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This thread is dedicated to software solutions to card creation that don't involve Image/Word processor/Spreadsheet solutions, are stand-alone and not web based that export to PDF.

I have used an online solution for years but know that at some point it will disappear and would very much like a piece of software to do simple card creation.

This is the website:

http://www.godeckyourself.com

Please post your suggestions based on the above criteria and they will be added here to this list.

If you are looking for a software solution and the thread is TL;DR then you can find all the links here mentioned in the thread.

EDIT: Will be adding software to this list:

Strange Eons - More medium than small but still a great piece of software especially if you are an Arkham Horror fan (and it has been used for other HPL games as well as Talisman and Warhammer).

http://cgjennings.ca/eons/

Go Deck Yourself - Still my go to choice for a fast and simple card creation it has been around for awhile but being web based means it can disappear at any time.

http://www.godeckyourself.com
 
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Re: Looking for card creator software that is NOT spreadsheet based.
Any program that can use layers that you can turn on and off should do what you're trying to do. It's how I used to create cards in Illustrator before getting InDesign for it's Data Merge.

While I would say that Spreadsheet designing is faster and more accessible, since with Google sheets you can always access your spreadsheets anywhere you have an internet connection, I can understand how much 'job like' it can make the process seem.

But basically, any Photoshop or Illustrator like program should work. Just lay out your card, make a new layer for every instance that might change [so if you have a circle with a 3, 4 and 5. Make a layer for each], then just click the layers on and off as needed and export each card individually.

Free programs that might work are Gimp and Inkscape, but I'm not sure if inkscape has layers as it's been a long time since I tried it.
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Re: Looking for card creator software that is NOT spreadsheet based.
nanDeck is neither web-based or spreadsheet-based ... and I would not really call it heavy, but "deep" in the sense of handling all kinds of options.

There are numerous other options out there (I even tried to develop one myself) - true, many do use spreadsheets -- although that is not such a bad thing -- but most are quite 'lite' and hence not useful beyond a certain point.

Perhaps we need a matrix-like comparison (similar to what wikipedia does for software)?
 
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Re: Looking for card creator software that is NOT spreadsheet based.
Jice wrote:
Any program that can use layers that you can turn on and off should do what you're trying to do. It's how I used to create cards in Illustrator before getting InDesign for it's Data Merge.

While I would say that Spreadsheet designing is faster and more accessible, since with Google sheets you can always access your spreadsheets anywhere you have an internet connection, I can understand how much 'job like' it can make the process seem.

But basically, any Photoshop or Illustrator like program should work. Just lay out your card, make a new layer for every instance that might change [so if you have a circle with a 3, 4 and 5. Make a layer for each], then just click the layers on and off as needed and export each card individually.

Free programs that might work are Gimp and Inkscape, but I'm not sure if inkscape has layers as it's been a long time since I tried it.


I was doing the varied layers thing then discovered the data merge technique using a spreadsheet and won't go backwards.

I wonder why (no attack) the op is averse to the ease of spreadsheets for the data to fill in the blanks. Very curious.
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Re: Looking for card creator software that is NOT spreadsheet based or about nanDeck.
Ok, this is a separate thread to discuss software solutions to card creation. NOT Spreadsheets, NOT nanDeck. Please stay on topic.

For comparisons sake we need a note pad as compared to MS Office.

Also already mentioned not looking for an image program. I have them all and am still looking for a simple piece of wysiwig software.

If you are thinking of a program ask yourself this question: Is there a book for sale that teaches you how to use the piece of software? If so it is to big.

Posterazor is a perfect example of a piece of software I have in mind.
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Re: Looking for card creator software that is NOT spreadsheet based.
klkitchens wrote:
Jice wrote:
Any program that can use layers that you can turn on and off should do what you're trying to do. It's how I used to create cards in Illustrator before getting InDesign for it's Data Merge.

While I would say that Spreadsheet designing is faster and more accessible, since with Google sheets you can always access your spreadsheets anywhere you have an internet connection, I can understand how much 'job like' it can make the process seem.

But basically, any Photoshop or Illustrator like program should work. Just lay out your card, make a new layer for every instance that might change [so if you have a circle with a 3, 4 and 5. Make a layer for each], then just click the layers on and off as needed and export each card individually.

Free programs that might work are Gimp and Inkscape, but I'm not sure if inkscape has layers as it's been a long time since I tried it.


I was doing the varied layers thing then discovered the data merge technique using a spreadsheet and won't go backwards.

I wonder why (no attack) the op is averse to the ease of spreadsheets for the data to fill in the blanks. Very curious.


And it's great you have all found your solutions, now let me and others like me find ours.
 
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For what has already been covered on this topic see this post:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1447593/how-prototype-card-...
 
