The Janken Deck is 70 Poker sized cards in five suits: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Water, and Lizard. It's a versatile deck for many types of games: solitaire, strategy games, puzzle games, party games, kid's games, educational games and more. You can use just the Rock, Paper, and Scissors cards for easy games, or combine the whole deck with a standard deck to play with nine different suits at once!
The idea sparked when I heard about the game "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" (Sheldon plays it on Big Bang Theory though the game was invented by Sam Kass much earlier). I imagined how card games would play with a Rock-Paper-Scissors game logic. Five different suits outrank each other but no suit is ever "strongest". I came up with a few game ideas and realized that this was a deck I wanted to play with!
I knew if I didn't make the deck myself it would never happen, and if I was going to do it I had better do it right. After getting permission from Sam Kass to expand on his game I spent the winter and spring of 2017 designing the new suits and creating traditional looking face cards. The face cards feature real kings and queens of history with art and weapons that represent their different cultures. Throughout the campaign I will be revealing a new card design each day on the Janken Deck Facebook page.
Of course, what good is a deck of cards if you don't know how to play? I have put together rules for about 30 different games so far and will share those on my new website jankendeck.com. There will also be a place on the website for players to invent and submit their own favorite games for the deck.
As of today, the art is finished for all 70 playing cards plus two cards that illustrate the relations between the suits Rock, Paper, Scissors, Water, and Lizard. I am working with a printer to get proofs done and then the cards and box will be ready for print. All I need now is funding to help bring the cost-per-deck down to a reasonable level by printing a larger batch. If I can beat my goal by a wide enough margin I will be able to offer a choice of colors for the card back designs.
Here are two PDF files to describe the basic rules and how to get started with a variation on the classic "War".
Risks and challenges
My goal is to have everything printed and shipped to arrive before Christmas because I think people will want to have fun with this over the holidays. If I reach my goal and the printer's estimates for printing and delivery times are correct that should be no problem.
Besides printing and shipping I just need to get busy getting all of my game rules onto the website, make "How to Play" videos for people who like to jump in without reading all the rules, and polishing the website.
- (31 days)