My Adventure Creator Project | Lockdown Foray

Adventure Creator Project

My Adventure Creator project…

For those of you who don’t already know, at the start of the lockdown, I set myself the task of creating a graphic adventure game! Or, I should say, I started to learn how to make a graphic adventure game in Unity.

There was a time in Lockdown – what can I say!

For those of you who don’t know me, I studied Multimedia Design and Digital Animation as a follow-up course to my HND in Graphic Design at university. All those years ago! I also have a yellow belt cert in Unity too.

My Adventure Creator Project character sprite

In the early days of the 2000s, Adobe Flash was king, ( Check this blog post out on why to avoid Flash player on another website ) and I used to make a lot of multimedia applications, both personal and commercial. Most of these early projects were micro games or small interactive animations – all of this stuff was pre-smartphone.

My first project on this sort of scale, where I had to try and create my own project, was at University. I set about making an e-learning game for children, which was all built in Flash. Sadly, with the demise of Flash Player, this is tricky to play now although I may still have a projector for the game somewhere.

Here is a picture of it.

Adobe Animate adventure - Adventure Creator Project
Adventure Creator Project – My first project of this scale was in Flash.

From a game creation perspective, In hindsight, really it was a narrative game with educational elements to it. You may also be interested to see in theory how to make a story game in Adobe Animate.

But now to the crunch.

Adventure Creator Project.

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Adventure Creator Project | Fools Errand

A name for a game that exists solely as a learning exercise – it could have been called anything really, as I had no intention of monetizing it. The game was based on classic 2D point-and-click graphic adventures that you could buy in the 90’s – the humble point and click game.

You point… and you click.

I created this game a greybox prototype to see how Adventure Creator works. It was something to learn during the Lockdown.

The brief – Learn AC.

My Adventure Creator Project
More can be read on this post on this website – game-gunk.com. Is Adventure Creator good for 2D games?

If you are interested, you can play the game on itch.io. It is free to play with bugs and all. ( however, it should be noted that you can’t save it via the browser version )

My Adventure Creator Project - The tools + GUI

Do I think Adventure Creator with Unity is good?

‘I’ think it is great.

Actually, saying AC ( Adventure Creator ) is good is a massive understatement. It is excellent, I have never been able to assemble a graphic adventure game in the most time and cost-effective way until I used AC. The standard that Adventure Creator offers is just excellent compared to some of the game engines or tool sets I have used in the past.

I have written a post about it on this website – is Adventure Creator good for 2D games on game-gunk.com.

What is my Adventure Creator Project about?

I called it Lost Hat, AKA Fools Errand. The title leaves very little to the imagination of what you need to do.

Who knows where the hat got to?

Or who could be wearing it!

Oh, the trifles of life.

You will need to use your wits to get through this 3 level game to find your hat. Perhaps if I see enough people play it, I might write up a shot hints and tips guide. But I have largely moved on to other things.

Adventure Creator Project
Mock up application icon
In-game background – my Adventure Creator Project

The components of the project – AC ( What was involved )

For a personal development project – more than I would care to admit.

This project has a of artwork, basic 2D animation created in Photoshop, some rough and ready characters, Sprites and sprite sheets, sound effects, dialogue, conversations, and logic, and I’ve even decided on a small video clip at the end of the project to see how that would work too. And, of course, Adventure Creator. To summerise it is best to mention it this way.

  • NPC character sprites
  • Player character sprites + and custom animations spites
  • Background artwork
  • Scene and item artwork ( such as coins )
  • UI design
  • End scene video animation ( video )
  • The AC logo for every object and item that can be interacted with in the game
  • The Icon artwork
  • Writing all the dialogue for the game
  • SFX

Adventure Creator Project | Sprites

The sprites, or the characters, however you’d prefer to see them, comprise of all NPCs, the animals, the main player, and various other bits and pieces that were used in the environment. If it moved or was animated, it was probably a sprite.

To quickly paint these characters in various states of animation, I used Photoshop to sketch and brush in the black and white ‘wash’.

The main player in particular has a 4-way direction and various other obscure animations in its repertoire!

