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Software for virtual playtesting?

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Darkehorse
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Hi guys,
Long time no see. Just curious, has there been any new software come out where you can quickly mock up and playtest card games.

Basically I'd like to create a mock deck, and be able to shuffle it, drag it around to different areas of the board, etc. I just want to get a feel for how the distribution may work without actually having to physically create a deck.

Does anything like this exist? Oh and I don't want to have to learn a programming or formatting language, just something simple where I can type in a short description for each card and then the program would allow me to shuffle the deck and other physical things of that nature.

Thanks in advance,
-Darke

t0tem
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i know this is not what you

i know this is not what you are asking about but unless the software youre looking for exists...

staples (and probably toys r us etc.) have blank flash cards that cost around $3 for a deck of 50. thats what ive been using when making early card game prototypes.

Darkehorse
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Nope

Doesn't help.

matthulgan
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This might not help either

This might not help either but it's saved me from doing 6+ paste ups before getting to a good playable deck.

I make a document with all the cards color coded with Circus flohcati colors and Space beans colors. I then assemble a deck accordingly. Lastly I play solo at my desk and reference what each card represents. This gives me a lot of clues without having to print and cut anything. If I need to nerf a card I just change its text, do a "save as" and re-deal to see if that was a good idea.

All that said, I'd be glad to pay for a program that facilitates playtesting.

CloudBuster
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Would this work for you?

Get a regular deck of playing cards and simply reassign the values on the cards to something else:

Kings = trolls
Queens = Soldiers
7 - 9 = Serfs

Whatever. Then shuffle so you can see how things are distributed. If one deck doesn't work...buy a bunch of decks of cards so you can have 15 kings if you want.

-CB-

Dralius
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i think people have issed the

i think people have issed the subject of the post

"Software for virtual playtesting? "

virtual as in on the computer probably becase he wants to playtest with someone far away.

Crifmer
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Virtual game makers

The two big ones are VASSAL and Cyberboard. You can make a plethora of games using their tools. The engines don't have any rules capabilities, but instead are just virtual replicas. Any movement of pieces, tracking of rules, etc, you'll have to do on your own.

I can't really speak for Cyberboard, but I liked VASSAL when I tried it out.

This is probably what you're looking for.

let-off studios
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MultiMedia Fusion 2

Although it may seem like a lot of work, I've used Multimedia Fusion 2. You can download the free demo (most likely adequate for your needs) here:

www.clickteam.com

I design software as well as games in my spare time, and this is what I use (while not knowing a lick of any "official" programming language, except for maybe BASIC). There are a few engines and demos out there that allow for the replication of a card deck, shuffling, movement across the board, etc. Additionally, I've designed other tabletop games using this software, and things have worked out splendidly. Taking screen shots of the board for later use has also worked fine.

Again, it may be more work than what you're looking for, but it's a tool that works for me fairly well.

Darkehorse
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MM Fusion

Let Off,

Wow I actually own a copy of the first MM fusion. Just curious, how would you go about setting that up? Are there card game examples? Can you just enter text for the cards or do you actually have to create images?

let-off studios
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Cards in MMF(2)

Hahaha! I'm glad to hear someone else has at least heard about it, let alone owns a copy. :)

But since you're familiar with the program...I'd just make Active Objects into cards (Clone a Card object to make 52 of them, or whatever number of cards is in your deck), then simply edit the graphics of the cards however you wish. Pictures, words, colours, etc. Whatever makes sense to you for your mock-up. With MMF2, you can assign a "drag-and-drop" movement quality to the object, no event coding needed, so cards can be moved around in the runtime with a click and swipe of the mouse.

If you're familiar with MMF, then I still recommend you upgrade to MMF2. You can create projects and play them within the MMF kit; you just can't export them as stand-alone applications until you buy the full version. Additionally, there's a recently-released card engine that's free for download, although I'm not sure if it would work in MMF1 for you. Here's a link:

http://create-games.com/download.asp?id=8440

I haven't used it myself just yet; I've other non-computer projects in the works that are demanding my time. But it's definitely in my sights for future projects.

Darkehorse
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MM Fusion

Well I tried multimedia fusion, but it too requires that you have to have a graphic to represent each card. I'm just looking for something quick and dirty. I may try to throw together something in MS Access.

heruca
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Darkehorse wrote:has there

Darkehorse wrote:
has there been any new software come out where you can quickly mock up and playtest card games.

Basically I'd like to create a mock deck, and be able to shuffle it, drag it around to different areas of the board, etc. I just want to get a feel for how the distribution may work without actually having to physically create a deck.

