- [Guide] [Games] [E-Books]
Does father know best?
A classic analogy
of "the good old days"
Scruffy's Guide to
"I first played one of the early versions of Fluxx back
in college around '97/'98. I didn't know you guys had made it
until around 2003; On a whim, I bought a deck of Chrononauts
in a WotC shop while I was stuck in a day-long airport layover
with a friend. Chrononauts SAVED our sanity, and later I looked
up your website, only to discover that you had also made Fluxx!
Thanks, guys!" -- James S of Hamilton, OH
||Yay! Robin is Here!
Vinopal. She's one of my oldest and most trusted friends, she's
a multi-talented powerhouse of abilities, and she's fantastically
organized and enthusiastic. And as of the start of this week,
I'm extremely pleased to say, she's also our new Director of
Robin has already been working for us for a while now... she
signed on as our part-time geek wrangler last year, and has been
helping Kristin with all sorts of things around the business.
But this week she has walked away from a very well paid high-tech
management position at a company half way around the beltway,
to pour all her efforts into helping us build this dream we call
Looney Labs. And we're
all incredibly excited about it!
Robin has an impressive list of professional credentials,
but I'm not going to even attempt to summarize them all here.
Instead I'm going to reminisce about my long friendship with
Robin. I first met her in 1987, shortly after John first created
a workable Icehouse game. Robin was there for the first-ever
testing of the first draft of the written rules for the original
version of the game of Icehouse.
After playing the game numerous times with our regular gaming
friends and wanting a fresh audience to test it out with, I arranged
a little testing party with a co-worker named Kristin
Wunderlich. This was before we were dating, when she was living
with a guy named Michael. I'd said I was trying to get a group
of 4 together, and I had one friend I was bringing who hadn't
seen it before (that was Charles Dickson (also known as Number
12) who I knew from Explorer Post 1275, where John
and I had originally become
friends). Kristin and Mike made 3, so we needed one other playtester,
and you guessed it, Kristin invited her friend from college,
Since the original Icehouse game is actually pretty tricky,
and the first version of the rules are never entirely clear,
things got off to a slow start. John and I stood on the sidelines,
holding clipboards (and wearing labcoats), observing how well
they did at playing the game without providing any help.
Off-putting as that might sound, Kristin was so excited by
the whole thing that she started making her own Icehouse set
that very night (her's becoming the 3rd one in existence) and
ultimately starting Looney
Labs (and our predecessor company, Icehouse
And guess who made set #4? That's right, it was Robin! Kristin
made a Black and White set of pyramids out of Sculpy, and Robin
made one for herself using Kristin's technique, painting it Silver
Robin was there for the First International Icehouse Tournament.
She was in the finals, and she and Kristin spent many hours at
Disclave teaching random people how to play the game, drumming
up business for the tournament the next day. (I think it can
safely be argued that Kristin is the original Rabbit, and that
Robin was Rabbit #2.)
was a bridesmaid when Kristin and I got married. Later, she married
Michael (the guy Kristin broke up with before starting to date
me). Robin and Mike moved into Kristin's old apartment when Kristin
and I moved into Wunderland.Earth. The loft we left behind, which
Kristin built in college, saved Michael's life one day, when
the ceiling in that apartment collapsed unexpectedly. (We accepted
the loft back some years later and it's still in use today at
In 1993, when Magic: The Gathering came out and all our friends
became instantly obsessed with it, and Greykell held a "come
as your favorite Magic card" party, I created matching Doppleganger costumes for
Kristin and Robin which were the hit of the party. (As for me,
I covered myself with fake vines and called my costume Kudzu.)
was there when I invented Fluxx,
being among its earliest playtesters. During the development
of Chrononauts, she
made suggestions I found specifically useful. (I find in the
notes in my Inventor's Notebook that I playtested an early version
of Chrononauts with Robin almost exactly 6 years ago, on May
6, 2000. In my log, I list some changes that resulted from that
session, describing what we had before as being "way too
confusing." I also note that Robin was the first person
ever to win by collecting "impossible objects" (which
came to be known as Artifacts).)
was there plenty of other times, too. She helped out on one of
my last big efforts in Live
Action Role-Playing development, a game called Takeover:
The Game of Corporate Raiders. Robin's
skill with a camera helped inspire me to become a more serious
and she's appeared in many of my photos over the years. We've
also had many fascinating conversations during our 2-decade friendship,
which have given me important new perspectives on the world.
(She's also given both Kristin and I some really cool birthday
gifts in years gone by.)
In short, Robin is awesome. We're already know we work well
as a team, and she's already been along on some of our greatest
adventures. And yet, I have a feeling our best times together
are still in the future.
aboard, Robin! We're incredibly excited to have you with Looney Labs full-time!
for reading, and have a great week!
||It's the little differences (as Vincent Vega said)
that make international travel so much fun. Here are a couple
of little differences I noticed this
time in Canada: 1.) Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts (a particular
favorite of mine) is much more readily available in Canada than
in the US. 2.) Those Lipton noodle dinner packets are still available
in a flavor called Cheddar and Sour Cream, which I beleive is
same recipe as the long discontinued
American flavor, Noodles Romanoff. 3.) The new US ten dollar
bill is a yucky shade of yellow, whereas the Canadian ten is
my favorite color: Purple!
||"I am vegephobic. I hate vegetables. They are
foul-smelling, foul-tasting, and posessed of a texture that seems
scientifically engineered to make me cringe. I recoil at the
very thought of having to eat vegetables. In short, vegetables
are evil. And I suspect that many of you reading this page feel
the same way. Here we are, in the supposedly enlightened 21st
Century, where we can buy any number of wondrous artifacts to
make our lives easier and more pleasant, and can sue somebody
just for looking at us funny. Yet, despite all these advances,
we are still bombarded from every direction with the message
that we have to eat our vegetables, as though it's some
moral duty we must all endure. Well, I'm here to tell you: You
don't have to eat vegetables! You can get all the macronutrients
you need from grain products, meat products, and dairy products.
You can get all the micronutrients you need from vitamin pills.
The alleged health benefits of having vegetables in your diet
have been grossly exaggerated. The instincive revulsion to eating
those icky plants, which most of us have felt from early childhood,
is there for a reason." -- Roger M. Wilcox,
||"Food items solve crimes."
-- capsule description of the Cartoon Network series "Aqua
Teen Hunger Force," as provided by our cable box (which
for some reason we found hilarious)