Pano Gallery 13 - JCCC2 on-ship

by Andrew Looney, March, 2012

This page, and Gallery 14, are a contuniation of my report on the JoCo Cruise Crazy #2. To begin with, here's another version of the official photo of the WTS contingent, this time as a pano. The one I used on the WWN page is actually a much better photo, but I also find a lot to like about this one, even though it highlights some of the problems of taking Panos. Obviously, Gina's face is rather distorted -- it's one of the inevitable flaws that you get from automatically stitching together a series of individual photos. (Even so, it has a sort of Picasso vibe that I kind of dig.) Meanwhile, Alex is photo-bombing our own photo!

The point is, Pano makes it possible to take group photos that include everyone in the group, by having one person start the photo then having someone else finish it. Here's another such photo, of Kristin & Alison & I with Keith Baker and his new wife Jenn, as we sit in the front row of the balcony, waiting for one of the shows to start.

And here's the view from those seats. This being a Jonathan Coulton comedy cruise, concerts were held in the Vista Lounge every afternoon, featuring JoCo and various other musicians, comedians, and entertainers. The scene captured here is the judging of the Fancy Pants Parade, which, of course, was held during JoCo's performance of Mr. Fancy Pants.

And who were all those other entertainers? Here they are, all together at once on stage for the popular Q&A with the Performers event. From left to right: David Rees, John Hodgman, Marian Call, Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo, John Roderick, John Flansburgh, Jonathan Coulton, Paul Sabourin, MC Frontalot, Chris Collingwood, Vi Hart, Molly Lewis, Joseph Scrimshaw, Wil Wheaton, and Paul F. Tompkins.

Our ship, the Westerdam, was a floating palace with numerous awesome locations to hang out and enjoy the high seas. Here's one of my favorite spots: the frontmost view in the lounge on the tenth floor.

Holland America calls this space the Crow's Nest, but the nerds on JoCo Cruise Crazy quickly renamed it Ten Forward, since it reminded everyone of the Starship Enterprise's bar of the same name, and really is in the forward area of the tenth floor.

But the place I spent most of my in-between time was in the game room. And more often than not, when I'd pop in, I'd find at least one group playing one of my games!

Just look at all the games these geeks brought with them to play during the cruise! Obviously, these are my people!

Since this was a great opportunity for playtesting, I brought along all my newest prototypes. And I wasn't the only one -- here we see Alison teaching a game she's inventing to old friend Alex and new friend Mandie. (I actually coined this game's name during this session: Kabloom!)

With Oz Fluxx ready to debut, the game we are currently the most interested in testing in Cthulhu Fluxx, which we're planning to release this summer. And they were eager to try it out!

Cthuhlu Fluxx was designed for us by Keith Baker, a close friend who lives far away, and one of the added joys of this cruise was getting some quality time to hang out with him. Moreover, it gave us a chance to capture some footage of the two of us together for use in our next promotional video. Best of all, we also got one of the performers, Joseph Scrimshaw, to preview the game with us! (We really enjoyed his "Comedy of Doom" act, since he had a whole section on Cthuhlu and HP Lovecraft, we couldn't resist inviting him to join us.)

One of the Panos Kristin took on the first JoCo cruise was of a high-profile Scrabble showdown between John Hodgman and Famous Tracy. Famous Tracy famously lost by more than 100 points, and vowed to return triumphant. And she did: here she is winning the rematch game by more than 100 points!

Kristin still gets requests to demonstrate her cube-solving prowess...

But all I've been talking about so far are indoor activities that could have happened at a regular convention in a random city anywhere. What made this one so special was the ship it was taking place on. It was so amazing to wake up some mornings to see this view rolling by outside...

...and then, on other mornings, we'd see an exotic port of call outside our window when we woke!

Check out Gallery #14 for scenes of the places we went to on our cruise.

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