The main player was the most time-consuming to create, even as a rough sketch. 8-direction would have taken more time still.

player face down
player left
player right
Dog - Adventure Creator Project
landord serves

Adventure Creator Project | The Scenes

I don’t wish to spoil too much of the game just in case you do decide to play it, as there are only three levels. But in each level, there was a background image that was quickly drawn in Photoshop and then imported as an asset to my project.

Adventure Creator Project - background artwork for indie game - grey box black and white

Adventure Creator Project | Motion & Animation

I gave very little time to the motion graphics and animation sadly.

After all, I needed to think about the project as a whole and produce this game it quickly. I was invested more in the learning of Adventure Creator than the actual product itself. However, creating some basic frame-by-frame animations was still essential for making the sprites.

To create basic in-game animations, I used Photoshop and painted a couple of layers with my Wacom Tablet as if I were to make a GIF before exporting out the layers as frames.

How did I feel about the project?

As a semi-personal project learning experience, I feel pretty good about it. This was never going to be a polished game for the whole world to play. I created it so I could learn and share. It was undertaken during the Lockdowns. It was a grey boxing experiment.

The project as a whole, taught me more about AC and how I could potentially create a bigger and bolder game in the future using Adventure Creator.

You can play the game here on Itch.io if interested. Warts and bugs included ( you can’t save via the browser version ). It should be noted that the browser version of the game won’t allow you to save! Enjoy. Or you may find some information on this website interesting if you are at game projects.

You may also find this subject on game-gunk interesting: is Adventure Creator good for 2D?

Without divulging too much. I’m currently remaking an old project in Adventure Creator.

Adventure Creator Project - live in game action
Adventure Creator Project – actual gameplay screenshot.

Adventure Creator Project – Other subjects around making games

Okay Aardman! Wallace & Gromit Project

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project – flex those Adobe Illustrator muscles. I have a new post to share… kindly, the team over at Paper Engine has now said that I can share and discuss my part in creating some of the packaging concepts for a new range of Wallace & Gromit themed products.

The artwork shown in this post was used to pitch to Aardman for a new range of British designed card products, otherwise known as – Build Your Own, For Paper Engine.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project - box
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project Wrong trousers

Aardman Project | The Brief

The Brief | I was commissioned by Paper Engine to help create the core design for the packaging concepts for a new range of of Wallace and Gromit themed paper products.

Aardman had set up an agreement with Paper Engine for them to come up with a range of products, themed around Wallace & Gromit.

If you don’t know Aardman, they are the animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, Arthur Christmas, and Shaun the Sheep to name a few.

Paper Engine got in touch with me and asked for assistance in coming up with the core packaging concept to pitch to Aardman.

I won’t lie, I was excited and honoured.

Under a strict NDA, I was called in to help come up with some of the core concepts for the new eye-catching packaging.

The NDA has been relaxed now, as the products have been released onto the market. So don’t worry. And I asked the crew over at Paper Engine and they were happy to allow me to show my my part!

(All artwork on this page is the intellectual property of Aardman and Paper Engine. Do not copy, save, or download any of this content for commercial use ).

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Packaging For Paper Engine… Which was actually for Aardman

To spill the beans on the projects.

Here is a bit of extra information on the project process. Once Paper Engine had sent the brief across to me, and we did all the admin, the project was set in motion!

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | The design process involved…

  • Coming up with some very early ideas for speech bubbles, titles, typography, backgrounds, and other accents and parts for the project.
  • Creating a variety of packaging front ideas for both products.
  • Developing rough designs into polished designs.
  • These were presented to Aardman ( gulp ).

It should also be said that this project was quite particular and that there were 2 companies involved in the approval process. Nonetheless, it still allowed room for design creativity.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project Typography
Background idea

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | Developing The Design

While I was allowed to work conceptually and creatively, I also had to adhere to 2 sets brand guidelines! One set was supplied by Paper Engine for Paper Engine and, the other was for Aardman!

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project
box
Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project - 2 rockets
badges

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | The Delivery

After working on the polished designs, Paper Engine pitched the artwork to Aardman. I was told on the grapevine that they were pleased with the project – with very few changes to the pitch!