Does anything like this exist? Oh and I don't want to have to learn a programming or formatting language, just something simple where I can type in a short description for each card and then the program would allow me to shuffle the deck and other physical things of that nature.

Yes, software like that exists. It's called Battlegrounds, and I'm the developer.

Battlegrounds doesn't require scripting, or programming, or even XML editing. It DOES, however, require that you create a bitmap to represent each unique card, and a bitmap to represent the backs of the cards. Judging from your last post, it doesn't sound like you want to design virtual cards.

If you watch this tutorial video, at around 3 minutes and 25 seconds it shows how a card deck is created in the software.

That said, if you don't play RPGs, Battlegrounds may be overkill for what you need, in which case you should be aware that I will soon be releasing a new (and much lower cost) virtual tabletop program exclusively for boardgames, wargames, card games and dice games. I will try an remember to post here again when it is released later this month.

In the meantime, you may wish to check out some of the other programs listed here, to see if they suit your needs.

heruca
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heruca wrote:if you don't

heruca wrote:
if you don't play RPGs, Battlegrounds may be overkill for what you need, in which case you should be aware that I will soon be releasing a new (and much lower cost) virtual tabletop program exclusively for boardgames, wargames, card games and dice games. I will try an remember to post here again when it is released later this month.

The program I was referring to, Battlegrounds Gaming Engine (aka BGE), has just been released. There's a free Demo available for download if you want to try it out. And there are around 20 digital game conversions already available for it (most of them for free) that should serve as examples when creating your own digital game conversions. Full documentation is included with the software download.

edgd00
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These programs look great but...

Battlegrounds looks great! I downloaded it to try it out; I'm currently working on several card games and it could be of use for solo playtesting. However, when I tried to make a deck, the demo wouldn't let me; that feature is disabled for the demo. I really don't want to pay only to find that it won't fit my intended use. I tried using Vassel and Cyberboard but I couldn't make heads or tails out of them. I'd like to be able to make quick card decks, plain white with simple text. Is there a simple easy to use program like that? I generally print out cards on cardstock then cut out for testing but a simple virtual program would save me some time and ink. Any suggestions or any good tutorials for Vassel?

Darkehorse
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I concur

Plain white cards with simple text. That's what we need. Creating graphics takes too long.

-Darke

bonsaigames
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MSE

edgd00 wrote:
Battlegrounds looks great! I downloaded it to try it out; I'm currently working on several card games and it could be of use for solo playtesting. However, when I tried to make a deck, the demo wouldn't let me; that feature is disabled for the demo. I really don't want to pay only to find that it won't fit my intended use. I tried using Vassel and Cyberboard but I couldn't make heads or tails out of them. I'd like to be able to make quick card decks, plain white with simple text. Is there a simple easy to use program like that? I generally print out cards on cardstock then cut out for testing but a simple virtual program would save me some time and ink. Any suggestions or any good tutorials for Vassel?

I've used Magic Set Editor for prototyping in the past. It works fine for playtesting.
Hope that helps,
Levi
www.bonsaigames.net

Dralius
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bonsaigames wrote:edgd00

bonsaigames wrote:
edgd00 wrote:
Battlegrounds looks great! I downloaded it to try it out; I'm currently working on several card games and it could be of use for solo playtesting. However, when I tried to make a deck, the demo wouldn't let me; that feature is disabled for the demo. I really don't want to pay only to find that it won't fit my intended use. I tried using Vassel and Cyberboard but I couldn't make heads or tails out of them. I'd like to be able to make quick card decks, plain white with simple text. Is there a simple easy to use program like that? I generally print out cards on cardstock then cut out for testing but a simple virtual program would save me some time and ink. Any suggestions or any good tutorials for Vassel?

I've used Magic Set Editor for prototyping in the past. It works fine for playtesting.
Hope that helps,
Levi
www.bonsaigames.net

Can you play it online?

heruca
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edgd00, I'm quoting my

edgd00, I'm quoting my earlier post in case you missed it.

heruca wrote:
If you watch this tutorial video, at around 3 minutes and 25 seconds it shows how a card deck is created in the software.

seo
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Oprah

Hi Darke,

A quick Google search led me to a free web app from Oprah which seems to be kind of what you are looking for.

You need to register on the site first, but that would only take a few seconds, and the application is pretty neat and straightforward, if a bit limited. Given that it is a virtual cork board, it doesn't offer card backs or shuffling, but as long as you want just to move around card fronts on a desk, add or modify cards, etc., it's pretty neat.

