Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Support for my Vector Playing Card Project (Standard playing card face in .SVG and .EPS format)
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Chris Aguilar
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Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:42 am

Just finished (9-19-2017) a major bit in terms of the next release. Every time I want to release a new version, the main driver (and hold up) is cleanup of the core faces, which involves a lot of tedious cleanup/optimization. While this sort of cleanup isn't that visible to the naked eye at normal sizes, my goal is to have the vectors (curves/nodes/etc.) be so clean that someone could print up or post at billboard size with no loss of quality. It also makes the set more usable for those who need to customize it on their own.

As of today, I'm pretty happy with the quality of the base vectors, which allows me create (or in some cases recreate) the variations that I like to offer with the set (colors, various overlays, etc.). As such, I now can create a lot of other stuff (variants, backs, etc.) without too much further work on the faces.

So for the 3.0 release, here's my plan:
  • Vector Faces - Cleanup all curves,nodes, close all paths (100% completed)
  • New Back - Create at least one high quality back that can be easily customized (95% completed) Offer in four colors (blue, red, green, black)
  • Move all downloads to my site, create custom download page (10% completed)
  • Review licensing terms, perhaps simplify (will keep attribution requirement and look into the rest) (50% completed)
  • 3.0 release deadline 10/31/17 or sooner (fingers crossed!)
The most difficult/time consuming stuff for a 3.0 release (first two items) is pretty much complete and the rest should not take nearly as much time/effort.

Future Additions (Release 3.X):
  • Additional Backs (3) - Identify styles, create backs with really clean vectors (60%) - This is high priority for me after the above 3.0 stuff is done. I really want to be able to have a nice printable set of differing backs for use in packet tricks.(30% completed)
  • Create vector faces optimized for mobile (discard previous unpublished versions, recreate with latest face vectors 0% completed)
  • Choose a newly created back and look into creating a marked version. (0% completed)
  • Look into creating a truetype font based on the vector characters and symbols (30% completed)
  • Review potential new items (break out of various vector components of the cards, additional materials (Updated ESP cards, perhaps a poker ranking card, etc.) (30% completed)
  • If a magician type wants to print the faces on a custom deck, identify/create various gaffs from the base face set (mispipped cards split faces, DeLand type gaffs, etc.) (0% completed)
  • Via the new download/information page, provide some resources to help people download/learn/use Inkscape, the best way to edit these vector images (0% completed)
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:43 am

I want to ask all of you...

Are there any items you can suggest (that you think I can reasonably create) to add to the "Future Additions" list in the above post?
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Jeff Haas
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Jeff Haas » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:40 pm

That is plenty! The biggest thing will be tutorials on making custom card gaffs, which is where I think most magicians will want help.

And one more - how do you export the finished version so you can use it with makeplayingcards.com or a similar service?
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:24 pm

Jeff Haas wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:40 pm
That is plenty! The biggest thing will be tutorials on making custom card gaffs, which is where I think most magicians will want help.
Now that the face vectors are super clean, I can more easily break the cards (specifically the court cards) into various elements that can be re-combined into a gaffed face. Same goes for the new back(s). I'll probably do a sample of various types of gaff (like split face) so people can see how to use the elements. If I get really ambitious, I guess I could do a little tutorial screencast, but it would be pretty specific, as there are many resources for general Inkscape learning/use.
And one more - how do you export the finished version so you can use it with makeplayingcards.com or a similar service?
Ah, that's a question that has actually come up more than once.

Here's a great tutorial for it. The section on instruction on batch exporting is very useful, as one can export all the .svg (vector formatted) cards to individual bitmaps (usually .png) in one step at any desired resolution. Very handy.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Jeff Haas » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:28 pm

Might be a good idea to have a magicians-only section with various gaffs in it. I’m thinking of the ones for Bannon’s color-changing deck that were so poorly produced by A-1 back in the day.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:34 pm

Jeff Haas wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:28 pm
Might be a good idea to have a magicians-only section with various gaffs in it. I’m thinking of the ones for Bannon’s color-changing deck that were so poorly produced by A-1 back in the day.
Right, Strangers Gallery. Great trick. From a file/vector level, I don't really consider that a gaff, since it's just two backs that I trust someone would know to print (via whatever service) as a double backer.

Anything for Magicians will definitely be segregated from the main set, with the idea that I might be able to use the forums for that (i.e. protected download only for members, with a restricted group limited only to that). Would have to figure out the particulars, but gaffs definitely should not be public.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:10 am

For magicians, there will be a slightly different core set of face vectors as the current set for the public has (by design) strayed a bit in terms of pipe size/shape and placement.

