Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 31, 2013.

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Dicecards are a geektastic set of more than thirty dice (and other things) on a deck of cards.

NEWSFLASH - Scroll down below the 'stretch goals' to see a guide to what rewards you get at each level, including stretch goals, and what extras you can add.

Hello!

I've been a games geek for more than thirty years: from typing in games on a ZX81, playing Euro board games, painting orc armies, through roleplaying (and LARPing, when I got the chance) to programming games for a living. I love all kinds of games, whether it be Poker, Fiasco, Twighlight Struggle or Spelunky. And over a lifetime of playing geeky games, I've accumulated a big geeky bag of dice.

Three and a bit years ago I had the idea to create a deck of cards with a full set of polyhedral dice on them. As these ideas go, it soon snowballed. Gaming buddies got involved, and the cards went from 6 dice to more than 30 randomizers, including a bunch of stuff designed just for the cards, to spark creative play. I worked for about six months on the cards until the start of 2010.

A couple of personal tragedies put plans on hold for a while. So, even though everybody who's seen the cards loved them (and demanded their own deck), I'm only now ready to do a full production run.

Which is where you come in! You have in your bank account the means to turn images into physical objects: to help me get a full production run of cards out of the computer and into the hands of gamers everywhere.

The Cards

The cards feature more than thirty different elements, from regular dice, through gambling games, polyhedral dice, wargaming dice, a full set of roles for Werewolf, dominos, runes, coins, letter tiles, ESP cards, poker chips, short straws, and lots more. Oh, and they are playing cards too!

The website at dicecards.com has a complete list, along with instructions for how to use some of the more exotic elements, and complete rules for a whole bunch of games you can play right from a single deck.

Using the cards in place of a die-roll is simple. You shuffle the cards and draw one (or just cut them, if they're reasonably shuffled already). Then read the value off the die you need. So if you picked the ace of spades, above, and you wanted a d20, then your roll would be 13.

The cards are carefully designed so the probability of rolling any value is the same on the card as it would be with the real die. To make this happen, some cards don't have some dice on them. So if you wanted a d12 roll, and you chose the card above, it doesn't have a d12 on it, so you simply draw (or cut) again. You won't have to wait long. Many dice are on every card, or almost every card. (The d12, for example, is only missing from 6).

Other elements might work in slightly different ways. If you have to decide who gets the next round of drinks, everyone takes a card, and the person with the shortest straw buys.

The cards are an awesome addition to your gaming bag, a self-contained dice-kit for a flight or road trip, and a practical replacement for dice when you're out LARPing. There's also enough on them to be fun solo.

The sheer range of things you can do with these cards is amazing.

The Backs

The four back designs
The four back designs

The red back is the basic version. If we pass £12,500, I'll have sets of cards printed in red and blue backs for folks with more than one deck in their reward. So each person having DOUBLED UP will get a set of each, and I'll add an extra blue deck to each of the EXOTIC DOUBLE tiers and above. If we don't get that far, all regular decks will have the red back.

Rare Decks

The EXOTIC DOUBLE and the BESPOKE reward tiers feature decks of cards that will be printed in smaller runs than the main cards (the red and blue backs). Because of this, they'll be printed using a slightly different method and will vary slightly in color and finish from the main decks.

The Final Version

The cards you see here are the latest version (those in the video are a few versions back now). I'll continue to tweak them in minor ways up until the print deadline, but all elements are in place now, and no more will be added, unless the top tier is purchased in the last few hours of the project.

So the cards you will receive will look the same as these, have the same elements on them, and generally be laid out in the same way, but will not be identical - the particular rolls on particular cards will be different, because they are different each time I tweak something. See the 'How Dicecards are Made' section for details!

PDF Reward Usage

In the rewards section, I mention legal restrictions on the PDF that backers will receive. This isn't onerous, but is just designed to respect my ability to sell the cards. The license that will come with the PDF allows you to print copies of the cards for your own personal use only. You can't print them to sell them, or to give them away at events, conferences, or in your store. If you want to do a promo with the cards, let me know: this is a passion project for me, so I won't try and throttle cash out of you, I can just help out.

Stretch Goals!

We've hit our target, thanks so much everyone. So here's the new goals to unlock some extra goodies.

