No art skills? No problem! Part 2

Part 1 here: 

In part 2, we’ll be using Excel, and the updated version of MS paint (Paint 3d)

Paint 3D

Open up paint 3d! You want to go to the Canvas tab, and switch the sizing from pixels to percent. Type in 30 for the width. Or you can put in the exact pixel size for your card. Pokemon cards are 718 x 1000 pixels.

Step 1

Next, click back to the brushes, select your color and use the bucket (fill) tool on your canvas!

Step 2

To help figure out what you want, and where, it’s helpful to outline with rectangles! Go to 2D shapes, Pick the rectangle option, drag a corner to grow to the size you want. Then, adjust your line thickness and color to your preference! If the rectangle is a whole shape, you can change it to an outline by changing the fill option to none.

Step 3

Instead of repeatedly clicking on the 2D shapes, you can use the clone tool. Click the left-most option, and drag the new shape to modify it as you wish!

Step 4

Next, play around with the text options! Make sure to click on the letter “T” in the option bar before clicking where you want to place the text.

Step 5

Adding the Image: Go to the Sticker tab, and click add sticker. This uses the images on your device, so you’d have to download the applicable images.

Alternatively, you can also copy + paste an image from online using your keyboard shortcuts.

Step 6

Save to your computer!

Step 7


Open up a new tap, and put in what text you want first! Make sure you have some space between the text. make sure there are two rows before the first line.

Step 1

Next, use the numbered and lettered rows and columns to adjust the sizes en-mass. Make A and skinny- this will be the space between the edge of the card and the text.

Step 2

Select A2:C8, and use the bucket tool to fill the whole block in! This will be your base color!

Step 3

Next, select your text, and use the square button (it’s between the U and the bucket tool), and select the thick, outlined border.

Step 4

Select your card, and copy and paste it as much as you’d like! Then, select the lettered columns that correspond  with the space-filling areas. Adjust the size of one, and it will affect the other highlighted columns.

Step 5

Repeat for the horizonal rows, including the text and description boxes.

Step 6

Fill in and Print!!!

Step 7

No art skills? No problem! Part 1

No art skills? No problem! If you want to create a card game, and you can do everything except draw, this is for you!

One thing you can do is use other cards as an example, like pokemon cards, Magic cards, or any other game who’s aesthetic you like. If you have physical cards that you no longer care about, you can use white-out on individual lines, or white paint to cover the card.  That way, you can write out the information on the cards!

I will show some ways to design cards on your computer!

Let’s start with two classics- MSPaint and Microsoft Word!


Step 1

Open up a new canvas. Use the bottom right corner to drag to the size you want. Use the Bucket to fill in with a color you want.

Step 2

Use the box-drawing tool to map out where you want the different parts to go (title, image, description). Save a copy of this so you can make as many cards as you want from this base.

Step 3

Write what you want in the boxes you’ve made using the text tool. make sure to click the bottom option if you want the back ground color to show through.

Step 4

If you can’t make an image, find one! Search for what you want, and make sure to select “transparent” in the color options if you wan the background to peek through. If you plan on selling the game, click “Usage rights” and select “creative commons”.

Step 5

Copy and Paste your image onto the card using the left click options.

Final Product

Save your image and admire it! Make as many as you’d like!


Bored in your at-home office? Use your work tools for play! Open a new document and follow along….

Step 1

Click the “Insert” tab. Click on “Smart art”, then choose the kind of diagram that best fits what you want on the card. Hit “Ok”

Step 2

Fill in the cards with the information you want! You can also play around with colors +styles.

Step 3

For a card outline/aesthetic: Go to the insert tab, hit “Shapes”. Choose any of the rectangle options (I recommend the rounded kind). Then, adjust the size to fit over what you’ve done.

Step 4

Click on the “Shape format” tab.  You can play around with colors here! Click “Shape fill”, select “No fill”. This will give you the outline of your card! Then, if you want a different thickness for the outline, select “weight”, and then click on the number you want. Then, copy and paste your new shape, and move it over to the other Smart-art section.

