Emperor’s New Clothes cards, signed by various designers. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu
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.
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…)
Adam Rebottaro of Greater Than Games.
“Dump all components on the table!”
Alan Gerding of Tuesday Knight Games.
“Emperor’s Wig: You are on the Boom Team. You win if you explode.”
Andrew Looney of Looney Labs.
“Play a Game of Rock Paper Scissors. Winner gets an extra turn.”
Aron West of Elzra Games.
“Ghost of Gelatinous Cube. Shoot towards opposite player.”
Ben Harkins of Floodgate Games.
“The player who is currently furthest back in time draws 1 card.”
Ben Pinchback, co-designer of Eggs & Empires.
“Get me a sammich: Active player picks another player who must get them a sammich.”
Ben Rosset, designer of Brew Crafters.
“New Mechanic: Draft cards to determine which cards you’re going to draft.”
Brian Henk of Overworld Games.
“Curse: This player must tell one truth and one lie immediately.”
Bruno Faidutti, designer of Citadels.
“Every player actually plays for his left neighbor. You win if your right neighbor wins.”
Chad Brown of Lone Shark Games.
“Oooh, Shiny!  Always … no, wait. Never forget to check the spreadsheet!”
Chris Handy of Perplext.
“$ $ $ (worth 3 gold) If you hold any other cards, discard this one.”
Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games.
“Angry Dice: Infinite Re-rolls!”
Chris Leder, designer of Roll For It.
“Evil Automaton Attacks! Roll a straight or lose 4 HP”
Christopher Badell of Greater Than Games.
“When this card enters play, gain 2 Clothes tokens. At the start of your turn, if you have 6 Clothes tokens, you win.”
Curt Covert of Smirk & Dagger Games.
“Poke the Bear: When you target a player with a negative effect, gain awsome thing.”
Darrell Louder, designer of Compounded.
“Your next card must be played on the back of the player to your left!”
David Chott of 3 Hares Games.
“Pay x life. Draw x cards, opponents must discard x cards, and play x more games with the winner of the most games being declared the grand winner.”
Ed Baraf of Pencil First Games.
“You did it!! (so cool!) 1 Saved Alieneeple!”
Emerson Matsuuchi of Nazca Games.
“(while playing a long game) Each player must secretly hide a game component without letting the other players know. The players caught are out of the round. Each time a component is discovered missing, the player that hid the component is out of the round. The player or players that have not had their component discovered missing during the course of the game win. Winners must tweet about their victory.”
Gaby Weidling of Lone Shark Games.
“Meow Meow Beanz! Display to add 5 meow meow beanz to your pool.”
Gil Hova of Formal Ferret Games.
“Roll 1 die for each round you’ve played, including the current round. Roll 1 die for each 2 you roll. Get 1 VP for each 2 you roll.”
Ignacy Trzewiczek of Portal Games.
“Robinson [bad weather dice]”
Isaac Shalev of Kind Fortress.
“Discard your least blue cube. Then, draft the least odd die. Score π points if you destroy a card.”
James Ernest of Cheapass Games.
“In the spirit of Cheapass Games, I will assume you already have your own rules for this card.”
Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games.
“Choose a game component from another game (a component that game doesn’t need) and permanently add it to this game.”
Jason C. Hill of Flying Frog Productions.
“Strangely Ancient: Draw 3 cards. If you are keyword ‘Strange’ or ‘Ancient,’ roll a D6 and draw that many more cards (or 2D6 if both).”
Jason Kotarski of Green Couch Games.
“Gain 2 fuel for each button on your shirt.”
Jason Slingerland of Building the Game Podcast.
“Take a card at random from each opponent and then redistribute them as you see fit.”
Jason Tagmire of Button Shy Games.
“One in the hand. You must make this card disappear.”
Jeff Siadek of Gorilla Games.
“Spread the wealth: Each player must give something to another player.”
Jim Pinto of Post World Games.
“Get me a coke. Or lose a turn. Or lose two turns. Whatever.”
Joey Vigour of Mirror Box Games.
