Bad Words – Changes to the Game

The winds of change are blowing and Bad Words has raised its sails.

Bad Words needed a facelift.  For a few reasons.  Wednesday we posted the different changes coming to the campaign, and some of the most noteworthy are the campaign goals, the product price, the free shipping, and the gameplay change.  All of these are only made possible because of the evolution of Bad Words, from where it was into where it is going next.

The number of cards in the game was causing an inflation in production cost.  Early on we made the decision to have a word on each side of the cards instead of having a “front” and “back.” This reduced the cards necessary from 400 to 200, but 200 is still too many for a starter card game.   We will be reducing the number of cards to 50, but also adjusting the number of words per card to 2 per side.  This does reduce the total number of words in the base game to 200, but the game is also halving in price to make it more reasonable to start up.  The same cost will, ultimately, get you the same number of words – but this way there’s less cost to buy into the game at the start.  Less printing, less packaging, cheaper shipping, everyone wins.

People were going through the entire word list much too fast.  We ran into a lot of situations during our various group play where the groups were going through the entire game in one sitting.  This was happening because of phrases like “what does this word mean?” and “this one is too hard to do, I’m skipping it” and also not having limits on the number of words per round played.   To address the issues with the words, especially with the smaller word list of 200 total, we’ll be doing a full review of the words that we’re including.  Categories and words that were less universal or could have been considered “filler” will be removed.  Our goal is to have the highest quality 200 words for this release, which will allow us to have more focus on this version, as well as any expansions if/when this project is complete.

In addition to an overhaul of the words in the game, we have changed the way the game will be played.  Instead of dividing your group into two teams, Bad Words will be played in a one-versus-all type setting.  The cards will have a black side and a white side, to more easily track what words have been used within that night.  The idea is to start with the top black side words, and then change to top white side, bottom black side, and then bottom white side for each of the following rounds.  This prevents a player from taking cards out of play completely because they had seen them on their turn while trying to choose which card they wanted to play.

  • A round begins with each player being dealt 5 cards.  A round will consist of two complete cycles through all players, so each player will have two turns per round.
  • The goal of the game is to get any of the other players to guess your cards, while also collecting as many cards as possible.
  • Players take turns, lasting 60 seconds, to work through the cards in their hands – trying to get someone to guess your main word while not using any of the secondary words found for that word.
  • Whichever player guesses that word correctly gets the card as a point, and you play until your timer is up or until your cards have all been guessed.
  • At the end of the round, a player loses two points for any word still in their hand.  Total up the points gained for each player, return all cards to the deck and shuffle
  • Change the word set that will be used for the next round (Top Black -> Top White -> Bottom Black -> Bottom White) and repeat.

We will also be carefully selecting our secondary words along with our primary words.  The ability to replay a game is very important to us, and beyond adding expansions to the game, we want the game to stay fresh and original beyond the first time you play it.  Ideally, our vision is to make the game playable with the secondary words each serving as a unique main word on their own.  With the new way the gameplay will be setup, as well as the word selections being made – Bad Words will feature 8 hours of timed play before a word is ever repeated.


Overall, we’re going to produce a cleaner game that may be smaller, but packs in a lot of gameplay for a lot less cost.  We’re excited to get this project started and completed.  We appreciate the love and support everyone has given us along the way, and we are going to succeed with this campaign.   We’ll update again soon!