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The 4 Kings in an ordinary deck of cards are famous kings from history. My deck has 4 famous game designers. You help me choose who.
The 4 Kings in an ordinary deck of cards are famous kings from history. My deck has 4 famous game designers. You help me choose who.
99 backers pledged $5,931 to help bring this project to life.

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According to legend, the four kings in a regular deck of cards represent four famous kings of history: Julius Caesar, Alexander, Charlemagne, and David (from the Bible). A few years ago, I thought it would be amusing to make a special deck of playing cards, with four famous game designers as the four kings. I sold advertisements on the rest of the cards to pay for printing the cards. All the other cards are ads from game companies, game stores, and game conventions. 

This is an ordinary deck of playing cards. You can use them to play poker or bridge or gin. If you are considering being an advertiser, think about this: most ads are glanced at and thrown away. People will play with these decks often, and most folks keep card decks forever. Your ad will still be here decades from now. Folks who participated in 2008 have had their link on my website now for five years and counting!

I have done this project four times already - 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. You can see examples of the cards on my webpage at www.flyingbuffalo.com/pokerdeck.htm - plus you can see how the included free links from my webpage work. The famous game designers honored in the past include Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Jim Dunnigan, Redmond Simonsen, Lou Zocchi, Duke Seifried, Tom Shaw, John Hill, Marc Miller, Rich Banner, Frank Chadwick, Loren Wiseman, Don Greenwood, Sid Sackson, Greg Stafford, and Steve Jackson. (If you don't recognize any of these names, you should get the decks and read the descriptions on their cards!) 

In the past, I just selected the people who I thought were famous enough and who I wanted to honor on a card.  This year I thought I'd let the people who funded the deck (that would be YOU I hope!) decide who gets to be honored. If you spend at least $2 on this project, you get to vote on who is honored. You can vote for any game designer or game artist, male or female (women can be "kings" too.)  If the project is successfully funded, when I send out the survey I will ask you to vote. The four folks who get the most votes will be honored, if they agree to it. (If one declines, we will add the fifth vote getter, and so on.)

The table-top gaming industry would not be the same without all of these pioneers, and if you consider yourself a gamer, you should know who they are! Why not take advantage of the $30 "get all ten decks" option, and read about each of them on his card? If you wish to be an advertiser, and you want a specific card, email me and I'll let you know if that one is still available. (All the aces are already spoken for!)

Note that our previous decks all had FIVE kings. One of our advertiser's name is King, and he wanted to be a king. So he is the king of "coins". If he doesn't advertise this year, we'll do something special with this card. Contact me if you are interested.

Feel free to "campaign" for your favorite game designer or artist in the "comments" section! But you have to be a backer to comment. ;)

Some folks you might consider voting for (in alphabetical order):

Aaron Allston, Richard Berg, Jolly Blackburn, Larry Bond, John Butterfield, Greg Costikyan, Steve Crompton, Tom Dalgliesh, Liz Danforth, Frank Davis, Larry Elmore, Richard Garfield, Don Greenwood, Julie Guthrie, Shane Hensley, Kenneth Hite, David Isby, Reiner Knizia, Kerry Lloyd, Steve Long, Rick Loomis, Alan R Moon, Steve Perrin, Sandy Petersen, Michael Pondsmith, Mark Rein-Hagen, Charles Roberts, S John Ross, Jeff Siadek, Eric Lee Smith, Lester Smith, Michael Stackpole,  Ken St Andre, Klaus Teuber, Margaret Weiss, or Jordan Weisman. Or any other game designer or artist you think deserves this. I'll be happy to add names to the "suggested" list. 

Here are some of the past cards:

 You can advertise anything related to the game industry on your card including games, gaming support products, publishers, game stores, distributors, conventions, professional services and magazines or websites.

