The Good, The Bad & The Funny
The Apples-style party card game about creating compound phrases to satisfy missions with the best, worst and most hilarious answers.
The Good, The Bad & The Funny
The Apples-style party card game about creating compound phrases to satisfy missions with the best, worst and most hilarious answers.
>What is this?
The Good, The Bad & The Funny is an Apples-style party card game for a bunch of people. Players make compound words or phrases from a set of word cards to satisfy a mission. The dealer decides which of the submissions is Good, which is Bad, and which is Funny, and rewards the players appropriately (3, -2 and 5 points respectively). The first to 21 wins.
>So much text?!
I’m not apologizing. If you got this far and the video didn’t do it for you, just download the game RIGHT NOW and go play it with your friends.
Yeah. That’s right. Download it. Print it out. Here’s a version with 600 word cards* - that’s more than my initial Kickstarter reward!
>Why should I pay for something you’re giving away?
The game is a lot of fun. I want you to play it and love it as much as I do, regardless of whether I can make it into a nice copy or not. So support me or just make your own copy. I’m here for the lazy (like myself) or for those that want fine quality cards (like myself) and an awesome game to throw at my friends (like myself).
>But why another Apples game?
I know we’re currently buried by a mountain of Apples-style party card games and we’re likely on the downswing of the whole Apples trend. I’m not a marketer, however, so my awareness of such details doesn’t really distract me from what I want to do, which is to strongly encourage people to play this game.
Where others have altered either the card content or particular mission type, I’ve actually [BOLD STATEMENT HERE] improved the original formula.
The three main differences are:
1. Scoring. Apples games with strangers can be aggravating - will they choose the funny card or the clever one? Or the realistic one? Or just choose something terrible.
The dealer always has to choose The Good, The Bad & The Funny.
The Good is the best representation of the mission card. It’s worth three points because, while good, it’s boring and obvious. And you probably had the perfect card, so whatever.
The Bad is the worst submission that round. It’s worth negative two because I’m sick of players constantly ditching cards instead of actually thinking about a good answer. You’ll also notice that many of the players that think they are funny will end up with a lot of bad answers.
The Funny gets the biggest laugh. Subjective, of course, but it’s worth five points for entertaining the room.
The first to (or above) 21 points wins, unless there is a tie, in which case play continues as normal until a single player has the highest score.
There’s another small twist, which is that players can also win by scoring -10 points. This makes it a bit more fun to be chosen for that bad answer in round 1.
2. Players always play two cards. This is a game about compound words and phrases. Our lives are surrounded by such combinations - you’ll start to notice much more after reading this sentence. Creating compound words and phrases is a wonderful challenge - it forces players to think about the many ways that a word can be interpreted and manipulated by another word. And the essence of this game is a carefully created wordlist that is composed of the most commonly occurring bits from compound words and phrases in the English language, almost all of which are nouns.
There are a couple of key benefits to this approach. Most answers are not reliant on a shared understanding of pop. Many other Apples games assume a certain level of 21st Century culture familiarity while the word cards from The Good, The Bad & The Funny are timeless (the mission cards, however, do have a bit of pop-infusion). Answers won’t get stale, as the likelihood of a one playing the same combination twice within a play session or many, many play sessions is infinitely low. Even playing the same word card won’t have the same negative effect as in other games because it is about how two cards react together, not simply a funny reference. Even if the same two cards are played together, the order can be changed to dramatically alter the meaning.
The game is very replayable without the need for many, many expansions (but we’ll get to that later).
3. At any given time, three mission cards are face up. Dealers get to choose which mission they want to judge, which allows for another layer of strategy. Players can hold onto cards that match future possible missions (don’t you hate throwing out the perfect card right before getting the matching mission?).
>None of this makes any sense. What is an Apples game?
Ah. Ok. Sorry. Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity (and many, many, many others) are Apples games. I’m sure someone “in the biz™” calls them something different, but I’m not changing regardless of how ridiculous I sound.
