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Subject: Input needed for custom Gnostica/Zarcana deck rss

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Kelvin Chung
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I'd like to get some input to my custom Gnostica/Zarcana deck, available at http://homepage.mac.com/kelvSYC/gnostica/gnostica-deck.zip

It's a custom poker-sized deck with "official" color graphics, which can accommodate both games. I need some input into its appearance and such before I make a trial print run.

Any input would be appreciated.
 
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Russ Williams
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I only play Gnostica, so some of the symbology confused me - I assume it was Zarcana specific...? (E.g. the 3 black icons on the top of cup1.png.) So my primary reaction is that trying to have a single deck with symbols for 2 different games might make it more confusing for people learning one of the games. Or maybe it's an attempt to summarize some additional rules, and I'm used to the Looney labels for Gnostica cards that don't have that.

From an aesthetic point of view, I find that playing with a real Tarot decks seems much more appealing and atmospheric than the "minimalist/pragmatic" approach of your design. I received a deck in a trade which has the summary labels attached that give a quick reference for what the card does, and so play speed is not bogged down (it's always clear what a card does), yet there's also interesting diverse Tarot art on the cards. And I'm tempted to get a traditional Rider-Waite deck since I like its art more.

From a practical/printing point of view, I assume it is intentional that your files have the symbols on a transparent background. (I know very little about printing cards, so I'm just mentioning it as a possible issue.)

Hope some of that is useful feedback.
 
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Kelvin Chung
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russ wrote:
I only play Gnostica, so some of the symbology confused me - I assume it was Zarcana specific...? (E.g. the 3 black icons on the top of cup1.png.) So my primary reaction is that trying to have a single deck with symbols for 2 different games might make it more confusing for people learning one of the games. Or maybe it's an attempt to summarize some additional rules, and I'm used to the Looney labels for Gnostica cards that don't have that.


Yes, that would be specific to Zarcana. The background image and the icons next to the numbers are specific, while the card indices are for Gnostica. I've been considering adding text to the opposite side of the card (as in the Zarcana labels, but I fear it might clutter the card).

All graphics (for both games) are taken from the Looney Labels (or are composites therein), but colored as per their recommendation. There are a few rough patches in the coloring (which you can see in the Zarcana icons, which were blown up 300%, as opposed to the rest, which were shrunk down to 75%).

russ wrote:
From an aesthetic point of view, I find that playing with a real Tarot decks seems much more appealing and atmospheric than the "minimalist/pragmatic" approach of your design. I received a deck in a trade which has the summary labels attached that give a quick reference for what the card does, and so play speed is not bogged down (it's always clear what a card does), yet there's also interesting diverse Tarot art on the cards. And I'm tempted to get a traditional Rider-Waite deck since I like its art more.


It is a minimalist approach, based on two design principles:
* It must be poker-sized, so you can print it using ArtsCow
* The design is a cross between a Tarot Nouveau deck (or a pure gaming Tarot) and a minimalist Anglo-American poker deck, as opposed to a deck based on cartomancy (like R-W Tarot).

But the input is well-appreciated, and I might make a Tarot-sized one or one based on free Tarot art in the future.

russ wrote:
From a practical/printing point of view, I assume it is intentional that your files have the symbols on a transparent background. (I know very little about printing cards, so I'm just mentioning it as a possible issue.)

Hope some of that is useful feedback.


Transparent backgrounds is because I can be flexible later on background color.
 
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Ryan Hackel
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The major arcana are missing the numerical value needed to determine their scoring value for Zarcana.

EDIT: As long as I want to play Zarcana, I will be using this deck. But I'm more likely to play Dectana instead.
 
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Kelvin Chung
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cerulean wrote:
The major arcana are missing the numerical value needed to determine their scoring value for Zarcana.


Isn't this in the corner of the image? All major arcana cards have black numerals, and their Zarcana point values should be whatever number is on there. (The only point discrepancy between Zarcana and Gnostica should be the face cards.)
 
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Ryan Hackel
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The cards all had black backgrounds. Must be part of that transparent background stuff. I totally missed the black numbers on a black background.
 
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Max Pfennighaus
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Ah! Your link is down! I was curious about your design, since I'm working on one myself: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1170580/gnostica

 
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