The only goals we started with were that it should feature scenes and characters from the comic, that new cards could be added without breaking the game, and that you don’t need to be a member of Mensa to understand the rules.
Originally we were thinking of a game where players would actually create stories, along the lines of James Wallis’s Once Upon A Time. The cards in OUAT represent near-abstract elements of storytelling (A Stepmother, Time Passes, Happy Ever After, etc) and the game exploits the overdetermination of fairytales to let the players read in their own interpretation. When the cards are specific to one story, like in Mirabilis, that isn’t really going to work.
Okay, so then we tried variants of Gin Rummy or Top Trumps. But it’s hard to get excited about rehashing – er, being inspired by - somebody else’s idea. And, y’know, the litigation could be tiresome.
Happily we’ve now come up with an idea that is original and should make for a quick, fun game. I won’t say too much more until we’ve had a chance to playtest it. If it works, we’ll be putting new cards up on the Mirabilis site every week. Stay tuned!