanted the freedom to experiment with several concepts. And I’m happy to say 3D printing will be a core-part of my business and design model from now on, be it in the form of physical board games, AR experiments with printed tokens or collectibles for the main games.