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Subject: My experience with Ivory game maker rss

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Haakon Gaarder
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Oslo
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I just recieved a copy of my prototype card game from Ivory Game Maker.
They seem to be the only European alternative to thegamecrafter right now. This is their website https://gamemaker.ivory.co.uk/

I ordered 130 tarot size game cards. This is not a proper review, just my impressions after getting my prototype:

Shipping:
They shipped from UK to Norway in about a week with the cheapest shipping option. They were delivered in a simple bubblewrap envelope, and I didn't order a box so they were not very well protected. But they arrived undamaged so I'm not complaining.

Print quality:
-The prints are nice and sharp, especially the vector parts(text and symbols). Seems to be on par with retail games made in china. Cards seem to be well centered, though my design is very forgiving when it comes to that.

-The cards turned out much darker than they looked on my screen. This is probably my fault. I'll probably need to brighten my files. Would be nice to have a screen preview in illustrator/photshop more close to the printed result though, so if anyone has tips about this I'd love to hear it.

-Some of the symbols got ugly unintended frames around the art. Again, my fault probably. This has something to do with the transparent png files used for the symbol art. I remember encountering this problem 9 years ago designing wedding invitations for an online printing store, but I've forgotten how I solved it. Probably something I can fix with the right settings in Illustrator. If anyone knows how to solve this please let me know.


Card quality:
-The cards feel nice and have a matte finish(love it), and probably just about thin enough to shuffle well. They feel like they could bend easily, but that's probably because of the large size(tarot size).

-The cards are slightly transparent, especially when backlit. This is obviously the reason why most playing cards have complex patterns on their backs, instead of plain white like mine. I'll solve this with either a complex background or lots of ink on the backs.


Conclusion: The interface and service is good, and prices are not cheap but seems fair for print on demand. But what I'm most impressed by is the quality and fast delivery. I recommend letting a graphic designer handle the uploading though, as you can't just upload any image and expect great results, you need proper PDF files that fit their templates.

I recommend using Ivory for close to final prototypes of card games for playtesting.

If you want to know more about the game I'm making check out these threads:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1658145/what-do-you-think-a...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1658031/wip-villagers-produ...
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Rob Harper
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Thanks for sharing your experience. It's great that this service is available in Europe, and I'm glad that the initial signs are generally good.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Added the site address. Might be useful. Thx for the info.
 
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Haakon Gaarder
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You're welcome The main negative about them is the lack of bulk discounts. They do have such discounts on other products, so it might come someday.
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Derek H
South Africa
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Haakon Gaarder wrote:



Well, he's a lumberjack and he's OK!

(Sorry, just could not resist that.)
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Christian Berge
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Maybe I should try these too. All my graphics are in png format now, but I guess I could find a way to convert them into pdf. How much did you pay for shipping to Norway?
 
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Haakon Gaarder wrote:
-The cards turned out much darker than they looked on my screen. This is probably my fault. I'll probably need to brighten my files. Would be nice to have a screen preview in illustrator/photshop more close to the printed result though, so if anyone has tips about this I'd love to hear it.


Depending on your monitor, color calibration can give you fairly true color display.
 
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