Give it a look: http://www.oprah.com/dreamboard/

It let's you add text or pictures to the cards, edit existing ones, change font face, size and color as well as the card's size, rotation, color and opacity. You can save your "boards" and return later to edit or continue playing, and print or save a snapshot in jpg format.

Again, it lacks tons of things you might need for your game, but OTOH it might be a good suit to your needs.

Ariel

edgd00
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@heruca, I saw the video and

@heruca, I saw the video and the problem isn't how to make a deck. The problem is that the demo version has that feature disabled. So I'm unable to test it out for myself.

nand
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Darkehorse wrote:Plain white

Darkehorse wrote:
Plain white cards with simple text. That's what we need. Creating graphics takes too long.

If you have a Windows PC, you can try nanDECK:
http://www.nand.it/nandeck

I know, you say "I don't want to have to learn a programming or formatting language", but all you need is this script:

{[data]="
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,|
consectetur adipisicing elit,|
sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt|
ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.|
Ut enim ad minim veniam,|
quis nostrud exercitation ullamco|
laboris nisi ut aliquip|
ex ea commodo consequat
"}
FONT=arial,32,,#000000
TEXT="1-{(data)}",[data],0,0,100%,100%,center,wwcenter

Launch the program, add one phrase for every card starting from Lorem... and separates them with a |, click on "Validate deck" button, then click on "Build deck" button and click on "Table" button.

Here you can see a screenshot for the "virtual table" function (double click on the deck for draw a card, and right-click to rotate them):
http://www.nand.it/nandeck/bgdf01exa.png

seo
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nand wrote:Launch the

nand wrote:
Launch the program, add one phrase for every card starting from Lorem... and separates them with a |, click on "Validate deck" button, then click on "Build deck" button and click on "Table" button.

I didn't know about the virtual table in nanDECK. that is a great addition (I haven't used it for a while).

Is there a way to draw or turn a card face-down, or add a discard pile to the bottom of the deck?

larienna
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Quote:Plain white cards with

Quote:
Plain white cards with simple text. That's what we need. Creating graphics takes too long.

I also thought that you could generate cards with Nandeck and export the bitmap in any of the software mentioned above. But I did not know that Nandeck had a virtual table yet.

Else even in inkscape, you can make cards with little graphics rapidly. You just create a cards template and then simply fill up the text and print.

cniemira
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Quote:Basically I'd like to

Quote:
Basically I'd like to create a mock deck, and be able to shuffle it, drag it around to different areas of the board, etc. I just want to get a feel for how the distribution may work without actually having to physically create a deck.

Hello, long time listener, first time caller...

I recently got back into game design and wanted exactly the same thing to knock together a simple card game for my kids. All I needed was a way to visualize moving cards around, and shuffle. I couldn't find anything, so I built this:

http://dev.siege.org/decker/

It's really bare bones, but it works. The page is just a bunch of javascript, so if you really want you can save it and edit the page to create your own version with custom cards (which is more or less what I do).

This version, of course, just has a standard deck of playing cards installed so you can see how the thing works. Mouse over the blue symbols on the page and a description of the action will pop up. I suppose if there's interest, I can flesh it out and make it look purdy.

HTH.

whoshim
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Another site

http://taebl.com/ can let you play with cards, but I have had some problems with uploading my cards. To be fair, my cards were large in size, so it would probably work for smaller cards with just text.

heruca
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@edgd00: Did you get my PM?

@edgd00: Did you get my PM?

nand
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seo wrote:Is there a way to

seo wrote:
Is there a way to draw or turn a card face-down, or add a discard pile to the bottom of the deck?

Actually not, but these are interesting options (I'm always seeking features to implement).

whoshim
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Dralius wrote:bonsaigames

Dralius wrote:
bonsaigames wrote:

I've used Magic Set Editor for prototyping in the past. It works fine for playtesting.
Hope that helps,
Levi
www.bonsaigames.net

Can you play it online?

You can export MSE files as Apprentice or Magic Workstation files, which allows you to play online through those programs. I have not done it myself, but the functionality is there.

bonsaigames
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What he said!

whoshim wrote:
Dralius wrote:
bonsaigames wrote:

I've used Magic Set Editor for prototyping in the past. It works fine for playtesting.
Hope that helps,
Levi
www.bonsaigames.net

Can you play it online?

You can export MSE files as Apprentice or Magic Workstation files, which allows you to play online through those programs. I have not done it myself, but the functionality is there.

Thanks Whoshim! Good thing I read all the posts before I relpied to Drailus.

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