If you missed Monday's Daily Illuminator about the second printing of Moop's Monster Mashup, head over and read it! It has a lot of great information about making Moop's new outing bigger and better. The second printing is on its way to game stores now, so look for it soon!
Munchkin Shakespeare Update
Thanks to our 3,500 backers, the Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter is going strong! We're well on our way to $200,000 and beyond!
The core game is up to 160 cards plus a custom six-sided die; we expect to add even more cards at the $220,000 stretch goal. You can help out by spreading the word through Facebook shares and Twitter retweets, even if you aren't yet a backer!
With your help, we're making a Kickstarter exclusive expansion for Munchkin Shakespeare that has more cards (including Dungeons!), some new Munchkin bookmarks with game rules, a metal Shakespeare coin with a game rule, a Shakespeare Kill-O-Meter, blank cards, and other cool swag . . . and this expansion is only going to get bigger as we get closer to the end of the Kickstarter! Retailers, make sure you're on our retailer mailing list so we can let you know how you can get in on the Kickstarter fun!
We have also unlocked some Shakespeare add-ons, including Shakespeare-themed dice, packs of female and male Shakespeare pawns, and even a short demo you can use to introduce your friends to Munchkin Shakespeare. These aren't exclusive to Kickstarter, but they will probably be printed in fairly small quantities . . . becoming a backer is the best way to make sure you get all the loot you want!
The Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter ends on March 10. If you've already backed, thank you! If not, you still have time . . . just don't wait too long!
It's rare that I use this space for non-Munchkin news, but some of you may have missed it and others may not have recognized its significance.
Gaming lost one of its pioneers last week when Loren Wiseman passed away. Loren's start in the hobby came in 1974 when his first wargame design was published. He was a founder of Game Designers Workshop (later just GDW) and helped design the very first well-known SF roleplaying game, Traveller, a game still being supported with new content four decades later. We were privileged to create a GURPS version under Loren's guidance, and I had the honor of working with him on several GURPS Traveller supplements in the early 2000s.
Loren was one of the very first people I met when I started at SJ Games back in April 2000. Many others have known him for much longer, or have grown up with his work on Traveller, Twilight: 2100, D&D, and many other games over the years. He was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2003 and richly deserved that honor and more.
It makes me sad that Loren won't get to see Munchkin Shakespeare; he would have loved it.
Ave atque vale, Loren.
We recently updated the spreadsheets telling us how many Munchkin games have been printed worldwide and discovered that Pegasus Spiele has topped one million German Munchkin games and expansions published. Congratulations . . . or, I should say, ich gratuliere!
Munchkin Shakespeare on Kickstarter
If you haven't been paying attention to the Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter, please check it out. We've been knocking down stretch goals and social media goals at a furious pace, thanks to you guys. Right now, the most help you can give us is to spread the word to your friends . . . and we've provided specific Facebook and Twitter posts to do that with that also get us closer to making the game even bigger!
We're talking about Shakespeare a lot in the Daily Illuminator, which you should also be reading if you want current information about everything we do at Steve Jackson Games.
As we told y'all last week, we've been working on Munchkin Shakespeare off and on since the first brainstorming session on JoCo Cruise 2015. After a lot of discussion, we've decided to bring this game to Kickstarter to allow y'all to help bring it to stores. I wrote a Daily Illuminator discussing our reasons, and you can go read it for more details, but the biggest reason is that Munchkin Shakespeare's initial development was crowdsourced, so crowdfunding it now has a certain symmetry to it.
The Kickstarter for Munchkin Shakespeare launches tomorrow. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages to find out the instant it goes live, and watch all our social media, the Daily Illuminator, and Munchkin News for updates over the course of the campaign. We're offering an extra bit of loot to people who back early, so keep checking!
Last week, some cool things happened:
First, we had our "premortem" meeting on a new* Munchkin game. This is the meeting where a bunch of us sit down with hard copy of a game that's about to go to print and go over everything closely to find all the places where we can fix mistakes, try something different, or just do better. We instituted this process a little over a year ago and it's been very helpful for all the people involved in making a game to sit in one room and see what the rest of us are looking at. I understand the production, art, and prepress processes a lot more since I've been going to these meetings regularly . . . and, more important, it's improving our games.
* It's new, but it's also kind of not. Which is all I can say right now.
Second, we hit a key milestone in the Munchkin Collectible Card Game: Steve has approved the final colored versions of all the art for all the cards. This was a big, bold, highlighted step on the critical path toward having this game done, and it unlocks several other components (rules, packaging, ads and other marketing) that couldn't be finalized until all the art was finished. Devin's working hard on some "quick start" rules so that, when the game hits shelves, you and a friend can sit down and start playing immediately. I expect things to start moving very fast on this game now . . . which is good, because we also have Eric and Kevin's first draft of the cards in the first wave of expansion cards. Working on the Collectible Card Game has leveled up a lot of skills across the entire company, and I can't wait for y'all to see the result.
Finally, Phil set a date for something cool that we've been working on for a while now. More about that news next week.
Toward the end of last year, I posted about how pleased I was to have most of 2017 already at print.
I should not have underestimated you, our loyal Munchkin fans. Turns out, we need to send 10 games and expansions for reprints so we don't run out just in time for Origins and Gen Con and all your summer gaming needs. Selling more than we expected is an opportunity, not a problem, and we thank you for that opportunity . . . but it does mean we're having to work hard for the next couple of weeks to get it all done.
Shout out to our production team who pushed these through in a hurry!
I know it's not Valentine's Day yet, but last week we started to ship a couple of projects to distributors to make sure you get gifts in time for your favorite Munchkin lover. (Parse that phrase however you like.)
First up is Munchkin Valentines. This pack includes five identical packs of Munchkin cards and five different Munchkin-themed valentines for all your sweeties, all illustrated by John Kovalic. Nothing says true love like backstabbing and naked greed, right? And at $5.95, if you have a lot of sweeties, you can buy more sets!
We're also shipping a new Munchkin Playmat: The Flower of Love. This playmat was illustrated by Katie Cook and shows Flower and the Love Shark in a tender moment. As with all our other Munchkin Playmats, it has room for all your cards and a special rule! It will be available to distributors through a special promotion, so make sure your local retailer knows!
Next week, we'll start shipping the Munchkin Valentine's Day Monster Box. It was also illustrated by Katie Cook and includes 12 Munchkin cards. As with all our Monster Boxes, it has room for 2,000 cards plus plenty of Munchkin swag. But if you fill it with candy and flowers for your special someone and keep the loot for yourself, we'll never tell. This will be available as a promotion on Warehouse 23 soon!