August 19, 2020: Munchkin Musings: August 2020
Greetings from Austin, where we're all pushing our air conditioning to the limit as we continue working from home. We hope all of you Munchkin fans out there are staying safe and comfortable, and we are jealous of those of you who are finding ways to keep playing games in this, the year that "hindsight" went from a punch line to a punch in the gut. Wear your masks!
2021 Has a Schedule!
It's not final but Phil, Steve, and I have been looking at our Munchkin plans for next year and making some concrete steps toward what we think we can reasonably do. Phil reports that our manufacturing time continues to increase, so anything we're working on now probably won't be in stores -- assuming we still HAVE stores -- until next spring. We've delayed some intended 2020 releases into the last quarter of this year and moved the rest into next year.
I can tell you that we have at least one new stand-alone Munchkin game planned, with a second very likely, plus several expansions of various sizes throughout the year. One of those expansions is something I first started working on almost ten years ago, so I'm really pleased to see us bringing it back onto the front burner!
Historically, Team Munchkin has playtested our new games and expansions at local game stores, events at SJ Games itself, whatever game conventions we happen to be traveling to at the time, and sometimes other events that match up to reasons we're away from home and looking for gamers.
Guess what we have done none of in the last five months and counting?
As I've talked about before, not being able to use our typical playtest systems has put a huge delay in our design plans. I had two expansions that I was in the middle of working on when everything shut down and we've continued writing, because what else can we do?
A month ago, we put out a call for groups who had somehow managed to keep playing and were willing to try out some projects under development. The response was fantastic; we have received over 40 inquiries (so far!), and were able to choose some really solid groups for three expansions that needed quick looks. Those went out the first week of the month and we were already receiving great feedback by the end of the first weekend that is shaping our development moving forward.
Trying a new experiment is always risky, so Alain and I are extremely glad that this is working so well. We've learned some techniques that will come back into the actual, physical playtests that I'm hoping to start having again. Someday. Maybe.
In the meantime, if you have a group that's currently playing Munchkin (Lucky! Go up a level!) and you missed our previous calls for playtesters, we're still looking! Here are the details you need to know, and yes, they are important!
Coming in September . . .
Who knows? At this point, Vogon construction fleets would seem like a relief.
I am not predicting Vogon construction fleets, and I am definitely not reading Vogon poetry. (Nor am I hinting at a Douglas Adams Munchkin set, although if the Adams estate wants to talk, I'd be ALL over that.)
What I can predict is that I'll be looking at some of the new types of Munchkin projects that Phil has been working on to make available on Warehouse 23, and giving you an update on the rest of the 2020 Munchkin schedule, which includes some cute expansions, a full game that I'm stoked about, and probably surprises I haven't learned of yet. When we're all working on our own, we all get fun surprises from time to time! I'll see you in 30 days, give or take.
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