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"Last night we were at the hospital waiting for my granddaughter to arrive in this realm and to pass the time between contractions my wife, my daughter (the mother to be) and myself played Fluxx. The nurse cast inquisitive looks at us and the games in progress and eventually came in on her break to ask about the game. I showed her the rule sheet and she watched us finish up a game. Then she asked if she could borrow it a second to show to the other nurses. Of course I said yes. She came back and asked where she could get a copy. I directed her to the website. I would like to say that Fluxx took away all the pain of labor, but it didn't. (Maybe Stoner Fluxx, but the hospital might have a problem with that). It did however take our minds off the current event and reduce the stress levels." -- email from a Rabbit named Kermit

Thursday, July 14th, 2005
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Getting Ready for Fluxx 3.1

When EcoFluxx goes to the printers (Next week! Yikes!) we'll also be going to press with a slightly updated version of standard Fluxx. We're on the brink of selling through the current printing, known as version 3.0, and after several years of playing with the current version, I'm ready to make a few little tweaks. And we want to print both games at the same time, since they will be identical in various ways that give us bulk-printing savings (same card count, same-sized rules sheet, same-sized tuck box, same-sized display box).

"What's going to change?" I hear you asking, and "Will we need to buy 3.1 if we have version 3.0?" Hold on, one question at a time, please!

Whereas we made a lot of substantial changes when we went from 2.1 to 3.0, the idea with 3.1 (as with 2.1 before it) is to make a few minor corrections, but nothing so major as to make upgrading necessary or recommended. That said, I'm sure some collectors and die-hard fans will want the latest and greatest...

Here's a (hopefully) complete list of what we're changing this time around:

  • Replace original Basic Rules with the new-style Basic Rules
  • Remove the Action "I Need a Goal" (it's too confusing and not very fun)
  • Replace it with a card that advertises the Mad Lab Rabbit program
  • Remove the Action "Go Fish" (again, it's more complex than it's worth)
  • Replace it with an Action called "Jackpot!" (you get 3 extra cards instantly)
  • Rename X=X+1 to "Inflation"
  • On the Rich and Poor Bonuses, the word "anyone" is being changed to "everyone."
  • On Everybody Gets 1, the text is now starting with the sentence "Set your hand aside."
  • Exchange Keepers isn't changing functionally, but the text is being revised for clarity. It now reads: "Pick any Keeper another player has on the table and exchange it for one of yours. If you have no Keepers on the table, or if no one else has any Keepers, nothing happens."
  • New text for the bottom of Let's Do That Again: "Anyone may look through the discard pile at any time, but the order of what's in the pile should never be changed."
  • Text to add (in tiny print) to the Reverse Order card: "When there are only two players, treat this card as Take Another Turn."
  • All boilerplate text (those standard directions at the top of each card) is being revised (becoming "To play this card..." instead of "When you play this card...") as follows:
    • Goal: To play this card, place it face up in the center of the table. Discard previous Goal, if any.
    • Keeper: To play this card, place it face up on the table in front of you.
    • New Rule: To play this card, place it face up in the center of the table. This rule goes into effect as soon as you play it.
      • On Draw rules, add: Discard the previous Draw rule, if any.
      • On Play rules, add: Discard the previous Play rule, if any.
      • On Hand Limit cards, add: Discard the previous Hand Limit, if any.
      • On Keeper Limits, add: Discard the previous Keeper Limit, if any.
    • Action: To play this card, do whatever it says, then place it on the discard pile.
  • Various minor changes are being made to the box (see list below)

The image shown above, of a 3-D Fluxx logo in space, is adapted from the artwork I created this year for the Fluxx World Championship medallion awarded at Origins. I reworked this image as shown for discussion, but we've decided not to be so radical as to switch to this image on the box. However, we are still talking about switching the background color from black to deep purple.

