exciting news: I've got an awesome new version of Fluxx in the
works, having had a major design breakthrough on Friday night,
and it's so cool I think we might be fast-tracking this one into
production ahead of various unfinished projects like 3HOUSE
Desserts. (Oh, and by the way, the dead are returning to
life. So you might want to find something you can use as a weapon...)
In a related story, over the weekend I did something I long
ago swore I would never, ever do: I watched a Zombie movie.
I remember being relentlessly mocked by my college girlfriend
Amy (along with her little brother and, now that I think about
it, many other people over the years), for being unwilling to
see Dawn of the Dead or similar such movies, due to my extreme
distaste for realistic footage of humans bodies being hacked
However, some years ago, Kristin
decided that the Zombies would be the perfect subject matter
for a new version of Fluxx, since Gamers seem to have a thing
about Zombies. (And I couldn't deny that... my own views aside,
Gamers definitely love Zombies.)
My initial reaction to her request for Zombie Fluxx was that
I didn't know enough about Zombies to accomplish it. After all,
I'd been keeping myself deliberately ignorant on this subject
of Zombies for my whole life. How could I design a game about
Undaunted, Kristin found a couple of Zombie Experts (here's
a shout-out to Russell
and they did a great job of telling me everything I needed to
know about Zombies. Even so, I couldn't come up with anything.
I tried... I actually created some early prototype Zombie Keeper
cards, and thought a bunch about how I might make them work,
but even though the most recent (yet embarrassingly out-dated)
version of What's
On The Stove? mentions Zombie Fluxx as a possible future
project, I'd pretty much decided that it couldn't be done and
forgotten all about it.
Flash forward to last week, when we got email from Michael
Higgins, suggesting that we make unsigned
Andy Looney Keepers available for sale (he made the case
so well we decided to go ahead and do it) and also asking what
was up with Zombie Fluxx.
Now, to give you an idea of how long dead this undead project
had been, Robin
has been full-time in charge of operations at Looney Labs for
a year now, and this was the first she'd heard of it. And
of course, she loved the idea, which Kristin immediately seized
upon again, talking about how great it would be if I could come
up with a Zombie Fluxx game... anyway, when two beautiful women
(who just happen to be your wife and your boss) are smiling sweetly
at you and saying how happy it would make them if you did a certain
thing, well, if you're anything like me, you at least have to
say you'll try -- even if that thing they want involves Zombies.
So I said I would try. And I thought about it for 2 days..
And then, all of a sudden, I had a major breakthrough! A new
idea! A bold new concept which was so crazy, it just might work!
Eureka! Woo-hoo! I did it!
I devoted the whole weekend to the project (like I said, I
even watched a Zombie movie as research) and by Monday morning
I had a fully-operational alpha prototype Zombie Fluxx deck,
ready for playtesting. And it works!!! We tried it out over and
over again that day, and many times since then, and it works
It's really very exciting. It's still Fluxx, but it's got
this new thang going on which will grab Fluxx fans and knock
their brains right out of their skulls (and into the hands of
the mob of hungry Zombies).
Now, I'm sure you're all looking forward to trying it out,
but unfortunately, most of you will probably have to wait.
- To those in the College Park area, just ask and I'll let
you playtest it with me. I can often be found at the College
Perk Coffeehouse. (If you want to know a specific time when
I'll be there, send
- To those in the game biz who'll be attending the GAMA Trade
Show next week: Kristin
will be at GTS with my alpha prototype in hand, and she's eager
to playtest it with everyone. However, since there won't be a
Looney Labs booth this year, you'll have to play a game of Find-the-Kristin
in order to playtest Zombie Fluxx. But it should be pretty easy...
just look for the lady in the tie-dyed
- To everyone else: I'm sorry but I must ask that you be patient.
Soon enough you shall be surrounded by Zombies!
That's all I'm going to officially reveal at this time. (But
watch out for Zombies! Remember, they shamble silently and have
been known to sneak up on people.)
||The Zombie movie I watched while designing
Zombie Fluxx was Night of the Living Dead, the original low-budget
George Romero film to which Dawn of the Dead was a sequel. Since
NotLD is the canonical work that spawned the genre, I decided
I really needed to see this one at least, and since it was made
in 1968 and was filmed in black & white, I figured the gore
factor would be tame enough by modern standards that I could
handle it (and indeed, it wasn't as bad as I feared).
||I enjoyed NotLD a lot more than I expected to... it's quite
riveting, actually. However, it sure didn't make sense to me...
why would there have been so many unburied, recently-deceased
people in the vicinity of the isolated farmhouse where all the
action takes place? Increasing numbers of zombies, up to a massive
horde, appear out of thin air in the middle of nowhere. (Somehow
this bothers me more than the whole question of how these corpses
could be coming back to life as zombies in the first place...)
||Having watched the first one, I now find myself inevitably
curious about some of the others, in particular the original
Dawn of the Dead. I wish I could get a copy of the film with
all the gory bits hacked out, blurred, or otherwise made less
horrible. The story is fascinating, like an extended Twilight
Zone episode... I just don't feel the need to actually see all
those decapitations. (One way to accomplish this is to get a
friend who's seen the movie before to watch it with you, fast-forwarding
and summarizing the nasty parts as needed. Alison
calls this "Robocopping," after memorably "watching"
Robocop this way with her mother.)