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Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck

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factionsgames

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Greetings all! I'm looking to launch a Kickstarter for a card deck that my friend and I have been working on for a while now.
Everything is done (aside from printing of course)... just waiting on January 10, 2017 to get here to launch the campaign!

I would appreciate any thoughts and feedback. Some pictures are below, but all face cards and a few others can be seen at www.factionsgames.com.





« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 08:59:49 PM by factionsgames »
 

 

Fess

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I like the story book theme with the tuckbox, have always found those to be charming in their way. The front of the tuck in this case is a little plain I think, could use some more window dressing or less for more drama. For me it's in the middle at the moment. This deck wouldn't be to my taste because it hits on several key things that tend to make me shy away. First the faux aging background noise on the card faces isn't something that has ever really be a draw for me. Second and much bigger are the Pips, these aren't traditional and don't follow the shape lines of traditional very well. This makes the deck harder to use than I would like it to be. If there was a way that the interesting icons you've chosen could be worked into more traditional pip shapes I think the deck would benefit overall.

I don't understand the Joker image, is the man sneaking up to smack the bear or is he friends with the bear and going to put it down? I like bears, so I don't like the cranky chap with the axe much for wanting to smack the bear. The aces are banners with full bleed art on the bottom of the card face, this is generally a no no in the playing card world because of the cheatability of full bleed card faces as they become warn and used.

For me the card back is going in different directions. You have the novel border which I do like, a map with faction markers, interesting and engaging. Then you have a black frame around a much less detailed center element of a world. I'm sure there is a story being told there, but why not show us something more detailed they're fighting for rather than this world which isn't as engaging as the map frame around it? Drawing our eye to the center I would think then that prime real estate be used to it's greatest advantage. I don't feel that's the case here.

It looks like you have developed interesting factions. I hope you explain them on the campaign page because I, like 99.99999% of everyone else, am lazy and won't likely seek out further information from alternate sites about the factions there in. I need it all laid out before me in a clear and easy to understand way. Speaking of which, are the spades factions undead people or just blue people? It's unclear the JoS appears to be a Ghoul while the QoS doesn't look like a Ghoul. Whatever they are I think the Clubs fellas started the conflict due to finger envy, they're rising up against the five finger men.
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skinny

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I like bears, so I don't like the cranky chap with the axe much for wanting to smack the bear.

LOL!

I'll add my own emphasis on a couple things Fess mentions.

Poker needs immediately recognizable suits. (That doesn't have to mean absolutely standard.) I even find that the skulls (with three white areas) are more reminiscent of clubs than spades. The clubs are a shape on a stalk, much like a spade. If you have to tell us what shapes are what suits, as you did, they're not cards for poker.

Poker needs faces that have consistent margins across all cards. There's a bleed problem here with the aces. Looking at your ace of hearts, there's also a "dirt" smudge right on the edge significant enough that it's the same thing.

They're good looking cards! I really like the box, card backs, and illustration style. There's a lot that's good with this deck!

I know I sound picky and pedantic, but I'm not comfortable with the claim of "Poker Deck." These issues go away to some extent if they say "Playing Cards." I've backed plenty of decks I'd never use for poker.
 

 

factionsgames

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Fess and Skinny -- thanks so much for the feedback! i made some changes to hopefully fix some of the issues that i'm sure many others would have brought up.
I don't understand the Joker image, is the man sneaking up to smack the bear or is he friends with the bear and going to put it down? I like bears, so I don't like the cranky chap with the axe much for wanting to smack the bear.
i have added text that explains the jokers more:
"...we’ve also included two additional Jokers so that each suit in FACTIONS has a unique take on this castaway card--an elite warrior from each Faction riding into battle on its mount."

The aces are banners with full bleed art on the bottom of the card face, this is generally a no no in the playing card world because of the cheatability of full bleed card faces as they become warn and used.
i have removed the bottom bleed from the Ace cards.

It looks like you have developed interesting factions. I hope you explain them on the campaign page because I, like 99.99999% of everyone else, am lazy and won't likely seek out further information from alternate sites about the factions there in. I need it all laid out before me in a clear and easy to understand way.

i have included faction names with the suit translation graphic:


this image in the Kickstarter also links to a PDF that can be printed out to have on the gaming table:
http://www.factionsgames.com/img/FACTIONS-suit-translation-card.pdf

...I'm not comfortable with the claim of "Poker Deck."

i totally didn't think of that. i was originally just thinking that "Poker Deck" sounded more official or something. i have changed text everywhere to now say "Playing Cards".


« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 09:30:58 PM by factionsgames »
 

 

Don Boyer

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I'd suggest a trick I've seen a few artists use when trying to make alternate pip designs.  Use the alternate pips in the center art of the card - but then use standard pips in the indices, allowing people to know what card they're holding without having to perform mental translations each time they look at their hand.  I say this because there are some people who will straight-up not buy a deck that has alternate pip designs - they prefer their clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds.
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Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 10:37:03 AM »
 

variantventures

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The advice you have received from the previous posters is 100% correct and you should pay attention to them if you want to be a commercial success.  That said, I wouldn't change anything.  Your three of skulls, in particular, just jumped out at me.  Loved it.  These suits are recognizable and close enough to the originals to be readily recognizable.  You've got the parchment look without veering into 'ye olde cardes' territory.  The art work is detailed but still simple enough to easily read.  I like this.  Which means it is probably doomed to commercial failure.
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 03:08:04 PM »
 

factionsgames

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The advice you have received from the previous posters is 100% correct and you should pay attention to them if you want to be a commercial success.  That said, I wouldn't change anything.  Your three of skulls, in particular, just jumped out at me.  Loved it.  These suits are recognizable and close enough to the originals to be readily recognizable.  You've got the parchment look without veering into 'ye olde cardes' territory.  The art work is detailed but still simple enough to easily read.  I like this.  Which means it is probably doomed to commercial failure.

hah! Thanks for the compliments. Hoping to be a success of sorts but wasn't aware how badly people like their "standard suits". i did indeed try to stay close to standard suits in one way or another: Humans (shield) is similar to a heart shape; Dwarf (gem) is close to the diamond shape; Orc (club) is a CLUB; Undead (skull) relates to [ace of] spades being the card of death.

Use the alternate pips in the center art of the card - but then use standard pips in the indices...

What do you both (and everyone else) think about these possibilities?

     

Option 1 (Human Ace): standard suit in upper left / lower right, custom suit in upper right / lower left
Option 2 (Orc Two): custom suit in upper left / lower right, standard suit in upper right / lower left


Also, been looking into revising the card back to be more interesting. Let me know what you think... I will be filling the upper/lower "dead space" with more map things.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 03:26:18 PM by factionsgames »
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 09:57:05 PM »
 

Fess

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I prefer the one with the proper indices, Option . I would recommend bumping up or down the color of your font and pips or something else to add some clear contrast against that faux staining on the cards background. Easy visibility is one of the hallmarks of a usable deck. Doesn't mean you need to change your style or anything like that, but altering color or something, to disturb the current low contrast of the two wouldn't be a bad idea. It's easy to think that's red this is brown, good enough. Which in some cases it is, but no, not really. Vision problems of all kinds would have trouble as is, color blindness being one of them. Going off the shape there was easier with the shield as the suit indicator. Thought I would bring it to your attention. Definitely going in the right direction including standard shape pips without losing any of the flare since your other pips are still in there. It doesn't look bad at all.

Something interesting, your card back went from the field being monocolor to colorful while your center element went from colorful to monocolor. I'm curious where you'll take it from here. My eye doesn't notice the compass initially, I look straight at the red spots on the field first. You've effected a change in how we'll initially see your back design. Maybe something to keep in mind as you move forward. There is still a void happening, being a WIP of course so I can't comment further at the moment.
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Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 01:54:30 PM »
 

variantventures

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I like the originals better.  I think Fess makes some good points about the card backs. 
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 02:25:07 PM »
 

akicer

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agreed with @variantnature, the originals do look better!
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 05:55:28 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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The advice you have received from the previous posters is 100% correct and you should pay attention to them if you want to be a commercial success.  That said, I wouldn't change anything.  Your three of skulls, in particular, just jumped out at me.  Loved it.  These suits are recognizable and close enough to the originals to be readily recognizable.  You've got the parchment look without veering into 'ye olde cardes' territory.  The art work is detailed but still simple enough to easily read.  I like this.  Which means it is probably doomed to commercial failure.

hah! Thanks for the compliments. Hoping to be a success of sorts but wasn't aware how badly people like their "standard suits". i did indeed try to stay close to standard suits in one way or another: Humans (shield) is similar to a heart shape; Dwarf (gem) is close to the diamond shape; Orc (club) is a CLUB; Undead (skull) relates to [ace of] spades being the card of death.

Use the alternate pips in the center art of the card - but then use standard pips in the indices...

What do you both (and everyone else) think about these possibilities?

     

Option 1 (Human Ace): standard suit in upper left / lower right, custom suit in upper right / lower left
Option 2 (Orc Two): custom suit in upper left / lower right, standard suit in upper right / lower left


Also, been looking into revising the card back to be more interesting. Let me know what you think... I will be filling the upper/lower "dead space" with more map things.



I'd go with traditional pips for the indices and leave out the custom ones on the opposed corners.  You can keep them in the center artwork and they look gorgeous there.  If you really want them in your indices, consider having them to the RIGHT of the value.  That's my two cents - your mileage may vary!
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Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 08:34:33 PM »
 

factionsgames

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First, thanks to everyone for your feedback. While I set out to do something a little different with this deck (custom suits) I think it probably is a good idea to include standard suits on the cards. I posted a couple options as possibilities to include a standard suit on the cards... and have come up with a 3rd option that I'm actually pretty happy with. Allows the card deck to be more functional for card players and still works fine when cards are held/fanned.

