Andrew the Munchkin Czar
Posted a contest for
All of his fans
Writing some smile-worthy
Doggerel could win you
Loot for both hands!
The above is an example of a double dactyl. It's a form of light verse much like a limerick, but more difficult. Lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 form two dactyls*, with a stress pattern familiar to waltzers and polka-ers: OOM-pa-pa OOM-pa-pa. (For another example, see the title of this news item.) Lines 4 and 8 are choriambs, or dactyls with an extra stressed syllable at the end (OOM-pa-pa-OOM). These two lines must rhyme . . . or at least come close, as above.
As if the form weren't enough of a challenge, the content also has rules: Line 1 must be rhyming nonsense. Line 2 must be, in some form or other, a proper noun; usually, this is restricted to a person's name, but we're going to open it up a bit in this contest to include anything Munchkin-related. ("Thrice-damnèd Duck of Doom" would work, if I hadn't just used it myself.) Either line 6 or 7 must be a single hexasyllabic word. And, ideally, the poem as a whole is witty, if not actually amusing.
Your task is to write the ultimate Munchkin double dactyl and send it in by the deadline: Wednesday, June 15. I will pick an arbitrary number of winners in yet-to-be-determined categories and send those folks some cool Munchkin swag. Email them to me with the subject line "Double Dactyl" or just click here. I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with!
* Etymological** trivia for you: "dactyl" comes from the ancient Greek work for finger, and is used because the pattern of stress mimics the knuckles of a finger: long and two shorts. It's cognate with Latin "digitus," whence we get "digits" . . . so counting by digits is literally counting on your fingers.
** There's another hexasyllable for you!
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I've said in this space before that everything for the 2017 Munchkin schedule was already at print.
That was before we added some late-breaking reprints to the autumn schedule – turns out that running out of games before the holiday sales season is not a winning strategy.
Those reprints are now also at print, and once again, the 2017 Munchkin schedule is done.
Until it's not. Again. And that is the circle of product life.
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I'm back from my week "off." I use the inverted commas because I spent pretty much all of that time packing boxes, moving boxes, moving furniture, and generally being way more active than a desk jockey like myself is used to. (Kudos to the folks at Two Men and a Truck for handling the bulk of my move professionally, carefully, and efficiently – the move was completed in more than an hour under the estimate, with appropriate cost reduction to match. Unsolicited endorsement.)
The day before my "vacation" started, the team gathered in our swanky conference room to go over all the remaining Munchkin Shakespeare components and make sure they were ready to go to print. I'm pleased to report that there were very few tweaks and that everyone came together to send everything last week while I was out "enjoying myself." Special praise goes to:
- John Kovalic and Lar deSouza, for turning over fantastic artwork;
- Sabrina Gonzalez, Alex Fernandez, Gabby Ruenes, and Ben Williams, for making the games look outstanding;
- Miranda Horner, for doing prepress on a frankly unreasonable schedule and saving us from some embarrassing mistakes;
- and of course Steve, for suggesting the idea of a Kickstarter in the first place.
If you read Devin's update last week, you know that we're making great progress on the Munchkin Collectible Card Game. I can't wait to see what progress they made while I was out!
Time to jump back in the saddle, with a booster for early next year that I can't discuss just yet. But I'll give a hint: the title is Munchkin S_____ D_____. [Note from the Illuminati: Full title not available at your clearance.] Steve's working on something exciting that we're about to move into active playtest. Summer time is busy time!
And when I'm not working on Munchkin, I have boxes to unpack. Oooooooooh, my old aching back . . .
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We've been working on the Munchkin Collectible Card Game for a couple of years now. It's involved a lot of playtesting, a series of conversations with the designers, and more than a few
loud arguments friendly conversations behind closed doors. The goal is to have rules that are clear and concise, yet cover every possible question that might come up. This is, practically, impossible. With the first set of the Munchkin Collectible Card Game reaching 278 cards, we have had a lot of rules to go over, making sure that if something works one way on one card, it works that way on all the other similar cards. It's been a long, pedantic, and often frustrating process.
But it's worth it. I'd like to introduce you to my friend the Beagle Scout.
