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What program do you use to create boards?

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Anonymous

First off, let me say that I have recently stumbled across this forum because a friend of mine and I are starting to get serious about the games that we've been happily creating for several years. Unfortunately, getting serious means actually printing up boards, cards, etc. instead of just writing on blank paper. I've found some incredibly cool things on this site (some of your suggestions for places to buy stuff are awesome for example), but I have a couple of questions.

First, where can I go to find a total beginners guide to making games on computers? You all use a lot of jargon (A4 boards? To me, A4 is a lousy opening chess move!) that I don't understand. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. It just means I need to ask some questions here and there. (This kind of thing would be a great addition to the FAQ link, which is currently blank).

Second, what program(s) do you typically use to create game boards? I'm pretty much restricted to using MS Paint at this point, simply because I don't know what would be better.

Also, I understand most of you are my future competition, but how would you suggest marketting games? Thanks for any info you might provide, let me tell you I love the forums. :lol:

Fos
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What program do you use to create boards?

For blank boards (great for making prototypes to playtest and send to publishers) you can go to the Proto Parts page. There's a black and red icon for it on the left side of this page. A4 is a format size for sheets of paper. A4 specifically is 210mm x 297mm.

For graphic design, I stick with photoshop (an expensive program, but adobe offers free 30 day trial demos on almost all their products) and sometimes gimp, a free software package that does most of the stuff photoshop does.

As for marketing, I don't know much myself, but there are lots of threads on this board devoted to that topic.

Aerjen
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Joined: 08/28/2008
What program do you use to create boards?

If I create something from scratch, I prefer to use Adobe Illustrator. This is a drawing program whcih uses vectors instead of just pixels. Which results into pictures which can easily be enlarged without loss of quality. If I start of from some drawings or other non-vector pictures I use adobe photoshop.

s2alexan
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Joined: 10/25/2008
What program do you use to create boards?

I also use Adobe Illustrator. It's expensive, and the learning curve is steep (well, it was for me anyway), but now I find it REALLY fast - I can whip up nice looking cards, or a board in no time at all. Modifying is also really easy. I can't say enough good things about the program, once you learn to use it, you can't use anything else.

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What program do you use to create boards?

I use SodiPodi, an/or Sketch for Linux. Both of these programs aren't as powerful as Illustrator or Freehand, but I make do. I do beleive SodiPodi is available for Windows too. It's open source and free. You might want to take a look into it if you're short on cash.

Anonymous
What program do you use to create boards?

Welcome to the board! Slightly OT, does your user name mean that you have an affinity for haiku? Writing haiku?

Back to your question, the topic of specific software programs has been covered in a few other posts in the Game Production forum (casually looking I found one on the first and another on the second page).

I specifically prefer vector drawing packages since they can create very good looking art without having the huge file size that you get when working in a raster based program. The problem is that they tend to have steep learning curves as s2alexan mentioned. I use Freehand for everything. I actually found an older version for $50 on an online auction site. Worth checking out!

Just about every major illustration program manufacturer has a 30 or more day free trial download available on their web sites (Adobe, Macromedia, etc.).

If you don't have skills in any of these programs, ask around to see if any of your friends do. They can be a great help in overcoming the learning curve. You can always post here regarding specific software questions, but there's nothing like having someone there that can show you a few tricks.

Best of luck! Check out the Game Design Workshop (and possibly post a game of your own!).

Zzzzz
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Joined: 06/20/2008
What program do you use to create boards?

Well I have tried out many many applications. I have a few different applications for different tasks.

For those quickly needed "simple" tasks I tend to use PhotoImpact (Ulead product). Very simple application to use and it seems to do many of the same things as the higher costing photoshop (keep in mind this is a judgement call from my own exprience with both applications, I am sure I dont understand or know either product well enough, and I am sure there are graphics gurus that can get more out of these products that I every will).

Once I go beyond the "simple", I tend to stick to adobe based products (illustrator, photoshop) and since my skills are most likely lacking, yes I admit that I am not a graphic designer there I said it!, so I continue to jump between applications trying to find that one that fits my abilities.

Currently I am investigating FreeHand since many people I have talked to (including SiskNY) seem to like this application.

Anonymous
software to use

MS Paint won't be able to create files that a printer can use, so except for prototyping it won't be too much use.

I use a lot of different programs in my game production:

For actually creating new pictures (for use on board, cards, box, etc.), I use PaintShopPro because I like the combination of techniques it provides. PSP saves CMYK as four separate files though, which I don't want, so I save my PSP files as RGB color and import into Photoshop to convert.

To create board layouts and the box layouts, I use Adobe Illustrator as many others have suggested. I import graphics that I created in PSP and converted to CMYK in Photoshop (or art that my artist provides when it's stuff I don't do myself) and then add any vector text in Illustrator. These are saved as EPS files then imported into Photoshop to save as TIFs which I send to the printer.

