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Reckless Deck PSYCHE

Created by Clark Huggins

PSYCHE is the idea-generating card deck that takes you on a deep dive into your character's MIND. If you're a writer, role playing gamer, or artist-storyteller, this interlocking deck series blasts through your creative blocks, and puts you on the fast track to creating active, complex, "can't take my eyes off them" characters. Its 8 unique categories target the character-building cornerstones professional authors and actors turn to for the biggest creative payoff. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, PSYCHE is the creativity-supercharging prompt system for characters for any genre or time period.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

"Locking Orders" Email Went Out, But Don't Stress
26 days ago – Mon, Apr 29, 2024 at 03:14:59 PM

Hi All,

I wanted to send out a quick update to address the email that went out today. Apparently, the way it was worded made it sound like everything was about to get shipped to everybody. This is not the case. It was just a confusing auto-email from Backerkit, that was sent to alert you that I was going to be locking the orders in 2 days.

For you, this means basically nothing. If you still need to change your address, or you move addresses before it's time to ship your particular order, it's still just as easy for me to update your shipping info as it was before. Just direct message me your new address, and I'll take care of it for you. I need to lock the orders because it's a step that needs completing before all the shipping information can get uploaded to the printer's system for fulfillment. Also, several of you from international locations have asked for an estimate on costs to ship your Complete Boxed Set individually, in this first fulfillment wave. I need the printer to have all the fulfillment information before I can give any of these backers an accurate idea of what the costs might be.

I had a call with the printer today (hence the move to lock the orders), and they said it's a very reasonable goal to shoot for having production on these Complete Boxed Sets finished before the 4th of July. I don't yet know if fulfillment will start before then or not - and we won't have an answer about that until we get closer to completing production. But I'll keep you posted, of course.

As to all the other orders, it's my goal to get production on everything else moving as soon as possible. My personal, non-official target is to get the second production wave started by the end of summer. All the files will be ready - it's just the remaining funding that we need. As I've said before, the number of units of this wave 1 Complete Boxed Set that I need to sell to have the funds we need is reasonable and attainable. I will pull the trigger on production for wave 2 the very same day we reach the funding target.

Also, if you go into your Backerkit and see a balance due, from usually $5 to $40, ignore it. This is an unforeseen consequence that occurred when I raised prices for certain items in the pre-order store. Unfortunately, it also raised the prices for those items in your orders. It's just an error Backerkit and I need to fix.

Here is a quick look at my to do list at present:

  1. Get quotes for printing the remaining quantities
  2. Get quotes and more info for freight shipping wave 2 to Ireland, Australia, and the US
  3. Have a call with Backerkit about establishing the procedure for leveling up orders for those who want to
  4. Get more info about Drive Thru RPG, or some other method of printing the content not going forward to production

Lastly, I wanted you all to know I'm doing another YouTube livestream on Wednesday evening. I know we discussed not posting promotional things in the project updates, but my guest is pretty awesome, and it was worth giving you a heads up:  I'll be working with illustrator and author Greg Manchess. Greg has been a celebrated illustrator for more than 30 years, with work in Time, Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly, the Smithsonian, and National Geographic. His large portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs in the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. His work was showcased in the Cohen Brothers filmThe Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Greg also wrote and illustrated his first ‘widescreen novel’ Above the Timberline, with over 120+ paintings original paintings included. In Wednesday's livestream, we'll be using PSYCHE to explore a new corner of his TIMBERLINE universe. I hope you'll consider tuning in. Just go to Reckless Deck's channel page on YouTube (@Recklessdeck) at 7, or at any point during the 1 hour stream.

