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Subject: What software to use for creating custom game cards? rss

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Brian M
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Any suggestions on a good, preferrably free, piece of software that is useful for creating custom game cards and other such components?
I know some people who use Adobe Photoshop, but well...big price tag.
I usually kludge things with Paint, but its not very versatile and never maintains sizing correctly. (I just tried using it on the Playroom Killer Bunny blank templates, and it really doesn't work well).

Any suggestions?
 
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You might want to check out the GIMP.

www.gimp.org
 
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Michael Chapman
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Go to Avery's site. They have a some label design software that I have used. It is not perfect, but it gets the job done. If you get the name badge labels they fit well on playing cards or Magic commons. I use it to print up quick prototype games.
 
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Brian M
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Thanks for the quick responses so far!
I actually just found GIMP in a google search and am in the process of downloading it...but someone else suggesting it encourages me that it might be worth the effort.
 
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I usually use powerpoint of all things. Its easy to drag squares and insert text and pictures. Much better than paintbrush and when you're done you can email it to anyone and they can print it out....
 
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J
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I use Adobe Illustrator for the fancier stuff. But for quick 'n' simple:

- MS Word
- 4" x 2" Avery labels (there's a template for these in Word
- Bridge-sized Bicycle playing cards (not Poker-sized, they're too wide)

Keep in mind that about half an inch will be trimmed off the bottom of the labels.

I've made several sets of cards this way, and it works very well.
 
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Jonathan Degann
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I use Sierra Print Artist. Apart from other features, it comes with a ton of clip art.
 
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Justin
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nandeck looks like a fit (mentioned in the linked thread)
 
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Terence Martin
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Never used but have heard a lot of good things about NanDeck. I'd also re-recommend the Gimp as a decent and powerful image editing program that's free.

I use Xara Xtreme for doing stuff like this, and I'd also highly recommend that as well. There is a free open source version and a commercial version. The open source version is currently Linux only (http://www.xaraxtreme.org). The windows version has a free trial download (http://www.xara.com) that's fully functional and time limited at about 30 days, I believe. There are some movies you can view from their webpage that give you an idea of how easy the software is to use and how powerful it is.

The commercial Xara is $79 US (roughly 60 euro, I think).
 
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Andrea Nand
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StormKnight wrote:
Any suggestions on a good, preferrably free, piece of software that is useful for creating custom game cards and other such components?
I know some people who use Adobe Photoshop, but well...big price tag.
I usually kludge things with Paint, but its not very versatile and never maintains sizing correctly. (I just tried using it on the Playroom Killer Bunny blank templates, and it really doesn't work well).

Any suggestions?


Well, nanDECK (see below for the link) is free and versatile, it isn't a graphic program (like Photoshop or The GIMP) but you can use it to combine text and graphic. It use a simple scripting language to create deck of cards, so you can create and modify elements from all over the deck with only small changes in the script. In the website you'll find some example. The only drawback is that it runs in Windows (sorry, no Mac or Linux).

Bye,
/\/and

http://www.nand.it/nandeck
 
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Russ Brown
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Another vote for the GIMP. And card protectors! With them it doesn't matter if I get them all cut out right, and they suffle reasonabley well.
 
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Necessary Evil
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I use Microsoft Visio.

here some of the cards I made.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=19540

-M
 
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Terence Martin
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brownr wrote:
And card protectors! With them it doesn't matter if I get them all cut out right, and they suffle reasonabley well.


Yes indeed! I always keep a couple of cheap dollar store decks of cards around, and a set of card protectors, in case inspiration strikes. A quick print and cut job with the paper trimmer, and then stick the paper into a sleeve along with a playing card for strength. I find it a good way to work up prototypes, as the cards are easy to change out.
 
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Eddy Bee
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I've made lots of custom cards using various methods.

If I'm printing the artwork on labels and affixing them to regular playing cards, I use:

- Paint
- MS Word
- Avery 5395 Name Badge Labels

The 5395 labels fit PERFECTLY on a poker-sized playing card - it's as if they were made specifically for this purpose!


If I'm printing the cards on card stock and cutting them out myself, I use:

- Paint
- MS PowerPoint

PowerPoint is my preferred tool for text/image layout and manipulation. There is so much you can do with it.

Good luck!
 
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Court
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I also use MS Visio, which you can download the 2007 beta for free right now (I believe). I love it because you can make quick templates for things, which you can then apply to a variety of other media. Also, I find it pretty easy to whip up a symbol and then place that symbol onto each card.

You can see a couple of blown-up images of a few cards from a game I currently have in beta here: http://www.cdimon.com/hwg/

I am not a graphic artists by any stretch of the imagination, but I found it pretty easy (and quick) to come up with the following layouts/symbols and designs.

NOTE: the hwg_p2 card has two borrowed pieces of art: a planetary image, and one of the races from Star Wars. They are being used as a mock-up for how the card might look when art assests have been devoted to them.
 
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Brian M
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Thanks for all the advice.
I tried GIMP out - it looks like a fairly powerful program, with the usual downside of powerful programs of everything that should be simple to do in it is therefore very complicated to do. I managed to resist smashing my monitor in, and got some good results using Paint for drawing and then copying images into GIMP to arrange them all together.
One thing missing from GIMP was much for font options - I would have liked to be able to do so fancier things with fonts.

I had downloaded Nandeck a while ago, and to be honest I didn't quite understand the point - I'm sure there's something you can do with it that you couldn't do with, say, Word, but it didn't seem worth the complexity to figure out what.
 
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