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Dice Duelz - Templates

Ok, so this is design frenzy...

...I currently spend literally every spare minute to work on "Dice Duelz - Legends". If you missed the introduction or my past blog entries: Dice Duelz is a dice battle game where each player takes control over 1 to 3 fantastic monsters in order to fight battles in the astral tournament. Each monster is represented by just one single card template plus a bunch of custom dice (will be shown later). This is very much like Pokemon on steroids with dice and a weird art style...

Today, the Monster card templates have been finished. Like in "Magic: the Gathering" there are five different elements in the game (Fire, Water, Earth, Sun and Dark). Where "Sun" compromises both "Air" and "Order". This required the same amount of templates, as you can see they share the same layout but vary in color style.

Some changes compared to the previous version of the template include:

  • bigger icon size, bigger font size
  • removed several blurs from the icons to increase readability
  • moved the zone indicators to the bottom of the templates (as they are just reminders)
  • changed the background (this teleporter thingy that can be seen behind the card title)
  • darkened the background making the actual art stand out more
  • added some swirls to each image to make it blend better with the background

now on to the template itself (sorry for the encrypted text, im still working on it):

  • template color indicates the element this monster is aligned to
  • Guard/Damage/Boost/Off are reminders that tell you that dice can be located at the four edges of a card
  • The five symbols on the left are the starting dice this monster is made from (each die is aligned to one of the elements).
  • the number on the right is the monsters cost (required in the advanced game when building a team)
  • the lower part is a multi-part textbox that describes a monsters abilities. each monster can have up to three abilities at maximum. here are the details:
  • the big numbers represent the ability cost (in energy)
  • followed by the actual ability text
  • the tiny diamonds on the left indicate that this is a link ability (explained later)
  • white symbols on the right of the textbox indicate the type of ability. a chain symbol represents a link ability, a starburst symbol represents a burst ability (explained later).

The art is BTW a mix of my own art plus fully licensed commercially available stock art with several modifications/alterations applied to it. this has proven to be the cheapest and fastest way of progression while still maintaining a really good looking, cartoonish art style.

phew...this is a TON of work BTW!

thanks for reading, stay tuned for more updates

cheers -Tobias (Fhiz)


Hold on there buddy


It's really cool to see the artwork as it progresses. I know that art is important to getting excited about the game, but have you playtested each of these monsters extensively?

I ask because it would be a real shame if you come up with a card template design that you really like, but then you have to make major modifications when you find out that one (or more) monsters is unbalanced. I recommend that you playtest with minimal art first so that you can have a good idea of how it all fits together before you put a lot of hours into the game, or else every little change might be really painful to make!

Hi, Thanks for your

Thanks for your comment.

Well testing will require a lot more time, for the monsters as well as the rules (starting soon). And there will be just about 10 of them, not hundreds of cards like in a CCG.

I know Im doing it in reverse order, but if there are major changes - i won't mind going a extra mile. Visual design is my absolute favorite and so I like to finish as much of it early on.

I am following this....been

I am following this....been away but will read up over the next few days!

Thanks hamish!

Thanks Hamish!

I like the look

I really like the art style of the game, looks pretty polished :). Where exactly are you finding the stock art to manipulate? That might be helpful for me when I move on to doing more art.

@jonathanflike : thanks, that

@jonathanflike : thanks, that was a lot of work acutally.

Glad you ask, be prepared for a long answer!

well visual design is what i can do best, rules take much longer :-)

For me it is the same sites where I find images for my clients. so we are talking about official stock art here, royalty free and with full licensing. sites like , or work quite well. the prices seem to be high at first, but if you buy a package and re-calculate what a single image costs you - it is MUCH cheaper than hiring an artist.

the quality is most often sub-par and they do not have images to fit super-specific genres (like steam punk etc.). So you will most often end up with generic fantasy, generic sci-fi or everything cartoonish. But it does the trick.

I would recommend that you first surf the site of your choice and bookmark each and every image that you think would fit your project. when you got everything together you can think about spending some money on that site.

after downloading follows the process of alteration (you are allowed to so according to the stock art license). the monster images in my examples above have not been modified much yet (but i plan to do so later on). but the template itself is a patchwork made from ca. a dozen different base images. each one carefully edited using photoshop, exported at 300dpi and then using either photoshop or a layout program (OMNI Graffle for mac is my favorite) to puzzle it all together. exported at 300dpi and then re-imported back into photoshop to do some final edits that the other program is not capable of doing. took me several hours on-and-off with lots of music and coffee to support.

hope this helps!


Haha that is very clever, I never thought about doing that. It might be helpful for generic cards for me. My only concern with using sites like those is that in the past I have found vectors on some sites where the "Owner" actually doesn't own the rights to the image he/she is selling. I was always concerned that would come back to haunt me in some random cease and desist lol, but with the alterations you mentioned you should be good. My only critique on the cards now that I look at them more is the icons are difficult to make out. The gradients seem to need to have a greater contrast between foreground and background though it may be just the upload. I know with my uploads here the quality is not even close to how it looks on the original computer or physically printed. That being said, I really like your layout. It hits that sweet spot between Duel Masters and Pokemon. I'm excited for you, it looks great, kudos :)

thanks again. no worries at

thanks again. no worries at the large stock art sites. always resarch first: is it a series of images and is there a clear style of an artists hand behind it or just some collection wildly thrown together?

I'll upload another template to check soon, of course this is all work in progress.

Not really.

There isn't really a single artist behind it, whenever I noticed it there were a few images here and there, incoherent collection of stuff. Like you type in "fireball" on some of these sites and there are people selling the MtG fireball vector icon, stuff like that. even on the big sites I've seen an artist post an original image and then a secondary artist will add an element to it and then resell it. You're right though, just have to filter the bad stuff and get the good. My assumption is that the websites don't do too much internal regulation. Pretty much on the honesty policy for the artists submitting work on the sites.

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blog | by Dr. Radut