Printing Proofs, Questions Addressed
about 1 month ago – Thu, Apr 18, 2024 at 11:34:06 AM

Hi All,

After the last Update, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to write a note or comment of support, and for expressing renewed excitement for the project. It means a lot!  Yes, we are still in production for the Passport Tier & Cards only in the US and Canada, and no, that was not a cruel and deeply unfunny April Fool's joke. Here's a look at some of the approved digital proofs from the printer:

These proofs are samples of the final, approved versions going to press. After the initial proofs were posted by the printer, there were some errors we spotted that needed addressing. I found this frustrating, but our very excellent designer, Deanna Burke, assured me that spotting errors that you managed to miss prior to this stage is a normal part of the proofing and printing process. (Deanna is more and more becoming a part of this journey, and you'll be hearing more from her as we go forward.) The cards received an extra small-brushstroke level of going over, and now we're headed to press. I spoke to Shuffled about timing. 6-8 weeks is their standard timeline for projects, and it's printed in their messaging regarding confirming and proofing orders. However, they're saying this will take longer. They've pointed it out it's equivalent to over 35,000 standard decks of cards, and as a result, it will be more like 10-12 weeks. So based on that, the estimate for fulfillment beginning is late June.

Also, thanks to those of you who pointed out in the last update that the side panels of the box lid were positioned upside down! Both Deanna and I felt pretty dumb about that. We've since corrected it. 

 Leveling Up your Tier

Let's talk about your options to take advantage of this first fulfillment wave coming up. Any US or Canada backers who are interested in bumping up their rewards tier to the Cards Only level can easily do so. Since the orders are locked, just message me here on Kickstarter, and I'll add your names to the list. I think it will mean Backerkit support adjusting orders individually - I don't believe it will become something you can just go into the Pledge Manager and do. But once Backerkit and I sort out how to do the leveling up, I will let you know.

Any International backers who are already in the PP Tier or the Cards Only Tier, who want their orders in this first fulfillment wave and don't want to wait for the production and fulfillment for their region, this is also totally possible. Some of you have already commented or messaged me, and that's the perfect way to do it.

Any international backers who want to change their rewards tier to level up to Cards Only AND do immediate fulfillment, that's doable also. Start by messaging me, and we'll get with Backerkit and make it happen.

Change of Address?

I still haven't locked addresses for anyone, in case there was a need for changes. Anyone who has a recent change of address - or one coming up - can go into their Pledge Manager and change it. Regardless, I've received a good number of change of address requests as direct messages, and to my knowledge, I've taken care of all of them. And, I'm happy to continue doing so. I will finally lock down addresses for the regions and pledge tiers in this coming fulfillment wave in LATE MAY. I'll be sure to give you a heads up before I do so.

There was an inquiry from an International Backer who asked, if they had an alternative US address, would using that allow them to get their rewards sooner? The answer is YES, ABSOLUTELY. If any of you international folks getting the Complete Boxed Set for some reason have a alternate US address you want to use, lets make that change asap, so we can include you in the first fulfillment wave.

Results from International Shipping Question

Another thank you to those international backers who responded to my question regarding your preferences about getting your future rewards sent in spilt shipments vs waiting to get everything all together. It sounds to me like almost universally, international backers do NOT want two separate shipments, and are willing to do more waiting if need be in order to get everything in one shipment, and avoid additional import fees. Duly noted!

This means I will likely produce the entire remainder of the project in one wave. This will include the Complete Boxed Sets for Passport Tier and Cards Only backers outside the US and Canada, and individual Core Sets and Companion Decks for everybody. I don't have specifics to report as of yet regarding freight shipping to individual regions, and then individual shipping within each region. 

I'm still willing to explore the Print on Demand situation for the items that were changed over to digital-only. In regards to the questions about whether those items would get added back in as fully produced sets at the end of the project, that is not in the plan as of now. 

Please continue to add comments or questions in the thread below, or send me a direct message if you have specific issues we need to solve.

Regards,

Clark

PSYCHE Complete Boxed Sets IN PRODUCTION
2 months ago – Fri, Mar 15, 2024 at 01:58:29 PM

Hi All,

This is the update you’ve been waiting for: Complete Boxed sets are officially IN PRODUCTION! 

In 6 to 8 weeks, production will be complete, and fulfillment will begin for all US and Canada backers who backed at the Passport Tier and Cards Only rewards levels. Passport Tier holders will also be getting the coins and playmats that come with the tier. Any Cards Only backers that added on coins and playmats manually will get those as well.