Technical details for advertisers:

 If you are one of the advertisers, in addition to the advertisement, and the decks, and the link to your website, if you have a booth at the Origins or Gencon game conventions, you may participate in the "Poker Game Promotional Event". You'll get your booth number mentioned in an ad in the program book, and hundreds of attendees will be directed to visit your booth and ask for a card. It adds a lot of traffic to your booth, and gets you mentioned in the convention program book. If you are an independent game designer or artist, and you buy a card, we'll mention your name in that ad!

Give us a tif file if possible or a jpg or bmp if necessary. 300 dpi, make it 2 1/2" by 3" in size - we'll shrink it down a bit to fit on the card. We would prefer that you make the text part of the artwork, but if you can't do that, we will add the text, just tell us what you want to say. The art will be printed in full color. (no bleeds). We'll need your art by March 31, 2014. Note that WE will provide the outer part of the artwork - the standard card deck symbols. You just provide the art for your product or logo.

Risks and challenges

I have done this in four previous years, so there is no doubt I can do it. The only problem would be if my graphic artist (Steve Crompton) got sick and couldn't finish in time, or if the printer had some unexpected delay and couldn't get the cards done in time for the conventions this summer. (But I have started early this year to allow extra time). If this happens, we'll just hold it over until 2015. And we'll give every advertiser some bonus decks for the delay.

You may note that there was no deck in 2012 or 2013. In 2012 I decided at the last minute to try to fund it with kickstarter, and didn't have enough time to get it funded or get it done. In 2013 I was too busy with two other successful kickstarter projects. This year I got started early (!!) and decided to let the backers decide who gets honored.

I have two successful kickstarter projects, both of which are late, but nearing completion. The Ace of Aces game is printed, and being shipped right now. The Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls project is waiting for Liz to finish editing the manuscript. (She came down with pneumonia over the summer, so delayed her portion of the project.) We expect to be done sometime in February.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    VOTE FOR A KING:
    You get one vote for who gets to be honored by being on the deck.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    GET A DECK AND A VOTE: The decks will come with two different colors on the back. (Like a canasta set). For five dollars you get one deck (we choose the color) mailed to you anywhere in the USA. Also, you get TWO votes for who is honored to be a "king".

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TWO DECKS & TWO VOTES: The decks will come with two different colors on the back. (Like a canasta set). For ten dollars you get two decks (both colors) mailed to you anywhere in the USA. (Outside the USA, I'll charge $24 for postage, but I'll send you FOUR decks by priority mail flat rate box). Also, you get TWO votes for who is honored to be a "king".

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    TEN DIFFERENT DECKS & TWO VOTES: There are four previous years when we did this, each with four different game designers as the kings. Including the two this year, for $30 you get ALL TEN decks, mailed to you anywhere in the USA. Also you get TWO votes for who is honored to be a "king".

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $296 or more About $296

    BE ON A CARD: You get your full-color ad on one card, on at least 6000 decks (the minimum I will print). You can advertise your game store, your game company, your game convention (or even your travel agency if you like). I will need your artwork by March 31, so we can get the cards printed in time for the Origins game convention. In addition to getting your ad printed in 6000 decks, you get 10 decks for your own use (to sell or give away). Price also includes a permanent link from our website to yours. (see www.flyingbuffalo.com/pokerdeck.htm for example) Plus you get to participate in the Origins Convention promotion or the Gencon Convention promotion (or both for a small extra fee). Plus you get FIVE votes for who gets honored on the deck. If you plan to advertise a GAME STORE or a GAME CONVENTION contact me and I'll give you extra decks to give away. Note: if you wish to buy MORE THAN ONE card in this deck, pick this reward and pledge $520 for two cards or $750 for three cards. More than three, contact me.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    If you play role-playing games, and would like to immortalize your favorite character on a card, we will have artist Steve Crompton create a likeness of your character from your description, and print it on one of the cards. Plus you get 10 decks to sell or give to your friends. (And I'll give you more decks at a very reasonable price. Contact me for details) AND you get FIVE votes for who gets to be honored by being a "king".

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Funding period

- (30 days)