Divine Art Playing Cards Limited Edition

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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby guru » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:18 pm  

Prototype deck review by Magic Orthodoxy.



Note that the card back and tuck have old designs as there in the earlier campaign.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby guru » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:53 am  

Got this impromptu cardistry video shot @ Eclipse Games Store today.



For some pics, you can take a look at the project update here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sunishchabba/divine-art-playing-cards-relaunch/posts/1713956
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby vasta41 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:46 am  

Love the Batman shirt!
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby guru » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:03 am  

All,

FYI...uncut sheet combo has been added as a reward tier.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby vasta41 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:34 am  

So it appears Sunish is going to cancel and relaunch this campaign while self-funding the rest. While doing so he is also going to change the printer to an unknown company.
This is a new printer (name won't be revealed) but after checking the samples, and how they work, I'm hopeful that the product to be produced will be great.


As someone who has never created or printed a deck of cards but has collected over 1,000 I urge Sunish not to do this. I understand the financial issues that might surround this project but please- if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. Every single time a designer prints a deck outside of USPCC, EPCC or LPCC it falls short not matter how "similar" or "comparable" the stock/finish is claimed to be. Every. Single. Time. Please oh pretty please just re-work your tuck design and come back when you're ready to print with one of the big boys. I think it's not out of line to say that this hobby isn't just about a nice design and good artwork. The printer is just as important if not more. Taking above average work to a below average printer is a mistake.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby guru » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:44 am  

vasta41 wrote:So it appears Sunish is going to cancel and relaunch this campaign while self-funding the rest. While doing so he is also going to change the printer to an unknown company.
This is a new printer (name won't be revealed) but after checking the samples, and how they work, I'm hopeful that the product to be produced will be great.


As someone who has never created or printed a deck of cards but has collected over 1,000 I urge Sunish not to do this. I understand the financial issues that might surround this project but please- if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. Every single time a designer prints a deck outside of USPCC, EPCC or LPCC it falls short not matter how "similar" or "comparable" the stock/finish is claimed to be. Every. Single. Time. Please oh pretty please just re-work your tuck design and come back when you're ready to print with one of the big boys. I think it's not out of line to say that this hobby isn't just about a nice design and good artwork. The printer is just as important if not more. Taking above average work to a below average printer is a mistake.



Ohh...wow...it came pretty fast up here. First of all, it has been a carefully thought out decision and I've been working on it for past few months. One day or the other, I was to come up with this. The existing campaign just gave me an impetus to try it out soon enough. I do understand the risks of failure, it can even turn a bear as well, as you said above. But, if I don't try then how will you or I know. Think about it the other way. EPCC, LPCC also started few years back, they tested the market and experimented with the products, and reached this position today wherein their name comes along with USPCC,and if a deck is not done by top 3 then it doesn't find those many takers. It can happen that quality is not right for the first run, but the feedback can only come from the market, right? And, because I've not divulged the name of the printer, it is still not right to say that it will be a low quality printer and quality will fall short not matter how "similar" or "comparable" the stock/finish is claimed to be. What if I'm working with a printer who does the work for one or more of top 3. Do you know the name of the printers that do the work for EPCC & LPCC in Taiwan & China? With the exception of just a few people in the forum, majority doesn't know.

Isn't it a big assumption, then? Moreover, it is just not about financial issues. While trying to find a suitable printer, I'd to shell out big bucks to get samples from all printers I reached out to, and in some cases, they had to print a copy just for me because of the requirement. I put a lot of effort in finding someone, and then negotiating and I just want to take the matter to the conclusion otherwise, I'll always be feeling that I just fell short of the finish line. I don't want to get a feeling like that. One advantage that this partnership has given me is expedite processing of my order which won't have been possible before. Lastly, I'm taking the risk on me.