Unsurprisingly, the box design and other design edits and tweaks took a couple of weeks longer than I anticipated to complete. There always seemed to be one more decision to make, or one more bit of copy to edit, or one more art asset that needed fixing. Here's a tour of all the design work that’s been done, so you can check out the files that are off to the printer.

Here are the final layouts for the Box:

And here's a look at the file for placement of the spot UV on the box lid. I'm excited about all the dynamic negative shapes this will make.

Here's a look at side 2 of the dividers. This will allow you to choose between organizing your sets by category OR set. One's not better than the other - it's just a question of how you like to create. Do you want all your Secrets or Formative Events in one place, regardless of genre? Or, do you want to keep your Epic Fantasy cards grouped together in one section, and your Horror cards in another? The other great thing about this side 2 is it allowed me to get the multi figure compositions for the Companion Deck covers back into the project.

And, there were some final pass card edits. Given Circumstances got some updates. My semi-regular YouTube livestreams using Psyche have given me lots of playtesting time with the decks. There were some Given Circumstances cards that just weren't paying off in terms of adding to the narrative in very active ways. Meanwhile, I had some other ideas brewing for the category. So about 10 cards got changed out for what I think are stronger, more compelling options.

Another thing I wanted to tune up were some Inciting Incidents cards from the Epic Fantasy set. There were a decent number of cards that were what I call "straight quests". Like "They're quested to find a gryphon egg." OK, but why? And by whom? Or else what? These were cool enough quests at face value, but they needed more context to give them more urgency and narrative interest. And one thing I've learned is that adding mentions of other characters adds great hook points for weaving in friends, allies, mentors, love interests, and adversaries.

Next Steps

While I’m glad to have cleared this absolutely massive major milestone, there’s plenty of specifics to go over, and next steps to start planning for.

Here’s an answer to an important question I’ve received from several international backers that I wanted to share with all of you: If you’re willing to pay individual shipping directly to your address, I will absolutely add your order to the fulfillment list, and get your rewards sent out to you immediately. The project will only be able to bulk ship and fulfill to an entire international region once. So, the shipping funds you’ve already added on will need to be used towards that bulk fulfillment, which unfortunately means more waiting until I have more items manufactured and ready to ship. However, I will not hold back any international backer’s Complete Boxed Set if they want to have it individually shipped immediately. 

Backerkit and I haven’t officially set up a mechanism within the pledge manager that allows you to manually choose the upgrade. If you want to upgrade, message me - which several backers have already done successfully. I’ve been putting all of my focus on getting the files finished ad to the printer, and so I haven't sent any individual confirmations to those backers letting them know I got their message. I’ll start going back through those messages and sending confirmation replies, answering more specific questions, and getting the list of people wanting to upgrade into a spreadsheet.

I saw some of you comment that in regards to the decks that unfortunately won't be going forward to full production, you wished there had been some kind of poll or vote to allow you input into the choice making. The thing is, that vote happened, and each one of you participated - it was the pledge manager, which showed me total quantities of each deck ordered or added on by you, the backers. All the data I needed to determine the most to least popular decks was all right there in Backerkit. And, it was the most comprehensive information I could have collected - each one of you who completed your Backerkit survey was able to have your opinions counted, which is much more effective than trying to take a new poll, which would only include backers who happened to read that update, or who decided to take the time to actually participate. That doesn't make it smart any less for those of you who were really looking forward to the Espionage Set, or the Contemporary: Mature or Superheroes Mini Decks. I knew there would be disappointment in making that decision, and that really sucks. 

Also, several of you recommended that the sets not going into full production could get printed  through a Print on Demand service. I like this idea, and now that the files are delivered to the printer, I'll look into it. If it becomes a service I use to create physical decks, that comes with some additional logistical hurdles - it's another vendor to add to the mix, and more decks to fulfill and ship. Someone mentioned setting the service up with the files that you can then just order yourselves - this is also an interesting option. Either way, I like the idea of you being able to get the cards, so I'll continue gathering information about it.

What is the plan for the next step in production?

After last month’s update, I did more research into the current state of international shipping rates. It looks like rates have come down quite a bit since the last time I checked. They’re still not at pre-pandemic levels, but they’re the closest to that than they’ve been since 2020. Which means after this run of Complete Boxed Sets, there may be an opportunity to move production for the rest of the inventory back to China. 