“The Ovoid: If you possess this when the game ends, you are the winner instead.”
John Kovalic, artist for Munchkin.
“Duck of Clothes Doom: +1 to anything. What? Who cares?”
Johnny O’Neal of Brotherwise Games.
“Choose another player. That player must crab-walk across the room.”
John Wrot of Gate Keeper Games.
“Roll 9 Halfsies dice. Add the total to the # of pockets available on the King’s new ‘Pants of Many Pockets.'”
Jonathan Hager, designer of Captain’s Wager.
“Swap cards with another player.”
Jon Bolding of The Escapist.
“Pull on someone’s finger to draw a card.”
Jordan Weisman of Harebrained Schemes.
“You must dance to a rhythm provided by the player to your left or your character never procreates.”
Julian Leiberan-Titus, designer of Storm Hollow.
“If you say your name is Dave Banks you get +4 points.”
Matthew Austin of Mirror Box Games.
“Smack-tion! Put this card on the table and smack it. The last player to smack this card loses two cards.”
Matthew O’Malley of Black Oak Games.
“All Players Team Up! [diagram of 5 players at a table]”
Matt Loomis, designer of Dragonflame.
“Cosmic Kaboom: Flip this card onto the table from the table’s edge. If it lands on a card, remove that card and all of its effects from the game.”
Matt Riddle, co-designer of Eggs & Empires.
“Place in front of you: Whenever any player take [icon] or cubes or anything you get two.”
Max Holliday of Ginger Ale Games.
“+1 swagger for every hipster at the table!”
Michael Fox of Sprocket Games.
“Player to your left must give you:
– A kiss.
– A manly hug.
– $1 (US Dollar)”
Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games.
“Embrace the Meta: If somebody plays a card that you feel is clever, then give them a meta token.”
Mike Mullins, solo variant designer.
“Ultra Mega Chicken: No. Shh! Is Legend!”
Mike Selinker of Lone Shark Games.
“Oh no! I’m naked! [drawing of man wearing clothes]”
Patrick Nickell of Crash Games.
“You are on a quest to become King of the Pirates. Roll a 5 or 6 to enter the Grand Line. Yell GUM GUM PISTOL!”
Philip DuBarry of Phantasio Games.
“Steal the Fire Diamond! Gain 20 VP”
Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games.
“Toad Titan: +4 attack. Lose 1 reputation.”
Scott M. Fischer, artist for D&D and Magic: The Gathering.
“Lose Your Brain! Lose Your Turn!”
Scott “Tox” Morris of Arcane Wonders.
“Two in the Bush: If you have successfully made a card vanish … You win!”
Sean Garrity of Baksha Games.
“The ‘Dad’ Card: If you have lost sleep due to a child under 8 in the last week, and you come in second place, you have now won the game.”
Sean McCoy of Tuesday Knight Games.
“Roll a D6:
1: Tell a secret
2: Tell a lie
3: Do a dance
4: Draw a card
5: Give someone $1
6: Pass this card
Seth Jaffee of Tasty Minstrel Games.
“Strictly Better: Copy the effect of the last card played. Gain 1 point.”
Sydney & Geoff Engelstein, co-designers of Space Cadets.
“Play this card to cheat one time in the game of your choice. Tear up after using.”
Tanis O’Connor of Paizo.
“Awkward Silence: Remove two tokens from the Humor track, then sob quietly for 10 seconds.”
T.C. Petty III, designer of Viva Java.
“5-of-a-kind : Flip this card to gain 2 [icon] immediately. [Reverse side] 6-of-a-kind : Flip this card to gain 2 [icon] immediately.”
Teos Abadia, RPG designer.
“Describe who your character is. Roll the die. Describe who you have become.”
Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower.
“Grab a die and roll it. You gain that many points. Each other player who gets hit by the die as you roll it adds ‘3’ to the total.”
Tony DiTerlizzi, artist for D&D and Magic: The Gathering.
“Goblin Belch: 1. Burp in opponent’s face. 2. Switch game pieces while they gag.”