Step 5

Go to the “Home” tab, and find the “Select” options. Select the drop-down, and hit “Select All”.

Copy the selection. Click below the cards you have and find the typing cursor ( I). Hit the Enter key until there is space after the cards. Paste your selection!

Step 6

Adjust your new cards until you’re happy, and then Print!


How to make a card game with tokens and extended gameplay

Step 1


Decide on a theme, idea or concept that you want to explore.

Step 2

Decide on a Game end goal/ how one wins the game.

This is where counters come in. How many does one need to win? Are they part of winning, or do you use them to retrieve other cards?

Counter examples: Health points in  Pokemon, a way to get assets in Netrunner, A way to count round victories (and bets in general) in Mahjong.

For the game I’m creating as an example, A certain number of each kind of token (Division and Romance) is needed to win the game.

Me trying to figure out the end goal + playstyle

Step 3

Balance in these kinds of games can be tricky.

I suggest using existing proportions from other things as a guide. For example, using the way currency is divided as a basis for card-to-token ratios. Nickels to Dimes to Quarters (20:10:4), as token type 1: token type 2: total cards, if you don’t mind having numbered tokens (or just a whole pile of them).  For the Example, to figure out how much of each type of card I wanted, I played off of the  average number of fic tags on any one work, and decided that balancing between 7 and 12 might do me good. Again, there’s no need to worry; play time with the game will help figure out the kinks, or even talking about the design with other potential players.

Handwriting,,, ugh
A look at me trying to figure out what I wanted the proportions to look like, with some name brainstorming at the top

Step 4

Design the cards.

The key to games that require reading is to make sure your font is legible for all your players. Using Dyslexic-friendly fonts, and making sure that the text is at a good size, especially if your players are on the older side.

Color-coding your cards can help distinguish them. Since tokens are involved, it can help to add any symbols on the tokens to the corresponding cards.

I used excel to help me with this step!

Color coding

A sampling of card names + some descriptions-in-progress

The ruler on the top of this page was especially helpful in designing these


Hacker vs. Corporation: the Card Game a.k.a. , “Android: Netrunner”

While researching Magic the Gathering (I had heard it was a fun play), I came across something else that piqued my interest: an extinct game by the name of Android: Netrunner.

At the Brain-dead hour of 4 am, the fast-paced commentary on the Netrunner U.S. Nationals 2019 The Cut was a pleasant listen. From what I’ve gathered on a brain full of sleep soup (probably better known as melatonin), I’ve gathered that it’s a combination of Magic the Gathering and Poker.

The game runs as follows: You and another player oppose eachother; one plays a corporation, and the other plays a hacker. Each team has to get 7 “agenda points”. Hackers gain them from taking the cards from the corporation, and the corporation from completing agenda card requirements.

Entertaining, or at the very least, compelling!

This game involves Resource management, and much like our own monetary system, there is some complexity. The game involves 6 kinds of tokens, most of which are double-sided to signify different things.

The Artwork is lovely as well!

An Example of the art
“The Personal Touch” Card Art

For those who want a true cyberpunk experience, this is the game for you.

Since it was cancelled in 2017, there’s no chance of getting new cards, but there is an online deckbuilder/play site here.

Good Society: a Jane Austen RPG

From Kickstarter project to off-the-shelf popular enough for a reprint, “Good Society” has come long way.

First released in 2018, funded by $154,774 Australian dollars from 2,677 backers,  it included a hardcover rulebook, between 20-36 cards (depending on how much you gave), and Pdf versions of the above.

Now, on its Storybrewer’s page, it offers one of its expansions in hardback as well, along with various expansion cardsets. The 280-page rulebook includes art and accompanying material.

The game is heavily focused on role-playing, which can be seen in it’s lack of numbered stats, and its LARP version that is also available to purchase. The traits used to navigate the game are the role you’re given, your family, desires, and your relationships.

Some unique aspects of the game:

    • NPCs printed on cards
    • Having a Game Master (GM/DM) is an option
    • Numerous Expansion packs ranging from servants to magic