- [Guide] [Games] [E-Books]
Kingdom of Heaven :)
Sure, it's way too long,
and it's built on lies, but hey,
so were the Crusades.
"If you want to teach students to be flexible, adaptable,
information literate people, I can think of few games more suited
to that task than Fluxx. Why? Well, Fluxx is a pretty simple
game. There is only one rule, you see, you draw one card and
then you play one card. That's it. How do you win? I don't know...nobody
has played a card that allows someone to win. We will have to
wait and see what develops. Understanding and applying rules
to master a situation, really the heart of gaming, also happens
to be a critical skill in information literacy. What is Internet
searching but trying multiple paths and working through ever-shifting
information tracks? Game play for Fluxx varies greatly depending
on the cards, but an average game length is probably about 15
minutes. There is also a new science based version of Eco-Fluxx."
of Fluxx at the official web log of the American Association
of School Librarians
Thursday, September 28th,
- Sponsored by Looney
||Cursed Trees & Night Forests
been calling this "The Summer of the Cursed Trees,"
but now that summer is officially over and nothing else can be
part of that story, it seems like the time is right for me to
talk about all the problems we had with the tree images on this
year's promo cards. (Also, since we've sold 21 "Night"
Forest cards this week -- at the premium price of $2 -- without
ever explaining what they actually are, I need to tell that story,
Prerequisite: To understand this article, you should
first read the page about Trees
from this year's Origins
The first sign of trouble came when we started making the
buttons. When we saved out the final PDF files to deliver
to the button-makers for production, a bug cropped up which would
take our black & white line tree drawings and invert the
colors, turning them into white outlines on a black rectangle.
We noticed the problem right away and after some frustration,
we shifted gears and delivered the files in a different format.
No flawed Tree buttons were actually manufactured, but it was
the beginning of the curse.
Then, just as we were packing for Origins, the curse struck
big time: the box of finished promo cards arrived from the printer,
and 1 of the 4 cards had been printed with an inverted image.
As shown above, the forest on the Forest goal was white on black
instead of black on white.
Imagine our shock. Here it was, just a couple of days before
the event at which we were planning to be giving out these cards,
and we discovered that one of them was horribly flawed. The Trees
were OK, but all of the Forests were wrong. It has slipped through
because the image looks kind of cool (even though totally wrong)
so the printing team never realized there was a mistake.
Because it looks like the forest at night, we nicknamed these
flawed cards the "Night Forests."
Fortunately, there was just barely enough time for
the printer to redo these cards and send a box of replacements
to us directly at the convention center in Columbus. They arrived
just as the show was beginning, so the day was saved!
we gave out vast numbers of Trees, and plenty of properly-printed
Forests and all was well... but the "Night" Forests
were just one of the mishaps in the Summer of the Cursed Trees.
We still had Gen-Con
to prepare for!
Here's the thing: even though the printers in New York had
averted disaster, we weren't really very happy with their work.
The entire thing was an experiment... for years we've been getting
our promo cards made by a local printer called Murray & Heister,
but this year, when we heard that Steve Hoffman had found a printer
in Niagara Falls who could make our promos (that's who he had
print his wedding
promos) we decided to give them a try, too.
Although the Niagara printers did a great job of recovering
from the Night Forest blunder, we had to face the reality that
the cards they printed weren't really up to the quality we were
looking for. They were often poorly centered, the ink seems less
permanent, and the trimming of the corners were almost never
a proper matched for the standard edges of a Fluxx card. So we
made plans for a 2nd run of promo cards, for use at Gen-Con,
and decided just to go back to Murray & Heister.
And then the Curse struck again!
Just as we were packing for Gen-Con, M&H delivered the
finished promo cards, and they were ALL wrong! In a new and different
way! The color stripes were backwards! The Tree Keepers had a
pink stripe and the Forest Goal had a Green stripe:
Imagine our shock, again! Josh called from the office after
opening the box, and I'm told that when I took the call, it looked
to the people in the room as though I had just been informed
of a death. Fortunately, again, there was just barely
enough time for Murray & Heister to redo the job. (Thanks
Tony!) Whew! Gen-Con
Collector's Note: the Tree
& Forest promos that are now for sale at our webstore
(and in the 2006 promo card pack) are all from this 2nd better
Only a tiny handful of samples of these inverted color promos
were saved. They're just too strange to be allowed to exist,
and were mostly dumped into the recycling bin.
However, we decided that the Night Forests are actually kind
of cool, and we're selling
them now (while supplies last!) at our webstore.
Night Forest House Rule:
Part of why we decided to sell them is because of this cool
house rule: To win with the Night Forest, you need 2 or more
Trees AND the Moon must be somewhere on the table.
curse struck one final time, on the Lab Report we made for Gen-Con,
which featured images promoting the new promos. Naturally, the
inverted-image bug was an annoyance during the development of
both of this summer's issues of the Lab Report, but just when
we'd learned how to fix that (choose "Flatten Transparency"
from the Object menu), something else happened: the Forest simply
vanished! As you can see, the thumbnail image of the Forest Goal
was there, but the forest artwork on the card had mysteriously
disappeared. This time it was too late to reprint, so we handed
them out that way. If you got a copy of Lab Report Issue #4 at
go look for the invisible forest!
Let's hope that's the last we've seen of this curse!
for reading, and have a great week!
||Sharon's Day Report: This year's day out was a bit
more modest than our trips in recent years to 1536
This year, at Sharon's request, we did a repeat of our 2002
miniature golfing trip, followed by a sumptuous feast of
Chinese food. Along the way, we went to Target where Sharon chose
for herself the gift she most wanted: a beginner's digital camera.
(James also got a Sharon's Day gift of his choice: a bunch of
Yu-gi-oh cards! That boy's gonna be a gamer...)
||Wow! In the most recent anti-drug commercial from the ONDCP,
the government actually admits that marijuana use is remarkably
non-toxic ("safest thing in the world," the
ad says) and that the "gateway effect" is nonsense.
The worst thing pot does, according to the Drug Czar's latest
ad, is to make you sit too long on the couch. OK. So why is it
illegal? Can we stop arresting people for it now? (BTW, I think
it's pretty rude to say that stoners don't take risks in life.
After all, they're brave enough to risk going to jail in order
to pursue their passion for couch-sitting. Do you have that much
dedication to your hobby?)
||Speaking of ads, I can't believe the Vegas people are still
running that commercial where the lawn-mower guy extorts a double-sized
fee from a customer whom he saw cavorting in Vegas the weekend
before. Is that really the message they want to be sending? Apparently,
what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas at all... instead,
it will become blackmail material for your hired help to use