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pnpfanatic wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
Jice wrote:
Any program that can use layers that you can turn on and off should do what you're trying to do. It's how I used to create cards in Illustrator before getting InDesign for it's Data Merge.

While I would say that Spreadsheet designing is faster and more accessible, since with Google sheets you can always access your spreadsheets anywhere you have an internet connection, I can understand how much 'job like' it can make the process seem.

But basically, any Photoshop or Illustrator like program should work. Just lay out your card, make a new layer for every instance that might change [so if you have a circle with a 3, 4 and 5. Make a layer for each], then just click the layers on and off as needed and export each card individually.

Free programs that might work are Gimp and Inkscape, but I'm not sure if inkscape has layers as it's been a long time since I tried it.


I was doing the varied layers thing then discovered the data merge technique using a spreadsheet and won't go backwards.

I wonder why (no attack) the op is averse to the ease of spreadsheets for the data to fill in the blanks. Very curious.


And it's great you have all found your solutions, now let me and others like me find ours.
 
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Give Strange Eons a try. It works well and is reasonably easy to get into designing for other games (even your own).

http://cgjennings.ca/eons/
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talismanisland wrote:
Give Strange Eons a try. It works well and is reasonably easy to get into designing for other games (even your own).

http://cgjennings.ca/eons/


That's a great piece of software, Jon, but unfortunately it doesn't work well on my current computer (looking forward to upgrading very soon). SE 2 worked fairly well but SE 3 just hangs or crashes.

But thanks for taking time to drop in. I meant to list that one in the top for other folks who are looking for software solutions as well.
 
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Ok - so why can't you use msword?

It's easy enough to create a template page and then copy/paste it to new pages, and then hand edit all the templates one at a time.

If the cost bothers you, you could make a table in google docs for free. Use the table to lay out all the sections of the card. PLay with the layout to give you something the right size. Then just copy/paste the page over and over and edit.

One of my first solitaire contest games I designed, http://www.mightyfistgames.com/print-and-play/two-deck-siege..., was done in ms-word without spreadsheets that very way. Just making a template, copying it over and over, and editing.
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Rocconteur wrote:
Ok - so why can't you use msword?

It's easy enough to create a template page and then copy/paste it to new pages, and then hand edit all the templates one at a time.

If the cost bothers you, you could make a table in google docs for free. Use the table to lay out all the sections of the card. PLay with the layout to give you something the right size. Then just copy/paste the page over and over and edit.

One of my first solitaire contest games I designed, http://www.mightyfistgames.com/print-and-play/two-deck-siege..., was done in ms-word without spreadsheets that very way. Just making a template, copying it over and over, and editing.


Look, I have used so many examples it has gotten crazy.

I don't hate software. I believe in using the right piece for the job.

I use Word to layout tons of things because it does those things fast and easy. I realize that somewhere there is probably a template that would do the job. I use the business card template for certain card jobs and that's fine.

This all started because I commented that if someone could make a piece of software as easy and fast to use as the website go deck yourself that I would buy it instantly.

Then I was set upon by the Cult of nanDeck who start saying things that I never said and brow beating me because I won't agree with them that nanDeck or other spreadsheet solutions are the only way to go. I use examples, show simple cards that represent the type of card that wargame designers make for their games and it doesn't matter. Because I would prefer a different kind of software solution I'm some kind of Luddite.

I started this thread with the hope that for folks who aren't making 700 card deck building games and just need to make a handful of simple cards that we could find alternatives...that's all.
 
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Have you tried 'proper' layout software like InDesign or Scribus? What you describe in your opening post is pretty much their raison d'etre. You set up a template ("master page" in InDesign terms) which has all your elements in the right places and the right page size (64x89mm or whatever), then you create a number of pages (cards) based on that template and edit in the individual details. Edit the master page once to make a similar change to every page based on that master, and so on. You can then export them to a PDF-up or whatever if you want to make a PnP game, or save pages to individual images if you want to upload to a PoD card printer, etc.

Not software specifically made for card editing in particular, but definitely software specifically made for editing repeating similar-layout-but-different-data pages.
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I'll add that Scribus is freeware, very easy to use, and works very well for card design.
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pnpfanatic wrote:
Rocconteur wrote:
Ok - so why can't you use msword?

It's easy enough to create a template page and then copy/paste it to new pages, and then hand edit all the templates one at a time.

If the cost bothers you, you could make a table in google docs for free. Use the table to lay out all the sections of the card. PLay with the layout to give you something the right size. Then just copy/paste the page over and over and edit.

One of my first solitaire contest games I designed, http://www.mightyfistgames.com/print-and-play/two-deck-siege..., was done in ms-word without spreadsheets that very way. Just making a template, copying it over and over, and editing.


Look, I have used so many examples it has gotten crazy.

I don't hate software. I believe in using the right piece for the job.