I’ve made requests for pricing, to take a look at the numbers. However, the  preliminary pricing info I’ve seen show that manufacturing wise, costs could be much lower. But I need to get reliable estimates for freight costs to the East Coast of the US, Ireland, and Australia, to make sure the potential production savings don’t get completely gobbled up or even exceeded by freight shipping costs.

I hesitate to say specifics about the timing for what I want to accomplish in the next wave until I have all of this shipping information collected. I want to share as much as I can with you, but it's also important to have all the facts right first. As I mentioned in the last update, the next production wave will be paid for by a combination of the remaining project funds, and North America-based sales of the Complete Boxed Set, once it arrives. In my experience, once a project has inventory in hand after the backer fulfillment, there’s a significant bump in website sales. I plan to leverage social media and generally make as much noise as I can, to help maximize the effects of this bump for us. If we’re able to move production back overseas, the sales-generated revenue required to clear the threshold we need for our next production wave looks to be realistic and achievable. I'll say this much: my desire is to get this Wave 2 of production completed and in fulfillment by the end of summer, and I will do everything I can to make sure that international backers significantly benefit from the next production wave. As I get more concrete information, I’ll absolutely say more in detail about what’s going into production next. 

Here’s a question to the international backer community. It's loaded with hypotheticals, so it's far from an official poll. But, hearing your thoughts would help me a lot in planning the next moves: Let’s say the remaining production needs to be divided into a Wave 2 and a Wave 3. Would you rather: 

1. Have the shipping funds you’ve already paid get used to ship Wave 2 immediately, and then pay additional shipping for the remaining Wave 3 components, once they're completed? Or, 

2. Continue to wait for production Wave 3, and have the shipping charges you’ve already paid successfully cover all complete orders in one shipment?

Again, there are several logistical questions to answer before this question becomes more than just conjecture. But, it would be VERY helpful to hear from you regarding where your preferences lie. Please post answers in the comments below.

As we move forward, I’ll show you all proofs and production updates for the Boxed Set that I receive from the printer. I’ll also continue to let you know what I find out about potential overseas manufacturing and freight shipping rates. 

This project is in production and moving forward.

Cheers,

Clark

Production Beginning on First Wave
4 months ago – Tue, Jan 30, 2024 at 05:03:11 PM

Hi All,

I’m excited to share some big news - production is officially MOVING FORWARD on a large chunk of Psyche. In an effort to be completely transparent, I have some important information to share from behind the scenes. I had to make some changes and tough choices, but I feel confident about working through the hardships, delays, and concerns regarding this project. That said, let’s discuss.

Let’s start with what’s going into production: The Passport Tier and Cards Only complete sets. As we discussed previously, this first wave of fulfillment will go out to all US and CANADA backers.

Covid, Inflation, and Tough Decisions

When the Reckless Deck Kickstarter campaign was planned and launched, I never could have predicted the upheaval caused by the Covid pandemic for Reckless Deck.

Before its launch, I spent 8 months developing the Kickstarter and getting pricing established from a printer I had already had success with. They’re based in the US, but have an affiliate in China they work with on larger jobs like this. Our production was was supposed to happen with this China affiliate, and all projected manufacturing and shipping costs were based on pre-pandemic estimates.

In the time it took post-campaign to finalize the content and design (a period of about 18 months), manufacturing and freight shipping costs increased dramatically and permanently. Costs have never returned to their pre-pandemic levels. To avoid the massive increase in freight shipping costs, I moved production to our printer’s US facility. Though it solved the international freight problem, it did present us with higher per unit printing costs, because manufacturing in the US is just more expensive than it is overseas. However, moving production to the US was still cheaper than manufacturing and shipping from China in the post-pandemic era.

Even though that change helped, the changes to the larger economic landscape still had a huge impact on us, essentially rendering my original campaign budget null and void. To provide an example, let's compare the pre- and post-pandemic costs of the full-sized Companion Deck and the Mini Companion Deck. Pre-pandemic, the full-sized deck was priced at $20, and the mini-deck was priced at $10. Due to post Covid prices and our change in manufacturing plans, their prices increased to $27 and $14 respectively. That's led to over a $50,000 deficit of needed funds, all due to factors outside our control.

