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Game Card Setup

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First Timer
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Joined: 10/09/2018

I'm at the stage now where I need to have cards printed for my game. Simple and easy to do, right? Not for me because I'm not as tech savvy as I need to be and

I've run into a roadblock. In order for me to get the cards printed I need to have them saved in a "compatible" format (jpeg, png...). They are saved in PDF and DOC formats but from this point my difficulties arise.

It's beyond me how to bring the files over into the printer's (MPC.com) format. I've given as much time as I can muster (been trying for about a month) and on several occasions I've wanted to my fist through the monitor.

Does anyone know or know of a reputable graphic artist/designer? MPC wants to charge a stupid amount of money to offer their help, although they did provide a tutorial which helped some. I'm looking for someone known to the gaming industry with a great reputation and a bunch of references.

questccg
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Some issues

When working with Word (.doc) files, the images are stored internally at a lower resolution (150 dpi). Usually printers want a resolution of 300 dpi.

Secondly when using the PDF format, one needs Acrobat (not only the Reader).

To do anything to "extract" the images, it will cost a license fee of $499 to purchase a copy of Acrobat from Adobe... Sure you can pay a monthly license fee (but I'm not sure how many months are a minimum).

As I mentioned, your BIGGEST concern is the resolution.

What FORMAT does the printer want? PNGs or JPGs??

I might be able to help you out... But first I need to understand what it is you WANT to do...?!

let-off studios
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Screen Shots

I'd start with taking a screen shot of the image (press the PRT SC button on your keyboard), paste it into MS Paint or some other graphics program, trim off the excess, and see if your results are acceptable.

Using MS Paint, you could save the images as JPG and a host of other formats. More sophisticated graphics programs (including paint.net, which is also no-cost to use) may offer more options to you.

Good luck!

Angrycyborggames
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Joined: 04/02/2018
if you are really not tech

if you are really not tech savvy i'd point you at the game crafter's component.studio. its $5 a month and outputs print ready pdf files.

its pretty perfect for play-ready prototypes, although youd have to put some hours in to learning the utility.

if you think graphic deisgners charge too much, you likely are underestimating the amount of work it actually is

First Timer
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Format and everything else

QuestCCG

The printer does want PNG's or JPEG's and a minimum resolution of 300dpi.

I originally saved my cards in an Avery 2" x 3.5" label format as a .DOC, printed the labels and applied them to a card stock I purchased. I then saved them as a PDF format.

I want my cards to look as they will when I begin to manufacture of the game. I'm going to have three games out for play testing and critiquing and I want the entire game, with the exception of the box, to look like it will when I proceed.

I'm trying to setup my cards on the printer's site (MPC) so they can print them into a 2" x 3.5" Business card format.

I tried using the PDF format in Windows 10 Paint 3D but it's not working because the cards are falling off-center and the image quality is very poor.

I'm open to your help and/or suggestions.

Thanks

questccg
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Okay ... let's see IF I can help you.

So for 2" x 3.5" Business Card Format, you require the following sized image: 600 x 1050 PIXELS (or 1050 x 600 pixels depending on the layout).

I think because of the DOC, they are probably layed out on the side (1050 x 600... I think).

So what you want to do is the following:

1. Open up WORD and ZOOM to a resolution of 350%. You need a high-resolution screen to be able to do this. I do it on my 27" secondary screen.

2. Position the view so that you can visualize ONE (1) Card.

3. Do a Shift-Prt Scr to copy a screen image.

4. In MS Paint (Paint) not 3D, PASTE your one card (Screen Shot).

5. It's not EXACT but close... What you do is SELECT the ONE (1) card ONLY. And then you choose CROP!

6. With the single card, you can choose RESIZE by Pixels, unselect "Maintain aspect ratio" and type 1050 and 600 (For Horizontal and Vertical sizes).

This should give you ONE (1) CARD. Yes I know it's very primitive and crude method (and time consuming too). But it will ensure that the CARDS are 2" x 3.5" (300 DPI).

If you have any questions please let me know. Cheers!

questccg
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Important!

If you don't have HIGH enough "resolution" ... Well then you won't be able to ZOOM to 350% and SEE one (1) ENTIRE Card. I can't do it on my laptop... Like I said I use a Secondary Screen which has super high resolution. And from there I can extract the cards ONE-BY-ONE.

It's not that complicated. But it takes time and explains why people are asking for money to do it. It's probably going to take a long time if you have A LOT of cards...

Sorry this is the BEST method that I know to ensure that the cards are ALMOST an exact sizing in the proper resolution (300 DPI and 2" x 3.5")...

questccg
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Almost forgot to say...

Once you have ONE (1) card ... You can SAVE it in MS Paint (Paint) as either a PNG or JPG. Remember that PNG is the better choice since there is no compression and the image quality is left undisturbed. When saving as a JPG file, there IS compression and the overall quality of the image may suffer.

So use PNGs first and if that is not possible, then use JPGs next and TRY to see if you can use "Highest Possible Quality" if the option presents itself when saving the JPG image.

questccg
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Another important point...

Does your printer require a BLEED??? Like 1/8" all around the card? I would ask to see if the printer can provide a TEMPLATE and make sure to ask WITH "BLEED".

And depending on your cards, you may have to adjust to correct both the Percentage (350%+) and the PIXEL size of each card.

Jay103
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Oy.Quote:I originally saved

Oy.