£6500 Keyfobs (see Update #6 for more details, see below for the list of options) - REACHED!

£7500 The 3D Source Files (see Update #5 for more details) - REACHED!

£9000 An App Version for iOS and Android (see Update #7 for more details) - REACHED!

£10,000 Dicecard bags (see Update #9 for more details) - REACHED!

£12,500 The Blue Back Deck (see "The Backs" above for more details) - REACHED!

£14,000 The Game Guide PDF (see Update #14 for more details) - REACHED!

£16,000 The Game Guide in Print (see Update #14 for more details) - REACHED!

Reward Level Summary

This is a list of the rewards levels, with a complete list of rewards, including unlocked stretch goals. 

DO IT YOURSELF. £2, no shipping fee.

  • PDF of the cards.
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Embossed velvet bag, £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of bags.

e.g. this level, with 2 keyfob pdfs, £6.

THE DECK. £8, + £2 non-UK shipping.

  • One deck of cards.
  • One printed game guide.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • One keyfob set PDF. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the cards.
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Embossed velvet bag, (up to 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with a velvet bag, to the US, £13.

THE BIG PRINT. £13, + £3 non-UK shipping.

  • One deck of cards.
  • One printed game guide.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • One keyfob set PDF. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Embossed velvet bag, (up to 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with two extra keyfob PDFs and a velvet bag, to Australia, £23.

DOUBLED UP. £18, + £4 non-UK shipping.

  • Two decks of cards: one red back, one blue back.
  • Two printed game guides.
  • One embossed velvet dice bag.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Two keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (up to 9 extra, 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.
e.g. this level, with an extra deck and two extra bags, in the UK, £31.

THE LIMITED EDITION. £45, all shipping included.

  • Two decks of cards: one red back, one blue back.
  • Two printed game guides.
  • One embossed velvet dice bag.
  • 12x8" unique high-resolution presentation print.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Two keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (up to 9 extra, 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.
e.g. this level, with an extra bag, to France. £48.

THE SHOP PACK. £63, + £5 non-UK shipping.

  • Ten decks of cards.
  • Ten printed game guides.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Two keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Embossed velvet bag, (up to 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with ten bags, for the ten decks, to Singapore. £98.

THE COLLECTOR. £75, all shipping included.

  • Two decks of cards: one red back, one blue back.
  • Two printed game guides.
  • One embossed velvet dice bag.
  • One uncut sheet of cards.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Two keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (up to 9 extra, 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One extra uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with an extra uncut sheet of cards, to Italy. £135.

THE EXOTIC DOUBLE. £95, all shipping included.

  • Three decks of cards: one red back, one blue back, one exotic ivory back.
  • Three printed game guides.
  • One two-deck wooden presentation box.
  • One embossed velvet dice bag.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Three keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (up to 9 extra, 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: Custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with two additional bags, to South Korea. £101.

THE BESPOKE SERVICE. £170, all shipping included.

  • One custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout and certificate.
  • Three additional decks of cards: one red back, one blue back, one exotic ivory back.
  • One two-deck wooden presentation box.
  • Four printed game guides.
  • One embossed velvet dice bag.
  • One uncut sheet of cards.
  • 8x6" signed presentation print.
  • iOS / Android / HTML 5 Dicecards app.
  • Four keyfob set PDFs. [see below for choices].
  • PDF of the game guide.
  • PDF of the cards.
  • 3D source files.
  • Credit on the website.
  • Add: One additional deck, £7.
  • Add: Two additional decks, £13.
  • Add: Extra PDF of a keyfob set, £2. [see below for choices].
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (up to 9 extra, 10 total) £3 each + no additional shipping.
  • Add: Extra embossed velvet bag, (any additional bags after 10) £3 each + £2 UK shipping / £4 non-UK shipping for any number of additional bags.
  • Add: One extra custom monogrammed deck with a unique layout, £75, all shipping included.
  • Add: One extra uncut sheet of cards, £60, all shipping included.

e.g. this level, with an additional monogrammed deck, and four additional bags, to Germany. £257.

PDF Keyfobs

Here are the keyfobs I'll definitely make.