I use Word to layout tons of things because it does those things fast and easy. I realize that somewhere there is probably a template that would do the job. I use the business card template for certain card jobs and that's fine.

This all started because I commented that if someone could make a piece of software as easy and fast to use as the website go deck yourself that I would buy it instantly.

Then I was set upon by the Cult of nanDeck who start saying things that I never said and brow beating me because I won't agree with them that nanDeck or other spreadsheet solutions are the only way to go. I use examples, show simple cards that represent the type of card that wargame designers make for their games and it doesn't matter. Because I would prefer a different kind of software solution I'm some kind of Luddite.

I started this thread with the hope that for folks who aren't making 700 card deck building games and just need to make a handful of simple cards that we could find alternatives...that's all.


Calling a bunch of people who are using a piece of software to do something easier and faster than by hand one at a time a cult is like saying I'm in the cult of electricity because I like using it to do things like heat my house faster than fire.

People are confused because you aren't making your EXACT needs clear, myself included. Maybe if you listed a list of requirements? Because here's what I'm getting so far:

You want something you can edit and store data in, preferably for small amounts - but not a spreadsheet.
Something that can create card templates for easy editing - but not any text editing programs like word, publisher, or the like.
Something that can create nice cards like godeckyourself, but that isn't a graphics program like publisher, indesign, etc.
Nothing involving 'code' like nandeck or spreadsheets.

OK - so what is so great about godeckyourself? Obviously something. So I just created an account and a few cards to see what the hoopla is about.

Here's what I did:
New Deck, type other
New Card
Choose a template. A template is basically a card with various text areas, like title/subtitle; a spot for a pic, etc. Behind all of it is a background image.
Type in some stuff to the various fields.
Ok -my card is done. I can download and print it. n
Total time for website launch to download and print - like a minute.

Your biggest request is how easy gdy is, and sure it is easy. It's mostly easy because the template and layout is all done for you. The background graphics are already there, the text fonts sized and chosen, etc.

If you said to me "i need something to do all of this because gdy just shut down" then *my* first choice is a layout tool because essentially everything I just did above is desktop publishing. I can launch publisher or indesign and get the exact same result in the same time, except I have to hunt for an image to use as a background, create the text fields, etc.

It sounds like your theoretical software is just a bunch of templates with graphics already designed for you - is that what you're looking for?








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Rocconteur wrote:
pnpfanatic wrote:
Rocconteur wrote:
Ok - so why can't you use msword?

It's easy enough to create a template page and then copy/paste it to new pages, and then hand edit all the templates one at a time.

If the cost bothers you, you could make a table in google docs for free. Use the table to lay out all the sections of the card. PLay with the layout to give you something the right size. Then just copy/paste the page over and over and edit.

One of my first solitaire contest games I designed, http://www.mightyfistgames.com/print-and-play/two-deck-siege..., was done in ms-word without spreadsheets that very way. Just making a template, copying it over and over, and editing.


Look, I have used so many examples it has gotten crazy.

I don't hate software. I believe in using the right piece for the job.

I use Word to layout tons of things because it does those things fast and easy. I realize that somewhere there is probably a template that would do the job. I use the business card template for certain card jobs and that's fine.

This all started because I commented that if someone could make a piece of software as easy and fast to use as the website go deck yourself that I would buy it instantly.

Then I was set upon by the Cult of nanDeck who start saying things that I never said and brow beating me because I won't agree with them that nanDeck or other spreadsheet solutions are the only way to go. I use examples, show simple cards that represent the type of card that wargame designers make for their games and it doesn't matter. Because I would prefer a different kind of software solution I'm some kind of Luddite.

I started this thread with the hope that for folks who aren't making 700 card deck building games and just need to make a handful of simple cards that we could find alternatives...that's all.


Calling a bunch of people who are using a piece of software to do something easier and faster than by hand one at a time a cult is like saying I'm in the cult of electricity because I like using it to do things like heat my house faster than fire.

People are confused because you aren't making your EXACT needs clear, myself included. Maybe if you listed a list of requirements? Because here's what I'm getting so far:

You want something you can edit and store data in, preferably for small amounts - but not a spreadsheet.
Something that can create card templates for easy editing - but not any text editing programs like word, publisher, or the like.
Something that can create nice cards like godeckyourself, but that isn't a graphics program like publisher, indesign, etc.
Nothing involving 'code' like nandeck or spreadsheets.

OK - so what is so great about godeckyourself? Obviously something. So I just created an account and a few cards to see what the hoopla is about.

Here's what I did:
New Deck, type other
New Card
Choose a template. A template is basically a card with various text areas, like title/subtitle; a spot for a pic, etc. Behind all of it is a background image.
Type in some stuff to the various fields.
Ok -my card is done. I can download and print it. n
Total time for website launch to download and print - like a minute.