How many times has it happened that a deck production got delayed or the rendering doesn't match the print or the border on the back is way too big, gold foil start to chip off from the tuck box or in some cases delivery in 4 months turned into 12 or in a lot of cases didn't happen. This can happen with successful creators going with top 3 printers and even newbies. In my case, I'm trying to mitigate major risks and whatever I can think of, I'm trying to manage.

I do appreciate your concern and since you took time out, and expressed here, I'm, indeed,grateful. Whether or not you become a backer, you will get a deck for sure. Then, I do hope it will find a place in your esteemed collection.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby vasta41 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:01 pm  

You certainly don't need to give me a deck although I do appreciate it. The fact that you're taking this project on yourself is the only reason why I'm cautioning you. If you were to launch another KS campaign with a different printer then I say "no harm, no foul" and you can test the market without committing to anything (if it doesn't fund). But taking the risk of printing a deck by a company that uses an unknown printed has never EVER worked out here. Sure, you could be the first. But I'm not that optimistic. I wish you luck because I truly enjoy this deck but I'm sure I won't be the only person here to advise you against what you're doing.

It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby PrincessTrouble » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:39 pm  

guru wrote:What if I'm working with a printer who does the work for one or more of top 3.


If you are, please say so (you don't have to name the printer just that it's the same Taiwanese factory that EPCC/LPCC uses, for example). Knowing this would instill much more faith in the quality of your deck.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby PrincessTrouble » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:40 pm  

vasta41 wrote:It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?


My personal opinion is it would be better to never have printed one at all.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby vasta41 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:55 pm  

PrincessTrouble wrote:
vasta41 wrote:It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?


My personal opinion is it would be better to never have printed one at all.


I agree. This may sound ignorant of me but if you can't fund a deck using one of the 3 main companies, it shouldn't be funded at all IMO (unless of course you're doing crazy experiments like Lotrek). Having said that I think this deck has the potential.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby rousselle » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:30 pm  

Whereas, I don't agree. There have been a few awesome designs that, for whatever reason, didn't manage to drum up the financial backing necessary to succeed on Kickstarter. I know why I didn't back Thunee, for example, but there were other decks, like Houdini that didn't grab the funding, even though the art and subject matter and design were absolutely brilliant.

In one case (Houdini), I was even willing to pay the guy for his art and then produce a bunch of decks via MPC (which, while not as good as USPCC or EPCC/LPCC, are still playable and have decent print quality) just to get them made. As it turns out, the folks at LPCC also liked the design, and bought it from the artist, and so at least that deck was produced and the cards were (are) excellent. But, there, yeah... I'd have been fine with less awesome quality just to have that awesome art/theme in my hands.

If someone produced the Thunee deck using MPC, I'd buy a couple. (Granted, if they were produced on what I've seen most recently of Liberty, I'd be less interested.) But, sometimes, to be able to hold the art/design in my hands, I would be willing to accept less-than-awesome card quality.

Sometimes.

Just sayin'.

EDIT:

That said, this particular deck (Divine Art) will be best served by a printer with, at the very least, MPC-quality printing, if not better. This deck demands colors that pop, and at least decent quality card stock/finish. I haven't had a chance to play with the most recent NPCC decks or more recent decks from that printer RJ Tomlinson used for Gettysburg; I know that both of those printers were working on improving their quality. But, if Divine Art were printed with the quality of the Gettysburg or Asylum (NPCC version) decks, or the most recent Liberty cards, or lower quality Cartamundi cards (Cartamuni is capable of really high quality stuff, but their Star Wars licensed stuff... ugh), lower quality Piatnik, or those souvenir cards printed in Hong Kong, yeah... I don't think that would work. The cheap feel of the cards and/or the dullness of the printing would render the art and design inert.