The basic structure of an Apples game is that you have a bunch of players each with a set number of cards (normally seven). One player is the dealer (and this role moves every turn in a clockwise manner) and the dealer announces some sort of mission that everyone else must accomplish with a (normally) single card from her hand. The dealer reads the submissions aloud (they’re all supposed to be anonymously submitted) and then chooses a single card as the winner.
That’s the basic premise - and now you can annoy your friends by calling the game you’re playing an Apples game.
>Where is the money going?
The lion’s share of the loot goes to the printer. I’m paying them to create a high quality product of a limited run in a relatively short amount of time. They have freight and custom box fees to consider, so getting the price to such a reasonable amount was a bit of work!
Shipping is next. It’s hard to predict exact shipping fees to everyone, so I just have to average everything out in roughly $5 increments. If the game was smaller (like my last game, Do Move Say), international shipping would be less (sorry guys!). Packaging is included in this estimate, but not labor. I'll be spending hours with a sore back and some shipping labels making sure everyone gets what they ordered at a fair and reasonable price.
Kickstarter, Amazon and taxes take the next big chunk - can’t forget about those hidden fees or I’ll get bitten pretty hard.
The smallest (although totally fair and reasonable) bit goes to graphic design. I am partnering with an amazing designer, Laura Gunther, that will make all of my placeholder graphics look astoundingly better.
>What are the fabulous prizes, I mean, reward tiers?
There are only three things (and one action) you can buy through this Kickstarter, each more expensive and less valuable than the previous.
THING 1: The Good, The Bad & The Funny
That’s it. The game. In a box. With instructions.
This is 275 word cards and 50 mission cards - all standard business card size, which is 3.5" x 2", 310 GSM, black core, with a nice card finish and rounded corners.
Why this size? Easier to store and bring out everywhere you go. It won’t be as convenient as a handful of dice in your bag, but very close.
Every time a stretch goal is met, more cards are added to this deck. I’m prepared to ship a 2,500 card game, should a boatload of people pay attention to this project instead of others, but whatever happens happens.
THING 2: Thing 1 + A Handmade Label Version
I did, in fact, playtest this. A lot. And I optimized my creation process (as is necessary when sending copies out to folks that never send them back). I buy a deck of flashcards, print a bunch of labels and viola! A game is born (well, after laboriously placing the labels roughly in the center of each card).
You will receive a copy of a “handmade” version of The Good, The Bad & The Funny. The deck will be composed of almost 600 word cards and 30 mission cards (card colors will be appropriate for the game, but may vary from deck to deck). The container will be hand decorated by my wife, each one carefully composed with fabric or vinyl or whatever crafty stuff we have lying around.
THING 3: Thing 1 + A Handmade Written Version
You will receive a copy of a “one of a kind” “handmade” version of The Good, The Bad & The Funny. The deck will be composed of almost 600 word cards and 30 mission cards (card colors will be appropriate for the game, but may vary from deck to deck), all written in Sharpie by me (I may also doodle on some if I get bored). The container will be hand decorated by my wife, each one carefully composed with fabric or vinyl or whatever crafty stuff we have lying around.
I will also take short videos of me doing this, because it’s going to suck and I want you to be aware of the pain you’re putting me through.
THING 0: Obligatory Nothing of Worth
You will receive a tweet from @greenghoulie with a completely random word combination. From that day forward, that particular word combination, whatever it may be, will be named after you. Just think of the possibilities. It's like getting your name in the national star registry or something.
>Why are you offering these versions when I can, quite easily, make my own?
I would simply offer the game as reward and be done with it, but this is Kickstarter - folks get annoyed if you don’t have tiers. And sure, I can offer t-shirts and other junk, but that clouds up the process. You came here for a game so a game you’ll get.
Maybe you want to support me for more than I’m asking. You can simply up your backing amount, which is cool and appreciated, or you can get this thing that I’ve definitely touched (and that has given me a small bit of physical pain and annoyance). Then when you whip out this bizarre looking copy for your group, you can tell the story about how the game designer himself used someone else's laser printer to make those labels and apply them while binge watching Chopped on demand.
