And 'begins' as in, Barney drinking non-alcoholic whine, and not as in 'Batman Begins'.

Ever since I got aschefield’s Sword & Shield blanks, I’ve been thinking about what I could do with them… and… well, I do have a plan for them, for sure. It won’t be anything from my Space World Block, but rather… I kinda wanna do some warm up stretches, y’know? I mean, no one starts a marathon without warming up, right? Well, what that plan is will be revealed tomorrow, but in the mean time, I thought I’d… uh… what’s a good exercize metaphor… OH! I thought I’d go to my local 24hr Fitness or Equinox and take a look at all the equipment and facilities! Y’know, where the water fountain is, where the bathroom is… y’know, the important things you need to know when you’re warming up to exercise.

The most important thing about exercise is knowing where you can disappear to in case you’re tired of exercising.

But seriously, I just wanted to get myself prepped before I get into the appetizers before I hit the main course. So I fired up my copy of Adobe InDesign, and I made THIS amazing paragon of Pokémon promotional art:

…I think something’s wrong here.

Oh wait, I forgot to export it using proper settings. Here, lemme fix that there…. ah, there we are:

The white border is a small consequence of using Adobe InDesign, but I’ll fix that later. But how’bout that?? It doesn’t look half bad!

“No, it looks ALL bad! Oh hohohohoho!”

Aw but seriously, I really wasn’t trying to go for quality, I just wanted to get all the pieces together before I actually start thinking about quality. The thing is, unlike my previous faking efforts, this time I’m working in Adobe InDesign to create my fakes, and although I have plenty of experience with InDesign in general, this is quite literally the first time I designed a fake card using it. Designing fakes using it is quite a lot different than in Photoshop or even Illustrator, as the former focuses more on raster graphics while the latter utilizes vector graphics, but neither exactly uses both for the purpose of document design, which is what InDesign is for.

So I took some time today to lay out the basic outline of where the elements go, what fonts are used—which I only now just realized that modern cards also use Frutiger and Optima on top of Gill Sans and Futura—how to do the account for the white border around the Energy symbols… but I think I did a pretty good job of sussing things out. In fact, you can kinda see what I did in InDesign, where all the light-blue rectangle and ellipse frames are used as guides to help me line things up and/or set them up for later use.

But that’s really is for now, I just wanted to share with you this step I took and the first fake I’ve made in both InDesign and with aschefield’s SwSh blanks. Swing by tomorrow and I might actually have some fake cards to share with you. Huzzah! Good times.

PURE FACT: PA! has both the OLDEST and the NEWEST Pokémon TCG blanks on the internet!
A Quick Diversion:

Note to self:

  • Make McDonald’s Promo Updates
  • Update G/S Lost Pokémon page with more “Scratchpad” sprites, which I clearly seem to have forgotten about…


The Actual News:

Yes, you read correctly: PA! is now home to the best—and only—Sword & Shield blanks for the Pokémon TCG! These were all made by aschefield101, who also made the Jumbo Raid Blanks.

If you want to just cut to the chase, you can download them all on the Blanks Download page here. Of course if you want to actually see what is involved… well, keep reading!

So it took a lot of backroom deals in dark, seedy rooms full of cigar smoke in order to make this happen… and by “backroom deals”, I mean “I simply just asked aschefield if I could host them, and he was all ‘OK!'”. And so here we are! This is essentially the complete Sword & Shield blanks package, with only just a few minor blanks missing, but I’ll be helping him out with that in a bit. Regardless, there are still a lot of blanks here, so I’ve taken the time to splitting them up into individual holders so that they are easy to peruse through. Therefore, below is a list of each blanks folder and an example of what’s inside.

Now for the sake of clarity, the blank package only includes the following types:

  •  Grass
  •  Fire
  •  Water
  •  Lightning
  •  Psychic
  •  Fighting
  •  Darkness
  •  Metal
  •  Colorless

Unfortunately,  Dragon and  Fairy-type blanks are not included, as no examples of them exist in the Sword & Shield sets. But who knows what the future holds? Maybe that’s something I’ll be working on? Who knows…??? [insert “Twilight Zone” and/or “X-Files” music here]

Anyways, here’s a break down of what blank styles are included in this package, using  Water-type blanks as an example. The example blanks also have a gradient background so you can see what parts of it are transparent or not:

Basic-stage Pokémon blanks. Most likely some of the most common blank you’ll be using.
If you’re in a full-art mode, like you want to do some retro Pokémon-EX (or even Pokémon-ex) cards, you can’t do better.

