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Making Cards...

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TimothyHeadwound
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Joined: 01/27/2009

Hello. Yes, I'm a complete and utter newbie here and for that I can only apologise.

I'm currently trying to make a decent 2nd prototype of a card-based game I designed a while ago. The cards for the first prototype were made by printing fronts and backs onto ordinary printer paper, cutting them out and sticking them onto thin pieces of card - extremely shoddy and crude and a pain to shuffle! Ideally, I'd like to do a better job this time so I've got a decent product to show people.

Any suggestions?

Also, who could I send prototypes to? This game is rather atypical and would best suit a niche-y kind of publisher with a sense of humour, but so far I've only found Steve Jackson Games (who aren't accepting submissions right now) Cheapass Games (who don't appear to accept outside submissions at all) and Terrorbull Games (who are focused on games with a satirical edge - mine's more whimsical and absurd than satirical).

Thanks!

gameprinter
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Joined: 08/06/2008
Card Prototypes

There are many threads on this board about card prototypes. I recently found that some laser printers can handle 10pt cardstock cut to 8.5 x 11. My home laser couldn't, but the ones here at work could. It makes doing prototypes easy if you have 10pt card stock lying around.

dramaplastika
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Joined: 11/23/2008
Corner Cutter

You can also find a corner cutter in Spiel Material. I hope you find it useful.

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
For a first prototype I

For a first prototype I suggest you just print the cards on regular paper. Put them into card sleeves with a real playing card behind them to give it a better feel and allows for shuffling. The upside of doing it like this is the ability to rapidly change throughout the play test process.

I have done quite a few real decks of cards so I have gotten to be efficient yet it’s not worth the time and materials when changes are likely to be needed.

If you are submitting to publishers glue that card face onto a blank card with spray glue, trim, powder (talcum) to make sure no un-dried glue particles remain to stick them together.

Finding publishers that take submissions and will be interested in what you have is a bit harder. I manage to get my games shown to publishers through a combination of tenacity and through contacts I have made in the industry over the past 6 years. Since you don’t have contacts yet you’ll have to get by with good old fashion determination.

There are hundreds of publishers, you’ll need to start looking them up checking the website for submission policy and then determine if they would be interested. Don’t bother submitting a game to a company that is obviously not their style and don’t submit the same game to two different publishers at the same time. A good way to get a list of publishers is to go to www.boardgamegeek.com and do a search for all the games published in 2009. Even in this market you can almost guarantee that the publishers of those games are still in business.

Good luck

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Paper+cards+shuffling sleeves

Works for most people.... if you have a tremendous amount of cards that need shuffling a whole lot, then it won't work for final prototype. I recently pitched a game using that method and the company had no problem with that quality level in the prototype. I will admit that the game did not require a lot of shuffling though the card count was high.

hoywolf
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Proxy Style

If you ever played TCG (tradable card games) like Magic the Gathering or World of Warcraft, then you can play your card like a proxy card. If you don't know what I'm talking about then what i mean is that you can get a bunch of World of Warcraft cards (at a hobby shop) then buy card protectors for them (plastic card sleeves). You slip a card into a card sleeve, then you print out your card for your game on paper, cut it to the size and then slip it in between the card and the sleeve. The card will hold its form and shuffling will be much much easier. If your new to this, the plastic will be slippery at first, but after playing with them they will be less slippery.

Ultra Pro is a good brand, i suggest you buy those, not the weak transparent one, get the better quality solid colors ones, if you use multiply decks for your game, then buy different colors for each deck. Hope this helps. =)

Here is ultrapro's website, dont buy the art background, just look for the solid back colors (its cheaper than the art ones).
http://www.ultrapro.com/page.php?pname=gaming/deck_protectors&PHPSESSID=...

TimothyHeadwound
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Joined: 01/27/2009
Thanks for all the tips,

Thanks for all the tips, everyone! They've been most helpful. I'll have to decide how best to proceed with all these different ideas, but I'll be sure to post about it here when I do.

tony5518
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Joined: 08/23/2008
need work with professional card game manfuacturer

professional cards of card game need special card paper material, normally inside this card paper there are grey, blue or black material in order not to be see through because game play and gambling use.
After printing, it also need be twice coating by special resin in order to have stong game cards and good feeling and to protect inside printing. then go on to next cut process, etc.
So in order to get perfect prototypes of your cards, you need work with professional board and card game manfuacturer who can give you very cost-effective solution if you tell them your truth and situation.

Ningbo Lijia Industry Co., Ltd.
www.cnlijia.com.cn
sales1[AT]cnlijia.com.cn

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
I'm designing a card game and

I'm designing a card game and plan to publish it on a Print on Demand basis. I also want to find two or more other card games so that all the effort I put into marketing ect. can pay off three fold. For example, a booth at a game convention is 1000$ whether you have one game or three. I'm especially looking for designers, artists, and friendly gamers (for demos) in the Mid-Altantic region. But I'm not opposed to working with people farther afeild if you respond promptly to your e-mails. Send me a private message if your intererested and I'll send you my e-mail.

