Kickstarter: Inside Look At A Victorian Adventure Playing Card Project

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Kickstarter: Inside Look At A Victorian Adventure Playing Card Project

Victorian Adveture Deck Tuck Case

The Background:

Last week on 5/30, project creator Alex Willis launched a playing card project on Kickstarter called A Victorian Adventure. The deck was inspired by a mutual love of literature and fantasy that he shared with his Great Great Grandfather. Alex, who has been designing tactile steampunk art for over 10 years, intended for this deck to be somewhat steampunk in nature but focused mainly on the literary themes to be the driving and primary focus of this deck. Because of the tie in with literature, Alex decided to feature one of his favorite novels on each of the four suits and Jokers.

  • Spades - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  • Diamonds - A Princess of Mars (most people are more familiar with the hero of the story; John Carter)

  • Hearts - Tarzan

  • Clubs - Around the World in 80 Days

  • Jokers - Jekyll and Hyde

Inside Look:

With any design there are countless proofs, rough sketches and designs that do not make the finished project for one reason or another. The process is grueling as the artist literally has to decide to scrap their own designs that they sometimes spent hours working on. In order to shine light on the design process, I asked Alex to share a few concept designs that were around during the developmental phase and beginning stages of his deck. He agreed to share the following designs....

The first design is one of the first card back concepts:


The next is a back design concept that comes from the original Around The World In 80 Days. However, the design got muddied after Alex did some detail work and tested printing.
Cardbacks2bordered Original le tour du monde en 80 jours cover:


The following is the final design to be released if Kickstarter project is funded, which pulls in more Victorian design elements:

Victorian Adveture Deck Back Design

This third "behind the scenes" design is of Dejah, the Princess of Mars. The sketch is exactly how Alex envisioned her. This is how she looked as he read the book. Can you see what she is hiding?

Dejah Sketch

This is a 75% finished design of Dejah:

This is how Disney pictured her in the movie John Carter, played by Lynn Collins.

photo courtesy of
The following is the special extra card, which was designed to be used in a poker style card game. It is not clear whether or not this will be used in the actual deck.


The last design is an idea involving the indices. Each indice suit was made to represent familiar items of the era: Clubs - Cameo, Spades - Compass, Hearts - Locket... but the diamonds were tough. Alex wanted to do a pocket watch, and below is the first take at it. In the end, the idea was scratched.


The final Diamonds indice takes on more of a steampunk look than the original:


For more information on how to back this project and to find out what designs Alex finally went with, check out A Victorian Adventure Playing Card project on Kickstarter.

Alex Willis, who is from Man Made Games, is also the creator of the Michael Frömmer's 1616 Silver Bicycle® Playing Cards Project which was funded on Kickstarter in early May 2013.

About Man Made Games: Man Made Games specializes in custom table top card and board games. We enjoy the unique and unusual and typically distribute limited quantities of our games making them ultrarare!
Kickstarter: Inside Look At A Victorian Adventure Playing Card Project Reviewed by Ivan on 6/04/2013 Rating: 5

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