Monday, August 15, 2011

Design: BANG! Master Template (8.5" x 11")

News (8/23/11): I have added an IDML file to make the template compatible with InDesign CS4. Just download the IDML file and paste it in the same directory as the CS5 Master Template file. Then, open it in CS4. Unfortunately, I do not have CS4 to make it compatible with CS3. If someone has CS4 and can convert the IDML to an INX format (and e-mail it to me or post it in the forum), I would greatly appreciate it.

BANG! Master Template Shot 1

As I have worked at modding BANG! for over a year, I have developed tools for myself that have helped speed up my projects. Many of these I have made available to the public to help them with their own BANG! modding, such as providing fonts, borders, symbols, art packs, and so forth. One thing that I had not done was provide a good template for designing BANG! cards. While some may use and enjoy the BANG! Card Generator, I find it way too confining, and it does not produce a high enough quality for my taste. There is also a Magic Set Editor template, but I dislike it for similar reasons.

Today, I hope to provide another solution for BANG! modders, which is far more flexible and provides a higher quality result. On the flip side, I am sure that designing cards with my template will be more time consuming. I have created a master template for BANG! cards in InDesign. While I did this in CS5, you should be able to use it in CS4 (if you download the IDML file). Unfortunately, I do not have CS4 to convert it to an INX format for CS3 users. If someone else could make this available, I would greatly appreciate it.

The template is specifically designed for card sheets, which I believe are a good starting point for a BANG! modder. They allow 8 cards per page. I am sure you can use the template for other card sheets too, or just use it to print on heavy card stock. You will have to tell me how you have been able to utilize it. Anyway, the template comes with 28 different layers, which allow you to customize each of the 8 cards to your liking, such as is shown below.

BANG! Master Template Shot 2

BANG! Master Template Shot 3

Customization includes:

  • 8 border colors (brown, blue, gun, green, character, grey from Death Mesa, and orange and purple from Robbers' Roost). These borders are numbered to correspond with the right card for easy modification.

  • Character/Playing Card Titles (Sized correctly: 21 pt for Character Cards and 35 pt for Playing Cards, which are also scrunched like the official cards to about 72.5%).

  • Artwork for Character/Playing Cards (Arranged appropriately for their corresponding titles).

  • Text Box descriptions for Character/Playing Cards (Boxes smaller for Playing Cards, so that they do not overlap with suits and values).

  • 3 Custom expansion symbols: cactus, wagon wheel, and bow and arrow (to help you sort and distinguish your custom cards).

  • Layer for Playing Card symbols. These will have to be "placed" into the template, but the symbols are helpfully packaged in with the template. Look for the "Symbols" sub-folder. The symbols have been darkened and also renamed to be more intuitive for the modder (I apologize for the strange names in the old pack).

  • 3/4 Life Point images for Character Cards. If you want to go beyond 3, you can easily "place" a copy of the image below the 3/4 life point image, and adjust it to get any number that you want.

  • Text values for Playing Cards.

  • Suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs) for Playing Cards. These, like the borders, are numbered to correspond to the appropriate card.

  • Character/Playing Card backs. These images are properly spaced and inverted, so that you can easily print the front side, flip the card sheet over, and print the back. The numbering of the backs to the cards will help escape any confusion.

Enclosed within the template folder is also 3 fonts used for the BANG! playing and character cards: Perdido (for the title), Palatino Linotype (for descriptions), and Microsoft Himalaya (for the text values). In the future I will update the template, so that it includes event card borders (with new colors to avoid confusion), and the event card font Playbill. I hate event cards, so I suppose that is why I did not bother to include them in the initial release. Forgive. I may also release an 18" x 12" template in the future.

In the upcoming weeks, I plan to provide some simple tutorials, which show how to utilize the template to make cards of various kinds. In the mean time, feel free to experiment with the file. I would appreciate any criticism of the template, so that I can improve it in further updates.

Download the BANG! Master Template for InDesign


  1. It's also useful if you're using Photoshop

  2. Are you going to make an option to make your own High Noon, WWS, and Fistful cards? I really appreciate it. And by the way, very good job with this blog.

  3. can you make another version of this file? Scribus, inKscape are not able to read it... (.idml)

  4. I can't find the CS5 master template file

  5. I can see many missing psd (3 Bullet, cactus.psd, etc.)
    Path: C:\Users\Martin Pulido\Pictures\BANG\Downloads\BANG Master Template\Links\3 Bullet Trans.psd
    How can I import these files?

  6. I can manage it, first time I just download the .indd file...
    At the bottom of the article I found the full stuff. Thanks, it is very useful!