Munchkin® News Archive

Archive

October 27, 2014: Andrew Is Stupid

Somehow, the news item intended for THIS week posted LAST week and no one noticed. Whoops.

Randy and I leave for PAX Australia today (not last week), and the convention is this coming weekend (not the weekend that just ended).

Everything else is true, however, especially the part about planning to have a great time. If you're going to be at the show, we'll see you there! (And if you thought you were just AT the show, quit living in my alternate timeline.)

-- Andrew Hackard

(P.S. If you're in the Austin area this week, be sure to check out our playtesting group on Facebook -- Devin's going to be running more playtests over the next little while and we want your input!)

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October 20, 2014: Leaving On A Jet Plane

Randy Scheunemann and I hop on a plane today to fly to Los Angeles, where we hop on a much bigger plane for a much longer flight to Melbourne, Australia. We'll be manning the SJ Games booth at PAX Australia. It's my first time in Australia and SJ Games' first time attending PAX Australia, so we expect to learn a lot, meet a lot of new people, and generally have a great time!

Despite the lyrics to the song whose title I stole, I do know when I'll be back again -- next Monday afternoon. Devin and the rest of Team Munchkin will be holding down the fort in my absence, and probably getting a lot of work done without my interference.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 13, 2014: Essen!

This week is International Spieltage, the ginormous celebration of board games in Essen, Germany. (Also crepes, currywurst, and dark German beer, if you're into any of those things.)

I will not be going, but we're sending Andreas Stein -- who speaks the language, which is both less and more important than you think -- and Leonard Balsera to represent us . . . and, of course, our fantastic German partners at Pegasus will have their usual impressive array of games, gamers, and gaming, (Plus lots of our other partners in other countries will make the trip over. Essen is BIG, y'all.)

If you're going to be at Essen, be sure to look up Lenny and Andreas and make them feel welcome. If you aren't going, play some games anyway!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 10, 2014: Munchkin Panic Release Party!

Late-breaking news, Munchkin fans! Steve Jackson and I (and probably plenty of other folks as well) will be at Wonko's Toys and Games on Saturday night, October 11, to celebrate the release of Munchkin Panic from Justin and Anne-Marie at Fireside Games. If you can't make it, you can still join in the fun by watching us on Twitter, where we'll be posting pictures all evening.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 6, 2014: Munchkin Treasure Hunt Around The Web

We here at Munchkin HQ have been very pleased with the response to Munchkin Treasure Hunt. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to drop us a note or a tweet or a forum post to talk about Treasure Hunt! Here are a few posts you may have missed:

When more reviews and blog posts come in, we'll do another news round-up. We're especially interested in hearing how the younger set enjoys the game!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 29, 2014: In Case You Missed It: Announcing Munchkin Treasure Hunt!

Munchkin Treasure HuntMunchkin is a great game, and we're really excited about how many people like it. We noticed a while back that there was an audience that didn't have a Munchkin game all their own, though: kids! So what did we do? We made a game for kids.

Munchkin Treasure Hunt isn't just another Munchkin core set; it's a whole new board game in which kids (or grown-ups; you know y'all love this stuff too) move their characters around a board fighting monsters and taking their treasure! Monster cards make the monsters tougher, and you can use your Treasure cards to defeat the monsters and get even more treasure. But you'll want to hang on to those Treasures; each one has a Gold value, and the player with the most Gold at the end of the game is the winner!

You can find Munchkin Treasure Hunt in Toys'R'Us stores right now. There are Toys'R'Us stores everywhere, so it shouldn't be hard for kids all over the country to get their hands on a copy, but if you don't live close enough to get there, you can order from toysrus.com, too. Go get your loot!

-- Brian Engard

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September 22, 2014: Welcome Carl Back to SJ Games!

We're pleased to welcome Carl deSoto back to SJ Games. Carl used to work out in the warehouse (if you ordered from Warehouse 23 last year, there's a good chance Carl packed your order!) and left to pursue other opportunities. Our trained ninjas Changing circumstances brought him back to us recently, however, and it's great to have him working alongside us once again!

And what is it that Carl is doing? We're not telling just yet . . . but when he's done, we expect that things will be a lot more organized than they have been in the past.

It's nice to have you back on the team, Carl!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 15, 2014: Make Your Plans Now

I'm going to be in New York City February 13-15, 2015, for a special Munchkin event.

What is it? WHERE is it? Can't tell you that yet. But if you're in the area, we'd love to see you!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 8, 2014: Interested In Playtesting?

We want your opinions! Join our playtest group on Facebook and be notified whenever we're taking new sets out for a spin.

(There was a Meetup group as well, for a while; Meetup apparently nuked it, for reasons they've never clearly explained. We're working to get it back for you Facebookophobes.)

Right now, we're playtesting Munchkin Steampunk and Munchkin Adventure Time 2, but we've got more stuff in the pipeline later this year!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 1, 2014: Looking For Your Munchkin Card Ideas

Writing Munchkin cards is a lot of fun . . . but, after a while, the creative juices evaporate. Luckily, we've got a page where you guys can submit your own wacky Munchkin card ideas. I've been plowing through them for inspiration, which means the well is starting to run a little dry . . . so if you've been sitting on new card ideas, there's no better time to send them our way! If we use your idea, we give you credit in the rules AND a copy of the game in which your idea appears! (If you need more incentive, one of the titles we're considering for 2016 is Munchkin Fan Service . . . and we'll need over 100 of your ideas to make that one work!)

Before you run off to start typing up ideas, though, read these important notes:

  1. Please don't use the form for anything BUT card ideas. We aren't looking for set suggestions, critical commentary, or rule questions -- and we don't check the reports often enough to make that last one a good idea, anyway. That's what our forums are for!
  2. Only one card per submission. If you're submitting cards that are linked, mention each one in the other's comments area. (Warning: unless linked cards are VERY good, we probably won't use them, at least not as such -- standalone ideas are much more versatile.)
  3. If you have an idea for the illustration, by all means include that in the Comments field. Sometimes a really funny picture makes an otherwise mundane card shine.
  4. We get too many submissions to be able to acknowledge them. Sorry about that. If we use your idea, we'll let you know; otherwise, you can assume it was almost good enough, and may show up down the road in something else.
  5. Related to that, please understand that we get lots of ideas from our fans, and we're pretty creative in our own right. If you see a published card that is similar to one you suggested, it's almost certainly a case of parallel inspiration. But if it's really close to your idea, it's worth asking -- we have been known to forget to give credit, and that's something we would like to fix in future printings.
  6. By sending in your idea, you are giving us permission to publish it, modified or not as we see fit, up to and including taking a really funny card name and writing an entirely new card to fit it.

We're looking forward to seeing your ideas! Thanks!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 25, 2014: PAX! DragonCon!

This coming weekend, we have teams going to PAX Prime in Seattle and DragonCon in Atlanta. The crew at PAX will be in our usual spot, the "corral" under the escalators. The DragonCon team will be working with Adventure Retail, as usual. I won't be at either one; I'm taking this Labor Day weekend off for a change. But if you're at one of those shows, come by and say howdy to the folks who are there!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 18, 2014: Recapping Gen Con

As this posts, it's Monday morning and I'm probably on my way to the airport for a way-too-early flight back to Austin. Poor me, having to spend the entire time at Gen Con having fun with my friends.

Thank you to everyone who attended my panels! I hope y'all had a good time and maybe learned a few things, too.

The Munchkin Tavern was a huge success, once again, and I'd like to thank all the SJ Games staff who worked there, all the folks from Tavern on South who let us take over the joint, and of course all the fans who came in and made merry. I expect we'll be doing this again pretty soon.

Of course, the BIG news items from Gen Con were our announcements! In case you missed some of them, here's a summary:

  • Katie Cook will be illustrating our first booster in 2015, Munchkin Love Shark Baby. Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Next year's Munchkin core game will be Munchkin Steampunk. Steve wrote it, Devin's playtesting it, and Phil Foglio will be illustrating it for us. Expect it next summer.
  • We're partnering with Atlas Games to create Munchkin Gloom. This will be a Gloom game using Munchkin monsters, designed by Gloom creator Keith Baker. Expect it next summer as well.
  • Four lucky folks who had dinner with Fireside Games went home with advance copies of Munchkin Panic. I'm envious!
  • Next spring, USAopoly will be following up Munchkin Adventure Time with Munchkin Adventure Time 2 -- It's a Dungeon Crawl! We're discussing next year's core set, but as of right now, we aren't quiiiiiite ready to make that announcement.

What's really scaring me is that we're already planning our big announcements for next Gen Con . . . leading into 2016 and the 15th anniversary of Munchkin. We have some epic plans in store, none of which I can tell you about right now. Ask me in a year!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 11, 2014: It's Gen Con Time!

We're counting on seeing many of you at Gen Con THIS WEEK! We'll have a limited number of early releases of many of our fall releases, including Revolution! Anarchy and Munchkin Legends 2 – Faun and Games. (Some of them are VERY limited, so make sure to come by and see us early!) We'll be making some big announcements at the Tavern again, and we'll have swag and promos there that won't be available anywhere else!

I'm very excited about being an Industry Insider Guest of Honor, and I'm sitting on five panels with a bunch of really big names in gaming . . . let's hope I find something intelligent to say by the end of the convention! As a reminder, those panels are:

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 4, 2014: Give Your Game A Boost!

It's hard to believe that it's been more than four years since we started producing small booster packs for Munchkin -- and it's hard to believe that it's only been four years, since they're such a natural, great addition to the line. Many of you have told us how much you enjoy the boosters, and commented that we're evil for giving you a reason to spend more money on impulse buys at the register in your Friendly Local Game Store. We agree with both sentiments, and we plan to keep doing boosters as long as y'all keep buying them.

(Please keep buying them.)

You can look at the booster page to see what's currently available. Some of them are on the cusp of going out of print, though, so don't delay if you see something you want!

Also, don't forget that the special booster promotional card offer expires at the end of this year. There's still time to get your card if you haven't!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 28, 2014: Local Conventions

Hello, loyal Munchkin fanatics! Team Munchkin is going to be at a couple of local conventions next weekend, and we'd love to see you at one of them if you're able to attend!

The REALLY local con is Board Game Bash, now in its fourth year of bringing board gaming to Austin. We've been part of BGB since it started, and we're happy to support them again this year!

We're also going to have a booth at San Antonio Comic Con, in beautiful downtown San Antonio (be sure to grab a margarita on the Riverwalk!). I'm going to be there Saturday to sign stuff and play some games -- San Antonio is my home town, so it's always nice to get back for a day or two! (And this show will be a good test for PAX South, coming up in January . . .)

Of course, if you can't come melt with us in central Texas in August, we'll have other appearances, starting in just a couple of weeks with Gen Con! See y'all at the Tavern!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 21, 2014: San Diego

Today, Phil Reed and I fly out to San Diego! Tomorrow, we'll be concocting evil plans with our collaborators at USAopoly (publishers of the imminent Munchkin Adventure Time!). Wednesday through Friday, we'll be in and around San Diego Comic-Con, meeting happy fans and having yet more evil planning sessions with People Who Cannot Be Named, before flying home Saturday. I expect to be spending some of my time at the Geek & Sundry space, of course, so come on by and say hello! (And there's a chance we might swing by Gam3rCon, too . . .)

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 14, 2014: Munchkin Messenger Bag Now On Amazon

Munchkin Messenger Bag

If you carry around as much Munchkin as I do, you've certainly had the unpleasant experience of opening a backpack or cheap convention tote bag to find cards scattered all over and a half-open box sitting there. Mocking you.

Fortunately, that need never happen again!

We've partnered with Amazon to give* y'all the spiffy and functional Munchkin Messenger Bag, which holds your favorite Munchkin games and even has room for all the accessories you need to win!

Grab yours today!

-- Andrew Hackard

* Sell, actually. But we really really want you to have one, so please buy!

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July 7, 2014: Andrew's Panel Schedule At Gen Con

I was lucky enough to be chosen as an Industry Insider Guest of Honor for Gen Con this year, which means that I get caviar and champagne every morning, am carried to the convention on a litter by burly manservants, and . . . Oh, wait, no.

Actually, it means that I get to be on some really cool panels with some really awesome other game industry people. In case you're going to Gen Con and really want to hear me shoot my mouth off, here's my schedule:

The links take you to the Gen Con events page where you can read a short description of the panels and sign up with a generic ticket if you want to be sure to get a seat (although, at present, none look in danger of filling up beforehand).

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 30, 2014: Closed This Week -- And RTX Is Here!

Reminder: the SJ Games offices (including Munchkin HQ and Warehouse 23) are closed this week.

And that means we have more free time to attend RTX, the Rooster Teeth Expo, right here in Austin this weekend! I'll be there, meeting people and showing off games (some of which haven't been published yet!), and several other members of Team Munchkin will be there, too. If you're in central Texas or willing to come down here in -- ugh -- July, we'd love to see you at the show!

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 23, 2014: 2016: Fifteen Years Of Munchkin

It occurred to us recently that it was about this time of year, back in the unusually hot Texas summer of 2001, that we were assembling the first-ever boxes of Munchkin in our un-air-conditioned, leaky warehouse at the old Metcalfe building.

We'd love to take people by the old place to show them the building, but it's not there anymore; a condo developer decided street access was more important than gaming history. (It's for the best, really; I wasn't kidding about the leaky warehouse, and even the relatively comfortable inside offices had drafts in odd places. The building had . . . character.)

Instead, we throw it open to you, the fans: how should we celebrate the upcoming 15th anniversary of Munchkin in the summer of 2016? Believe it or not, we're planning that far ahead already, so this is your best chance to tell us what you want to see. Post your best ideas to the forums!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Early warning: SJ Games, including Warehouse 23, will be closed next week for our annual summer break.)

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June 16, 2014: Munchkin News From Origins

We had a full-scale presence at Origins Game Fair last weekend -- including the second incarnation of the Munchkin Tavern, and the first to feature a package of hotel rooms with special Munchkin swag! It was my first Origins, and it was a good first one to attend, because we made four exciting announcements over the course of the show:

  • We have already announced our T-shirt deal with Mighty Fine, but some people hadn't heard about it, so we made a new bookmark to remind them!
  • On Thursday, Phil and I tag-teamed the announcement of a deal with Funko to create custom vinyl Munchkin toys. We've been working on this deal for years, and Funko puts out a LOT of great stuff; we're glad we were able to put everything together!
  • Friday saw the announcement of a deal with BOOM! Studios to create a monthly Munchkin comic book! This is another project that we've wanted for some time, so the squees were loud and sustained when we got the last bits of the deal worked out in time for the announcement. SQUEEEEEEEEE!
  • Finally, we announced the second title in our partnership with AEG: Munchkin Smash Up! We're working with Paul Peterson and the AEG folks to make this the best game it can be. AEG were great to work with on Munchkin Loot Letter, and I'm looking forward to working with them again! (Further congratulations are due to AEG for their multiple Love Letter announcements at Origins -- they know a good game when they publish one!)

The Mighty Fine shirts are already available for purchase! We hope to see Funko toys before the end of 2014. The Munchkin comic book and Munchkin Smash Up will likely launch in 2015.

Don't think this ends our Munchkin announcements for the year -- wait until you see what we're going to be talking about at Gen Con!

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 9, 2014: Origins!

It's time for the Origins Game Fair! I'll be there from Wednesday through Friday morning, and COO Phil Reed will be there from Thursday through the end of the show.

I can't believe that I've been in the game industry almost 15 years and this is my very first Origins . . . but I'm finally getting to go, and I look forward to seeing a bunch of Munchkin fans there!

Don't forget to check out the Munchkin Tavern at the Boulevard -- you might even win a dinner with Phil, John Kovalic, or, um, me. The Tavern is also where we'll be making our special announcements during the show . . . and holy cow, do we have a lot of them this year! You won't want to miss out on some of the news we've got coming up.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 2, 2014: Cards and Bookmarks

One of the consequences of pushing out so many new games and reprints over the last year is that each one comes with an extra card. Many of these are destined for the Exclusive Munchkin Warehouse 23 Booster 2014 (which will be our largest one yet!), and many others are new promo cards that we'll debut throughout the year. Some of our older promo cards are likely to be shelved for a while (especially the ones found in Munchkin Gets Promoted), so it's nice to have some new ones to show off! Our promo cards page has the most up-to-date list -- click on the sample cards for the full list from each type of Munchkin!

We've also been working on lots of new Munchkin bookmarks. Most of them are going to appear first at the Munchkin Tavern at Origins or Gen Con, but some others have . . . umm . . . other fates. Keep an eye on this page and the Daily Illuminator for more news as it happens!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 26, 2014: Bricks!

Our friends at Crazy Bricks have launched a Kickstarter campaign for Munchkin Bricks -- your favorite Munchkin stuff in toy brick form!

It funded within 24 hours, and there are several cool stretch goals still ahead of us -- make them happen, Munchkin fans!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Schedule note: SJ Games will be closed Monday, May 26 for Memorial Day. We'll all be back and hard at work on Tuesday.)

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May 19, 2014: Crazy Busy This Week

This week is our deadline to get everything to print for the rest of 2014, so I expect to have some long days and late nights before all is said and done. We're already well into working on the 2015 schedule -- we have several boosters and several new tuckbox expansions planned, in addition to other secret things I can't talk about yet. It's exciting to be working this far ahead, and we're going to keep trying to move further ahead of the schedule . . . both so we have time to recover in case Cthulhu eats our shipping containers and so we have time to shuffle things around the schedule when Phil Steve Ross someone comes up with a great idea that MUST BE DONE RIGHT NOW.

Fortunately, that's rare.

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, have you picked up Munchkin Journal Pack 1 yet? If not, better hurry . . . our primary warehouse is already sold out.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 12, 2014: Munchkin Game Changers On Warehouse 23

We created Munchkin Game Changers as a limited exclusive for Barnes & Noble. We did not anticipate that they would sell out almost the entire print run. Shows what we know.

A few copies of Game Changers made their way to Warehouse 23, however, and they're going on sale starting today and ending when we run out.

If you miss this second chance, fear not -- we have a reprint of Game Changers planned to go into full hobby distribution this fall. Your Friendly Local Game Store should have it on their shelves in plenty of time for holiday shopping!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 5, 2014: We Love Mighty Fine!

Our friends at Mighty Fine have just launched a line of officially licensed Munchkin T-shirts for the discerning T-shirt wearer. We have approved all these designs and you may well see some of us showing them off at future conventions!

(To answer a Frequently Asked Question, "Do these have a rule?": not yet, but we're discussing it.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 28, 2014: Andrew Isn't In Right Now

I'm taking a long-overdue vacation this week, so Devin is handling things in the Munchkin office. Yay, down time!

It's not totally a vacation, as I'm planning to spend some quality time with John Kovalic tomorrow and visit the Fantasy Flight offices and our friends at The Source on Thursday or Friday . . . but I'm spending a lot of time just hanging out with friends, too. Which, now that I think about it, also covers spending time with John, FFG, and The Source. It's great to be in a business where I like the people I work with!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 21, 2014: Origins

I'm happy to announce that I'll be going to Origins Game Fair for the first time this year. We're setting up the Munchkin Tavern at the Crowne Plaza, and I'll be hosting one night's festivities, including dinner with some lucky (?) Munchkin fans.

This should be a fun show; I'm looking forward to it!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 14, 2014: Guest Of Honor

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard (that's me!) has been named an Industry Insider Guest of Honor for Gen Con 2014! I'll be on several panels over the course of the show and generally trying to be an honorable guest. When I know my panel schedule, we'll be sure to post it here.

I'm also hosting another night at the Munchkin Tavern, so I hope to see everyone there having a good time!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 7, 2014: PAX East!

As usual, SJ Games will be attending PAX East this weekend in Boston! We'll be in our usual place in the tabletop gaming hall. Come by and try out Castellan, Zombie Dice 3, Ogre, and a whole lot of Munchkin!

Our friends at USAopoly will be there as well, giving demos of Munchkin Adventure Time . . . you do NOT want to miss this!

I'll be doing a signing on Saturday afternoon, and I hope to see many of y'all there.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 31, 2014: Gonna Be One Of THOSE Weeks

I spent quite a lot of last week working on several big projects that have to go to print pretty much immediately. I'm going to spend THIS week on a lot of marketing and promotional material, including some special items for the Munchkin Taverns at Origins and Gen Con, some new promo cards and bookmarks, and early design work on some 2015 releases.

(Yes, we're now working that far ahead in our schedule. In fact, I had a conversation with Phil and Ross last week that resulted in several more things getting pushed into 2016 because 2015 is already too full, and now 2016 is starting to fill up. Appropriate for Munchkin's 15th anniversary -- wait, already? We just had the 10th!)

Thanks to everyone for the kind words on Munchkin Loot Letter and Munchkin Panic. They're both going to be a lot of fun, and we are thrilled to be working with AEG and Fireside Games. And don't forget about Munchkin Adventure Time, out this summer from USAopoly!

It's a good time to be a Munchkin fan, and it's a GREAT time to be part of the Munchkin team. Thanks to all y'all for your support. Remember, you can always give us your thoughts and ask your questions on our forums or on Twitter -- we'd love to hear ffrom you!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 24, 2014: Five Questions With, Um, Me

The folks at PuzzleNation were kind enough to ask me to contribute answers to their "Five Questions" running feature. I don't think they anticipated the length I'd go to -- we ended up talking about Ogre, GURPS, and lots of other gaming topics. Read the whole piece here . . . and then comment in our forums!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 17, 2014: GAMA Trade Show

Phil and Kali have gone to Las Vegas this week (rough life!) to attend the annual GAMA Trade Show meeting. We'll be making some announcements at the show, so stay tuned to our Twitter feed and forums for the news!\

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 10, 2014: Munchkin – Mass Market And The Hobby

Sometimes, we get questions about whether having Munchkin in the mass market (Barnes & Noble, Target, etc.) is hurting the line in the hobby stores.

The answer is easy and definite: Absolutely not.

It is true that hobby sales of the specific items being pushed in the mass market are slightly down. However, this is counterbalanced (and more!) by the dramatic upswing we have seen in sales of Munchkin expansions, the vast majority of which are sold through the traditional hobby market. In 2013, combined Munchkin/Legends/Deluxe sales were up 29.10% over 2012. Impressive -- but Munchkin 2 sales in 2013 were up 32.64% over 2012, and Munchkin 3 was up 28.00%. Munchkin has legs, and those legs are driving people to hobby stores.

Furthermore, every Munchkin game sold in the mass market (and, in fact, anywhere else) includes an ad on the side of the box AND a paragraph in the rules pointing people to our Store Finder/Gamer Finder page, to find other Munchkin fans (who are our best marketing tool!) and telling them where to look if they want to buy more Munchkin stuff.

Steve Jackson Games continues to be committed to supporting all our sales and distribution partners, and that most definitely includes hobby stores.

If you're a store owner or employee going to the GAMA Trade Show, be sure to attend Phil Reed's presentation; he'll have a lot more to say about this, as well as the overall state of the company (spoiler alert: we're doing very well).

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 3, 2014: Munchkin News On BoardGameGeek

W. Eric Martin wrote up a great post at BoardGameGeek about his conversation with Phil Reed at New York Toy Fair. It has LOTS of spoilers for our 2014 schedule, including a lot of Munchkin-specific news. Go check it out! And then come back to our forums to discuss the news with other Munchkin fans.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 24, 2014: Munchkin Goes Back To 2010!

You know how there's that ONE box deep in a closet somewhere that's you're afraid to open because you don't remember actually packing it in the first place, and it looks like it might have contained something organic at some point in the not-distant-enough past?

Yeah, that one. We opened it.

Turns out, among the goodies inside were a bunch of copies of the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 that we'd set aside for some reason and never got around to using. These things have been going for stupid prices on eBay, but don't pay that, because they're back on Warehouse 23!

A couple of quick notes:

  1. This booster had an unfortunate error on the Attic card contained within. We offered replacements, but we also fixed all the boosters we still had in stock -- so these should have the correct card inside. However, if your card includes the clause, "Before you turn over a new Door card," that means we missed replacing yours, and you can send in for a replacement (details are on the product page linked above).
  2. Don't forget about our Munchkin Booster Promo! You can use the insert from this set as one of the five UPCs needed to redeem the card . . . or order four more boosters at the same time and get the card automatically!

The only bad thing is, when we moved that ONE box, we found more boxes under and behind it, and a couple of those are oozing something . . . so we threw a tarp over them and put up a safety cone. We may get back to that corner of the warehouse . . . by 2016 or so.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 17, 2014: I'm (Not) Going To Be A Part Of It

New York Toy Fair, that is. I've been the past couple of years, but this year I'm staying in Austin and letting Phil, Ross, and our new Events Director, Kali Dugan, enjoy the balmy late-winter weather in Manhattan.

They have plenty of meetings scheduled, almost none of which I can talk about. Fnord. One that I can is a chat with our partners at USAopoly to go over the marketing and release plan for Munchkin Adventure Time . . . and what comes after it.

While they're up in New York having fun, the rest of us will be back in Austin working hard on the games they're in New York to try to sell. Whee!

On to happier news: if you're in the Houston area, or willing to travel there, go see Steve at Owlcon this weekend!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 10, 2014: We Helped Worldbuilders!

Pat Rothfuss runs auctions every year to support the Worldbuilders charity, a fundraising endeavor supporting Heifer International. This year, one of the auctions was for John Kovalic to draw the winner on a Munchkin card in an upcoming set. The winning bid was -- are you sitting down? -- $2,151.

Wow.

Thanks to the winner and to everyone who bid on that auction!

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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February 3, 2014: Good News, Bad News

Good News

After some internal discussions and some chatting with our friends at Grand Prix International, we have decided to reprint Munchkin Quest later this year (we're still working out the schedule). It's been increasingly hard to come by for a little while now, so we hope this makes some of y'all happy!

Bad News

We are letting the Munchkin Boxes of Holding series go out of print. It's possible we will replace them with something else down the line, but for now, those are proposals, not plans, and I wouldn't expect anything along these lines for a couple of years, at least, and "never" is a possibility as well. (In other words, don't ask!) We're expecting the Munchkin Boxes of Holding Set 2 to sell through and fall out of print this summer. Supplies of the Munchkin Cthulhu Crypts of Concealment and Munchkin Zombies Meat Lockers are still pretty healthy, so you will have some options for a while yet, but once those sell through, that's it.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 27, 2014: Now Shipping: Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks!

We're pleased to announce that Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks! is now shipping from our Atlanta warehouse to distributors; you can expect to see it on the shelves of your Friendly Local Game Store in a couple of weeks.

Mars AttacksMunchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks!, the hit trading card series from Topps, is invading the world of Munchkin Apocalypse! In this 15-card booster, you'll battle Monster Bugs and the Heat Ray Saucer on your way to Level 10, with the help of new goodies like the Martian Zap Rifle and Giant Spiky Feet. But watch out for the new Seals -- you could end the world with Reality TV! (It makes total sense to us.)

-- Brian Engard

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January 20, 2014: Andrew Rambled Again

What about? Munchkin, of course! Watch the video and then post your reactions and followup questions.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 13, 2014: Feel Like A Chat?

I do! We'll be running a Google Hangout this Friday, January 17, at 2:00 pm Central Time (GMT-6). The topic is "2013 recap and 2014 preview," but of course the conversation is likely to range much farther afield than that.

Make sure you add us on Google+ before the event! If you have questions you'd like to ask, you can ask us on Twitter (@SJGames) with the hashtag #MunchkinHangout, or email them to andrew@sjgames.com with the subject line "Munchkin Hangout." And of course, if you're free that afternoon, you're welcome to join in!

Looking forward to chatting with y'all!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 6, 2014: We're Back!

The SJ Games offices are back open and we're all catching up on over two weeks of email and accumulated work.

Steve, Phil, Devin, and I are very excited about all the stuff coming up for Munchkin in 2014 -- we hope you will be, too!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 16, 2013: This Is It . . .

The Steve Jackson Games offices, including the Munchkin World Headquarters, will be closing this Friday for the holidays. Thursday is our end-of-year Game Day, so really Wednesday is the last day to expect anyone to get anything done. (Except that 2014 is so packed that I can't possibly afford to take a lot of time off; I plan to be working most of the break.)

Most important, Wednesday is the last day Warehouse 23 is accepting orders this year; any orders placed after noon on Wednesday run a real risk of not being shipped until January.

Munchkin News is taking a hiatus as well. We'll see you in January!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 9, 2013: Have A Jolly Jumbo Christmas

We've been remiss in not telling you about this sooner, but Warehouse 23 is running a holiday promotion. Spend $50 and get either a red or green Munchkin Jolly Jumbo d6 (W23 choice, not yours). Spend $75 and get both colors! Spend $100 or more and get one of the rare, recalled first printing of Munchkin Waiting for Santa, with the foil cards! (We checked; they're still curly.) This promotion goes until midnight (Austin time) next Sunday night, so don't wait too long, or Yule be sorry!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 2, 2013: New Munchkin Goodies At W23

Last week, we released the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2013 and Keep Calm and Kill Monsters T-shirt as Warehouse 23 exclusives, along with Munchkin Gets Promoted and Munchkin Pathfinder: Gobsmacked! earlier in the month. If you haven't yet picked up Munchkin Pathfinder, there's no better time! And of course, we have our usual assortment of Munchkin goodies, enough to stock even the most oversized stocking!