Thank you Paper Engine, it was an honour! From there the look and feel for the range was set. It was an awesome project.

How I approached the project

When creating the packaging, I tried to create artwork that was exciting and matched the tone of Wallace & Gromit. I also tried to create packaging concepts that would excite both children and adults if they saw them on the shelf!

‘wow look at that!’

type of thinking with the hopes somebody would pick the product up and purchase it. The product did most of the selling in all fairness, these are very cool products.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | Paper Engine Testimonial

‘We worked with Jimm on some early packaging concepts for our collaboration with Aardman on three Build Your Own kits. He delivered some superb designs which enabled us to get ahead of the curve by keeping the client on board with approvals and saved us some valuable in-house studio hours. We would definitely work with Jimm again in the future when the occasion arises. Top marks. 5 stars.’

Geff – Creative Director, Paper Engine Ltd.

Aardman Wallace & Gromit Project | You may be interested in some of the following

Retail packaging projects
Stem Project samples
Snakes & Ladders type board game
Board game playtesting post

Why not read more on my playtesting post?

3rd Party

Jimmsdesign Services

Dragon Bone Games ( Board game website )

Working with beta testers for your board game – a story of Beta testing

Working with beta testers… creating board games isn’t easy! A crucial and oftentimes overlooked stage for creating a commercial board game is the beta and alpha testing.

I was commissioned to create a board game prototype to teach children about youth homelessness. My primary role was – mostly – visual design and gameplay, and illustration. And… consulting and guidance on creating a game.

When working with Beta testers, I tried to create an environment that was open and invited constructive feedback.

While I took notes, I allowed the Beta testers to play how it suited them to play. Down to opening up the initial black packaging box to reading the rules, in whichever order they chose.

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Setting up the Playtests for a board game prototype

This was my first playtest in quite a while. In the past, I have been involved in both helping to set up alpha testing and the follow-up stages of a Beta test. Beta testing on behalf of a 3rd party client was a new experience for me. And there was a lot involved.

Before preparing 2 different environments for beta testing. I had to get the testers to sign NDAs on behalf of the client.

It should also be noted that a large amount of effort was involved to find both beta testers, and finding a space to carry out the beta testing. Money also needed to be paid to the venue for lunch.

Alpha Testing vs Beta Testing

There are some key differences in the alpha and beta testing stages. With alpha testing, this is often a case of a game or game prototype being experimented with and developed internally. In my case, I was the first tester of the rules. I created the rough rules to see how the game mechanics may work and wrote these down as I went along. This is typically the very early stages of creating a working board or card game. The more alpha testing you can do before going to external beta testing, the better.

Alpha test of game
This is a photo of some of the first game components and alpha



Beta testing the game involved finding other parties to look at and play the game. These people had never read the rules or knew what the game was or anything. Once I sourced the beta testers, found spaces to play the game – this then set about into motion the gameplay.

The beta stage is the more developed stage of creating the game prototype.

Creating the gameplay | My experience of working with beta testers

I was involved in creating the initial gameplay as well as working on all the visual design for game. This was part and parcel of the commission of the game project – from top to bottom. Finding board game testers can be tricky ( external website on finding beta testers ) , but I feel that these beta testers offered tremendous value to creating the board game prototype.

Here are some initial screen grabs from the playtest. An important stage when creating a board game prototype.

The first draft low-fidelity prototype

Working with Beta testers
Working with Beta testers
Working with Beta testers board close up - making a board game

The later stages of the playtest | working with ‘other’ beta testers

I would advise when doing a playtest of your game, to try the game on people you don’t know. ( although I do know Paul here – thanks Paul, Paul is also a drummer I’ll have you know! ) The wider the pool of people… the better. Below are some visuals of the playtesters in action doing their thing!

And me… taking notes on how the game is being played.

Doing these live tests is not always easy on the ears. But they can be essential for making a better and more rounded board game.

Working with Beta testers
Working with Beta testers
Working with Beta testers

A special thank you to the playtesters for this game

This lot should be proud – although the Conwy Council may not know the names of the playtesters I would like to announce who help make the prototype a more rounded and playable experience.