The Magician
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Joined: 12/23/2008
Dralius wrote: If you are

Dralius wrote:

If you are submitting to publishers glue that card face onto a blank card with spray glue, trim, powder (talcum) to make sure no un-dried glue particles remain to stick them together.


This is interesting. I have heard other useful purposes for talcum powder, but never for making cards.

I've been planning to create a custum deck of cards and would like to know the best way to make the best quality of card myself, without ordering from a manufacturer, the closest to playing card quality. I wonder how cards get there snap. My first attempt was not so good but functional. I cut out 56 cards of the same size using cardstock. Then I stamped the numbers and design on with ink. Not suprising the ink rubs off over the other cards and they get messy looking. I don't want plastic sleeves. I supose I could use some kind of clearcoat maybe art fixative or something that you know is better. How do you make the best quality. I am only looking at making 8 to 10 decks. Mostly for myself to last me as decks get old and worn out. Could you describe your process in more detail please?

Dralius
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My cards

Good quality professionally made cards have several layers including coating to protect and help with shuffling. My cards are not quite that nice but much more functional then going the card sleeve method. The down side is it requires allot of time.

The faces are just printed on standard bright white paper using a HP inkjet printer. I’ve only had smudge problems when people have introduced moisture from beverage condensation. You could add a sealant to fix this problem.

After cutting the faces out with a trimmer I use 3M spray glue, do this in small batches of 9 to 12 at a time, on the paper then stick them to blank cards I get through http://www.eaieducation.com also make sure you have the area covered properly so that you don’t get glue on everything and that there is adequate ventilation. It take very little glue to do this, a can should be good for several decks and other projects.

Once they have dried a bit I trim them again then use a corner rounder to clean up the corners. Finally to make sure no stray particles of glue are going to stick the card together I put talcum powered on my hands and rub the cards down including the edges. This also makes them shuffle well.

In the end it produces a set of cards that shuffles and plays like professional cards, yet not quite as durable or attractive. The only reason I bother to do it for submissions is so that whoever is reviewing the game doesn’t get distracted by slippery difficult to shuffle cards.

The Magician
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This is great! Thank you for

This is great! Thank you for this Dralius! The powder sounds like such a brilliant touch to the process. I can't wait to try it and don't mind the effort since I'm not making a lot of decks.

InvisibleJon
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(*slaps hand to forehead*)

Dralius wrote:
Finally to make sure no stray particles of glue are going to stick the card together I put talcum powered on my hands and rub the cards down including the edges. This also makes them shuffle well.
(*snip*)
The only reason I bother to do it for submissions is so that whoever is reviewing the game doesn’t get distracted by slippery difficult to shuffle cards.
A lot of what you're willing to do goes way beyond what I'm willing to do – and my prototypes suffer for it. However... I am totally borrowing your talcum powder trick. That's flippin' brilliant!

Dralius
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Necessity is the mother

I came up with using talc because I had to. A publisher requested a second copy of a game to send to an overseas partner for review and they wanted it next morning. I said ok even though it’s a major project to construct a 112 card deck this way. Being in a hurry I was a little sloppy and when it was finished you couldn’t hardly shuffle the thing because of stray glue particles, which are like rubber. Fortunately I had the powder to fix the problem. The game didn’t pass muster but I did keep my word and delivered it on time which is very important to me and probably important to them since they are currently in the process of doing the production evaluation on another game of mine.

seo
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Coated full page labels

That's what I use to make prototype cards (and I do a lot of them, as I love designing card based games): coated full page labels to stick on regular playing cards, just like Dralius.

Labels save me from the hassle of regular paper and spray adhesive. Coated labels mean I get a coated finish which results in perfectly shuffling cards. The only drawback (for most people I guess) is you can't print coated paper on an inkjet printer. I have a color laser, so that's not a problem in my case.

Instead of buying labels like these, I buy the big sheets of coated adhesive paper commercial printers use, which are a lot cheaper, and cut them down to legal size or A4 or whatever my printer can handle. You usually need to buy a bunch of these large sheets, but they will probably be 10 times less expensive than the labels, so it's worth the small extra effort, and you get enough adhesive paper for a long time.

Here is a pic of one of my decks done this way.

MatthewF
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My method: Print the cards on

My method:

Print the cards on cardstock. Laminate with Xyron two-sided cold laminate. Trim down to card size. Round corners if it's a card game where the cards get shuffled a lot (otherwise I don't bother rounding). They shuffle perfectly and last for ages. It's a bit of work, but the quality is outstanding.