(Psst . . . Munchkin Santa tells me there may be more holiday swag coming up soon! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out what's new!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 25, 2013: Welcome To Austin, Andrew!

Today, we're hosting Andrew Wolf from USAopoly. Andrew's the lead designer on Munchkin Adventure Time, and he's visiting SJ Games to see how we do things, to meet our guys, and to talk about plans for the marketing and release of the game next summer. There may be barbecue involved.

Thanksgiving

As a reminder, Thanksgiving in the United States is this Thursday, and the SJ Games office will be closed Thursday and Friday. That includes Warehouse 23, so no orders will be shipped until next Monday and no one will be here to answer phones or respond to emails.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 18, 2013: What's Going On In Munchkin Land?

Lots of stuff behind the scenes, but not a lot we can talk about. We're working on designs for the Munchkin games, expansions, and accessories coming out in the second half of 2014 -- everything for the first half is already at print! We sent several Munchkin items, both new and reprints, off to print earlier this month, so the production team is enjoying a well-earned break from coloring Munchkin art and laying out Munchkin cards. Sam and Phil have cooked up something REALLY cool that I can't wait to show off at conventions next summer. And this week is BoardGameGeek.con in Dallas . . . Ross is flying down from Canada for the show, so we're taking the opportunity to have an all-day Munchkin summit on Wednesday to talk about schedules and plans for Munchkin for the next several years! (Plus, I'm bringing a special guest from the show back to Austin to meet the rest of the team . . . more on that next week!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 11, 2013: Reprints Heading Your Way!

Just to be sure we're stocked up for the holiday season, we rushed through some reprints of Munchkin games and expansions a few months back. Have no fear that your Friendly Local Game Store will run out of Munchkin before Christmas!

(And we also scheduled a lot of reprints for 2014, in addition to some cool new Munchkin releases we're looking forward to talking about in the months to come.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 4, 2013: Flooding In Austin

If you haven't been reading the Daily Illuminator, you'll want to read the one from November 1.

Fortunately, no one was injured, and the office didn't sustain any damage as far as we can tell. Besides Steve, at least two other staff members have sustained flood damage, one of whom also lives in his neighborhood, so clearly there will be some distractions around here for a while.

In the short term, this shouldn't affect Munchkin at all; just about everything through June of next year is already at print, including a massive number of reprints to make sure store shelves are stocked through the summer. We'll have to figure out how to handle the big projects on Steve's plate while he's working on finding a new place to live and getting it set up, but that's a discussion for down the road. Right now, our biggest concern is making sure his business runs smoothly so that's one thing he doesn't have to worry about.

Thanks to everyone who has already sent good thoughts.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 28, 2013: BoardGameGeek Con!

Are you going to BoardGameGeek Con? Not if you don't already have a ticket -- it sold out almost as soon as they went on sale. But for those of you lucky enough to have snagged a ticket in advance, you'll get to see a lot of the people who make Munchkin possible, and (thanks to our friends at Funagain Games) you'll be able to buy that piece of Munchkin swag you missed, or maybe a copy of Castellan if you don't already have one. (Or two!)

Sadly, I won't be attending the show itself, although I will be going up to Dallas for a Munchkin summit with Phil, Ross, and Steve on Wednesday, November 20. Plots will be hatched! Eggs will be scrambled! Evil will be fomented! Laughs will be MUAHAHAHAed! And we'll get some work done, too.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 21, 2013: Visiting The Munchkin Vault

I had a family wedding in Atlanta on Saturday, and I've extended my trip so I can spend today visiting our friends at Publisher Services Incorporated, better known as PSI.

Why is this significant? Because these are the folks who ship our Munchkin games (and everything else we print!) to distributors all over the country (countries, actually, since they also ship to Canada). Your local retailer orders the games from those distributors and puts them on their shelves, and then you buy them, and everyone wins!

I've never visited the PSI home office before, so I'm really looking forward to learning some things. And then tomorrow, it's back to Austin and the hard work of making more Munchkin . . . so PSI, and our distributors, and the Friendly Local Game Stores, and you guys all have something to do.

-- Andrew Hackard

(P.S.: Folks who are going to Essen Spiel this week, be sure to talk to Ross Jepson, Birger Krämer, Leonard Balsera, and Brian Engard about all the exciting things going on at SJ Games!)

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October 14, 2013: Munchkin Adventure Time Progress Report

A little while back, I visited the USAopoly offices in Carlsbad, California. We talked about branding and marketing strategies, production and printing schedules, and all the other little details that go with launching a new game.

We also playtested the first draft of Munchkin Adventure Time.

In fact, I played it three times that week: once at USAopoly, once at Cartoon Network (!!!), and once back in Austin with Steve, Elisabeth, and Devin.

The comments from those playtest sessions, along with my own observations looking at the cards, have gone back to USAopoly. I'm expecting to see a second draft soon, and then the fun starts up again!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 7, 2013: NYCC Update: Attending After All!

Late-breaking news: I will be in New York this week after all! Hoody hoo!

Unfortunately, because of my backlog, my attendance at the New York Comic Con itself will be severely limited, but I expect there may be an hour or two when I'll be at our booth. More details as they come.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 7, 2013: NYCC Trip Canceled

Unfortunately, I've had to cancel my trip to New York Comic Con. There's just too much work to get done in the next two months for me to justify another week out of the office.

My apologies to anyone who was planning to see me there. With luck, I'll make a return appearance next year.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 30, 2013: My Trips Are So Frequent Now They're Blending Together

In the past two weeks, I've made three trips for work, culminating last weekend in a great time at WaCon -- thanks to everyone there for a wonderful convention!

Yesterday, I drove from Waco to Dallas, where I'll be most of this week for the Fall Toy Preview, where we get to show off all our secret Munchkin plans to big-time buyers well before y'all have any clue what we're up to. Next week, I head up to the New York Comic Con and, a few days later, out to Atlanta for a family trip combined with a visit to see all our Munchkin games in their natural habitat -- the PSI warehouse. (Unfortunately, this means I have to miss the Ogre launch party -- I was looking forward to seeing many of you there.)

Once I'm back from that trip, I'm home for four whole weeks until . . . well, that would be telling.

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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September 23, 2013: WaCon!

I'm going to be a guest at the inaugural WaCon game convention this weekend. It's in Waco, Texas. I'll be running Munchkin all weekend long -- including demos of Munchkin Legends and Munchkin Pathfinder and playtests of Munchkin Apocalypse 2! -- but I fully expect to get into some intense games of Revolution! and Castellan, too. And I may even play in some games from (GASP) other companies, if I have time.

Hoping to see lots of you central Texans there!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 16, 2013: Watch It!

Munchkin Pebble watch face

Our Web coder, "Rev. Bob" Hood, has created a Munchkin face for the Pebble smartwatch. You can download it (and lots of other cool Munchkin stuff!) at the Munchkin Resources page.

Thanks, Bob!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 9, 2013: Munchkin Pathfinder Reviewed

Munchkin Pathfinder On the fence about Munchkin Pathfinder? You should go check out this review, by Paizo user cartmanbeck. This guy bought a copy of Munchkin at Target eight months ago and has been playing it non-stop ever since. The fact that he's willing to write a lengthy review about one of our games to boot is . . . well, it's pretty awesome!

-- Brian Engard

(Andrew adds: Unfortunately, we've run into shipping delays, and now we expect to see Munchkin Pathfinder in stores in October . . . just one month before Munchkin Pathfinder: Gobsmacked! Twice the Pathfinder fun!)

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September 2, 2013: Labor Day

It's Labor Day and no one's in the office. Some of us are at conventions; others are just off relaxing. We'll be back in the office tomorrow, busting our humps to continue to bring you the great Munchkin games you're used to.

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August 26, 2013: Labor Day Weekend Plans

For a lot of people, Labor Day means a long weekend. For Team Munchkin, it means three conventions simultaneously.

Most of the SJ Games crew will be heading to PAX Prime in Seattle, once again taking over "The Corral" next to the Rock Band stage for demos of all your favorite SJ Games games. This year, we're ceding one table to our friends at USAopoly, who have some cool original games to show off and will probably be happy to talk about Munchkin Adventure Time as well!

Chief Operating Officer Phil Reed, meanwhile, will be meeting up with some of our dedicated Men In Black at Dragon Con. His trip to Atlanta is doing double duty, as he's also visiting the offices of PSI, the folks who do much of the hard work of shipping our games to distributors across North America.

And I will be attending LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio, practically in our back yard by convention standards. LSC3 is the 2013 Worldcon, and many luminaries of SF and fantasy writing will be there. SJ and Monica will also be going -- check out the Steampunk Chaos Machine! -- and it's possible I might even try to organize a playtest of our newest Munchkin expansion while I'm there.

If you aren't attending one of these three shows, I hope that means you have a relaxing Labor Day weekend planned . . . maybe with some games of Munchkin with friends and family!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 19, 2013: Munchkin Adventure Time Coming In 2014 From USAopoly!

Munchkin Adventure Time! Steve Jackson Games, Cartoon Network, and USAopoly are pleased to announce Munchkin Adventure Time, slated for release next summer. More information is in our press release.

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 12, 2013: "Duck In A Dungeon" By Lernon

I've heard of games having theme music, but never a specific card . . . until now. We proudly present a young ukulele master, Lernon, and his ode to the Duck of Doom: "Duck in a Dungeon." Thanks for the smile, Lernon, and thanks for being a Munchkin fan! (Last reminder: if you're coming to Gen Con, make sure to check out the Munchkin Tavern, Thursday through Saturday! Friday night, Steve and I will be there with a Major Munchkin Announcement!)

 

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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August 5, 2013: Gen Con Approacheth!

In just over a week, most of us will be heading to Indianapolis for Gen Con, the annual celebration of gaming in all its forms. Team Munchkin can be found in our usual spot at the end of the Adventure Retail booth (#1301), demoing games and meeting our fans. For the first time this year, we'll also be hosting the Munchkin Tavern, a place to come hang out, have a little food and drink, and pick up some unique Munchkin swag, such as shirts, glasses, and a tote bag to carry it all. (And Munchkin Tricky Treats will only be available at the Tavern!)

Leonard, Steve, and I will also each host a special dinner at the Tavern, and we'll each have a unique Munchkin bookmark to hand out as part of the festivities. Make sure you stop by the booth each day for a chance to let us buy you dinner! (If you come by Friday night, Steve and I will be making a Special Announcement . . .)

Steve and I will also be signing Munchkin Pathfinder (and whatever else you bring -- within reason!) at the Paizo booth from 5 to 6 on Saturday, and I'll be playing Munchkin in the Geek & Sundry booth from 10 until noon on Sunday.

Of course, we'll have our usual assortment of promo cards and bookmarks and hard-to-find loot at our booth, too. The capsule machine is taking this year off, but that just means more money to spend on other Munchkin stuff, right?

We're looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new faces this year at Gen Con!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 29, 2013: Twice The Conventions, Twice The Fun!

It's the height (and heat) of summer, and that means it's heavy convention season. In fact, there are TWO great conventions this weekend -- both in the Lone Star State!

Houston hosts SpaceCityCon, with lots of nifty media guests and a healthy gaming space (heh heh) as well. Closer to home -- in fact, right here in Austin! -- is Board Game Bash, now in its third year of giving central Texas gamers a 24-hour full-weekend gaming experience.

SJ Games will, of course, have staff at both events, ready to show off Munchkin and Castellan and lots of other games. We hope to see you there! . . . or here!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 22, 2013: Radio Silence

It's going to be a quiet week. I'm flying back from San Diego today, and will spend the rest of the week working with everyone else to push a LOT of reprints further along the track toward print. Plus I have writing to do for a couple of 2014 games.

Devin has been organizing a lot of playtests lately, and we're going to have more all through the rest of the summer and into the fall. If you aren't on our Facebook group for those playtests, especially if you're in the Austin area, you're missing out!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 15, 2013: San Diego!

Tomorrow, July 16, I'll be hopping a plane to scenic San Diego, California, to attend the San Diego Comic-Con once again. Randy, Ben, and Alex will be doing their usual awesome job demoing games at the Adventure Retail booth, while Phil and I will mostly be taking meetings with various folks. We have a couple of meetings lined up already, and no, we won't be telling you about them -- yet . . .

The crazy, nerdy folk at Geek & Sundry will also be there, focusing their time on specific events each day in their cozy off-site space at Jolt N' Joes, 379 4th Avenue. I'm planing to be there on Thursday, ready to game with (against) all comers! (And I might be hanging out other times as well . . .) Come by the Adventure Retail booth and get your stuff signed, either Friday or Sunday from 4pm to 5pm.

After this trip, I have a whole month to prepare for Gen Con -- come see me on Saturday night at the Munchkin Tavern!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 8, 2013: More New Faces In The Munchkin Office

This announcement is WAY overdue, but as usual, things around here have moved too fast for us to keep up.

Leonard Balsera has leveled up in Fnorditude once again, and has taken on the dual responsibilities of Marketing Director and Chez Geek Line Editor. And following his success coding the Android version of the Ogre War Room app, Keith Blackard has moved over to our IT team to help out with more app and Web coding. We (er, I) wish them all the best in their new roles.

Taking their places are Devin Lewis and Carl DeSoto. Devin has helped us playtest many of our games over the last few years and has contributed his expertise as part of the Munchkin Brain Trust. He's also a game designer in his own right, and has already jumped in to run many of our outside playtests. Carl has been working in our warehouse for several months now, but as an avid gamer, I'm planning to steal some of his time to contribute his thoughts to Munchkin development as well. Please welcome both of them to the madhouse!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 1, 2013: More From The UK Games Expo

Want to hear me babble for an hour about Munchkin and SJ Games in general? Sure you do!

-- Andrew Hackard

(As a quick reminder, SJ Games is closed this week, so email and phone calls will likely go unanswered. However, if you want to talk to me, track me down at PaizoCon this weekend; I'll be running demo games and maybe even a playtest or two!)

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June 24, 2013: Munchkin Legends FAQ

As we had hoped, the announcement of Munchkin Legends caused quite a lot of discussion, both on our own forums and elsewhere. Several questions came up quite a lot, so we figured it would be a good idea to address them here.

Q. What is Munchkin Legends, anyway?
A. It's a new core Munchkin set, just like original Munchkin and all the spinoffs, such as Munchkin Apocalypse and Munchkin Zombies.

Q. Whoa, cool! When is it out?
A. It's available right now from target.com, and will be in Target stores nationwide later this summer.

Q. Target? Just Target?
A. Yes, this set is exclusively available through Target.

Q. When does this period of exclusivity end?
A. The terms of our deal with Target are between them and SJ Games, and it would be inappropriate for us to discuss them publicly. If, at some point in the future, we are able to make this available more widely, we will not be shy about announcing that fact.

Q. This doesn't seem very friendly to the hobby retailers who've supported Munchkin for over a decade. Why did you do this?
A. To continue to grow, SJ Games must expand our market as well as sell games to the people who already know about us. Selling Munchkin, and now Munchkin Legends, at Target has enabled us to do this. Every one of the sets sold at Target has advertisements for Munchkin games, expansions, and accessories that Target doesn't carry, and every set has a box panel ad and text in the rules that point to our Gamer Finder/Store Finder page, explicitly saying "here's how to find people to play with and places that sell even more Munchkin.

Q. The target.com site only ships to the United States. Will I be able to get this at Target stores in Canada or Australia?
A. We're still looking into this. We'll let you know more as soon as we learn it.

Q. I live in the United Kingdom. We don't have Target at all. How can I get this set?
A. Our agreement with Target gives them exclusive rights to sell the English-language Munchkin Legends set. Your best bet is to see if a friend in the United States would be willing to help you out.

Q. So I can't even order this from Warehouse 23?
A. Nope! "Exclusive" means exclusive.

Q. Will Target be publishing non-English versions of Legends?
A. SJ Games retains those rights, and it is possible some of our regular foreign partners will be releasing translations of Munchkin Legends. We're sure they won't be shy about letting you know!

Q. OK, so tell me about the set. If I know how to play Munchkin, how long will it take me to learn Legends?
A. No time at all! Munchkin Legends uses exactly the same Classes and Races as original Munchkin. If you can play one, you can play the other.

Q. I run a game review site, and I'd love to write a review of Munchkin Legends. Who should I talk to?
A. Drop a note to our Marketing Director. Please include links to other reviews you've written. We don't have enough review copies to satisfy every request, unfortunately, but we have enough to satisfy a lot of them!

Thanks to everyone who asked us a question about Munchkin Legends. We're very excited about this set, and we hope you are, too! If you've ordered it, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the forum -- or you can contact me directly, if you'd prefer. Also please keep an eye on our Twitter feed and Facebook page for the most current news about Munchkin. Thanks!

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 20, 2013: Announcing Munchkin Legends

Munchkin Legends

For once, we actually managed to keep a secret.

Now it is revealed, and we are proud to announce our newest Munchkin game.

Munchkin Legends brings the world's most famous myths and legends into the dungeon! Andrew's been wanting to do a set like this for years now, and John's a crazy history buff, so we're all pleased at how well it came together.

Available now via target.com, and in Target stores nationwide later this year.

-- Leonard Balsera

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June 17, 2013: Munchkin Inducted Into Hall Of Fame!

At the 2013 Origins Award ceremony on June 15, Munchkin was one of two inductees into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame. (The other inducted game was Dominion, which is also a great game and a favorite of many people here at Munchkin HQ. Also inducted were Lisa Stevens, from Paizo, and Loren Coleman, from Catalyst.)

I'm sure Steve will have more profound words to offer later on, but for now, I'll just say that we are very grateful to all the people who have worked so hard, and played even harder, to make Munchkin one of the most successful games of the 21st century. Special thanks, of course, are due to John Kovalic, whose art has been part of Munchkin from the very beginning. I know I speak for Steve when I say that we share this honor with everyone, in every part of the game business, who has helped make Munchkin an evergreen game.

We aren't resting on our laurels -- our plans for Munchkin the rest of this year, in 2014, and even beyond are ambitious and very exciting for those of us working on the game every day. I can't wait to talk about some of what's in store for the next couple of years.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 10, 2013: UK Games Expo After-Action Report

A couple of weeks ago, I hied myself off to Birmingham, UK, for the 2013 UK Games Expo. I was there before the show technically started, because our friends at Esdevium borrowed the event to run their annual retailer summit on Friday before the show started on Saturday. Director of Sales (a.k.a. "He Who Keeps Running Out Of Munchkin") Ross Jepson and I gave the assembled folks the run-down of our upcoming releases, including a couple we hadn't told anyone about yet, and handed out large window clings so the stores could let everyone know how much they love Munchkin.

On Saturday, my only remit was to run Munchkin. I had a couple of games of Apocalypse and a couple of games of Pathfinder, and everyone who played told me, in charming accents, how much fun they had. Our Men In Black held court outside the dealer room, running Castellan nonstop and swapping other games in and out as people asked. (And I finally got to meet Phil Masters, which right there made the trip worthwhile.)

Sunday was my day to run my mouth. I was interviewed by Steven Heslewood for his podcast Geek Apocalypse (it's episode 16). Steven has graciously invited me back to do a full podcast just by myself, which means either I did well or Steven is a crazy man. Possibly both.

I was also on two panels Sunday. The first was called, "Meet the Big Boys," and I took up space at a table also occupied by Larry Roznai, President of Mayfair Games; Dominic McDowall, from Cubicle 7; and Mark Wooton, who supervises (and is) the Scotland branch of AEG. It was a fun panel and you can watch it right here.

Immediately after that panel, Paco Garcia-Jaen and I stayed around and talked about Munchkin and SJ Games in general for an hour. I think I managed to terrify some people with my description of the Ogre box. That seminar isn't online yet, but we'll be sure to link to it when it is.

I want to thank everyone at UKGE for having me as part of their convention, and especially the folks at Esdevium who made the suggestion in the first place. I also owe thanks to Ross (of course), MIB Control Birger Krämer and all the UK and German MIBs who came to help out, and all the people who stopped by to say hello, who asked questions at my seminars, and who played games with us. Special thanks go to Jay Little, designer of X-Wing and Star Wars Edge of the Empire, for being a fellow American I could go to when I needed to hear a familiar accent. I regret not getting to sit and talk to some other people I had hoped to meet; schedules did not work out in my favor, some of the time. UK Games Expo had over 3,500 unique visitors this year, and I only expect it to get larger next year. If you're in the UK, or even thinking about maybe being close to there next May, I highly encourage you to attend.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 3, 2013: The Ever-Expanding World Of Munchkin

We recently received our office copies of two new Munchkin translations: Finnish (from Fantasiapelit) and Ukrainian (from Third Planet). This means we now have Munchkin available in 15 languages (16 if you count Simplified and Traditional Chinese separately), with more on the way.

How Was the UK Games Expo, Andrew?

It was awesome, thanks! I'll have a full show report up soon, including links to a podcast interview and the two panels I was on.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 27, 2013: Exclusive Products At Warehouse 23

If you haven't been to Warehouse 23 lately, you may not realize that it's chock full of really cool products that we can't make enough of to sell in stores. Just check out the Exclusives page and look at all the Munchkin awesomeness, including the new 10-sided Munchkin Level Dice!

(There's some non-Munchkin stuff, too, if you're into that sort of thing . . .)

Don't forget to check out this one-stop portal to everything Munchkin in Warehouse 23, too!

-- Andrew Hackard

Memorial Day

A quick reminder that we're closed Monday, May 27, in honor of all who have given their lives in the service of their country. We'll be back in the game mines on Tuesday.

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May 20, 2013: Another New Face In The Munchkin Office

Following his success coding the Android version of the Ogre War Room app, Keith Blackard has moved over to our IT team to help out with more app and Web coding. We wish him all the best in his new role.

Taking his place is Devin Lewis, who has helped us playtest many of our games over the last few years and has contributed his expertise as part of the Munchkin Brain Trust. He's also a game designer in his own right. We're thrilled to be able to add his talents to our team -- welcome, Devin!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Don't forget: I'll be at the UK Games Expo all weekend, with Munchkin Pathfinder, Castellan, and a couple of other games to show off -- plus promo swag! –AH)

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May 13, 2013: I'm Coming To The UK Games Expo!

I'm going to be attending the UK Games Expo in Birmingham from May 24 through 26. I will be showing off prototypes of upcoming games, including Munchkin Pathfinder and Castellan, and may have some Secret Playtest games along for the ride. I'm also on a couple of seminars Sunday morning, so please come hear me babble about what's coming up for SJ Games and Munchkin!

It's my first time ever visiting the UK, and I'm very excited. I expect nothing but warm, sunny weather for my stay -- make it happen, England!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 6, 2013: Munchkin Pathfinder Update

A quick status report: Munchkin Pathfinder is out of playtest and the cards have been laid out. Since I was out most of last week, one of the first things I have to do this week is look them all over and make suggestions for improvement. (These will be few, because our production team is extremely good at what they do. We're lucky to have them.) I can't wait to show you some of these; John clearly had a ball working on them.

The next things to come up will be finishing the layout of the rules and the box. Once we're happy with everything, it goes off to Paizo for their checks. Assuming no one finds major problems, we're planning to get this to print by Memorial Day. And then it's on to the next thing . . . or, in my case, the next half-dozen things, because why would I make it easy on myself?

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 29, 2013: How Many Cards?

We were recently asked on Twitter how many cards one would have in one's deck if one were to combine one copy of every card officially released for Munchkin to date. This turns out to be a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

For one thing, what constitutes "one copy of every card"? Do the various versions of Class, Race, etc. cards count independently, since they have different art, or does Warrior count once even though there are 17 Warrior cards across various sets (so far . . .)? Also, we've occasionally republished exactly the same card in multiple sets -- does Holiday Surprise count all the holiday boosters twice? And do we include Munchkin Quest cards in the count, or not?

Here are the rules we decided on:

  1. Every card in a core set or expansion counts, even if it has the same name and effects as another card (so every Warrior card counts toward the total). Even the blanks published as part of official expansions count.
  2. Cards that are actually duplicates don't count. So we didn't include Blender at all, even though some of the art is different, because Cheat With Both Hands has replaced it. And we didn't include the 64 previously published cards in Holiday Surprise, just the 4 new ones.
  3. Promo cards count, even retired promo cards, unless they've been republished later on -- so we only counted Pegasus Steed once, because it's also in the 2010 Warehouse 23 booster. Exception: we did NOT count blank promo cards. One must draw the line somewhere, and a blank card is a fine place to draw lines.
  4. We did not include any cards from yet-to-be-released sets, although we were sorely tempted.
  5. We may have made mistakes. It happens.

With all that, our off-the-cuff answer is: 4,190 cards in the Munchkin line, plus 323 cards for Munchkin Quest, for a grand total of 4,513 cards. We could certainly refine that answer (by excluding all blanks, by only counting a given card once, even if multiple versions occur in various decks, and so on), but that would require us to spend even more time on this than we already have. Please feel free to discuss our methodology and our inevitable errors in the Munchkin forum!

(Teaser: by the time the 2013 schedule is complete, we will be very close to 5,000 cards, and may even surpass it. Yeah, there's a lot you don't know about yet . . .)

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 22, 2013: Forum Poll Results

Recently, we ran three polls to gather some information from our loyal Munchkin fans who visit our forums. The results have given us a number of things to mull over as we continue planning the future of the Munchkin line. Obviously, these aren't scientific or random polls -- for one thing, all the respondents are self-selected -- but since the forum-goers can be expected to be more involved and more engaged than most Munchkin fans, we're pretty sure these err on the side of enthusiasm for the more, shall we say, immersive elements of the Munchkin experience.

To answer one minor criticism that popped up a couple of times: Yes, the polls are worded pretty loosely. That was intentional. The comment threads pointed out some areas of confusion that are just as useful for our marketing team as the results themselves, because they show where what WE think about Munchkin isn't being communicated clearly enough to the folks who read and post to the Munchkin forums, which probably means it's even less clear to the Munchkin fanbase at large.

Question 1: What is your typical Munchkin game like? The answers here were surprising. For the number of questions that we get about exotic blended games, and the enthusiasm demonstrated by some posters for blending, 75% of the respondents stick to a single core set at a time, mostly with one or more expansions. We certainly aren't going to stop writing cards that work well with other sets, or putting cross-compatibility notes into our rulesheets, but we aren't going to stress quite as much if card A from core set Genre1 and card B from expansion DifferentGenre2 happen to have a weird interaction. We CERTAINLY don't plan to step up our efforts to make sure that doesn't happen -- some would argue that these little glitches are part of the game's charm, after all! (One exception: any set that is fantasy-backed, such as Conan and Pathfinder, WILL get tested with original Munchkin for balance and other issues. Those combinations do seem more popular than cross-genre blends.)

Question 2: Epic? This one was closer to what we expected. A bit over 57% of respondents either have never tried Epic or tried it and decided it wasn't for them. Fair enough. But over 30% play it occasionally, and 10% play it regularly or exclusively. We won't stop writing Epic rules for new sets (and yes, the Conan/Apocalypse update is very close to done; the last round of comments from our Brain Trust has wrapped up), but for now, further Epic support isn't a priority. (Again, consider that almost 60% of the hardcore fans on our forums aren't Epic players, and these are the folks who already know about Epic -- I imagine the fraction of Epic players in the general Munchkin fanbase is even smaller than indicated here.) My only regret here is not asking how many of the people who have never played Epic plan to down the road; that would have been an interesting number to see.

Question 3 (multiple choice): Which Munchkin sets do you play? I asked people to limit it to those games that they played "reasonably often," without going to the trouble of defining that phrase, and I said that if you primarily play blended games, include all the sets that are regular parts of those blended decks. There were a couple of surprises in these results as well; notably, a couple of sets that are historically strong sellers don't seem to be getting played quite so often. Whether this is because they're older and people are sticking with the new hotness, or because they're somehow inferior sets and thus are getting bought but not played, is a question we may explore in a future survey. Without getting too far into the weeds, I'll say that sorting the results by percentage reveals two clear tiers of games with a well-defined break between them. Considering that the Munchkin line keeps getting broader, we're going to have to consider carefully how much support we can give the lower-tier games in a release schedule limited by both time and money. A bit of statistical wonkery: The median number of sets played regularly was 4 sets. That was also the mode, the most common number of sets. The mean, however, was way up at an average of 5.87 sets. This is because the distribution was heavily skewed toward the ends, with 15 out of 203 respondents selecting all 14 choices in the poll. Also, in case you were curious, there were 26 people who only selected one set, and 22 of those one-set-only votes were for Munchkin.

Thanks to all the respondents, especially the people who took the time to add their comments -- we read them all and are thinking about many of the issues they raised. Very special thanks to forum users Brandonson112, Jaconian, and Urist, the three randomly selected recipients of Munchkin care packages. Please email me (just click on my name, below) with your forum name, the email address you use on the forums, and your shipping address, and we'll get those care packages out to you!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 15, 2013: Let's Hang Out!

Y'all up for a Munchkin Q&A? Good! I'll be in a Google Hangout at 8:00 p.m. Austin time (GMT-6) on Wednesday, April 17. You can post your questions to this forum thread, Tweet them to @SJGames with the hashtag #MunchkinQ, or show up to the Hangout and ask them LIVE! (By joining the Hangout, you consent to appearing in the resulting YouTube video.)

Please, no questions about licensed properties except the ones we've already announced, and no complicated rule questions. Everything else is fair game! (Even questions about our non-Munchkin games, although those I might not be able to answer.)