( me, I was the first tester ) Faye Willets + Family, Helen Edmonds, Jake Joung, Paul Whibley, Steve – and a Special thank you to Liz Chadwick for introducing me to some fellow playtesters!

If you would like any advice or a design service to design your board game you can read more here – freelance board game designer

Are you a playtester?

If you are a playtester for board or card games? Feel free to drop a message across with a bit about you, what you do, where you are based, age, your demographic, and the types of games you like to play. ( please note that many of my playtesters are currently based in the South East – UK )

Are you looking for playtesters?

Playtesters or beta testers can be tricky to find if you are just starting out. This article here on Dragon Bone games About finding playtesters may be helpful – ( Alpha ). Or if in the later stages of development – where to find Beta Testers. ( external website )

Notes – On Prototype

It was a fun project to work on. I would like to say I have no idea what the mass production or future edition of the game will look like but either way – I was happy to be part of the pre-first edition of the gameplay.

Are you looking to create a board game? I was involved in the visual look and feel of the game along with the vector character illustration. Feel free to get in touch if you want to discuss your game project!

Tips For design around board games

3rd Party websites – External

Jimmsdesign – Game content and design Copyright Conwy Council and its respective partners ( artwork shown for portfolio purposes only )

Proof Of Concept Project | Wimbledon Brewery UI

Wimbledon Brewery UI – This project was carried out through a local agency based in Wimbledon. After some initial meetings and discussions with the agency Director, I was commissioned to come up with an early proof of concept for a new website idea for Wimbledon Brewery. It was to pitch a new idea.

I was commissioned for only the ideas and visualisation stages of the project. My part was to come up with a new UI ( user interface ).

In this post, I wanted to share both my involvement, and some of the processes to create for this project.

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Gathering Research | Working With The Brief

At first, I went over the brief with my client and discussed the limitations or any important criteria that would affect the project.

After collecting together all of the information for the project, I then set about gathering some additional research and ideas. This could range anything from looking at recommended drinks companies, looking at competitor websites to seeing what we could learn. And browsing Pinterest to name a few.

What was important – was that the brand image of the company was sustained. The UI design needs to stand on its own two feet with the brand being seamlessly integrated.

Roughing Out Ideas

Once some of the initial research was collected together, I then set about putting together the low-fidelity visuals and ideas to share and discuss.

Wimbledon Brewery UI - low fidelity UI

Initial Design & UI Kit Pieces

Bit by bit, I started to put together some initial designs for the various components on the page. For example boilerplates, brand accents, information cards, and the main navigation amongst other important pieces of content.

The design process and the idea generation were created modularly. Key components were examined in close detail before committing them to a polished design and compiled into pages in their entirety.

Wimbledon Brewery UI
Wimbledon Brewery UI kit

Proof Of Concept | ( POC )

After the various stages of discussion and mutual brainstorming with the client. I then started to put together some complete and polished visuals for the early proof of concept for a new website.

Wimbledon Brewery UI
*This was put together for illustration purposes only

Other Projects – Wimbledon Brewery UI

Jimmsdesign 2023

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign! This short tutorial shows you how to make some quick and easy edits to the text in your card artwork in Indesign. This post also covers some general text frame editing.

Editing your playing cards should not be difficult if you know how, and have the right tools.

It should be noted that this article focuses purely on the card editing stages, and not the whole card creation process.

This is a general help article to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign. You don’t need to be an Indesign guru or know your way around data merge to follow this.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

In addition to editing text frames in your cards, this post will also help if you cannot edit text in Indesign.

This tutorial is ideal for those that just want to jump and edit the text quickly and hit save. It’s short and sweet, quick and dirty – no fuss. Or however else you want to describe quick text edits for game cards. The same applies to editing text too.

Troubleshooting tips are at the end of this article if you are having difficulties selecting the text box for example.

Common Question | Ways of editing the card text in Adobe Indesign

It is quite common for me to hear “how do I edit text on the cards” after I have created the initial prototype for a client.

