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 A not-so-minor footnote to trains: CARDS!
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 02:32 AM UTC (Read 16289 times)  
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HUGE UPDATE: Nov 17, 2015:

My first impulse calls for stars and fireworks and flashing strobe lights! But I will spare you the eyestrain, and just make the announcement: The third deck, the fantastic one that has been contributed to by so many people, is NOW COMPLETE! And for sale! And you're hearing about it here first, because this is where it all started.

You can see it here, and buy it, at The Game Crafter: The Mighty Magpie!

AND

If you have been holding off on buying until all three decks were available, there is also a Collector Set in a fancy box!

Oh what the hell. I'm gonna celebrate.


======

UPDATE Nov 22, 2013: The Trains Deck is now Officially Published!

Not only that... there's even an Island card game to go with it. The rules for Spiderkitty: The Card Game are downloadable for free.


===
If you were around for the now-defunct train system, did you ever wonder what design was on the backs of those battered old playing cards?

Recently, Buddleia demanded that I tell her, because she needed to know! (Which is the best of reasons.) Quite naturally, I immediately needed to know too -- more exactly than that half-formed fuzzy image I'd had at the back of my mind. It took me a while to pull it together.

When I showed her, she mentioned that others might like to see it, too. So here it is:




Update as of November 15, 2013:

Oddly enough, the card back turned out not to look the least bit like that...

but hey, it's certified! (This is a closeup of the seal on the tuck box.)

There are more images of the deck and its box here: http://tinyurl.com/IITrainsDeck



 
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Daedalus
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 11:27 AM UTC  
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That is brilliant. Eek!


The lunatics are taking over the asylum! Come with?
 
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Buddleia
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 02:36 PM UTC  
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If this is what comes of me making demands ... well, a) I should be more polite in my emails, b) I should make demands more often so that we get more brilliant things like this! Big Grin

Also. For my fellow nostalgia-stricken train-lovers. Remember those beautiful cards, and all the fun of finding and collecting them all?

A while back, I asked Sessine if the original images for the Trains cards could be made into a physical deck of cards and sold as II Merchandise.

Sadly, they are only 57x80 - were designed as the size they would appear in the game - so they wouldn't enlarge to print nicely.

Sessine: Each one is five or six layers in Photoshop. The card design itself is Illustrator, so that could be expanded, but all those smudges, scratches, creases and stains... they only exist at the size of an Inventory graphic.
me: Never used Photoshop, or Illustrator. Hm. Am I crazy enough to actually get them and learn how to use them for this? I shall contemplate. That card-printing website says "minimum resolution 373x561 pixels (150 DPI), max file size 8Mb".
Sessine: They'd really have to be made all over again. And, um. I am not quite crazy enough to do that, not even for you! Wink
me: Oh! Gasp! I am so wounded!

So, uh. Is anyone else crazy enough to want to try this? Or, if there's no rush of volunteers, can anyone at least can anyone give me some tips as to how to even start (other than "1: get Photoshop, 2: learn to shoop")?

Is anyone else crazy enough to want to make/buy an IRL deck of Trains cards?

Would it be ok to do this sort of thing even if it isn't in the official Merch store - Derivative Works rules or somesuch - perhaps if we send a donation?

(Thanks to Makiwa for having archived all the graphics, not to mention Sessine for making them, CMJ for II, my cat for entertaining me, etc etc.)


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 05:19 PM UTC  
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The license is Creative Commons Share-Alike Attribution Non-Commercial. But I hereby grant an exception for your cards, for as long as you're not taking the piss.

(note I define what "Taking the Piss" entails. Wink )


 
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 05:53 PM UTC  
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Okay, now I'm starting to wonder if maybe I am that crazy, after all!

I did it once. In theory, I could do it again, this time using an actual printer's template with sufficient resolution and a proper bleed... The proceeds would have to go to the Island. We'd need some method that didn't involve me committing to handle fulfillment from a warehoused stack of cartons in my non-existent basement, so I guess we're talking about print on demand.

If I did re-make the cards to be printable as a physical deck, what kind of demand would there be for it? What size should they be -- a mini deck (1.75"x2.5"), bridge size (2.25"x3.5")...?

