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:

The Pros of Cons
about 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 02:20:37 PM

TL;DR: We'll be at the UK Student Nationals next weekend.

Conventions are great fun, a chance to meet and interact with other geeks who share your interests and set aside a day (or a weekend) to fully indulging your hobbyist side.

People's passions bring them to conventions, and therefore the biggest benefit of conventions is always in that tightly bundled group of people with shared passions.

The four of us at Artemis Games (Ali, Amy, Loz and me) have had a lot of experience with tabletop gaming conventions from different angles. As individuals: Ali has a tendency to find herself in a guiding role for those who're new, Amy likes group discussions and quick gaming sessions [often board-games, but occasionally a short RPG one-shot will grab her eye], Loz generally finds his fun by GMing and I tend to go in for a mixture of talks and general browsing; always looking to see what's out there.

We've all also gone to conventions as part of the business. At some of them we run a stall, selling Concept Cards, Rollable D4s and a few other products, while for others we go for networking purposes. We'll talk more about selling stuff in another post [spoiler alert: it's not my favourite job] but the really important thing about cons is the networking - connecting with different parts of the community.

I'm normally quite a shy and socially awkward person, so when I'm doing this networking, talking to other traders, industry members and even just random folks, it's really useful to be in a place where I know the purpose is mingling, and conventions generally provide such spaces.

Honestly, I'm not really sure what else to say - we're going to be at Student Nationals next weekend, say hi if you're there!

Be Well


Do You Want More?
about 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 02:19:43 PM

The last update talked about stretch goals, but I said in the one before that that we would also mention add ons. Sadly I was not well and that got missed (This is a known problem, but one we have allowed for in our production schedules if not update writing schedules - chronic health conditions suck). So I will fix that here and now. 

During the Kickstarter

You can increase your pledge for more decks of the sci fi cards at the same cost as the backer levels - that is:

  • £12 per deck or 
  • £30 for a full set of all three.

Assuming we reach the social stretch goals for the Solar System Setting Shard mentioned in the previous update you will be able to add that too - you will automatically get the PDF, but you may want a printed version. The cost depends in part on the printing costs which we are investigating - the simplest option would be to use something like DrivethruRPG's Print On Demand service. Once we reach that point we will, of course, announce that.

After the Kickstarter

We are using Backerkit again as it seems to have worked well for us in the past. This means you will able to adjust your pledge at that stage too. You will be able to grab the above options then, but if you do so before the end of the kickstarter we are more likely to reach our stretch goals and you will get more!

You will also be able to add the fantasy cards at that point, too. We are not making them available as an add-on at this stage because we want to keep things focused on the current project - not least so we have a better idea of how many sci fi decks we need to order, and know we can afford to do so. 

After That

The cards will be available in various retail locations. We have a retailer level (Generation Ship), and of course will let you know who they are so you can point your friends at them. If you know any games stores who would be interested in carrying our cards please point them at the Kickstarter.

Or you could try to find a shop which sells them here
Or you could try to find a shop which sells them here

New Stretch Goals
about 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 02:17:45 PM

On Wednesday Loz mentioned that we were going to be releasing some more of our Stretch Goals after we had a chance to triple check the details - and here they are:

Full-bleed Borders at £6000

Black borders are traditional on cards - but that's partly because of printing technology, which has improved over time. On a larger run it's perfectly affordable for us to add some detail to those borders, allowing the starfield effect to slowly fade out, creating a slightly deeper feel to the cards

The "Even More Art" Goal is at £7500

It's a little over double where we currently stand - and is at the top end of where Kicktraq's projections put us - but we have confidence that it will be reached. 

While far from vital, it's an improvement we would certainly like the opportunity to implement - we just need the funds to pay the artists.

£9000: 64 Cards

The First of our Sky-Pie goals, and the only one we're announcing for now, is making the deck up to 64 cards - 16 of each suit, for a total of 2^6. The new cards are currently planned to be a full suite of jokers (one per suit, rather than just red and black) along with a Pilot and an Admiral for each of the suits - but the precise names are not set in stone, so let us know if you would prefer different bonus cards.

56 Shares: A 10 Page Solar System  

We're not marketers - we're writers. So we want to harness your desire for our writing in order to gain the power of connections!

If the Kickstarter page is shared a total of 56 times on social media (we'll be watching Facebook and Twitter, but let us know about others) in non-spam contexts, we'll give every backer access to a 10 page piece detailing one specific solar system - with four inhabited worlds split between two very different species.

We picked 56, because we're pretty sure that's how many cards the deck will have when this goal is reached!

112 Shares: Another 10 Pages

Simple enough - the solar system gets more detailed, with more information about the culture on each planet, and some of the individual people living there.

So have fun, get sharing, and look forward to the future!


We're Funded!
about 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 02:15:59 PM

<Raucous cheering in background>

As of noon today we are fully funded, and (barring catastrophe or mass exodus) you will definitely be getting your decks!

We're going to spend today celebrating, checking plans for production are all in place (they are but it doesn't hurt to check), and (coincidentally) calling games stores to ask the if they would like to stock these cards - we do have a retailer level so if you know of a games store who may be interested please point them at the kickstarter. We will also be at Dungeons & Flagons, a games night at the Flour & Flagon in Manchester - if you're in the area drop by!

This, incidentally, is not where we will be going to celebrate:

Pool is basically competitive geometry
Pool is basically competitive geometry

What next?

Now we have reached our base goal we will post an update tomorrow or Friday about stretch goals and add ons.

Who are your most unusual characters?
about 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 02:14:54 PM

If you're anything like me you have dozens of characters, ideas for games and general strangeness floating around in your brain (That's probably why I write them on cards...). Today I'd like to relay a couple of them to you, and ask what's the strangest character you've come up with, whether you actually played them or not? 

TBD-768, aka "Teebee"

We were about to start a superheroes-in-space campaign and Ali had a character worked out mechanically, but didn't have a name. The character was a space ship brought to life by a hyperspace accident. As a space ship she needed a name that was suitable, so I put TBD (for To Be Determined") and some random numbers. Weirdly she liked it and stuck with it, only adding the diminutive "Teebee" as the character was incredibly inquisitive and eternally upbeat and optimistic.

As the original crew were smugglers, and the contract between them stated that the payout for their current cargo would be split between the crew, and as the rest of them had died in the hyperspace accident that brought Teebee to life, she determined she deserved the money. These funds were then used to buy a near-indestructible humanoid robotic body from aliens, only to discover shortly after purchase that the body was stolen! 

That character inspired this card

You could retain the upbeat attitude if you like.
You could retain the upbeat attitude if you like.

 The Incomprehensible Party

A long time ago we were going to play a Star Wars campaign. It never got off the ground for a variety of reasons, but we did propose the least comprehensible party ever - three Wookies and an R2 unit! This was back in the days of the West End Games system, which stated that if you played a character who could not speak common were only allowed to speak in character in imitations of the noises that character could make. This would result in the Wookies' players only ever saying "Worraaagh" and the R2 unit's player only ever making bleeping noises. As the GM didn't speak either Shiriwook or Binary that would have made life difficult to say the least.

Probably for the best those characters never got played!

How About You?

So, share with us your weirdest characters - especially ones you could never actually play but are cool ideas none the less!