Supreme Poker Plaques
Make your bets look as big as they feel with Supreme Poker Plaques! Rectangular golden poker chips; solid metal and sleek enamel.
The goal of this project is to create the best poker plaques in the world! You know, those rectangular poker chips that signify a swank bet, and command the attention of everyone at the table? This is that; the ultimate poker accessory.
Initially I just wanted to buy some nice poker plaques. I'd been playing in a casual poker game for a few months and the idea to get some poker plaques had been floated a few times by some of the regular players. We wanted an awesome chip to use in the later parts of the game to represent the equivalent of one players buy-in. We wanted to use poker plaques for two reasons:
1) we didn't have any more colours in our poker set, and
2) we wanted a chip of that scale to look and feel like the big bet it represented.
I set about trying to find some poker plaques. I figured that for our use as an endgame high value chip we would only need 5-10 of them. I quickly encountered three problems:
1) They were hard to find. I eventually found a store that sold them; which lead to the second issue.
2) They were expensive. The poker plaques on the market right now fall into two categories: i) $5 per plaque trying to be ultra fancy, and ii) ~$1 per plaque and trying to match standard poker ship design aesthetics. I bought a few of each for research purposes. I discovered that neither were really what I was looking for and that I might have to make my own if I wasn't willing to settle for second best.
3) They weren't what I expected. The expensive plaques were a comprehensive letdown. They were large and ostentatious but not actually all that nice looking, especially close up where it became painfully apparent that the image was printed at a low enough resolution that the art was grainy. The chips were large but cheap feeling and were obviously plastic. The level of finish on the chips was not good enough. The cheaper plaques were exactly what you might expect if you imagine taking a generic poker chip and making it into a larger rectangle. It worked well, had a nice extra heft, and didn't stand out too much. I like them but they don't have the impact, the weight, or the power that I wanted.
What Makes a Poker Plaque Supreme?
The poker plaques I want to make will be visually and tactilely stunning.
In terms of appearance I want to use a combination of calligraphic flourishes and rococo inspired design elements to evoke a sense of wealth and power while keeping the design visually un-cluttered. One or more of the card suits may feature in the design. The enamel colours I plan to use are red and black. They are the classic colours of the suits, work well with gold metallic finish, and support the classic design aesthetic. The metal finish will have a bright shiny golden appearance which will be from a metal plaiting process (not paint or enamel). If the project does well enough it will be possible to offer other metal finishes too, like: sliver, copper, bronze, black nickel, or others.
In terms of feel these plaques will have a good heft to them. The current size I am working on for designs is 39 mm x 64 mm which is projected to have a weight in the 50-60 g range (the weight of about 10 quarters). A small stack of these will feel like the fortune they represent. The dimensions were chosen so that they would have some similarity to poker chips (standard chip diameter is 39 mm) but would be larger. The 64 mm is the nearest millimeter measurement when multiplying 39 by the golden ratio. As poker plaques don't seem to have a standard size, weight, or aspect ratio I've done my best to pick aesthetically pleasing and functional dimensions.
The plaques will have rounded corners (radius not yet finalized, working radius is 5mm) and crisp edges. The enameled designs will be inset from the face of the plaque.
What Will the Design Look Like?
I've spent a lot of time working on the design and coming up with different designs and general themes. There are three which are currently shortlisted. They have been selected based on the feedback I've received so far. The final design will be selected after input from backers is received and will be announced before the Kickstarter campaign is concluded. It is my intention to announce the finalized design with 7 full days left in the campaign in order to give everyone plenty of time to make any decisions based on the finalized design.
Stretch Goals and Cool Options:
If I can raise more than the bare minimum of funds for this project I can offer more options including different metal finishes for poker plaques and backer reward levels that have more than one metal finish. For example, if things go well I could make a 'Three of a Kind' reward level that offered 9 Supreme Poker Plaques, 3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze.
Each additional metal finish that I offer has an additional upfront cost and minimum quantity. This means that I need to make sure that there is actually some interest in each metal finish that ends up being offered.
In many of the Kickstarter projects that I've backed in the past I've held off backing until a stretch goal that I was interested in was reached. For example with Xia: Legends of a Drift System, I waited until it had 5 player support confirmed as my gaming group has 5 regular players. Instead of waiting it is possible to back an arbitrary reward level for the value that you want and switch into the stretch goal option later when it becomes available. This helps get the project to the target but is inelegant and somewhat counter intuitive.
With this Supreme Poker Plaques project it is especially important to be able to gauge support for specific metal colours before I offer them as backer rewards. To help with this I have created some $5 reward levels that are intended to be placeholders so that if you would like a silver metal finish, for example, you don't have to wait for the specific rewards to be created. You can back however much you want into the 'Stretch Goal Voting Level' of your choice. Once it becomes apparent that there is some interest in that metal finish, I will commit to making that metal finish of Supreme Poker Plaque and post some baker reward levels that include the new metal finish. Backers can then edit their backer commitment (I'll provide detailed instructions, it isn't hard) and select a new reward level that will deliver Supreme Poker Plaques of whatever type are desired.
If the metal finish you desire is not selected you can cancel your baking of the project or select any other reward level you want at any time before the project ends. I will make sure that nobody gets charged for backing any of the 'Stretch Goal Voting Levels' even if they forget to remove their backing of it.
This is a new take on stretch goals and how to execute them, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to do this better or explain it more clearly, I'd love to hear them.
Stretch Goal #1: A second metal finish option for Supreme Poker Plaques. Goal: $2000
Stretch Goal #2: Add a clear protective finish to all poker plaques. Goal: $2500
Stretch Goal #3: A third metal finish option for Supreme Poker Plaques. Goal: $3000
more goals to come.
Risks and challenges
Risk 1) I have no experience in metal fabrication.
Mitigation 1) I will be taking care of the design and logistics however the actual fabrication will be done by a professional coin, medal, and awards company with significant experience in providing consistent high quality product.
Risk 2) Metal fabrication has lots of flat fees and complex costs, if you don't raise enough funds you can't make anything.
Mitigation 2) I've contacted 4 different fabricators in Canada and the USA to learn about all the costs associated with production and bulk delivery of the goods. At this point I have a good handle on the price range of the project. The initial project funding goal is set high enough that I could afford to do a small production run of the plaques and deliver them to bakers. I've taken into account the cut that Kickstarter and credit card companies take, the die fees for the plaque creation, the per unit costs, the enameling costs, and several other factors. Even if my first choice for fabricator is unavailable I have others lined up that would have similar costs.
Risk 3) What about shipping?
Mitigation 3) I've done my best to understand the shipping and packaging costs for shipments to Canada and the USA. Due to the complexity of international shipping I won't be offering shipment to any other countries. I overreached with that in my last project, Wild Gears, and need to make sure I know more about intercontinental shipping rates before I do that again. This is one of the limitations I currently have. By recognizing my limitations and selecting which of them to push I am ensuring that I do not take on too many new risks with this project. If you are interested in getting some Supreme Poker Plaques and are outside my approved shipping area please send me a message and I'll be sure to let you know when and how you can acquire some / support the project.
- (21 days)