Is there anything you can’t do online nowadays? Websites were, in part, created to share information and publically (or privately) document the knowledge and opinions of others. In an age where you can literally run a company sitting on your cell phone in a coffee shop, we turn to the World Wide Web for guidance. This case is no different and I was happy I did so. Which online tools are best for creating your very own TCG? Saving you some time, I’ve gone ahead and disseminating the best of the best. Well, by no means is this list the best of all time, but they are the best out of 10+ tools I’ve found and tested.
With the many online TCG creators out there it’s hard to pick one … UNLESS you know exactly what you’re looking for. If your game takes nods from YuGiOh or Pokémon, or even Magic, then it’s probably best to use card makers with a fixed style. If, however, your card game is completely custom, then I would suggest an open style maker like Deckromancy. Anyway, let’s tool up!
MTG Cardsmith – (FREEware)
An online tool for creating your own custom MTG (Magic) or MTG like trading cards. This is just one of a couple MTG online tools out there. They all pretty much to the same thing so I didn’t list them all. This site requires you to register, as it saves your custom cards and decks and has a community based around it. It has a lot of customization related to the types and styles of existing MTG cards. A definite for the MTG fan or user of the MTG card format.
Card Maker – (FREEware)
The second of a few MTG card makers out there. This card maker is actually at it’s core a TCG/CCG creator, as it also offers Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh formats. This was the second online card maker I’d ever used and I loved it. The online tools may seem a bit restrictive in its formatting as it uses a fixed style format. You’re locked into the placement and sizing of common elements though. If that’s right up your design alley (or you’re just not picky), these group of tools get the job done.
Deckromancy Web – (FREEware)
Yes, you read correctly. Deckromany also provides on online card design tool so you can create and print your custom TCG cards without the cost. What’s the catch? They watermark all their cards with “Edited online at Deckromancy.com/web. The online creator is just as robust as the stand alone and it even provides users with pre-designed templates (SKIN files) to load up and modify. They even have a HearthStone card generator.
WOW Card Creator – (FREEware)
And speaking of HearthStone, looking to create a CCG/TCG with the World of Warcraft look? Or maybe you designed custom WOW decks that you’d like to play with friends. Welcome to the WOW card creator. All cards are fixed styles of existing types of cards and all you do is modify the Tribe, Class, Vitals, Rarity Text and costs. Plus add your own custom image for that authentic WOW card look and feel. Though it is freeware, the site does take donations and creators should register so they can save their cards and decks for later access and printing. The presentation is very stylized and professional, but keep in mind the creators of this card generator are not affiliated with Blizzard.
My Pokémon Card Creator – (FREEware)
Another tool in a long list of Pokémon card makers I had come across online. They all pretty much provide you with the same style of cards, assuming you’re creating your own pocket monsters for the existing popular game format. Or even if you just like their card setup. Great thing about this one, and what makes it standout in the sea of Poké-card generators, is that it also supports 5 languages; English, French, Spanish, Polish and Japanese. It watermarks every card with a “-fake card-” in the footer where artists’ credits would normally be found, taking responsibility for not supplying cheaters with faux cards. Also, the quality of the JPG raster image is degraded so that there is no way to fake a custom card that can be used in tournament play anyway.
Trading Card Creator – (FREEware)
Originally created as a online tool for students, this webware can still provide you with some essential elements for creating trading cards. The software is very nice and easy to use. I came across this tool sometime after working with 3 other online card generators. It’s clearly designed to be a flip card generator for educational purposes, but with some simple design creativity this could be used to create game cards and basic TCGs. It’s a stretch, but it does work.
There are a plethora of online tools to design and generate cards. So much so that it might be beneficial to give 2 or 3 of the aforementioned options a good run through. Based on what you prefer versus what works best may be a matter of trial and error. If web access is an issue and you’d like to keep your cards save locally, then a desktop program might be best. Just be ready to fork over some cash. Who knows. You may already be using a graphic program to generate artwork for use with these online tools. Almost all the online tools are free, but one catch is your stuff is saved in the clouds. Plus, you must consider print resolution and flexibility.
Find all the links to the whole series right here. And for any tools and services that you feel are worthy to mention, please let me know in the comments below.