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Desktop Publishing for Card Design

3 replies [Last post]
infocorn's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008

Hi all.

I'm working on a prototype, one simply for playtesting a new game called "BLACK SITES." I want to make larger-format cards (on the order of games like "ZOMBIES!" and its cityscape tiles). The problem I'm running into is that MS Office, while very universal, gets a bit too literal in its splitting of tables, meaning that as soon as I apply a set of rules to one cell, spiltting and reformatting becomes a true nightmare.

Now, I have access on a much more limited scale to a program speech therapists like me use called Boardmaker. It's much easier to free-hand most of your workspace into the shapes you need, but it's also much harder to divide those shapes into abilties text boxes and such.

MS Paint's an option, but it's harder on that to judge screen-to-print ratio and get size where it needs to be. Plus, assuming I do end up ok on size, I then have the added challenge of printing; using Windows' picture-printing wizard, even to make 4 4x6s, leaves me TONS of dead whitespace and waste.

There's GOT to be a better program out there for a budget-minded designer. Thoughts?

tdishman's picture
Joined: 08/05/2008
Look for Open Source

Here is a decent list of open source desktop publishing apps:

Open Source Desktop Publishers

One in particular I've used and which is highly regarded is Scribus:


seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

For card design, illustration, boards, etc. I would strongly suggest Inkscape. The only drawback is it doesn't handle CMYK color, as required if you ever need to go the commercial printing route, but other than that it is almost as good as Illustrator or CorelDraw, and it is freeware.

Joined: 08/08/2008
I'd recommend nanDeck

I'd recommend nanDeck -
(great for quick prototyping (including scalable card designs); you can also do a fair amount of vector- or font-based graphics with it, but for bitmap design you will need a separate package)

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