1. 4dF - Four Fudge dice, suitable for playing Fudge or Fate.

2. 3d6 - For playing a whole bunch of RPGs.

3. Standard Polyhedrals - d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20 on each page.

4. Percentage - d%, i.e. 2d10, with one numbered in tens.

5. Gambling - 2d6 Casino dice, plus the Crown and Anchor die, the slots die, and the dreidel.

6. Distributions - a regular d6, plus the expectation, average and extreme d6 variations.

7. GM stuff - the compass, the writer's die, the elements die, the weather die and the target.

8. Fortunes - the tarot, the runes, the fortune cookie slip.

I've also been asked for three other sets:

a) odd-numbered dice for dungeon crawl classics (d3, d5, d7), [3 more votes needed]

b) Formula D dice, [2 more votes needed]

c) Exploding d6 (with an extra die if the d6 has rolled 6). [4 more votes needed]

Of these, a and b will require new assets to be created. I'll do them if 5 people want to buy them. Please direct message me if you do want these. The current vote tallies are listed above.

How Dicecards are Made

(Feel free to skip this if you don't like to know how sausages are made.)

Each element was modelled and textured in 3D, and sits in one big 3D environment. Some of the materials are pretty complex. For example, on the dice, you can see the number that is face up is brighter than the others, so it is easier to see at a glance.

With the 3D elements in place, a bunch of software works its magic.

The first distributes all the elements among the cards, so roughly the same number (and size) of elements are on each card, and so the probabilities are correct for each randomizer. 

This distribution plan is then passed to a custom packing system, that virtually throws the dice for each card onto the table (it already knows what value should come up, so this is a position-only thing). Some elements can go anywhere, other elements are more restricted (the poker chip goes at the top, for example, so you can stack your cards and see what you have). Other elements have to clear some airspace above them so they aren't blocked. After this process, we know what is on each card, and where.

A result from the packing system (note everything is packed as assemblies of circles - it used to be more complex, but this turned out way faster in practice).
A result from the packing system (note everything is packed as assemblies of circles - it used to be more complex, but this turned out way faster in practice).

The renderer then loads the 3D elements, and the packing plan, and sets up all the lighting and camera to draw the card. 

The card layout, ready for rendering.
The card layout, ready for rendering.

This typically takes about 5 minutes at high quality and about 25 at ultra-high resolution (which is used for the prints, but not needed for the cards). I come back a few hours later, and the cards are all rendered.

A raw render from the 3D software.
A raw render from the 3D software.

Then a final piece of software loads these raw renders, adds the card borders to them, and outputs them in regular image format for viewing on screen, and does a color-correction conversion into CMYK format for print. 

It takes about half a day to generate and render a new set of cards. The BESPOKE SERVICE reward tier will get a custom layout and render on their extra deck of cards, produced in this way. If you're extra geeky, I'll send you the packing layouts and other intermediate data too.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I have card art, box art, and instructions done. I have a realistic schedule, and budget. I'm confident I am as prepared as possible for this project (its been 3 years, after all!). So the main risks out there will be unknown unknowns, to quote Donald Rumsfeld.

There will be a slight delay if the top two reward tiers are claimed, because there'll be a little extra work there, but only a matter of a few days.

This isn't my day job, so I am not on this full time, but because I'm a consultant, I'm flexible enough so that should not impact the schedule.

I'll make sure that backers are updated with progress (good progress and unforeseen issues) as often as I have news. And I welcome questions and clarifications from you.

FAQ

  • Yes, back the project at the DOUBLED UP level or above, and add additional decks at £7 each, or £13 for two. Kickstarter isn't aimed at bulk buys, so if you want more than the ten in the shop pack, get in touch directly.

    Last updated:
  • Yes. This was deliberate, but feedback was that it needed to change. I asked for votes in Update #1 and revealed the new look in Update #3. The cards in the video are old style, but those on this page are on the new format, without a bottom right pip at all.

    Last updated:
  • A questionnaire will go out in the couple of weeks after the campaign ends. This questionnaire will allow you to state which rewards you paid for and which PDFs you want. Kickstarter doesn't have built-in tools to allow you to manage this information along with your pledge.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, in the questionnaire that will go out after the campaign ends, you will be able to specify your mailing address. You don't need to give it at this stage.

