No art skills? No problem! Part 2

Part 1 here: https://chrisjonesgaming.biz/no-art-skills-no-problem-part-1/ 

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

Excel

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!

MSPaint

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!

Word

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!

Tada!

How to make a card game with tokens and extended gameplay

Step 1

Brainstorm!

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

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

 

How to make a Feats-Based RPG

What are Feats?

Feats are, boiled down, unique actions or abilities that one can do/have. A game that relies on feats over anything else generally has less reliance on stats or items, and is more about the imagery that comes from a more verbally-based adventure. Some videogames have them as part of a “talent tree”, in that feats have to be unlocked in  a certain order. In these games, some trees are blocked off if you’ve chosen a certain role or path. Games can use feats to boost base skills, or allow more flexibility in the actions your character can take.

Why Feats?

Feats let players do another level of customization, and lets them use something that isn’t for numbers, necessarily. Feats can allow for more fun and can create unique Interactions between other characters and the environment around them.

How do I make ’em? 

Feats tend to have limits of their usage in a certain time frame. That can help with balance in your game. A much stronger/ impressive feat will be given a longer time between uses than some thing simpler/weaker.  One can also have a limit per game of times each feat (or all feats as a whole) can be used.

You can bring Balance to your game through keeping things consistent, watching the usefulness of the feats, and allowing the feats to have in-game importance. Consistency can refer to the description used; keeping the feats at a similar level of power and/or versatility will help keep the players at a compatible level. Usefulness is also a factor in balance and also, consistency. Are your feats tied directly to the gameplay? Are they more for Aesthetic purposes? How you choose to integrate those will be based on the type of play you and your players are looking for. A more light-hearted game for comedy reasons may choose to have silly, more aesthetic-based feats, that do more for conversation than plot, because that is what players are looking for. 

Themes:

Themed around subject: What is unique to the chosen genre? What can only be done or be seen in the genre you choose? What tropes do you enjoy that can be integrated into your game?

Themed around the character’s species, for example, if the character is a merperson(triton, mermaid, generally aquatic),  a feat can be “Once a day, the player can issue a command to nearby lake or sea creature. The creature must do a wisdom saving throw of at least 15 to resist”. The feat is unique to the specie’s upbringing and environment, and can lend flavor to an encounter.

Themed around the character’s job. Things that only that particular class can do, even split into subgroups of effect types. For example, a wizard. A Wizard feat could be being able to duplicate a spell, or change the effect type from fire to ice. Subgroup examples include: feats that effect weapons, feats that affect the Player, feats that affect other players/NPCs, feats that effect the environment.

Your game can be themed around the players. People enjoy things that are unique to them; it makes them feel empowered and even loved! Including something specific about those that you care about can be a way to make that connection be brimming with joy, adding a sparkle in their day!

What do I actually write down?

At the heart of it, you want a name and a description.

The name should be an accurate summary that piques the interest of the player.

The Description should be clear and concise.

It can be helpful to add in any identifying traits (like if the feat is specific to the species/job) beside the name.

How to make your own card game

How to make a card game from concept to completion

What do you enjoy in the card games that you play? What will entice others to play?

For this example, I tried to create a card game that my friends would play. They enjoy relatively simple games, that one can do while talking or conversing. I chose Uno to be the base game, as all agreed that that was their favorite game.

I like the aesthetic of tarot cards, so I also added in their number system (1-10, then page, knight, queen, and king).

I chose a theme, next. I enjoyed the tiktok trend of “vaguely terrifying beasts as pests that just bother you occasionally” as the theme, and boiled down their appearance to “Oblong form in mask”. Simplifying the appearance of the card’s design increases it’s readability. Making your images overly complex can confuse your players (or yourself when coloring them).

After deciding on those, it’s time to design the cards!

I chose to match the number of the figures to the number on the card, to keep it consistent visually. Other options include making the numbers of objects equal to the value of the card (ordinary 52-card deck), creating symbolism to match the value (most tarot cards), or even just putting the value of the card as the main focus (a-la- UNO).

Consistency is key to make sure the players can distinguish different groups of cards from each other while still recognizing it as part of the group.

Matching color-schemes or patterns is the common route to solve that problem!

For mine, each group (distinguished by color) has its own pattern as well. To make sure that all the cards -regardless of color- are read as from the same game/set, I used the same line-art for the base. Making all the figures the same helps tie the card set together.

The video has the rest of the process!