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Subject: Tips on card designs? rss

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Michael Williams
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Can anyone give me some pointers when coming up with a card template, whether its a TCG or cards for boardgames whatever

Tips I'm looking for such as

ATK,HP,STATS location
pros of having borders or no borders
Type of text for card effects
backgrounds
character type, race, class icons etc and the best placements
Design of cards such as colours and shapes to form a neat design template

Just something that helps the cards look professional
 
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Fertessa
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Some general notes that should be helpful with graphic design:

Color

Try picking 3 to 4 colors for color scheme. Between text, borders, backgrounds and images, you will need colors that don't clash, but which also have enough contrast for a player to immediately tell elements apart. Go to site like Paletton or some other color scheme generator to find some surprising color combos.

Fonts

Pick 2 to 3 fonts max. I think it's good to have just 2, but sometimes you might really need a 3rd, so that's preference. The fonts should contrast and compliment, so if you use a cursive or italic font, the other font should have heavy/bold lines. (Ideally it would be a san-serif) The font should tell the eyes where to go and how to read it, so make sure you picks fonts which achieve that purpose. Don't have all bold font or two loud fonts, because it will make the card look noisy/loud.

Movement

If you use images on your cards, you should try to have images which generate motion. If you can help it, don't have a static image dead center on the card. Flat centered images draw the eyes to the center of the card, and the eye just stays there. It disrupts the flow of the overall card. You can use an image with a three-quarter angle to easily add depth to a flat picture. Also utilizing the space so that the image appears to go from left to right or right to left it helpful.

For example, a gator standing with his arms at his sides, looking straight ahead is flat and boring. However a gator with his head cocked to the right, his right arm fist-pumping in the air and his tail curled in the bottom left corner is much more dynamic. A good way tot est if an image is dynamic is to cover it entirely in black, so you can only see the silhouette. If the silhouette is still distinct enough that you can tell what the character is doing just form the outline,t hen you have a solid action-pose.

Disclaimer:

At this point graphic design is my hobby, not my professions. I went to school for it, but there are people on here that know much more than I. lol These are just the design principles I go by and have heard from others, so I apologize if any of what I said misses the mark.
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Michael Williams
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Thanks for the tip, i just like to show you an example of the progress i made with my TCG even go far to change the game completely twice

So my first game was called Minimon fusionz. The mechanic is basically all monsters have a sacrifice ability and also have the ability to fuse with another monster to become a stronger monster. I played this game with my brother but told me it was too confusing. Here is a sample of the first card

https://i.imgur.com/7aLJjHQ.jpg

I then revamped the design into this
https://i.imgur.com/pvLiAug.png

What made it confusing for my brother was the mechanic of strength and weakness, each monster had a different attack stat depending on what is on the opponent's field

The card back and logo of my first card game
https://i.imgur.com/TyH2DVU.jpg

So i ditched that idea and created a whole new game called Minimon worlds, I got a lot of backlash from my TCG community on Youtube because the design aspect was too similar to a TCG called Chaos Galaxy, which the biggest TCG in our community right now. I didn't think it would be a problem since the creator doesn't own the whole planet design aspect thing. When i was young before youtube and the internet i used to draw fantasy planets with weird plains and interesting lands

I actually made a few versions of the card until i was happy with the final design

The first design
https://i.imgur.com/0WNpC39.jpg

The seconds design
https://i.imgur.com/8jlGrs6.jpg

Apart from the planet design (i actually called my planet, world)
It was very different from chaos galaxy
I had a mechanic that you have 3 different monster cards that do different things
Attack monster cards, defender monster cards and support monster cards, and also the monsters belong to a certain world so you can make a deck out of which planet you like to build around, also each planet had a different gameplay mechanic from each other, so you can choose which planet suits your play style.

Moving on.

With my 3rd game revamp i decide to drop the word Minimon and changed the game to Monster Summon, this has been so far the most successful as it is more known to our community and i actually played it on tabletop simulator with a couple of random strangers and also a member of our community. (It is still in the workshop on steam)

I went through a few design aspects also as this is the first
https://i.imgur.com/XCIDfiv.jpg

And the redesign
https://i.imgur.com/sR2wG66.jpg

and the logo and back of my game, which i still like
https://i.imgur.com/dGFhol8.jpg

Even though i do like the current design, i still think it needs another redesign but i still like the current game mechanics, its just doesn't look very professional, it could be due to my lack of creativity i dunno. Even though it has been my most successful, it is still not good enough for my tcg community, it is on their radar and they know about it, they just don't really care and i don't think they want to support my game. I have bought many cards from the TCG community on the game crafter and i made pack openings of their cards on youtube, a lot of the community does that and they buy and open each other's packs, i just wish i could get the same support as i have supported them. The community is what keeps me motivated to create more but if i get no support then i lose motivation. So maybe why my game is so unsuccesful is because the card design looks too childish, unlike chaos galaxy, resolution breakers and wrath of cores, they each have a professional quality