Your biggest request is how easy gdy is, and sure it is easy. It's mostly easy because the template and layout is all done for you. The background graphics are already there, the text fonts sized and chosen, etc.

If you said to me "i need something to do all of this because gdy just shut down" then *my* first choice is a layout tool because essentially everything I just did above is desktop publishing. I can launch publisher or indesign and get the exact same result in the same time, except I have to hunt for an image to use as a background, create the text fields, etc.

It sounds like your theoretical software is just a bunch of templates with graphics already designed for you - is that what you're looking for?



Thank you for looking at the example. And yes, if you have actually used GDY then you have a crystal clear understanding of what I'm looking for. You couldn't have said it better. Did you need a tutorial? No. Did you have to buy a 4 inch thick book to figure out how to use the software? No. Did you have to pay a large fee or a monthly/yearly subscription fee? No.

And before you explain to me how all these other pieces of software will do this and do it better please stop and realize I have answered the question in multiple threads and posts and am now interested in seeing software solutions posted that are not Image/Word processor/Spreadsheet based.

The use of cards in wargaming (with the exception of a CDG) is completely different than the use of cards in card games and boardgames. If you take the card away in card games and boardgames you will likely not have a game.

Cards are added to wargames to add value and re-playability. There are three ways to convey the same information in a wargame making cards a value added item. You can use a deck of cards, you can use a random event chart or you can use a chit pull system. But only cards add value to the physical product itself.

Thus the more time spent on trying to produce a card the less time you have to work on the most important parts of a wargame and that is its design as presented through the rules and the system model. The engine that drives the game is the most important part of the game and that process is achieved through hours of background research, fact checking and play testing for balance.

Thus a simple piece of stand alone software that produces simple cards like you experienced at GDY is a perfect solution.

That's it.

 
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pnpfanatic wrote:
Thus the more time spent on trying to produce a card the less time you have to work on the most important parts of a wargame and that is its design as presented through the rules and the system model. The engine that drives the game is the most important part of the game and that process is achieved through hours of background research, fact checking and play testing for balance.

More time spent arguing in various card software threads on BGG, the less time you have to make peace with spreadsheets. Or to work on those important wargame parts. Whichever.
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tumorous wrote:
pnpfanatic wrote:
Thus the more time spent on trying to produce a card the less time you have to work on the most important parts of a wargame and that is its design as presented through the rules and the system model. The engine that drives the game is the most important part of the game and that process is achieved through hours of background research, fact checking and play testing for balance.

More time spent arguing in various card software threads on BGG, the less time you have to make peace with spreadsheets. Or to work on those important wargame parts. Whichever.


Oh look, it's my favorite stalker!

And trust me Matt, I wouldn't be concerned with it if it wasn't about the bottom line. Cards = more $$$. The mechanism can be replaced. They just don't add to the sales value or to my design principles (always have the information on the table, not in a rulebook).

And my spreadsheet days ended a long time ago and nothing will ever get me to go back to those demonic devices.
 
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I know you said no web-based solutions or spreadsheet solutions...but if you ever change your mind, this might be something.

http://paperize.io/beta
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pnpfanatic wrote:
And my spreadsheet days ended a long time ago and nothing will ever get me to go back to those demonic devices.


And that's the irrational bit. Spreadsheets are a tool. They're not inherently bad or good, they're just a tool that make certain types of tasks easier. If you're doing one of those tasks types, and FWIW you clearly are, then they are an effective and labour-saving tool.

Predetermining that specific tools are bad and therefore to be ignored constrains your ability think about an area. As a friend used to say, "It is hard to get good answers out of a calculator if you insist on never using using a 7." Now you can can bend yourself all out of shape just to avoid ever using a 7, or a spreadsheet, but that's an artificial constraint which is not inherent to the problem area and it is not helping you.
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Ok, Rocco Privetera summed it up best in the above post of taking less than a minute to achieve the output.

I have said this enough times now and this is the final word in this thread for me on this subject - no spreadsheets or bulky software.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

Now, let's discuss stand alone wysiwyg card creation software.
 
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I don't know much about this program, but it might be worth a look.

Magic Set Editor
 
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pnpfanatic wrote:

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

Now, let's discuss stand alone wysiwyg card creation software.


Garbage in, garbage out.

When your requirements are arbitrarily silly, you lose the ability to reasonably complain about the quality of the responses. In the amount of time you've spent on this already, you would have exactly what you want in many of the solutions presented.

You're argument boils down to 'if the tool can do something else, I don't want it. I don't care if it does the job I want perfectly well or probably even better." This is fundamentally ridiculous. Thus: garbage in, garbage out.
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heruca wrote:
I don't know much about this program, but it might be worth a look.

Magic Set Editor


If I recall this one doesn't export to PDF? A bit on the medium weight specialized size but I know it has its followers. Thanks for bringing that one up,Hernan.
 
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