With the card artwork, it is often in my client’s interest to know how to edit the text themselves or assign somebody else to edit the text. This is especially true in the late stages of production or mass production for various reasons.

One being, I’m not a copywriter profession!

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How to edit text in Indesign on your card artwork – put simply

In order to edit the text easily, open the document in Indesign ( if you’ve not done so already). Select the card face you want to edit, ( use the pages panel ) and change the text. You will then need to save your work or export it if you are intending on sending the work to print.

That is the simplified and short answer to editing the game card text in Indesign.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

I cannot edit text in Indesign!

If you are finding that you cannot edit text in Indesign or you cannot edit the text on the cards. A few of the reasons could be either the text frame is locked, the layer is locked, or you need to override the master page template.

You can read more on editing your text frames in Indesign at the bottom of this post.

6 Steps to editing text in your card artwork In Adobe Indesign

1 ) Open up Indesign

Assuming that you already have Adobe Indesign installed, in order to edit the text you will need to have Adobe Indesign open.

If you don’t already have Adobe Indesign, you can download it. ( make sure to download from Adobe – DO NOT BUY OR DOWNLOAD from an unknown source )

Make sure that you have permission to install the software and that your computer has the technical requirements to run Adobe Indesign.

*Friendly Disclaimer | Adobe Indesign is not run or owned by myself. Indesign is part of the Adobe Creative Suite. I cannot take any responsibility for any loss or damage incurred should you download any 3rd party software or Adobe Indesign. Please take precautions!

Please check all the requirements from their official website before downloading. ( Adobe Creative Suite ) And make sure that you download the software from a safe source. Do not use any unauthorized 3rd party platforms when downloading InDesign. ( also based on past experience )

2 ) Open up the card artwork

You can either ‘Open’ the artwork from the ‘File’ drop-down menu in Indesign ( File, Open – Select artwork ) or you can open the artwork by ‘dragging and dropping’ the artwork onto the application icon from your desktop.

Or if you have your recent items window on view when you start up Indesign, open your document this way.

Tip – Don’t overwrite your original card artwork!

As a tip, I would strongly advise that you create 2 versions of your artwork and leave the original intact. If you edit the text, change something and save over the original artwork ( ruin it by accident ) you won’t have a way of back-stepping from this mistake.

Create another version! And avoid editing the original version. A piece of advice from past experience.

3 ) Navigating the card artwork for your game

Theoretically, you now have your card document open in Adobe Indesign. It will look something like this.

If you have used a template or a file such as the one shown in this article, then you should be able to scroll up and down through the cards. As you scroll up and down, you should see the back and front of your cards.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

Or, as an alternative way of finding the card you need, go to window > pages. If this tool panel is not already open.

How to open and close Window/pages panel ( Adobe )

4 ) Select the card you wish to edit

You can either scroll up and down to go through the cards, which is okay for smaller decks, but not as efficient if you have a larger deck. Or if you have your ‘pages’ window open, you can double-click on these to jump to the card you want to edit. This is a faster and more effective method of navigating through your cards.

( Handy tip! Did you know you can see which page you are on at in the bottom of InDesign interface when you are editing the card you want to edit? The illustration above has a close-up of ’19’ to show this. )

5 ) Find the text box ( interacting with an Indesign text frame )

Assuming that you have now selected the card you wish to edit. Go to the text box ( as shown below ) click on it, and edit your text!

Tools you should only need!

If something has gone awry, here are some simple steps to follow.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss
  1. ) Make sure that you have the ‘selection tool’ active.
  2. ) Go to the box or area you wish to edit.
  3. ) Double-click the text box.
  4. ) Find the word or sentence you wish to edit.

If you are having trouble being able to edit the text or some of the text, this bit of troubleshooting may help. Cannot edit text in indesign – help!

6 ) After you have edited the text

Now that you know how to edit one text box and all has gone smoothly, you can edit any basic text box in these card files.

Once you are happy with your work and your edits just make sure to save your work. You can save your work by going to file ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’. Or by pressing CTRL+S ( Apple + S ).

