William Boykin
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I'm getting ready to move forward to prototyping my game design, but the trick is that the game requires lots and lots of cards, and I'm tired of just listing the card effects in a Word Document. Ideally, I'd like a template, possibly like FileMaker, where I could list several templates on the same page and just edit between them.

Trick is, I'm cheap- is there something in the OpenOffice suite that can do that type of template? Or am I just going to have to fork out some money?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Darilian
 
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Scott Seifert
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Nandeck?
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Dallas Tucker
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nanDECK is the best I have seen. It takes a small amount of learning, but it is quite easy. The developer is here on the geek too, and you will almost always get an answer to your question (and even additions made to the program itself) within 24 hours if you ask in the nanDECK users guild.

I can even send you some sample code if you want it to get started. Just PM me if you are interested.

EDIT: Making massive changes is fairly easy with nanDECK. You put all of your card info into an excel file, and run the code that you develop to make the cards. The code can access images. So, to make a change to a card background, just edit the background file in your image editor. To edit the place an icon appears on your background, just change the text in the code so that the icon image appears in a different place. To change the number on the icon, change the number in your excel folder and change the location the number appears in your code. These actions pretty much cover every type of situation you will encounter when changing up cards, so it is usually just a one or two step process.

Here is the link: http://www.nand.it/nandeck/
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Jim Wakemen
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Take a look at Magic Set Editor. It has a complete templating system and will let you create complete sets of custom cards, not just for the various incarnations of Magic. The scripting code will help you create the card sets programatically allowing you to work on the content and presentation seperately.
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William Boykin
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Thanks!

Given that some of the 'cards' I'm creating are actually also tiles, I think that NanDeck is going to be a better fit for me.

Darilian
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Pelle Nilsson
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Id like to add this tool as well, that I made...):
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/299033/inkscape-extensio...

Draw card template(s) in Inkscape (SVG), put card info in spreadsheet (eg OpenOffice, save as CSV).

EDIT: If you want to use a script to make cards of course it is trivial to generate CSV from any scripting language. I normally use Python, but any script that can output text can be used.
 
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Steven Metzger
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I do EVERYTHING in Inkscape and Excel, including stuff at work. I highly recommend using those for whatever you need.
 
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piri kou
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Pandocreon is the best, I used it for all my designs and redesigns, fresh ready-to princt cards, scalable up to the milimeter
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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pirikou wrote:
Pandocreon is the best, I used it for all my designs and redesigns, fresh ready-to princt cards, scalable up to the milimeter


Never heard of it. What does it do better than Inkscape?
 
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piri kou
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Actually it goes further than just desining templates, by allowing you to use an xml file describing each of the elments of each card to chose where and how ot draw each element.

Once your xml file is done (you can use a script or a batch to generate one, I personally use more or less the same excel file each time), it will generate pdf templates with your cards arranged on the pages.

The file is ready-to-print and cut, and includes cut lignes (? traits de coupe in French) wich will allow any professional to cut your cards exactly the way you hoped them.

So, basically I guess pandocreon is more a pagination tool than a real desining tool, and conbining it with some design tool might be a good solution....
 
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Pelle Nilsson
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pirikou wrote:
Actually it goes further than just desining templates, by allowing you to use an xml file describing each of the elments of each card to chose where and how ot draw each element.

Once your xml file is done (you can use a script or a batch to generate one, I personally use more or less the same excel file each time), it will generate pdf templates with your cards arranged on the pages.

The file is ready-to-print and cut, and includes cut lignes (? traits de coupe in French) wich will allow any professional to cut your cards exactly the way you hoped them.

So, basically I guess pandocreon is more a pagination tool than a real desining tool, and conbining it with some design tool might be a good solution....


It looks a bit like what my Inkscape tool does, except mine use (a subset of) SVG (a more standard XML format for drawings) and templates can be created by drawing directly in Inkscape, and there is no problem also drawing parts that can be included on a per-unit basis (specified in CSV file). It also can add cut lines (registration marks) for instance, and for scripting when I want that I just use python to output CSV.

Guess there will be some features in either solution that someone can like better, and it is always nice to see another open source solution.
 
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J. Reichler
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> "the trick is that the game requires lots and lots of cards"

This is what motivated me to write my scripts for Python to programatically create cards for prototyping.

I posted about them here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/634840/announcing-my-car...
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Peter Wocken
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I know that it's more expensive and has a bit of a learning curve, but InDesign is the best card layout (and pretty much every other layout) program. I know that a lot of game designers use it to help them visualize their cards as well as update text/stats after play testing.

Peter
www.PeterWocken.com
 
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