Sci-Fi Concept Cards | Instant Universe, Just Add H2O

Created by Stephen Coffey

Playing Cards which each describe a sci-fi setting element - available in decks of planets, characters and locations

Latest Updates from Our Project:

They're on their way!
10 months ago – Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 10:36:08 PM

Physical Packages

We've spent the last few days furiously loading shuttle craft and powering up the teleporter arrays. The first batch of parcels, all the UK and EU parcels, have just gone to the post office this afternoon, and the rest of the world's ones will be with our distributor by Friday. They should start to arrive in a few days time. I don't think any are going via other star systems, but if they are, hopefully the FTL drives are fully functional. 

Digital Decks

We have been asked for a few things for the digital decks. Specifically pages of card backs, and low ink versions, as well as digital copies of the insert sheets. We will get these out to you next week, but right now we're focusing our energy on posting the physical decks.

10 months ago – Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 01:27:51 AM

They're Here!

We're moving our weekly game because where we usually play is full of boxes
We're moving our weekly game because where we usually play is full of boxes
And the boxes are full of boxes
And the boxes are full of boxes
Pretty, shiny boxes
Pretty, shiny boxes
And those boxes are full of cards
And those boxes are full of cards

 I'm very pleased with how they're turned out, they look excellent. Hopefully you will be too.

Now all that remains is to pack them into envelopes and send them to you!

Things Are Still In Progress
11 months ago – Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 10:29:52 PM

Ste has asked me to write a quick update to let you all know that we're still here and we're still working away. Here's the current situation:

The cards went to the printers a little later than intended due to a series of minor complications. All of them were easily solved, but they took time.

The cards are now with the printers, and we have got the proofs back - in essence they receive the files and feed them into their software, then send us the output to make sure it will print right. It's a good thing they do that, because we spotted a problem at this stage with the boxes - some of the text was far too close to the cut lines, so the slightest error would be problematic. Ste is, as I write this, fixing that problem with a little redesign and jiggling. The cards and the inserts are all fine, however, so those don't need any work. (As it happens we have special dispensation from the boss of Ivory Graphics to get closer to the edges of the template than they normally allow as we are one of their older customers - we need the space to fit everything on there!).

So the files Ste is working on will go back to Ivory, they will send us new proofs, and then we okay them and they get printed.

Once they are printed they send them to us, and we send them to you. Assuming everything else goes according to plan they should be with you in July.

12 months ago – Fri, Jun 01, 2018 at 12:10:35 AM

By now you should be able to log into Backerkit and download the digital decks. If you can't for any reason, please let us know and we'll rectify it as soon as possible.

As I said in the last update, there will be a few days before we send them to printers, so if you spot any remaining errors please let us know that too - we want them to be as good as we can make them. If there is anything to correct we will send updated versions of these PDFs to you at the same time.

The State Of Play
12 months ago – Sun, May 27, 2018 at 04:31:18 PM

It's been a few weeks since we've been in contact, so I thought I'd let you know where we are. There's good news, bad news, and other news. As this update is a little longer than expected, here's the key points:

  • Digital decks next week
  • Physical decks around the end of June
  • A picture of cheese

Digital Decks

The good news is that the cards are all but written. There are a couple of tweaks here and there left to do, most notably the renumbering needs finishing. The ordinal values of the cards are obviously evenly distributed, but the secondary values are not necessarily so - they are assigned by gut instinct while writing the cards. This means we can end up with twelve threes and three nines. That is less than ideal as it would result in draws feeling unbalanced, so we go in and push all the numbers around until they are more evenly distributed - between four and seven of any given value in each suit in each deck, including the ordinal values. The spreadsheet that has been worked out in is finished (thanks Ste!), but I need to finish transferring the new numbers onto the cards themselves.

So once that is done, I need to re-export the PDFs, combine them all into one file and then we can send them to you. This means that the next update you receive from us should contain your digital decks.

Yes that's right, the digital decks will be with you before the end of May, as we promised.

Physical Decks

Sadly the same cannot be said for the physical decks. It was obviously impossible to get the files to the printers before they were ready. We want to leave it a few days (but only a few) between delivering the digital decks and sending them to the printers in case any more errors have crept in.

That means the pre-print files will be going to the printers during the first week in June, and the physical decks will return to us a couple of weeks after that in all their glory.

At that point it is a matter of collating mailing lists, printing them, packing decks for postage and sending them all. Depending how far from us you are it will then take (i think) 2-10 days to reach you.

This means the physical decks should be with you by the end of June or the first week in July. We will, of course keep you updated.


I don't want to offer excuses, but I feel you deserve an explanation of the delay.

The first reason is art. Sourcing art took longer than anticipated. We had the suit symbols we initially wanted, but the stretch goal for more art was reached relatively late. Surprisingly acquiring the remaining three symbols took longer than the initial five!

The second reason comes down to technical difficulties. We used Libre Office for the layout, and I built a template which should have allowed any of us to edit the cards directly. Sadly that was not the case. We started to experience unexpected layout glitches between our four computers. it may have been possible to fix that but we didn't realise until rather too late in the process so we decided it wasn't worth it. So while the others could type the cards into the template, I have had to do all the final layout work (and that explains why Ste's calculated the renumbering but I need to apply it to the cards).

UK Games Expo

Ste and Amy are going to UKGE next weekend. We're not trading there, they're going as punters. If you spot them, say Hi!


One of the key things we are missing from our skill set as a company is an in house artist. To try to help with this, Ali is teaching herself to draw. Here is a draft illustration from one of our future projects, Adventurer's Backpack. It's a piece of cheese, because what adventurer don't need to eat?
Everyone likes cheese, except those who don't.
Everyone likes cheese, except those who don't.