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Talking with Kory on the phone. I say, "I've just got a million things to do and--"
"-- and you don't feel like doing any of them right now."

Cool Words

invidious (in-vid'-ee-us) adj. calculated to create ill will; causing resentment or envy 2. offensively or unfairly discriminating; injurious

Haiku Reviews

Threesome :)

Guy loves girl, girl loves
other guy, other guy loves
first guy, and so on.

Daddy-O's Reviews


Not bad for a sequel with as hard an act to follow as Men in Black. We all laughed and had a good time. I loved the contents of locker C-18 (but I thought it should have been #17...).

Tirade's Choice

Lots of Long Hair Braided Together

"At some point during the weekend I realized that my fears were completely unfounded - I think I was afraid that you and your community wouldn't be as cool, as smart, as warm, and welcoming, and incredible as it seemed to me that you all were from a distance. Geez... was I wrong. Everybody there made me feel incredibly welcome - and I know that hanging around with your Rabbits has been one of the most wonderful experiences in my life. I am *definitely* on board for next year, and look forward to helping out more with the Big Experiment. You guys have a great group of people around you - and I know that just about everybody who wandered into the room must have felt it right away." -- Russell G, emailing us about the fun he'd had at Big Experiment #3

Thursday, July 11, 2002
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? It Was The Best Big Experiment Ever

Well, we're back from Origins and we're really really tired. As usual, catching up after a weekend like that can take some doing, particularly when we also had new deadlines (like finalizing the Nanofictionary rulebook and celebrating Kristin's Birthday) to attend to. As a result, I haven't finished sorting through all the pictures I took, so you'll have to wait until later for the photo album.

Here are some of my favorite memories of the event:

  • Again this year I took home an Origins Award, this time for Cosmic Coasters, which was named Best Abstract Board Game of the Year! Thanks for voting for us!
  • I also took home 2 medallions, one for the RAMbots tournament, the other for the Proton Challenge. I was particularly proud of the RAMbots win, since I came back to victory in one game after a devastating early round which left me with just 3 instructions to program with.
  • This year's Booth and Lab spaces were better than ever. The Lab was remarkably close to the Booth, which was the biggest we've ever had (a triple) and was squarely in front of one of the 2 entrance points of the exhibit hall. The Lab was actually slightly smaller than last year's, but the new furniture arrangement was a big improvement. Everything ran smoothly and everyone had a great time!
  • New features like seminars and the craft area were very well received. We had a bigger crowd at our game design seminar than Reiner Knizia had at his! Wow!
  • I was honored to be one of 5 "Iron Game Designers" for a game-design competition based on the TV show "Iron Chef". And since I was not chosen that day to do battle in the Game Design Stadium, I got to just hang out and act like a big shot with James Ernest (instead of having to design a game using little plastic trucks).
  • Speaking of TV, I was interviewed for a public access cable-tv show in Ft. Wayne Indiana called The Gamer. Watch for it if you live out there!
  • The new stuff we made, like a trio of new Keepers for Fluxx, postcards advertising Nanofictionary, and Hypothermia #15, were all very well received, and we came home with leftovers we can bring to Gen-Con. (After that, if we still have leftovers, they'll become available at our website.)
  • Speaking of Nanofictionary, Carta Mundi really came through for us by shipping some freshly printed cardsheet samples directly to us at the show. Of course, we had to cut them up by hand to use them, but this meant we had real cards to demo and compete with during the Big Experiment. (Besides the rough cut square edges, these decks were also notable for their stark white backs: these cardsheets were so fresh, they hadn't had time to print the back yet. But that was fine for our purposes.)
  • The first ever Nanofictionary tournament went pretty well considering, and I got some excellent feedback on the rulebook (just in time, too, since it went to the printers yesterday morning).
  • The 13th International Icehouse Tournament was also the Best Ever™ and although I didn't win a single game, I felt OK about my scores. Congrats to Liam Bryan for his fabulous victory, and for also winning the coveted Cooler Than Ice award. Congrats also to the other tournament winners:
    • Dave Chalker (IceTowers)
    • Chris Cieslik (Gnostica)
    • Russell Grieshop (Homeworlds)
    • Chris Ballowe (Cosmic Coasters)
    • Pace Reagan (Zendo)
    • Laura Carter (Chrononauts)
    • Craig Forbes (Zagami)
    • Tiffany Talabere (Fluxx)
    • Adam Kopczenski (Volcano Challenge)
    • Tucker Taylor (Pikemen)
    • Jesse Welton (Q-Turn Challenge)
    • Andy Lavery (Nanofictionary)
    • Meg Gandy (Aquarius Hair-Down)
    • Shannon Seaman (Aquarius)·
  • While I'm at it, a hearty Well-Done to the Icehouse Finalists (Ryan McGuire, Jacob Davenport, and Dan Isaac), the Fluxx finalists (Thom Herchenrader, Keith Cutshall, Eric Zuckerman, and Chris Pollichemi), the Gnostica finalists (Jacob Davenport, Kory Heath, and Nathan Dilday), and the Chrononauts finalists (Larry Kozlowski, Steven Gifford, and Chris Sessoms). Lastly, Jolly Good Show to Cayce Duda, who came so close to winning the Q-Turn Challenge, and to everyone else who gave it their best. Well gamed, folks!
  • Speaking of results, we were asking visitors to our booth to vote on 3 stories we were thinking about using on the packaging and in the rules for Nanofictionary. The results of that poll are:
    • The Ice Cream Disaster: 305
    • The Stolen Machine: 238
    • Future Fire: 101
  • Late night Werewolf hunting proved to be extremely popular. Every night, we had around 50 people playing, in 4 or 5 different games, many spilling out into the hall. Reportedly some of these gamers kept at it until after breakfast.
  • I played Fluxx with a woman and her daughter, who has diabetes, and really enjoyed seeing how they had customized their deck (using Fluxx Blanxx) to relate to diabetes. It seemed like a wonderful tool for helping them cope with their particular struggle, and I can imagine other, similar theme decks, too. I'm thinking a couple of cardlists like this would make an excellent addition to our new Educational Ideas index...
  • Becca's Recycling program was again a huge hit... this time we had tie-dyed bins set up all over, and we were constantly thanked for providing a service the convention center was ignoring. Thanks Becca!
  • Lastly, I got some excellent advice and insights from Mike Sugarbaker, on how we should be marketing Icehouse. Thanks, Mike!

Thanks again to all our friends and fans who helped make this year's Origins the best yet, especially to all the Tourney-Masters, Referees, Seminar Presenters, and Top Rabbits (particularly Liam, who designed all the Top Rabbit paperwork with Kristin). We couldn't have done it without you! We're already looking forward to next year...

And thanks also for voting for Cosmic Coasters!Andy

Sorry, I'm still behind on the cartoon, so as a substitute, here's a really great picture of Tirade drawn by Alex Bradley at Origins. This is one of 6 interpretations of our favorite broccoli which Alison commissioned from various game industry artists at the show. (We're saving the rest for a new e-book she's planning to start, after SuperFRED becomes fully operational...)the story so far

Thought Residue
"I'm really angry that I, a superior human being in every way, have less money than my neighbor, whose wife I would love to nail, if only I weren't so busy sleeping and eating pork chops." -- George Carlin, commenting on the 7 Deadly Sins
"The so-called war on drugs is creating violence, endangering children, clogging the criminal justice system, eroding civil liberties, and disproportionately punishing people of color. It's time for a cease-fire." -- Rev. William Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which recently passed a "Statement of Conscience" calling for the decriminalization of drugs
"When pure pharmaceutical-grade Bayer heroin was legally sold in pharmacies for about the same price as aspirin, criminals and terrorists were not involved in the drug business. Criminals now are involved in the drug business for one reason: drug prohibition. Prohibition has corrupted all levels of government, from cops on the beat to heads of government, just as alcohol prohibition did during our grandfathers' generation. When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, the U.S. murder rate declined for 10 consecutive years. Have we learned any lessons? Not yet." -- Kirk Muse of Mesa, Arizona


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