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Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

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ACG
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I just thought of a crazy -- and very cheap -- way to make custom game cards without having to get a $30 set of PlainCards each time. I'm curious if this would work -- has anyone tried it?

1. Use QuickCards or some other program to make a 4x2 sheet of cards.

2. Buy a deck of regular playing cards which is roughly the size of the picture you want, maybe a little smaller.

3. From a convenience store, buy a bunch of pieces of paper with 4x2 sheets of blank name tag stickers (you know what I'm talking about -- the little sticky rectangles which say HELLO MY NAME IS on them). These have to be plain white stickers.

4. Run these through the printer and print the QuickCards on them.

5. Peel off the stickers -- now with your pictures on them -- and place them on the front of the playing cards. Presto -- pictures on cards with a nice-looking back on them.

Would this be crazy enough to actually work?

Thanks in advance,

ACG

Kreitler
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

ACG wrote:
I just thought of a crazy -- and very cheap -- way to make custom game cards without having to get a $30 set of PlainCards each time. I'm curious if this would work -- has anyone tried it?

I've done this and it works very well -- better than PlainCards, in fact. The labels take time to fully adhere to the coated playing cards, which means if you screw up application, you can easily peel and re-apply the name tag. Image quality is high (I've experienced smearing with PlainCards and an inkjet), the cards shuffle well, and you can't see through them.

The downside is that it's not significantly cheaper than the PlainCards solution. The name labels cost about $20-$25, I think, and a deck of cards is something like $1.50. Given that the results are so much better, it's a great solution.

Another possible downside is that you can see through the name labels to the original card underneath. This isn't a big deal if, especially if you have a lot of printing on your labels, but can be a bit aesthetically unpleasant. The good news is that you can order double-blank Bicycle playing cards on the 'Net (here)..

I'll post some digital photos of a few of my cards when I get a chance.

Mark

ACG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

Which type of stickers should I buy? There are probably several different brands of 4x2 HELLO stickers running around, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them don't have the stickers in the same position as the QuickCard images.

ACG

CardboardAddict
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

I've got two ways of making pro-looking cards.
I do the design myself with Flash MX, Photoshop CS2
and Corel Draw 11, then I print them either directly
on 220 gramm A4 paper (the best my inkjet printer
will cope with) or I print them on a A4 stickerpaper
sticking that to a 220 gramm A4 Paper.

(The last thing I do when I send it to a publisher, it
just is that wee bit better to hold in your hand)

Question: you weren't really printing one card at a
time, were you?

ACG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

Nope. I've got a whole bunch of little cards. About 180 (two decks, one with 110 cards and one with 70). I've never tried putting A4 paper in my printer (is that size playing-card sized).

ACG

evilupine
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Joined: 09/04/2008
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

Here is a great resource for understanding different paper sizes:
http://www.prepressure.com/library/papersizes.htm

theonomous
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Another idea

I'm quite new to designing prototypes, but for my first batch of cards I designed them myself on the computer (like you do) and printed them out, then inserted the printouts into the card protectors you can buy at any comic book shop. They're easy to change--if I don't like one I can remove the "card," print off the changes, and replace it. And you can get that nice stiff card feel even if you're not using heavy weight paper by inserting a playing card into the sleeves, as well. Seems to work well at this stage, while we're still working on the details of the system. Dirt cheap, too--the most expensive item are the card protectors, but you can get 50 of them for a couple bucks (though each kind fits a differently-sized card).

cedrick
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Another idea

theonomous wrote:
...for my first batch of cards I designed them myself on the computer (like you do) and printed them out, then inserted the printouts into the card protectors you can buy at any comic book shop.

Did you print your cards on plain paper or cardstock?

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

For early playable-prototypes I just rip off quick and dirty graphics on cardstock through my deskjet printer, then slice & dice so each page gives me 8 2.75" x 4.25" cards... a good few sizes larger than a playing card, but servicable for early drafts and changes are quick to reprint and cut.

This is typically only for the stage where I am testing with co-designers or close friends.

As problems with the game design start to iron out, and the deck balance/card info stabilizes, I move towards something more representative of what the final will look like... correct the size, start to add some nicer graphics & icons, etc. Still I print on normal cardstock at this stage and cut by hand.

After that, I have never really produced cards to publishable level, or even final-prototype level. The few games I have actually finished have all been cardless, so we'll have to see! I've got one reaching maturity now (playtested rather extensively, no changes resultant from the last several rounds) that has two decks of cards in it and I'm about ready to put together a polished deck...

~Josh

theonomous
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Another idea

cedrick wrote:
theonomous wrote:
...for my first batch of cards I designed them myself on the computer (like you do) and printed them out, then inserted the printouts into the card protectors you can buy at any comic book shop.

Did you print your cards on plain paper or cardstock?

I printed on plain paper, and that seemed to work okay. I had planned to insert Magic cards in to stiffen the cards up, but I bought the card protectors for the smaller Japanese-sized cards without realizing it--so I had to deep-six that idea. I'll likely print them on card stock in the final draft process to give them a bit more of a cardlike feel, but they certainly work well at this point (especially if you don't mind just riffle-shuffling them).

I found that the business-card template that is available in Microsoft Word (under the Envelops and Labels option) worked perfectly for creating pieces of paper that fit logically inside those smaller card-protectors, so I'll likely follow a very similar process in the final drafting of the cards. Really fast and easy.

cafiend
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Joined: 03/17/2009
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

When I prototype card games, for a down and dirty approach, I use perforated business card stock (which you can get cheap at an office supply store) and use MS Publisher for layout, using their Business Card templates. Then I print them, punch them out and voila!

The catch is they aren't as stiff as true cards and are a pain to shuffle... but they are sturdy enough for testing, which is my total goal. I try to play test them with as many people as possible, to get the rough edges off and refinements made before I try to tackle making it look/feel like a more polished game.

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Idea to make game cards without using PlainCards?

There's something very strange about the price of those labels.

Avery 8395 labels are 2 1/3" x 3 3/8", an excellent fit for a 2.5x3.5" poker sized playing card, but they're $22 for a box of 160 labels at office max. The price is pretty typical everywhere. Those are normal sized sheets, 20 sheets of 8 labels.

There's also Avery 5147 labels. These are exactly the same sized label, but come on a 4x6" sheet of 2 labels. They cost $3.70 for 50 sheets (100 labels).

So if you buy the full sheets, it's 14 cents/label and the small sheets are 4 cents/label.

I've never figured out that pricing scheme, but since my printer has a 4x6" photo tray, I find the small sheets more convenient as well.

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