Guide for Card Creator – Compendium of Miscellaneous Things
About this guide
I’m active in the discord community of the Card Creator.
This guide is meant as a resource I can point people to.
It is not a complete guide about anything CC.
Somethings I will leave unmentioned.
This is just an aid to address common current issues,
as such I may add and remove sections.
Which size should my cards have?
The suggested size for cards is the American Poker Playing Card format, which is 3.5″ x 2.5″.
I second using this size. There are several reasons for this. For one, it is the card size, you will usually find a lot of support for in terms of things and services you can buy like sleeves, blank cards, and so on. But it is also mathematically speaking a good format to use, 7:5 (1.4).
As you may be aware, screens nowadays come in most popularly in 16:9 (1.77) format. As this seems to be very fitting for the human eyes. Some will attribute this to the magic of the golden ratio and whether or not that’s the causation, we can say that some value around roughly the golden ratio (1.61) feels good.
There is another important number to consider. You see, whenever you fold a piece of paper in half, it’s format changes. Lets say you have a square paper 1:1, if you fold it in half, you’ll have 1:0.5 and if you fold it yet again, in half, it’s 0.5:0.5, which is the same as 1:1. So every paper has these two formats it’s switching between. However, if the format is 1 to the square root of 2 (1.41), the other format is the same. That is what the Din paper norm is based on.
The problem is that the square root of two is not a rational number, which means you always gotta round, if you want to use it. So, let’s pick a good approximation, which is 7:5 (1.4), which is the Poker Card format.
You can then further assume that you want to have two areas, picture and text, which should be nice to look at. So, let’s pick 16:10 for those… which leaves you with a bit of a rest in 3:20 (0.15) format, which you can just use as the title.
Long story short, in a world where there’s always a bit of give and take, the Poker format performs as optimal as it can get. It is fairly adaptive, so even if you will in practice finally use cards in for example the German or Bridge format, it is still a good idea to design them in Poker format and then just project them on the other formats.
So far I’ve just talked about the format ratio, but not about the paper size itself. Maybe you want do design a Din A4 handout in the Card Creator? Still do design them as Poker Cards. Otherwise you will run into scaling problems, which I will explain in a separate section.
So, even though you *can* technically do other formats, just don’t do it. It’ll come back to bite you in several ways.
What you see is not what you get
There is a certain weirdness, when it comes to the card creator in that it doesn’t really give you the results you see, when editing cards. This comes down to how DPI are handled and the scaling of things.
While editing, you will see everything at it’s purest and best. So for example, if you import an image with 600 dpi, you will see it as that. However, if you export the card which then might only have 300 dpi, the image will scale down only during the export. For images, this is not too relevant, except of course, you probably want to know the proper dpi setting in advance, but other than some minor imperfections, it’s not a big deal.
The problem arises, when it comes to text and especially spaces contained in the text. These will produce a lot of scaling problems and the more you deviate from the intended Poker size, the larger these issues will get. For example, if you go for an A4 Paper (about 9 Poker cards), any text you see will have little to no representative value in terms of size. The text will still be on the paper, but forget any attempts at formatting it.
Sometimes even you might notice that text you have on a card while editing the card itself deviates from the text that is in the preview window of the collection view. What the export will finally do is anyone’s guess.
The funny thing is, if you were to screenshot the card in the editing process and then make a new card that just contained the screenshot of the card, it would be forced to now give you “what you see”.
For now just know that you cannot rely on your text being formatted accurately and the more you deviate from Poker Card size, the worse the problem gets.
The Curse of the Tabletop Simulator
Now, I use the Tabletop Simulator a lot and while it often infuriates me with bugs, glitches and missing support, it’s still the best testing ground for all your stuff. In the realm of the blind, the one-eyed is king.
Now, a problem is that some of the particularities from the Tabletop Simulator flood over to the Card Creator. If you want to import a deck of cards into the TTS, it’s based on certain templates that need to be filled out, which have a pre-set dpi. So now, if you want to Export from CC to TTS, the TTS template caps the dpi your cards can have.
Now usually, the cards people design in the CC are some type you might find in collectible card games. There is important text on them. For convenience’s sake, you might want to import as many cards as possible to the TTS in as few steps as possible. Well, bad luck. Because if you go for the default maximum, your DPI are gonna be so low, the text will hardly be readable.
What I do now, is that I will export them in sets of 4×5 cards. That’s a bit more work, yes, but it let’s you adjust the DPI to a more practical amount.
Exporting and Importing Issues
Lately, there have been a couple of reports on problems with the export and import functionality. So, let’s go over these, what’s user error, what’s avoidable and what’s a bug. Usually, when something goes wrong, there are no error messages.
CSV and Excel
A lot of people claim to have issues with the CSV and Excel functionality. And it’s very possible that there are some bugs on the loose here. However, there’s also some things you can do to avoid user error.
Do not simply import things from a CSV or Excel file. What you first want to do is give *every* field on the blueprint a name. It doesn’t matter which, it just needs to be unique and for your own sanity should not contain any spaces or special characters, most importantly, no commas or quotes.
Then do export your current set to CSV or Excel. The thus generated file is the one you will need to edit and can import back to the CC.
If there is still a problem, do report it to Fali with files, logs and all, so the issue can be traced.
PDF, TTS, IMG
As I explained earlier, what you see is not what you get. Your cards will get compiled into what will be seen in the final export. In the current version, sometimes the compiler will fail, crash or get stuck. This can happen seemingly randomly, but we know that you can influence your odds.
If the compiler has some extreme work to do, like make too many adjustments to the text because there’s just too much text on to little space, it’ll crash. Someone had put 100 or so icons on one card, that caused a crash as well.
So, don’t get too wacky. The CC is meant to make it easy for you to put content on cards based on a shared blueprint. It is not intended as a makeshift photoshop.
So, if the compiler silently crashes, just restart the CC. That might work already. If not, there’s at least a “foul egg” somewhere in your collection. By that I mean that there is a card which for whatever reason will kill the compiler.
If that happens, we need to find it. Luckily, if you set the number of cards of a particular one to 0, it will be skipped in the compilation process. So now we export each set at a time. If a set gets exported, there’s no foul egg in it. If it doesn’t, there’s at least one.
Now within each set, you can narrow it down by playing with setting card amount from 0 to 1 and vise versa. For example, if you set the first half to 1, the second to 0 and it crashes, you now know there’s at least one foul egg in the first half. If it works, then the first half is fine!
This is all that we can say about Card Creator – Compendium of Miscellaneous Things for now. I hope this post helped you. If there is anything that we should add, please let us know via comment below. See you soon!
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