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I can't help you publish your TCG, BUT...

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tdishman
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First things first, I am not a publisher, nor can I provide any contacts with a publisher.

Who I am is someone who has partially developed many card games, and has ultimately hit the same brick wall every time: distribution.

For the past several months I've been working off-and-on to build a very niche site specifically for those who create card games. I can't share the URL with everyone just yet, because to be perfectly honest I still have quite a few things on my wishlist. However, I am interested in sharing with a few game developers so they can check the site out, and offer feedback and suggestions.

If you're wondering, this site allows you to basically create a profile for your game (think MySpace, but for games you're working on). Each game profile gives you a blog where you can share development thoughts and news about your game, a place to upload card sets and images (which can be downloaded in a nice PDF format for people to print and play with), a wiki-esque rulebook that you can edit, and a simple message board where you can host discussions about your game.

Basically, you create your game on this site, and upload card images for your game. Others can come and select the cards & quantities they want to "download", and the site will make a nice PDF for them to print.

So many people have visions of getting their games published into the mainstream, but after many years creating games, I realized that what I really wanted was just to share my ideas with others. Each game I worked on would have required a website dedicated to it, but that isn't something that all game designers have the resources for. I created this site to be a one-stop collection of card game ideas, hopefully giving some of you designers a tool you can use to help get your game noticed.

If you are interested in a private demonstration and invitation to test this site, please leave me a private message. The site I've been working on is definitely in an alpha/beta condition (although many parts of it work really well). I have MANY things I still want to do to it, but I think the time has come to get some others to play around with it.

Edit: I almost forgot that this site is free. I won't go into details, but I am fortunate enough to be able to provide the site as a free resource to better the gaming community.

The Magician
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Cool!

Sounds like a cool idea tdishman. Of course I don't design card games and therefor will not be using the sight. One thing I love so much about this forum, other game forums and your coming forum, is that game designers talk openly and share ideas. I love this as a new designer. Being a passionate visual artist for many years, it always struck me as odd and disapointing that most art forums I have been too, don't discuss anything. They are way to frikin conserned that someone will steal their secrets and style. It's a silly thing among these artist forums. I love that that is no problem here. Creators should share ideas.

tdishman
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The Magician wrote:Sounds

The Magician wrote:
Sounds like a cool idea tdishman. Of course I don't design card games and therefor will not be using the sight. One thing I love so much about this forum, other game forums and your coming forum, is that game designers talk openly and share ideas. I love this as a new designer. Being a passionate visual artist for many years, it always struck me as odd and disapointing that most art forums I have been too, don't discuss anything. They are way to frikin conserned that someone will steal their secrets and style. It's a silly thing among these artist forums. I love that that is no problem here. Creators should share ideas.

One of the goals of this site will also be to connect artists with game developers. Even though many game developers are also quite secretive, I hope that some are willing to share their ideas and designs. For every 1 game that makes it into mainstream (or even niche) production, there have to be atleast 1,000 that don't make it past the playtesting phase. So many people get stuck because they don't have a way to distribute or connect with artists. Hopefully this site will atleast give those developers a way to share their games with others, and possibly inspire others to continue where they've left off.

Whether you are a player or developer of CCG/TCG's, I would love to show you the site and get your feedback. Thanks again.

InvisibleJon
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A few clarifying questions...

tdishman wrote:
Whether you are a player or developer of CCG/TCG's, I would love to show you the site and get you feedback. Thanks again.
Are non-collectible card games, like Space Monster ( http://www.invisible-city.com/play/507/space-monster ) appropriate for your site? When you say CCG, do you mean customizable (non-collectible) card games, like Juggernauts ( http://www.invisible-city.com/play/389/Juggernauts )?

If Juggernauts qualifies, I'm certainly interested in participating. If Space Monster qualifies, I'll have to look at... Well, I'll have some decisions to make. =)

seo
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POD connection?

The idea sounds great.