That said, guru seems to be intent upon finding a decent quality printer; ordering samples, comparing and contrasting. I'm confident we'll be seeing a decent deck come out of this process.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby flashcards » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:17 am  

I can speak only of myself when I say that, because of financial limitations, I only purchase decks produced by the "Big 3". The quality and feel of the cards are more important to me than the artwork so I won't purchase anything not produced by those printers, regardless of artwork or price. I would've backed your current project if it had used one of those printers because I like the artwork very much. I know others have much more income to devote to this hobby, but for an (extremely) average collector like myself, there are so many tempting projects out there that I have to draw the line somewhere in order to maximize a small budget.

guru wrote: Think about it the other way. EPCC, LPCC also started few years back, they tested the market and experimented with the products, and reached this position today wherein their name comes along with USPCC,and if a deck is not done by top 3 then it doesn't find those many takers. It can happen that quality is not right for the first run, but the feedback can only come from the market, right? And, because I've not divulged the name of the printer, it is still not right to say that it will be a low quality printer and quality will fall short not matter how "similar" or "comparable" the stock/finish is claimed to be. What if I'm working with a printer who does the work for one or more of top 3. Do you know the name of the printers that do the work for EPCC & LPCC in Taiwan & China? With the exception of just a few people in the forum, majority doesn't know.


Indeed, your unnamed printer may one day put all the others to shame, but why should you allow them to experiment with your beloved project. Either the quality is there right now, or it's not. Think of it this way; if you had a life threatening illness and needed surgery, would you go to a novice surgeon who might be good one day just because he is cheaper or would you go to the best one in their field regardless of what it cost? Just as you don't want to put your life at risk for a few dollars, you don't want to put this project, to which you have devoted so much time, effort, and love, at risk either. As others have said, if you are using the Taiwan printer the other companies use, say so and people with buy your cards with confidence. You have pride in your design work so you should have pride in your printer as well.

I realize that it is a big initial investment that you must bear yourself. However, if the quality is good enough, you will be able to sell more of your cards, recoup your investment and maybe even make a little profit. Otherwise, you might end up with boxes of sub-par cards sitting in your living room, that nobody wants at any price. As we say in America, "Go big or go home". Believe that your project deserves the very best production values available and others will believe in it as well. I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby guru » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:14 pm  

PrincessTrouble wrote:
vasta41 wrote:It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?


My personal opinion is it would be better to never have printed one at all.



Well, I respectfully disagree. I need to again point out that EPCC, LPCC also started at one point of time, and they must have got similar comments on their quality because at that time, USPCC was the only game in town.


rousselle wrote:That said, this particular deck (Divine Art) will be best served by a printer with, at the very least, MPC-quality printing, if not better. This deck demands colors that pop, and at least decent quality card stock/finish


A no. of folks have already been advising on going for MPC. In fact, I always go to them when I'd to get something printed very fast or a sample deck. Speed of execution, cost for prototype decks is way better than what others offer, but I've questions on the print quality.

This is their Impressions Stealth. Just take a look at the chipping of color on the edges. I only got the cards out of the deck thrice for a game. The pic doesn't give justice to how the cards look in reality now. They look in very bad shape.

2015987622184072259.jpg


I got this deck in March this year, by the way.

Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 3.19.45 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 3.19.45 AM.png (17.27 KiB) Viewed 374 times


Similarly, the cards in their Impressions metallic foil deck have started getting bent or curved from the middle. In all likelihood, it all looks to be some problem with their 4-step metallic foil application process on the card stock that start showing such issues after some time.

I had approached them because I was looking to try Impressions metallic foil customized to the card back but they said that is not available for customization.

Anyways, quality is paramount to me. I'd looked at all italian, German & French stocks, I could not get 310 gsm + for Italian and French so this will be on 330 gsm German. Gold foiled and embossed tuck, full gold foil on back and cards gilded with gold leaf...I'm sure 99% that this deck will be a real collector's delight. As I already mentioned in my update on Kickstarter, the linen finish is an experiment and Jerry's Nugget is the inspiration for that. One-sided embossing or finish just like how it is there in Original JNuggs is what will be there and can be termed as an experiment. Any of you who owns Jerry's Nugget in their collection may better understand what I said above.

