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Go down into the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run.

Munchkin is the dungeon experience . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. Millions of copies sold worldwide!

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April 25, 2016: Reality Checks

[Image]Every few months, we take a look at the Munchkin release schedule and apply the reality filter: "Is this still something we want to do? If so, is it something we want to do when it is currently scheduled? And if so, can we actually get it done by then?"

A couple of weeks ago, we had our sales team in town, so it was an ideal time to make sure our plans and our reality were in sync. We made a few tweaks to the end of 2016 and more substantial changes to the schedule for 2017 and beyond (yes, beyond!). We know there's still some work to be done, but we're a lot more confident in our plans than we were before those meetings. Fortunately, we have a great team keeping us on track, including our Operations Manager, Randy Scheunemann, and our Project Manager, Darryll Silva, who set our deadlines and make sure we stick to them.

For my part, the entire Munchkin plan for the next couple of years is on a bulletin board next to my desk with lots of colored index card squares tacked to it. That's an old-school approach, but the at-a-glance view of what we're doing has proven invaluable when it's time to have another reality-check meeting -- or just when I need to keep tabs on what my own next priority is going to be. We have plenty of online tracking tools as well, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, but this is the one I end up looking at the most, wondering where I could move something a month later here, a couple of weeks earlier there.

Looking at the bulletin board recently, I realized that with a couple of minor exceptions, my design work for this year's releases is done, and I've already turned over drafts of several releases for next year. It's a weird feeling to be this far ahead . . . but it does mean I have some leeway when something new crops up that just has to be done right this second, which happens more often than we would like, even with all this planning. And I still think I could be doing better; I'm hoping that by the end of 2016, I'll already be working on the first few games for 2018!

-- Andrew Hackard

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