Luke, thank you for your time and wishing you the best with your project! (Project link at end of interview)
Here are the 10:
1. What got you interested in designing a deck of playing cards?
My family has always played card games at family gatherings. I’ve been a game designer for 20 years now. I have published a few of my games and a kids book through Kickstarter and I kept seeing these awesome playing cards on there. The general design aesthetic seemed similar from deck-to-deck, and I started talking to my friend Jordan about if he thought we might have something to add to that body of work. Something different, but respectful of playing card traditions.
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
Jordan and I are both life long gamers. So we choose the “Meeple” as our inspiration. The meeple is a very standard game piece that appears in lots of european board games. It’s also kind of the “mascot” of a certain group of board gamers.
3. Why Kickstarter?
I LOVE Kickstarter. I love how you can try out ideas before you decide to print them. It’s the perfect place to experiment with ideas and a great place to work with friends on something your passionate about to find out if the idea has sticking power. I’ve done business stuff for 20 years, so the fulfillment side of things doesn’t worry me at all.
4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
As I mentioned, Jordan and I are life long gamers and I’ve been in the business of table top games for decades. Some of your readers might know me as the game designer behind a game called Bakugan (if they have kids). That game is the big “hit” in my resume – it was the “Toy of the Year” two years in a row, had a hit TV show, and caused lots of parents to curse me when they stepped on the toys their kids left on the floor…
5. What is one thing you wouldn?t do without?
If it has to be a physical thing, it would probably be my motorcycle. I got a small one last year after not having one for 20 years and there is something terrifying and focusing about riding that really clears your mind. It’s impossible to multi-task when on a fun motorcycle road. My mind needs that every now and then.
6. What?s the best tidbit of advice you?ve ever been given?
10% more money does NOT equal 10% happier. When choosing jobs, take the job that makes you happy if at all possible. It’s what you spend most of your waking hours doing – and being miserable during those hours for a little more money isn’t worth it. That and don’t start your honeymoon the morning after you get married – take a day to veg out, you’ll need it and you don’t want to start your honeymoon tired and worn out.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
It depends on what they want to accomplish. Customers tend to judge the success of a project purely by it’s sales numbers. I think creatives should be careful using that as a metric. Set your own goals, wether they be financial or just getting something made that you can be proud of. If you’re going to go on Kickstarter, be sure to do your homework, and definitely listen to the playing card collecting community. Even if your deck isn’t made for playing card collectors, they will have tons to offer in respect to the conventions and history of playing cards that will effect your work. I have been really impressed with how knowledgable and helpful the playing card collector community has been.
8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
The best place to view our playing card work is on the Kickstarter for the deck. Jordan has a company called Right After Then (rightafterthen.com) which has some of his other work on it. My company Geek Dynasty has a website, but it’s restricted access for my game/toy industry clients, so it’s not much help. You can see some of my other work at funto11.com which is my group of friends that makes games for launch on Kickstarter.
9. Is there anything else you?d like to say?
If any of your readers are thinking of trying something like a playing card deck, or any other creative project, I say go for it! Even if you work on it slowly in your spare time – nothing is more rewarding IMO than having an idea and seeing it through to the end.
10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each.
The meeple shape is super iconic to board gamers, so messing with it is dicey. But you have to have “one-eyed” cards. Even though you literally couldn’t produce meeples like this (due to the way the wooden pieces are made), it was just too tempting not to do.
The Ace of Spades of course needed to be special and more “ornate” – but the meeple shape is anything but ornate. Jordan decided to make it look ornate by adding other shapes that board gamers would recognize immediately (many inspired by the mega-hit game Settlers of Cataan).
the Tuck box was something that we went back and forth on quite a bit. There was some great classic ones to use as inspiration. This is where we ended up – which has a few call backs to some classic Aviator decks.
Lastly, we liked the shapes of our royals so much, Jordan designed some vinyl stickers that he custom made. They are super fun – here are the ones on the back of my laptop! (we made them available on the campaign as well)