Looking forward to chatting with you on Wednesday!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 8, 2013: Pathfinder Progress

Munchkin Pathfinder We haven't said enough about Munchkin Pathfinder lately, so let's rectify that!

The playtesting process is pretty much done. We've tested Pathfinder on its own and with the original Munchkin set, and it seems to work equally well both ways. The new Classes mesh nicely with the existing ones, and the combined game allows for some really fun Class-Race-Faction combos.

John's art is in and approved, and we're working on getting it all colored now. As always, I have to give John a hearty handshake of thanks (on his non-drawing hand) for turning out dozens of cool, funny illustrations on an insane schedule. I think it'll be clear how much fun he had with this art when you see it. (Check back here later this week, and we may have the cover posted . . .)

I've slightly revised the rulesheet for Pathfinder. We've heard from some new players that the rules are confusing and don't seem to be in a logical order, so I rebuilt them in what I hope is a more new-player-friendly sequence. If these work out, we'll probably revise the rules for our existing core games as those games come up for reprint. We'll upload a PDF of the rules as soon as the set goes to print, so please let us know what you think of them!

The one playtest comment I wasn't able to address adequately was, "Needs more Goblins." But we have a plan . . .

We're shooting for a Fall 2013 release, and we're still hoping to have some early copies at Gen Con in August. We'll post an update when we know for sure.

Thanks, as always, for your enthusiasm! I'm really proud of this set, and I hope that it brings plenty of Munchkin players to Pathfinder and Pathfinder players to Munchkin! Super-special thanks to Paizo for all of their help and for letting us play in their sandbox in the first place -- they've been great partners and I look forward to working with them again very soon.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 2, 2013: My International TableTop Day Report

I was honored to be part of the main International TableTop Day event in Los Angeles on March 30, and I wanted to share my impressions of the event.

First of all, what an AMAZING day for our hobby. The hashtag #TableTopDay was trending all day on Twitter -- for most of the day it was the #1 trend in North America. Wow!

I don't know how much of the studio we were in was evident on the live stream, but this was a genuine full-on production: multiple cameras, SERIOUS stage lighting, coordination between the main stage and the side stage . . . and this crew made it look easy. Even though I know it wasn't. Skype was obnoxious at times, but that's Skype. I even got to jump in on a couple of the store remotes, which was kind of awesome. All the other guests were very cool, including some people I did not expect to see (shout out to Pat "I'm so glad Wondercon was this weekend" Rothfuss!) and some others I was really glad to meet.

But the "main" event was just the tip of the iceberg, because what made International TableTop Day such a success was you gamers out there in the world, representing dozens of countries on all seven continents -- we even had TableTop Day at the South Pole, and how freaking cool is THAT? Getting together with friends, family, and even folks who aren't yet friends and sharing the love of gaming is what this day was all about. The worldwide enthusiasm just bowled us all over, and if I had done nothing all day but refresh my Twitter stream to see the #TableTopDay tweets, I still wouldn't have been able to keep up.

Thanks to Steve and Phil for encouraging me to get in touch with Geek & Sundry so I could come out here. Thanks to Wil, Felicia, Boyan, and the entire TableTop team for letting me come hang out with them. And thanks to all of YOU, because while we make the games, you play them, and THAT is the lifeblood of our hobby. See y'all on International TableTop Day 2014!

-- Andrew Hackard

(And if any of you are still listening to Sax Guy, you have my apologies.)

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April 1, 2013: Announcing Our New Partnership With YouTube

SJ Games is pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with YouTube to embed Munchkin rules in select YouTube videos. (Be sure you have annotations turned on, or you won't see the rules!)

The first rule is embedded somewhere in this video. The rule will only be on screen for a few seconds, so pay attention or you might miss it.

Thanks to everyone at both companies who made this exciting new venture possible!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 25, 2013: Bits 'n' Pieces

Three quick notes for you this week:

We Want Your Opinions!

I recently posted three polls in the Munchkin forum. They're running through April 5, but no reason for you not to get your opinions heard now, right?

International TableTop Day!

Don't forget that this Saturday, March 30, is International TableTop DayGo out and play games! If you're near a computer, check out the live video stream from the main TableTop Day event in Los Angeles.

I Talked To Powell's!

I had a great email conversation with the folks at Powell's Books, in Portland. Go read it and find out why I almost swore off ice cream forever, what I think you should study to work in the game industry, and what my last thought will probably be. (And I didn't call it out as such, but I mention a Ray Bradbury book that is absolutely my favorite book of all time, ever, and if you haven't read it, you are poorer than you know.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 18, 2013: International TableTop Day

Got plans for March 30?

Of course you do -- you'll be playing games in celebration of International TableTop Day! Created by our friends at Geek & Sundry, TableTop Day celebrates all the games we love to play. You can search for events in your area at the TableTop Day website, and you can also host your own event and submit it so people know about it.

That day is also a great opportunity to catch up on the TableTop episodes you may have missed, or to go back and watch some old favorites!

Be sure to check out the live stream from the main event in Los Angeles . . . you may see some familiar faces!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 11, 2013: Artistic License For The Win

deviantART user Mr--Jack shows us a vision of what our iconic guy and lady munchkins might have looked like if the World of Munchkin had been directed by Sam Raimi in the 90s.

We're duly impressed. Also, I'd be afraid to see what Big items are like in this Munchkin universe.

-- Leonard Balsera

 

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March 4, 2013: Card Design Hangout

Interested in Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard's top five mistakes people make when writing a Munchkin card?

Wonder what comes first: the art, the names, or the mechanics?

What the heck happens in a playtest, anyway?

Just want to hear Andrew talk for half an hour or so about designing Munchkin? (If yes, then please seek professional help immediately.)

It's been way too long since we got to chat, so we're having a Google Hangout TOMORROW, March 5, at 8:00 pm Central Time, super-late so even the West Coast fans can watch us live! (And I guess folks in Europe who want to wake up super early can join us, too -- bring coffee!) This one isn't going to be as Q&A oriented as most of them, since this is a pretty rich topic to discuss. We'll get back to the Q&A next time. (Private note to Car and Jason: NO.)

If you can't watch it live, you can visit our YouTube page later; the Hangout will be posted there shortly after the live video concludes. Or just watch it RIGHT HERE!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 25, 2013: Path: Found!

This week, we start running playtests of Munchkin Pathfinder. If you're in the Austin area, keep an eye on the SJ Games Playtest group on Facebook; that's where we'll announce the local playtests. (And if you aren't in Austin, you can sign up anyway; sometimes we take our playtests on the road!)

Hope to see y'all at one of our game tables soon!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 18, 2013: Back From Toy Fair

Phil and I spent most of last week in New York, meeting with representatives of many companies who buy our games . . . and some who would like to! We also met with some other business partners, and took time just to hang out with friends from time to time as well (shout out to Bryan, Molly, and John from FFG, who were very tolerant every time Phil and I walked across the aisle to ooh and aah at the new batch of X-Wing figures).

We owe very special thanks to the folks at PSI, who were once again our hosts in their booth and helped arrange many of the meetings we had in New York. We're looking forward to putting the results of those meetings into your hands very soon!

And yes, it's nice to be back home where it's warm, although every time I visit New York I find something new to enjoy. Right now, looks like I'll be back in October for Comic Con -- keep the lights on for me!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 11, 2013: Want More Tabletop?

The final episode of the first season of Tabletop airs this week. If you liked the first season as much as we did and want to see a second as much as we do, then please head over to the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel and subscribe! If you are so motivated, you can also comment on and upvote the episodes you're especially fond of.

Thanks to Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, and the entire G&S team for the show and all the support you've given us over the last year! We're looking forward to working with y'all again real soon!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 4, 2013: Travel And Convention Notes

Because I know all of you plan your entire year around my appearance schedule [PAUSE FOR MOCKERY], I wanted to let y'all know what the plans are as they stand now.

I will, sadly, not be attending either PAX East or PAX Prime this year. I had to cut down on travel and those two shows were "fun to attend" shows, but not as important for business as some of the others.

I do still plan to be at San Diego Comic Con and Gen Con, and this year for the first time I'm planning to visit PaizoCon as well. I may also sneak over to Gam3rCon while I'm in San Diego, to say hi to those of you who'd rather play games than stand in lines.

There are some other trips that may or may not happen this year (including an overseas trip that I'm VERY excited about), so watch this space for more "Where Is Andrew?" news. Or check out the Conventions We're Attending page!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 28, 2013: State Of The Munchkin

Here's another update:

  • We raised our print order for the 24th printing of Munchkin, because we sold more copies of Munchkin in 2012 than we were planning to print this year. That seemed like a recipe for empty shelves, so we aren't taking any chances.
  • Along those lines, Munchkin Deluxe has performed superbly, selling enough that we're planning to keep it in print when we'd originally intended to let it go after one printing, two at the most. We aren't saying it will be around forever, but for now, it's part of the line.
  • Work proceeds on Munchkin Pathfinder. Golarion is a rich setting and we are taking the time to make sure we're doing it justice. It's going slower than we had expected, but Paizo has been a huge help the whole way (special shoutout to James Jacobs for patiently answering all my stupid questions). This remains my top priority until it's ready for playtest, at which point Lenny and Keith get to take it over while I move on to the next projects. (Doesn't help that I'm moving all this week . . .)
  • The delay on Pathfinder means that we won't have Chez Guild out this summer as we had hoped. We're shooting for this fall.
  • Lenny's getting his toes wet in the design pool; he's done the heavy lifting on two of our fall releases, and contributed ideas and bad jokes for several others (starting last year). Next up, training Keith in the Tao of Munchkin!
  • We're about to start the development work on Munchkin 9 (no, we aren't saying what it is). There's an expansion for at least one non-fantasy Munchkin set scheduled for this year as well. (Plus the Mars Attacks booster for Munchkin Apocalypse being written by SJ himself!) And ideas for Munchkin 10 are already being kicked around . . .
  • Those of you who like Munchkin game accessories are going to be happy this year. We have several that we expect to do very well in your Friendly Local Game Stores.
  • We're hard at work on designing the 2014 schedule. Those of you who have liked the boosters we've done may find some welcome surprises in our planned 2014 boosters. And I'm sending around more emails talking about 2015 and beyond -- which is, frankly, a bit terrifying.
  • And then there's all the stuff I can't talk about yet!

It's an exciting time here at Munchkin HQ, and as always, we have to thank all of you who have bought and played our games. We wouldn't get to keep doing this if y'all weren't out there supporting us the whole way.

(We haven't forgotten about Google Hangouts! There's one I want to do soon; it's just finding the right time among all the other things I have to get done.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 21, 2013: Coming And Going

Some travel notes, for those who find this sort of thing interesting:

Last Friday, we were pleased to host Karsten Esser, from our German publisher Pegasus Spiele. Meetings were had, decisions were decided, and secret plans were laid bare (and then promptly covered back up). We've worked with Pegasus for 20 years, which is a VERY long time to maintain this sort of business relationship, and it was a pleasure to be able to show Karsten around the office and around Austin after the many times he and his team have done the same for us at Essen. We look forward to seeing you soon, Karsten!

This week, Munchkin überartist John Kovalic heads on his nearly annual pilgramage to Cork, Ireland, for Warpcon. We predict sunny weather, warm breezes, and the drinking of much Guinness. (Two of those predictions are less likely than the third . . .) Be kind to John*; he's been drawing his arms off for us, and he could use a little pampering.

* Translation: Buy him lots of Guinness.

Finally, I will be out of the office next week, or at least most of it, finishing the last details of my move across town**. I'll be keeping up with email but not a lot else; see y'all in February!\

** Translation: Cleaning the heck out of my old apartment.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 14, 2013: Set Your Calendars Now!

(Yes, I know you don't set a calendar. Work with me here.)

FOX has announced the date for the premiere of the animated Axe Cop series: July 27. Axe Cop himself will be voiced by Nick Offerman, from Parks & Recreation; other actors include Megan Mullaly, Patton Oswalt, and Peter Serafinowicz. Episodes will be 15 minutes long and will be part of FOX's new Saturday animation block.

Six months is a long time to wait, we know . . . may we suggest you pass the time with some rousing games of Munchkin Axe Cop?

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 7, 2013: Another Munchkin Shortage!

It happened again! Thanks to a combination of insane holiday sales and a shipping delay, our "extra buffer" supply of Munchkin will probably run out around the end of January. We now expect the next batch to hit our main warehouse in mid-February, unless there are further problems. Like that port strike that was kicked back a month but might still happen . . .

As of now, most stores still have Munchkin on their shelves, and most distributors still have copies that they can send to stores. So maaybe we won't really run out, at least not for very long.  Munchkin Deluxe is available (at least for now). Munchkin Apocalypse is in good supply. And yes, Munchkin Zombies will hit the warehouse in a week or so, so it will be back in stores soon.

We thank you all for buying so darn much Munchkin that we keep running out. It's a good problem to have. And thanks to all those Friendly Local Games Stores too.

Now we're busy working on MORE Munchkin stuff to run out of . . .

-- Steve Jackson

 

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December 31, 2012: Goodbye, 2012!

We'll post a review of 2012 from our perspective in the next week or two; for now, the short and sweet version is: Very challenging and VERY good.

Hope everyone has a great and SAFE New Year's Eve. We'll see you in 2013.

(Special Rule! If you are playing any variety of Munchkin at midnight tonight in your area, everyone in the game levels up when 2013 starts. This CAN be the winning level. Please keep the champagne away from the cards.)

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December 24, 2012: Happy Birthday To ME!!

Yes, my birthday really is Christmas Eve. Yes, sometimes I got combined gifts -- although not often, and usually they were really NICE combined gifts. No, I don't have any super-special plans, just a nice lunch with my parents and my sister's family up in Dallas.

The second-best birthday gift this year is that the Mayans were wrong and we're all still around. Woo hoo! (If the Mayans were right and we're all dead, please ignore this line.)

The best birthday gift I've gotten this year is pretty much the same as the past four years: I get to keep working on a game I love, with people I like and respect, and on behalf of you guys, the best fans I could ask for. Thanks for everything!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 17, 2012: We're Still Accepting Orders!

While our office is technically closed for the rest of the year, Warehouse 23 is still happily accepting orders through Wednesday the 19th. If there's any last-minute shopping you forgot to do (like pick up some of our new Munchkin shirts!), they'll be happy to help you out.

Next week, we're REALLY closed. We'll be back on January 2.

(As for me . . . I've got a bunch of Munchkin stuff that has to be written pretty much immediately. So my "vacation" is mostly just getting to work in a quiet, empty office for a change -- which, when you're working on something as rich in detail as Munchkin Pathfinder, is a huge boon.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 10, 2012: A Promotion And A New Face

In normal families, the younger generation grows up and moves out after they've learned as much as they can. But this is the Munchkin office, where "growing up" is a liability, not an asset, and moving out just makes it harder to have a meeting.

Leonard Balsera has been my loyal Hireling for almost a year now, and I'm pleased to announce that he has been elevated to the exalted (but still sub-Czar, because I'm a power-hungry bastard) rank of Munchkin Baron. He's already been taking on a lot more responsibilities for product checking and marketing of the Munchkin line, and has even designed one of the 2013 Munchkin boosters. Congratulations, Lenny, and thanks!

To help take on some of the day-to-day drudgery we're promoting Lenny away from, we've added Keith Blackard to the team as the new Munchkin Hireling. Keith will be telling you about himself a little later in the Daily Illuminator, but for now, I'll just say that I've known him for a couple of years and he's got every qualification for the job except one: he's too quiet. We'll fix that. Welcome to the team, Keith!

(An oddity: both Lenny and Keith are now using standing desks. I feel like I should be saying "At ease!" every half hour or so.)

As for me, this frees up more of my time to work on product design, which should mean you see a more consistent flow of cool Munchkin stuff in 2013 and beyond, including some projects I can't even begin to discuss but that I'm really excited about. I'm also taking some of the planning load off Phil, which ought to be good for everyone.

Thanks to everyone for your support this year! As a reminder, we'll be closed from December 14 until January, and I'm thinking we may schedule another Google hangout for early next year. If you've got some ideas for things we can talk about, hit the forums and let us know!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 3, 2012: A Bit Of Incredible News

Director of Sales Ross Jepson told us last week that PSI, our Atlanta fulfillment warehouse and all-around great partner, is out of Munchkin, Munchkin Deluxe, and Munchkin Zombies.

A quick refresher:

  • We just started shipping the fourth printing of Munchkin Zombies to our distributors . . . and it's gone. The fifth printing is planned to ship next spring.
  • We just started shipping the second printing of Munchkin Deluxe . . . and it's gone. The third printing is also planned to ship next spring.
  • Back in May, we started shipping the 23rd printing of Munchkin. That printing was 100,000 copies and was designed to last us through next summer. Guess what -- it's gone. The 24th printing will start shipping to distributors late next month, and appearing in stores in February. Yes, this print run is even bigger.
  • Finally, even though it's not Munchkin, I feel compelled to point out that the latest printing of Zombie Dice sold out completely while it was still crossing the Pacific Ocean. Retailers, contact your distributors now if you need some, because we aren't getting more until after the holiday season.

None of this is catastrophic -- just because we're out doesn't mean that our distributors and our retail partners are out, and you should be able to find the games on the shelves to complete your Santa shopping. After that, however, Zombies and Deluxe might be thin on the ground for a couple of months.

Yeah, we know that selling games too fast isn't a horrible problem . . . it just makes us shake our heads sometimes. Thanks to all our customers, old and new, for making this our best year ever!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 26, 2012: New Shirts In W23

We have some new Munchkin shirts for sale on Warehouse 23, including the stylin' Munchkin Polo Shirt, the warm Munchkin Sweatshirt, and the suitable-for-scavenging Munchkin Apocalypse Shirt. (And there just maaaaaaay be a couple more coming before the end of the year, so keep checking back.)

Check out these shirts and all the rest of our Munchkin loot on the Warehouse 23 Munchkin portal!

(Have you picked up the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2012 yet? Good grief, why not?)

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 19, 2012: Munchkin Holiday Surprise At B&N

We're pleased to announce that Munchkin Holiday Surprise is now available exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores. This set compiles our four holiday boosters (Waiting for Santa, Santa's Revenge, Reindeer Games, and Naughty & Nice), four cards previously available only as promotional cards or as part of exclusive Warehouse 23 boosters, and four new cards from an accessory planned for wide release in late 2013. There's also a new holiday-themed Kill-O-Meter that is not available anywhere else, and two six-sided Munchkin dice, one red and one green.

Holiday Surprise makes a great holiday gift for the new Munchkin fan!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 12, 2012: SJ Games At BGG Con

A whole bunch of us, including me, will be attending BoardGameGeek Con in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, November 14-18. This show is completely sold out, so if you don't already have tickets, sorry. We'll miss you.

If you ARE going, make sure to come by and say hello -- we'll be showing off all our games and will even be selling some of them. (And we'll be playing lots of other games, too, when we aren't working.)

We'll bring plenty of Munchkin promo swag, and I'll be showing off Apocalypse to anyone who wants to play it.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 5, 2012: Google Hangout Thursday

We're doing something a little different: a Google Hangout this Thursday afternoon, starting at 5:00 Central Time. We're going to take a look at Munchkin Apocalypse and the +6 Bag o' Radioactive Munchkin Dice, tease some of our 2013 schedule, and then take some questions from the crowd. You have to have a Google+ account and add us to your circles (so we can add you back; otherwise, you won't see the announcement). When it's time for the chat, head to our G+ page to get the link to the hangout. Currently, this hangout is not open to everyone because public hangouts can't be saved to YouTube, as far as we can tell -- if we're wrong, please tell us!

If you have questions you'd like answered, you can post them to this thread in our forums, or ask them live during the chat! (You must have installed the Google Voice plugin to join the chat. Google will give you that chance before you try to join the hangout the first time.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 29, 2012: Happy Halloween!

Having Halloween in the middle of the week is kinda lame, huh?

Well, not for SJ Games; our annual Halloween Game Day is this Wednesday. We'll all be in the office, but we'll be playing games and eating good food, not paying attention to phones and email. Some of us may be wearing costumes: watch our Flickr stream for pictures!

We'll be back to work on Thursday, getting ready (among other things) for BoardGameGeekCon in mid-November.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 22, 2012: Looking For Halloween Gifts?

Because who isn't, this time of year? Cthulhu spares those who pay him the homage he so rightly deserves, and Warehouse 23 has the best homage available -- Halloween Chibithulhu!

And just because we like you so much and think your sanity is worth saving, Warehouse 23 is giving them away. Until 11:59 p.m. on October 31, Austin Time, every W23 order of $100 or more, before shipping and taxes, is eligible to receive a free Halloween Chibithulhu.
 
That's right, FREE! But supplies are limited, so you'll want to get your order in as soon as possible! Do it for your sanity.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 15, 2012: Booster Update

Last week, I talked about having to reprint a bunch of Munchkin stuff. In that post, I didn't mention that the foilpack boosters are ALSO selling well, and that several of them are out of print or very close, because our plan is NOT to reprint the boosters -- the quantities required to make any sort of profit on those sets pretty much mean that a second printing is a losing move. (Certainly any reprint of the boosters wouldn't be soon.)

So if you're waffling on picking up some boosters, especially older ones, you might want to forgo that large coffee at Barstucks one morning pretty soon. We're already out of Marked for Death, Fairy Dust, and Waiting for Santa, and our supplies of Munchkinomicon, Monster EnhancersReloaded!, and Santa's Revenge are pretty low. (Friendly Local Game Stores may well still have copies on their shelves, but they won't be getting many more . . .)

I'm not saying those cards will never come back, but reprinting boosters is not in our plans right now. We'd much rather work on the NEW boosters we have coming out in 2013 -- and planned considerably beyond that!

(By the way, if you want to see the complete list of Munchkin boosters we've done, head over to the World of Munchkin Boosters page. Maybe there's one you missed!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 8, 2012: That Old "We're Running Out AGAIN?!?" Feeling

A couple of weeks ago, Phil and I looked at Munchkin stock levels and sales trends and realized that some of our reprints scheduled for later in 2013 needed to be pulled up to January. And a couple of things that seemed safe suddenly got added to the schedule.

This meant that Production Manager Sam Mitschke and his tireless minions (minia?) Alex, Ben, and Gabby had to shove aside some other work to push reprints out the door by the end of September. They did -- well done, gang! -- and so you shouldn't see any significant interruptions in the supply of Munchkiny goodness on the shelves of your Friendly Local Game Store.

Having to print more games because they're selling absurdly fast is a pretty nice problem, granted, but it's still a pain to clear people's desks on short notice. Thanks to our staff for doing so!

A Reminder

I'll be at The Compleat Strategist in New York from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 9, showing off Munchkin Apocalypse and generally being Czarish. Hope to see lots of y'all there!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 1, 2012: Travel For The Rest Of The Year

Correction: Andrew will be at the Compleat Strategist on Tuesday, October 9. Also, they will have copies of Munchkin Apocalypse FOR SALE!

Now that we're back from PAX (thanks to everyone who dropped by to play some games!) and have had time to catch our breath, we can look forward to the rest of 2012 and see what it has in store.

Next week, Andrew will be attending New York Comic Con at the Javits Center in Manhattan. He'll be showing off Munchkin Apocalypse and working with the folks at the Compleat Strategist to sell as much Munchkin loot as we can! (In fact, if you're in Manhattan that week, come by the Strat on the evening of October 9 and ask Andrew for an early demo!)

The following week, Sam and Randy will be joining Ross in Germany for Essen Spiel, the board game megaconvention. We'll be working with our partners at Pegasus Spiele, as always. Ask Sam nicely, and he'll show off his Castellan set!

At the end of October, several folks from SJ Games will be attending the Wizard World show right here in Austin. If that's not incentive enough, several Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members will be there, celebrating the show's 25th anniversary.

And in mid-November, lots of us will be heading to Dallas for BoardGameGeek.Con -- where WE get to play games, not just run demos!

That's all the travel for the year . . . as far as you know . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 24, 2012: A Little Apocalypse Just For You

Are you fans of the end of the world?

How about Molly Lewis and the Doubleclicks?

All these beautiful things are coming together in the Ladies of Ragnarok tour, coming to an Eastern U.S. city near you in the near future? (May not be true if you are reading this in 2013 or do not live in the eastern United States.) Attendees will get to hear lots of cool music and will also be able to pick up a brand new Munchkin Apocalypse bookmark weeks before all the unfortunate souls who can't be there . . . which ought to be reason enough for everyone!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 17, 2012: Munchkin 101

A couple of months ago, we added a new area in our forums: Munchkin 101. This is for all our new Munchkin fans to ask questions. If you're a new fan, or just haven't checked out our web forums, why not create an account and join the conversation? And if you're an old hand, swing over and help some new players get a better handle on the game we all love to play.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 10, 2012: Reminder: Coin Rule Contest

We're looking for your best ideas for Munchkin Silver Piece rules! Submit them to coin@sjgames.com before September 17 and potentially win a valuable* prize package! Details are on the Silver Piece web page.

* Prize package may not actually be valuable by any sane definition of the word.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 3, 2012: Merely A Pawn In Greater Schemes

We've been out of stock of the +6 Bag o' Munchkins for quite some time. I'm pleased to report that a new printing is working its way toward your Friendly Local Game Store right now. Those of you who've been asking where to find them, now you know. (The +6 Bag o' Munchkin Babes is very recently out of stock at Warehouse 23, but many stores will still have copies. We don't have an estimated reprint date for the Babes.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 27, 2012: Come See Andrew At PAX!

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard will be appearing on a panel called "It Only Hurts When You Laugh" on Sunday, September 2, at 4:30 p.m., in the Unicorn Theater in the Washington State Convention Center, 6th floor. The panel will be moderated by Will Hindmarch. Panelists besides Andrew are James Ernest (Cheapass Games), Keith Baker (Gloom), and Mike Selinker (too many to mention). It should be a really fun time, so y'all please show up!

Please?

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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August 20, 2012: Mars Attacks And Pathfinder!

We announced two new Munchkin licenses this past weekend at GenCon!

First was Munchkin Apocalypse: Mars Attacks! This 15-card booster for November's Munchkin Apocalypse game is based on the 1962 Topps trading cards and will have some of the original art from that set. Steve is designing this booster, which should be out next summer.

Also, SJ Games teamed up with Paizo Publishing to offer Munchkin Pathfinder, a new fantasy-themed Munchkin core set due out in Fall, 2013. This set will be based on the Pathfinder RPG and its associated setting, Golarian. Steve and Andrew are collaborating on the cards and John Kovalic lends his signature art style to the project.

(You may also have heard about our NON-Munchkin announcement -- get more details here!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 13, 2012: Meet Andrew At GenCon!

I'll be having two signings at GenCon: Thursday at 4:00 and Saturday at 5:00, both at Booth #1301. I will also have announcements at least one of those days!

Look forward to seeing y'all there . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 6, 2012: Capsule Machine Rules WILL Expire

Last year, at GenCon and PAX Prime, we had a capsule machine dispensing trinkets such as coins, dice, Munchkin pawns, free games, and the occasional tournament-legal Munchkin rule. These rules were printed on red paper so you could tell immediately what they were.

We printed expiration dates on some of them, but failed to do so on others. This serves as official notice that all rules printed on red slips without an explicit expiration date will expire on August 15, 2012, and will no longer be usable in official Munchkin tournaments at any level.

We've learned our lesson, and will make sure to put explicit expiration dates on all such rules in the future.

-- Andrew Hackard


From Warehouse 23:

Christmas in the middle of Summer?!?! It can be. And the perfect present - Munchkin Jolly Jumbo d6 (Blue). It's a 25mm, six-sided die with classic John Kovalic Munchkin art. Quantities are limited, so get yours fast!

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July 30, 2012: Munchkin: As Seen On Tabletop

Do you play Munchkin? (If not, why are you here?)

A better question: Do you have good photos of yourself and/or your friends playing Munchkin?

If so, please consider sending those pictures to As Seen On Tabletop, a Tumblr run by our old friend, Wil Wheaton. It shows pictures of happy gamers enjoying the games that have been featured on Tabletop, on the Geek & Sundry channel. We'd love to see them, and so would everyone else!

-- Andrew Hackard


From Warehouse 23: Get Munchkin Zombies 3 Early!

Munchkin Zombies 3 – Hideous Hideouts is due to come to stores later this year, but you can get your hands on one now!

We'll randomly pick one customer who places an order at Warehouse 23 between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Austin time on 8/1/12 to receive a free copy of Munchkin Zombies 3 with your order. There is no minimum purchase amount, and you do not need to order Munchkin items to be eligible.

Be the first person to seize Fort Deadly, lurk in the Creepy Isolated Cabin of the Dead, or attend ResurrectiCon with Munchkin Zombies 3 – Hideous Hideouts!

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July 23, 2012: October Munchkin Releases

Remember when we taught you to never pick up a duck in a dungeon? Well now you can! In October, you can cuddle with not one, but two fierce ducks -- the Duck of Doom and the Duck of Gloom. We're also continuing our Munchkin booster series with the Christmas-themed Munchkin Naughty and Nice.

Munchkin Duck of Doom

You should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon . . . but since you probably aren't in a dungeon right now, cuddle our plush Duck of Doom without fear! Includes two new Munchkin cards and a zippered pouch for storing your treasures!

6.5" tall plush figure. Stock #5546, UPC 837654321683. $19.95.
 

