King of Spades   4 comments

It all started with this email:

from: Rick Loomis rick@flyingbuffalo.com

to: kenstandre@gmail.com
date: Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 5:37 PM

subject: Famous Game Designers/Origins poker deck:

Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.

Ken,
The votes are in, and you are one of the four kings this year. Sometime in the next month you need to send me a photo you’d like to use, and a list of the game design accomplishments you’d like to highlight. Also which king do you think is appropriate?
Rick
Flying Buffalo Inc  www.flyingbuffalo.com
PO Box 8467, Scottsdale, AZ 85252
480-945-6917

which left me going “What?”

And then another email showed me things were already moving.

from:  S Crompton sscrompton@cox.net
to:  Rick Loomis <rick@flyingbuffalo.com>
cc:  “Ken St. Andre” <kenstandre@gmail.com>,
Bear Peters <themancalledbear@gmail.com>,
Liz Danforth <etdanforth@gmail.com>
date:  Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM
subject:  Liz is the King of Hearts

Been working with Liz this morning  on her card for the Game Designer deck and we think it came out pretty cool.  I took this photo of her at my house the day we all did the photoshoot.  I added a new background and cleaned it up a bit and TA-DA – the Liz card.

KingofHearts

Ken – your next!  We keed a good photo of you wearing your hat, maybe with the T&T Gm Screen in front of you with a dark background… Or whatever else we come up with.

Onward!

Stee

[Note: I am showing these emails just the way they came to me, typos and all.]

When Rick Loomis of Flying Buffalo needs a graphic production of some sort, he turns to his main man, artist/writer/compositor Steve Crompton. Steve is our main man for the actual physical production of Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls also.

On the following day I called Rick and asked what was going on. Rick told me that I got the third most votes of the possible game designers to be in the deck. Reassured by that, because I was afraid that it was just going to be a bunch of Flying Buffalo people this year, and in that case, I didn’t want to be part of such naked self agrandizement, I agreed to participate. Rick told me that he had been voted in also, but that he felt that was too many Flying Buffalo people in one deck, and so took himself out of it.  So, I called Steve, and talked to him about it, and he told me to hurry up and send him some pictures and the rest of the info.  Here is my letter to Steve:

from:  Ken St. Andre kenstandre@gmail.com
to:  S Crompton <sscrompton@cox.net>
date:  Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 4:43 PM
subject:  King of Spades
mailed-by:  gmail.com

Hi, Steve,

     If I get my choice, I want to be King of Spades. The word spade comes from the latin: spada meaning sword. Swords and sorcery fantasy is my life. Furthermore, in Bridge and many other cards games, the spades are ranked as the highest suit. Therefore, my King of Spades would outrank Liz’s King of Hearts. And why isn’t she Queen of Hearts instead of King of Hearts?
[Too much honesty here, but I decided to narrate this event as it actually happened and let the chips fall where they may. Actually, this shows a petty side of me that I'm not proud of, but it's there, and it's me.]
I’m attaching a couple of pix you could use. Pick the one you think is best. My preferences are shown in the order of attachment.
Games to credit me with: Tunnels and Trolls, Monsters! Monsters! Stormbringer. Wasteland, the computer game.
If you have room on the card you might mention Griffin Feathers and Rose of Stormgaard.
Best,
Ken
P.S. That really isn’t the best picture of me from the photo shoot. I’m thinking you might pull out one of two from last spring–I can’t seem to find them any more, and pick one with a full face shot in it. But I like the one with the yott. I’m doing my wizard impersonation there, and it does have the Trollgod’s Hat.
Ken

[and I sent him these three pictures of me]

Ken with yott

Ken_smiles

Keninwizardhat

from:  S Crompton sscrompton@cox.net
to:  “Ken St. Andre” <kenstandre@gmail.com>
date:  Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM
subject:  Re: King of Spades Ready for you to approv
Ken here is your card!  It took me some work, but I used the big picture you sent and made you look like a mage casting a spell!  Hope you like
Be sure to read the text and edit as you see fit.  Just remember there isn’t much room.
Steve
KingofSpades
and my reply:

Ken St. Andre kenstandre@gmail.com

Feb 27 (1 day ago)

to S
Hi, Steve, I like it. Tis a stunning effect, but I think it could be better. How would it look if you took out the rather gloomy blue background and photoshopped in either an erupting volcano? emeral green flames? or a fantasy city-scape?  See attachments, please. I don’t know if any of those would work better, but I’m thinking the whole thing is too dark, and a lighter touch in the background might make it better.
You know me, hard to satisfy . . .
Note: you probably can’t legally use any of these images. I include them just to put different ideas in your head.
[Note: I am not going to show you the three images I sent back to him. I have no right to reproduce them, and I only sent them along as examples of things I would rather see in the background of my card. They showed an erupting volcano, an elven city, and emerald flames.]

sscrompton@cox.net

Feb 27 (1 day ago)

to me
The idea is that you are in a classic dungeon, but I’ll see what else I migjt have that might work.
Steve

Ken St. Andre kenstandre@gmail.com

Feb 27 (1 day ago)

to sscrompton
And the idea works, but I just don’t like that gloomy blue background very much. Give me something with some red in it, please.
Ken

S Crompton

Feb 27 (1 day ago)

to me
All right take a look now.
Don’t forget to read the text too.
Steve
14 K Spades

Ken St. Andre kenstandre@gmail.com

6:20 PM (23 hours ago)

to S
It’s better, Steve. More symbolic, more evocative, more T & T.

Let’s talk about the text. It is not quite perfect.
The fact is that I was a co-designer on Stormbringer and Wasteland. I could make a case for being the primary designer, but other people were also involved and they were important.
So, if you’ve got the space, let’s change the last half of that credits sentence to something like: “and he was instrumental in designing Stormbringer (the RPG) and Wasteland (the computer  game).  That is probably too many words, but it is a more accurate reflection of the truth. Perhaps you can squeeze it all in by reducing the fontsize.
Or perhaps you could just say something different like:
Ken St. Andre, Credits: Tunnels & Trolls, 1975, Monsters! Monsters!, 1976, Stormbringer, 1981, Wasteland 1988, Trollhalla.com 2002, Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition, 2005, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls 2014
and in tiny little  2 point type at the bottom “and lots of other crap”.
You know, when you actually look at the record, I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life/career.
or another approach: Credits: Tunnels & Trolls (all versions 1975-2014), Stormbringer, 1981, Wasteland 1988, Trollhalla.com 2002-
Thanks for being so careful with it. I want it to be the best Kings card ever.

S Crompton

8:31 PM (21 hours ago)

to me
Ok here is an updated version with new text.
Please proof
Steve

14 K Spades (2)

Ken St. Andre kenstandre@gmail.com

9:27 PM (20 hours ago)

to S
That’s a great card, Steve. I am honored that you put so much time and work into it, and every other King in Origin deck history is gonna be so jealous. Thank you very much for all the effort you put into making this card.
[And that is the end of this story, dear Reader. I have given you a glimpse--the same glimpse that I've had--of what will be in the 2014 Flying Buffalo Origins Poker Deck. I'm very pleased to be included as a king, and shown you all what a pain I am to work with. heh!  I have no doubt that Steve remains hard at work finishing up the rest of the deck.  The man is the greatest workaholic I know.]
****************************************************************************************************************************
If you have ever obtained a Flying Buffalo poker deck at Origins, or if you’d like to get one of the older ones from me, or if you plan to come see Rick and me at Origins, why not leave a comment?
–end
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4 responses to “King of Spades

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  1. Beautiful card, Ken!

  2. Thanks for sharing Ken…good stuff.

  3. Reminds me I have a deck I have actually not looked at all the cards in yet…

  4. Love the card and congratulations on being chosen! We’re looking forward to being part of the deck on the Ace of Hearts. If nobody’s done so yet, one of us will add a mention of you being honored to your Wikipedia article.

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