>I noticed that there was little in the way of graphic design (no offense).
I am not a graphic designer. I realize the need for an expert to come in and solve all of the visual issues before going to print. I also realize that this work takes time. I am not interested in asking anyone to work on spec (read: free) for The Good, The Bad & The Funny. I want to guarantee payment - so if I hit the goal, you’ll see some pretty designs. Lucky you!
I am not pocketing a dime for this project. I may consider getting reimbursed for some hours if the project goes way beyond the goal, but I’m perfectly comfortable just getting the game pretty and printed. Also, I’m not going to pay for marketing. It’s hard to justify making you, the potential backer, pay for me to get you to notice me. I would rather set the price at a fair level and hope for the best.
That is why I have a fairly odd goal. It’s exactly what I need to spend to break completely even. This does not include any of the labor on my part and gives me absolutely no wiggle room as far as mathematical error on my part (or the quotes from others). I would put this in the risk category if I didn’t completely trust the other other folks involved for their skill, track record and complete professionalism.
>Do you have more information about this graphic designer?
Laura Gunther is a Senior Visual Designer at ESI Design who loves tackling puzzles (from the daily crossword to complex wayfinding challenges) and playing games (from croquet to Risk to Portal).
She has over 15 years of experience in exhibit and communications design, with a focus on branded environments, information graphics, and wayfinding. Laura enjoys building visual vocabularies, which allow for play, flexibility, and unity when designing for all sizes and experiences – from large spaces down to tiny icons.
Most of all, Laura likes to explore – visiting unfamiliar places, trying new foods, and seeking escapades.
>She sounds great.
>Are you sticking with the name?
As noted, I’m not a marketer. The first name for this game was Compound Interest. I still believe that’s a better name. But my playtesters have insisted that the worst part of the game (at that time) was the name, hence the change. And it grows on you. It really does.
Or even if it doesn’t, what does it matter? The game is still fun even if you don’t like the name.
>Who are you and why do you presume so much about my natural line of questioning?
I am Pete Vigeant and I can see into the future.
>Part of Kickstarter is investing in the person or team along with the idea. Why are you worth it, Pete Vigeant (if that is your real name)?
You’re not fooling me at all. If you made it this far down the page, you’re either an excellent skimmer or already hooked. I got ya.
I’ve been making games for over a decade - mostly live action games. I work as a Senior Designer creating games and other mischief at ESI Design. I co-created the consulting firm, The Completely Surrounded, that makes large games for various organizations. I speak occasionally at conferences or in classrooms or to myself while walking down the street. I help run Come Out and Play, the premiere New York City urban gaming festival, and help run ESI Design’s LAPDAWG (Live Action Physical Digitally Augmented Wacky Games) session that happens every year. And I had the successful Kickstarter party card game Do Move Say.
I also ran Field Killer King, which was amazing and dangerous.
>I don’t like live action games!
Cool. That’s fine. This is not a live action game.
>I only like strategy-based games that challenge players with fluid conditions based partially on random elements that I can alter to interfere with my opponents set in a world steeped in mythological and historic narrative and deep gameplay elements perfectly balanced by thousands of hours of testing by the greatest designers and critics in the world.
That's great. Thanks for sharing. Perhaps this game isn't for you - or perhaps you can enjoy The Good, The Bad & The Funny in a different context than your normal game night. Maybe, for instance, with a group of loved ones that don't share the same game preferences as you.
If not, no worries. It's ok that games exist that you don't like. No one is forcing you to back my game and this game isn't preventing games that you like from existing. I'm giving you the game free to try, as long as you don't mind printing it out on your own. You can use that as a way to figure out if this is right for you and your friends. I hope you enjoy it and I'm positive that there are people in your life that would enjoy playing, but whatever. It's just a Kickstarter project.
>Tell me a story.
Jody stared at the cards put in front of her then back at the mission.
