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Tips on card designs?

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jedite1000's picture
Joined: 02/18/2017

Can anyone give me some pointers when coming up with a card template, whether its a TCG or cards for boardgames whatever

Tips I'm looking for such as

ATK,HP,STATS location
pros of having borders or no borders
Type of text for card effects
character type, race, class icons etc and the best placements
Design of cards such as colours and shapes to form a neat design template

Just something that helps the cards look professional

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
Hi Jedite, The best place to

Hi Jedite,
The best place to start is to look at successful card games and their designs.

Not all of the design decisions are obvious, though:
Borders are good because cards can seen from the edge of the deck, also it makes printer alignment issues less obvious.

Put the most critical info in the top left corner where the player can easily scan them with their cards fanned in hand.

Put pure flavor at the bottom of cards because we read top to bottom.

Break the design into zones, often the top third is a picture. But do what makes sense to your design.

jedite1000's picture
Joined: 02/18/2017
Thanks for the tip, i just

Thanks for the tip, i just like to show you an example of the progress i made with my TCG even go far to change the game completely twice

So my first game was called Minimon fusionz. The mechanic is basically all monsters have a sacrifice ability and also have the ability to fuse with another monster to become a stronger monster. I played this game with my brother but told me it was too confusing. Here is a sample of the first card

I then revamped the design into this

What made it confusing for my brother was the mechanic of strength and weakness, each monster had a different attack stat depending on what is on the opponent's field

The card back and logo of my first card game

So i ditched that idea and created a whole new game called Minimon worlds, I got a lot of backlash from my TCG community on Youtube because the design aspect was too similar to a TCG called Chaos Galaxy, which the biggest TCG in our community right now. I didn't think it would be a problem since the creator doesn't own the whole planet design aspect thing. When i was young before youtube and the internet i used to draw fantasy planets with weird plains and interesting lands

I actually made a few versions of the card until i was happy with the final design

The first design

The seconds design

Apart from the planet design (i actually called my planet, world)
It was very different from chaos galaxy
I had a mechanic that you have 3 different monster cards that do different things
Attack monster cards, defender monster cards and support monster cards, and also the monsters belong to a certain world so you can make a deck out of which planet you like to build around, also each planet had a different gameplay mechanic from each other, so you can choose which planet suits your play style.

Moving on.

With my 3rd game revamp i decide to drop the word Minimon and changed the game to Monster Summon, this has been so far the most successful as it is more known to our community and i actually played it on tabletop simulator with a couple of random strangers and also a member of our community. (It is still in the workshop on steam)

I went through a few design aspects also as this is the first

And the redesign

and the logo and back of my game, which i still like

Even though i do like the current design, i still think it needs another redesign but i still like the current game mechanics, its just doesn't look very professional, it could be due to my lack of creativity i dunno. Even though it has been my most successful, it is still not good enough for my tcg community, it is on their radar and they know about it, they just don't really care and i don't think they want to support my game. I have bought many cards from the TCG community on the game crafter and i made pack openings of their cards on youtube, a lot of the community does that and they buy and open each other's packs, i just wish i could get the same support as i have supported them. The community is what keeps me motivated to create more but if i get no support then i lose motivation. So maybe why my game is so unsuccesful is because the card design looks too childish, unlike chaos galaxy, resolution breakers and wrath of cores, they each have a professional quality

Only thing i like and will keep is the color background of the monsters, and the monsters themselves, the rest i can change

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
TCG/CCG won't sell

#1 tip: don't expect to sell a TCG/CCG. You won't. Any publisher willing to put up a couple million $ just to get started, despite the huge barriers, will make their own, quite likely with some well-known IP behind it to give it a chance.

Make an LCG instead.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
XTG3 not LCG...

lewpuls wrote:
...Make an LCG instead.

Make an XTG3 Product instead:

LCG is copyrighted by FFG! Check it out on BGG too:

jedite1000's picture
Joined: 02/18/2017
Ok here is a rough template

Ok here is a rough template of my design i might go towards

Monster stays in the middle
Name top middle
i have the monster type such as fire, magic,dark, light ect but as an icon instead of a word
The monster class type will be on the top right such as ninja, elemental, angel, fairy, zombie ect. and it will also be an icon instead of a word

In the middle ontop of the text box will still say basic, elite, unique (no icon)

text box is where the info would be

atk and hp numbers probably wont change and will remain basically where they are now

As for the text box, dunno if people like text boxes to be transparent or solid color

And probably wont have borders around the cards

tikey's picture
Joined: 03/31/2017
Ok, card design. The

Ok, card design.
The important thing to keep in mind is the function of the card, which is to convey information to the player in a way that is as clear and concise as possible.
In order to do that you have to list all the information you want to communicate, organize it and create a hierarchy. What's the most important piece of information? That'll be the focus of your card. Group information that's related next to each other.
Also, keep in mind how the cards are held. You'll probably have the top left corner visible at all times while the rest of the card is concealed, so that's your most important sector of the card.
Always give space to the information, don't clutter the card. White space is something that's really really important as it allows you to highlight information in a way that's clear and easy to find.
It depends on the manufacturer but it's a good idea to have a border around the card to avoid having the color bleed to the sides.
When selecting typefaces you shouldn't use more that three different fonts, better to use two, one for the body text and another for the header. Decorative fonts should be burned down, avoid them like the plague. is your best friend.
Beware of noisy backgrounds. It shouldn't interfere with the clarity of information.
Until you have a card layout completely solved you should forget about photoshop filters, textures and all the bling, make them functional and legible first and foremost.

ssm's picture
Joined: 04/06/2017
questccg wrote:lewpuls

questccg wrote:
lewpuls wrote:
...Make an LCG instead.

Make an XTG3 Product instead:

LCG is copyrighted by FFG! Check it out on BGG too:

Too funny that FFG threw money to 'buy' something in the public domain. When companies do this, it usually means they are too flush with cash while being run by giant egos, and those two things always combine for problems with that company.

Unknown Depths
Unknown Depths's picture
Joined: 06/14/2013
Some Tips & Tricks for Card Design

I've posted most of these in my blog on here but here's the direct link to them:

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