Card Design Thoughts, Part One


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A couple of weeks ago, I oh-so-casually mentioned that we were thinking of doing a Munchkin expansion taken entirely from your card suggestions.

The result should have been predictable: we suddenly got a flood of new card ideas. This is awesome and we thank you for it. However, it occurs to me that it might be helpful to discuss a few things we definitely don't want so you can avoid them when you're submitting your ideas. (If you submitted something that's discussed below, rest assured that you are not the only one.) If you want to hear me blather on about this in a lot more detail, check out this YouTube video we posted last year. But here are the high points:

  • No monsters over Level 20. We haven't done this in any published Munchkin games so far and we don't intend to do it unless that's the entire reason for a given expansion.
  • No player vs. player. This is a mandate from Steve: you can backstab each other all you want, but the munchkins never actually take up arms against one another. (In fairness, I will mention that there is one bookmark with exactly that effect. However, we've never done it on a published card and we never intend to.)
  • Keep it PG-13 at worst, PG preferred. For those of you outside the United States, just assume that we want to avoid the usual four-letter monosyllables, excretory humor, and anything overtly sexualized. (Pro sub-tip: you can get away with a lot if you never, everever explain it. Case in point: the Kneepads of Allure.) We're especially uninterested in offensive stereotypes of a racial or sexual nature -- and yes, we have received some. (Please don't ask.)
  • Brevity counts. Long text means small art, and that makes John sad. REALLY long text means no art at all, and that makes you sad, because we won't use your idea if we can't illustrate it. Corollary: the more convoluted a rule is, the less likely it's actually going to be fun for other people.
  • If it's not funny, it's not getting in. This especially includes in-jokes from your group. If we had to be there to get it, we aren't interested.

We'll have some more tips next week!

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