My #GenCant Prize: ‘Emperor’s New Clothes Designer Edition’

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Gen Can't Emperor's New Clothes cards
Emperor’s New Clothes cards, signed by various designers. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

For Gen Can’t, the “unconvention” that occurs during Gen Con, I wanted to give a copy of my “ungame” Emperor’s New Clothes. I hit upon (read: “stole”) the idea of having game designers at Gen Con sign it, and decided to have them sign the blank cards that come in the game. But that’s not all: each designer also had to design a card to go in the game.

It became a huge scavenger hunt for me and one of my favorite parts of Gen Con 2015. I put a lot of people on the spot, sometimes at 1am in the morning. Most of them were game, though a few did ask for a little more time to think. There were a lot of people I missed (sorry, but I’ll try to get you next year!) and I did manage to get a couple of artists who, while they may not have any published game designs, have illustrated games.

My parameters were: it was a card for a game, it had to be kid-safe, and it had to have a signature on it. Other than that, designers were free to do whatever they wanted.

By the end of the convention, I had collected over 60 cards, with a huge range of effects. A few were just silly jokes. Many referenced the designers’ own games. Some brought a favorite mechanic into the game. Most were single-sided, but I did get a few cards that had something on the back. I tweeted photos of the designers working on the cards, and also took photos of them holding up the finished cards. Unfortunately, not all of the photos are in focus (these were taken quickly with my iPhone camera) but here they all are.

The winner of this game was Willie “Gameritis Guy,” whose photos of himself playing solo versions of games like Cash ‘n’ Guns and One Night Ultimate Werewolf were hilarious and well-made.

Gameritis Guy One Night Ultimate Werewolf

But while I was discussing with Suzanne Sheldon (one of the organizers of Gen Can’t), we realized that a lot of people who had been following along would really love to see what’s on these cards. So while Willie will get the original set, we’re working on a way to scan them and make them available as a print-and-play or something along those lines–basically so that you, too, can play the Emperor’s New Clothes Designer Edition. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here’s a gallery of all of the designers who made cards for the game! (Click on any photo for a close-up. Sorry some of them are so blurry…)

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