Quote:
I originally saved my cards in an Avery 2" x 3.5" label format as a .DOC, printed the labels and applied them to a card stock I purchased. I then saved them as a PDF format.

I'm barely even sure what this means.

You did your cards in MS Word, printed them onto label stickers, stuck the labels onto blank cards, and then.. "saved them"? What, scanned them? You can't save physical cards as a PDF.

I'm a bit shocked the printer can't take PDFs, but maybe they just can't take YOUR PDFs, which might be wonky.

You don't need acrobat to load a PDF that has a picture in it. Photoshop can certainly do it. I think even GIMP can do it as long as there aren't weird photoshop layers in it.

I'd check out the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and maybe that will do what you want.

The core problem is that you made your cards in Word, which is a word processing program, not a graphics program. Don't do that. I'm pretty sure almost anything would be better than that... GIMP can save 300 dpi TIFF files or whatever it is the printer needs (though it can't do CMYK color)

I'm a little suspicious of a pro print shop that (a) can't take a PDF (though again maybe yours are just wrong), and (b) CAN take a PNG file, which is a graphic display format, not a print format (in particular, color in a PNG is RGB).

questccg
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He says that he is NOT very tech savvy...

Jay103 wrote:
Oy.

Quote:
I originally saved my cards in an Avery 2" x 3.5" label format as a .DOC, printed the labels and applied them to a card stock I purchased. I then saved them as a PDF format.

I'm barely even sure what this means.

You did your cards in MS Word, printed them onto label stickers, stuck the labels onto blank cards, and then.. "saved them"? What, scanned them? You can't save physical cards as a PDF.

What I think he means to say is within MS Word, he saved the .DOC as a .PDF document. This is possible with newer versions of MS Word (nowadays).

But I don't think this is the TYPE of .PDF the printer is looking for. I'm not sure about printers who use PDF documents ... but to me it is sounding like one PDF per card (from some services that I have seen). Not some random format from a table in MS Word. It may be even 2 page PDFs with one side being the "backside" of the card and the other side being the "face".

That still doesn't help you...

@Jay: He says that he is NOT "computer savvy" that means things like Photoshop, Illustrator, PaintShop Pro, GIMP, etc. Are all STEEP learning curves just to layout some cards for a printer.

Perhaps I am wrong...?!

Jay103
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Well, this is the moment to

Well, this is the moment to either GET more savvy, or be prepared to hire someone to take care of this...

OP: Did the printer give a specific instruction on exactly what they want? If so, please post it here.

Depending on what you have, maybe I can help diagnose the issue.. I do have Photoshop, so I could probably open whatever it is you think you have :)

Quest's suggestion up above, where you're basically taking 4x-size screenshots of your cards, might be your best bet. Depends in part on how many cards you have. Issues like bleed will also come into play if your background isn't white...

evansmind244
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I have Adobe CC

How did you design the cards in the first place? What format is the ART work in?

I have Illustrator, and I'm willing to help if I can. What I did for my game was put 12 cards to a 11 X 8.5 sheet, give them space for cutting, and a small bleed and then had UPS print and cut them out for me. They can just print and you can cut if you need to save money. Usually a UPS store or a local print shop can adjust the fronts to the backs and get them close enough for your prototype purposes. My local print shop has Adobe CC and she can adjust the fronts to the backs perfectly no extra charge!!!!
If you send me your files I will see if I can upload them to Illustrator, line everything up, and then send them back to you in PDF's with bleeds and crop marks. Which would be the preferred format for a local printer or UPS type store. Feel free to post them Via Google Drive here or just PM me with your email, and I can download them from an email.
I am not a Graphic Designer but I can make some cards and line up your art.

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Generally speaking, Word

Generally speaking, Word wouldn't save anything in the 300 dots-per-inch resolution needed for professional printing.

So it might be that you need to do your cards again, using a program like Photoshop (or its free clone, GIMP) :(

PS Free card templates here: https://www.fairway3games.com/free-poker-sized-card-templates/

Cheap ones here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/design-assets (click 'card templates')

First Timer
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Joined: 10/09/2018
Thanks and appreciation

Thank you all for your helpful input. I will be trying the method by QuestCCG. If this doesn't work then I'll be redoing all of my 132 cards. I realize it's going to take a long time but I want it done right and I don't want to deal with any hassles when it comes time to move forward into manufacturing.

Thanks Again!!!!!

nand
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The best approach, IMHO, is

The best approach, IMHO, is to put all the cards' definitions in a spreadsheet (one line for each card, one column for each info) and then link it to a graphic program (like nanDECK), so you can build your deck, change something, and rebuild it with minimum effort.

First Timer
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Cards Completed

After struggling for a week and a half I got frustrated. I caved and hired a graphic artist off of UPWORK and I'm extremely happy I did. It was fantastic as the aggravation was quickly swept away! She completed them and uploaded them onto the printer's site (something else I would've had issues with for sure). I have the completed cards from the printer and they're perfect!!!!!! She's now working with me on designing my game board.

I'd highly recommend to those who are not good at graphics design to look in UPWORK. I very happy I did and I'm one step closer to starting my kickstarter campaign.

questccg
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Good for you!

Yes Up-Work is a good website to hire Freelancers. I believe that I hired our "Creative Writer" from Up-Work... He was easy to work with and delivered all the writing on-time too.

Sometimes it is worth it to spend a few dollars to get someone to help you, because you know it's going to be hours of frustration and swearing! (LOL)

Cheers!

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