Stage 1 Pokémon blanks. Standard lot.
Stage 2 Pokémon blanks. Pretty vanilla.

Pokémon-V style blanks for any Pokémon that might end up Dynamaxing. This is the full art version, in case you want to do something with a bit extra flair.
Gold-style versions of the normal full art Pokémon-V blank.

Pokémon-V style blanks for any Pokémon that might end up Dynamaxing. Has a little less flair than the full art version, but I don’t think your boss will pull you aside to scold you about your lack of flair…

Dynamax form of Pokémon-Vmax cards. Now we’re getting into the big leagues here.
Rainbow form of the Dynamaxing Pokémon-Vmax card. In case you want to impress your new boss, but don’t want to look TOO butt-kissy.

Gigantamax form of Pokémon-Vmax cards. If you want to make a Pokémon card bigger than its ever been before (well, big in a metaphorical sense), then this is the max you can go. Gigantamax, as it were!
Rainbow form of the Gigantamax Pokémon-Vmax card. This is in case you want to impress your boss and really DON’T care how much of a butt-kiss you appear to be. Heck, maybe you WANT to look like a giant butt-kisser! Well, this is the blank for you. In fact, after you make a fake card for your boss and they DON’T call you in the next day and say “Johnson! That fake Pokémon TCG card you made for me impressed me, and it shows how much you like to be a giant butt-kisser. Well, I’ve decided to immediately promote you to Executive Adjunct to the Vice President in charge of Posterier Osculation!”… well, you need to look for another job.

All the various Trainer and Energy card blanks are located here.(Unfortunately, Stadium-type Trainers are not yet available, but we’re working on it!)
Finally, this is where all the extra bits are located. Symbols, holo background… if it’s not a blank but still important for faking, it can be found here.

And that’s about all the Sword & Shield blanks we have to share with you. But don’t worry… as mentioned, any blanks in this list of blanks—pun absolutely intended—are in the process of being filled right now. Keep an eye out for them in the near future here. And if you want to download the blanks but don’t want to scroll back up, Nick15 here’s got your back, fam; just click here. Enjoy!

Final thanks again to aschefield101 for his hard work on these blanks. Swing by his deviantART account and say “Hi”! Good times, good times.

Alliteration Ahoy!

This’ll be another short-and-sweet post, but I thought I’d share just a few things…

First off, I’m trying once again to get my Facebook presence up and running! This time you can find my Facebook account at @nick15pokemon … I’ll try to post there as often as I can, but now that I have Twitter, Instagram AND Facebook to worry about… I wonder if I can do it! … Frankly, how do these kids do it?

Secondly, I FINALLY broke my seven day McDonalds Green #4 promo pack streak! That is to say, for the last week, all of the McDonald’s I’ve been going to have been giving me the same Green #4 packs. Which was kinda weird that I got the same packs across multiple McDonald’s like that, but whatever. Frankly I’m just grateful that I was still able to get McDonald’s packs regardless, so no complaints here! With that said, I managed to break my combo with the Red #3 pack, which was the last of the four packs I needed, so I updated the McDonald’s Pokémon Promos page with a ton more info. Go check it out!