One thing you might have already thought of (but at least is not mentioned on your post) would be to have some sort of connection to a POD service to get the cards printed and shipped to the gamers, instead of having them had to print and cut/mount by themselves. Guild of Blades has a POD service to produce print on demand cards, maybe they would be interested in the idea.

That, IMHO, would make your service even better, given that a lot of potential players lack the skill or will to produce the cards by themselves, or might just want a nicely produced copy of the deck, instead of a home-made one, especially if they already have a home made one and like the game a lot.

The POD company could even give the game designer, and you (if you're interested) a % of the price they charge for the printed copy of the PDF your website would produce.

tdishman
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InvisibleJon wrote:tdishman

InvisibleJon wrote:
tdishman wrote:
Whether you are a player or developer of CCG/TCG's, I would love to show you the site and get you feedback. Thanks again.
Are non-collectible card games, like Space Monster ( http://www.invisible-city.com/play/507/space-monster ) appropriate for your site? When you say CCG, do you mean customizable (non-collectible) card games, like Juggernauts ( http://www.invisible-city.com/play/389/Juggernauts )?

If Juggernauts qualifies, I'm certainly interested in participating. If Space Monster qualifies, I'll have to look at... Well, I'll have some decisions to make. =)

Pretty much any game that doesn't require any special pieces other than printable cards. The Juggernaut game you linked to looks like the perfect type of game for this site. There are no rules or qualifications for you to post your games (other than being willing to share with others) - the site is merely a resource where you can offer potential players some tools to get access to your game and those players can provide feedback and discussion about your games.

It looks like you already have a site to promote your games, but you might still want to take a look at the site to either get ideas for your own site, or even post your games there. I'll send you a private message in case you want to check it out for yourself.

tdishman
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That is a great idea that I

That is a great idea that I hadn't thought of or considered. There are some minor hurdles I suspect (like image requirements for the printers), but it is certainly something that some players will want. Do you have any links to specific POD site(s) that might offer this service?

seo
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POD

The only ones I've heard of are here:
http://www.guildofblades.com/pod.php

I haven't seen their work, but at least it looks fine on their pics, they do POD cards, and Ryan is a BGDF member.

Try doing a search here for "Guild of Blades POD".

tdishman
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seo wrote:The only ones I've

seo wrote:
The only ones I've heard of are here:
http://www.guildofblades.com/pod.php

I haven't seen their work, but at least it looks fine on their pics, they do POD cards, and Ryan is a BGDF member.

Try doing a search here for "Guild of Blades POD".

I see now. I was thinking that "Guild of Blades" was a game with a site that linked to a POD company. Now I see that "Guild of Blades" IS the site that does the POD.

It looks like I should be able to produce a format that they can use for printing, which can be downloaded by the player and then handed off to GOB for printing. I'm not interested in earning any commission on it, I just want to make it easy for the players.

Thanks again for this link!

brisingre
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Other Games

I don't really do card games, but many of my games revolve around tiles. I'd be interested in putting them on a print-and-play site like that, but it doesn't sound like that's quite what you want. Oh well, I'll certainly check it out when you finish it.

guildofblades
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The POD angle. Its something

The POD angle.

Its something we could talk about. We have "retail" and "wholesale" programs where we work with small publishers to print and sell their products through our retail stores and we'll be launching our wholesale service for distribution to other stores by spring. It would be possible to set up some sort of direct print/distribution in partnership with the designers using any web portal as the retail front end. The only two sticky points become money flow and file format and design compatibility. With our existing clients we often have to tweak files and send files back with suggestions for modification so they will be print nicer using our print production process. The POD card process is just different enough from larger offset printings that is has a few unique printing production concerns and most of such can be headed off at the design process.

If you are interested in talking further, drop me a direct line at rjohnson@guildofblades.com and could arrange a time to talk.

Thanks,
Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group
http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php

tdishman
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brisingre wrote:I don't

brisingre wrote:
I don't really do card games, but many of my games revolve around tiles. I'd be interested in putting them on a print-and-play site like that, but it doesn't sound like that's quite what you want. Oh well, I'll certainly check it out when you finish it.