Card layouts I prefer to do in Quark XPress. I like their templating features and find cut-and-paste repetitiveness easier there. As with the box/board I use graphics created elsewhere but then add any vector text here. I save these files as EPS also and then import into Photoshop to convert to TIF.

Sounds like a hassle but as I've refined this process I've found that the printers have little trouble with the files (they had problems sometimes with the EPS files because the fonts aren't actually embedded and for some reason they found themselves unable to install the fonts I sent them separately, but that's another issue!)

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What program do you use to create boards?

Quote:
I use SodiPodi...It's open source and free

I looked into this and found some another open source free graphics designer called Inkscape. It seems a little easier to learn for a beginner than SodiPodi. I don't know if it can do all the same stuff or not.

Johan
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Joined: 10/05/2008
What program do you use to create boards?

Hello

It depends on what I want to do and for what the purpose. I use different tools if the game is in the first phase and I try to create a prototype or the game starts to get ready. Here are some programs that I have used

PowerPoint (Not a bad program for prototyping) I have done a lot of cards and game boards for the first prototype with this program. It is quick to use and have the necessary features, but the limitations (as no layer handling, not any advanced vector or drawing possibility or PDF creation) will not make it the ideal tool for the final product.

I was using Visio for a while. Visio has layer handling and the feature that you can build your own object. Visio has also an advanced glue and snap functionality that sometimes come in handy. PowerPoint is easier to use and the result will be the same.

With Corel Draw you get both a vector drawing program (Corel Draw) and a Photo (bitmap) Drawing program (Corel Photopaint). You will also get some other programs in this deal. Corel Draw is one generation after Illustrator and Freehand, but it will cost less. The big disadvantage with Corel Draw is that you can't create PDF from it (I think that they have included it in the latest version).

Corel Painter is among the best painting programs that exist, but don’t try to use it to create boards or cards. It is not meant for that.

Adobe Illustrator is a very good program with vector graphic (I have never used Freehand), Adobe PhotoShop works fine with bitmaps and Adobe InDesign is really good when it comes to creating your cards and rules (I write all rules in MS Word). Those programs are good but expensive.

I have used some 3D programs for illustrations but never to create game boards.

You can find a lot of free programs, links and tutorials on Computer Arts home homepage http://www.computerarts.co.uk.

// Johan

Anonymous
What program do you use to create boards?

I use my limited resources, as much as I love creating board games, the thought of spending a huge amount of dough on a product that will let me paint doesn't appeal to me.

I would avoid MS Paint for the sole purpose that it is sloppy and just doesn't work well.

I use either A: Microsoft Excel or B: Microsoft Word.
You might say well what the heck? I think that the ability to use tables to create boards and cards using tables is easy once you learn all of the features the Microsoft programs have to offer. If you want to see the very basic to the rather complicated, you might want to check out my free games at this website (you can just click on them and they should open for your viewing pleasure):

geocities.com/risingofthephoenix/games

Now beware that you can only making squares and rectangles with the tables, if you wanted to do Hexagons you may have to look elsewhere.

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What program do you use to create boards?

Quote:
Now beware that you can only making squares and rectangles with the tables, if you wanted to do Hexagons you may have to look elsewhere.

You can make other shapes with MS Word. YOu have to incert an "autoshape". The problem with a lot of these autoshapes is they are not equalateral, and they don't always line up border to border, unless they are divisible by .5".

I learned this the hard way trying to do a hex board on Word. Inkscape works a lot better, and its free.

Zzzzz
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Joined: 06/20/2008
What program do you use to create boards?

Though I do not do this, or promote anyone to do it. You may be able to generate a hex grid image in another application and use it as a background image(maybe even a watermark) in Word. If you do this, you could then still lay your other objects in the document area.

Eeeeek! Ick! Ugh! *shivers* cant believe I just wrote this post.....

Anonymous
What program do you use to create boards?

Speaking of hex grids... For the layout challenged, there are several clip art packages that offer vector and raster backgrounds that are designed to tile together seamlessly into a solid field. Some of them include hex pattern for use as a background element. It can be tiled as a background (like Zzzzz said) and other elements laid on top. Some scaling may be required, but it shouldn't be too bad. Just a thought!!

OldScratch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
What program do you use to create boards?

I use Photoshop mainly, and I use it for everything. Boards, layouts, cards, diagrams, you name it.

Chad_Ellis
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Campaign Cartographer from ProFantasy...

...is a really nice package for a lot of different types of maps, graphics, etc. You can easily create hex grids, for example, and they have lots and lots of icons and other pre-made things you can pop in.

It's absolutely amazing if you want to make maps (naturally, that's what it's for), but it's worth looking at the user examples on their website, www.profantasy.com.

Regards,
Chad

Anonymous
What program do you use to create boards?

We use Corel Draw and Adobe Photoshop; both of the programs when learned include all the tools to design a beautiful game board.

I hope this helps you.

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