In a world of franchises, sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, originality can be hard to come by. Throw any great story into the licensing machine and you’re left with generic products decorated with uninspiring photography. Enter STARDECK, a set of playing cards featuring richly illustrated characters telling a unique story.
STARDECK, recently featured on Abduzeedo, tells of four archetypal sci-fi factions as they vie for control over Proxima B, Earth’s terrestrial neighbor in the Proxima Centauri system. Proxima B’s native population, the aliens whose subterranean existence has earned them the moniker “Spades”, defend their world from outside invaders. Their overwhelming numbers are enabling them to fend off Earth’s militarized colonization effort. The Hearts, an advanced robot population, aid Earth’s various civilian and military factions via combat, manufacturing, and espionage; all while advocating for equal treatment and representation on Earth. The Club, Earth’s most decorated combat unit, was the first to touch down on Proxima B. Quickly overrun by the Spade horde, its surviving members defend their landing site from the planet’s hostile natives. The Diamond Corporation, currently profiting from a lucrative arms market, are diversifying into natural resource commodities, arriving on Proxima B with the goal of claiming rights to the planet’s unassigned lands.
The interplay between each of STARDECK’s factions are shown via the face cards. The Clubs sport technology developed by the robotic hearts, indicated by gear donning the heart insignia. Each Spade card, because they are at war with the other three factions, show Proxima B’s native species with a robot and human skull.
Lunar Saloon, STARDECK’s creators, is a Minneapolis-based creative studio helmed by Alex and Meg Griendling. With nine years of industry experience, they’ve worked with clients like Google, Tumblr, IGN, Game Informer and Double Fine. Now they’re stepping into product design and have launched a Kickstarter to fund the initial run of STARDECK.
Each deck will be printed on standard poker-sized cards by the United States Playing Card Company. STARDECK has already reached its first stretch goal, ensuring that the decks will be printed on USPCC’s high-quality paper. In addition to the deck, they’re partnering with Neutral Ground, a New Orleans producer of custom laser etched goods, to offer backers their choice of laser etched wood or metal cards offered only through their Kickstarter. Metal cards are etched onto aluminum plates and are actual card size, while wood etchings are oversized 6×8.5” reproductions of the card art, which are better for display in a home or office.
The STARDECK Kickstarter runs through November 10th, and though it was fully funded after three days, Lunar Saloon is rolling out more stretch goals throughout the duration of the campaign. You can check out their Kickstarter page at stardeckcards.com to learn more about STARDECK, and Big Cartel’s recent interview with Alex and Meg to learn more about Lunar Saloon.