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"A day later, I snuck back to Looney Labs to get Andy's autograph on a couple of games. He was happy to do it but insisted I take an additional card for my own copy of Fluxx. He then pulled out a Keeper card with a caricature of himself on it. It read: "Keeper: Andy Looney -- Not valid without Andy's signature." He signed the card and said 'Thanks for playing my games.' No, no, no. Thank you, Andy, for making them." -- S. Matt Read, "Family Fluxx a great, goofy card game for all ages", published in the July 21st issue of the Missoulian


Thursday, September 21st, 2006
Sponsored by Looney Labs

What's New?

What's Going On? Fluxx Espanol is at the Printers!

Well, it took us 9 months, but the Spanish edition of Fluxx is finally in the hands of our card printers, Carta Mundi! Whoo-hoo!

As I explained when I first announced our plan for Fluxx Espanol, we decided to take a different approach to this translation than we did for the German and Japanese editions. In both of those cases, Fluxx was produced entirely by other companies, who did a very literal translation of Fluxx (but with all-new color artwork and stylings of their own) and are paying us royalties for the game design. The Spanish edition, on the other hand, has been produced entirely in-house and is not a direct translation, but instead features new cards we cooked up just for this version.

I described in last December's article how we decided to start with a 56-card base (like Family Fluxx rather than standard Fluxx, which has 84 cards) which meant cutting out a few classic Keepers. We also decided to stir it up by adding an entirely new Keeper called La Fiesta. We also decided it made more sense, culturally, to replace Cookies with Cake.

All of those decisions have held, but some design choices weren't finalized until the very last minute. While the Keeper set proved solid, the exact selection (and namings) of Goals that use them was something we've been tweaking and play-testing all year. One thing that did change from what I described 9 months ago was the Fiesta bonus... this card (which we ended up naming El Reventon, which means The Big Party) is a Regla Nueva which allows all players to Draw and Play 1 extra card during their turns if *anyone* has La Fiesta on the table. (Pretty cool, huh? I think we're going to need to make an English version of this card at some point!)

Fluxx Espanol will feature 6 new Goals that we came up with just for this edition:

  • Feliz Cumpleanos! (Happy Birthday!): Cake + Fiesta
  • La Boda (The Wedding): Love + Fiesta
  • Pastel Tres Leches (Three-Milk Cake): Milk + Cake
  • La Siesta (Afternoon Nap): Sleep + The Sun
  • Show de Media Noche (Late Night Talk Show): Television + The Moon
  • Salud, Dinero y Amor (Health, Money, & Love): Bread + Money + Love

The first 2 are Goals that make use of the new Fiesta Keeper. The next 2 are perfect examples of what we were trying to do with this edition, namely bringing in traditions of Latino culture that would make this version more than just a simple translation.

The last 2 were the tricky ones, and were driven by game design issues. Although the earliest versions of Fluxx don't conform to this rule, I like to include enough Goals in a deck for each Keeper to be used for at least 2 ways of winning (not counting Goals like 5 Keepers). Given how the Goals for the Spanish selection of Keepers had shaken out, there were 4 Keepers left which had each been used only once: Bread, Money, Television, and The Moon. So the last 2 cards needed to be Goals which make use of these 4 Keepers.

What I came up with for these last 2 cards were the Late Night Talk Show, which translated just fine, and Dough, which I thought was a wonderfully clever way of bringing Bread and Money together, since Dough and Bread are both slang words for Money in English. Unfortunately, this idiom didn't translate as well. The closest Luisa could come up with was Pasta, which apparently works similarly well in Spain, but not so much South of the Border.

We were still trying out the name Pasta as of the very last playtest session, during which Luisa (our Eco-expert who's also a language expert, who did the translating work for us -- thanks Luisa!) playtested it with Rosa (the wonderful lady from Bolivia who's been helping us keep our house clean for almost as long as we've been living in it -- thanks Rosa!) and Alison (our staff artist who did all the colorful new Cosa illustrations -- thanks Alison!). Rosa (who recently got her US citizenship -- congratulations Rosa!) confirmed for us that the Pasta joke wouldn't fly in our target market, and suggested instead the classic toast, "Salud, Dinero y Amor"! The problem, as Rosa herself immediately pointed out, was that it would require 3 Cosas, instead of the usual 2. "If there could be 3..." she said, and I said "Sure, why not?" While it will make this an unusually difficult Meta, there's precedent for a 3-Keeper Goal (in Stoner Fluxx) and it's wonderful from the standpoint of including a common, idiomatic expression from the target language in the game, particularly when it does what I need for it do, gameplay-wise. So thanks for the suggestion, Rosa! (Oh, and while I'm thanking people, thanks Mar for all the layout work!)

With the card artwork for Fluxx Espanol finally sent off to Carta Mundi, the final countdown is now underway for the release. We're expecting to have these decks shipping to stores during the first week of November!

AndyThanks for reading, y que tengan una gran semana!

Thought Residue
I really should have explicitly mentioned Starship Exeter in my Star Trek Geekery of last week. Starship Exeter is another fan-created Star Trek series set in the timeframe of the original show, but on a different ship in the fleet. I'd previously seen only their first episode (The Savage Empire), which (also like New Voyages) was impressive just for what it is, but otherwise not that amazing. Until now I hadn't seen any of their second episode (The Tressaurian Intersection) which they've only released half of so far... but now I'm on the edge of my seat! I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will end, but unfortunately, spare-time projects are slow... the last time they added a segment was in February, and from what I'm hearing on their podcasts, it will still be a long time before they'll finish up the post-production work. But I'm really looking forward to it! (Incidentally, Starship Exeter reminds me of my own idea for a comedic Trek series... particularly this "Night Shift" sketch that was shot as test footage prior to the filming of their second episode.)
"You're playing Fluxx 3.1 with two other players. The only New Rule card in play is Hand Limit 0. Nobody has any Keepers in play, or cards in their hand. The current goal is 10 Cards in Hand. It's your turn. Is there a possible arrangement of cards in the deck that would let you win, without changing the Goal, before the next person gets a turn? If so, what's the simplest arrangement (i.e., fewest specific cards at the top of the deck before you reach the 'rest of the cards can be in any order' point)?" -- Andrew R. Mutchler's Fluxx Puzzle, posted to the Fluxx mailing list on September 17 [the next day, Zarf posted a solution that gets you to 12 cards in hand with just 5 cards]
I really enjoyed the new Reflections by David Sedaris, called "In the Waiting Room." It's subtitled "The advantages of speaking French," but it really should have been "The dangers of always saying Yes to questions, even in a foreign country when you didn't quite understand what you're being asked." This liberal "just say yes" policy finds him sitting nearly naked in a waiting room where, to avoid looking stupid, he decides "to remain where I was and pretend that everything was normal. La la la."

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