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"I just wanted to thank all of the folks from Looney Labs and those associated with Wunderland for a great time at the Big Experiment. It's a great feeling to be greeted by so many friendly faces for pick-up games as well as the tournaments." -- Brad Weier, on the Icehouse mailing list

Thursday, July 12, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? We Won Two Origins Awards!!!

We're back from Origins, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it was one of the greatest weekends of my life. Not only was our Big Experiment a big success, but two of our games received major industry awards, in a big fancy ceremony (the kind people rent tuxedos for - I just wore my purple blazer) and I had to go up on stage and make acceptance speeches. Icehouse was named the Best Abstract Board Game of 2000, and Chrononauts the Best Traditional Card Game of 2000. Just look at the beautiful trophies they gave us!

I had totally psyched myself up for being happy enough just that we had 3 nominations. That's how it had been for Fluxx and Aquarius, so I knew what this was going to feel like and I was prepared for it. What I wasn't ready for was winning... I had no idea what to say when I got to the podium! My head exploded with happiness as John and I scurried up to the stage to receive our Calliopes, and when I got there, I just yammered. I talked about how far we'd come since our early days ten years ago, when we were making icehouse pieces by hand, using smelly chemicals in the kitchen of my apartment, and were asked to desist by my landlord. Then I remembered to thank Kristin, since she's the one who makes things happen, and John and I would never have gotten anywhere without her. I gave her as much credit as possible when Chrononauts won as well, and since I was a little more calm the second time, I remembered not only to thank Alison for her artwork but the whole WTS for all their help and support. But I don't think I ever remembered to thank all the people who voted for us, and all the Looney Labs fans who've helped get us where we are today, so let me do that now: Thanks!

Anyway, I felt like I was rather incoherent with happiness, but a lot of people said afterwards that they enjoyed my acceptance speeches, so I guess I sounded OK.

There were so many other great things that happened at Origins that I can't even begin to list them here. I'm still assimilating my own memories, and between that, unpacking, Kristin's birthday, and a looming patent application deadline, I haven't even had a chance to sort through my photos, let alone turn them into online scrapbook pages. Look for those next week. In the meantime, check out Dave's Lab Report, and don't miss John's account of what it was like to win an Origins Award. And thanks a zillion to everyone who worked so hard to make everything that happened this weekend turn out so great! I'll save the naming of names for my full report, but you guys rock!

A year ago tomorrow is when I first published the details of the timeline mechanism I invented for Chrononauts, which means the deadline is upon me, under the one-year rule, to file a patent application for it. Luckily, I got it finished up and sent in yesterday (nothing motivates like a deadline) and now that it's done, I can tell you a little about it.

Assuming it issues (we won't know for a year or more... I still haven't heard anything about the one I filed last summer for IceTowers) it will be called "Method of Simulating Time Travel in a Card Game". In order to clearly explain the game mechanic I'm attempting to patent, I needed an isolated example that would depict the key elements of the invention using as few cards as possible. So, our intern Dave Chalker helped me work up a special five card Timeline, for an imaginary game that might be called "Bob Has A Bad Day":

This of course is just the initial setup... the application goes on to explain the operation of the invention, stepping through the phases of the Timeline as a player reshapes Bob's destiny using time travel. Here's the final diagram, showing the fully altered Timeline:

Sharp-eyed Chrononauts fans (and I assume no one else is bothering to read this far) will notice that 3:33 PM is a Nexus and that there should be 2 other patches for that paradox, and indeed there are: 3:33-A reads "Bob Rebuked for Tardiness", while 3:33-B is "Other Guy Promoted." Of course, I explain all about how they are played and how the mechanism works, along with the other 6 illustrations. It's actually a neat little Timeline, isn't it?Andy


Did you hear I won 2 Origins Awards? I'm so happy!

Thought Residue
There's a new creature here at Wunderland.Earth: Alison got a new snake! His name is Benji (the second) and he's a ball python. (I've never lived with a snake before... they're cool!)

We just started getting used to the idea of ordering our groceries online and having them delivered, when suddenly discontinues this service!
"Everything purple belongs to me... everything else can be painted or stained." -- Bumper sticker slogan I heard described by someone who wished she'd bought one when she'd seen it


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