Today's the first day that I've been in the office since March 2, and after a week of vacation on the JoCo Cruise and a week of meeting our partners at USAopoly and in Las Vegas at the GAMA Trade Show, it's a relief to be standing at my own desk looking at the pile of work that has accumulated in my absence. (Even if I am recovering from the worst cold I've had in a couple of years – thanks, Bally's!)
My top priority this week is to push hard on the games and accessories that came out of the Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter. We're getting closer to having BackerKit up and ready to go and we want to be able to show you more of the art when that happens. Luckily, a lot of my development work was completed before I left, and I braved the world's worst hotel Internet to approve dozens more pieces while I was in Vegas. (Thanks, Bally's!) I fully expect that all the Shakespeare projects will go to print on time.
I'm also going to be helping Devin with the Munchkin Collectible Card Game. We got some encouraging news out of our meetings in Las Vegas and it's time to kick this whale across the finish line! (I . . . don't think that's a real metaphor. But it ought to be!)
Speaking of GAMA, several of Phil's meetings last week were very productive and point to more work coming at me like a freight train very shortly. I'd better enjoy this slight respite while I have it!
Three, count 'em, three bits of business this week!
Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe Wrap-Up
Whew! We ended up with 5,280 backers who raised a total of $295,109. We didn't quite reach the $300,000 stretch goal that would have given us a bigger, rounder gameboard, but we aren't going to let that distract us from the huge success of our first Munchkin Kickstarter. Thanks to everyone who made this happen!
On Monday, Rhea and I will be visiting the USAopoly office north of San Diego. I've been there several times, but it's Rhea's first visit – I know she'll be impressed! With only one work day in southern California, we have to make the most of it!
GAMA Trade Show
Then, on Tuesday, we'll join the rest of the team at Bally's in Las Vegas for the GAMA Trade Show. This is always a great chance to meet the retailers who sell our games and talk about what will be coming up in the next year or so. As is becoming tradition, we will be hosting a penthouse party for our retail partners and other special invited guests. Anyone who is at GAMA and wants to attend should be sure to go to one of Phil Reed's presentations on Tuesday afternoon to get the details!
This is GAMA's last year in Vegas before shifting to Reno in 2018, so we're going to make sure to do it right!
And, to bring this update full circle, watch our social media to find out about a special Ides of March Shakespeare live video stream coming to you direct from Las Vegas on Wednesday!
Arr, I be postin' this update from the deep blue sea! (Unless I wrote it ahead of time, but where be the fun in that?)
Before I head up to the mizzenmast to soak up some bonny rays, I wanted t' remind ye that this is th' last week of our Munchkin Shakespeare Kickstarter! Ye be runnin' out of time to join our scurvy crew and get a new Munchkin game plus loads of other cool booty. Back it now . . . at the end of the week, this promotion joins Davy Jones at the ocean floor!
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!