I don't want to comment on printer, but just will say that they are good.

flashcards wrote:Otherwise, you might end up with boxes of sub-par cards sitting in your living room, that nobody wants at any price. As we say in America, "Go big or go home". Believe that your project deserves the very best production values available and others will believe in it as well.


Yes, this did come to my mind that there is still an iota of chance that it could turn into a disaster. I've specifically asked the printer to destroy the decks and the plates in their facility itself, if that happens. They know what standard is expected from them. I do understand where you and others are coming from. I know there are a no. of projects that got late or delayed or didn't come up with that quality , left a sour taste with backers.....all of these factors are accounted for and taken into consideration when I started looking for a printer with whom I can work exclusively or my orders are given better priority than the rest. I need to really give it a go.....
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby RichK » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:29 pm  

As a second time backer I'm going to take Sunish at his word and expect a quality deck.

His first try with the printer from India didn't meet his expectations and we applauded his integrity for wanting highest quality. Second try with EPCC and he's nowhere close to funding so "going big or go home" has failed him.

He wants to get this obvious labor of love out in a deck of cards taking all the risk on himself. That's a huge investment to sell lots of decks or have boxes of them sitting in his house. I'm sure the Kickstarter funding amount will be low so it's just a leap of our faith in the deck quality.

If you haven't backed it you should just to at least read his plan in the latest update (Nov. 4).
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby rousselle » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:01 pm  

I am enjoying reading this thread quite a bit.

Regarding guru's comment on MPC quality: first, agreed, MPC is not up there yet with USPCC and EPCC/LPCC. On top of that, *none* of the printers seem to have a reliable method of printing full-bleed decks. All of the black decks that I've spent any time playing with, whether printed by USPCC or others, have chipped and worn significantly at the edges after only a few shuffles. I'm looking forward to Lotrek's experiment with printing on black stock, which should avoid those problems. I'm a little surprised that MPC sent a full-bleed black deck as a sample for this very reason. I'm also shocked that they don't offer custom foil & embossed backed decks; I thought that was the whole point of their impressions experiments, was to figure out how to do that. Huh.

(I'm not entirely surprised that the metallic impressions decks are starting to bow; it was an experiment, after all. :) )

Given guru's explanation of the approach being taken, I fully expect to enjoy the results of this work. I'm a little surprised at guru's reticence to tell us the name of the printer/manufacturer. Is this a requirement on behalf of the printer? (If so... that's kinda weird.) Concerned with competitors jumping on the bandwagon? (If so, that's unfortunate; we've all benefited from Robert Tomlinson and the Edgy Brothers sharing the results of their research and experience, and would equally benefit from guru's.) Looking to avoid possible negativity for some reason? In the end, I think transparency will only benefit guru as well as the entire community. Healthy, constructive feedback and matching results with the parties involved can only lead to better cards in our collections. :)

Either way, keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to getting these in my hands once they've attained the artist's vision for them!
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby Räpylätassu » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:22 pm  

PrincessTrouble wrote:
vasta41 wrote:It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?


My personal opinion is it would be better to never have printed one at all.


Yep, because Icons Sacred and Icons Imperial never should have been made because they are not good quality and not by the Big 3.

This quality snobbery is getting insane y'all. The blind belief that there are only two factories in the world that can make playing cards well and that good artwork does not matter if the deck is not as good as a Big 3 deck. Most of us own hundreds of decks here! If some deck is not the perfect quality, buy it for the artwork and use for magic/cardistry some of the hundreds of other decks that you own!

Also the talk about the bad quality of MPC and NPCC is again, over exaggerated by a mile. Every single of my MPC decks fan. Every single of my NPCC decks fan. MPC does not make the best boxes and NPCC decks are pretty hard to farro but those are the only problems with those printers I can think of.
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby 4.of.Clubs » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:36 pm  

The very limited MPC decks I have, I bought solely because I love the artwork, but there are definitely decks that I would have bought if they were printer with the big 3.

