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Subject: Best FREE software for designing cards? rss

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I once made a card game on InDesign but don't own or have money for it anymore (and don't intend to illegally obtain it). Is there any suggestions for alternatives for card design?

I've already made rough print and plays and tested it on my own but wanna get other testers online and need some decent print and play files. I tried on Paint but the process is tedious and long, and while I can do this in Paint, I want to prepare for my future designs that require more work and such.

Thanks!

(I also did browse the Designer Resources list thread, but its just a laundry list of softwares and I'm not sure which one is specifically good for cards/card designs)

EDIT: For clarity of what I seek to use it for. I have been setting up cards a certain way with symbols at the top and name and such. I wanna expedite this and make it go faster. So for example, if 10 of my 50 cards have "1" in the top left, I wanna be able to do that with a click or two.
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Eric Miller
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
I once made a card game on InDesign but don't own or have money for it anymore (and don't intend to illegally obtain it). Is there any suggestions for alternatives for card design?

I've already made rough print and plays and tested it on my own but wanna get other testers online and need some decent print and play files. I tried on Paint but the process is tedious and long, and while I can do this in Paint, I want to prepare for my future designs that require more work and such.

Thanks!

(I also did browse the Designer Resources list thread, but its just a laundry list of softwares and I'm not sure which one is specifically good for cards/card designs)


nanDeck and Inkscape are what I use. I don't design lots of cards, or put much artwork on them, so they work for what I need.
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Andrew J.
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If you used InDesign, you could purchase the Creative Cloud suit for a month or two as I believe it's only about $20 a month (maybe less for individual programs). Then you could just use it as long as you need and not renew the subscription. Heck, even a thirty-day trial might work.
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Mark Edwards
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Yes, nanDeck is what I like to use. You can easily set up a google spreadsheet with columns for the card name, text, the number you want displayed in a corner , and the number of copies of each card. Then nandeck can pull that in and you just tell it where on the card to place the items in the spreadsheet, and it will do it. I personally use the visual editor within nandeck which then writes the script for you.(http://www.nand.it/nandeck/index.html)

There is a great guild here on BGG where the designer (or another user) will answer your questions if you get stuck. The most used forum in the guild is the General one.
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Ryan Byrd
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I like GIMP. Layers and masks are your friends. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the latest versions have become easier to find what you need.
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Andrea Nand
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
So for example, if 10 of my 50 cards have "1" in the top left, I wanna be able to do that with a click or two.

This is one of the reasons that led me to create nanDECK.

You can do that in two ways, by code...

TEXTFONT=1-10,"1",0,0,20%,20%,center,center,0,100,Arial,32,,#000000

...or with the visual editor:



Edit: there is a guild for nanDECK
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Steve
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I used Cardmaker to make the cards for my game Constantinople. Here are some samples:



Cardmaker lets you customize just about anything, such as the faded background images on these sample cards, and make any size cards you like.
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Matt Wilson
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NanDeck for the win. Really powerful and not difficult to learn.
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Ryan Byrd
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I guess I need to get on board with NandDeck. It just looks a bit intimidating, even though I can do some programming.
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Andy Meneely
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Squib is my Ruby library for prototyping tabletop games
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If you're up for programming, then give Squib a try!

http://squib.rocks/
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Derek H
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ryan_c_byrd wrote:
I guess I need to get on board with NandDeck. It just looks a bit intimidating, even though I can do some programming.

I'm also going to be looking for testers for a Python-based tool I have written. NanDeck is great and the most comprehensive free program I know, but I wanted something a bit simpler and more extendable.
 
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Ryan Byrd
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I don't have tons of time, but I don't mind testing. As an engineer, I like trying to break things to see their limits.
 
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Andrew H
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Nandeck is great, and its inventor is very active with trouble shooting and updates. It helps to understand how to code to use its full capabilities.

I think for non-programmers CardMaker Users is a reasonable introduction program that also has good support from its inventor. It can pull info from spreadsheets, but uses configuration layers with drop down menus to adjust sizes and positioning.
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Joe Ryan
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I use Canva.com for designing cards. This won't work for actual printing (most likely) but I have been using them for prototypes and it works great. It is super simple and it is easy to duplicate cards and card features. It's free, though you can pay for some perks. I also use thenounproject.com for finding icons and such.

I hope this helps!
 
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Nandeck looks very interesting but I think I need is something a little more simpler.

Is there anything else that could be simpler?
 
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Andrea Nand
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TheSpiceOfLife wrote:
Nandeck looks very interesting but I think I need is something a little more simpler.

nanDECK is simpler than it appears (and simpler if you have all info on a spreadsheet). What kind of layout do you need?
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n_and wrote:
TheSpiceOfLife wrote:
Nandeck looks very interesting but I think I need is something a little more simpler.

nanDECK is simpler than it appears (and simpler if you have all info on a spreadsheet). What kind of layout do you need?


I was just looking at the ref sheet and saw that you can do it in a Excel spread sheet, I think that may be easier for me than coding.

You are the creator of this program correct? Let me say first that it is quite impressive what you have made there.

I am trying to make a card/tile game and was interested in something that could help make a prototype deck.

One more question do you have YouTube videos that help with using the program?
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Andrea Nand
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TheSpiceOfLife wrote:
One more question do you have YouTube videos that help with using the program?

Et voilà:

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