While the site was designed with card games in mind, there is no reason why it couldn't be used for other types of games as well. It was much easier for me to design the site with only card games in mind, but I truly hope that many people find creative uses for it.

In fact, the only thing I think you might find restrictive is that the feature that generates printable PDFs does so under the assumption that the images being printed are sized like cards (2.5" x 3.5"), and creates pages of 3x3 cards. I'm sure you could work around that with a little trial and error.

I'll send you a PM with more details.

eyerouge
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Sounds nice. We'd be

Sounds nice. We'd be interested in checking it out for subversiva.org ... message me the details.

152710914
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You might want to give a

You might want to give a shout on the Lackeyccg messageboards about this, since a lot of CCG/TCG designers are hanging out there (myself included).

I am very interested in your site, and willing to check it out... let me know
marmatone AT hotmail DOT com

you might alo check out my blog about the Wuxia Pian card game I am creating...

http://wuxiapiangame.blogspot.com/

brisingre
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Full-page sheets

The possibility to upload full-page images of tilesheets in addition to nine-cards would make me very very happy. All of my components are printable (well, either printable or easily obtainable, we all have D8s by now...) However, a lot of them are either full-page (well, four-page) sheets or are hexagonal tiles that won't fit perfectly in the nine-card model but could be uploaded as full-page sheets easily.

tdishman
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I do plan on adding a more

I do plan on adding a more generic upload/download feature so that game developers can add files (spreadsheets, emulator files, or supporting PDFs for example) to their game.

I have also considered making the "card" images more dynamic, so you can specify the size of the printed cards (and then the output print file would display as many as possible).

brisingre
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That'd do it

I'm in.

hoywolf
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Can't Wait For It =)

Hey tdishman, I'm a huge card game fan, I trying to develop a card base game (board game) because I feel i can actually publish it, I do have a few ideas of making a CCG/TCG as well but yeah two things come to mind, the market and distribution, both are huge walls that can prevent me from even getting my game out.

I'm not a fan on how the market is working for CCG; its all about licensing... UFS, VS, WoW, Pokemon, Bleach, Kingdom Hearts and the likes all made it through by being licensed. I am very interesting in Spoils though, its probably the only non licensed CCG out there (other than Magic: The Gathering and L5R, which have been around for a while).

I would love to share my games on your website, as I feel I cant get a foot in the card game industry, but sharing my game with other, man that would be sweet. I can't wait for your site to come up. =)

As a background for me, I've been playing CCG more than half my life, and in the latter half, I have won many VS PCQ (Pro Circuit Quilifier), WoWTCG regionals champ which then lead to me getting top 8 to get an invite to the $100k world champ tournie for WoWTCG. So I do know my stuff, whether its constructed, sealed, or draft; if any other designers would like me to help play test your games, I would be glad to help out. =)

InvisibleJon
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Did 'n done. =)

tdishman wrote:
The Juggernaut game you linked to looks like the perfect type of game for this site. There are no rules or qualifications for you to post your games (other than being willing to share with others).
I've gone and posted Juggernauts. I even used the snazzy "make your own URL" feature: http://www.cardgameforge.com/games/juggernauts

I think it's perfectly serviceable, and a great start. I was able to do pretty much everything I felt I needed to. I hope more people avail themselves of this neat new service you're working up.

tdishman
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Thanks!

I really appreciate you taking the time to upload your game and provide some valuable feedback. The whole intent of the "friendly URL" feature was so you could share your game URL on other sites, exactly as you have done here.