One question I do have is - MPC has been around for quite a while now too, and it doesn't seem like they have improved much compared to LPCC or EPCC (relatively speaking).


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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby Don Boyer » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:20 am  

I've been offering Guru some advice here and there with his deck, free of charge. He sent me a prototype deck of Divine Art made at MPC. Now, put aside the fact that MPC decks don't faro/weave shuffle "gracefully" due to the way that they're being cut from the sheet. The actual print and paper quality are really pretty good. I was impressed with the level of detail MPC was able to capture - some of it so fine I could barely see it with my aging eyes and too-old prescription glasses. It did show there were several flaws in the back design symmetry as well, flaws he's gone on to fix. He also opted for some changes in the coloring used in the artwork - he had female characters shown with a lighter skin tone that didn't provide adequate contrast against the background, but the male skin tone was darker and looked fine, so he's redesigned the court card faces to have the skin tone used on the males now present on both genders.

MPC isn't perfect and isn't one of the "big three," but those of us who've collected a while know that the quality of their work overall has gone up. The more experimental stuff they're doing doesn't always come out as nicely, but at least they're willing to experiment, to take chances and push boundaries further than many other companies dare to do. I just wish they were still using a die cutter rather than a laser cutter for their cards. It needs more maintenance, but the pressure it applies to the paper as it cuts makes the bevel needed on the card edge for weave shuffles.

I do get what people say about the quality of the cards from USPC, Legends and Expert. They do some top notch work, to be sure. But they aren't the ONLY top notch printers out there - there are European printers that really kick ass when it comes to playing cards, I know of a Japanese company that absolutely rocks (The Ascals from Angel Playing Cards out of Osaka that Lee Asher is selling are really great casino grade cards as are their Club Angel decks) and I'm sure there are others out there as well. Not everyone can afford to try every printer out there - but that's no different than saying that not everyone can afford to buy every deck out there! I say, "Give it a shot, see what happens." If he's tested the samples from this printer and the quality holds up, fantastic - he may have discovered the next Expert, which a few short years ago wasn't even on the radar. People were very hesitant to buy Expert or Legends decks when they first came out - now, any collector who knows their stuff loves both companies' work.

The one and only thing I'd suggest he do differently is that he announce who's doing his printing. People want to know these things. Expert keeps their actual print shop name a trade secret, though I'm sure at least some of you know it from doing your own research, but they're consistent in who they use for their printing and you know you're getting a certain standard of quality from them. They've done all their print work there, with the exception of a single deck, the Global Titans, which was printed elsewhere and was significantly less popular (though I'm told some old-school card men really went for it like fish to water). The only reason to not reveal the print company's name would be if you were protecting a trade secret - but it gets more difficult to get people to trust in your product when they can't put a name to the company doing the work, even if it's a name they've previously never heard of. But then again, if McDonald's can have secret sauce, I guess Guru can have a secret print shop...
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby montenzi » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:33 am  

It is very hard to talk about MPC quality as they print digitally and it's almost impossible to get good registration. But they offer offcet printing for >2500 decks and they use same French paper (EPCC/LPCC classic finish). Solid color full-bleed deck is good for your collection but not to play.
Guru, why not to go with WJP?
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Re: Divine Art Playing Cards Relaunch -- Live on KS

Unread postby PrincessTrouble » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:53 pm  

Räpylätassu wrote:
PrincessTrouble wrote:
vasta41 wrote:It is quite a conundrum that we often see here: is it better to print a sub-par deck or never print one at all?


My personal opinion is it would be better to never have printed one at all.


Yep, because Icons Sacred and Icons Imperial never should have been made because they are not good quality and not by the Big 3.


This analogy doesn't make sense to me since Lotrek, being a quality snob himself, didn't settle for subpar quality and that is why we have excellence in the final Icons product. But in any case, calling me a quality snob doesn't insult me. That remark resembles me. :)
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