Monster. Truck. Monster Truck. What an amazing compound phrase. Perhaps a perfect compound phrase. Monster Truck.
Monster is a synonym for large. The trucks are large. Monster also means, well, monster. Monsters are loud and scary. Monster trucks are loud and scary. They have a monster-like personality.
Truck. Hm. Truck means truck, but also “to pull.” Monster Trucks pull things, right?
What a crazy combination - a perfect combination.
Sam, Robin, Dana and Kris looked at her.
I have to make a decision. Sam has 16 points. Funny will win it. Dana is sitting on 18 points. That’s not good.
Queen Machine Spirit Pudding Mountain Hammer Thunder Finger
Queen Machine is good. Spirit Pudding is funny, but also doesn’t make sense. Mountain Hammer is also good. Mountain Hammer. Sounds scary. Then Thunder Finger. I’m not sure what to make of Thunder Finger. It got a laugh… but so did pudding…
Spirit Pudding is the Bad. It has to be. It’s dumb. I don’t get it. Why would a truck be pudding?
That means Thunder Finger is the Funny. Definitely the funniest. Except for pudding, but that doesn’t make sense. But Thunder Finger doesn’t make sense - unless it’s “The Finger” instead of “A Finger.”
Queen Machine is the Good. Or Mountain Hammer.
“Right. I got it.”
“Spirit Pudding is the Bad. It’s funny, but not funny enough. Thunder Finger is the Funny. And Mountain Hammer… No, Queen Machine is the Good.”
“No, it’s a tie - the game goes on.”
>I don’t like the way that story ends.
Is that a question?
>How far are you in Candy Crush?
I am on level 347 and haven’t spent a dime or cheated in any way (I even the avoided the deviously simple “time hack”).
>How replayable is The Good, The Bad & The Funny?
That’s an excellent question.
Let’s do some maths: Each combination of cards can be played two ways, so it’s safe to say that each word in a set of 275 cards has 274 combinations.
275 * 274 = 75,350
That is the technical number of compound words and phrases that can exist in the game.
Now, there are also 50 mission cards - which means that each combination can be played on each mission.
50 * 75,350 = 3,767,500
That’s a lot of possibilities.
It’s also a load of bologna. Sure, it’s possible to combine all of the words and play them on any mission, but that doesn’t mean those combinations will work! Most of the combinations would be totally nonsensical.
So the true number of viable combinations is much, much less. Let’s pretend that only 10% of the combinations of cards are any good.
75,350 * .1 = 7,535
That’s still a huge number. In terms of other Apples games, each one of these combinations would be considered a “card.” Even if only 1% of the combinations were usable…
75,350 * .01 = 753.5
That’s equal to having a deck of over 700 cards - still more than a standard deck of other Apples games. Pretty awesome, huh?
Remember, “viable” in this game can mean any of three categories of judging (if you include going for -10 points) - so the number of combinations is very likely over 1%.
If we hit 600 cards…
600 * 599 = 359,400 * .01 = 3,594
Back to the question, “Is this replayable?” - Yes. And the more I can expand the Kickstarter offering, the more word cards you will receive. This (obviously) doesn’t mean that 275 isn’t enough - instead that expanding the deck will merely expand the possibilities in exponential (?) ways.
>This game sounds great for education!
Uh, sure. Possibly. I’m not working that angle, but I understand how The Good, The Bad & The Funny can be used in class - but so can many, many games if the context is set correctly and there’s a debrief.
>What about foreign stuff?
What do you mean? Like, will I offer this in another language? Did I already answer that?
The answer is no. I have no idea how other languages work. They may have compound words and phrases, but I’m definitely not going to design a word game for a language that I don’t speak - even in the most rudimentary fashion.
If you want to use this to help teach English - sure. Whatever. But see the previous answer.
>What ages can play this game?
Anyone of reading age can play The Good, The Bad & The Funny. I have a set of vulgar cards, but decided to keep them out of the main print because they limit the audience and cheapen the experience. The game has very few “Bingo” cards - you know, cards that are instant wins. Keeping the dirty stuff out of the game forces players to be more creative… when trying to make dirty phrases. And, as with any word game, that’s totally possible.
