One of the things I've been looking for are tools that would make it easier to:
- Programatically create sets of cards and card images, and print these out on various card stocks
- Simulate a virtual card table for online play, quickly and without worrying about coding rules
- Eventually be able to make an online version that did enforce rules
I've actually found quite a few tools that were designed for collectible card game playing online, card/deck building, generic card/board/table game playing (i.e. rules not enforced), and a few tools designed to actually let you code full games with rules enforced.
Here are some of the links I've found to sites that seem useful - if you know others please let me know (Java seems to be the dominant language for these tools; nothing against Java just not sure why it is so dominant in this domain):
However I have not yet found a set of tools that I really feel great about -- that would really speed up Prototyping and Playtesting, and provide a path to eventual online implementation.
And.. well.. I've been thinking about embarking on a project to code a toolset myself that would be useful for other game designers.
It's a bit of a daunting task, and I'm still not really sure I have the time for it. I still have to investigate more what's already available.
Right now though I feel like game designers could benefit from a new project designed to help them. And I feel like there is an opportunity to create something useful, with a different, more designer/coder centric approach then these existing tools.
I'd like to hear some feedback about whether people think this is worth doing.. Or what they use.
Actually to be honest, I spent the last several days writing some generic python code to tackle the task of dynamically creating card sets, images for them, laying them out on generic card templates for printing, and actually working with card data in a way that will hopefully set the groundwork for a richer game table engine. I've also begun writing some scripts to create game data files for some of the online game playing tools (like zuntzu and vassal) which are otherwise a bit cumbersome to set up for prototyping. I plan to open source and share the code after I get it development and a little more friendly. Now I have to decide if I want to put the creation of a full-fledged game-table engine/library on my Project List.