Edit: This site does Print On Demand. If we did poker sized cards (2.5"x3.5") there, we could add a tuck box custom-printed to look like the fine leather card case.


 
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Ada
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 10:48 PM UTC  
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I'd buy 'em.


 
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Ada
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 11:17 PM UTC  
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Wait, no, would I. Not the most useful deck for any card games I know, given the lack of face cards. Unless I tossed the stars and played euchre backwards?


 
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Buddleia
 Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 11:21 PM UTC  
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I was originally thinking bridge cards, since those are the size I'm used to playing with, but having (of course) thrown the numbers at a spreadsheet to see what sticks, I found that Poker cards are more the Width : Length ratio of the original images.

So I'd probably vote for them ... unless the making of All Over Again means that this doesn't matter, in which case I revert to my previous vote!

Anyway. Signing up here: I'd buy a set unless it cost more than, say, 30 ($45). If it was cheaper (say 10) maybe even three or four sets. I don't mind that they're a 51-card deck, not a 52; that's the whole point, to me. If I just wanted a standard deck of cards to play with then I already have a few of those in my room.

Aaaaand if you do mix-and-match of different numbers of each card, I might go the whole hog and try to recreate a portion of the Cardtel's collection... not the whole set, obviously, since that would cost 129 from these guys alone plus P&P and the Island's markup! Not quite that crazy! Big Grin


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 01:03 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Ada

Wait, no, would I. Not the most useful deck for any card games I know, given the lack of face cards. Unless I tossed the stars and played euchre backwards?

Creating regulation face cards to add into the deck wouldn't be impossible. The deck would be larger (66 instead of 51), and you'd still have to remove the star suit to play most games.

But perhaps the deck would have more value with Island-specific images for the face cards.


 
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Alik
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 06:19 AM UTC  
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5 face cards? Jack, Queen, King, Ace & Joker. Human, Kittymorph, Zombie, Midget, Mutant, Robot & Joker? Two extra face cards if you want to be awesome, I mean, we're already kicking the deck with a 5th suit.

I could still see playing games like Asshole, or Shithead with this deck... I'd need to make a new leather card case though.


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 06:37 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Buddleia

Is anyone else crazy enough to want to make/buy an IRL deck of Trains cards?


Let us note, for posterity, that, Alik, who made the post directly above this one, is, indeed, that crazy. As am I.

If I'm reading this thread right, an important question to ask here is "does dirt matter?" If the answer to that question, in our particular case, is "no", then we can just scale up the card designs, crop CMJ's mystic smoke trail, and call it a day. I, myself, would be fine with a clean deck, but I only get half of a vote because I wasn't on the Island when the Trains were.

Face cards: FACECARDS! Yes! I see three options here:
1. (Boring) We choose three NPCs (The Drive, The Watcher, and Jill, say), pallete-swap them for each suit, and exchange victory high-fives. (How do you pallete-swap the Watcher's trademark outfit? Dunno.)
2. (Fun) We have a grand old time matching each suit to what it symbolizes (Probably the same things each suit gives Jokers a bonus for, and Fame for the suit of stars) and ranking NPCs in that category, putting the top three on the King, Queen, and Jack, respectively.
3. (Crazy) We match each suit to the statistic it symbolizes, but then, instead of NPCs, we put contestants on each card. As if the Hall o' Fame wasn't incentive enough. (Presumably, the contestants would be asked to provide their own art.)(Also presumably, clawing your way to the top three would let you replace people on the cards.)(One of the problems with this idea is that you probably don't care about the top three contestants in a random category, unless you are (the close friend of) one.)

I don't think your face card (Race card?) idea will work, Alik, because Aces and Jokers are already filled. However, your suggestion of more face cards is intriguing.

If this all goes well, some enterprising soul with a love of card games needs to tweak a bunch of classic card games to work with five suits, and then perhaps give said card games new, Improbable, names.

Size: Poker or Bridge is fine by me. As long as I don't have to play with tiny little baby cards or cards the size of Manhattan, I'm good.


 
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Matthew
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 11:54 AM UTC  
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I'd probably buy one, really, depending on price. Adding face cards would be nice- just make it like a standard deck, only with five suits instead of four. That way, if you wanted to actually play with it, you could just remove one.

Poker sized is what I'm used to, so I'll vote for that.