Munchkin Duck of Gloom

Why does the Duck of Gloom look so perky? He comes with a new Munchkin card and, by special arrangement with Atlas Games, a new Munchkin-flavored Gloom card as well! Plus a zippered pouch to hide all your hopes and dreams from an uncaring world. Or to keep your keys in. Whatever.

6.5" tall plush figure. Stock #5547, UPC 837654321690. $19.95.
 

Munchkin Naughty & Nice

It's a Munchkin Christmas tradition: a holiday-themed booster! Use the Candy Cane and Tannenbomb to fight off the Snow Angels and Holiday SpiritsSpike the Egg Nog to Go Up a Level! Be Naughty or Nice . . . or both at once!

Finseal pack containing 15 cards. Stock #4234, UPC 837654321676. $4.95.

-- Monica Valentinelli

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July 16, 2012: Heart Of The Anomaly Returns!

Heart of the Anomaly T-ShirtWe have said before that we will never, ever, ever reprint the Heart of the Anomaly card, made as a special promo item for Linucon 2004.

And we won't.

But we never said we wouldn't put it on a T-shirt . . .

Show off your geeky side with the new Heart of the Anomaly T-shirt, available exclusively at Warehouse 23! (Make sure to print out the rule!)

-- Andrew Hackard


From Warehouse 23: The Bracelet of Slapping!

Everyone loves nifty new Munchkin accessories, especially if the accessory lets you stick it to your friends! In true Munchkin fashion, we proudly introduce the Munchkin Bracelet of Slapping, available in Adult and Youth sizes. It even comes with a dandy rule that will let you slap it to your friends!

Better hurry, though. Quantities are limited.

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July 9, 2012: SJ Games At San Diego Comic-Con

SJ Games is sending a team to San Diego Comic-Con, starting on July 12 at the San Diego Convention Center. (Traffic advisory: don't even THINK about trying to drive in that area.) Phil, Andrew, Sam, Ben, and Randy will be taking in the nerdery and probably having a few Seekrit Meetings during the show. If you're planning to attend, swing by the Adventure Retail booth and say howdy -- that's our base of operations at the show.

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 2, 2012: See Y'all Next Week!

The SJ Games office is closed this week for our annual mid-summer break. No one will be around to pick up the phone, and Warehouse 23 will not be shipping any orders. Some people may answer email, but don't count on it.

We'll be back next Monday, July 9.

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June 25, 2012: got cards?

We're always interested in your Munchkin card ideas. Head over to the card submission page and, if we use your idea, we'll give you credit in the game and send you a signed copy!

(We have a page for Munchkin Quest card and room ideas, too.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 18, 2012: Andrew On Jennisodes!

Andrew (aka our beloved Munchkin Czar) recently took some time out of his crazy schedule to appear on the Jennisodes podcast, and the episode is now live!

They talked about a wide range of Munchkin-related topics, and Andrew dropped some juicy tidbits about Munchkin Apocalypse, as well as some of the other fun things we have in store for you in the latter part of 2012.

Check it out!

-- Leonard Balsera

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June 11, 2012: Not Steerage, Storage

When I’m trolling the Internet, looking for Munchkin-related conversations, I often see people talking about what to do with their enormous, multi-expansion decks.

So I figured I ought to throw out a reminder about our Munchkin card boxes – the Munchkin Boxes of Holding, the Munchkin Zombies Meat Lockers, and the Munchkin Cthulhu Crypts of Concealment. Each has a box for Treasures and a box for Doors, and each box holds 500 cards. Having all three gives you room for 3,000 cards, which is around 75% of all Munchkin cards! (So far . . .)

Each set has a pair of cards matching the theme of the box and found only in these accessories. More cards are always good, right?

These and all our great Munchkin accessories can be found in your friendly neighborhood store. If you don't have a friendly neighborhood store, Warehouse 23 would be happy to help you out.

-- Leonard Balsera

 

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June 4, 2012: SJ On Tabletop!

In case you missed it, our own Evil Stevie was in Friday's new episode of Wil Wheaton's YouTube show, Tabletop, playing Munchkin Deluxe with Felicia Day and Sandeep Parikh from The Guild. Go check it out!

Tabletop is part of the Geek & Sundry channel. When you're done watching Tabletop, check out their other shows, too . . . they're all fantastic!

(Speaking of The Guild, if you haven't picked up Munchkin The Guild yet, what are you waiting for?)

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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May 30, 2012: Lost Playtesters

We are looking for contact info for Lwo Lazala and Carrie Seaberg, two of our playtesters for Munchkin The Guild.

Please ping elisabeth@sjgames.com if you can help, or if you're one of the folks we're looking for. Thanks!

-- Leonard Balsera

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May 29, 2012: Announcing Munchkin Penny Arcade

Munchkin Penny Arcade

What do you get when you combine Munchkin with one of the most popular geeky webcomics ever created? Munchkin Penny Arcade! This 15-card booster is designed to be combined with the original, fantasy-based Munchkin core set and will be available through your Friendly Local Game Store in September. Every card has been illustrated by Mike Krahulik. The rules (and the jokes) were written by Steve Jackson. What could be funnier?

You say you've never read the Penny Arcade comic? Now's your chance! This satirical comic dates back to 1998 and every strip is available online for you to read.

Can't wait for a preview? At PAX East, we handed out a special Munchkin promo card featuring Penny Arcade characters Twisp & Catsby, and that card will be added to Warehouse 23 orders while supplies last. Or talk to your local Man In Black! If you drop by our company Flickr account, you'll get a taste of what you can expect when you add Munchkin Penny Arcade to your game.

For more information about Munchkin Penny Arcade, read the press release or visit the Munchkin Penny Arcade Web page.

-- Monica Valentinelli

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May 28, 2012: Memorial Day

Munchkin is a light-hearted game about people going adventuring, killing their enemies, and taking their stuff.

But many soldiers face the possibility of killing or being killed every day, and it's not a game at all. In the United States, this is the day we set aside to remember those men and women who sacrificed their most precious gift on behalf of the rest of us.

We're closed today. See y'all tomorrow.

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May 21, 2012: Munchkin, Now With Added Registration

We are pleased to announce that Steve Jackson Games has been granted registrations on two trademarks: the Munchkin logo and the Super Munchkin character seen on the original Munchkin box and elsewhere. That's a fussy legal distinction; essentially, it means the U.S. government recognizes that, in the sphere of tabletop games, we own those brands. Trademarks are specific to segments of the market: There are companies in other areas also using Munchkin as a brand name, and some of them have registered the trademark as well, but as long as they don't start making games and we don't start making whatever it is they make, we're good.

What this means for you, as Munchkin fans, is that the Munchkin logo and the Super Munchkin character should include the "circle-R" designation wherever they appear, including on fan pages. There's more about our requirements in our Online Policy, as well as a very brief introduction to the distinctions among trademarks, copyright, and other forms of intellectual property. It's worth a read. It does NOT mean you have to stop talking about Munchkin (please don't!): the point of trademark law is to give people a way to talk about your products without seeming to claim ownership.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me (clicking my signature below will do it).

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 14, 2012: You Kick Open The Door And Find An OGRE

I haven't been talking about our recently concluded Ogre Kickstarter in this space, because, well, it's not Munchkin. However, when the elephant in the room is actually a giant cybernetic tank that has just raised more than 20% of your total revenue from 2011, it's probably worth a mention. Here are a few questions y'all might have (and if not, I still want to answer them, so there).

Why are you even talking about this? It's not Munchkin . . .

First of all, because fans of Ogre and SJ Games, including some of you reading this, pledged over $923,000 to help make Ogre bigger and better. That kind of dedication demands recognition and thanks. So -- thank you, very much, for making Ogre the most-funded tabletop game in the history of Kickstarter. Every pledge is a mark of support for Ogre, for the company, and for Steve himself, and we are absolutely NOT taking that lightly. We've made a lot of commitments and we are going to honor them.

For my part, I'm a fan of Kickstarter, so I have been consulting on the Ogre campaign for a couple of months now. While Phil was in China, I ended up spending a LOT of time working with Steve to help shape the final days of the drive. Not many things would be important enough to take me away from Munchkin development, but this was definitely one of them. (Fear not: Munchkin Apocalypse is still on schedule!) I suspect I'll be giving Ogre some of my time for a few weeks yet. And when the games actually arrive in Austin, it'll be all hands on deck -- packing over 5,000 games and sets of extras is a HUGE undertaking, and we'll all be pitching in!

(Special commendations to Sam Mitschke, who put in VERY long hours and wrecked his laptop getting all our videos put together!)

OK, so how does this affect Munchkin?

In the short term, not much at all; I'm not involved with Ogre development, and I have already taken on a larger share of Munchkin development because we knew Steve's time was going to be eaten up by this project. We'd planned for Ogre's success (although maybe not the degree of success we've seen!) so it wouldn't get in the way of Munchkin.

In the longer term, Steve's going to be focused on writing new Ogre content for a while, and we'll be hiring an Ogre Czar (title not final) to help shepherd Ogre the way I've been shepherding Munchkin. And yes, some resources that probably would have gone to Munchkin may be going to Ogre instead . . . although not as much as you might think, considering the amount of support Ogre fans have given us. (Have I said "Thank you" enough? No! Thank you!) We can't ignore the level of support the Kickstarter showed us! Luckily, we've planned so far ahead that most of the Munchkin releases for the first half of 2013 are already in development. We'll have time to make adjustments if we need to.

Will you be doing a Munchkin Kickstarter?

We don't have any plans for one. It's a very different beast from Ogre (and from Car Wars, for which we have already promised a Kickstarter at some point down the road), and a Kickstarter doesn't seem appropriate for a game that's trucking along very nicely. I'm not going to say "never," but it's not on our radar.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 7, 2012: Alert Your Local Game Stores!

Munchkin The Guild and the Munchkin Cthulhu Kill-O-Meter start shipping to our distributors today, which means they should be in your Friendly Local Game Store very soon indeed!

We cannot officially advise you to pitch tents and set up a campsite by your store's Munchkin shelf . . . but we wouldn't blame you if you did.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 30, 2012: An Epic Update

A little over a week ago, we released a major update to Epic Munchkin, adding the Epic rules for the classes from Munchkin Axe Cop and Beating a Dead Horse, and for the races and class and race enhancers from Munchkin 8 – Half Horse, Will Travel.

Epic Munchkin is a free download from e23, and if you register before you download it, you'll be notified the next time we post an update . . . probably more or less when Munchkin Conan hits stores this summer.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 23, 2012: Frequently Asked Questions . . . Answered!

We recently posted a large update to the Munchkin FAQ. Check it out!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 16, 2012: Signs Of The Apocalypse

Last week, John turned in the last of his art for Munchkin Apocalypse, due in stores late this year. This means that as soon as playtesting is done and the final rulesheet is written, this game can go immediately into production . . . in fact, Alex Fernandez is already coloring some of the art! Way to go, John, and thanks!

Now John gets a break to soak his drawing hand before tackling the next Munchkin project. Wish we could tell you what it was . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 9, 2012: Looting and Monster-Killing . . . Now At Your Local Library!

The Galveston Daily News recently reported on a monthly event, "Board Games You’ve Never Played," at the Moore Memorial Library in Texas City, aimed at getting young adults into a wide variety of non-electronic games. The article observes that Munchkin Quest was "among the favorites" at the last event, which we attribute to an unfortunate lack of surprise backstabbing in chess.

Check out the article at the link.

-- Leonard Balsera

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April 2, 2012: Geek & Sundry Launches Today!

A new YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry launches today! The brainchild of Felicia Day and Kim Evey, the folks behind The Guild, Geek & Sundry has six different programs about various aspects of geek culture. (Naturally, we're especially interested in seeing the new show hosted by our old pal Wil Wheaton; it's called Tabletop . . .)

Geek & Sundry's website is here. Spread the news!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 29, 2012: Thanks, GameStorm!

Thanks to all the folks at GameStorm for being so awesome! Between the panels and the gaming, I had a fantastic time. If you couldn't make it to the West Coast, maybe I'll see you in Boston next weekend for PAX East, April 6-8.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 26, 2012: The Good, The Bad, And The Munchkin 2 Is On Its Way!

We started shipping The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2 – Beating a Dead Horse from our Atlanta warehouse last week! It should be at most North American distributors this week, and on the shelves of your Friendly Local Game Store by the end of next week. (And if you don't have a FLGS, you can order GBM2 from Warehouse 23!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 19, 2012: Interested In Playtesting Munchkin Apocalypse?

There's a pretty good chance (approximately 100%) that I'll have Munchkin Apocalypse for playtesting this weekend at GameStorm 14 in Vancouver, Wash.

If, y'know, you're into that sort of thing.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 12, 2012: Munchkin 8 Preview Wrap-Up

We asked you to hunt across the Internet for a first look at the cards from Munchkin 8 – Half Horse, Will Travel, and you responded with verve and speed, collecting all the links on our forums in a matter of hours!

Here are all the links:

Obtuse Angel @ Wired's Geek Dad

A Cute Angel and Cheat! @ World of Munchkin

Lizard Guy and Centaur @ Board Game Geek

Croc Pot @ Dork Tower

Elite @ MTV Geek

Elder @ Flames Rising

Centaurpede @ SJ Games Official Facebook Page

Thanks to Dave Banks (Geek Dad), Matt Morgan (MTV Geek), John Kovalic (Dork Tower), Matt McElroy (Flames Rising), and Monica Valentinelli (Flames Rising) for helping us out with the promo, and to our forum members for their fast fingers and Google-fu!

-- Leonard Balsera

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March 5, 2012: Gaming In The Dark

Jessie Moore from Roboawesome reminds us that it's still possible to have tons of fun without modern conveniences like, you know, electrical power. His top five games to try in the middle of a blackout is dominated by SJ Games: Munchkin, Munchkin Quest, and Zombie Dice. (Fair warning: the blog uses a bit of NSFW language.)

The creators of Munchkin deny any responsibility for whatever clever, quick-fingered players might try to do in the dark. Keep a close eye on your Items, folks.

-- Leonard Balsera

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February 27, 2012: Ideas Come From Weird Places

If you had asked me about the original fantasy Munchkin line, I would have said that we had run pretty much every fantasy trope into the ground by now. (Especially after working on Munchkin 8 – Half Horse, Will Travel . . .)

I would have been wrong. Our talented Senior Production Artist, Alex Fernandez, recently asked about not one, but two boosters that he thought we should be doing. And he was right. In fact, he was so right that we kicked a couple other products off the 2013 product schedule to make room for them (while simultaneously smacking ourselves in the forehead for not thinking of them earlier). You'll see both of those new boosters next summer, because that's how far ahead we're planning these days. And you'll see the ones we booted in 2014, because they're good ideas, too.

And Alex says he's not a gamer . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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February 20, 2012: But Does It Have A Filibuster Rule?

On his webcomic, Slightly Off-Topic, David Adams proposes a Munchkin game idea that even we think is too twisted to contemplate: Munchkin Votes. Check it out at the link.

(Also, he's correct that the SJ Games HQ building doesn't look like that. We have flying buttresses.)

-- Leonard Balsera

 

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February 13, 2012: You Must Create The Gazebo ALONE

Technically, I suppose you could accept help when building our Cardboard Gazebo, but I don't know why you'd bother. This Gazebo lurks on the Munchkin Resources page, if you need to track it down again later.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 6, 2012: Munchkin The Family Game

In a recent Big Shiny Robot! column for the Salt Lake City Weekly, Bryan Young talks about introducing his family to board and card games, getting them to put down the controller and enjoy some face time with each other. Among mentions of many worthy games, he gives a short, sweet nod to Munchkin, because we all know that there's nothing better for bonding than stabbing your friends and loved ones in the back for levels and loot.

Er, wait . . . well, thanks for the shout out anyway, Bryan! 

-- Leonard Balsera

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February 1, 2012: The Sparkly Good Fairy And Warehouse 23

The Sparkly Good Fairy has dropped by Warehouse 23 -- just in time for Valentine's Day! There are two ways you'll be visited by the fairy featured in Munchkin Fairy Dust.

Munchkin Fairy Dust Bag of HoldingStarting today, we'll include The Official Munchkin Bookmark of Sparkly Good Monster Mayhem with each order while supplies last. Limit one bookmark per order.

Next, any customer who places an order of $75 or more will get a Munchkin Fairy Dust Handbag of Holding added to the shipment. Be sure to look inside the Handbag for the special (and very pink) rule!

To give you a feel for what constitutes $75, you could place an order for:

Both offers are while supplies last and you are not required to buy anything specific to participate. Happy Valentine's Day from Warehouse 23!

-- Monica Valentinelli

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January 30, 2012: uStream Chat TODAY!

A quick reminder that Lenny and I will be having a uStream chat this evening, starting at 6:00 p.m. Central Time. We'll be looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012, and as always, we'll be answering questions from the forums and from the live chatters, and (as long as I don't screw it up again) we'll save the chat so you early-to-bed types in Europe can watch it later.

If y'all are REALLY good, I'll tell you what's special about the 23rd printing of Munchkin, coming up this spring.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 23, 2012: uStream Chat Next Monday, January 30

Lenny and I will be conducting a uStream chat next Monday evening, 6:00 p.m. Central Time (GMT-6). It's Lenny's first Munchkin chat, so be gentle!

We'll be wrapping up 2011, talking about plans for 2012, and of course taking your questions. Maybe we'll even answer a couple of them!

If you can't make it, or you'd like to be SURE to get your question answered, please drop by the forums and leave your question in the thread there. But the more of you who show up, the more likely I am to let something slip . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 16, 2012: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Some big changes going on here at Munchkin HQ!

First, I have a new office! We did some renovation work over the holiday break, and as a result I'm now on the other side of the building, between Steve and Phil, in a MUCH bigger office (which is good, because I was running out of space to store all the Munchkin stuff we've been producing lately). It doesn't feel quite like home yet, but I'm sure in another month or two, I'll be completely settled in.

Monica Valentinelli took over our marketing last fall, and I've been remiss in not mentioning the great work she's doing for Munchkin and for the company in general. Monica also works on the Flames Rising website (y'all remember their contest last year, right? That was Monica's doing!) . . . and if that's not enough, she also keeps the weasels from nibbling on John Kovalic so he can keep drawing Munchkin cards for us! I don't know how she finds the time to do it all, but she does, and she's great!

I've talked here many times about my Hireling, Angie Kreuser. Starting today, I can't do that anymore, because Angie is moving out and up, taking charge of all customer service for Warehouse 23 and e23. If you have a problem or a suggestion or just a random question about our online stores, Angie's the one who will be answering it. I'll miss having Angie around to abuse help me out, but this is a fantastic move for Angie and for SJ Games. Congratulations to Angie on her new role!

Succeeding Angie (because no one can replace her!) is Leonard Balsera. Many of y'all may recognize Lenny's name from his work on The Dresden Files RPG for Evil Hat. He's going to keep doing some stuff for them on the side, but now he's also a full-time minion at SJ Games, helping me keep Munchkin chugging along. Please make Lenny feel welcome!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 9, 2012: What's It Like To Write A Munchkin Expansion?

It's a combination of terror, hard work, terror, awful jokes, terror, and a little bit of raw primal terror.

It's also tremendous fun.

If you'd like a more complete answer, check out my cover story from this month's GTM.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 2, 2012: Happy New Year!

And if the Mayans are right, it's the last one, so be sure to enjoy it! To help you enjoy it, we have these new releases coming in the next few months:

Watch the New Releases page to find out when these are available. Or follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for instant news!

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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December 26, 2011: Did Santa Munchkin Forget To Fill Your Stocking?

That's too bad. Next year, kill more monsters and steal more stuff, and maybe you'll get back on the "Good Munchkin" list.

In the meantime, you can fill your own stocking with selections from our Munchkin Christmas collection. We'll never tell.

We won't be shipping any orders until next week, so you've got a little time to ponder your choices. See you in 2012!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 19, 2011: Congratulations, Christian!

Finalists at the European Munchkin ChampionshipsA belated note from Essen Spiele . . .

These folks (except the chubby one in the middle) are the finalists of the European Munchkin Championships. The gentleman standing next to the Munchkin Mascot, holding a printout of the Munchkin 8 cards, is Christian Horn. Christian pulled off the unprecedented feat of winning both the German and European Championships in the same year. Our congratulations to Christian and thanks for being such an outstanding Munchkin player!

(Reminder: We're closed through the end of the year. We'll be back in the office, chipper and well-rested, on January 2, 2012.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 12, 2011: SJ Games Holiday Schedule

A quick reminder: Steve Jackson Games' last business day of 2011 is this Thursday, December 15. (Which is also our annual end-of-year Game Day, so we won't be checking e-mail or answering the phones very often.) We'll reopen for business on January 2.

-- Andrew Hackard
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December 5, 2011: State Of The Munchkin: December 2011

It's been too long since I posted a Munchkin news roundup, so here goes:

  • We sent Munchkin The Guild to print and Munchkin Conan to production. We also sent off another batch of reprints, proof that Munchkin is still a strong game after a decade!
  • We've been playtesting Munchkin Zombies 3 and Munchkin Axe Cop 2 and have several other things lined up to playtest once the new year gets going.
  • Phil announced Munchkin Skullkickers at New York Comic Con and Steve announced Munchkin Apocalypse at Hal-Con. Both of those are set for release in the second half of 2012. (And if the lesson you're learning is, "Don't skip conventions when SJ Games staff is attending," we won't argue . . . because we definitely haven't run out of things to announce!)
  • Andrew's been working hard on Munchkin Quest 3. Right now, it looks like this may be an early 2013 release, because 2012 is getting pretty crowded.
  • On a related note, we're already starting to plan 2013 releases!
  • Sales of Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Axe Cop continue to be strong . . . in fact, Zombies is scheduled for its third printing next summer!
  • And we have lots of new Munchkin swag for you to buy, including the Zombie Chibithulhu, Fairy Dust Dice, and the Jolly Jumbo d6s. Good little munchkins should have very full stockings this year!

Our office, including Warehouse 23 and our customer service department, will be closed for our winter break starting on December 16. We're all taking December 15 as our end-of-year game day, so be sure to get those last-minute orders in early! We'll see everyone in 2012.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 28, 2011: A Post-Thanksgiving Smorgasbord

Three news items for the price of one!

Warehouse 23 Holiday Sale!

In case you've been too busy sleeping off a turkey coma to check our page, we wanted to let you know that Warehouse 23 has discounted a bunch of game accessories and other fun stuff, including a great selection of Munchkin loot for your very own gaming table! But the discount ends TODAY, November 28, at 5:00 p.m. Austin time, so don't dawdle!

(If it's already Tuesday or later, you've missed it. Sorry about that. You can follow us on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute news!)

Munchkin 10th Anniversary Gear Going Soon

This year has been the 10th anniversary of Munchkin's debut. Once the year is over, sadly, so will our celebration. If you haven't yet picked up the 10th anniversary shot glass, T-shirt, or signed poster from Warehouse 23, you have until mid-December . . . after that, they're gone forever!

Munchkin Go Up a Level Going . . . Going . . .

Last fall, we released Go Up a Level, an upgrade set to bring older Munchkin collections in line with the rule revisions we made starting in early 2010. GUAL is pretty much out of stock at our distributors, and we will not reprint it, so . . . if you've been thinking about maybe picking it up from your FLGS someday, someday has arrived.

-- Andrew Hackard

 

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November 21, 2011: Thanks!

Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shirt

This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a day we set aside for giving thanks for all the good things from the past year.

So, thanks to y'all for making Munchkin a success for the past 10 years. We definitely wouldn't still be making it without our loyal fans spreading the virus . . . I mean, the word about Munchkin!

BTW, our office will be closed this Thursday and Friday in observance of the holiday, and that includes Warehouse 23 . . . but you might keep your eyes on that page later this week anyway. I'm just saying.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 18, 2011: Lenny Bruce Is Not Afraid

Last weekend at Hal-Con, Steve announced our second Munchkin core set for 2012: Munchkin Apocalypse. It's going to Ragnarok your socks off!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 14, 2011: BoardGameGeekCon

This weekend, a bunch of SJ Gamers will be driving up to Dallas for BoardGameGeekCon, the event organized by the founders of BoardGameGeek, one of the best resources on the internet for gamers. The attendees, as one might expect, are extremely knowledgable about games of all kinds.

I won't be attending this year (a full summer and early autumn of travel has wiped me out), but the folks who ARE going will have a pile of plush and games to sell, and will be playing our games. In addition to favorites like Revolution!, The Stars Are Right, and Nanuk, they'll have a couple of new dice game prototypes to test and show off.

If you're rolling dice, moving chits, or just waving your hands wildly, stop by and say "Hi!"

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 7, 2011: One More Reminder

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 31, 2011: Back In The Saddle Again

After most of a week at Essen, and only one real work day back in the office (Thursday was our regular Halloween game day, and doesn't count), I have a LOT of things to catch up on. So forgive me for the brevity of this news item.

The title? That's because we just sent The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2 – Beating a Dead Horse to print. Yeah, we're pretty excited, too.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 24, 2011: Siri, Find Me A Munchkin Bonus

We know many of you just bought a new iPhone 4S. If you haven't already bought the Munchkin Level Counter, you can add that app to your collection. For five bucks, get counters for Munchkin, Munchkin Quest, Epic Munchkin, and other games; a built-in Kill-O-Meter; a die roller; and, of course, in-game Munchkin and Munchkin Quest bonuses that get better the longer you wait to claim them! (Some users have reported problems with iOS 5; if you download the most up-to-date version, those problems have been resolved.)

(And if you have an Android phone, we've got you covered as well!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 17, 2011: Announcing Munchkin Skullkickers!

Munchkin is the classic card game of fantasy adventuring.

Skullkickers is the hit new Image comic of fantasy adventuring.

Munchkin Skullkickers, coming in 2012, combines both great flavors! The fans will be begging for more as the comic's unnamed heroes tear through the World of Munchkin, destroying everything in their path as they help the players fight their way to Level 10.

Watch for more information at www.worldofmunchkin.com. Follow the adventures of the Skullkickers at www.skullkickers.com.

Heading to Essen

Tomorrow, I'll be hopping on a plane for my first trip to Germany. I'll be joining Director of Sales Ross Jepson in Essen, spending the time meeting with our various translation partners, gawking at all the games on display, and sampling the local cuisine. I have been told the currywurst is a must.

If you're attending the show, ask for me at the Pegasus booth; when I'm not out roaming around, that's probably where I'll be.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 10, 2011: Getting Our Phil Of The Guild

He's far too modest to mention this himself, but our own Phil Reed recently had a role as an extra on The Guild. You can watch Phil's brief appearance here (look for the guy with glasses "helping" Bladezz off the stage).

And wasn't Bladezz's costume awesome?

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 4, 2011: Munchkin Chat Rescheduled

Because of technical problems, we had to reschedule the Munchkin uStream chat for Thursday instead of today. It will be at 5:00 p.m. Central time.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 3, 2011: Cleaning Out The Attic

When we produced the cards for the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010, we glitched on one of them; the Attic doesn't quite match the rules for how Rooms are played in Star Munchkin 2 – The Clown Wars. So we've reprinted them, and any future orders for the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 should have the corrected text. If your card includes the clause, "Before you turn over the next Door card," you have an old Attic, and we'll be happy to trade it for a new one. Just throw the old Attic into an envelope with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and send it to:

Steve Jackson Games
Attn: W23 New Attic
PO Box 18957
Austin, TX 78760

(Of course, you can also just use a Sharpie to cross out the offending clause . . . and those of you overseas may want to do that . . . but if you want a replacement, we're happy to provide one.)

Sorry for the error!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 29, 2011: It's Chat Time!

We'll be having another uStream chat on Tuesday, October 4, starting at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. You can ask your questions on the forums or show up and ask us live!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 26, 2011: One Game Enters Playtest, One Game Leaves

We've moved The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2 – Beating a Dead Horse out of playtest and into production. Thanks to all our pardners who gave it a whirl!

Don't hop off the horse just yet, saddle pals . . . we've started playtesting Munchkin Conan, the core set due out next summer! One big change from previous announcements is that we've decided to make this a fantasy set, with the same card design as original Munchkin. This means it'll mix perfectly into your existing sets, or (of course!) play perfectly well on its own. And it means we have the first expansion already done: the Munchkin Conan the Barbarian booster! Aren't we smart?

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 19, 2011: Flames Rising Contest Results!

More than a month ago, our friends at Flames Rising ran a contest asking people to submit their favorite Munchkin memory. We had so many great responses that we decided to pick TWO winners for first, second, and third places, as well as six Honorable Mentions. These winners are:

  • First Place: Tyler McKinnon and Richard
  • Second Place: Brent Martin Jans and Josh Sauer (Mister Ed)
  • Third Place: Michael Dyer and Seanstoppable
  • Honorable Mentions: Eric, Coarey Trim (of GameKnights-Podcast.com), Scott Picha (Trsevener), Dennis Frank Brokholm, Tim Williamson, and GeekInsight

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 12, 2011: Gone To Madison!

I'll be flying out this morning for five days in scenic Madison, Wisconsin, home of ACD Distribution (who are hosting a Games Day for retailers, which is why we're going up). It's also the home of John Kovalic, and Phil, SJ, and I are taking the chance to spend a couple extra days in his town and make EEEEEEEEEEVIL Munchkin plans for 2012 and beyond. (We thumb our nose at the Mayans!) And, as previously announced, I'll be at Pegasus Games this evening to show off some playtest sets, hand out some promotional loot, and generally enjoy meeting people in a part of the country I've never seen before.