Here are the changes to the box we're definitely making:

  • Wherever it says Version 3.0 it will now say 3.1
  • Since we've gotten a registered trademark on Fluxx, all TMs will change to (R)s
  • The copyright statement will change to "© 1997-2005 by Looney Labs"
  • New fine print on the bottom panel: "Printed in the USA by Carta Mundi"
  • The green starburst on the side flap will now say "Over 200,000 copies sold!"
  • The large Looney Labs logo on the other side flap is being replaced with a newer logo
  • On the back, the image of the original Basic Rules will be replaced with the new version

OK, next question. Yes, you, in the back. "Me? OK. Most of those changes sound pretty unimportant, but I'd love to get that Jackpot and the new Basic Rules card. Is there going to be a way to get just those 2 cards?"

Yes. After we run the Promo Card Scavenger Hunt again at Gen-Con and DragonCon, we'll be putting together sets of those 6 new cards (which include the 2 in question) as the 2005 Promo Card Pack and selling them through our Short Run Depot. And yes, you'll be able to buy them with Rabbit Points.

Any more questions? "Yes. I heard you were going to put the "Dude! It's Food!" icon onto the food cards. What happened with that?"

Well, I've gone back and forth on that, and ended up on back. On the face of it, the idea seems cool, particularly for when you combine Fluxx with Stoner Fluxx, but ultimately, if the symbols have no meaning in the game as it stands, they feel wrong. I thought for awhile about switching in a goal like Snack Your Way to Victory, but then Kristin decided the open slot should be used for a Mad Lab Rabbit card. I'm just as happy to drop the symbols anyway, since I couldn't decide if Milk should get the "Look! It's Food!" icon. The dictionary defines food as being nourishment of a solid form, but milk is the original and most basic food and seems to me like it should have the icon. So it's easier just to avoid the whole question by abandoning the change.

Next? "What about the card list for EcoFluxx?" I'm putting it up this week. I've also updated the card list for Fluxx Jr, which we'll be focusing on as soon as EcoFluxx and 3.1 are off to the printer. (Fluxx Reduxx is currently on indefinite hold.)

OK, that's all I have time for now. Any further questions, comments, and discussions about all of this should be directed to the Fluxx mailing list. Thanks! (And for those of you who've been on the list for a while... did I miss anything?)

In other news, I've chosen a packing assistant! His name is James Durfor, and we met at Origins. (He made it into the Fluxx finals... that's the back of his head and the cards in his hand in the photo on my Origins Report page.) He starts next week. Also, Alison is heading off to camp tomorrow... she'd been planning only to work 3rd Session, which is in August, but someone on staff for 2nd session got a broken foot, so Vini the camp director called to beg Alison to fill in. So she's rushing to finish up as much artwork as possible before she goes. As for Kristin (who just turned 40... Happy Birthday Kristin!), she's been spending a lot of time working with her new sales department, i.e. Alvaro and Luisa, and she's *really* happy to finally have a sales department. (So am I!)

AndyThanks for Playing our Games, and Have a Great Week!

Thought Residue
I've grown to hate email, which is sad, because I used to love it. Back in the late 80s, it was the Best Thing Ever! But now, the spammers have ruined it for everyone. I feel like my favorite secret spot, that swimming hole in the valley, once the scene of many happy afternoons, has now become polluted, over-run by rude tourists, and plastered over with signs, billboards, and advertisements. Yuck.

"There's no difference between killing and making decisions by which you send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing. And maybe it's worse." -- Golda Meir, in a 1972 interview with Oriana Fallaci
"Travel with several Three Musketeers bars and a few bags of honey-roasted cashews. If your hotel has shut down its room service for the night, or if room service is as bad as it often is, you will want those snacks. I might add that it's a rare hotel that has room service that tastes as good as a Three Musketeers bar. (When I was a child they were a nickel - sniff, sniff.) And if the airline food is disappointing - isn't it funny that I say 'if'? - you will be happy that you have that reliable Three Musketeers chocolaty goodness in your pocket. (No, I am not a spokesman for Three Musketeers. I just love them.) Sometimes a rush of chocolate can cover even the worst sins of an airplane." ­ Ben Stein, "In Seat 12C, Speak Kindly and Carry a Big Candy Bar"

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