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3. (Crazy) We match each suit to the statistic it symbolizes, but then, instead of NPCs, we put contestants on each card. As if the Hall o' Fame wasn't incentive enough. (Presumably, the contestants would be asked to provide their own art.)(Also presumably, clawing your way to the top three would let you replace people on the cards.)(One of the problems with this idea is that you probably don't care about the top three contestants in a random category, unless you are (the close friend of) one.)



Seems too exclusionary to me, and besides, that can change really easily, so what was true when the cards are made might not be true in another year. I say this as a person who probably would be on a card, given the criteria. Razz

I can't believe trains was more than a year ago holy shit


 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 05:31 PM UTC  
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FYI you guys, dirt and stains super easy these days to add. Lost and Taken for instance has free images and all you need to do is throw them into Photoshop and make their layer 'darken' or 'multiple' and VOILA, stains!

I do it ALL THE FRICKIN TIME. So don't let that stop you Sessine moo. There's some great images in there for texture. I love that place.

I also would like face cards if I was to purchase said deck, and as aforementioned, for it to somehow benefit the Island would be... *ahem* very good.

moooooo

-Rose

PS: Have I mentioned lately I miss trains?

PPS: Sends a hug Sessine's way.

PPPS: JOKERS WOULD BE NECCESSARY, JUST SAYIN. Big GrinDDD


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Buddleia
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 08:30 PM UTC  
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Alternatively, there could be two decks. One which is the original, in-game Trains cards: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 of the five suits plus a CMJoker, complete with smudges and smears and so on, with the new Trains image as their back. The other one which is a customised standard deck, with A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K of the normal four suits, with the Improbable Island "beware of the rabbit" signs as their back. Before Trains, I would have bought one of those just to play with... and, what the hell, might still.

Sometimes it's better to have two different things to do two different things, rather than one thing which does both but only if you spend a while fiddling with it.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 08:58 PM UTC  
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Since I meticulously dirtied up each and every card in the original graphics so that every single one was different... (except for one deliberate pair)... I am not daunted by the idea of adding the dirt. I am a... detail-oriented person. (That's a better way of putting it than 'obsessive', right?)

The backs would need to be all the same, otherwise the cards would be 'marked'! Which would be fine for a souvenir pack and quite in keeping with the Island's nature, but some people might, y'know, want to play games with them. The back-design will not be exactly as pictured above, because of real-life printing considerations.

The Game Crafter site I linked to is probably the one I'll go with. It's set up for indie game designers, offers a lot of flexibility, and can handle the whole process including funneling any profits to the Island's PayPal account. If these cards are for sale to anyone in their online shop, who knows, that may even tempt some new players to check out the Island!

I think I'll stick with poker size. Not only is that more authentic (as Buddleia just proved), but there are proper boxes available.

Face cards: Yes, I do want to match the face cards of each suit to what it symbolizes. But, we aren't limited to faces! I already know what the three "face" cards for the Stars suit need to be: constellations mentioned in the Island's Weather module. K - the Sneaky Lion. Q - the Smoking Spiderkitty. J - the Top Hat. That still leaves twelve slots for Memorable Island Institutions... with preference given to the inventions that are CMJ originals, rather than LotGD legacies.

What would you want to see? Nominations are now open!

Edit:

Quote by: Buddleia

Alternatively, there could be two decks. One which is the original, in-game Trains cards: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 of the five suits plus a CMJoker, complete with smudges and smears and so on, with the new Trains image as their back. The other one which is a customised standard deck, with A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K of the normal four suits, with the Improbable Island "beware of the rabbit" signs as their back. Before Trains, I would have bought one of those just to play with... and, what the hell, might still.

Sometimes it's better to have two different things to do two different things, rather than one thing which does both but only if you spend a while fiddling with it.


This is a damn good idea. Once we have the images we can certainly offer variations with very little extra effort. At least three options: Buddleia's two, mentioned above, or for a higher price, the whole set combined.


 
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Trowa
 Monday, March 18 2013 @ 06:39 AM UTC  
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I do not care how much it costs.

I do not care how many variants there are.

I do not care how big they are.

I will buy them.