.

Let me know what you think!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 08:52:16 PM by factionsgames »
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2016, 12:50:14 AM »
 

Fess

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I'm afraid Option 3 is not functional. Fan those in your hand like you would playing a game of whatever, you won't be able to easily identify the suits in a traditional sense. The Traditional pips are located too far down the card for them to be functional. I feel it's important to point that out.

My strongest suggestion for your indices is to go with what feels best to you. It's your creation and ultimately, you're the one who should be happy with it. Customers will either agree or disagree with you, you've heard what we think our opinions aren't changing and the wheel isn't going to be re-invented in that department. We offer suggestions and every suggestion is going to be closer to a traditional deck of playing cards than you're likely to be happy with, of course I'm guessing from the redesigns etc. While some people may see traditional layouts as boring and in need of a tweak. Most every one of us see them as a thing of beauty. We will always gravitate toward that, it's part of what we love about playing cards. The reliability of the deck. Sure they come in all manner of artistic interpretation but the ones we value are those that follow the four suits we've known all our lives, our fathers knew all their lives, their fathers before them. They are reliable, infinitely useful and depending on artistic style things of gorgeous elegance, chaos contained only in form, bold in their simplicity and any number of other design styles. The Heart, Spade, Diamond and Club are ingrained in us and most of the general public. We'll very likely sound like broken records when it comes to suit and rank indicators haha.
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Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2016, 11:38:37 AM »
 

factionsgames

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Probably true about putting the standard pips on the cards... probably not going to please any "card collectors" since I've already deviated with the custom suits.

How about a look at the updated card back?? :)

Let me know what you all think!

 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2016, 12:39:20 PM »
 

Fess

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Your revised card back has a lot of interest to the eye. The center element has a nice draw to it, I see the compass initially due to the yellow. Nice and bright. When I look across the rest of the card back it's an pleasant eye feel. Looking back toward the compass there is a little, oddity. It has to do with the negative space within the compass, the tones and dead space there. As you refine your design, maybe consider touching that area up just a bit. Over all I think your redesign is nice and you're headed in the right direction with it for sure.
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Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2016, 03:21:11 PM »
 

variantventures

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I think that last card back is a real improvement.  I still like the original faces best.
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2016, 01:02:58 PM »
 

factionsgames

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I'm thinking this will be the final card back. Added some direction lines to fill some of the negative space in the compass that was unattractive.

 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 11:20:50 AM »
 

NineLives

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Having just gone through your exciting thread, I like this last back version the best :) The illustrations are great and while I haven't familiarised myself with the stories behind the deck, there's plenty that grabs the eye. I agree with previous posters about favouring standard pips for the corner indices - there are decks which combine 2 sets of pips (non-standard or tarot or something else) to show indices in all 4 corners (like the Arcana deck), but somehow I think your design would work better with the standard pips (x2) and allow the custom pips to shine in the centre of the card :)
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2017, 07:35:30 AM »
 

Ziggletooth

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The members on this site really know what they're talking about. I don't know much about the design process, but I am a poker player and I just wanted to say that I am surprised by the following advice.

'some people who will straight-up not buy a deck that has alternate pip designs - they prefer their clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds.'

I would of imagined that the purists would not buy custom cards at all and those that would will appreciate the new suits. I don't understand the need to equate the suits at all, it doesn't affect the math or function of the cards in anyway. I think saying a card is both an undead and a spade is needlessly convoluted and makes it less clear and negatively affects the design.

I'm designing a deck for myself which I intend to use for practice and the suits have no relation to the traditional ones - but then my deck isn't mean't to be commercial.

The members here have a lot more experience than I do. I just wanted to say I play a lot of poker and I don't need the traditional suits, so I agree with the person that said make it how you want it to be, in all cases some people will like it and others won't .
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 02:41:39 PM »
 

factionsgames

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THANK YOU ALL for your feedback. Everyone forced me to examine many things and I am happy where things sit. The Kickstarter is now LIVE!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1155202352/factions-fantasy-themed-playing-card-deck

Even if you are not going to back it, please share it with others!

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https://twitter.com/FactionsGame

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https://www.facebook.com/factionsgamesinfo/
 

Re: Factions - A 100% customized art-rich, lore infused, playing card deck
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2017, 08:36:15 PM »
 

Fess

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I'm a big fan of MERCS and MERCS Recon. Thank you for helping make those games the wallet bruisers they turned into for me. Also nice job on the Conflict dice.

I'm glad you are happy with where things sit. While I disagree with certain choices on the deck, I have many issues with your campaign that make it impossible for me to back you on this venture. Even so I wish you success. Best of luck with your campaign.
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