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Haiku Reviews

Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America
For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan %}

Welcome to this the
haiku review! I like you!
Please to see movie.

Tirade's Choice

The Anorak's Guide to the Prisoner

"You guys have a lethal demo team - I was just walking by when *wham* I got sucked into a game and I couldn't leave because your games are so much FUN to play! And even though I work around games all day, I never get to play. You guys are fantastic!!" -- JD at Lion Rampant, re those who went to their Game Day earlier this year, as reported from a conversation with Carol


Thursday, October 12th, 2006
Sponsored by Looney Labs

What's New?

What's Going On? Cheesecake Reclassified & Wild Toaster Tarts

Last week I quietly released another new iteration of the rules for Just Desserts. I'm really pleased with these latest few changes and I'm delighted with how great this game has become.

However, with the rules for the game now (finally!!!) feeling complete, I'm turning my attention back to the specifics of the exact collection of desserts to be included in the set.

By and large, I'm very pleased with the list, but there are a few areas where I want to make changes. In particular, having granted a special power to Aces (desserts with just one icon), I now feel driven to feature exactly one Ace for each dessert type (up to a point -- see below). In the Beta edition, there are 2 categories (Cookies and Pastry) for which there are 2 Ace desserts, while in 3 categories (Pie, Ice Cream, and Veggies), there's no Ace at all.

With these issues in mind, I've been making some changes to my current test version. Here's what's different in the deck I'm playing with now:

  • Cheesecake: Reclassified, from Cake to Pie. (Cake icon changed to Pie icon.) In these times when Pluto is being declared a non-planet, we've decided to take the bold position that, despite the name, Cheesecake is not a cake but is actually a pie, and should be classified as such. This is useful, since it also provides an answer to the question we've long been pondering: What is plain pie? We thought it might be Vanilla Cream Pie, which I think is how that got into the game, even though we decided it wasn't a plain Pie, since we also gave it the Pudding icon. Alison was suggesting Shoe-Fly Pie (or the even more obscure Transparent Pie) as the Ace, but I like better just making Cheesecake be a Pie.
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream: Changed to Vanilla Ice Cream. (Removed Veggie icon.) We originally included Pumpkin Ice Cream because we felt the need to have something else with veggies, but having since decided to include Candied Yams, I think we can take the pumpkin out of this Ice Cream. It's not like pumpkin ice cream is really a classic, canonical dessert of the sort I want the game to include, and on that point, putting in some standard basic Vanilla Ice Cream seems to me now like a no-brainer. I don't know why I shunned it before.
  • Vanilla Cream Pie: Changed to Yellow Cake. (Icons replaced with Cake icon.) I've come to realize that Yellow Cake, like Vanilla Ice Cream, is a fundamental that really should have been included in the set to begin with. (As for Vanilla Cream Pie, it doesn't seem to be anyone's favorite...)
  • Glazed Doughnut: Changed to Cake Doughnut. (Added Cake icon.)
  • Fortune Cookies: Changed to Fortune Cookies served with Orange Wedges. (Added Fruit icon.) This is how's it's done at all the nicer Chinese Food places around here. Is this commonplace?

There's one other change I'm currently playing with: instead of only being Chocolate, the Toaster Tarts have become Toaster Tarts in the Flavor of Your Choice. This means you can declare when you play them that Chocolate Toaster Tarts are just that, or are instead Blueberry Toaster Tarts or Cinnamon Toaster Tarts. As shown above, the Wild Toaster Tart card counts as Pastry plus either Chocolate, Fruit, or Spice, depending on what flavor you say it is. (But don't go thinking you must remember what it was for the rest of the game... if the Tarts come up again, whoever serves them decides what flavor they are at that moment.)

These are the changes to the dessert list I'm currently planning on... but what are we forgetting? What other majorly classic desserts have we forgotten about that we really should find a way to squeeze in? What else on the list is lame and worthy of removal? Send us your thoughts or join the discussion on the Beta-testers list!

One of these days, we'll need to make our final choices on these matters... towards that end, we're planning to have a big company meeting to discuss and brainstorm these and other Just Desserts questions. If you do have thoughts to share, send them in right away, because we're planning on having this "Dessert Summit" before the end of the month.

And speaking of getting things sent in soon, here's an important message to all Artists who are interested in participating in the Just Desserts project but haven't' yet sent in a sample: Please finish it up and send it in! As of this writing, 26 people have signed up but haven't yet sent us artwork (plus an unknown number of other artists out there are still thinking about applying but haven't said so yet). At the Dessert Summit, we plan to review all the artwork submissions and decide which artist(s) we will ask to create additional pieces. We're hoping to publish this game early next year, and that means it's time to start making some decisions and moving things along. So if you're working on something, get busy and send it in! Thanks!

By the way, you may have noticed that my plan for changing the dessert lineup doesn't include an Ace of Veggies. That's because there can be no such thing. The idea of vegetables being included in a dessert at all is personally repugnant to me, but I decided to include the category anyway because of undeniable classics like Pumpkin Pie and Carrot Cake. However, I have yet to hear of a popular dessert which features a vegetable without also including something (other than just sugar) to yummy it up, like Cake batter or Pie crust or Marshmallows or Nuts. Thus, there can be no Ace of Vegetables!

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great week!

Thought Residue

"The active ingredient of marijuana could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's than any currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of the disease. Scientists report the finding in the Oct. 2 issue of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics." -- Charles Q. Choi, "Marijuana's Key Ingredient Might Fight Alzheimer's"

I learned recently (from a show on the History Channel) that if the A-bomb hadn't worked and a ground invasion of Japan had been required to end WWII, the Pacific equivalent of D-Day would have been called X-Day. I wish I'd known that when I was designing Chrononauts, I would have used it on the Patch card for 1945-A ("Allied Troops Invade Tokyo").
Why isn't Peter Jackson making a movie of The Hobbit? As far as I'm concerned, The Lord of the Rings is a 4-book series, not a trilogy (The Silmarilion and other Lost Tales being, to me at least, more like bonus tracks or DVD extras) and the set is currently incomplete. I can see wanting to take some time away from Hobbits, but with his King Kong remake all done, it seems to me that it's time for Jackson to go back to the Shire and make the needful prequel.

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