Finally, I encountered my FIRST abberation in the McDonald’s Pokémon TCG pack card placements! As a reminder: each pack of McDonald’s Pokémon TCG cards seem to place certain cards in a certain slot. For example, in just about EVERY pack I’ve opened—which is 23 so far—after the holo card in each pack, Charmander has ALWAYS been appearing in the first slot, Chikorita in the second, and Oshawott in the third. Like, if I get them in a pack, they have ALWAYS been in those positions. I thought that was kinda weird, and across 23 packs and nearly every single Pokémon in the set, this has basically always held true…


Somehow, Cyndaquil and Sobble—which have otherwise appeared in the second/middle position in previous packs—appeared in the first position instead! But what’s strange about this is that:

  • both cards were previously seen in the second position, but now appeared in the first
  • the cards which were in the second position instead were also cards which ALWAYS appeared in the second position—Fennekin especially, just look at how many of them I have! NINE!
  • they also happened to have occurred today, in these two packs, for the first time at once

Personally I think this is simply a packing error, which I’ve noticed has happened from time to time back when I did my Print Run analysis. The fact that the abberation in those two packs were so similar to one another and happened so close like this leads me to believe that there was some issue at the printing and/or packing stage, and somehow these cards fell out of sync.

I’m gonna be doing more research as always, until I can’t do it anymore… and so hopefully my overall hypothesis remains true regardless. We’ll see! (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THO… GIMME THAT SNIVY!!!)

OK, that’s all I have to share at the moment. Go away now.

All that is left is... to finally do it!

Just a small minor update for you… but I’m basically ready to start work on my Space World Fake Card set! So wait, what was the hold up?

I’ll admit I’m the kind of person who needs to make sure everything is in its right place before I can start working on something, at least if it were up to me. But after all my hard work, I’d say there’s nothing left to work out. Those things included:

  • Getting my Neo Redux blanks completed
  • Knowing what Pokémon will actually be in the set
  • Actually designing the set layout, complete with balanced types, rarities and collector numbers… and for all three sets

Well the last one was the last major hurdle… and it’s finally done! I actually have the three main sets already basically designed, or at least built up enough such that I know what I’m missing so that I can fill it in later. The pages are already set up in the sidebar, but you can see them here below:

That’s right, I actually have the complete full set lists for both Alpha⁹⁷ and Beta⁹⁸ worked out, while the set list for Omega⁹⁹ was left intentionally incomplete in order to give me some flexibility to add whatever I want to it. That said, all three sets will have at least 125 cards each, with the possibility to up them to 130-135 cards in case I need to.

But the key fact is that I can finally start making fake cards without worrying about type balancing or making sure I have enough commons or uncommons, etc. Furthermore, having a layout that I already know ahead of time allows me to build a card without worrying about having to edit insignificant details later, since that was something I caught myself doing a lot with Mayakashi Edition back in the day. Like, because I decided to add or remove one card, it means having to renumber every single card to adjust for that change… or leave it looking inconsistent, which… lol, not gonna happen. The way things are set up, if I do need to make a change that affects other cards in the set, I’ll only need to fix a small handful of cards at most, which makes all the preliminary work I’ve been doing this whole time worth the effort.

Of course there are other things I need to be concerned about, like set logo graphics for the set and other details… but that’s something that I can work on any time. Frankly I plan on taking my time on that, as I intend on using whatever I design as pieces for my Technical and Professional Writing portfolio; this may include stuff like press releases, brochures, retailer advertisements, etc… IRL stuff that would be created for any product that is trying to be sold. Well… I mean, that’s the plan; I might genericize it up a bit just so it doesn’t look like I was actually commissioned by Nintendo to produce this material for them. I’ll think of something, but the point here is, I’m gonna make sure that the energy I spend on this project can be applied towards other ends.

Now if you are keen eyed, you might have also noticed the “Art Style” column. Once again I plan on using a variety of different art styles with my fakes in order to make it look like it’s a proper Pokémon TCG set. So I’ll be doing line art, water colors, Prismacolor markers, 3D-CGI stuff (I just downloaded Blender)… y’know, stuff like from the good ol’ days. I even drew a stupid Gengar to show the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff I could do:


Actually the important thing is that I downloaded Blender… I acutally thought that it was some high profile, uber-expensive app which I had to get using… uh… other sources… but no! I just discovered it was totally free! Yay! The thing is, I need to relearn how to do CG modeling, as I’m a decade or two out of sync, but knowing how to model will help me when I start my Unity classes next month. But frankly it can’t be that much harder than Infini-D 4.5, and I was able to do stuff like this with it:

Ahhh… I can’t wait to see where this takes me…!

Anyways, that’s all I have to share at the moment.