Only thing i like and will keep is the color background of the monsters, and the monsters themselves, the rest i can change
 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:

Even though i do like the current design, i still think it needs another redesign but i still like the current game mechanics, its just doesn't look very professional, it could be due to my lack of creativity i dunno. Even though it has been my most successful, it is still not good enough for my tcg community, it is on their radar and they know about it, they just don't really care and i don't think they want to support my game. I have bought many cards from the TCG community on the game crafter and i made pack openings of their cards on youtube, a lot of the community does that and they buy and open each other's packs, i just wish i could get the same support as i have supported them. The community is what keeps me motivated to create more but if i get no support then i lose motivation. So maybe why my game is so unsuccesful is because the card design looks too childish, unlike chaos galaxy, resolution breakers and wrath of cores, they each have a professional quality

Only thing i like and will keep is the color background of the monsters, and the monsters themselves, the rest i can change


I'm sorry to say, but I think the background and the monster are exactly the things you need to change. Honestly, your most solid redesign was this one:

https://i.imgur.com/pvLiAug.png

It has a solid textured background that isn't too busy, and the colors usage is also minimal. It's easy for my eyes to digest all the information you're giving me, where all the other designs just presented that info equally and made it feel like too much was going on.

I do not know the quality of the other TCGs your community showcases, but if you're asking people to spend money on yours, I think that your monsters need to be changed. The drawings seem amateurish because of the technique used to draw them. You can have stylized versions of creatures/humans, but I suggest using thicker lines and less obvious shapes. The perfect circle head, can work, but only if all the other design elements are strong.

For me, the lightening background is way too busy.Could you use it as a border, and place a more solid block of color behind the main elements of the card?

The gold clashes a little with your silver, black and white theme. maybe make it white embellishments? Also the dark grey text on te grey background doesn't pop. I suggest making the dark, ninja, basic bars black or something like that.

I would either remove the red and white 'created by Jedink games' or change the color. Feels tacky, especially with that hue of red not being used anywhere else on the card. A watermark just needs to be there. You don't need to force our gaze towards it.

Finally, I looked at the design for the back of your card and literally gasped aloud. I am not trying to be a jerk, but it's as if you purposefully did everything you shouldn't do for that design. The font choice, the arrangement of the font, the tyedye background, the generic lightning effect. If you are sincerely wondering why your community is not supporting your TCG, then I have to be honest and point out the things which are huge red flags for me.

If you are designing these cards, I recommend either paying a pro to redo them, or taking some online classes via Lynda on graphic design and using Illustrator or whichever program was used to create these designs.
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Michael Williams
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No I cant change my monster designs, the "amateurish" drawings is my art style

these are the drawings of the more successful games

wrath of cores
https://i.imgur.com/XUww0xt.png


resolution breakers
https://i.imgur.com/rNaw7vV.png

https://i.imgur.com/BQ0O435.png

And believe it or not, chaos galaxy which is the most successful homemade tcg

https://i.imgur.com/HuevjLa.png

https://i.imgur.com/qyG09Kp.png

a lot of people tell us that chaos galaxy drawing is amateurish but is still successful

What do you say to their art style?

btw that ninja was my very first drawing i have improved since then
 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:
No I cant change my monster designs, the "amateurish" drawings is my art style

these are the drawings of the more successful games

wrath of cores
https://i.imgur.com/XUww0xt.png


resolution breakers
https://i.imgur.com/rNaw7vV.png

https://i.imgur.com/BQ0O435.png

And believe it or not, chaos galaxy which is the most successful homemade tcg

https://i.imgur.com/HuevjLa.png

https://i.imgur.com/qyG09Kp.png

a lot of people tell us that chaos galaxy drawing is amateurish but is still successful

What do you say to their art style?

btw that ninja was my very first drawing i have improved since then


Like I said, what you're calling your art style, is not the problem. Your drawing technique looks unfinished. The hands, the disproportion of the limbs (the arms and legs should be shorter to match the head/body), the positioning (arm looks like it's coming out of the ninja's head, and his feet and hand are not evenly on 'the ground' so it's just floating.

To be fair, I would not invest in any of those games, based off of their art. The card design for Chaos Galaxy is most definitely basic and unappealing, however the drawings of the creatures aren't bad. I still wouldn't pay money for it, so I'm assuming the game is just that good.