Attempts at several different solutions to get the project funded in its entirety didn’t bear fruit, but I’m still determined to fulfill all of my orders to the best of my ability. To address all of these setbacks and put the project on a path back to a reasonable budget, I’ve had to make some alterations. After consulting with many colleagues and advisors on this project, it has become clear to me that I need to convert some of the least popular items into digital-only products. This will allow me to move this project forward and out of its current state of stagnation.

As a result, the ESPIONAGE & BLACK OPS Companion Deck will now only be available as a digital product. 

Also, the Mini Companions becoming digital only are: 

  • Vikings & Clans 
  • Contemporary: Mature Audiences 
  • Superheroes
  • Blank Cards

All other sets, including the Mini Companions EPIC FANTASY DARK and FAIRY TALES & FOLKLORE are staying as is.

Vikings and Clans was supposed to have been a complimentary gift to backers. Unfortunately, I have to walk that back. I sincerely apologize for needing to do that. All together, these changes amount to a reduction of 404 cards of content. But, this still leaves 1,960 cards, and Psyche remains a large, interlocking, very powerful system.

Proactive Step: The Complete Boxed Set

The intent was always to produce each individual set in its retail-ready box, and then for those who ordered the Passport Tier of everything, each of those retail boxes would then get placed in another, bigger box. And here I have to credit my wife for what I think was a great way to approach the problem from a fresh angle: she pointed out that backers likely aren’t interested in enduring further delays just to be able to afford to manufacture all that extra packaging, and are really much more interested in getting the cards in their hands. 

And so, we’re creating and printing a cards-only boxed set. We have added two internal trays to the Hold Everything Box from the campaign, to hold cello-wrapped card sets of each individual deck or set. It will come with the Psyche dividers (which will now be double sided so you can sort your cards by category OR by set), and the same color instruction fold out that will be included in the retail version of the Core Set. The box itself remains a 2 piece game box with spot UV on the lid. 

By packaging the box-set in this way, we have eliminated redundant packaging, which streamlines our printing costs and reduces the product's weight for shipping.

As a refresher, Here’s a list of everything included in this Complete Boxed Set:

  • Psyche Core Set (392 cards)
  • Core Set Expansion (112 cards)
  • Epic Fantasy Companion (224 cards)
  • Horror & Urban Fantasy Companion (224 cards)
  • Sci Fi & Cyberpunk Companion (224 cards)
  • Steampunk & Victorian Companion (224 cards)
  • Lovecraftian & Noir Companion (224 cards)
  • Dystopian & Post Apocalypse Companion (224 cards)
  • Epic Fantasy Dark Mini Companion (56 cards)
  • Fairy Tales & Folklore Mini Companion (56 Cards)
  • 8 Category/set Dividers

Every Passport Tier backer will get this boxed set. All “Cards Only” tier backers are also getting upgraded to this set. (If you’re a Cards Only backer, originally you weren’t getting the Hold Everything Box or the dividers. Now, you are.)

So, all Cards Only backers in the US and Canada will be getting this Complete Boxed Set, and be free and clear.

All Passport Tier backers in the US and Canada will be getting this Complete Boxed Set, as well as the playmat they selected, and all the coins. The Short Story Anthology will follow in a separate package via media mail.

Between the Passport Tier and the Cards Only tiers in the US & Canada, that’s 643 backers (22% of backers) who are getting everything (or everything minus the anthology) that they ordered.

IMPORTANT! THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE PROJECT FUNDS. I am approaching production conservatively, because I want to make absolutely sure there’s enough funds available for the fulfillment costs for everything we produce. As this wave goes into production, I’ll immediately turn my attention to orders with the individual versions of the Core Set and the Expansions. The remaining funds will go directly towards this next production wave.  