Flames Rising contest update: We have selected winners and Angie the Amazing is in the process of notifying them. Once we've gotten in touch with everyone, we'll announce who those winners are. Thanks to all for your patience while we went to two huge conventions and dealt with everything else that had to get done in the past six weeks. Luckily, after this week, everything slows down for us, and I don't have any major travel planned for a very long time . . . a whole five weeks, in fact, at which time I'll be attending Essen Spiel.

We're thinking about hosting a uStream chat toward the end of the month. Would y'all be interested? Head over to the forums and let us know!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 8, 2011: Andrew At Pegasus Games!

Long-time fans of Dork Tower are familiar with Pegasaurus Games and its long-suffering owner, Bill. What you may not know is that John Kovalic based the store (or at least its name) on a real game store in his home town of Madison, Wisconsin. Pegasus Games is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and on Monday, September 12, I'll be visiting to meet the regulars and show off some new and upcoming Munchkin games. I'll be there from 7 p.m. until they turn the lights out on me, so come by and pick up some cool Munchkin swag!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 5, 2011: State Of The Munchkin: September 2011

Here's a quick guide to what's new and what's coming up in the World of Munchkin:

We also have the full Munchkin Conan core set for next summer, another new Munchkin Zombies expansion, and some other stuff so secret we can't even HINT at it yet. Keeping watching this space for periodic updates!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 29, 2011: Saw You At PAX!

We're on our way home today, so a detailed PAX Prime report will have to wait, but I think it's fair to say we had fun. Thanks to everyone who came by to see us!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 22, 2011: See You At PAX!

We're all geddy with excitement* over the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle later this week! For the first time in a very long time, SJ Games will be doing our own retail sales at a major convention, so we're bringing almost the whole crew. This means lots of work has to get done NOW because it can't get done later.

I'll be in the demo space in the mornings, with playtest copies of several upcoming releases. (Which releases? That would be telling.) I'll also be running demo games of our new stuff, including Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Axe Cop. And our new capsule machines will be at PAX, too, to separate you from your pocket change! We've stuffed them with some new goodies, so bring quarters!

Even if you already know how to play Munchkin, I hope you'll at least come by to say hello. I always love meeting Munchkin fans -- it's you guys who make what I do possible. And you might discover one of our other games that you like almost as much!

-- Andrew Hackard

* Geddy With Excitement is my Rush cover band. #paulandstorm

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August 15, 2011: Munchkin 8 Report

We haven't mentioned Munchkin 8 for a few weeks, so I thought I'd give y'all a quick update.

First, it has a name: Half Horse, Will Travel! Thanks to Michael Shore for suggesting it in our title contest.

We took M8 to GenCon in still-unfinished form; all the cards were right, but the art wasn't in place yet. That didn't stop a table full of Munchkin maniacs from enjoying over two hours of backstabbing, sex-changing, monster-whacking mayhem in one of the bloodiest Munchkin games I've ever witnessed! For PAX, we should be able to have a printout of the actual rulesheet and use printouts of the cards with art; come by our demo space under the escalators to get the first peek at the newest Munchkin expansion.

Will we have other Munchkin news at PAX? It seems probable . . . plus you might win a Mega-Chibithulhu! You Munchkin Quest fans of a playtesting bent might also want to drop by when you have a couple of hours to kill. Just don't tell anyone I told you.

Munchkin 8 goes to print very shortly, and will be in stores next spring at a time yet to be announced.

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 9, 2011: Back From GenCon!

Apologies for not having any news yesterday; we were still traveling from Indianapolis where our expanded crew put on a great show at GenCon 2011. Special thanks to Alex, Angie, Ben, Elisabeth, Jimmie, and Liegh for demoing above and beyond the call of duty!

Congratulations to Nick Chavez, winner of the 2011 Munchkin World Cup! Enjoy your ill-gotten gains . . .

Thanks to everyone who came by the booth and played our games, spent money in our capsule machine, or bought new things from the good folks at Adventure Retail -- we always love seeing you!

Next up . . . PAX!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 1, 2011: A Peek Into The Warehouse

We sell most of our Munchkin games and accessories through Friendly Local Game Stores, and that's exactly how it should be. From time to time, however, we come up with an idea that doesn't quite fit the larger retail market, but that might be profitable (and fun!) at a smaller scale. For those, you should plan to visit Warehouse 23.

Some recent W23 exclusives include the Munchkin Zombies Water Bottle, the Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shot Glass, the +10 Bag o' Munchkin d6, and the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010. If you haven't seen them, why not take a look?

-- Andrew Hackard

(Don't forget to swing by booth 1401 if you're coming to GenCon -- and bring plenty of quarters to try in our new capsule machine!)

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July 25, 2011: Announcing Munchkin The Guild!

At San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, we were pleased to be able to join the cast and crew of The Guild in announcing a new Munchkin booster based on the immensely popular web series, about to begin its fifth season.

This 15-card booster will be illustrated by Jawbone Radio podcaster and Geek a Week artist Len Peralta and is set for a Spring 2012 release.

(Also, don't forget that you still have a day to enter the Munchkin 8 subtitle contest! See the July 13 Munchkin News for details.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 18, 2011: Some Reminders

We're running a contest to find the best (or worst) subtitle for Munchkin 8! The winner gets credit in the game and a free copy signed by lots of people. Read the July 13 Munchkin News for more information.

Also, I'm visiting some Los Angeles-area game stores July 18 and 19, before hitting San Diego Comic-Con from the 21st through the 24th:

Come by and say howdy, play a game or two, and peek at the new stuff coming out soon!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 13, 2011: Munchkin 8 – Your Subtitle Here

As announced yesterday during our uStream chat, we're running a contest to find the best subtitle for Munchkin 8 (to be released next spring), a 112-card expansion that introduces the Centaur and Lizard Guy races.

E-mail your entries to contest@sjgames.com by noon Austin time on Tuesday, July 26. We'll pick a winner from there who will receive credit in the game rules and a free copy of Munchkin 8 signed by Steve, John, and Andrew.

The rules:

  1. It must be short. We can't fit a 20-word subtitle on the cover and still have room for cool art.
  2. It must be funny. Lame entries will be ignored. REALLY lame entries will be posted on the office bulletin board for general mockery.
  3. It must be original. No poaching on other people's trademarks, no matter how funny your idea is.
  4. If we get multiple suggestions of the winning idea, the person to suggest it first gets the credit. You snooze, you lose.
  5. We reserve the right to toss all the ideas if none of them are good enough.

All entries become the property of Steve Jackson Games. We might save the other good ones and use them later!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 11, 2011: On The Road Again

I'm attending San Diego Comic-Con to work in the Adventure Retail booth, and I'm heading over to California a few days early to visit some stores, meet some people, and demo some games. Come on by and say howdy!

My schedule:

I'll have promo cards and bookmarks, some early versions of unreleased Munchkin sets, and maybe a surprise announcement or two. I look forward to seeing everyone!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Psst, don't forget that Andrew will be chatting on uStream Tuesday (July 12) afternoon at around 5:30 Central time, with me there to make sure he doesn't go off-script.)

-- Angie Kreuser

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July 4, 2011: The Andrew and Angie Show

We'll be bringing our comedy stylings -- or at least Munchkin news and Q&A -- back to our uStream channel on July 12 at around 5:30 pm Central Time (GMT-6). You can ask us your questions LIVE during the chat, or post them on the forums ahead of time so we have time to think up better answers.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 30, 2011: Munchkin 8 Is Out Of Playtest!

Exciting news! The next 112-card expansion to classic Munchkin is now out of playtest and in John's capable hands for his artistry. It doesn't yet have an official subtitle, but we have several candidates we're thinking about (and some we're trying NOT to).

Thanks to all the victims helpful people who playtested this over the last couple of months. Special thanks to the Munchkin Brain Trust, who made my life hell but ended up significantly improving the game. And SUPER-special thanks to my loyal and slightly masochistic Hireling, Angie, who had to endure dozens of "Isn't this an AWFUL card name?" comments while I finalized the card list. I'm told her therapy bill is in the mail.

Munchkin 8, whatever we finally call it, should be in stores earlyish next year.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 27, 2011: Out To Lunch

Our office will be closed for our regular summer break from June 27 through July 4. E-mail and phones will go unanswered, Warehouse 23 will not be shipping orders, and we'll try really hard to ignore the forums as well.

See you in July.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 24, 2011: Munchkin Webcomic Winners

And now, the moment that some of you have been waiting for . . . the winners of our Munchkin Webcomic Contest! We enjoyed doing this. Some of us, definitely including me, are big webcomic fans. Some aren't. My team won. So we got to spend part of the marketing budget in grabbing comic fans' eyeballs for Munchkin while sending Munchkin fans' eyeballs to a lot of different webcomics. Victory! And we got to laugh . . .

In the "Published During the Contest" category:

  • First Place -- Rusty And Co. (with a great Bil Keane trope)
  • Second Place -- Munchkin Apocalypse (This one would have won an honorable mention if it hadn't made the top three, just on sheer dedication. HOW many pages? Go and see.)
  • Third Place -- Rock, Paper, Monster (Right, this is exactly how we play at the office.)

In the "Published Before the Contest" category:

  • First Place -- Geektopia  (SJ note – the punchline here STILL makes me snicker.)
  • Second Place -- Perpendicular Reality (very mildly NSFW even though he didn't get everything he asked for, and yes, I know a lot of you stopped reading in the middle of the sentence to click the link. Perverts.)

In the "Popular Vote" category:

You can see links to all the entries here. Our thanks to all the artists and all the voters. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did! And if WE enjoyed it more, then we still win!

Will we do this again? Quite possibly, maybe, could be! If we do, though, we'll announce it a lot earlier, so more artists have time to think of stuff, draw, and/or work Munchkin jokes into strip continuity.

-- Steve Jackson

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June 20, 2011: Munchkin Dice Rules Posted

Since we converted the Munchkin Dice cards into the Munchkin Reloaded! booster, fans have asked if we'll ever post the table from Munchkin Dice so their nifty 10-sided level counters will be usable in their games.

The answer is yes. You can find them on the Munchkin Dice page or on our page collecting all the Munchkin rules.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 13, 2011: Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shot Glass Now Available!

Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shot Glass Celebrate Munchkin's 10th birthday in style . . . with the new Munchkin 10th Anniversary Shot Glass! Available exclusively from Warehouse 23, this shot glass is black with gold printing and will look sharp on any munchkin's table. Plus, you can drink a Strength Potion* from it for in-game combat bonuses!

Quantities are limited, so don't wait, or you might miss out!

* Strength Potion not included.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 6, 2011: Munchkin Webcomic Contest Voting

We're very excited to have so many entries to the Munchkin Webcomic Contest! We need your input to determine the winners -- go here to vote! (Thanks to ALL the artists who submitted their comics!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 31, 2011: And The Big Announcement Was . . . CONAN!

We've been teasing you for a while about our Big New Announcement. A couple of weeks ago we let slip that it would be for Munchkin. Saturday afternoon at Comicpalooza I went onstage to make the real announcement to 100+ fans and some random media (Hi, random media!):

It's Munchkin Conan the Barbarian!

Here's the full announcement!

Steve Jackson Games Announces: Munchkin Conan the Barbarian!

Conan is THE barbarian, defeating monsters, wizards, and whole armies, and this summer he'll hack his way back to the big screen with "Conan the Barbarian."

Munchkin is the ultimate card game of killing monsters and looting the bodies, with over a million games sold in 15 languages (and more on the way).

And now, Steve Jackson brings the two paragons of sword and sorcery together . . . in Munchkin Conan the Barbarian. "All the 'barbarian heroes' of gaming are directly inspired by Conan," Steve said. "When you think of Conan, you think of bloody fantasy action, horrible monsters, and epic loot – and that's Munchkin!"

"No one knows more about killing his foes and taking their stuff than Conan," said Munchkin Brand Manager Andrew Hackard. "The Paradox team are fans of Munchkin, and we love Conan, so this was a match decreed by the gods. The hardest part was cutting all the good stuff in the movie down to 15 cards."

"You think you're tough and can take on Khalar Zym or Marique? With this Munchkin booster you can give it your best shot – just be prepared to lose a level," said Joakim Zetterberg, Director of Publishing at Paradox Entertainment/Conan Properties.

Munchkin Conan the Barbarian will be a 15-card booster for the original fantasy-based Munchkin game. It will hit stores in August 2011. It's illustrated by John Kovalic with the perfect blend of humor and action. The official webpage is http://conan.worldofmunchkin.com.

"Conan the Barbarian" will be released nationwide on August 19, 2011. It features Jason Momoa in the lead role, supported by Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols and Ron Perlman. The official movie webpage is http://www.conanthebarbarianin3d.com.

By Crom!

* * *

And here's a pic of the Men In Black at Comicpalooza, with a table full of prototypes and demo games, and the Munchkin Conan the Barbarian and Munchkin Axe Cop banners. The MIBs were great, and helped keep me sane as I went back and forth between game stuff, the Lego display, and the thousand other things Comicpalooza had on offer.

PS – There were a lot of guesses about what we'd announce, and we had fun reading the wrong ones. Many of you were distracted by the cupcakes. No prizes for you! But one person (and, as far as I know, just one) guessed it right. @ExeltusPendragn sent us a private message on Twitter to say "Is it Conan?". Well spotted, sir! You nailed it! Until midnight May 31 of 2011, you may draw an extra face-up Treasure at the beginning of every turn after your first one!

-- Steve Jackson

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May 30, 2011: It's OK, Scott, We're Still Friends

Dr. Scott Thorne writes a regular column at the fantastic gaming news site icv2. A recent installment is called Why I Was Wrong About Munchkin, and comes highly recommended by, well, us.

Thanks for the reflections, Scott!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 28, 2011: Announcing: Munchkin Conan the Barbarian!

Steve Jackson Games, in cooperation with Paradox Entertainment, is pleased to announce the development of a new Munchkin booster based on Conan the Barbarian, coming out this fall. The booster is scheduled for release in August and will cost $5.95.

Keep watching Munchkin News, the Daily Illuminator, and our Twitter stream for immediate updates.

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May 23, 2011: Munchkin Webcomic Contest Update #2: The Truth Revealed

If you're wondering, "What Munchkin Webcomic Contest," follow the link!

"It's a Munchkin contest," you say. "All they want is to promote Munchkin."

Wrong! Well, we'll give you partial credit . . . that's not all we want to do. We wanted to find some more cool webcomics to read and share. After all, since V has been cancelled, the chatter around the water cooler has been rather subdued. To that end, we present the latest entries!

Enjoy, and if you're the creative type, remember: the contest ends June 1, 2011! We need more webcomics to read!

-- Paul Chapman

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May 16, 2011: Going Mobile

Sorry, that should say "Going TO Mobile" . . . for Mobicon! I'll be on several panels and playing Munchkin when I'm not talking. I'll have an early demo set of Munchkin Zombies 2 and a very early demo set (no art!) of Munchkin Axe Cop. And I may bring something to playtest, as well . . .

I haven't been to Alabama in a very long time, so I'm really looking forward to this trip. If you're coming, be sure to say hi!

-- Andrew Hackard

P.S. Don't forget about the Munchkin Webcomic Contest! We'll have an update for you later this week.

-- Angie Kreuser

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May 9, 2011: Munchkin Zombies Designer's Notes

Munchkin Zombies coverWhen we release a game, we like to ask the designer to write down some thoughts about the creative and development process, what on earth possessed him to come up with such a crazy idea, and where he expects that crazy idea to go from here. Think of it as the "commentary track" on the game.

With Munchkin Zombies, of course, that designer was Steve . . . which means that the Designer's Notes article is two parts "Stupid jokes we haven't used yet," one part "How a Munchkin game goes from a crazy idea to 168 cards in 167 easy steps," one and one-eighth parts "Seriously, why hasn't anyone cloned Kovalic yet?" and more than a dash of BRAAAAAIIIINNS. It's a good read.

Some designer's articles include suggestions on how to play well, but you already know how to play well at Munchkin. Kill the monsters and take their stuff.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 6, 2011: Munchkin Webcomic Contest Update #1

If you're wondering, "What Munchkin Webcomic Contest," follow the link!

We've already received several entries and wanted to point y'all at those early birds. The contest doesn't close until the end of May, so you have plenty of time to get your submissions in . . . but don't wait TOO long, either!

And remember -- the winners get CASH!! . . . that can be traded for levels . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 2, 2011: May Day! May Day!

Which, it turns out, was yesterday. Guess we missed it. Here are some things YOU may have missed in the past few days:

  • We released Glow-In-The-Dark Munchkin Jumbo D6s for sale. This is a Warehouse 23 exclusive, so if you want cool glowing Munchkin dice, head over there! (Will we do other things with those designs? Oh, maaaaaybe . . .)
  • Friday evening, Andrew held a uStream video chat where he discussed Munchkin Axe Cop, new Munchkin dice, and Munchkin Zombies 2, among other things. And he answered a lot of questions. The video is archived on the MunchkinTV page if you couldn't be there.
  • Saturday, Andrew and Angie visited Wonko's Toys and Games for Steve Jackson Games Day. They ran playtests of Munchkin Axe Cop and Munchkin 8, and answered a lot of questions. Thanks to Eric and Denise for hosting us!
  • Yesterday, we posted the May rule for the 2011 Munchkin Silver Piece. (Psst . . . look down.)
  • Yesterday was also the start of the Munchkin Webcomic Contest. It's running all this month.

Watch www.worldofmunchkin.com for the latest Munchkin news. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, too!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 27, 2011: Quick Reminders Of Upcoming Events

uStream chat with Andrew this Friday evening at 5:30 Austin time! Post your questions in our forum or just bring them to the chat!

Munchkin Axe Cop playtest this Saturday starting at 1:00 at Wonko's Toys and Games in north Austin! Andrew and Angie will be there with promotional goodies!

We're getting ready to release [UNINTELLIGIBLE] on Warehouse 23! Get the cool new exclusive [STATIC] before your friends!

Next week, the Munchkin Webcomic Contest begins! CA$H PRIZES!!!

Keep watching the forums, Twitter, and of course World of Munchkin News for more announcements!

-- Andrew Hackard!

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April 25, 2011: In Austin? Near Austin? Want To Play Munchkin Axe Cop?

Of course you do!

We're holding a public playtest of Munchkin Axe Cop on Saturday, April 30, in conjunction with Wonko's Toys and Games in north Austin. They're actually turning that day into a celebration of all things SJ Games, which is pretty cool of them!

Wonko's is having a signup on their Facebook page, but the Facebook-phobic don't have to sign up to attend; it's just a guide to gauge likely attendance.

(Is there a chance that we will bring some unannounced stuff to show off? Oh, maaaaaaybe . . .)

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 21, 2011: Hey, Andrew, What's New?

Want to find out what's new with Munchkin? Come to the next uStream video chat with Andrew on April 29 at 5:30 p.m. If you can't be there or you're impatient, you can also post questions to our forums. As always, the chat will be archived for later perusal.

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April 18, 2011: Happy Birthday, Nick!

The cake is a lieNick and his cake

Recently, Munchkin fan Nick celebrated his 12th birthday with a delightfully Munchkinly birthday cake. The cake was enjoyed by everyone in attendance, and we think it's pretty awesome, too. Thanks for sending the pictures in, Nick! In your next Munchkin game, you can start at Level 2 instead of Level 1.

-- Angie Kreuser

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April 13, 2011: Munchkin Zombies Sherpa Is Now Available!

We teased this in the April 1 Daily Illuminator, but -- surprise! -- it's a REAL product! The Munchkin Zombies Sherpa marker case is now on sale for $40 at Warehouse 23.

We're selling around 125 of these, so don't wait too long, or you may go hungry . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 11, 2011: They Weren't Supposed To Announce That Yet

A late pointer to one of the better news items from April 1: The Munchkin Deckbuilding Game.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 4, 2011: Axe Cop Update

We've had lots of good response to the Munchkin Axe Cop announcement -- thanks to everyone for the kind words! Steve's been busy at home writing the game, and we expect to have it ready to playtest pretty soon. Last week, the development team bashed on game mechanics for an hour and then sent Steve back home to write more cards. It's a challenge, because we want the game to feel like Axe Cop and still have the Munchkin mechanics that have worked so well for a decade.

Keep watching the World of Munchkin for more news on Munchkin Axe Cop!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 31, 2011: Reminder: Andrew Will Be In San Antonio This Weekend!

I'm heading to ChimaeraCon this weekend. Saturday, I'll have a table set up with Munchkin Zombies (and Zombies 2!) and one or two things that we're still playtesting. Come on by and try a game! I'll be wearing my blinding yellow Munchkin Zombies shirt.

Sunday morning at 10:00, I'm presenting the "What's New at SJ Games" panel. Want to know what we're thinking about doing later this year? In 2012? After the apocalypse in 2013? So do I! But I'll tell you whatever I'm cleared to reveal . . .

If you don't know about ChimaeraCon, the San Antonio Express-News had a nice article about it today.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 28, 2011: Castles & Cooks Reviews Munchkin Zombies!

Our friends over at Castles & Cooks wrote a nice review of Munchkin Zombies after PAX East -- go take a look!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 21, 2011: Andrew on Tour

Not really, but it does feel that way. Now that I'm back from PAX East (very quick summary: wow, lots of you liked Munchkin Zombies!), I wanted to mention that I've got quite a few other convention appearances lined up this year -- considerably more than past years -- so there's a decent chance I might be heading to your neck of the woods. In chronological order:

April 1-3: ChimaeraCon (San Antonio). This is just about the closest thing to a local con I'll hit this year, so I'm really excited to see some friends from my old home town. I'll be demoing games (probably including some playtests, and definitely including Munchkin Zombies!) all day Saturday, and giving a talk about what's new at SJ Games on Sunday. (Yes, that will include Munchkin Axe Cop -- calm down, people!)

May 20-22: MobiCon (Mobile, Alabama). I've never spent more than an hour or so in Mobile, so I'm looking forward to this, and I know the gang there has some great panels and games planned for us.

July 21-24: San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego, duh). I haven't been back to SDCC since 2002, when we were pushing the Hellboy RPG, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how the con has changed. (Hint: It's bigger.) We're thinking about putting together a mini-tour of Southern California game stores before the show; if you're in the LA-SD area and have a favorite store, let us know!

August 4-7: GenCon (Indianapolis). This is always a big show for us, and this year in addition to Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Zombies 2, we'll be demoing Munchkin Axe Cop and plenty of other things, too! (Special Munchkin bonus: Steve will be attending, for the first time in a LONG time, to help us celebrate Munchkin's tenth anniversary!)

August 26-28: PAX Prime (Seattle). What's to say about PAX except ZOMG? We'll be doing the demo thing and we just might have the 2012 Munchkin core set ready for playtest at the show . . .

September 14-16: ACD Game Day (Madison, Wisconsin). This is a distributor show, not a game convention per se, but I'm including it because (1) it gives us a chance for valuable face time with John Kovalic, and (2) it's my first ever time in Madison and I'm looking forward to meeting Bill at Pegasaurus Games. John assures me this won't be a problem.

October 20-23: Essen Spiel (Essen, Germany). I've been wanting to go to this show for over a decade, so I'm VERY excited about this. I've never been to Germany and haven't even been to Europe since the mid-1990s . . . this is going to be a great trip. I'm looking forward for a chance to talk with our European licensees about our 2012 plans, and even more important, to talk to our European Munchkin fans!

That's all that's on my calendar right now, but Dragon*Con doesn't conflict with PAX for the first time in years (and who needs sleep, really?), RinCon in Tucson this October is looking very possible, and there's an outside chance that I might brave the elements for a return trip to PureSpec in Edmonton, since they moved it a full month after Essen this year. Edmonton's still nice and warm in November, right?

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 14, 2011: PAX East Early Report

Everything went well and Munchkin Zombies was a huge hit. Huzzah! Andrew (and most of the rest of the PAX East crew) will be back in the office tomorrow, and Andrew will probably have more to say about the show after he gets some sleep and slays the e-mail dragon.

-- Angie Kreuser

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March 11, 2011: Axe Cop! Munchkin Axe Cop!

AXE COP exploded onto the net in 2010 with art by Ethan Nicolle and stories by his five-year-old brother Malachai. Axe Cop, Dinosaur Soldier, and the rest of their team fight crime . . . with Super Secret Soda Attacks, "Faint" bullets and bombs, and of course, chopping off bad guy heads!

So . . . you guessed it . . . that big new Munchkin announcement we've been promising is Munchkin Axe Cop!

Axe Cop and Munchkin are a perfect match. Doing this project will be total fun for me. Axe Cop has a manic energy that goes with the Munchkin story . . . kill the bad guys, take their stuff, and level up!

Munchkin Axe Cop will be a third-quarter release, featuring the art of Ethan Nicolle. It will be a stand-alone Munchkin core set.

Read more about Munchkin Axe Cop at axecop.sjgames.com. Read the online AXE COP stories at www.axecop.com. And look for the AXE COP comics from Dark Horse.

-- Steve Jackson

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March 9, 2011: This IS The Droid You're Looking For!

The Munchkin Level Counter for Android devices just went live. Yippie!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 7, 2011: Munchkin Zombies At PAX East!

Just a reminder that PAX East is this coming weekend, in Boston, and SJ Games will be showing off several games, both new games and old favorites.

Our friends at the Compleat Strategist will have a few dozen copies of Munchkin Zombies -- if you want one, you may want to get there early! Andrew will be running the Munchkin Zombies Brainless Demo, if you want to learn how to play the game before (or after!) buying it.

Munchkin Zombies will start shipping to distributors next week, so it should be on the shelves at your Friendly Local Game Store by the end of the month. (At least if you're in North America; no promises if you're in Outer Berzerkistan.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 3, 2011: uStream Reminder

We'll be chatting tomorrow evening starting at 5:30 p.m. Central Time on MunchkinTV, our uStream web broadcasting channel.

You can post questions via Twitter (use the #Munchkin hashtag, please!) or during the chat in their text message window. And if you can't make it to the live chat, we archive them so you can listen later on.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 28, 2011: Munchkin 7 (and uStream!)

With the impending release of Munchkin 7 – Cheat With Both Hands, I wanted to make sure everyone was clear on what it is . . . and is not.

Cheat With Both Hands is a redesign of the Munchkin Blender set, with fantasy coloring and art. It has precisely the same card list as Blender, although a large number of those cards have been changed as a result of last year's rule revisions.

The former Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards will not be reprinted. More than 40 of its 56 cards were duplicates of cards in Blender, and so Cheat With Both Hands now fills the niche that More Good Cards was originally created to occupy. However, a dozen or so cards from More Good Cards were created specially for that set, and it seemed a shame to let them go out of print, so we put them and two new cards into an upcoming 15-card booster pack, Munchkin Monster Enhancers.

Confused? Perplexed? Perhaps even . . . twitterpated? Why not bring your Munchkin 7 questions, or anything else that's got you in a bother, to our next uStream chat this Friday, March 4, starting at 5:30 p.m. Central Time. It's been a while since the last one, and we've got plenty of stuff to talk about, so I'm sure I'll see you all there!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 23, 2011: Munchkin Zombies Review On Geekdad

Dave Banks wrote an awesome review of Munchkin Zombies for the Wired Geekdad blog. (Spoiler alert: He liked it.) Go read it! NOW!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 21, 2011: "Real Life" Munchkin

Greg Dean recently featured Munchkin in his webcomic, Real Life Comics. The series starts here.

Thanks, Greg!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 14, 2011: Munchkin Zombies 2 Update!

I'm in New York, looking at all the cool toys and games coming out in the next few months and wondering why we can't get all-night pizza delivery or reliable mass transit in Austin. But that's no excuse for not keeping y'all informed!

Steve approved the last few pieces of Munchkin Zombies 2 art last week, so that supplement now moves to production. If things go well, it can go to print early! We had a number of amusing ideas for the subtitle, some of which may show up at some point in the future (how can you not love Gnaw Thy Enemy?), but Ryan McEathron came up with one that everyone loved, and then I wrote a demented art spec to go with it, and . . . we can't tell you what the title is yet.[1] When we told John, his reply was, "You people really scare me sometimes. Most of the time. All the time. AAAAAIIIIIEEEE!!!"[2]

Now we move on to the next challenges -- Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Zombies 2 aren't our only releases of the year, not by a LONG shot. But they are big ones and we're glad to see them continuing to move forward.[3]

-- Andrew Hackard

[1] Two hints: it starts with A and has an ampersand.
[2] This quote may have been slightly embellished for comedic effect.
[3] Did we tell you we'll have a small number of Munchkin Zombies for sale at PAX East? No? We probably should do that.

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February 7, 2011: Travel!

I'll be on the road for a pair of important events in the next couple of months.

Next week, I'll be splitting time with Will Schoonover in our booth at the New York Toy Fair, February 13-16 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Phil Reed will also be there, but his job is to sit in meetings with lots of people while Will and I play games.

In March, I'll be part of the team at PAX East in Boston. Based on what I heard about last year's show, I'm expecting to see every single one of you there. (Incentive: There's a good chance we'll have copies of Munchkin Zombies to show off by then!)

If you're in the neighborhood for either show (or both), come on by!

-- Andrew Hackard

(One very last reminder: Today's the last day to bid in the auction for items to benefit the Vasel family. Did you know we added a Munchkin Zombies lot? Well, now you do . . .)

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February 3, 2011: Reminder: Vasel Family Auction Closes February 7

Just a quick reminder that the BoardGameGeek auction to help the Vasel family ends on February 7.