End of Time Games
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MatthewF wrote:My

MatthewF wrote:
My method:

Print the cards on cardstock. Laminate with Xyron two-sided cold laminate. Trim down to card size. Round corners if it's a card game where the cards get shuffled a lot (otherwise I don't bother rounding). They shuffle perfectly and last for ages. It's a bit of work, but the quality is outstanding.


This also sounds like an great method. Did I miss on this forum where printing on card stock is discussed? Does it require a printer that doesn't roll the pages in the process? How well does the ink dry?

InvisibleJon
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Some "rolling" printers support card stock.

End of Time Games wrote:
MatthewF wrote:
My method:

Print the cards on cardstock. Laminate with Xyron two-sided cold laminate. Trim down to card size. Round corners if it's a card game where the cards get shuffled a lot (otherwise I don't bother rounding). They shuffle perfectly and last for ages. It's a bit of work, but the quality is outstanding.

This also sounds like an great method. Did I miss on this forum where printing on card stock is discussed? Does it require a printer that doesn't roll the pages in the process? How well does the ink dry?
I'm super-lazy with my prototypes. I just ink-jet print or laser print on card stock. As long as you're not using a ridiculously heavy card stock weight, some printers support printing on it - even though those printers roll the pages. Check your printer's manual before trying or you may hurt your printer!

The laser printer I used for many years (until the fuser started to fail) was a Lexmark e320. It's a really decent laser printer that will print on a decent weight card stock. If you can pick up one that has a good fuser at a good price, I'd recommend it. The laser printer I use now is a Samsung CLP-310. It's a color laser printer, which is neat, but it can't handle card stock as thick as the Lexmark and it can only hold 10 sheets of cardstock at a time. It's okay, but I miss my Lexmark e320 (which I still have and can print onto plain paper with just fine). The ink-jet printer I use is a Canon S9000. It's a straight pass-through photo-quality printer that can go as large as 13" x 19".

Edit: Two things to note: (1) The ink dries just fine. (2) When I say "card stock", I'm referring to the un-laminated, non-glossy, heavy paper product that you'd buy in an office supply store that is labeled as card stock. Stuff like this: http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/p4_Staples-Card-Stock_49078_Busin... – I'm not referring to what playing cards are printed on.

bearcat
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Joined: 02/08/2009
Different stage

Dralius wrote:
Good quality professionally made cards have several layers including coating to protect and help with shuffling. My cards are not quite that nice but much more functional then going the card sleeve method. The down side is it requires allot of time.

The faces are just printed on standard bright white paper using a HP inkjet printer. I’ve only had smudge problems when people have introduced moisture from beverage condensation. You could add a sealant to fix this problem.

After cutting the faces out with a trimmer I use 3M spray glue, do this in small batches of 9 to 12 at a time, on the paper then stick them to blank cards I get through http://www.eaieducation.com also make sure you have the area covered properly so that you don’t get glue on everything and that there is adequate ventilation. It take very little glue to do this, a can should be good for several decks and other projects.

Once they have dried a bit I trim them again then use a corner rounder to clean up the corners. Finally to make sure no stray particles of glue are going to stick the card together I put talcum powered on my hands and rub the cards down including the edges. This also makes them shuffle well.

In the end it produces a set of cards that shuffles and plays like professional cards, yet not quite as durable or attractive. The only reason I bother to do it for submissions is so that whoever is reviewing the game doesn’t get distracted by slippery difficult to shuffle cards.

I am at a very different stage. I have the data I want to put onto cards (mostly text) and I need to figure out how to make a word-processing program (or ANY program) "lock" into a grid of the size I need the cards to be.

The way word processors work is that you can create a grid, but the panels expand with the text. I don't want the panels (cards) to change size, I want the FONT to shrink to fit the card size as I enter in the data. Suggestions?

I've got Microsoft Word 2000, and Open Office Writer. Thanks.

truekid games
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bearcat wrote:I am at a very

bearcat wrote:
I am at a very different stage. I have the data I want to put onto cards (mostly text) and I need to figure out how to make a word-processing program (or ANY program) "lock" into a grid of the size I need the cards to be.

The way word processors work is that you can create a grid, but the panels expand with the text. I don't want the panels (cards) to change size, I want the FONT to shrink to fit the card size as I enter in the data. Suggestions?

I've got Microsoft Word 2000, and Open Office Writer. Thanks.

Probably not the answer you want, but i do it in the image program (i use gimp, but do the same thing on the odd occasion when i'm using OO draw or paint). Drag the text box to the size you want, turn the word wrap on, and type everything out. Once it's all there, you just keep making the font smaller until all the text is visible in the box.

drewdane
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Instead of OpenOffice writer...

If you want to keep the text inside of the bounds of a card use OpenOffice draw rather than writer. Draw a rectangle, then double click it. A cursor will appear, and all of the text you type will be a part of the rectangle. This works with any shape you draw in OO.
(This is only slightly different from what truekid suggested, I know. This is a way to keep the text locked to the card without having to group the shape, and the text box as one object.)

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