Imagine some cats got into your card game.
You're trying to play a game of Hearts, or Rummy - or Whist - or whatever you usually play with your perfectly normal sensible standard deck of cards - but something has been moved around.
The suits are now Lasers, Mice, Boxes and Nip. Someone has rearranged the pips somehow. But it all still works perfectly fine. And then... ridiculous cats start turning up. The Queen of Boxes in her cardboard palace. The Jack of Mice brought a present. Actually, there are cats peering around the backs of your whole hand when you fan it out.
There are cats in your game now.
You can still play as usual, of course... or you can allow the cats change the rules. It's up to you.
The unique feature of this deck are the four jokers, which come with a set of rules that turns them into simple action cards to suit most games. They let you peek at cards, change moves, and move cards around to your advantage. You'll get to know them in no time, and start to make up your own feline house rules... and have a lot of fun.
Simply put, the jokers allow you to change the last turn taken or control the next turn in line, swap cards around or peek at them.
We tested the jokers with a range of games and found them very satisfying to use. They have a way of suddenly appearing on the table, much like real cats, and entirely foiling everyone else's plans for you... or not, in any case it's best to act like you meant to do whatever you just did.
Will the Feline Jokers work with your favourite game?
First of all: Any game you can play with a poker deck you can also play with this. You have 52 poker-sized cards (56 counting the jokers), 4 suits, ace to ten with three face cards per suit. You even got a distinction between colourful and monochrome joker, if your game requires that.
If there's only one particular card game you want to play, I can't promise you'll enjoy it even more with these jokers. But try them with several games, and see how they bring new life to classic games you haven't even considered in a while!
As rules of thumb:
- They work well with trick taking games (Whist, Hearts...)
- Shedding games usually work (Rummy, Mau Mau...)
- The joker rules are designed for games that involve players holding a hand of games and then playing them in turns. Poker, for example, won't work as described. You might still find a way of using them, of course.
- If the game already uses jokers, you'll have to amend the rules a bit and allow them to be used one way or the other.
- You'll sometimes need to have a chat before the first round to decide whether you want to limit or boost the powers of the jokers in some way to suit the game. That's part of the fun!
I’m keeping this Kickstarter simple: backers get a deck of cards (or two) for a good price. If you want a personal touch, there’s the option to order a doodle of a cat of your choice.
There are no stretch goals. If it gets funded, the cards will be printed on black cored playing card board, cello wrapped in a tuck box with a folded, illustrated rules booklet - a fine, standard quality for playing cards. If it gets overfunded I will enhance the production quality past this, working with the printer.
So... how come I am making these?
I originally drew this deck of cards for a friend, by hand, on paper. He asked me to have a copy printed on proper stock (fair enough), and once we started using that, people started to ask me to publish an edition.
I'm a full time author and illustrator of children's books and other interactive things. My best known series is probably the one starting with "There are Cats in this Book".
Sometimes I make game installations, run creative workshops and lecture about illustration and game design. I always carry a deck of playing cards in case anyone is stressing out and needs distracting from the world.
It wasn't that hard to convince me to spend a few more months on this deck to get it ready for publication, and here is the result, tried, tested and full of lovely cats. I think it is suitably distracting to make it worth carrying with you at all times.
The suits and pip arrangements are designed to be easily recognisable, but a slight sense of the uncanny and unfamiliar is fully intended - in the friendliest way, as you'd expect from a deck of cats. I didn't just want to make cards with cats on them, but design a deck that truly feels like cats got into it when you play.
Even when you don't use any special rules at all.
I hope you’ll enjoy this deck, and release a Pack of Cats onto your games table. You can only win. Or lose. It’s a deck of cards.
All artwork and photography by Viviane Schwarz.
Music for the video by John Peacock.
Risks and challenges
The cards are already designed and ready for print. I'm a professional illustrator, working with an experienced card printer, and confident that they will come out well.
We already proofed it once, and will proof it again before the final order.
The cards will be sent out in suitable cardboard boxes, with an additional layer of protection for international shipping.
I am avoiding stretch goals as more backers mean more packs of cards sold, and I want to make sure that the focus stays on getting the packs made well, and sent out in time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)