Quite a few very nice lots have been posted, and people are still adding more items -- some joker just posted an auction for custom Munchkin cards, in fact -- so check back frequently! Those of you who have already posted bids, thank you so much for stepping up.

(Steve Jackson Games is not running this auction; if you have any questions about it, please contact the folks at BGG for more information.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 31, 2011: Munchkin Zombies 2 out of Playtest!

We're pleased to report that Munchkin Zombies 2 is now out of playtest! John's already submitted most of the art, so we're ahead of the game on this expansion (literally -- Munchkin Zombies won't be in stores until April).

Yes, we know what the subtitle for Zombies 2 will be . . . but we aren't quite ready to tell y'all yet. Maybe once John finishes the cover . . .

Munchkin Zombies 2 will ship this fall, barring typhoons, a rogue comet, locust-sized silverfish, or an actual zombie apocalypse.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 26, 2011: An Auction To Benefit The Vasel Family

Many of you have listened to the Dice Tower podcast, hosted by Tom Vasel.

Tom and his family recently lost their new baby, Jack. The kind folks over on BoardGameGeek are running an auction to help support the family in this time of grief. We encourage you to take a look at it and shake out your sofa cushions for any change you can spare.

John Kovalic has donated a page of original Munchkin Zombies 2 art, which he almost never does . . . and this page includes the first versions of some art that has since been redrawn, so this is a true rarity! Thanks, John!

Steve Jackson Games is proud to have donated some things as well:

The auction will end on February 7. Thanks for taking a look.

(Steve Jackson Games is not running this auction; if you have any questions about it, please contact the folks at BGG for more information.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 24, 2011: Epic Munchkin Is EPIC!

Last week, we uploaded a new version of Epic Munchkin, updated to take the 2010 rule changes into account. It's a free PDF download, no registration required (but if you DO register, you'll be notified whenever we update the file, which we'll be doing in a couple of months when Munchkin Zombies is released).

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 19, 2011: Games Within Borders

Zombie Dice We announced this on the Daily Illuminator, but it's worth repeating here:

On the next two Thursdays (January 20 and 27), Borders will be hosting Family Game Nights in locations across the country. It's a great move to bring families -- most of whom wouldn't have any exposure to hobby games otherwise -- and games together. In addition to the sort of word and card games you'd expect to see, we've mobilized the MIBs to show off Zombie Dice. Look for the festivities to start around 6 p.m., but call your local store first; not everyone was lucky enough to run a Game Night!

If you're in Austin, you have three options for Borders gaming-goodness. Ryan will be covering the location in Southpark Meadows. (I can remember when that area was an open field where concerts were held. I saw Blues Traveller there once!) Will and/or Andrew will cover the Borders on South Lamar. Jimmie and I will be in the Domain location, way up north. We'll all be happy to teach you Zombie Dice, and answer any questions about other upcoming releases!

Have a good game!

-- Paul Chapman

(And don't forget that we're having a Munchkin playtest at Wonko's on Sunday! I can now confirm that we're bringing a Munchkin expansion that has NEVER been seen before . . . -- Andrew)

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January 17, 2011: Wonko's 2: Electric Boogaloo

Our first experiment was a smashing success, so the Munchkin crew will be returning to Wonko's on Sunday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. for more playtesting. We'll have Munchkin Zombies 2 again, and some other surprises as well.

Eric's taking a head count, so if you're planning to attend, swing by Wonko's or hit their Facebook page and let him know. We look forward to seeing you then!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 14, 2011: Best Promo Item Ever

One particularly dedicated Munchkin fan created his own unique card to . . . well, just take a look.

Congratulations and our best illuminated wishes!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 10, 2011: New Class For Munchkin Booty: Nerd

OK, not really. But I had a great time on the cruise, met lots of awesome people, and talked about Munchkin at considerable length with Beth and Peter Sagal. (Peter's the host of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!", a show I'm going to have to start listening to.)

That said, it's nice to be home with cheap high-speed Internet, my whole DVD and music collection, and food I don't have to line up to eat. If only the room would quit swaying . . .

Special thanks to Angie for holding down the fort last week!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 3, 2011: We're Back!

Actually, Andrew isn't: he's off in the Caribbean with the likes of Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Coulton, and Paul & Storm. Lucky jerk. But he promised to take Munchkin Zombies along and teach it to everyone, so I guess we'll let him off the hook. This time.

The rest of us, however, are back in the office and ready to get started on a brand new year of Munchkin! Make sure you check out the new 2011 Silver Piece rule, good every January.

Andrew will be back next week, but right now, I'm in charge -- MWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!

-- Angie Kreuser, Munchkin Hireling

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December 27, 2010: What's New for Munchkin in 2011?

Obviously, I can't tell you everything we have planned, but there are some things I can discuss:

  • Zombies! Expect to see Munchkin Zombies in your Friendly Local Braaaaaaaiiiins Store around the start of May. Munchkin Zombies 2 is planned to be out before the end of 2011.
  • Boosters! We've already announced Munchkinomicon and Munchkin Monster Enhancers for next spring. We have a couple more boosters planned for next fall, including (by repeated request!) a Halloween-themed booster.
  • Accessories! There will be a some new small, impulse-buy products next year . . . which is all I can say for right now.
  • Surprises! Or as we like to call them, Random Product Encounters.

It's a little unnerving to be writing in December 2010 that we're already starting to think about our 2012 releases, but it's true . . . including at least one more core set! (We have some ideas for our 2012 core set, but if there's a game you really want to see, hop over to the forums and let us know!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 25, 2010: Cheatin' For Charity

On December 12, John LaRoche and the MIBs from The Triangle, N.C., hosted a Munchkin Charity Tournament.

With seven players, and plenty of onlookers, the tournament raised $190 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The tournament featured a number of “Cheatin’ for Charity” rules, which players and non-players used (and abused!) during the game. The most munchkinly rule was “I’m Cheatin’ & I’m Not Even Playin’!”, which let non-players pay $5 to add monsters to the fight (this was a very popular rule).

All participants received bookmarks and promo cards. Runner-up Buck Holmes snagged a Cthulhu Dice Bag and +6 Bag o’ Munchkin d6. The tournament winner was Butch Arthur, who took home the coveted Utterly Unsinkable T-shirt, signed by Steve Jackson.

Thanks to all participants for their contributions to this worthy cause. And Merry Christmas, from all of us here in the Munchkin dungeon!

-- Angie Kreuser, Munchkin Hireling

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December 23, 2010: Angie's Showing Off Zombies!

Our new Hireling, Angie, will be at Rainy Day Games in Aloha, Oregon, on Monday, December 27, showing off Munchkin Zombies (and playtesting Munchkin Zombies 2). She'll be there from 3:00 to 7:00, and of course we've loaded her down with promo stuff (including plenty of 2011 Munchkin Silver Pieces and a very few ultra-rare Blue Silver Pieces). We'll have the Men In Black there, too, helping her out and watching her back. (Stupid Thieves.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 20, 2010: You see invisible people.

Which is all you'll see if you peer in the windows at the Steve Jackson Games offices the next two weeks; we're closed until January 3. No one will be answering phones, and e-mail will probably go unanswered (and unread) as well. Remember that the absolute last shipping day for Warehouse 23 is December 22 -- if you don't already have your orders in, better do it quick! (Speaking of Warehouse 23, don't forget about the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster, available RIGHT NOW. Ten cards you can't get anywhere else!!)

(And just so y'all know, I'll be completely off the grid the first week of January, getting my geek on with JoCo Cruise Crazy. You may all now envy me.)

See you next year!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 17, 2010: Igor Needs Our Help!

Scott Olman, the inspiration for Dork Tower's Igor, is going through a tough patch with some medical bills. To help out, John Kovalic did something he NEVER does: auctioning off the original of a Munchkin cover (in this case, Munchkin Zombies).

This started off as a pointer to get you to go bid, except when Steve heard about it, he said (a) it was a good cause, and (b) if anybody was going to get an original cover it would be US. (And remember Igor's favorite saying: "IT MUST BE MINE!") But we didn't want to pay $2,000, because that's not a Significant Number. $2,300 was better.

So you can't buy that cover any more (though you can see it if you visit Illuminati World Headquarters). But you can still help Scott if you're so inclined. One donation isn't going to cover the bills. Remember: This is a real person. You may love Igor, but Igor is a cartoon character. Scott is real and needs your help. All the details are over on John's blog.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 16, 2010: Have a Hack-and-Slashy Christmas

Looking for some last-minute stocking stuffers for the Munchkin fans on your Nice list? We've got a collection of Munchkin Christmas goodies right here! (But if you're ordering from Warehouse 23, better get to it -- the last shipping day is December 22, and they're liable to be slammed!)

Hey, speaking of Warehouse 23, don't forget about the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster, available RIGHT NOW. Ten cards you can't get anywhere else!!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 15, 2010: Braaaaaaaaaaaiiiinnnns . . .

Munchkin Zombies Figured y'all might want a Munchkin Zombies update.

The core Munchkin Zombies set has gone to print. I think this may be the best-looking Munchkin set yet -- John's artwork makes me laugh and shudder at the same time, and the Production Guys did a great job on the coloring. (And wait until you see Alex Fernandez's guest shot on Meals on Wheels!) This set will hit shelves in late April or early May.

Munchkin Zombies 2 is in playtest, and John's working on the art now. (Actual quotes: "HUZZAH!!" "Did I mention these are wonderful? Because they are . . ." "BWA-HA-HA-HA!" So we think John's happy.) We expect to have this one out toward the end of 2011.

Also, we've done several Munchkin Zombies promo cards that will start going out with Warehouse 23 orders and going to our Men In Black early next year. We don't think you'll want to miss these . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 13, 2010: Taking Our Show on the Road

Our weekly after-hours playtest sessions give us a lot of good feedback, and we love seeing our friends come in to play games. But they aren't always convenient for everyone -- some can't make it because of the date or time, and some can't make it because we're way on the south side of Austin and driving through downtown is a torture from Dante's worst nightmares. (Not the Clerks guy -- the other one.)

Luckily, our friends at Wonko's Toys and Games (check out the new location!) have agreed to host a playtest of Munchkin Zombies 2 on Monday, December 13, starting at 7:00 p.m. They're way on the north side, so we're hoping to see a lot of new folks . . . and maybe some old friends for whom this is a more convenient location, time, or both. Previous Munchkin experience is helpful but not required.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 10, 2010: Be Our Zombie Gamer!

One of the monsters in Munchkin Zombies 2 is the Zombie Gamer. We're looking for the best art model to use for the card. That's where you come in.

Send a photo of yourself in your best Zombie Gamer getup to zombie@sjgames.com by Wednesday, December 15. We'll pick a winner, whose photo will be used as the basis for John's art on the card. The winner will get credit in Munchkin Zombies 2, a signed copy of the game, and the signed original of John's art for the card.

Photos should be under 1 MB. Please use JPEG or GIF format. All submissions become the property of Steve Jackson Games.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 8, 2010: Pssst! Buddy! Got Some Primo Munchkin Here For Ya!

Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 The trouble with giving Munchkin gifts to the hardcore fans -- you know who I mean, the ones who wear three signed shirts to a tournament and carry the bobblehead with them everywhere -- is that they already have every card that's ever been printed. What if we told you where to get not just one brand-new card, but ten?

(Ok, technically only nine of the cards are totally brand new; the tenth is Pegasus Steed, which has been pretty difficult to find lately.)

The Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 is a collection of unique cards for Munchkin, Star Munchkin, Munchkin Fu, The Good The Bad And The Munchkin, Super Munchkin, and Munchkin Booty . . . plus a card that works with any Munchkin set.

(And knowing the Munchkin fanbase, few will resist the urge to add wildly inappropriate cards into their decks. After all, who cares if a Tractor Beam makes no sense in the wild seas of Munchkin Booty -- it's a +2 Ship Enhancer!)

As the name implies, the Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 is only available through Warehouse 23, and it's only $3.99. And it's available NOW. Of course, to qualify for free domestic shipping, you'll need to bulk that shopping cart up to $80. You could check out the Munchkin Christmas page for more holiday themed munchkinism. Or you could just buy 21 copies of Exclusive Warehouse 23 Munchkin Booster 2010 . . .

We also have a new set of Christmas Coins, featuring the Sparkly Good Fairy in green and red. And a brand new Munchkin Monstrous Christmas Card! And our old friend, the Christmas Chibithulhu!! Christmas treasures for every munchkin on your shopping list! (And I didn't even mention Waiting for Santa or Santa's Revenge . . .)

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 6, 2010: Welcome, Angie!

Many of you lovely people, over the years, have claimed that I need help. You'll be happy to hear that I finally have some.

Angie Kreuser has joined the Munchkin team as, yes, my Hireling.* When she’s not helping me carry an extra big item into battle, she enjoys video games, board games, comics, science fiction and fantasy books and movies, and movies featuring Fred Astaire. She is partial to playing Dwarves and Halflings in just about any game she plays. In her lifetime she’s been, in no particular order, a stage manager, a smoothie maker, and an amateur accountant. She also has a Reading Rainbow tattoo and a Wesley Crusher tattoo, both of which amuse her greatly.

For now, we're keeping Angie hidden in the dungeons at Munchkin HQ, but I'm sure she'll emerge in good time to torment you all. Everyone be sure to welcome her appropriately!

* Angie is immune to the Kill the Hireling card. Don't even THINK about it.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 29, 2010: Flash News! Demo Munchkin!

We all have friends who are so addicted to computers that they never seem to take a break to play a real game.

Show them what they're missing by pointing their browsers at the new Munchkin Flash Demo . . . and then invite them over to play the full game!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 25, 2010: Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, which means that your friendly Munchkin Czar (and the rest of the SJ Games crew) is taking a couple of well-earned days off to reflect on what we're most thankful for -- including the support of all our Munchkin fans, without whom we'd all have to find boring jobs. It's our pleasure and privilege to write games, and today of all days, we wanted to make sure that you knew that we know it. Thanks, y'all.

See you Monday.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 22, 2010: Welcome To The Warehouse! We've Got Fun And Games

Been to visit Warehouse 23 lately? If not, you probably don't realize that in addition to the full line of Munchkin goodness available at your Friendly Local Game Store, we occasionally have items exclusive to W23. For instance, you can now buy the Munchkin Monstrous Christmas Card to give to your favorite Munchkin fan . . . or keep for yourself. After all, it's got a game bonus!

Coming up soon, we're going to have a W23 exclusive that has me VERY excited. I've been told I can't say anything about it yet, so pretend I didn't mention that it has new Munchkin cards you cannot get ANYWHERE else.

-- Andrew Hackard

(A quick reminder: the SJ Games offices will be CLOSED this Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving in the United States. That means that Warehouse 23 orders won't ship, and staff won't be around to answer e-mails or phone calls. We'll be back up and running on Monday, November 29.)

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November 15, 2010: Munchkin Zombies Preview On Geekdad

Did we here at Munchkin News mention that Wired's Geekdad blog ran a week-long Munchkin Zombies preview, with art previews and commentary by Steve Jackson and John Kovalic?

We didn't?

That was dumb of us. We should fix that.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 8, 2010: Munchkin Zombies Update

We haven't talked much about the new set, Munchkin Zombies, so let me rectify that now.

The set is out of playtest (which doesn't mean we aren't still tweaking rules -- we just changed a couple of cards last week!) and all of John's art is in and colored. We have one guest artist: our very own Alex Fernandez, who drew art for Meals On Wheels that is going to keep me up at night. Alex is also responsible for the great card backgrounds and the overall design of the set. Thanks, Alex!

John Kovalic outdid himself drawing the various Atomic, Voodoo, Smart, and Fast Zombies (and all the other types that I'm not ready to spill yet); this may be the most disgusting set of Munchkin cards we've ever done. And Steve gleefully wrote the art specs that John worked from, so he gets his fair share of the blame credit, too. (I dabbled around the edges, so I'm not particularly pure, either.) In fact, we had so many good ideas that we were able to take our very favorites for the core set. What about all the ideas that got discarded during development? Steve and I already have more cards than we need for Munchkin Zombies 2 . . .

Munchkin Zombies will be out next April. Plenty of time to work on your favorite recipe for braaaaaaaaaains.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 4, 2010: It's Another Munchkin Party!

Apologies for the short notice on this one; November kind of crept up on us and attacked from behind.

Tomorrow night (Friday, November 5), Richmond Comix in Midlothian, Virginia will be having a Munchkin Party Night! (You'll recall that they were the winners of the OMG We Can't Just Have One At Our Own Friendly Local Game Store party, which was held at Tribe Comics & Games this past Sunday.) The Richmond Comix party will start at 6:00 Friday evening and continue until everyone's too tired to read the cards anymore, or until the local constabulary rousts folks out and sends them home. Some of the local Men In Black will be there running demo games and handing out all kinds of loot, and I heard a rumor that there will be pizza . . . mmmm, pizza.

Hope those of you in the greater Richmond area will be able to attend!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 1, 2010: Thanks, Jester's Playhouse!

At the recent Alliance Open House in Ft. Wayne, Steve auctioned off a unique opportunity: an appearance, drawn by John Kovalic, on a future Munchkin promotional bookmark. (Plus, the winner gets to keep the original artwork!) Our friends at Jester's Playhouse, in Northfield, N.J., won the auction with an astounding $1,000 bid, which is going to help the good folks at ProLiteracy. On behalf of everyone, especially the people who will receive help as a result of their generosity, thanks to the entire JP team!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 25, 2010: Come To A Party!

You may recall that Tribe Comics & Games, right here in Austin, was one of the winners of the Munchkin Party Night Contest back in July.

They've decided to hold a Halloween party in conjunction with their second anniversary and our 30th (holy fnord!!), so we'll all be there from noon until 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 31. We'll have prototype sets of Munchkin Zombies to play. We'll be showing off Revolution! – The Palace, Zombie Dice, and Cthulhu Dice. We'll have lots of Munchkin promo items to give away . . . including the 2011 Silver Piece. We'll have candy. And who knows what other surprises?

If you're in Austin, or willing to travel to Austin, c'mon by and have some fun with us!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 18, 2010: Andrew's Heading North Of The Border!

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard will be the gaming guest of honor -- sorry, "honour" -- at Pure Speculation Festival 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta, October 22-24. He's planning to talk about what's new with Steve Jackson Games, to try to explain his own convoluted path from the high school faculty lounge to Munchkin World HQ, and of course to show off some unreleased games (including hosting a special charity game of Munchkin Zombies!).

Andrew hasn't been to Alberta before, and is very excited to meet all the good folks of Edmonton and experience this "autumn" he's heard so much about. Come on by and say howdy!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 11, 2010: Dice!

One nice side effect of doing more dice games is that we're learning plenty about dice production, and it's bearing fruit in Munchkin as well. Take a look at this picture of the snazzy six-sided dice going into the new printings of the Munchkin core sets.

What's that? A question in the back? Will there be ways to get the dice separately, if you already have the core sets? Wow, look at the time . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 6, 2010: These "Munchkin" Labeled Dice Are Not Official!

We have learned that the Polish company Q-Workshop, which produced the "Wicked Munchkin Die" and the "Munchkin Cthulhu Dice of Doom" under license, has shipped at least four other dice sets with the Munchkin trademark and images, and with rules advertised as for use with Munchkin. None of these four sets went through our approvals process, let alone GOT approval. They sent me a photo of one prototype die in December of last year, and I commented . . . and apparently they asked one of our European MIBs for rules suggestions. That seems to have been it. But now we have found out that they made them and SHIPPED them.

We don't even know for sure when the unapproved sets were shipped. Until yesterday (Tuesday), we only had a copy of ONE of those sets . . . because an American MIB showed it to us when we visited Con*Stellation earlier this month! We are now, as you might have guessed, discussing the problem with Q-Workshop, and yesterday we got copies of three other sets.

All Q-Workshop dice except the Wicked Munchkin Die and the Munchkin Cthulhu Dice of Doom are unofficial and not usable in Munchkin tournament play in any language, regardless of what the package says. We have been told that some of the unapproved dice (and their rules) have gotten into official tournaments at conventions. That's over, it's done with, the gods of Munchkin have blown a raspberry, and the results of those events remain official.

At this time, the Wicked Munchkin Die and the Munchkin Cthulhu Dice of Doom remain official and tournament-legal, unless the rules of a specific tournament forbid them.

To our Munchkin fans who bought these dice, assuming they (and the rules) were "real" Munchkin items, I apologize. This completely blindsided us. When we grant a license, we trust the licensee will respect its approval process, so the name "Munchkin" on the package actually means something. Around here, we are still going "Wait, they did WHAT? They have SHIPPED these?"

-- Steve Jackson

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October 4, 2010: Dungeon Design For Dummies

Shortly after we released Munchkin Cthulhu 4 – Crazed Caverns, Steve wrote an article talking about the process of writing Dungeon cards. In all the summer convention madness, we totally forgot to point at it. So now we are.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 27, 2010: A Good Problem To Have

Life is full of problems. Some of them are big. Some of them are small. Some of them are just mind-boggling. Our Atlanta warehouse selling out of Munchkin Cthulhu, Munchkin Boxes of Holding, and the +6 Bag O' Munchkin d6 less than a month after they started shipping them is an example of that last one. (Heck, they just started shipping the Boxes and the Bags O' d6 last week!)

What does this mean for you, the loyal Munchkin consumer? It means that you may want to go ahead and do that holiday shopping now, because once the distributors run out of these games (not to mention half a dozen others that are already low in stock), they are unlikely to see more before 2011. And since Warehouse 23 gets its shipments directly from Atlanta, once we're out, we're DEFINITELY out.

What does this mean for me, your friendly neighborhood Munchkin Czar? First, it means that we badly underestimated demand for some products -- like the title says, it's not a bad thing to make something that's a lot more popular than you hoped. It also means that I get to spend time huddled up with some Munchkin sets that I thought were safely on the shelf for a year or so, getting the next printings done so we aren't out any longer than we have to be. And here I was worried things were getting slow.

Finally, it means that we here at SJ Games owe you, the Munchkin players, a huge thank you for continuing to buy and play our games. Quite literally, you pay our salaries, and even when your insatiable need for new Munchkin stuff keeps us up late at night wondering where all our shiny new toys went, we are very grateful.

--Andrew Hackard

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September 20, 2010: Second Chances

Those people who attended Friday's uStream chat got to hear all kinds of questions get answered, including my rambling answer to the longest Munchkin game I ever played.

Fortunately, you didn't miss out if you couldn't make it: we post the chats so you can view them later. Just head over to the MunchkinTV page to see all the chats I've done.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 16, 2010: Reminder: Andrew Chats Tomorrow Night!

In case you missed the announcement in the Daily Illuminator, or on Twitter, or on our forums (and if you missed all those, where in the heck do you GET your news, anyway?), Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard will be hosting another uStream chat tomorrow night (9/17) at 7:00 p.m. Austin time (GMT-6). Topics will include new Munchkin releases, upcoming Munchkin reprints, and just possibly a leak or two about Munchkin Zombies. You don't want to miss it! (But, if you do, the chat will be available on the uStream page as soon as it's done.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 13, 2010: Schedule Changes

Greetings from Munchkin Central! It's that time when we look at the Munchkin schedule and let you know what's going on, especially as some things have experienced some printing or shipping delays.

The reprints of Munchkin Fu and the Munchkin Cthulhu series, including Munchkin Cthulhu 4 – Crazed Caverns, should be hitting U.S. stores this week . . . next week at the VERY latest. (Some of you may have already seen them!) Munchkin Marked for Death, the Munchkin Boxes of Holding, and the +6 Bag o' Munchkin d6 will start shipping from our Atlanta warehouse this week; look for them in your FLGS before the end of the month. We're also about to start shipping the latest printing of Munchkin Fu 2 – Monky Business (which finally has icons on the cards).

Now for some bad news: most of the rest of the Munchkin releases for 2010 have hit some delays. We expect Munchkin: Go Up a Level, Munchkin Quest: Portal Kombat, and Munchkin: Santa's Revenge to be in stores in early November. Ditto the latest printings of Super Munchkin 2 – The Narrow S Cape and Munchkin Booty. Appearing on your store shelves closer to Thanksgiving (or the end of November, if you aren't in the United States) will be Munchkin Booty: Fish & Ships and reprints of Munchkin Booty 2 – Jump the Shark and The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin.

Finally, in December you'll see reprints of Munchkin 4 – The Need for Steed, Star Munchkin, and Star Munchkin 2 – The Clown Wars, along with the new boosters Star Munchkin: Space Ships and Munchkin Reloaded!

And then we all take a long break . . . except not. We still have the reprints of Munchkin 5 – De-Ranged and Munchkin 7 – Blender for early 2011, plus plenty of new stuff coming out as we start to celebrate Munchkin's 10th birthday! Keep watching the New Releases page for the latest information about what's coming up.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 6, 2010: Re-Marked for Death

Every now and then, we screw up. (By "we," of course, I mean "I." Let's not make this about me, though.) If you haven't taken a gander at our errata pages, you should; it's one of the things that, in my opinion, we do completely right.

The insert in Munchkin Marked for Death was not completely right, and I missed it during the proofing process. We've fixed it now, though, and have posted the errata so you can fix it as soon as you buy your set. Or you can download an already-fixed version (plus a full script) at the Marked for Death page.

Sorry for the screw-up, y'all.

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 30, 2010: 20 Real-World Games

Munchkin got an article in Gama Sutra's feature, "Game Design Essentials: 20 Real-World Games." Thanks for mentioning us!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Don't forget to come by and say hello if you'll be at PAX Prime this weekend!)

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August 23, 2010: Get Well, Loren!

Those of you who are long-time Munchkin fans, and who pay attention to game credits, will have seen Loren Wiseman's name over and over. Loren's a very smart guy, GURPS Traveller Line Editor, and frequent Munchkin playtester. He recently had a minor heart attack and is currently at home following quadruple bypass surgery. I know you'll all join me in wishing him a full, swift recovery.

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 16, 2010: An Audience With the Czar

Just a reminder: if you missed any (or all!) of our uStream chats, we saved them so you can watch them later. (You missed some fun post-chat conversation, though -- think of it as "bonus content" for the people who showed up.)

When's the next one? That's a good question. Watch this space!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 9, 2010: GenCon Is Over

Thanks to everybody who came by our booth and said nice things about Munchkin, about SJ Games in general, and even *BLUSH* about me. It's wonderful to meet the people who make our cool jobs possible.

Let's do it all again in Seattle next month!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 2, 2010: Munchkin Scheduling: A Game Unto Itself

We work very hard to plan our Munchkin releases months in advance. Right now, in fact, we're working more than a year ahead, to make sure you have monster-killing goodness on a regular schedule.

That's great for us. But sometimes, we juggle things around.

For instance, last week, I got summoned to a meeting in Steve's office, where Phil and Steve wanted to know what I thought about a new Munchkin idea. I told them I thought it was fantastic and we should totally make it happen for next summer.

And so we are. We'll have to step nimbly and move quickly to make it work, and it means that at least one of the things that was on the 2011 schedule will probably fall into 2012, but that's just the way things work sometimes . . . even when you're planning more than a year ahead. If the idea is good enough, it's worth the pain.

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 26, 2010: The Wrath of Con

A couple of y'all have asked what cons I'll be attending this summer. I'll be attending three shows: GenCon, PAX Prime, and Pure Speculation. If you live near Indianapolis, Seattle, or Edmonton, or you're just up for a trip, please come by and say howdy. It's always good to meet the folks who make it possible for me to have one of the best jobs in the world. (I'm pretty confident that out of almost 7 billion human beings, there's only one whose job title is "Munchkin Czar." That is seriously cool.)

It's unlikely that I'll be scheduling more convention travel this fall, since that conflicts with my religious observances, but there's always an outside chance that I'll get an offer I can't refuse. So watch this space and keep an eye on our Twitter stream for late-breaking announcements of all types!

(If you're planning to play in a Munchkin game at one of these conventions, and you have an iPhone/iPod touch -- and, soon, an Android -- you totally should head over to the Level Counter App page and download it ahead of time. The smartphone Level Counter is legal in all Munchkin games!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 19, 2010: Munchkin Party Night Contest Results!

Back in May, we announced a Munchkin Party Night Contest, in which one randomly selected entry would receive a Big Pile O' Munchkiny Goodness for himself and a somewhat nebulously specified "Munchkin Party Night" for his Friendly Local Game Store.

We collected all the entries in a super-secret triple-locked safe, disguised as a common intraoffice mailbox. Last week, we threw 'em all in the +3 Vault Of Totally Random Selection -- disguised as a cardboard box liberated from the warehouse -- and drew a winner.

And then we decided to draw another.

The first person drawn submitted a receipt from a Friendly Local Game Store frequented by several of the folks here at Munchkin Central. It wasn't fair to disqualify the entry just because we know and like the guys at his store, but we also wanted to avoid any appearance of impropriety. So we drew a second name, officially designated the Runner-Up, who will ALSO get the Big Pile O' Munchkiny Goodness and a Munchkin Party Night for his FLGS.

Our Official Contest Winner, recipient of one copy of everything published for Munchkin and Munchkin Quest throughout the rest of 2010, is Carl Lohn, from Kyle, Texas. His Friendly Local Game Store, site of the Official Munchkin Party Night, is Tribe Comics & Games, here in Austin.