I have a lot of new features that I'm working on. There are some that I believe will definitely be useful to you. I'll keep you up-to-date as I progress.

brisingre
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Noticing the entries for commerical ccgs

Just out of curiosity, are those there to stay as prototypes, are they fill-ins to prove the system works that works that will be removed when the site goes into proper use, or are they something that you intend to fill out? I know all of Magic's images are pretty much available, I'm not sure about the others. It'd actually be great to have these cards in a format designed for printing, I've always wanted to play casual Magic with prototype decks of printed cards, rather than being limited to my (admittedly not small) collection. I don't know if you'd be in line for a lawsuit, but I kind of doubt it. These images are, after all, everywhere...

tdishman
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brisingre wrote:Just out of

brisingre wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are those there to stay as prototypes, are they fill-ins to prove the system works that works that will be removed when the site goes into proper use, or are they something that you intend to fill out? I know all of Magic's images are pretty much available, I'm not sure about the others. It'd actually be great to have these cards in a format designed for printing, I've always wanted to play casual Magic with prototype decks of printed cards, rather than being limited to my (admittedly not small) collection. I don't know if you'd be in line for a lawsuit, but I kind of doubt it. These images are, after all, everywhere...

Some of the games are there purely to take up space (like Jyhad and Spellfire). In any case I don't have any intent of taking them down (they're not really hurting anything). I would love to add more cards to MtG, but I personally don't have the time (most of my time is spent on my regular job, my crazy homelife, and then on development for the site). If someone wants to volunteer to work on adding those cards, I would gladly add them as an editor to the game.

brisingre
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Boredom

Some day in the future, I will be really bored and fill up Magic. I'll tell you when that is, I don't even have an account on the site yet.

tdishman
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Very cool new feature

I've been working diligently on my card game site (www.cardgameforge.com), and I've added some (what I think are) very cool new features.

The first feature is a CSV card upload. You can take a spreadsheet of cards that you've made, and add them to your game all at once. Previously you had to add them one-at-a-time, so hopefully this will save some time. Here is a screenshot of this feature:

http://www.cardgameforge.com/images/screenies/csv_import01.jpg

The next feature is the card image maker. You can take cards that you added or uploaded, and map card fields (name, card text, etc) to locations on a card template. The card maker will automatically create JPG images for your cards. Here is a screenshot of the card maker in action:

http://www.cardgameforge.com/images/screenies/card_maker01.jpg

When it's all said and done you'll end up with a card that looks something like this:

http://www.cardgameforge.com/images/screenies/sample_card01.jpg

I can add new card templates pretty easily (although my graphic design skills are suspect, at best). At the moment I only have 1 card design, but I plan to add many more styles in the future.

InvisibleJon
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Awesome!

tdishman wrote:
I've been working diligently on my card game site...

(*snip*)

The next feature is the card image maker. You can take cards that you added or uploaded, and map card fields (name, card text, etc) to locations on a card template. The card maker will automatically create JPG images for your cards.

That is bleeping awesome! Thank you very much! I might start putting all of my card-driven games in there, just to get the templates for print-out.

Nice work.

tdishman
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Privacy

InvisibleJon wrote:
That is bleeping awesome! Thank you very much! I might start putting all of my card-driven games in there, just to get the templates for print-out.

Nice work.


If you haven't already discovered, you can set your games to Private so that others can't see what you're working on. You can add a user whitelist to your game if you want to invite or allow specific users to access your game (for playtesting, for example).

To make your game Private, click on the "Edit Privacy" link in the About tab of your game. You can turn on/off the whitelist feature, and optionally add users that can access your game (if no users are on the whitelist, then only you can access the game).

I plan on implementing a similar feature at the set level (so you can work on a set without it being available to everyone, but without having to hide the rest of your game). That feature should be coming soon.

I also noticed that you've added decklists to the Rules pages. I'm also working on the ability to add decks to your game (basically shortcuts to predefined print-lists). Hopefully both the game developer and other users will be able to add decks to a game (complete with commentary and discussion).

brisingre
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Wow...

You're really doing this right...

rossetti926
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Been looking for something like this...