But there are no outright dirty words in the game, so it is a generally safe experience for those 8 and up.
>Tell me again about Stretch Goals...
Right. I got a pretty big break to get the 325 deck as low as it is. I feel like it's a super reasonable price for full game that's really replayable. The downside is that the stretch goals are a bit, well, stretched as a result.
If we hit $16,600 the number of cards goes up to 400 for everyone. That's 25 more mission cards and 50 more word cards.
In addition, the new mission cards are going to be carefully crafted by my friends over at Gigantic Mechanic. Cool, right?
At $18,175, the deck expands to 500 cards. That makes it 100 total mission cards and 400 word card. The new mission cards in this set will be created by a special (to be announced) guest(s)! Yay!
At $19,700, the deck expands to 600 cards. That's amazing and wonderful for everyone!!! I'll bring in a third special guest(s) to help create mission cards, which will be totally exciting and cool.
There are more stretch goals as well, but I would really rather just focus on hitting the main goal first. I hate when people put a $100k stretch goal before making a main goal of $10k. It's a bit absurd, right?
*(continued from the top)
>I don’t want to cut out 600 cards!
Well, it’s over 600 cards because there are mission cards as well. But I hear you - so here’s a copy to print on label paper. Print it out and put it on whatever card-like objects you have.
>This is still too many!
I think I’ve been more than accommodating, but included is another version with only 166 cards total (and a label version). This will give five people the chance to play 15 rounds, which should be a complete game.
Risks and challenges
CHALLENGE 1: Marketing
The greatest challenge in this whole process is simply meeting the goal. I know this section is reserved for "after," but I've been through the process before and have addressed many of the main challenges in the past couple of months to ensure the project can be created exactly as promised. First, though, it needs funding - and that means I need your help to get the word out.
CHALLENGE 2: Design
The concept of the game is done, but the graphic design and layout is not. This isn't a major area of risk, as Laura is an amazing professional that will not only create a beautiful design, but also meet the deadline like a champ. The only foreseeable delay is me putting the final content into the design, which sometimes can take a couple more hours than it should. But I am a pretty great InDesign'er, so I'm not too worried about this part.
CHALLENGE 3: Production
The first Kickstarter card game I did, Do Move Say, had a slight delay in the production phase because of communication difficulties between the printer and me. Namely, I had requested certain things on paper, such as domestic printing and a hard copy proof that they seemingly forgot about. This meant that the game ended up shipping later than expected - about a month later, which isn't awesome for anyone.
This time, however, I started the conversation with a new printer months ago and have them primed up ready to go the moment that the files hit their inbox. This printer, AdMagic, is recognized as one of the greatest game printers with some Kickstarter projects like Cards Against Humanity in their portfolio. I have Shari Spiro, the president of the company, in my speed dial and she's been an amazing collaborator in this process, so I foresee no difficulty or risk in getting the final card game printed and looking beautiful.
CHALLENGE 4: Shipping & Handling
It's unlikely that I'll have enough products to use a wholesale shipping and handling group, which is a bummer. This means I'll be handling the entire process out of my apartment, which will take roughly a week and will be a stressful burden on my family. During this process, there is the possibility that some labels may get shifted around or some custom forms messed with (the perils of having a 2 year old), but since everyone is getting roughly the same item, I'm not really concerned.
You'll notice that the timeline is aligned to meet the holiday season, with a little extra time reserved for any delays. This is intentional.
Kickstarter completed (hopefully successful) at the end of August. Funds arrive in the middle of September. At this point, graphic design should be complete, so the files should be delivered at or before the funds arrive. This gives printing and freight about a month, which puts the final products in my apartment at the end of October. Shipping occurs by the first week of November and everyone verifies that they have their product by the end of November. Delays? No problem. We'll still get it all out before the middle of December. Cool, right?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)