Our Official Contest Runner-Up, recipient of another copy of everything published for Munchkin and Munchkin Quest throughout the rest of 2010, is Dan Laing, from Chesterfield, Virginia. His Friendly Local Game Store, site of the Other Official Munchkin Party Night, is Richmond Comix, in Midlothian, Virginia.

Congratulations to both winners and to both winning stores -- we'll be in touch to set up your Party Nights! (We'll post the details as soon as we nail them down.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 12, 2010: Fun Time With Andrew

Did you enjoy the uStream chats with your Munchkin Czar? Good: I did. too. And so we're doing it again on July 16! I'll be talking about the new Munchkin releases for October and whatever else might be on your minds. We'll get started a little earlier than usual: 6 p.m. Central Time (GMT-6).

And if you missed the earlier chats (siiiigh), you can watch parts One and Two of my first chat and the entire hour (rounding up a few minutes) of my second chat by following the links.

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 5, 2010: We're Back!

The SJ Games office is open again, and we'll be catching up on all your calls and e-mails. Thanks for your patience while we dig out from under.

Most important . . . we'll be picking the winner of our Munchkin Party Night Contest later this week, so watch this space and the Daily Illuminator to see if you're the lucky person!

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 28, 2010: We're Closed!

No one's in the office this week, including Warehouse 23. We'll be back bright and early on the morning of July 5.

(This is the last week to enter the Munchkin Party Night Contest!)

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June 21, 2010: Out To Lunch

Andrew's away for the week at a family reunion in [REDACTED], so he won't be checking his e-mail very often. If you're going to Origins . . . you won't see Andrew, but you WILL see Randy, Will, Ryan, and other SJ Games staff and volunteers. Say hi!

In the meantime, we just uploaded a revised Munchkin Thingies list (Note: link is to a PDF file), with the updated text for all Classes, Races, Loyalties, and Accents in all Munchkin sets. So far. If you want to see all kinds of other cool stuff we've posted for Munchkin, check out the Resources Page.

(Remember: next week the entire SJ Games office is closed, including Warehouse 23. We'll be back up and running on July 5. But you can still send in your entries to the Munchkin Party Night Contest!)

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June 17, 2010: Random Munchkin Questions

Answers to some questions about the Munchkin line that have cropped up recently:

Q: What can you tell me about what's coming out the rest of this year? What about next year?
A: Other than what we've announced on the New Releases page or leaked via the Daily Illuminator, Twitter, or the forums, nothing.

Q: Are we ever going to see a new printing of Munchkin Dice, the Munchkin Miniatures, or the Munchkin Level Counter?
A: Some of those may come back in some form, someday. (You can order at least some of the Munchkin Miniatures as singles from Warehouse 23.) Of course, you can get the Munchkin Level Counter app for the iPhone right now.

Q: Where's my Android Level Counter?
A: We're working on it. We're just as eager as you are to get it out there.

Q: I really enjoyed watching Andrew's uStream chats. What a handsome, well-spoken, charming young man. Will he be doing more of those in the future?
A: You are too, too kind, Mom random Internet correspondent. They're fun for us, too, so we're definitely planning to do them at least semiregularly.

Q: Are you going to do anything with the winner (and honorable mentions) of the Card Submission Contest? Put them in a 2011 expansion, perhaps?
A: What a brilliant idea!

Q: What about all the other entries?
A: Some of the good ones will find their way into Munchkin products over the coming years. Some of the really, really bad ones have already found their way to the bulletin board in the break room, next to the letters from the nice people who are convinced the Illuminati are real.

Q: Are you saying the Illuminati aren't real?
A: Wow, look at the time . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 14, 2010: Did You Miss Me?

Aww, that's sweet, I missed you too . . .

Oh, you meant the uStream chat last Friday. Sigh. Story of my life. Fear not, dilatory friends, for through the magic of the big "Record" button, we've saved this chat (and most of the first one) for posterity. Head on over to our uStream channel and have a gander!

(Anyone want to buy a heart, slightly broken?)

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 9, 2010: Random News Items

Item the First: Don't forget about the Munchkin Party Night Contest!

Item the Second: We posted the revised Munchkin FAQ and Change Log yesterday. Check 'em out!

Item the Third: Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard will be conducting a live online chat this Friday at 6:30 p.m. Central Time. The chat will be held on uStream, free to anyone with a Web browser, and will be archived afterward so everyone can check it out. Andrew will be talking about Munchkin 19th printing, the newly uploaded Munchkin FAQ, and maybe some previews of coming games.

If you have questions about any of these items, why not swing by the forums and drop them into the uStream question thread now, before you forget?

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 7, 2010: FAQ Update

We've been talking about a new FAQ for months now. We'd hoped to have it ready to go before, or at least shortly after, the announcement of Munchkin 19th printing. Instead, it's taken weeks extra.

The reason, quite simply, is that it's a BIG document. We believe strongly that it's better to get it right than to post an intermediate, inferior version.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the process is nearly done; I hope that we'll be able to post it in the next couple of days. Along with the new FAQ, we'll (finally) have the Change Log for the 2010 and subsequent printings of the Munchkin games, so those of you who want to know what has changed will have a guide.

Watch Twitter and watch this page for news of the FAQ update when it happens.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 31, 2010: We Pause . . .

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day on which we commemorate all those who have fallen in our country's service.

Munchkin HQ is closed. We'll be back tomorrow.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 27, 2010: What's Up With Blender And More Good Cards

Once upon a time, Munchkin needed an expansion to help those crazy folks blend their sets together. You know, the sort of players who throw all their cards together, and shout "Woot!" loudly when the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment is wielded by a Ninja against Great Cthulhu. The set was called Munchkin Blender, and for a while it was good.

Then, during the planning of the various changes we would roll into Munchkin 19th printing, we saw a solid stream of feedback. Since most people started with the core fantasy Munchkin, that was the most common card back in their jumbo blended decks. Munchkin Blender, sadly, had a bright purple card back that didn't mix well at all.

The original solution was to bring some of the Blender cards, along with some new cards, into fantasy Munchkin in an expansion called Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards. But with the Big Change upon us, we decided to take it one step further. Blender is now Munchkin 7 and will have backs that match the rest of the fantasy sets. The 13 cards from More Good Cards that do not duplicate cards from Blender will return in a booster early next year, so you aren't losing anything.

(To clear up one likely question right now: the Blender cards that are in Go Up a Level use the purple design.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 24, 2010: The iPhone Level Counter and 19th Printing

Some of you may be asking whether the iPhone Level Counter needs an update to work with the new cards and rules.

The answer, happily enough, is no. Every Boon in the Level Counter works just fine with either the old or new rules. Go us!

(Android users, we're beta testing a Level Counter for Android right now. Watch this space for updates!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 19, 2010: Card Submission Contest Results!

Munchkin 19th Printing Copy #1

We apologize for the delay in getting this posted; we had hundreds of exceptional entries, and it took us a couple of extra days to pick a winner. This was a hard contest to judge!

Ultimately, our selections boiled down to "Is this a good Munchkin card?" That's hard to define, but includes how the card matched up with existing cards, how easily we could visualize John's artwork for the card, and a nebulous "fun factor" that we won't even attempt to quantify. All of the entries that made the final cut made us say, "Ooh, that's a good card" as soon as we read the description. There were enough of those finalists that we went ahead and picked three Honorable Mentions:

Escape Goat, by Eric Beck
Complete Equipment Set, by Nicholas Vacek
Avatar, by Jens Kleine

The winning entry was Sidekick: Psychic Sidekick, by Patrick Konshak. As his prize, Patrick receives the #1 copy of Munchkin, 19th printing, signed by Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, and Andrew Hackard.

Congratulations to Patrick, Eric, Nicholas, and Jens, and our thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

-- Andrew Hackard

(Don't forget to look at the Daily Illuminator for lots of news about the 19th printing: today it talks about some of the Munchkin reprints scheduled for the next few months.)

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May 16, 2010: Press Release: Munchkin 19th Printing

We've posted a press release with a few more details about Munchkin, 19th printing . . . including another look at the nifty new custom d6, and a few more cards with pretty color art.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 15, 2010: Go Up a Level!

Munchkin: Go Up a Level Since its release in 2001, the Munchkin line has become a mega-hit. We couldn't be happier.

But games evolve, and in the latest printing (see yesterday's DI) we're changing some cards for clarity or balance. Of course, we don't expect our fans to buy their Munchkin collection all over again.

Munchkin: Go Up a Level is the solution. It's meant to replace cards from the sets that Munchkin players already have, bringing them up to date with the changes to cards and rules that started with Munchkin, 19th printing. The card faces are colored to match the sets you already have: everything except classic fantasy is full-color, and the fantasy card faces are brown-and-parchment two-tone.

This box contains 132 updated cards from nearly every Munchkin game released so far (excepting Munchkin 6, Munchkin Dice, and the two Munchkin boosters). Changes range from minor (Wandering Monster now talks about "combat strength" rather than "levels") to the balancing (the Wizard's Charm spell is no longer quite such a free Treasure machine). And there's a fan-favorite card returning to the game . . .

-- Paul Chapman

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May 14, 2010: Munchkin Like You've Never Seen It!

Munchkin 19th Printing Steve Jackson Games is happy – and proud! – to announce that, beginning with the 19th printing of Munchkin, the fantasy sets will have John Kovalic's classic cartoons in full color. Color reprints of Unnatural Axe and Clerical Errors are coming in June, and the other fantasy expansions will be colored as their reprints come up over the rest of the year.

But that's not all. As long as we were adding a new coat of paint, we took the opportunity to clarify some rules and cards, based on questions that have cropped up over the years. We revised and reorganized the rulesheets for all the Munchkin core games and added two pages while we were at it, making the type larger and leaving more room to show off the art. We tweaked the wording on dozens of cards to make them easier to understand and more fun to play. And we're putting a custom six-sided die into every Munchkin core game. (Those of you who follow us on Twitter have seen a photo of some of these dice – they look good!)

Almost every reprint we do is tweaked a little bit. This is a big tweak, but it's not a new edition. Those of you who already own a couple (or a couple dozen) Munchkin sets can keep right on playing. If you want to use the updated rules in your current game, we've got you covered; check this space tomorrow. Of course, if you want new sets, we're happy to sell them to you!

We've set up a special discussion thread in the Munchkin forum for everyone to ask questions and give us feedback. You can also ask us via Twitter: just put @sjgames at the start of your note and include the hashtag #Munchkin. Additionally, Andrew Hackard will be hosting a uStream chat this evening at 6:30pm CDT to answer some of those questions, and talk about the upgrades in more detail. (If you can't make the chat, don't worry – we'll announce more over the next few weeks right here and in the Daily Illuminator!)

The full-color Munchkin begins shipping to distributors on May 24, and should arrive on the shelves of your favorite hobby games retailer two to three weeks later.

Kill the monsters, steal the treasure, and stab your buddies – in color!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 10, 2010: One Of THOSE Weeks

You know how sometimes, in a long, close friendship (like we at Munchkin HQ have with all you loyal Munchkin fans), you run out of things to talk about?

This is one of those weeks.

...or is it? Maybe you should keep your eyes open.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 6, 2010: The Droids You're Looking For

Ever since we first announced that we were working on a Munchkin Level Counter for the iPhone, we've been inundated with requests from owners of other smartphones to port it over.

As we've teased on Twitter, we're now evaluating a beta version of the Munchkin Level Counter for Android. No ETA, not even internally, but progress is being made.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 3, 2010: Thank You May, Sir I Have Another?

It's May, and that means there's a new rule posted for the 2010 Munchkin Silver Piece. The current rule is always available on the main World of Munchkin page (if that's where you are, look right under this news item!), and previous rules are archived. If you have the 2008 or 2009 coins, that's where you find those rules.

If you haven't been able to find a 2010 coin, I'll point you at the Munchkin Christmas Coins, now available at Warehouse 23, which let you use the correct 2010 rule twice, and have special effects during the holiday season!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 29, 2010: Contest Ends TOMORROW!

It's not too late to enter the Munchkin Card Submission Contest! But after tomorrow, it will be . . .

Details are in the previous news item, and a FAQ about the contest is in the one before that.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 26, 2010: Card Contest Closes Cfriday!

Alliteration is important!

The Munchkin Card Submission Contest closes this Friday. The March 29 announcement is reposted below for procrastinators. Also be sure to read the FAQ posted last week.

-- Andrew Hackard


An important part of the World of Munchkin is the Munchkin card suggestion page. We've used quite a few of those fan-submitted ideas in the past, and we're always open to more. If you've got the ultimate Munchkin card idea burning a hole in your brain, now's your chance to send it in. (The card, not the brain.)

We're going to award a copy of an upcoming UNANNOUNCED Munchkin set to the person who submits the best* new card idea (for any Munchkin card game!) between March 31 and April 30. The set will have signatures from Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, and Andrew Hackard, making it a collector's item. (So be sure that your e-mail address is accurate . . .)

Type ***CONTEST ENTRY*** into the comments field so that we don't miss your brilliant idea when we go through the list.

* In the sole opinion of the contest judge(s).

Legal meeble: Employees of Steve Jackson Games are ineligible to win the contest, but don't let that stop you from submitting ideas. All card submissions become the property of Steve Jackson Games. If we use your idea, even if you don't win the contest, you'll get credit and a copy of the set in which it appears! (Warning: Lots of ideas are essentially duplicates . . . either of existing cards, or of card ideas we already had on the list. On the other hand, some suggestions result in cards that the original suggestor would not recognize, but WE know where we got the idea and we give credit accordingly. Therefore, the final decision as to who gets credit is entirely up to us here at Munchkin Central!)

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April 22, 2010: Card Submission Contest FAQs

For those who haven't been keeping up, we're running a contest for the best Munchkin card idea submitted during April. (See the March 29 Munchkin News for more details.) Here are a few FAQs we've accumulated the past three weeks:

Q: Does this include Munchkin Quest?
A: No, just the Munchkin card games.

Q: Can I send in more than one idea?
A: Absolutely! Please make each submission a separate entry.

Q: I've already submitted an idea; will it be considered?
A: We don't plan to look at all the entries in the database, so if you want to be certain your idea is looked at, you should resubmit it with ***CONTEST ENTRY*** in the comments field.

Q: I have this awesome idea for a new set –
A: Stop right there. We're looking for cards, not sets. We know what sets we want to do for the next year and a half, at least.

Q: When will we know who won?
A: If you're the winner, you'll know as soon as we make the decision. If you're not the winner, you might want to check Munchkin News on May 17.

Q: What's the prize?
A: That would be telling.

Good luck to all entrants!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 19, 2010: Pro Moe

Everyone who thinks that Larry and Curly dragged down the genius of the one and only true Stooge, stand up and be counted!

[whisper]

Oh. Um. Sorry, this should be "promo," one word, and tell you about the neat promo cards coming up this year: some old favorites back for a repeat and some that you've never seen before. And as much as I'd love to tell you what they all are, we seem to be short on time. We'll be sending these out to our Men In Black to hand out when they're running Munchkin games, and we're looking into other ways to make them available, too.

And just because we really like you, we'll leak the name of the first new promo card of the year: Henchmonster.

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 12, 2010: Blue Mint

Munchkin numismatists, rejoice! There is another Munchkin coin to add to your collection: the Blue Silver Piece. (Don't think about that too hard.)

Head to your Friendly Local Game Store and look for Game Trade Magazine. The current issue has a cover by John Kovalic and the Blue Silver Piece as an insert.

And yes, of course it has its own rule.

(We still have a few copies of the Christmas coins as well. Y'know, in case blue and silver don't do it for you.)

-- Andrew Hackard

Disclaimer: "Blue Mint" is a pun, not an actual description. Please do not taste your Munchkin coins.

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April 5, 2010: Plans Fomented

John's visit to our humble office was VERY productive. We're definitely moving ahead with . . . well, stuff.

That I can't tell you about. Yet.

But I will, ohhhh yes, just you wait.

-- Andrew Hackard

(If you haven't entered our card submission contest, there's still plenty of time! Click on "Previous Munchkin News" and scroll down to the March 29 entry for the details.)

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March 31, 2010: Reminder: Contest Starts Today!

Our Munchkin card submission contest starts today! Some of you jumped the gun a bit . . . shame, shame. (But we'll still count the entries. We're pushovers.)

For full details, see the March 29 entry in Munchkin News.

(Also, John Kovalic's in town! Woot!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 29, 2010: A Contest!

An important part of the World of Munchkin is the Munchkin card suggestion page. We've used quite a few of those fan-submitted ideas in the past, and we're always open to more. If you've got the ultimate Munchkin card idea burning a hole in your brain, now's your chance to send it in. (The card, not the brain.)

We're going to award a copy of an upcoming UNANNOUNCED Munchkin set to the person who submits the best* new card idea (for any Munchkin card game!) between March 31 and April 30. The set will have signatures from Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, and Andrew Hackard, making it a collector's item. (So be sure that your e-mail address is accurate . . .)

Type ***CONTEST ENTRY*** into the comments field so that we don't miss your brilliant idea when we go through the list.

* In the sole opinion of the contest judge(s).

Legal meeble: Employees of Steve Jackson Games are ineligible to win the contest, but don't let that stop you from submitting ideas. All card submissions become the property of Steve Jackson Games. If we use your idea, even if you don't win the contest, you'll get credit and a copy of the set in which it appears! (Warning: Lots of ideas are essentially duplicates . . . either of existing cards, or of card ideas we already had on the list. On the other hand, some suggestions result in cards that the original suggestor would not recognize, but WE know where we got the idea and we give credit accordingly. Therefore, the final decision as to who gets credit is entirely up to us here at Munchkin Central!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 25, 2010: Radio CZAR

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard recently appeared on the This Week In Geek podcast to babble talk about the history and hysteria of Munchkin. Thanks to Mike Dodd and the whole crew for having him on!

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March 22, 2010: Watch Your Back

In case you missed the Daily Illuminator announcement over the weekend, we revealed the name of the next Munchkin booster: Marked for Death. It's 19 cards: 17 new cards that also form a programmed Munchkin demo, plus replacements for two misprinted cards from Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards.

This set will start shipping to stores in June.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 15, 2010: Miscellany

Thanks to everyone who came to the Open House last Saturday evening – it was great to meet y'all!

We just topped 2,000 sales of the iPhone Level Counter for Munchkin and Munchkin Quest. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch and you haven't downloaded this, you aren't as big a munchkin as you think you are. Seriously -- it has in-game bonuses, people! And they get better the longer you wait to claim them. If you play Epic Munchkin, we've got you covered. And now it's got a built-in Kill-O-Meter, for those times when you get separated from your physical Kill-O-Meter and need to scratch that monster-killin' itch.

Should I mention our next Chibithulhu? Probably not. But you can see pictures of all the ones we have announced at www.chibithulhu.com . . .

Hey, look, we're on Facebook! There's a page for Steve Jackson Games and one just for Munchkin!

We've pretty much locked down the 2010 release schedule (barring typhoons over the Pacific, earthquakes in California, and Manhattan-sized asteroids hitting anywhere they like), and we're thinking about 2011. (Which, for you latecomers, includes Munchkin's 10th birthday – holy Cthulhu.) If you've got great ideas, why not head over to the Munchkin forum and let us know what we should be doing?

Finally, it's the Ides of March! SPECIAL BONUS MUNCHKIN RULE, today only: EVERYONE can backstab their buddies!! Discard one card to give someone else -2 in combat. If you're a Thief, your backstab is worth -5!

Thanks for all your support – we very literally couldn't do it without you.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 8, 2010: Open House: Roll For Initiative

As we previously announced in the Daily Illuminator, we'll be having an Open House the evening of Saturday, March 13. Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard will be one of your hosts. Please read the information in that Illuminator entry and be sure to RSVP if you're interested in attending.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 15, 2010: Ia! Ia! Cute Fthagn!

We've made it easier than ever to lose your soul to the eldritch cuteness of the Chibithulhu . . . by letting it take over the Internet, one domain at a time! Now you can reach the fuzzy insanity directly at www.chibithulhu.com.

Go there. Go there NOW. Chibithulhu commands it.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 29, 2010: Replacement Info Correction

There was a significant error in the Jan. 27 announcement about booster pack replacements. It's been corrected in the copy of the announcement now being displayed.

If you got Munchkin Waiting for Santa in the boxed Munchkin Holiday Edition, please do NOT return it to the retailer. The retailer will have no idea what to do with it, because we did NOT recall the whole Munchkin Holiday Edition. He may even strike you with a Shopping Maul (+3 vs. annoying customers). If you want a less-shiny but much-flatter set, return it to Warehouse 23, per the instructions in the Jan. 27 announcement.

Retailers only got refunds for individual booster packs, and only those can legitimately be returned to a store.

Thanks for bearing with us as we lurch blindly through the dungeon, bouncing off the walls and monsters, with chickens on our heads. We are trying, we really are, and we will keep trying. (Ouch!)

- Steve Jackson

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January 27, 2010: Replacement Information for Munchkin Fairy Dust and Waiting For Santa

Last fall, we released two 15-card boosters for Munchkin: Fairy Dust and Waiting for Santa. We printed the cards with foil, which was definitely shiny but caused many of the cards to curl unacceptably. We recalled those sets as soon as we realized the problem was real . . . but a lot made it through to retail, and we know that some stores kept selling them even after we'd made the announcement and refunded the retailers' payments.

If you bought either of these sets from your local retailer, we encourage you to to return it to them for a refund or exchange. We have already refunded everything the distributors and retailers paid for these two sets, so we hope they will be happy to refund/exchange for you. If that doesn't work for you, OR if you got the Waiting for Santa booster as part of the Munchkin Holiday Edition, you may exchange the curly foil set for the new printing of the same set (not foiled, not curly) with us, via Warehouse 23.

Step 1: Cut the tops from each card in the pack. The top half inch (1.3cm) or so – enough to get the title of the card – is perfect.

Step 2: Mail the tops and your mailing address (don't assume we'll be able to read the return address on the envelope by the time it gets to us) to Warehouse 23.

Warehouse 23 Booster Replacement Program
P.O. Box 18957
Austin, TX 78760

Step 3: We'll mail out a replacement booster set as soon as we get the new printing (probably late March) via USPS. We'll throw in some Munchkin promo items, just to say "thank you."

Watch the Daily Illuminator for updates.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 4, 2010: Welcome To 2010!

We're all back in the office this week, working hard on all our 2010 games, including quite a few Munchkin and Munchkin Quest reprints and new games, supplements, and accessories.

Like what?

All in good time, dear friends, all in good time. It's going to be a great year.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 28, 2009: Outdated Fake Money

We've been sending out the 2010 Munchkin Silver Piece with orders this month, but you shouldn't assume this means your 2008 and 2009 Silver Pieces are useless. You can still use the 2008 rules with the 2008 coin and the 2009 rules with the 2009 coin.

An archive of all the coin rules is currently located here, although we are thinking about a reorganization of that page in the near future.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 21, 2009: Munchkin Stocking Stuffers

Looking for last-minute gift ideas? Well, if you hoped to order from Warehouse 23, you're too late -- but if you have forgiving friends, you can place an order and it will be packed and shipped in early January.

If, however, you have a well-stocked Friendly Local Game Store, they should have most or all of these bits of Munchkinly cheer, suitable for stuffing into the stocking of your choice:

Or you could download and print one of the free Munchkin PDFs available now from e23! e23 will be processing orders normally over the holiday break!

Here's to a happy and lucrative holiday season!

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 17, 2009: Kill-O-Meter, Meet iPhone

We just added an electronic Kill-O-Meter (but not the bonus cards that come with it) to the iPhone Level Counter. Thought you might like to know.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 11, 2009: You Have Precisely One Shopping Week...

The SJ Games offices, including Warehouse 23, will close for the year on Friday, December 18. If you're planning to do your shopping electronically from the Secret Munchkin Masters, you'd better do it quick.

Additionally, today's our office Game Day, so no one's manning the phones or answering e-mail or packing orders. We're too busy playtesting Munchkin [REDACTED] and lots of other games besides. I, personally, hope to get in a couple of games of Dominion or Thunderstone.

-- Andrew Hackard

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December 4, 2009: All Your Holiday Looting Needs

See that banner right above this box?

Click it.

Marvel at all of the Christmasy Munchkin goodness, much of it new this year.

You're welcome.

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 30, 2009: Not An Anglophone? No Problem!

In addition to Munchkin in its native English, you can find translations in Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Oh, and Wargames Club Online, out of Hong Kong, just released translations in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Additionally, we have signed an agreement that should bring a Finnish Munchkin out before the end of 2010. While it's fair to say that Munchkin development is never completed, at least in this case, it's nearly Finnished! (No, I'm not sorry in the least.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 23, 2009: A Grand Time Was Had By All

Or at least by the 1,000+ of you who have downloaded the iPhone Munchkin Level Counter. Thanks for making it a hit!

(And if you have an iPhone or an iPod touch and haven't downloaded this yet . . . are you a munchkin or aren't you? This application has UNIQUE bonuses that you can't find anywhere else!)

No word yet on whether (or when) we'll be porting this to other platforms. If that changes, it'll be posted here first!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 18, 2009: Ultra-Rare Munchkin Item on Sale Today!

At some point during the day today, November 18, we'll be making an ultra-rare Munchkin item available on Warehouse 23. How rare? We've got just 30 -- that's it.

These items will be sold on a "first come, first served" basis. The first 30 orders will be processed based on the time stamp in our database. If a payment bounces, we'll move on to the next order.

What is this mysterious item? When will it become available? Follow us on Twitter (or watch our Twitter feed on the right hand side of the front page) to get hints and the "go buy now!" announcement!

-- Andrew Hackard

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November 16, 2009: A Couple Of Reminders

If you aren't following us on Twitter, you're missing out on a lot of discussion of upcoming projects (and your daily dose of random silliness). There's no better time than right now to start!

Also, we've been very pleased with the sales of the iPhone Munchkin Level Counter to date, but it occurs to us that there may be some of you who bought iPhones after we released this app and didn't realize it was available. It includes in-game benefits for Munchkin (including Epic Munchkin) and Munchkin Quest that change every game (and the longer you wait to claim them, the better they get). Bonus: there are also counters for Chez Geek, SPANC, and a build-your-own counter option for all those other games that are out there!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 26, 2009: Card Curling Issues with Fairy Dust and Waiting For Santa

Steve posted a fairly lengthy Daily Illuminator on Friday about curl issues we are seeing with the two new mini-expansions. Rather than repeat what he said, I'll just point that way and let you go read it.

(Update: Steve has posted a followup message that I encourage everyone to read.)

Also, a reminder: the office will be effectively CLOSED this Friday, October 30, for our annual Game Day. Don't expect e-mail to be answered or Warehouse 23 orders to be processed, and most of us won't be at our desks to get phone calls. Things will be back to normal (relatively speaking) on Monday.

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 16, 2009: Listening at the Door

Over on the Daily Illuminator, we've posted a house rule that we think is worth trying. Go check it out and send us your feedback!

-- Andrew Hackard

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October 5, 2009: Meet The Czar!

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard (hey, that's me!) will be attending Rincon in Tucson, Ariz. from October 9 through 11. He's going to be playing lots of games, but there's every chance a few games of Munchkin and Munchkin Quest will sneak in there . . . and we're going to make sure he's WELL supplied with promo items to hand out!

If you're in the neighborhood, c'mon by and say howdy!

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 29, 2009: Where Geek? WEREgeek!

We at SJ Games are always happy to see Munchkin get mentioned on the Web, and this webcomic made our collective week. Thanks to Alina Pete for a great laugh.

(SJ adds: It's SO true. Look at the two little tables pushed together. Yep, that's what you have to do. Darn clubs don't have tables big enough for a card game . . .)

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 21, 2009: Aww, How Cute . . .

Right up until they EAT YOUR SOUL.

We've posted information about the SEVEN new types of Chibithulhu that will soon be available on Warehouse 23. All but the Mega-Chibilthulhu will also be available from your FLGS; the Mega is a W23 exclusive!

If you want to see the Chibithulhus in their unnatural habitat, head over to the Chibithulhu Gallery . . . but please leave a note for your next of kin before you do.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 14, 2009: Munchkin Quest In The News!

We're always happy when Munchkin Quest gets noticed, and so we were thrilled to read this article from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Thanks to Omie Drawhorn for the article, and to the folks from Safari Pearl and the Palouse Board Gamers for promoting Munchkin Quest and board gaming in general.

-- Andrew Hackard

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September 7, 2009: Check This Space!

We'll have some nifty new Munchkin items available for sale in the next couple of weeks. Keep your eyes open -- of course, we'll announce them here!

Those of you in North America, enjoy your Labor Day holiday and be safe.

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August 31, 2009: Going To PAX? You Aren't Alone!

Steve Jackson Games will be sending several employees to enjoy Labor Day weekend in sunny, warm Seattle, including a special appearance by Evil Stevie! Now's your chance to get those Munchkin and Unnatural Axe T-shirts signed! The Munchkin Mascot will also be at PAX, his last visit to a domestic show this year.

Those of you fortunate enough to attend PAX or Dragon*Con, look for a special Munchkin Silver Piece rule later this week!

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 24, 2009: Ten Thousand Words

That's the equivalent of the 10 pictures you'll find in this Munchkin Quest Flickr set, courtesy of Sean Loyless.

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 17, 2009: Dice Boot

Munchkin Dice Boot With all apologies to Wolfgang Petersen.

