The Game Crafter does more than just cards. The potential to extend your gaming with everything from cards to hex tiles to custom miniatures and tokens is limited by your own imagination. Browse the catalog and see what they offer.
You are going to need to open an account on the site to make a card deck. Go ahead and sign up. Once you are registered and signed in you need to head to the Make section.
Select Playing Cards from the top menu.
The Game Crafter will not let you print copyrighted or trademarked items, even for personal use, this could be a problem for some homemade cards, it will be all a case of what you want to put on your cards.
Start the project by giving it a name and clicking the Create Game button.
If you made your cards as a PDF, there are many services online that will turn your PDF into PNG images. You need each card as a PNG to use the crafter.
Add a Custom component and search for a card deck. Here I have just searched for Poker, to bring up all the poker deck options.
Add the deck to your game. The price listed is for one card.
You now need to upload the PNG images. They give you the exact dimensions you need. In my case it is 825×1125 and they give you a file name convention but there is no requirement to follow their naming convention.
When it comes to uploading it is a different procedure depending on whether you have a common back to each card, like traditional playing cards, or whether you have unique fronts and backs.
If you have a common back, you can upload one copy of the back of the card, in the first upload box.
Now you can upload all of the card fronts in a single upload in the bigger cards upload box.
If you have unique fronts and backs, do not use the back upload box. Just upload all the fronts in the bigger Cards upload box.
Now, edit each card, set the back dropdown list from ‘deck’ to ‘card’. This will make a new upload box appear and upload the matching back to each card. This can be a long-winded process but you should end up with every card with its matching back. If you get the wrong front and back pair you can upload a new back and it will replace the previous back.
If you have repeating cards in a deck, you can change the number of times a card appears in the deck at this point as well.
Once done, a Proof All button will give you an on-screen view of what the cards look like.
I hit a problem at this point. I had added a card back to the deck when I didn’t need one. I then deleted it, but when I came to proofing my deck I could not go forward until I had proofed the back image. This was resolved by uploading a back image and proofing it, despite it not being used.
Once everything is proofed, you can either fix anything that doesn’t look right, buy uploading a replacement image, or add your deck to your card and order it.
At that point, you are finished, and your cards will come to you through the post.
The print cost at The Game Crafter is significantly higher than DriveThruCards/RPG. It added $4.21 to the price of the cards, and shipping was $3.38 more as well. In all, ordering from The Game Crafter added $7.59 to the order.
From my perspective, The Game Crafter is slower to print and ship, and more expensive, and has less of an audience than the OneBookShelf family of sites. I am looking at this as a business and I think I will list all my card decks on the site, but I do not expect to make my money back any time soon. The advantage of print on demand is that I don’t have to carry any stock, so having them available costs me $40 or so once in the product’s lifetime. I would be silly not to list them.