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Richard Sweeney's Paper Sculptures

"We ordered our first copies of Treehouse, shortly after returning from GAMA. We have a demo copy of the game on our front table, and customers from ages 10 and up have been challenging each other... over and over again. The game is so deceptively simple to learn, but can escalate into surprisingly strategic competition. Players love that Treehouse fits easily back into its container, and can be carried in a pocket!" -- Vicki LK Schneider of Infinite Quests


Thursday, May 25th, 2006
Sponsored by Looney Labs

What's New?

Iceland Icehouse Medallions

This week finds us busy as usual. I'm finally into Phase 2 on the development of 3HOUSE, but unfortunately it's not going to be ready in time to sell at Origins... there's still just too much work I need to do on it. Hopefully, I will at least have a nearly final draft available for proof-reading at Origins.

But with this reality check comes another realization: Origins is getting uncomfortably close! It's now only a month away! Luckily, our planning is already well underway, but there are a few areas where it's nose-to-the-grindstone time.

For one thing, there's the issue of new Promo cards. Every year we create a few special new cards to give away at the summer trade shows, and if we're going to do so again this year, now is the time when we need to be finalizing our plans and sending them off to the printer. Since we don't want to disappoint our fans, we've got a new set of cards all figured out, and I just need to hammer out the artwork.

Also of course there's the issue of the Tournament Prize Medallions. Regulars at Origins know we make these wonderful Olympic-style award medallion which we give to the winners of our annual tournaments. At this point, this being our 7th Big Experiment, most of the medallions feature standardized artwork, but for the first set of awards, given to the winners of what will be our 17th annual Icehouse Tournament, it is traditional to create a new set of medallion images every year.

This tradition is becoming increasingly tiresome, since it's been several years since anyone has stepped forward and volunteered to create the artwork for us, leaving it on me to throw something together at the last minute. Last year I did some quick, colorful cartoons, and 2 years ago, I did them by taking photos of Icehouse pieces arranged on interesting looking tabletops in various Amsterdam Coffeeshops. Next year, I may just choose a past favorite (I really need to build a web page that chronicles the history of the Icehouse medallion artwork) and say "this is it from now on," but this year I had an inspiration for something fun I could do quite easily, so I present to you my plan for this year's Icehouse Tournament Medallions. As you can see, they feature the characters from my quirky (and now dormant) web comic, Iceland!

In other news, I invented a cool new game for the Treehouse set on Sunday! It's too early for me to say anything more specific about it right now, but I'm so excited about it that I had to say something! (Those of you who hang out with me in person will get to playtest it the next time I see you...)

AndyThanks for reading and stuff!

Thought Residue

"People who smoke marijuana may be at less risk of developing lung cancer than tobacco smokers, according to a study presented yesterday. The study of 2,200 people in Los Angeles found that even heavy marijuana smokers were no more likely to develop lung, head, or neck cancer than nonusers, in contrast with tobacco users, whose risk increases the more they smoke." -- Heather Burke, "Marijuana Cancer Risk Played Down," Boston Globe, May 24, 2006

"It's easier to rig an electronic voting machine than a Las Vegas slot machine, says University of Pennsylvania visiting professor Steve Freeman. That's because Vegas slots are better monitored and regulated than America's voting machines, Freeman writes in a book out in July that argues, among other things, that President Bush may owe his 2004 win to an unfair vote count. We'll wait to read his book before making a judgment about that. But Freeman has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights, according to data he presented at an October meeting of the American Statistical Association in Philadelphia." -- "How To Steal an Election," The Washington Post, May 16, 2006
"'The same procedure as last year, Madam?'
'The same procedure as *every* year, James.'"
-- a question repeatedly asked and answered in an obscure 11-minute British film from 1963 called Dinner for One, which has become Germany's most popular New Year's tradition [and which I'd like to get a copy of for myself, so as to join in the traditional yearly viewings...]

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