The picture shows one of our two prototype Munchkin dice rollers, hand-crafted by Matt Drake of VixenTor Games. The picture doesn't show the storage tray in the heel of the boot, or the nifty felt lining that keeps the dice from making an unholy racket, but they're there and very nice.

We're keeping this one. The other one is the prize for this year's Munchkin World Cup winner at GenCon.

And how can YOU get one of these? What an interesting question . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 10, 2009: In The Pink

The Pink, it BURNS! That phrase will describe both our loyal fans at GenCon and the SJ Games booth personnel, at least on ONE day of the show. The picture at left shows the Munchkin Fairy Dust Handbag of Holding we'll be giving out all weekend to people who buy Munchkin games and supplements at the Adventure Retail booth (#1321). (Of course it has a game rule!)

It also shows the stunning shirts we'll be sporting one day, in honor of the sneak release of a very, very few copies of both Fairy Dust and Waiting For Santa -- don't wait until Sunday to try to pick these up!

Can you tell we're pretty excited?

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 10, 2009: Planning Is Hard

Earlier this year, we commissioned the 15th printing of the original Munchkin set. That printing was designed to carry us into 2010.

Last week, we ordered the 16th printing, because half of the 15th printing was sold as soon as it hit the warehouse.

As problems go, this is a pretty good one to have . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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August 3, 2009: Perched Atop Everest, I Kick Open A Door

Munchkin Sherpa Wait, no -- wrong kind of Sherpa. The Munchkin Sherpa is a sturdy holder for a pen or marker (particularly those with a brand name that rhymes with Harpy). We ordered a bunch to give to people we really, really like . . . and since that includes our loyal fans, we're planning to make a very small number available on Warehouse 23 in the near future. (These are premium items, so probably not for the casual collector . . . but they're worth it!) In the meantime, we figured we could give you a glimpse. Click the picture for a larger version.

Watch this space for the announcement that they are available!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 30, 2009: Because "Stacked Demo" Was Too Descriptive

The Munchkin Rigged Demo has been out of print for a little while. To tide y'all over until the next printing, we've placed the script and the demo cards on e23. The file is completely free to download. Happy indoctrination!

Note: the Rigged Demo PDF does not include any of the extra cards from the printed set, just the 17 cards necessary to play the demo.

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 27, 2009: Deviant Munchkinry

Munchkin Death Dealer, by Drake Fenwick More precisely (and more safe-for-workly), Drake Fenwick has posted some Munchkin fan art on deviantart.net (which, despite the name, has plenty of perfectly safe and wholesome pieces of art . . . if you're into that sort of thing).

Check them out! And thanks, Drake, for your support!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 20, 2009: Munchkin: The Fast-Play Version

So you say you have friends who think Munchkin takes too long to play? Show 'em this:

Our thanks to the Geek Game Night crew for sharing this video!

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 13, 2009: Hey, What's With The New Munchkin?

Munchkin 15th printing cover You may start seeing Munchkin boxes with the new Super Munchkin on the shelves of your friendly local game store soon. The boxes that have the new guy on them are the latest printing (the 15th, which I believe is the electrum anniversary). After eight years, he can finally see . . .

The important thing is that none of the cards changed. The rules are still the same. It's a facelift, not an extreme makeover.

-- Andrew Hackard

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July 6, 2009: New For The iPhone: The Munchkin Level Counter

Now all you iPhone-using munchkins can get an unfair, yet completely legal, advantage when you play Munchkin or Munchkin Quest!

The Munchkin Level Counter keeps track of your level (duh). It also rolls a six-sided die (and doesn't cheat). But best of all . . . once per game, you get a Boon . . . an in-game advantage to help you kill the monsters, steal the treasure, and stab your buddy. There are almost 150 different Boons, all illustrated by John Kovalic. The higher your level when you ask for your Boon, the better it's likely to be. And when you reach the winning level, it plays a fanfare. Your friends will hate you . . .

Bonus features: counters for Chez Geek and SPANC (no Boons, though), and a very flexible interface for creating your own custom counters for other games.

This app is NOT a stand-alone game! It is a game aid for Munchkin, Munchkin Quest, and pretty much anything else where you need to count.

The level counter is $4.99 and is available now on the iPhone App Store.

Home Sweet Home

We're back from our long vacation!

Well, actually, I'm not, quite: I won't be back until tomorrow, July 7. I look forward to seeing all the Munchkiny goodness that has piled up while I've been gone.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 30, 2009: Get Hitched: Go Up A Level

...Let no Bad Stuff put asunder. Jason Bostick and Carolyn Isaacs, two of our loyal Men In Black, recently had a Munchkin-themed wedding. And here are the photos to prove it.

Congratulations to Jason and Car on the beginning of their married life, and our humblest thanks for letting us, even vicariously, be a part of it.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 25, 2009: Do You Value Your Sanity?

Then you may not want to look at our new gallery of Chibithulhu pictures. But the rest of you can risk madness and head over to see the cuteness.

The mind-blasting, overwhelming cuteness . . .

(Will it change your mind if I mention there are some sneak peeks at Chibithulhus we haven't formally announced yet? Yeah, I thought it might.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 22, 2009: Must Be Santa

In September, we'll be releasing the second "booster-style" Munchkin expansion: Waiting For Santa. Santa Claus is back, and this time he's brought friends! Fight Grandfather Frost or Sandy Claws the Christmas Crab. Protect yourself with the Xmas Stocking, or fight back with Lumps of Coal.

Waiting For Santa is a 15-card expansion in a fin-seal pack. Waiting For Santa is neither collectible nor randomized; every pack is the same.

Ask for it at your favorite retailer, or preorder it now at Warehouse 23.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 18, 2009: You See A Seemingly Empty 10x10 Room

If you haven't been reading the Daily Illuminator (and why not?), you probably don't know that we're going to be on vacation for the week of June 29-July 3.

Everyone will be away from the office. E-mail will go unanswered. Phone calls will go unanswered. Forums will . . . NOT go unmoderated, but our presence may be kinda scarce that week.

I will be spending that week away from the Austin heat, visiting friends and family in the Minnesota Twin Cities. I'll definitely be attending CONvergence over the July 4 weekend -- and I'll try to remember to wear something distinctive. If you're there, track me down and say hi!

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 15, 2009: Need Your Place Held?

We just posted the designs and rules for a couple new bookmarks. But you can get a sneak peek at them now! The Official Munchkin Bookmark of Sparkly Good Monster Mayhem! is for Munchkin Fairy Dust, and the Official Munchkin Bookmark of Holiday Cheer! is for Munchkin Waiting For Santa.

Hmm? We haven't announced that last one? Well, so we haven't. Tee hee . . .

Both of these bookmarks will make their debut at GenCon in August.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 8, 2009: You Open The Door And Find . . . Tuckboxes

We love BoardGameGeek, and one of the reasons we love them is they really LOVE games.

For example, Doug Bass, a BGG reader, loves Munchkin Quest so much that he created tuckboxes for the MQ cards. And then he posted the files so everyone else can have nice MQ tuckboxes, too. You can find Doug's files on this page.

Thanks, Doug! And thanks to the whole BGG community for your support of all our games, and of gaming in general.

-- Andrew Hackard

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June 1, 2009: You Want Evidence? You Got It!

Some people expressed skepticism that we could pry John Kovalic away from his lovely daughter for a visit down to Austin.

Especially in May. When it's hot.

To those people, I say, "Check out our Flickr page!" In fact, why don't you ALL check it out?

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 27, 2009: Making Our Move Silently Roll

It's been quiet here the last couple of weeks. It's not that we don't have news . . . it's that we can't talk about the news we have.

Lots of stuff going to print this week, and a couple of nifty announcements coming up. We're nailing down the 2010 Munchkin schedule, too.

We should be more chatty soon!

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 14, 2009: Off To Print!

With the able assistance of Justin DeWitt (welcome back, buddy!), we sent three new bits of Munchkinly goodness to the printer today. They'll be coming out in a few months.

What are they? Good question . . . that we're not going to answer yet. (We learned that trick from "Lost.") We'll be making announcements over the next several weeks, so keep this page bookmarked.

I guess I can give you ONE clue: two of the three share a format, and two of the three share a theme. These may or may not refer to the same pairs. Hmm, that's two clues. Math is hard.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 11, 2009: Making A Note Here: HUGE SUCCESS!

As previously reported, John Kovalic was in town several days last week. We talked about many Evil Plots that will take us well into 2011.

Mostly, though, it was great to have John in town and to show him around Austin. Some of us are seeing if there's a way we can go to Madison and let him return the favor . . .

Thanks for coming, John! See you soon.

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 5, 2009: John's Almost Here!

Wednesday morning, Munchkin art impresario John Kovalic is flying down to Austin for several days of meetings, fun times, and really unhealthful food with the SJ Games crew. We will have pictures and news as developments warrant. Watch this space!

(To repeat yesterday's news: he just drew his 2,500th card for Munchkin!!! Way to go, John, and thanks!)

-- Andrew Hackard

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May 4, 2009: Congratulations, John!

We were curious and crunched some numbers . . . and determined that a month or so ago, John Kovalic drew his 2,500th Munchkin card for us.

Wow!

Congratulations on your achievement, John! We're thrilled to have you so closely associated with Munchkin, and we look forward to 2,500 more!

-- Andrew Hackard

(P.S. No, we're not quite ready to tell you what the card is. Soon enough . . .)

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April 27, 2009: Thanks, Richard And Monica!

I can has belt? Keen-eyed Munchkin fans may have noticed a new accessory in the mascot pictures from the GAMA Trade Show. The large expanse of gray on the front of the suit was kinda boring, so a couple of SJ Games staff members pitched in to create a belt to break up the monotony.

Richard Kerr made a shiny belt buckle with one of his Munchkin ornaments on the front. Monica Stephens sewed the lovely leather belt itself.

Many thanks to both of them for making our mascot a LOT more attractive!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 20, 2009: So This Munchkin Walks Into The Casino...

The official debut of the Munchkin Mascot was last week at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas. Because our rooms were in a different wing of the hotel from the show floor, we got to walk the mascot through the casino. A lot.

Everyone at the show LOVED the mascot, and we got a LOT of pictures and video, the best of which will shortly be posted on the to-be-created-any-minute-now Munchkin Mascot page.

Thanks to everyone in Vegas for the GREAT reception!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 13, 2009: Epic ARRRRR!

We finally unearthed the chest wit' the rules for Epic Munchkin Booty (includin' the Epic Explorer from Jump the Shark). If ye already count Epic Munchkin amongst yer loot, download the newest verrrrsion. If not, what are ye waitin' for, the call o' the Sirens?

Epic Munchkin is a FREE PDF file from e23. Go grab it before we make ye walk the plank!

-- Andrew Hackard

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April 6, 2009: Munchkin Quest 3 Update

We've been talking about Munchkin Quest 3 on Twitter a bit recently, so I thought I'd give a quick "state of the project" report. It will be short on hard details, because we're not ready to announce much yet, but anything's better than nothing, right?

  • The set has two new kinds of links. We've tried several variations of these, and we think we've figured out rules that work.
  • We're including some new cards and rooms that interact with your munchkin's sex. Insert your own joke here.
  • There's a new room tile that . . . well, I can't talk about it yet. But it's REALLY cool.

Playtesting continues. We expect this to go to print before the end of the year.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 30, 2009: A Home For The Mascot

We're getting ready for the GAMA Trade Show in Vegas (April 15 and 16), and so a lot of our attention around the office is focused on getting things ready for that. It'll be the convention (well, trade show) debut of the Munchkin Mascot, and we needed a safe, secure way to ship it. The cardboard box the company sent it in was not going to cut it for long-term use.

As so often happens around here, Richard Kerr came to our rescue, building a foam-padded wood case that's big enough for the mascot and most of its accessories. We can't quite fit the Unnatural Axe in there, so I guess Paul will just have to take it on the plane with him. Thanks, Richard -- the case is awesome!

There are plans afoot to have the mascot appear at summer conventions, so keep your eyes open -- and your camera batteries charged! If you see the mascot this summer, please send us links to your photos online; we'd love to build a page of mascot sightings. We'll get an e-mail address set up in the near future.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 23, 2009: Stating The Obvious

If you're here, you've probably already noticed our Web page redesign. However, on the off chance that you weren't paying attention, look around and enjoy the World of Munchkin.

Phil Reed came up with the basic idea, but Russ Gaskamp, our webmaster, really punched it up and made it awesome. Thanks for all the hard work, Russ!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 19, 2009: The Quest Continues

Today after work, we're getting together to playtest Munchkin Quest 3 for the first time. I can't tell you what we're planning to call this set, but I can reveal some of the rejected titles:

Munchkin Quest and the Last Crusade
Return of the Munchkin
Revenge of the Quest
Munchkin Quest 3: The Search for Spork
M-Quest 3: The Lass, Stunned
Munchkin3
Munchkin Quest 3: Rise of the Munchkins
Escape from the Planet of the Munchkins

Yeah, some of us watch way too many movie sequels. Munchkin Quest 3 will be announced later this year -- once the game and the name of the game are right.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 16, 2009: Keeping Up With Munchkin News

Of course, you already have this news feed bookmarked (Right? Right!), but we do occasionally post Munchkin news elsewhere, and I thought I'd point out some places our announcements appear from time to time:

  • Our forums have a Munchkin-specific section.
  • The Daily Illuminator is our company blog, and any important announcements get made there, too. And it's a fun read, even when it's not reporting news.
  • Once we announce products to the world, they show up on our New Releases pages.
  • Our Twitter feed has been known to feature hints about things we're working on.
  • If you want to keep up with Munchkin artist John Kovalic online -- and why wouldn't you? -- you'll want to look at his LiveJournal, his Facebook page, and of course the Dork Tower website.

We have some exciting things coming up later this year, so keep checking with us here -- and everywhere else! -- to find out what evil plans the Secret Masters have concocted. And thanks for your support over the last eight years.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 13, 2009: Happy Pi Day!

Tomorrow, March 14, is written 3/14 in North America, and that makes it Pi Day! To celebrate, we're offering a special one-day-only rule for the 2009 Munchkin Silver Piece. Head over and check it out!

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 9, 2009: Curse! Stores Closed!

Warehouse 23 has been off-line for over a week while we put up a mezzanine and a climate-controlled office for the unlucky (but soon to be cooler!) Hirelings spending time out there. We expect it to be back up and running tomorrow!

e23 is down right now for some necessary coding work, but it should be back up later today.

Thank you for your patience.

-- Andrew Hackard

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March 2, 2009: Draw A Munchkin Comic: Go Up A Level

Thanks to the gang at Supermegatopia for this comic -- it made our day! There are some other Munchkin-themed comics as well, such as the appropriately named Bad Ass, but be warned that some of the site may be inappropriate for the mini-Munchkins.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 26, 2009: Crrrrrack!

That was the sound of a new Munchkin supplement being broken. We playtested it Saturday with some people who hadn't seen it before, and they uncovered a HUGE hole in one card that rendered the rest of the game less fun for everyone, but especially for two people named Steve and Andrew. (Steve is exactly who you think Steve is, but Andrew was someone else. Confused?) That's the point of playtesting, though -- not making Steves and Andrews unhappy, but finding out what doesn't work -- and so it was a good day, despite a Munchkin game that wasn't as much fun as we'd hoped.

(No, I'm not telling you anything more about it. Yet. And I'm definitely not telling you about the playtest of another Munchkin -- uh, thing -- that worked so well that the slightly bitter taste of the earlier playtest was completely washed away.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 23, 2009: +4 Tube Of Youing

We have a YouTube channel! Right now, it's pretty sparse, but the one thing that IS up is a video of our Munchkin mascot dancing around. We've got a couple more mascot movies to upload soon, and undoubtedly we'll have some other stuff there as time goes on.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 17, 2009: Munchkin Mascot, Out On The Town

Paul and I took the Munchkin Mascot out for a trial run last Wednesday. Thanks to the good folks at Ninja Pirate for hosting us and letting the Munchkin knock over all their displays.

Check out the pictures, and if you're in Pflugerville, swing by and say hi!

(Update: This video was shot a few days before. We have video from Ninja Pirate as well, and will upload it as soon as technical difficulties are overcome.)

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 16, 2009: Toy Fair!

Phil Reed and Ross Jepson are at the New York Toy Fair this week, seeing what's out there and possibly making Secret Plans with other companies to extend the Illuminati's dominion over . . .

Sorry, I mean, to see how we can profitably extend our business into new arenas. Fnord.

We expect that they'll come back with plenty of new Munchkin ideas, and we can't wait to sit them down in front of hot lights and . . .

Sorry again. Of course, I mean put them in comfy chairs and let them weave magical tales of toys and games. The rack in the corner is TOTALLY for show.

Have a great time, guys, and we'll see you at the end of the week!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 12, 2009: Two More Bookmarks Coming Soon

We just sent two more bookmarks to print, and they'll start making random appearances around the gamerverse in a few weeks.

The first one goes along with Munchkin Booty 2 – Jump the Shark: The Munchkin Booty Bookmark of Soggy Smiting! It lets you, um, smite. Soggily. As befits a scurvy dog of the main, arrrrr. Don't spill yer grog.

Munchkin Quest 2 – Looking for Trouble came out so quickly on the heels of Munchkin Quest that we were just getting the first Munchkin Quest bookmark back from the printer when Munchkin Quest 2 was ready to ship! But have no fear, we haven't left Trouble-seekers out in the cold: watch for The Munchkin Quest Bookmark of Bimodal Bifurcation! And if you think that title gives you any hint at all about the bookmark's powers, you are sadly, sadly mistaken.

While we're not going to tell you everything the bookmarks do yet, I can reveal one power shared by both bookmarks: they give you an automatic success on your search roll to find your place in a book you set down earlier. In this fast-paced world, every little bit helps.

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 9, 2009: Extraordinary Extravagance For Munchkin Quest!

Want to use both sides of every room tile in every Munchkin Quest game? Did your cat eat all the locked doors? Did a soda spill take out the Mead Hall? Did all the tiny monsters crawl under the couch? You need Extra Parts!

Munchkin Quest Extra Parts contains all the die-cut pieces from the game. You get every tile (including the Entrance!), door, monster standie, and token -- everything from hearts and feet to gold and dropped item markers -- as well as the level counters, all packaged in a resealable plastic bag. Rules are included for using the extra parts, including changing the extra Entrance into the Exit!

Whether you're looking for replacements, or just want to build an insanely large dungeon, Munchkin Quest Extra Parts has what you need. This set is exclusively available from Warehouse 23.

We have limited quantities, so order now!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 6, 2009: More Breaking Munchkin News: Full Mascot Pic!

O HAI MUNCHKIN! Because of incredible demand, here we have a picture of Phil Reed wearing the ENTIRE Munchkin Mascot costume, including the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment, in front of Steve Jackson Games HQ.

The Munchkin Mascot will be making appearances at several conventions this year, so keep your eyes (and your camera cases) open!

-- Andrew Hackard

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February 6, 2009: Breaking Munchkin News: I CAN HAS MASCOT?

Super Munchkin mascot head We finally did it. We turned the iconic Super Munchkin into a 7' tall foam mascot. Phil's just wearing the head here. When the whole thing is together, it'll have weapons, shoes, shoulder spikes -- the complete package. It's going to be awesome!

Next week we'll be testing out the suit's maneuverability, and how fast Phil passes out from heat exhaustion. Yes, we'll take more pictures, and perhaps even video, if you're lucky (and Phil isn't).

The Plan is to send our mascot to various shows this summer, and wander around like a demented fairy godmother, granting random bonuses to whomever we feel like. We'll have the suit at GenCon and PAX at a minimum, but we want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to get their photo taken with a bigger-than-life Munchkin.

-- Paul Chapman

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February 2, 2009: Trouble: Found!

Looking For Trouble, in all the right places! Here are our staff copies of Munchkin Quest 2, getting ready to make our empty mailboxes very happy. Munchkin Quest 2 lets up to six munchkins explore the dungeon – but watch out for Traps! It should be on the shelves right now at your Friendly Local Game Store. If you don't know where your FLGS is, you can use our Retail Locator to find one. And keep your eyes open for Munchkin Quest 3, later in 2009!

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 26, 2009: What Did You Do At Work Today, Andrew?

A week or so ago, my answer to that question would be, "I created a new Munchkin card called Brownie In Motion."

What new Munchkin goodness caused me to commit that sin against the English language? Sorry, can't say yet. Just a quick sneak preview to whet your appetite . . .

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 19, 2009: What The Well-Dressed Munchkin Will Be Wielding

Fade, with foam Munchkin equipment In our ongoing quest to take your money create cool stuff, we recently looted acquired samples of a real (foam) Horny Helmet and Chainsaw of Dismemberment. Then we shanghaied asked Fade to model them for you all.

No idea yet when, or even if, these will be available, but an Igor-like chorus of "IT MUST BE MIIIIIINE!!!" would certainly tilt the scales. I'm just sayin'.

-- Andrew Hackard

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January 12, 2009: Brand Manager? Czar? Munchkin!

Every so often, valued staff members escape into the wild, to see what trouble they can get into. Some of them get into so much trouble that we never see them again, and that makes us sad. But some of them find their way back home, and that makes us cackle with glee and plot new devious ways to exploit their talents.

One such returning staffer is Andrew Hackard, our first hire of 2009. Andrew spent over two years wearing the Managing Editor hat. He helped bring many projects to life, but none was as big as GURPS Fourth Edition in 2004. Shortly after that, he pursued other opportunities. (The rumors of padded cells and quiet rooms by the sea have never been conclusively proven.)

When we started talking about bringing Andrew back, he said he'd done the Managing Editor thing, and wanted something challenging. We said, "OK, smartypants, you're the Munchkin Brand Manager." He insisted on Munchkin Czar, so we compromised: he'll have business cards with both titles, and use whichever one seems less likely to get him shot by revolutionaries.

Be careful what you wish for, Andrew . . .

-- Paul Chapman

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January 5, 2009: MQ2 Is On The Boat

Love Munchkin Quest? Can't wait for Munchkin Quest 2? Don't panic!

Not only was the sequel to our first Munchkin boardgame already at the printer before we released MQ, it is now on the boat. Baring Elder Gods rising from the Pacific, the shipping containers will hit our warehouse in January. Travel from our warehouse to the shelves of your favorite game store may take a week or two after that, but there's no reason you shouldn't be experiencing the thrill of a six-player game of Munchkin Quest by mid-February.

-- Paul Chapman

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December 29, 2008: Munchkin Quest Sales

Munchkin Quest was easily the largest project we've done in years, and one of the most anticipated. It is a rather significant departure from our normal style, and was something of a financial risk. So, the inevitable question is "how is it doing?"

While we don't discuss exact sales figures, we can say that due to the size of the print run, the copies arrived in waves. We were assured that the shipments would be arriving mere days apart, so it wouldn't be noticed. And while this was true, we still had several days of distributor orders sitting in the queue, waiting. At the end of the day, November was the best sales months we've had in 2008. So the answer is: "Very well, thanks!"

The first print run will keep us stocked through the holidays, and well into the new year. But at the rate MQ is flying off the shelves, we'll be looking at a reprint before convention season. The price will likely increase for the new print run; not much of a surprise, given the economy.

-- Paul Chapman

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December 22, 2008: Booty 2 At The Printer

You didn't think that SJ only had 156 pirate jokes in him, did you? Earlier this month we announced Munchkin Booty 2 -- Jump the Shark as a March release, with 112 more puns about aquatic meat-eaters and smelly sailors.

And now we can say "it's at the printer." Phil pulled the last bits together and sent them off last week, to much rejoicing. With the files in their final resting place, the only things that can delay the release now are out of our hands. Like hurricanes, or earthquakes, or . . .

Wait. I've just jinxed us, didn't I?

-- Paul Chapman

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December 15, 2008: Christmas Bonus Silver Piece Rule!

This rule is only valid during Christmas (December 23-26).

Give the Munchkin Silver Piece to another player. The Munchkin Silver Piece now belongs to that player; you don't get it back. You may go up a level. This may not be the winning level, and you may not gain more than one level from Silver Pieces during this game -- multiple levels through the use of multiple Silver Pieces are not allowed.

We're being generous, so this rule does not replace the normal December rule. However, remember that each player can activate only one Munchkin Silver Piece per game, so it's either a level, or bribing a monster.

-- Paul Chapman

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December 8, 2008: Munchkin Christmas Card

Munchkin Christmas Card Just a reminder: if you're giving some one a gift certificate this holiday season, why not put it into a Munchkin Christmas Card? While others will debate the use of certificates during the holidays, you'll be secure in the knowledge that the bonus you give will be far more useful than another pair of socks -- it may be a Treasure worth a full level!

And what munchkin wouldn't trade socks for a level? Wait . . . I think we just created a new card!

-- Paul Chapman

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December 1, 2008: Munchkin Thingies Document

Okay, it's not a new expansion or standalone product, so don't worry about the name. . .

For your reading pleasure, a useful Munchkin resource document listing all of the Munchkin thingies (Races, Classes, Accents and Loyalties), with all their powers, abilities and penalties, as described on the cards, included. Styles, Trainings and Powers, which are all unique (almost), are not included for several reasons. Okay, it's because they are unique (almost) and would make the thing go on for pages and pages and pages, and because often times it's more important to know what the Races, Classes, Accents and Loyalties do more than anything else.

At any rate, this document is up-to-date with all the newest stuff, including something you haven't seen yet -- the Explorer -- which will make its appearance in [fnord].

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November 25, 2008: Special Bonus Rule For Munchkin Silver Piece!

This rule is only valid for Black Thursday weekend (November 27-30).

Activate the Munchkin Silver Piece to double the gold piece value of any one item.

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November 17, 2008: Munchkin Quest To All The Good Little Munchkins

Signing Stack One of the final signs a project is well and truly done is the "signing stack." You see, our named playtesters get autographed copies of the game. In order to get SJ's well-known pyramid scrawled on the box, we queue them up. As you can see, the pile is fairly impressive.

Like leaves turning colors in fall, or the return of songbirds in spring, the signing stack signifies the conclusion of a season. This season was called Munchkin Quest.

Now on to [FNORD]!

-- Paul Chapman

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November 6, 2008: Bonus! Free Munchkins With Every Bag Purchased!

Bag O' Munchkins Six Munchkins sat all in a bag
When the Purple one started to nag
"It seems like a sin
When we all want to win
To be forced to – darn, what rhymes with "nag" ?"

Ok, so as far as limericks go, that's horrible. And it doesn't make the point, because the munchkin couldn't come up with a rhyme to finish it.

So here's the point: Munchkins don't limit their munchkinism to just one game. And this +6 Bag O' Munchkins will help you spread your rules-breaking, back-stabbing, prize-swiping tactics to any game you choose. Or rather, "to any game you can sucker your opponents into letting you use them in."

-- Paul Chapman

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November 3, 2008: Munchkin Silver Piece Rule For November 2008: Coining A Card

Activate the Munchkin Silver Piece and place it on a card in play. You have now "coined" that card. As long as the Silver Piece remains on the card, no other player may use it, or any other card with the same title. Any other cards are immediately discarded. The Silver Piece is removed when the card is discarded.

For a complete listing of previous month's rules, click here. Watch the Munchkin Silver Piece's page for future rules.


-- Paul Chapman

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October 27, 2008: Stuck For A Costume?

Randy with the Mask Why not go as the iconic Super Munchkin this Halloween? All you need is the Munckin Mask. . . well, some oversized shoes and weapons might help complete the picture as well.

But those won't give you any bonuses. The Mask will.

-- Paul Chapman

PS – Halloween is Game Day around here, so mail we receive on Friday may not get an instant response.

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October 22, 2008: SJ's Essen Schedule

If you're looking for SJ in Essen, here's his official signing schedule:

  • Thursday: 3pm to 5pm, Pegasus booth, Hall 6.
  • Friday: 1pm to 3pm, Pegasus booth, Hall 12.
  • Saturday: 3pm to 5pm, Pegasus booth, Hall 6.

If you're a MIB, there's a Secret Signing Session just for you -- ask your Cell Leader for details!

And we have a lot of games, including the Munchkin Sixth German National Championships -- both the last two qualifiers and the tourney, the Deluxe Illuminati Championships, and the Munchkin European Championships! And many, many demos.

If this were all Birger and the gang had going on this weekend, it would be impressive. But wherever Phil and SJ go, they bring prototypes and playtest sets of games at all stages of development. Look for them in the Pegasus booth at all hours. I'd tell you what they're bringing, but a couple are so new, they don't even have proper names yet.

And Essen is the official worldwide first release of Munchkin Quest! We air freighted 150 copies from the factory to Essen. If you don't happen to be in Essen, you have NO chance at these. If you ARE in Essen . . . well, all we can say is, don't be the 151st one to bring us your gold pieces.
-- Paul Chapman

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October 20, 2008: Munchkin At Spiel Essen

Of course there will be Munchkin at Spiel Essen! In fact, as is only proper for one of the world's largest gaming conventions, there will be a ton of Munchkin related activites.

Besides the hordes of MIB running events, Munchkin Quest will be available for purchase. But don't wait -- supplies are limited and they're going to sell out quickly!

Whether you're one of the lucky munchkins who pick up the boardgame or not, you'll be able to get your shirt, game, or even forehead signed by the Head Munchkin himself: Steve Jackson. Yes, Evil Stevie himself will be attending for the first time. He'll be backed up by Phil Reed and Ross Jepson, so he won't be difficult to find.

Have fun, guys, and don't forget to take lots of pictures!

-- Paul Chapman

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