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how to get artwork and ideas on to a card?

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SinJinQLB
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Joined: 12/02/2012

Hi everyone!

I have been following this forum for about a week now and enjoy it very much! I was hoping someone here could help me out with this:

I am nearing completion of my card game, and want to make a full prototype - as close to the real thing as possible. I want it to look very nice and professional so that when I show other people, they will be impressed. Ultimately, I hope to bring this game to some conventions and also approach some publishers with it.

I've done all the artwork myself. The pictures are hand drawn. My question is, what is the best way to get my pictures, along with all the icons, text, and so forth, on to a set of cards? My guess would be that I want to first get high resolution scans of my artwork, then maybe bring my artwork into a program like Illustrator and add text, icons, and so forth. I would do this for each card. Then do I take each card "file" to some place that can print them on to cards for me? And then from there, how do I get a box made to hold the cards? I am interested in the practical steps to getting my cards from raw artwork and design to a fully realized, boxed card game.

I realize there are Print and Play places online, like Game Crafters. But I checked their website, and they say that sometimes the card fronts and backs will be misaligned, and that solid colors don't print so well... it just doesn't sound like very good quality. I want to print at least one set at the highest quality possible. Or is that pointless? Should I focus on just printing a playable copy and then if it ever gets picked up, let the people with money print the "perfect" copy?

Anyways, any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
SinJinQLB wrote:I want it to

SinJinQLB wrote:
I want it to look very nice and professional so that when I show other people, they will be impressed. Ultimately, I hope to bring this game to some conventions and also approach some publishers with it.

A true mockup will be very expensive and is not necessary for submitting to publishers.

Silverdreams
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Joined: 12/09/2012
Just a few thoughts

It's wonderful that you are so far along with the game, but here's a concern... have you actually PLAYED the game yet? The physical appearance of the card is not at all important if the game itself doesn't handle well. Just reading your post it doesn't sound like you've playtested it, but I may be wrong. There is nothing wrong with hand-cutting a bunch of cards and just writing the text in pen, in order to get a physical feel for the way it plays.

This is what I have done with my game. Granted I have also put the effort into gathering the artwork, laying out the cards (GameCrafters has several great resources for this) and everything else, but I haven't yet playtested the game extensively. Right now I have a full deck that I cut out from cardstock and wrote all the text without worrying about the art, so that I can shuffle, deal and actually play the game. Once all the kinks are worked out I can make any adjustments to the print-ready copies and go from there.

If you are already past all of this, then great! If you follow the advice that Game Crafters gives you then there should be no problems with the cards they produce, but of course there are other other printer services. If you have concerns about the quality a look through your local phonebook and a few calls to printing companies in your area might get you something as well, and that way you can work directly with the printer and see every step in person. If you're only looking for a single copy of the game to showcase it would be helpful having someone right there to give you the advice that works best with their equipment.

SinJinQLB
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Joined: 12/02/2012
I appreciate your replies.

I appreciate your replies. This is helpful information! I have play tested it thoroughly, and have also been through a number of rough versions, making tweaks and changes along the way. I'm now ready to create an as-polished version of the game as I can afford.

It sounds like I don't need a super perfect version though when I get ready to show publishers.

ender7
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Joined: 10/07/2008
If you're submitting to

If you're submitting to publishers, focus on making sure that the art provides clarity and makes the game easy to play. A publisher may choose to change your theme, or commission brand new art if they take the game. But they'll only choose to take the game if they can get through a play of it on their own with ease. You don't need pretty, you need highly-functional.

duchamp
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Joined: 12/25/2012
making cards

Well, anybody does it differently, I guess. Here is my way:

Make a file in CorelDraw - 10 cards per page. Fill in art, icons, numbers, text. Make it CLEAR and printer-friendly.

Doing some cardback page. Mostly some pattern to make it impossible to recognize information, even when light shines through the cards from behind the player.

Print it both sides on good paper. I always use the brochure paper that comes with my HP value pack of ink ...

Laminate it. Bes ure to use matte finished laminate foils, instead of glossy!

Cut the cards.

Round the corners with this:
http://www.falambi.de/images/product_images/popup_images/falambi_eckenst...

You can round corners of stacks up to one cm.

Result looks ike these here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1514246/duchamp

It is not too much work, and people ARE quite impressed when they see them. ;-)

SinJinQLB
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Joined: 12/02/2012
Awesome! This, along with the

Awesome! This, along with the other advice, was exactly what I was looking for. Duchamp - your game looks very interesting! Is there more information about your game on the web anywhere?

duchamp
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Joined: 12/25/2012
I am glad that I could help.

I am glad that I could help. As I said, you need some tools like a laminating device or the "rounder", but when you do 20 prototypes a year, this investment is a good one! ;-)
Regarding my game: The BGG site is a good starting point. My designer diary blog can be found there as well as a link to the German (more extensive) site.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/133835/steam-noir-revolution

ender7
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Joined: 10/07/2008
You may want to look at

You may want to look at Nandeck, a free program for designing playing cards, counters, etc. It's a pretty powerful program, and the developer is very responsive if you have any questions. http://www.nand.it/nandeck/

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