Welcome to the Guardians CCG Page

This is a site dedicated to the Guardians collectible card game released by FPG in the mid '90s. This was a great game featuring beautiful artwork and a complex battle system. The game is now out of print and some cards are extremely difficult to find.

Here you will find alternate rules and game mods (including solo play), homebrew cards, and links to other Guardians sites.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Creating Guardian Cards, Part Three: Icons, Text, and File Format

See part one here
See part two here

We've now completed the border and image. Let's move on to icons. Open your card and the icons.psd file (that came with Phil's templates) side-by-side. Each icon has its own layer, so make sure the proper layer is selected whenever you're going to copy something.

Use the Selection Marquee tool to draw a selection around either the red bar or green bar, depending on whether or not your creature can receive channeling.

Select Copy from the Edit menu. Select your card and then select Paste from the Edit menu. This pastes the icon into its own layer. Rename the layer so you know what it is - red bar or green bar will do nicely. Now use your Move tool to move the bar from wherever it is floating in you image, down to the little shield in the bottom right corner, just above the "CMP" lettering.

Repeat this procedure for any bribery icons...remember to select the correct layer when copying and to rename each icon layer that results from pasting into your image. Bribery icons go next to the off-color bonus box in the lower left. Here is what War Angel would look like with a beer bribery.

Since Angels don't have bribery, I remove it from card by simply deleting the layer. This is true for any icon you wish to remove - delete the layer.

On to text. Since I don't have the font style Phil calls for, I use Times New Roman. First let's create the name of the card. Select the Type tool and click in the title box under the artwork. You'll notice in my screen captures there's a little window below the layers window. This is the Character window and is useful to have open for text. To display it, go to the Window menu and select Character. Now, in the character window, make sure the font size is 8, and that the horizontal and vertical type scales are at 100% and the color is correct. Type the name of your card. In my case of course, it's War Angel.

Move to the creature size area. Click there to automatically create a new layer. Change the font size to 9 and type the size. For War Angel, a M is typed for a medium creature. You can use the Move tool to align your text within the box.

Repeat the above procedure to enter F for flyers; channeling value if your creature can channel, then enter Vitality.

Enter your card text with a font size of 6 and the horizontal and vertical scales set to 110%. Enter the creature class with a font size of 6. Finally, enter the artist by-line with a font size of 5. If you do not have a size 5 for Times New Roman, use size 6 with horizontal and vertical scales set to 85%.

If you're giving your creature a Stacking Penalty, size 9 for both Vitality and Stacking Penalty won't fit...you'll need to use size 8. Click and drag across your Vitality number to highlight it, then change the size from 9 to 8, and move it the word "Vitality". Then create a new text layer right below it for Stacking Penalty. Change the color to red by clicking the color selector in the Character Window. Finally, our last text to enter is the off-color bonus. This is also a size 9 font, but requires me to change the color since an Elemental's off-color bonus is white.

That's it! Make sure you save your file as a Photoshop file (.psd). Our original card size is 754 pixels wide by 1046 pixels tall. For web posting, go to the image menu and select image size, then re-size the card to 370 pixels wide by 510 pixels tall. Now save this version as a jpeg. You'll lose your layers but that's ok, this version is for display only. Select the jpeg quality as 10 (maximum), then save. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - IF YOU CLOSE YOUR IMAGE, PHOTOSHOP WILL ASK IF YOU WANT TO SAVE CHANGES TO YOUR CARD...IN MY CASE, WAR ANGEL.PSD. SAY NO!!! OTHERWISE, IT WILL SAVE THE LOW RESOLUTION JPEG OVER YOUR ORIGINAL PHOTOSHOP VERSION AND YOU'LL LOSE NOT ONLY HIGH  RESOLUTION, BUT ALSO ALL YOUR LAYERS!!! Sorry to yell, but trust me, you don't want to do this. I did it once by accident and had to re-create a card again from scratch. Not fun.

So here's my finished Elemental, War Angel:

And that's all there is to creating a creature card. Not too bad, right? In our final installment, we will look at creating other cards such as Terrain, Shields, Upgrades and Downgrades, Strongholds, Magic Items, Spells, and Events.

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