UK, EU, and Australia Backers

I’m aware that this plan doesn’t include any immediately benefit you, and I sincerely apologize for that. Please know that I am fully committed to ensuring you receive your rewards. Once the production on this wave is in motion, I’ll focus on finding logical solutions for each region. Your patience and understanding throughout this process are greatly appreciated.

Value Comparison for Passport Tier and Cards Only Backers

To those of you in the Passport Tier or Cards Only rewards tiers: I want to assure you that you’re all still getting great value for your pledge price points. Based on the current pricing for the individual sets I quoted at the start of the update, the total value for all the individual components of the new Boxed Complete Set is $260.

  • Savings for Cards Only Backers = 24%

The Passport Tier backers still get the coins, the anthology, and a playmat in addition to the card set. 

  • Savings for Passport Tier backers (at $299) = 22%
  • Savings for Passport Tier backers (at $199) = 48%
  • Savings for Passport Tier backers (at $150 early bird) = 61%

Credit for Discontinued Items

All the money the project raised is invested in the project, so there will be no refunds, unfortunately. If you’re a backer who added on decks that are now digital-only, you will be able to exchange those items for something else of equal value, either in the campaign, or on the Reckless Deck website. My Backerkit rep and I are looking at the logistics of both solutions.

Can you Upgrade?

Yes. Any backer in the US or Canada that ordered the Core Set only, or the Core Set and an assortment of Companions that wants to upgrade to this boxed set can do so, and get in on the April fulfillment. I'm not trying to sell you on this option, I'm only telling you that the option exists, should you want it. You can message me here on Kickstarter if you're interested.

Timeline

The agreement with Shuffled Ink is complete, and we’re adjusting files where necessary to accommodate the changes I’ve just discussed. Our goal is to have all revised & final files uploaded to Shuffled by mid-next week. Shuffled estimates 8 weeks for the production time, so this boxed set wave should be ready to start shipping by early April.

I want to express my gratitude for your patience and understanding during this process. I am thrilled to share this progress with all of you, and no matter where you are in the fulfillment process, I hope that you can consider this a huge step in the right direction. I will continue to update you on the production process and keep everyone informed of our progress.

Cheers,

Clark

Update for the Start of 2024
5 months ago – Thu, Jan 04, 2024 at 10:28:32 AM

Hello All,

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season, and that your 2024 is off to a good start.

I wanted to give you all a status update on the project as we start the new year. I wanted to talk briefly about the experiences of 2023, and what we’re going to be doing going forward.

This is not new news as much as a continuation of what I said in the November 10th update. In the past year, I put a lot of energy behind securing an investor to help complete the project and grow the brand. In the past two years working as an art director for startup companies, I saw a lot of capital get raised to fund their efforts. And their end goal was either very much a work in progress or pure speculation, whereas ours is a finished product ready for production. Ultimately, it was a very time-and-energy consuming endeavor that didn’t provide the answer I was looking for. After discussing it with my business mentors, they confirmed that the climate for entrepreneur investing in 2023 was bad across the board. So apparently, my experience was very in keeping with what other brands and entrepreneurs were experiencing as well. It’s good to be on trend, at least.

In 2024, I’m not sinking any more time into seeking outside investment. As I said in November, rather than continuing to look for ways to get the entire project produced and fulfilled in one go, it’s time to work with the resources we have, produce and fulfill what we can, and produce the rest in waves.

If felt fantastic to actually get many of you a piece of what you ordered over the holidays. Thanks to all of you who either posted positive comments about the Essentials Set, or who messaged me privately about it. My hope is to keep that momentum going. I’ve sent a number of different proposals for possible production quantities and configurations over to Shuffled Ink for pricing. I unsuccessfully tried doing my own cost estimating in November, thinking I had all the information I needed to do so. Now, I’m not going to assume anything pricing -wise until I hear back from the printer with their numbers. The goal will be to get as many items as possible to as many backers as possible. I have a call scheduled with them for tomorrow, to go over details. The results won’t be instantaneous - they’ll need to go away and do their number-crunching thing. But I will do my best to get a production plan locked in and underway for as much of the project as possible by the end of January.

I will report back once I have more concrete details about the next steps, hopefully in about a week.

Cheers and Talk Soon,

Clark