Skip to Content

Quickly Generate Card sheets for prototyping

13 replies [Last post]
Darkehorse's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

What is everyone using to generate cards lately? I have a spreadsheet that I'd like to use to quickly generate the cardsheets for a prototype that I will cut out and sleeve.

Thanks in advance.

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
nanDECK for me

I use nanDECK for just about everything these days, with card data in text/CSV files (though for more complicated stuff I might use a spreadsheet). I have a basic template that I use for card sheets and a way of working that can get a full card set ready to print and play really quickly.

Darkehorse's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
good resource

While posting this question on a Facebook forum someone posted this link where they summed up a bunch of different options. Sharing for other people:

Joined: 11/19/2012
Fellow nandeck user. Bit of

Fellow nandeck user.

Bit of a learning curve and there are some bugs but I haven't found anything better suited to rapid prototyping cards.

Joined: 04/08/2012
Graph paper booklet

Take a yugioh card or magic the gathering card or a poker playing card and draw the outline on the farthest left on the graphpaper booklet.

You will get 10 sized 2.5 by 3.5 playing cards per sheet in your graph paper booklet. For the entire booklet, you can get 400 prototype cards out of your booklet.

If you dont have any of the card sized examples, draw a line of 14 squares down, draw a line by counting 9 squares across for the top and bottom. Then connect the next 14 squares down to get your 2.5 x 3.5 sized playing card.

On the inside of your prototype graph paper playing card, draw a square one square square away from the outside perimeter to make a window for your monster, hero or what ever you want. Basically again take a look at your collectable card from any game and draw the outlines for your card.

A picture of this sample will be added later today to the prototype album.

Happy hunting,

Joined: 07/03/2013

I use a simple excel template that prints out onto a normal sheet of paper that's sized to be fut out and fit onto the blank cards I bought off of The Game Crafter a while back, which I affix with a cheap glue stick. I then sleeve the cards with penny sleeves I found on Amazon.

This method doesn't accommodate any art, but it's quite easy for me, since i feel very comfortable with Excel. I've been promising to share my template for some time now, and since I'm almost done with my latest prototype, I will probably post it soon.

northgun's picture
Joined: 05/21/2014
I use nandeck as well. Takes

I use nandeck as well. Takes a bit of learning, but it is well worth it. Its the only "card maker" that has been able to fit all my needs so far

Joined: 03/02/2014

Another vote for nanDECK. When you find that just one card has more text than you planned for, you can't shorten it any more, so you want to shrink the main image on all the cards by 5 pixels, you'll be happy you used nanDECK.

Do the tutorial and you'll know enough to make basic cards. When you want to do something special (like making a race track, which I did for one game), look through the samples for the weird things that you can do, to find one sort of like what you want. One of the great things about the nanDECK documentation is that all the samples actually work!

Next step: Send Andrea some cash through PayPal. After I'd been using nanDECK for about a year, I thought about how much I would gladly have paid for the tool originally if I had known how much I get out of it.

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
Defnitely NanDeck here.

Defnitely NanDeck here. Though I compile and track text in spreadsheets, I use those to make the files that NanDeck reads.

If I had only one game and card layout, then maybe Excel. But with multiple games and card layouts, learning NanDeck pays off quickly.

Joined: 03/02/2016
I'm probably crazy and

I'm probably crazy and completely inefficient, but I do everything on Paint and use the Word to print. Seriously. It takes a lot of time, but for someone that have absolutely no clue about programming like me, it simply works.

adversitygames's picture
Joined: 09/02/2014
nandeck omg nandeck use

nandeck, omg nandeck, use nandeck

I just started using it recently and am still in the awesome glow of "wow I used to just throw my time in the drain doing crap work, now everything is faster and more fun"

Joined: 03/02/2014
Opinioso wrote:I'm probably

Opinioso wrote:
I'm probably crazy and completely inefficient, but I do everything on Paint and use the Word to print. Seriously. It takes a lot of time, but for someone that have absolutely no clue about programming like me, it simply works.

Well, I won't speak to crazy, but you're definitely being ridiculously inefficient. At the very least, use, which is paint but lets you create layers which are independent and has a bunch of effects and features that paint doesn't have.

But really, if you're spending more than a few hours a week, spend a couple of them to learn nanDECK. It isn't programming so much as assembly of cards by its parts. For instance, you say (in a simpler and more precise language)

All cards get an image at these coordinates; the name of the image is from column "IMAGE" in the spreadsheet
Set the current font to be Verdana 20 bold.
All cards get text (in the current font) at these coordinates; the text is from column "NAME" in the spreadsheet
Define location X to be these coordinates
Cards 1-20 get a blue circle at location X
Cards 21-40 get a red square at location X
Cards 41-60 get an orange diamond at location X


nand's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
Hello, thanks to everybody

Hello, thanks to everybody for the appreciation for nanDECK!

And to McTeddy, if you want to tell me something about the bugs, I can try to fix them. ;-)

Joined: 11/19/2012
You may have already

You may have already actually.

The last major card project I've done happened to soon after you updated to the graphical interface. I've downloaded the past few updates, just never got around to using them.

I seem to recall my major issues had to do with reordering elements. If I deleted or changed the order of items in the GUI the text would turn into a black box. If I saved the file, the issue would remain when I reloaded.

I probably should have let you know, since you are really good about both responding and being present on all these game design sites. I just tend to forget such things.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut