this and this and this and this all give good leads, but I'm looking for something with a few specific features:

  • I want a database that does all the basic database things--store cards, find cards, add cards, modify cards, etc.I don't need a rigid schema system, and I want the flexibility to add features to the (game) system more or less at will.
  • I don't need any evaluation or resolution features (just want to be able to track and edit the game in a quasi-sane manner, not play it on the computer).
  • I do want a collection of cards -> printable sheet feature. Nothing fancy, but I would like to be able to specify a group of cards from the database, and produce something that can be printed out, cut up, and stuck in sleeves
  • Bonus points for flexibility and extensibility, as usual, so that as I move out of pure prototyping I don't have to reinvest in a whole system. For example, at the moment, art is not critical, but I imagine that I'll want to handle that once I have mechanics of play working
  • GUIs are optional
  • Even more bonus points for Mac (or *nix) and open source

Thus far, the various systems I've seen all seem to address one or more of the problems but are missing another major component.

I'm a fair hand at programming and systems design, so I may end up building a simple(ish) command-line tool, but here's to hoping someone else thinks like me...

  • I wouldn't mind having something like this myself, possibly with a few other features you didn't list. I'm a professional software developer and would be interested in collaborating with the right technology stack on an open source project. Commented May 25, 2014 at 6:14
  • Hi Donald, what stack would you favor?
    – Ben
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 21:54
  • 2
    Hi Ben. That's probably more of a subject for chat. Commented May 30, 2014 at 3:54
  • Not an answer, just my method, but I tend to use Inkscape to generate a sample card, then use python scripts to add in the details, and a json backend for the whole thing (it's human-readable enough that I can edit things manually if needed).
    – Dave
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


Card Warden for Ipad lets you keep track of many different card types and some metadata you've mentioned, but otherwise, you may be better off just setting up your own database with MySQL.


You could set-up your own SQL database. You can download the free Heidi SQL software cross-platform (uses WINE for Linux/Mac) for accessing an SQL database. SQL will easily provide the database requirements you are talking about. If you have an entry in the database that contains the location of a card prototype image then a fairly simple program could be written to call those locations from the database and print the images.

You could, optionally, typeset your cards using LaTeX: https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/48061/creating-playing-cards-using-tikz-part-2

If you used LaTex you could have a subdirectory for each card and call all those cards from one LaTeX file to compile them into one printable pdf.

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