Uh...dramatics aside, I nominate some of the Council Office fetch-quest items (minus the Skronk). Glowing green penny, brain in a jar, and the old service revolver all seem like cool ideas. Maybe some of the Outpost characters, like Sheila, Mike, Joker-Mike, Maiko and Miu-Miu, too?


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Monday, March 18 2013 @ 05:57 PM UTC  
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Face card votes:

I agree nothing too playercentric as that stuff changes over too quickly. Canon canon canon, as always.

What about our new veggies? Scroteweed etc?

Mounts? Budget Horse etc?

Important places? Failboat? Raven's Inn, etc?

Funny Improbable people?
Audrey, Crazy old lady who sings the newhome song, old man with stick

Weird stuff?
Stongehenge, Pinata, stream with the stones with wigs

Characters in the canon storyline?
Stranger, Dancer, Stern, Rohit etc? (preferably CMJ's version, which of course drags him into the creative stream Big Grin )


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Docenspiel
 Monday, March 18 2013 @ 06:41 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Face cards: Yes, I do want to match the face cards of each suit to what it symbolizes. But, we aren't limited to faces! I already know what the three "face" cards for the Stars suit need to be: constellations mentioned in the Island's Weather module. K - the Sneaky Lion. Q - the Smoking Spiderkitty. J - the Top Hat. That still leaves twelve slots for Memorable Island Institutions... with preference given to the inventions that are CMJ originals, rather than LotGD legacies.

What would you want to see? Nominations are now open!

Edit:

Quote by: Buddleia

Alternatively, there could be two decks. One which is the original, in-game Trains cards: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 of the five suits plus a CMJoker, complete with smudges and smears and so on, with the new Trains image as their back. The other one which is a customised standard deck, with A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K of the normal four suits, with the Improbable Island "beware of the rabbit" signs as their back. Before Trains, I would have bought one of those just to play with... and, what the hell, might still.

Sometimes it's better to have two different things to do two different things, rather than one thing which does both but only if you spend a while fiddling with it.


This is a damn good idea. Once we have the images we can certainly offer variations with very little extra effort. At least three options: Buddleia's two, mentioned above, or for a higher price, the whole set combined.



Diamonds (moneymoneymoney): Deimos, Audrey, Sheila, eBoy

Spades (NPCs that teach you stuff?): Cuthbert, Maiko, George? He's not the one who teaches you Timed Combat, but he's the only named Zombie NPC.

Hearts (NPCs with quests): the Watcher, Stern, Punishment, Rohit, Maiko, Dan (does he even look different from CMJ?)

Clubs (um... everything else): the Lion, Emily, Seth, the Lion, Cake or Death Man, Midgets from the Train Station, Team Awesome, the Lion, Miu Miu, Vivaan, Keetan, the Lion, Waiterbot, the Ferryman, Julia, THE LION


For rent: one skull, in serious need of dusting.
 
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Buddleia
 Monday, March 18 2013 @ 08:00 PM UTC  
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I love the Stars idea. It's perfect.

At risk of being too obviously obnoxiously That One Person Who Just Won't Shut Up, here are my nominations - match them to suits as you will:

Money: K eBoy's, Q Sheila's, J Bank.
Expensive: K Hat, Q Tattoos, J Jewelery.
Chance: K Card-draw, Q Dice-roll, J Coin-flip.
Something Improbable: K Stonehenge, Q Mighty Magpie, J Stream +/- ferryman.
Practice: K Titan, Q Nightmare Court, J Dojo
Hunting: K Improbability Drive, Q Abandoned Factory, J Jungle.
Quests: K Dan, Q The Watcher, J Mr Stern
Weapons: K Elephant Gun (or DHDB Cat Launcher), Q Plasma Gun, J Spork
Pubs: K PSK, Q Sunny Spot, J Rook's Nest.
Nice things: K Cigs, Q Favour/Charm, J Req
Building: K Builder's Brew, Q Suzie's, J Cadfael's.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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Alik
 Tuesday, March 19 2013 @ 02:40 AM UTC  
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I always thought of spades as being the darker of the suits, and therefore a good one to show off the enemies or more antagonistic NPCs, like the Drive itself, Titans, the Stranger (who seems to have been forgotten), thieving midgets or fail-boat personnel, etc.

it's 4:40am and I can't really think of anything else at the moment. I'll edit this tomorrow with other ideas


 
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