    If your billing address was in the UK, but you want to mailing to be outside the UK, then please remember to add the extra shipping costs. Kickstarter won't add these automatically for you, as it does when you have an international billing address.

    Last updated:
  • Nothing. I'll cover the postage for the higher rewards. When shipping one or two packs, I have to add a small surcharge. But for higher tiers, I can cover it.

    Last updated:
956
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  • Pledge £2 or more
    You selected

    31 backers

    DO IT YOURSELF. A PDF, printable copy of the Dicecards. Printable on US Letter or International A4 card stock. [See the notes in the text for legal restrictions] PDFs will be sent immediately the design is finalized (i.e. well before the printed decks are ready).

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £8 or more
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    485 backers

    THE DECK. You get a single deck of Dicecards, delivered to your door. And you get the PDF right away, and credit on the Dicecards site.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £2 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £13 or more
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    20 backers

    THE BIG PRINT. You get a the PDF, and deck of Dicecards as soon as they are available. And while you are waiting, you get a quality 8x6 presentation print of one of the cards, signed by me (you can choose which one). Plus credit on the website, of course!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £3 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £18 or more
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    376 backers

    DOUBLED UP. You get the PDF, and two decks of Dicecards, as well as the quick-delivery 8x6 signed presentation print, and credit on the website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £4 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £45 or more
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    14 backers Limited (40 left of 54)

    THE LIMITED EDITION. You get everything in the DOUBLED UP tier, plus one of 54 signed, archival quality 12x8 prints of high resolution versions of the cards. Only one of each card will be printed in this way. It is first come first served on which card you get, so if you want this, back it early.

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  • Pledge £63 or more
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    24 backers

    SHOP PACK. You get ten (10) decks of cards, which you can resell, or give out to your friends or gaming group. Plus credit on the website. You will also receive the PDF, but please note the legal restrictions in the notes on the left.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add £5 to ship outside the UK
  • Pledge £75 or more
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    0 backers

    THE COLLECTOR. You get everything in the DOUBLED UP tier, plus an uncut sheet of the cards. You can add an uncut sheet to any other reward tier (or have multiple uncut sheets) for £60.

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  • Pledge £95 or more
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    2 backers

    THE EXOTIC DOUBLE. You get the 8x6 presentation print, plus the PDF and credit on the website, as before. And you get two decks, but this time the second deck has an ultra-limited edition contrasting alternate back design. The two decks are supplied in a presentation box. [See 'Rare Decks' in the main text].

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £170 or more
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    3 backers

    THE BESPOKE SERVICE. Everything in the EXOTIC DOUBLE tier, plus an uncut sheet of cards, and an additional deck of totally custom cards. The custom cards have the same set of elements on them, but the combination of elements on each card, the rolls on each dice, and the layout on the card will be totally custom for each deck printed. That means there will be nobody in the world with the same deck as you. Comes with a certificate to this effect. You can add a custom deck to any other reward tier for £75. [See 'Rare Decks' in the main text].

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ON THE CARDS. All the rewards of THE BESPOKE SERVICE, plus, you get credit on the border of the treasure map on every single deck of cards printed. That's not just the custom decks, that's everyone's decks. [NB: Two things. Firstly - I reserve the right to work with you for how this will appear, so obscene, credibility-destroying messages won't be allowed, and credits that are too long will need to be shortened. Contact me in advance if you think your requirements are more than just a name. Secondly - because of the way the cards are scattered randomly, your credit will be hidden on some cards and visible on others, and there's no way around that - its part of the aesthetic. You can see this by looking at the copyright message on the treasure map on the current set of cards.]

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge £1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ELEMENTAL. All the rewards of THE BESPOKE SERVICE, plus I work with you to put a die, or randomizer of your choice on the cards. This will appear on all decks, and is an ideal way to promote your game (if it has custom dice). [NB: As in the ON THE CARDS tier, this potentially could break the look, or usefulness of the cards, so if your requirements are complex, or don't match the stuff that's on the cards at the moment, please get in touch. I also reserve the right to refund this, if I simply can't make the 3D model and randomization algorithm - I can't imagine how that would happen, but just in case!]

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (42 days)