One Paper Games: 2022 Update

Two years ago now, I started creating something I called “One Paper Games”. I created a handful of them, experimenting with all sorts of fun ways to play games, and am very proud of the results.

There is one problem, though: it’s quite impossible to monetize these games. They are literally free and can be played with one piece of paper.

So I had to stop development on these games to focus on projects that could actually make me money. Which is why the boardgames page hasn’t been updated in a year.

What’s the status now? What’s the plan? Let me give you the update.

Quality of Life

When I revisited the pages of my last OPGs, I immediately noticed some things that could be improved. The games still worked 100% and looked the same as how I left them. These are merely “quality of life” improvements, but those always end up being more important than I predicted.

These were my issues:

  • Most games summarize how it works before displaying the widget for generating a random board. That’s a lot of text people need to scroll past. Let’s switch it around (or allow minimizing/hiding this part)
  • Some games still had too much text on the main page. I’ll try to shorten some of that.
  • My random game generators work on 99% of the devices, but not all. Some mobile phones do weird stuff, especially if their Wi-Fi connection is spotty. I’ll add a comment telling people to (preferably) use a desktop pc.
  • Continuing on that issue, now the games are only playable if that generator is working flawlessly. It’s not too hard for me to pre-generate some game boards and put them in the Google Drive (besides the PDF with the game rules). It would make it easier to play the game for some people.

So I spent about a day fixing all of these issues and improving the pages.

Also, when I moved the whole old website to a completely new (and much better) system a year ago, some things were accidentally changed or broken in the process. I found some typos here and there, website layouts that weren’t exactly like I wanted them to be, things like that.

None if this is a major issue. But when it comes to selling “innovative boardgames on paper” to people, you really need to pull out all the marketing stops :p

The Future

As mentioned, these games just cannot be monetized, and they are hard to make.

I still have many ideas for them, some even already 20%-30% developed. But I just don’t see myself finishing completely new OPGs in the coming years. My focus needs to be elsewhere.

I do see two other options.

  • I have some really small ideas that wouldn’t take too long to develop. You might see those appear in the (near) future.
  • There are ideas that work as a boardgame, but also as a video game, or as a companion to a book. Those are still worthwhile to pursue.

Yes, it’s a bit sad to realize that you need money to survive, and that some passion projects are cool but don’t make you that money. But at the same time, I’m happy with what I was able to make, and the options I described above will still allow me to try new things and add new projects over time.

Hopefully one day, I have enough money to freely develop these kinds of projects :)