As for using non-graphical ways to playtest a CCG I, personally, can't
do it: I have zero
understanding of what's going on, or rather, lack the overview. I would have to read and re-read the text time and time again to even remember what card is where. For me that is also why graphics are important: Art, symbols etc, all work to let us quickly identify which card it is you are looking at, and at the very least which rules you associate it with.
Granted of course this is less true in a playtesting session that's in a constant flux and has everchanging cards - there visuals won't help as much and cards have to be re-read all the time anyways.
While I can't do it it doesn't mean nobody else can or should. I think that you should go with it if it works for you guys, and agree that it is still more progress than nothing.quick visual flow
Q_x will kill me now, but here it goes:
1. Graphically create cards super-speedy using inkscape (heck, or even gimp, but ink is probably faster) if and only if it's realy faster than using the real template file, which is actually in Scribus, which will be the only officially supported by us anyways once we have a real release (or preferably long before, like already?) It takes 10-20 min to create a good looking card. It takes 5 - 10 min to revise one already existing one.
2. Use LackeyCCG. It works. Creating the "original" playtest patch takes a while (2-3h?), but no text
except card names has to be written in it's "database" (plain text files). All text are in the card images. Updating already existing patch is just a matter of overwriting the card images from step one with the newest ones, and then asking everyone to download the latest patch (or do the overwriting themselves on their end, with for example bazaar) It isn't slow, and files are JPG or something small.
3. Use Mumble + Record. No typing will be needed, you see all, hear all, it can record voice, and you can even record desktop as video using other tools.
Drawback is it is nearly impossible to invent new cards on the fly, but as for testing I think it will be way smoother, but that's just from my own perspective, and it would still require plenty of prep.
...has all cards to date, They somehow need to be extracted and input in wiki(?) where we can start working with them.