I've got a game started (been working on it since 2002) called World War CCG which will probably never be considered finished (new ideas surface everyday) that I've added to your site. I can't wait for the card image maker, then I can start sharing my game. I do however have over 350 different cards printed that have been tested multiple times, so I know my game runs smoothly. Unfortunately uploading 350 cards will take forever, so I added a list to my blog on your site. I hope, at some point, to upload all the graphics and stats. Can't thank you enough for creating a method to share my game with everyone.

tdishman
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rossetti926 wrote:I've got a

rossetti926 wrote:
I've got a game started (been working on it since 2002) called World War CCG which will probably never be considered finished (new ideas surface everyday) that I've added to your site. I can't wait for the card image maker, then I can start sharing my game. I do however have over 350 different cards printed that have been tested multiple times, so I know my game runs smoothly. Unfortunately uploading 350 cards will take forever, so I added a list to my blog on your site. I hope, at some point, to upload all the graphics and stats. Can't thank you enough for creating a method to share my game with everyone.

First off, thanks for sharing! In my tireless quest to gain some traction on the site, it is a great relief to see a few kind folks share their works.

I have a few suggestions for you:

1) It looks like you posted your rules as a comment to a page in the rules (rather than editing the rulespage itself). It's good to witness this behavior, as it shows me what changes I need to make to the site. If you click on the "Rules" tab of your game you can then click the "Edit This Topic" to post the rules into an actual rules topic (rather than just in the comments). The rules are broken into a series of topics, each with its own "page". You can add new pages to your rulebook by clicking the "New Topic" link.

2) You can upload your cards as a CSV file. If you go to the Cards tab of your game, and then click the "Import Cards From CSV" link you will be prompted to provide the file, and then map the columns in the file to card fields for your game. You can typically save any spreadsheet as a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. In Excel, for example, you would click File->Save As, then choose CSV as the format from the drop-down list near the bottom of the Save As dialog box.

Once your cards are imported you can use the "Make Card Images" tool (also located in the Cards tab), which will let you create simple card images from your text-based cards. Feel free to send me a PM if you desire further demonstration or help. These tools are as-of-yet unused by most, so I'm very interested to learn whether or not they're intuitive.

Keep in mind that I'll be tweaking the site and making (what I hope are) improvements for the foreseeable future. Next on my list is the ability for game designers (and players) to create custom decklists which can be quickly printed by other players. Please let me know where you see room for further improvement - I'm eager to hear you suggestions.

rossetti926
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Just some feedback

I was able to upload all of by cards and their stats to the site, no problem there. I was also able to put the rules into topics. Two things though. I'm assuming you can't delete comments(which means my rules stay as a comment) and when I create an actual card, the card text is bunched up, and longer words in the top right don't fit well. Other than that the site works great, now I just need to start adding those pics for each card, how do I do that by the way?

tdishman
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rossetti926 wrote:I was able

rossetti926 wrote:
I was able to upload all of by cards and their stats to the site, no problem there. I was also able to put the rules into topics. Two things though. I'm assuming you can't delete comments(which means my rules stay as a comment) and when I create an actual card, the card text is bunched up, and longer words in the top right don't fit well. Other than that the site works great, now I just need to start adding those pics for each card, how do I do that by the way?

I added myself as an editor to your game so I could tweak the card image feature. I went ahead and created images for more cards in your WWII Limited Extension set, and fixed some of the issues you pointed out. The text alignment still needs some work, but I think it is more legible than it was. I plan on continuing to work on the card maker algorithm so that the images generated keep getting better.

You can upload card images on a per-card basis by clicking on a card in your list, then clicking the "Edit This Card" link. You can then upload your own card image from your computer to overwrite the auto-generated image (if one exists). You should keep in mind that each game is limited to 10MB of image disk space, approximately room for 500 images if you keep your images at around 20KB each. I'm hosting the images myself, so hopefully you'll understand the need for the limit. If necessary I can raise your game limit, but please try to keep your images compact.

I also went ahead and deleted the rules comment you added (you are correct, there is normally no way to delete comments).

Also, did you know that one of your card sets is private? (the Deck Alpha card set has the whitelist enabled, which basically hides it from any other users). As far as I know that was on purpose, but I just thought I would mention it.

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