If you are finding that your community is not responding to your game as you'd hoped, and their expectations for the art aren't that high, then the issue is probably with your game. How many people or groups have you play-tested with? How long does it take to play through one game? Is gameplay fluid or do you get alot of questions?
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Michael Williams
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A battle video in my shop

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/monster-summon-tcg-clas...

btw they are monsters, when did monsters need to be proportionate


 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:
A battle video in my shop

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/monster-summon-tcg-clas...

btw they are monsters, when did monsters need to be proportionate




They don't. Yuyu Hakusho more than took advantage of that. I'll just say that, your execution of it made me feel like you drew it, and it was disproportional, but you left it that way because you reasoned that monsters are disproportionate anyway. Rather than you made a calculated choice to distort the proportions of your monsters to strengthen your story or game.

You can explain it how you want. I'm just letting you know that if I was looking into TCGs, these are the things which would immediately make me turn away from your game, without even seeing what it's about. I only looked at a few minutes of your video, and the premise of the game seems no different from Duel Monsters/ Yu-gi-oh. You summon monsters, and try to kill your opponent's monsters. If the opponent has no defense, you attack their life points directly.

I have no idea what your (indie?)TCG community is like, but for me, the game mechanics, theme, and name of the game are unoriginal and already available in a higher profile game. (And with a TCG one would think you'd want to play the game that has more people playing it, or the potential to have more people playing it)If you can't get people interested in your game, it might be because of that.

Edit: I would also recommend posting the cards you are most proud of in the Board Game Art section of the forum to get feedback. I could be the anomaly, but the seasoned artists on the forum give great critiques, and helpful tips.
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Michael Williams
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Here my favourite
https://i.imgur.com/RsQKLZ4.jpg

Is this proportion? so should his tentacles be the same size? is the mouth too big? what about the eyes, does it fit with his body, does the teeth need to be the same size?
 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:
Here my favourite
https://i.imgur.com/RsQKLZ4.jpg

Is this proportion? so should his tentacles be the same size? is the mouth too big? what about the eyes, does it fit with his body, does the teeth need to be the same size?


I see your sarcasm and raise you sincere advice. This dude's proportions are fine. He doesn't have a humanoid form, so it's even less of a big deal with him. The linework is sloppy, but that's it.
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Michael Williams
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Ok here is a rough template of my design i might go towards

https://i.imgur.com/YpvxQ3j.png

Monster stays in the middle
Name top middle
i have the monster type such as fire, magic,dark, light ect but as an icon instead of a word
The monster class type will be on the top right such as ninja, elemental, angel, fairy, zombie ect. and it will also be an icon instead of a word

In the middle ontop of the text box will still say basic, elite, unique (no icon)

text box is where the info would be

atk and hp numbers probably wont change and will remain basically where they are now

As for the text box, dunno if people like text boxes to be transparent or solid color

And probably wont have borders around the cards
 
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Fertessa
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The outline seems good, though it will all depend on the sizes, font choices, and color usage. I personally like solid backgrounds, because text will sit on top of it, and transparency would only muddle the the readability of the text. Good luck.
 
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Michael Williams
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It looks too plain and boring now

https://i.imgur.com/01oGC2u.jpg
 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:
It looks too plain and boring now

https://i.imgur.com/01oGC2u.jpg


It actually looks cleaner and easier to read. If you want to spice it up, add a card border, or replace the black outline you used around the text box and card name box with a beveled border that is a light complimentary color,rather than black. I would suggest the same yellow that you use in the numbers.

Also a simple or basic design doesn't mean it has to be boring. Below are some nice examples:

http://www.deskovehry.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/...

https://i.imgur.com/MzYkAvr.png

Edit: I would also avoid using a black background with a character in all black.
 
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Michael Williams
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I'll see what i can do

I chose that background colour because that monster is a dark type, if there is another colour that can represent dark monsters then I'm open to suggestions
 
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jedite1000 wrote:
I'll see what i can do

I chose that background colour because that monster is a dark type, if there is another colour that can represent dark monsters then I'm open to suggestions


I went onto Google images and typed in blue purple BGs. Those are good examples of dark, but still simple. And really just using a gradient of any color but black would work. So if you wanted blue, then use a regular blue and a dark, almost black blue to create a gradient. Make the lightest blue the area directly behind the monster. It should be a slightly contrasted version of what you already created.

https://imgur.com/a/ROQ8p

I cut around your image so it's a little rough, but you get the point. Using a gradient like that will make sure the monster pops, while still keeping the dark type feel, and you can do that with any color. Also i changed the text box color to match the color of one of your circles. That makes it pop with more contrast, but using the red from the other circle also works as a complimentary color.
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Michael Williams
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though just a gradient background still looks too plain
 
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Fertessa
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jedite1000 wrote:
though just a gradient background still looks too plain


That's what a border is for, and the image. Either fully illustrate your images or add a border. The background should be simple. Or rather, that's safest when you're new to graphic design.
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