I’m now filled with equal parts love and hate for Kickstarter. If not for this dastardly crowdfunding site I would have never known about the myriad of ways my money could disappear right before my eyes. Conversely so many great ideas are getting the venue they need to achieve a bit of traction, if not for Kickstarter some of these projects would languish, fail or be turned away by producers. Another week has passed and wouldn’t you know it I have some stuff to talk to you about concerning Kickstarter Knuggets.
This week marks the opening movement in “The Playing Card Wars”. Crowdfunding sites have been a great clearing house for designers who want to see their pet projects not only produced but also purchased by consumers. More than a handful of custom playing cards have been designed, proposed and funded via Kickstarter, a perfect storm has been brewing. It stands to reason that since there are a ton of starving artists out there waiting for their big break that soon the crowdfunding community would be inundated with new & imaginative playing card decks. Onto the actual knuggets.
Homestuck Adventure Game - (Deadline: Thursday October 4th @ 2:26pm EDT.)
This project skyrocketed to over 1 million dollars in well under a week and has since climbed even higher while attracting a hip crowd to its cause. Homestuck runner is an adventure game based on the popular interactive comic/adventure/quest of the same name. The original Homestuck format has a large amount of fans and that is partially to blame for the phenomenal success of the new game project. If you’re not familiar with the “comic” try and imagine an interactive comic but add to it a bevy of internet & gaming culture humor and then directly integrate a thriving community element to it. Homestuck was created by MS Paint Adventures, a group of developers who parody the art style associated with early animations executed using only MS Paint. The medium through which Homestuck has delivered its content has served it well. With throngs of loyal fans this new Kickstarter is seeing a lot of traffic.
The Homestuck Adventure game plays off of the long running concept within the Homestuck comic that there is an inherent game to be played with each panel that MS Paint Adventures created. Translating that idea into an actual game was the logical next step for this successful group of artists. The team wants funding to write new content, create new and imaginative puzzles and hopefully release a physical copy of the game for collectors. For any Homestuck fan this is a boon but for gamers as a whole this is a great opportunity to experience this wonderful universe MSPA has created in a somewhat new format. They’ve already surpassed their initial goals (within nearly 24 hours) and the sky’s the limit now as they successfully chase after their stretch goals.
Some of the benefits for supporting Homestruck Adventure Game include pings, t-shirts, playing cards, totes, posters, stickers and soundtracks. Another unique feature of this Kickstarter is the inclusion of themed tiers. A themed tier is nothing new as other Kickstarters offer different reward levels that mirror their project’s aesthetics but the physical rewards are usually the same for each tier just more substantial. With Homestruck there are levels of contribution specifically tailored to “brogamers” and “gurlgamers” that have posters and t-shirts designed exclusively for that tier. There are other levels which appeal to a number of different sensibilities not just certain contribution amounts.
Cthulhu Playing Cards - (Deadline: Thursday October 11th @ 8:30pm EDT.)
There’s already a bit of controversy surrounding this playing card deck as another designer is crying foul with its announcement. The Cthulhu Playing Cards project is custom card deck featuring a heavy handed theme owing homage to HP Lovecraft and his stories. The designer of the previously successful The Grid Playing Card Deck was preparing his next project which he had advertised and previewed already, it also featured a heavy Lovecraftian themed design. There are some striking similarities between the two decks and if you were either of the punters you’d probably think twice before releasing either of these designs without considering the other serious competition.
A Cthulhu themed deck is a foregone conclusion in the world of custom playing cards and it’s a wonder that someone else hasn’t yet created one (i’m waiting for that moment of realization as someone else points out that it already exists). A lot of people will want a copy of this deck and it is well on its way to achieving its initial funding goal. The card backs are appropriately designed and the two face cards that the designer has shown fit exactly what I’d be looking for in a Cthulhu deck...I wasn’t really looking for a Cthulhu deck before this though so there’s that to be considered.
The video that the team released shows the card designer making his case as to why he and the project organizer wanted to make this deck. Then he proceeds to one shot the design for the King of Spades face card in a time lapse video right in the front of the viewer. That’s a pretty convincing video and it got me to consider supporting their project. The time lapse also made me realize how easy it is to develop a custom deck especially with the USPCC producing the actual physical product for you.
Deck of the Extraordinary Voyages - (Deadline: Thursday October 4th @ 8:16pm EDT.)
This is another themed deck brought to you by a bearded illustrator. In case you missed it the artists behind the Cthulhu Playing Cards deck also sports a killer collection of facial hair. This deck is designed to mimic steam punk design theory however and features a ton of brass embellishments, gears, dials and a victorian era sensibility. This Kickstarter project has 21 days left so you have some time to decide if you want to buy up a few of these for use in your next poker nite.
As with any Kickstarter there are some interesting incentives for supporting this or any project. With The Deck of Extraordinary Voyages you can raise your support amount and you can receive a themed t-shirt and a signed copy of the X or joker card. It will be nice to eventually see the design for the t-shirt especially since this project has already reached its initial funding goal. I think more projects should come to the table ready to provide as much information as possible, this Kickstarter is pretty bare considering the amount of pictures, descriptions and surprises that are hidden in other projects.
The Deck of Extraordinary Voyages has some unique face cards which feature some of your favorite alternate history characters in their best roles. The steam mechanic, swashbuckling rake, smarmy tycoon and techno-vixen are all included as suited characters in this imaginative deck. Some of the number cards are designed very uniquely but are hard to read or distinguish from one another though so it remains to be seen how useful these cards will be in play. If I have to turn to my opponent to ask him whether or not I have a full house it might defeat the purpose of the game.