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Thursday, August 14th, 2003
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? German Fluxx & New Part-Time Help

The new Fluxx decks are here! The new Fluxx decks are here! For nearly as long as we've been selling Fluxx, we've been talking about making foreign language editions, in particular for Germany (the country with the world's most active market for card-and-board games). Finally, after much talk and many false starts, German Fluxx has arrived!

Fans of the original Fluxx may be surprised, even alarmed, at the artistic differences between the two editions. As you can see from the card samples below, the German cards have a very different style from the traditional look of the Fluxx deck. When we agreed to license the German publication rights to Amigo Spiele, we also decided to give them the freedom to produce the German version in the manner they thought best for their market, and this is what they came up with.

But once you get used to it, I think you'll find their version has a lot of appeal. I love the color artwork for the Keeper (or should I say, Motiv) cards, created by Barbara Spelger, and check out how the circles in the corners contain iconic version of those images. Isn't it great how they then use those icons, in pairs, on the Ziel (Goal) cards?

Because of the way text plumps when you translate it into German (on average, a paragraph auf Deutsch is 30% longer than the same material in English) they decided to leave off all that standard text we put on every card, and even some other fine print, putting all that info onto the large, fold-out instruction sheet. But I respect that choice... it certainly makes for more attractive cards. In particular, notice how simple the Basic Rules (GrundRegel) card has become (that's it on the front of the box). Notice how this new design will allow you to play the 4 most common rule-types onto the corners of the Basic Rules!

Of course, the downside of all this fine German re-engineering is that all the text is written in another language. I have the serendipitous advantage of having studied said language for 3 years in high school, but that really just means my guesses are better than average. What's cool though is that you can figure out what most cards are/do easily enough, if you know regular Fluxx. The tricky ones are the Aktions... some are pretty easy to decode, but others misleading. ("Eine Karte Für Mich", for example, which translates to One Card For Me, is actually a card we call "Go Fish.") The first thing we had to do, therefore, was to write out a little translation lookup chart, so that everyone could figure out what everything did, and then we played! And while it's really rather odd, it's also really cool.

Yes, they did change the cardback... however, the cards themselves are the same size (with the exact same corner radius) as the Fluxx 3.0 cards, so you can shuffle the two types together if you want.

It should be noted that this is a fully authorized and licensed publication, and that we worked with Amigo throughout their re-design, approving everything as we went along. Also, while the visual presentation of the game is quite different, the gameplay hasn't been changed at all. It's a straight translation of Fluxx 3.0, with the addition of 6 extra cards (since their standard box holds a slightly bigger deck than ours), namely a trio of cards they wanted to bring back from Version 2 (Government Cover-up, Secret Data, and Security Breach) plus 3 Blanxx (in a novel, even more generic style than our Blanxx). So overall, I'm really very happy with it!

Fans in Germany will hopefully find Fluxx auf Deutsch wherever Amigo games are sold... our more local fans will need to be a little more patient. So far we've only received a box of sample decks, but we've requested a wholesale-sized shipment of decks, so that we can offer them direct to our fans through our online Shopping Center.

So good luck, German Fluxx! Here's hoping you sell a million copies and win Spiel Des Jahres!

I also mentioned some new part-time help. We've very pleased to announce that we've recently hired not just one, but several new 10-hour-a-week helpers. This week it was Fuzzface, our new System Administor, and before that it was Margit, who is helping Kristin with book-keeping. Also, in the tele-commuting world, we're now getting help from Russell Grieshop, our new Rabbit Coordinator, and Ali Summers, a Sales Guru who'll be helping us build up a system to enable freelance sales reps to work for us on commission. You can read all about these fine folks and the others on Staff here at LooneyLabs by checking out the newly updated Who's Who? page.

Needless to say, we're really pleased and excited to have all this extra help. Our company has reached the stage where there's way too much work, in way too many departments, for us to accomplish ourselves, yet we still struggle with cashflow issues and can't afford to hire all the help we might like. By hiring several different part-time workers, we can delegate many of these tasks to different people. So far, this is working great (though it does get a bit intense around here when they all show up to work on the same day), and Kristin is really psyched to be getting the help she so desperately needs.

Once again, I'd just like to say Thank You to everyone who's helping us build this dream of ours, both (under)paid and un-paid. You-all rock! We couldn't succeed without your support!

AndyHave a Great Week!

the story so far

Thought Residue
"The coolest thing about the spaceship (other than having an "open-air" deck), was that Andy Looney was there, with the two little girls who were with him at Origins. I got to apologize to him in person for not keeping touch over email." [Then the spaceship turned into a school, and a test was being missed...] "I wish Andy Looney was my dad. He was so cool to talk to in person." -- description of a dream in Laura Marsh's blog, from the entry dated Aug. 7th, 2003

"In total, based on all the data from the research and the testimony heard regarding the effects and consequences of cannabis use, the committee concludes that the state of knowledge supports the belief that, for the vast majority of recreational users, cannabis use presents no harmful consequences for physical, psychological or social well-being in either the short or the long term." -- Canadian Senate Report on Marijuana Policy, Volume One, circa 2002, page 165
"How in God's name should one then devote oneself to a party which aims to abandon the poor to their poverty, cut school lunch programs, cut foreign aid, keep out immigrants, deny government assistance to legal and tax-paying immigrants, cut medical aid to the poor and the sick, and put more people in prison than any other industrial democracy? This is why I say the pro-life activist who gets into bed with the Republicans is compromised. He thinks he has stood firm on abortion (we'll get back to that), but he has completely compromised on justice." -- Mark Rosenfelder, "Have Evangelicals Sold Their Souls To The Devil?"


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