I really want to create resources for authors (magic or not) to encourage use of the vector images in books, websites, etc. Once I get version 3.0 released (and it's looking good, just locked down the 3.0 version faces and have already created the b/w, grayscale, etc. variants) I'll go in and create a very specific set for gaffing. This might also include some of my locked down templates which simplify the process of precisely placing pips and other elements.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Bill Mullins » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:07 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:42 am

Future Additions (Release 3.X):
[*]Additional Backs (3) - Identify styles, create backs with really clean vectors (60%) - This is high priority for me after the above 3.0 stuff is done. I really want to be able to have a nice printable set of differing backs for use in packet tricks.
Might I suggest some of the old Bicycle backs which have fallen out of copyright and are not trademarked.

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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:28 pm

That's a good website Bill.

In terms of copyright, there are probably not too many worries for the pre 1923 created backs. Trademark is really sticky and can essentially be infinite in duration. The approach I like to take (and that others seem to have taken successfully) is more the "inspired by" route with unique elements and design. The first back I'll offer (the one that is mostly done) follows this approach and looks pretty decent so far.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:40 pm

Hm, it looks like there is a long list of abandoned or dead trademarked card backs. If this is the case and said card back is also out of copyright (i.e. pre-1923 is a safe bet) then perhaps I could try for a close recreation of a back in that status. I'm not terribly creative design wise, so bringing something back from the dead could be fun.

Perhaps that is the basis of some of the reprints from D&D and others...
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:28 am

Further research has shown that even abandoned trademarks are unsafe to use. However, as inspiration, there's much to like on that site that Bill has posted.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Bill Mullins » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:31 am

The link has expired. But what you said.

I used this as the back to a personal business card that I printed at Makeplayingcards.com. The distribution is so small that I wouldn't be too worried about it even if it was still trademarked or in copyright.

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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 am

Here are a few that I could see myself using for inspiration (i.e. basic layout mostly, with hand created elements). I'm looking to create either nice patterns or something having strong geometrical style elements (i.e. for purposes of being indistinguishably from other designs).

The newest version (currently .9.2.2) of Inkscape has some really nice new features in terms of creating "knotted" elements, seamless patterns, etc. which is really useful to me for this specific sort of work.

Perhaps I should create a voting thread and work on at least one of these once I push release 3.0 out on Oct 31, '17.

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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:16 pm

A small preview as I work on the first new vector back design. Basic look is 100% nailed down. Now it's just cleanup of all vectors and making sure everything is symmetrical (both ways).

I'm thinking that once I get a few backs released, I might consult our resident expert (ahem, Bob) and perhaps see if I can convert one of the final backs to a marked variant. Might be a fun challenge.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Bill Mullins » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:15 pm

Why are you concerned about using abandoned TM backs?

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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:17 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:15 pm
Why are you concerned about using abandoned TM backs?
Well, because I'll be offering these completely publicly and I don't want potential legal issues for those using the cards. If it were just me doing some small completely private print jobs for my own projects, I might potentially risk it. But for the sake of anyone downloading these, I don't want any possibility, however remote, of legal ramifications.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:21 pm

And also...
Can I register a dead trademark myself, or use it without registering it?

When the USPTO shows a trademark registration as dead, it may be because the application was abandoned, or because the registrant did not maintain the registration. In either event, it is possible that another person or company, and/or the applicant or registrant, is using the mark and continuing to accrue common-law trademark rights.

A dead registration may be a live trademark

Just because a mark is listed as “dead” at the USPTO, does not mean it is available to use without registration, or to register.
It’s possible that the registrant of the trademark abandoned the federal trademark registration, but is still using the mark – and so still has common law trademark rights. Also, some trademarks have acquired so much goodwill and recognition from consumers that resurrecting them (by anyone other than the original registrant) can be difficult and expensive.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:53 pm

Now completed:
--Vector Faces - Cleanup all curves,nodes, close all paths

--New Back - Create at least one high quality back that can be easily customized

--Create variants of that back in four colors (blue, red, green, black)

Will now start work on the following this week:

--Package all updates together for the 3.0 release download package. (single file 3.0 zip file)

--Create custom information / download page on my local (personal) website.

--Move all files to that download page.

--Add a Question and Answers section, including some links to tutorials on how to download and use Inkscape.

--Review licensing terms, perhaps simplify (will keep attribution requirement and look into the rest)

--3.0 release deadline 10/31/17 (or sooner)
Since I'm officially running ahead of schedule now, I'm going to also try to clean up a few other back designs that are mostly done (some nice patterned backs) in hopes of being able to package them with the 3.0 release.
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Chris Aguilar » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:21 am

In the interest of consistency, any new backs will be offered in a four color fileset (red, blue, green, and black) as I think that covers most eventualities (in my case, packet type tricks.) After a bit of trial/error, I'm happy with the exact shades of each color I'll be offering.

Of course, it's really easy to adjust the card color (via Inkscape) to any other ugly/wrong shade the user might choose... :twisted:
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Re: Upcoming 3.0 Release plan

Post by Bill Mullins » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:05 am

It would be interesting to know what the Pantone values of Bicycle Blue and Red are.

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