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Matthew Ross
United States
Florida
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I decided to design a deck for a couple reasons: I’m in the process of developing a card game that required additional suits and a few custom ranks. It also seems that at some point every graphic designer tries their hand at making their own deck of cards and I've wanted to make one for awhile now.

The card game I’m working on is about causing and mitigating various global catastrophes (nothing says fun like global catastrophe). Even with such a specific theme in mind for the game, I wanted the cards themselves to be generic enough to be still work for a variety of games and be a useful tool for designing and play testing new games. This meant that I made the standard playing cards look…well, fairly standard. Surrounding those cards though, I had a bit more fun. You can check out the deck further down. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

The particular reason that I think other game designers might be interested in the deck is that I'm releasing the card back design for use by anybody to copy, or modify for what ever purpose they want, commercial or otherwise. You can download the design along with the illustrator file at my site: http://www.matthewtross.com/2016/05/singularitydeck.html. This means you can design your own cards to integrate into the deck, or just use the design for a completely independent project.

Card Back Design:


The deck itself is currently up on Drive Thru Cards (http://www.drivethrucards.com/product/189497/The-Singularity...), and I plan to post it to printer studio soon which means if you design your own cards to use with the deck you can get them printed by the same place. Let me know if you think I should publish the deck to any other print services.

Anyways, here's the deck:
It's split into two main groups: The earth set and the space set.
Each set includes all standard ranks (A-K) plus a few extras including a singularity card (rank 0 and infinity), a 1 card, a Civilization card, and an Ω card.

Spades (global war), Hearts (disease), Diamonds (technological destruction, A.I), Clubs (pollution and famine)


Stars (Solar Expansion), Asteroids (Asteroid Impact), Planets (Gravity, Black Hole), Hourglasses (Heat Death)

While working on this deck, I learned about the long and fascinating history of the "standard" deck of cards. I also found a long history of people tweaking and expanding on that deck. Here are some of the more interesting ones I’ve stumbled on if you want to check them out:
The Eagle (http://mentalfloss.com/article/75746/was-once-fifth-playing-...): In the 1930s the United States Playing card company added a 5th suit called the eagle. While I don’t think it really fits with the standard suits, I do think it looks pretty cool.
James Watson’s Deck (http://www.jamesrobertwatson.com/playingcards.html): I think this is one of the better attempts at adding new suits to a standard deck. His deck introduces shields and cups as new suits. I like how he took care to match up a lot of design elements between the new and old suits. He also details another attempt at adding extra suits called the nu-dek produced in the 1960s.
Rage Deck (https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/1907/games-playable-rage-...): It’s not really a modified standard deck of cards, but rather a custom deck for the game rage. Still, that didn’t stop enterprising gamers from discovering the utility in the deck’s design for playing a variety of games.
The Decktet (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/37301/decktet): Less of a modification of standard playing cards, and more of a redesign from the ground up.
The Rainbow Deck (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59655/rainbow-deck): This is perhaps the most interesting and ambitious deck of cards I’ve seen. In addition to having many suits, the cards also have dice roll indicators, letters, multiple suit ranks, and a handful of other features.
The Badger Deck (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/160950/badger-deck ): In my opinion this is by far the coolest take on the standard deck of cards I’ve seen. The artwork is amazing and each suit is unique. If you haven’t seen this one, you should really check it out.
And many more: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/standard-six-suit-deck-..., http://www.stardeck.com/, http://www.drivethrucards.com/product/167465/K6t?src=slider_..., pyramid arcade will also be shipping with a 5 suit deck of cards.

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Andrew J.
United States
Missouri
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I'm intrigued! Not only do the cards look cool (and that deck6 link you posted is AWESOME) but the game itself looks cool. I love your alpha-omega explanation. Is this a civ-building game through cards?

Andrew
 
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DJ Wilde
United States
Monroe
LA
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I like the looks of the game. What I don't understand, is why you would want to "release" the design like you suggest. I don't get that or what purpose that would serve your game.
 
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Matthew Ross
United States
Florida
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GalaxyZento wrote:
I like the looks of the game. What I don't understand, is why you would want to "release" the design like you suggest. I don't get that or what purpose that would serve your game.


Well to be honest this started as a game idea and quickly just turned into an art project. I have more experience as a graphic designer so as a result so far I have a unfinished game and a fully realized deck of cards. That transition occurred as I was making some mock up cards by hand and I thought surely someone has developed a big generic deck I can just pick up for play testing which is how I found all the different decks I listed. I then thought how great it would be if I could just design some cards to integrate into those decks (you could always just sleeve them, but that would be too reasonable). So in order to make new cards compatible with their decks I would need to use their back design and get it printed from the same company that I got their deck from, but of course I don't have access to their back design. In the end I thought it would be easier to just to design my own.

Sorry for a long reply. Short answer is it doesn't help my game at all, but I thought others might find it useful.
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Matthew Ross
United States
Florida
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aaj94 wrote:
I'm intrigued! Not only do the cards look cool (and that deck6 link you posted is AWESOME) but the game itself looks cool. I love your alpha-omega explanation. Is this a civ-building game through cards?

Andrew


Thanks! I'm glad you like the cards. Yeah, Its a somewhat light, abstract civ builder.
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