7 Bonus Step ) Exporting your file for print

It should be noted that this process is a bit more nuanced and may require more experience and skill in saving your work correctly. It can be easy for somebody inexperienced ( or with experience! ) to run into difficulties when setting files up for print.

Remember, when doing this that you are shouldering the responsibility for all the print production for your cards. If you would like somebody to share the burden feel free to get in touch or read more here. Card game design.

  • ‘Export’ your file as a PDF’
  • Remember to Select all pages if you wish to save/export all pages for print.
  • Double-check that the images are above 300 DPI when exporting ( otherwise you will get a low-res file )
  • Check that it is in CMYK
  • Hit ‘Export’ and select a location

This is a simplified version of how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign. The added end step also instructs how to save your work and export it for print.

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Troubleshooting Game Card Editing in Indesign – cannot edit text in indesign!

When looking at how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign, sometimes it is not as straightforward. There can be issues such as locked layers, master pages being selected, or even limitations with hardware.

Here are some troubleshooting steps for editing the text on your cards.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

Why can’t I select the text box? I can’t edit my text frame!

This could be down to a couple of reasons as to why you can’t edit the text box in your file. Here are some of the potentially straightforward and obscure reasons as to why you may not be able to edit your text :-

You don’t have enough ram/processing power on your computer

If your computer is struggling to run Indesign properly, an odd quirk that can show up is an inability to edit or select text boxes.

Possible solutions:

1 ) Turn off other programs such as Outlook, Your Web Browser, and other non-essential applications to see if this loosens up some grunt for Indesign. Remember to only close nonessential programs

2 ) Change the view to low-res draft mode. This can also make InDesign less taxing on your computer.

3 ) If you have tried all of the above. With a minimal amount of applications still running to allow more resources to go to indesign, close Indesign and re-open it to see if this does the trick.

The object is accidentally locked

There could be a couple of reasons as to why you can’t edit the text in your Indesign document. And, fortunately, the fix for this can be as simple as unlocking your text frame to get it working again.

Here are a couple of ways to check if you have a locked object. Unlocking text frame solutions in Indesign:

– The Object has been manually locked! This is a simple case of unlocking the object. To make sure the object isn’t locked go to > top menu > and check the drop-down for the Object – Unlock all on spread. Here is an image showing the menu option.

( Here is some more accurate information from Adobe on where to find this exactly – unlocking objects )

– Your text frame is on a locked layer. Alternatively, your text frame could be on a ‘Locked Layer’. On your ‘layers tab’ in the interface window, check to make sure the editable text layer ‘is not locked’. ( With a padlock on )

You want it ‘unlocked’ – you may also need to open the ‘layers’ window open.

– You are editing the wrong layer. If you cannot edit your text, it can be as easy as having the wrong layer selected. And, having the layer you want edit locked. Make sure you have your correct layer selected and that you are unlocking the correct layer!

You are trying to edit a master template

Another potential reason that you may not be able to edit the text is that you are trying edit from A, or the Master Page. A way to check is to:-

  • Select the card ( page )
  • Right click
  • And “Override Master Page Properties”

*Just remember not to override and edit the Actual Master template. This may otherwise change the text or design on ‘all of the cards’ or pages. ( remember what I said about keeping a backup? Always, keep a back up file!)

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Thank you for reading and editing the text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign

That is a share of my experience on how to both easily edit the text on any card artwork or card artwork template for your board game. And, how to edit the text in Indesign – when you cannot edit text in Indesign.

Hopefully, this post has saved some time, money, and headache. Feel free to share this post if you feel it is helpful.

If you would like help in designing a card game or creating some illustrations for your game please get in touch.

Freelance Card Design

Final bit of advice on how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign

My final bit of advice on editing your text on your card artwork would be to hire a professional if you are doing this as a DIY thing for your business. Or at least find somebody that knows their way around Adobe Indesign, how to save it etc.

Although I appreciate that budgets can’t always make this a viable option it is still potentially the better option.

Getting somebody that is experienced can save headaches later on.

Other helpful design posts

External Websites Around Creating games

Freelance Design services for cards games – Copyright Jimmsdesign.co.uk