He's been through quite a few iterations. At his core, he's supposed to be an Ally, happy to throw himself in front of a monster that's attacking you. Unlike most of your Allies, he can also be played to fight for you. This changes his card type and his stats. As an Ally, he's only got Life. He doesn't have a gold cost or a Power value, which are important parts of a Monster. We need to explain this all as briefly as possible while still being clear, using only words we've included in the approved CCG lexicon.
The earliest version of this card read, "You may reveal Beagle Scout as a 1 cost, 1 Attack monster without cheating." This is not very clear. For one thing, it doesn't include a Life value. At this early point of development, monsters didn't actually have Life! Clearly, that changed. "Cheating" is a core concept within our game that we'll discuss in more detail later; for now, just know that we spelled out that you aren't cheating if you turn this guy over in combat because of a couple of rule problems he caused otherwise.
We updated the card a bit later: "Honest (If you are caught cheating with this card, take one additional damage.) You may reveal this card as a 0 gold, 1 power, 1 health monster."
In this version, we have introduced a keyword. If you are going to write a rule over and over again, on lots of different cards, it makes sense to attach it to a word or phrase that is explained in the reminder text inside the parentheses. This wording is better and now includes Health, which became Life when we decided that Life is just a better fit.
Even that still wasn't final. After a lot of tweaking, we wound up with what you see on the card above. That is a lot of words! But they're all necessary words. For instance, we realized we didn't need Honest in this set. It's a great ability that may come back in the future, but we didn't need it here and we're trying to eliminate as much redundancy as we can. While we very much want to keep the humor of Munchkin, first and foremost we have to deliver a great game.
We have a lot of rules written around what makes a Monster card: what they can and can't do, how they're played, and how they're handled. The simple solution here is to make this card change types! It's something we're going to do many more times, so making it a keyword makes sense. The word or phrase we choose should be shorter than the reminder text (otherwise, don't keyword it) and it should be relevant to the ability itself. This ability turns a non-Monster card into a Monster, so Monstrous was chosen. And because we wanted to have different levels of the trait, we decided it would be Monstrous X. In technical terms, it looks like this:
Monstrous X (When this is committed to a fight, it is a X [gold], X [power], X [life] monster card. Its card type changes to "Monster" and it has no other ability.)
This card is just Monstrous 1, but other cards can be Monstrous 2 or even Monstrous 3, playable as a 3 cost Monster with 3 Power and 3 Life!
And that's just one card. We've done this 277 more times!
We've been pretty quiet about this game as we complete some important, necessary work under the hood. There are still quite a few steps between completing the card text and rules to putting games on retail shelves, but most of the hard editorial and development work is done. The Munchkin CCG is picking up speed on its way to the shelves at your local game store!
-- Devin LewisShare this post!
Just a quick note to tell you the status of the various pieces.
- Kill-O-Meter, Drama Dice, Staged Demo: Completed and sent to print!
- Pawns (Shakespearean versions of Spyke and Flower), Blank Card Pack: designing packaging, should go to print very soon
- Shakespeare Deluxe, Limited Engagement: mostly done with some pieces still being laid out; we hope these will go to print by the end of this week but it may be next week
- Colouring Book: will go to print at the same time Limited Engagement does, since it's one of those components
- Bookmark of Firsties: will go to print soon but probably not immediately, since its turnaround time is much shorter
I'll be out of the office most if not all of next week, doing the bulk of the work for a crosstown move into my new house, so Devin will be offering a peek under the hood of the Collectible Card Game. See y'all in May!
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Or that's the theory.
Turns out, we've let it fall a bit out of date. So we just uploaded a new version that includes content from Munchkin Grimm Tidings, Moop's Monster Mashup, Munchkin Oz, and Munchkin Steampunk . . . and we included a preview of the new Class and Faction in Munchkin Pathfinder 2! It even covers Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe!
If you have a W23 account and previously downloaded Munchkin Thingies, the new version is already in your download library. If you don't have an account or haven't already downloaded Munchkin Thingies, now is the perfect time!
Reminder: BackerKit Closes In One Week
Speaking of Munchkin Shakespeare, if you wanted to confirm your pledge or you want to preorder Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe and all the other goodies we're producing along with it, you have one more week to sign on to BackerKit and ensure you'll get everything you wanted. Click here to preorder!Share this post!