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Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Archives Games

catching up | ineffable stuff

Haiku Reviews

Cloverfield :)

The cameraman
said, "I'm so scared!" so often
that I wasn't scared.

Also: Jumper :)


Tirade's Choice

70 Amazing Business Cards

"I randomly decided to pick up Zombie Fluxx at The Game Store and I found out that it was the sweetest game ever! Than I went back and bought 3 more." -- Paul C of Staten Island, NY

Rash is currently traveling around the world -- read his special travel blog: RtW08

Origins Rocked!

Well, we're back from Origins and it was fabulous!

Lots of great things happened at Origins and I'm sure everyone had their own favorite moment. For me, the coolest thing was when Zombie Fluxx won the Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game of 2007. (Traditional as opposed to Collectible, for those of you wondering what's traditional about Zombie Fluxx.) This is our sixth Origins award, but 3 of those have been for some version of the Icehouse set, and this was actually the first time a version of Fluxx has received this honor. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!

But that's just MY best moment of the con. I'm guessing many of our Tournament winners would count those victories as their favorite moments, and I'm also pretty sure I know what Todd & Lisa's favorite part of the convention was: their engagement! It's a tale of romance sure to rival any of the Fluxx Love Stories!

It was a complete surprise for Lisa, but Todd had been planning this for months. He decided long ago that he wanted to propose at the Big Experiment, and when he contacted us to see if we'd be OK with his plans, Alison also agreed to draw up a special set of cards for him to use, as per his request. Here they are:

I wasn't in the Lab when the actual event took place, but since it was captured on video, I got to see it afterwards, and since it's now on YouTube, you can see it too! Anyway, congrats to Todd & Lisa!

Here are some other highlights of Origins (from my point of view):

  • The new booth equipment Alison designed and built for us worked out great! And the sales we did there were the best our company has ever had!
  • I won the RAMbots tournament and the Homeworlds Tournament! This makes the 4th time in a row I've won the latter, and after a gap of several years, my third medallion for RAMbots.
  • Another Origins Award winner was Hobby Games: The Best 100, an excellent book which I contributed a chapter to (about Cosmic Wimpout) and which also features Fluxx among its selections (with a great essay about it by Rick Loomis). Congrats to editor James Lowder and to all the game industry professionals who helped create this cool volume!
  • Jim Steiner made another really cool gift for me, this time a one-of-a-kind Homeworlds gameboard with a holodeck-style Martian Chessboard motif. It's most excellent. Thanks Jim!
  • I did 3 sessions of Andy vs. Everybody and had a great time as usual, with Kat Dutton doing her usual great job as my assistant at each session. (Kat had an excellent Origins too, winning the coveted Cooler Than Ice award at the 19th International Icehouse Tournament as well as finally capturing the Longest Hair award in the Aquarius Hairdown.)
  • Since we're working towards releasing Monty Python Fluxx this fall, we were promoting it with a new Promo Card Postcard, and we were playtesting my most recent prototype pretty much all the time either at the demo table in our booth or up in the Lab. Reactions to Monty Python Fluxx have been incredible -- everyone's really excited by the idea, and more importantly, they've been having a great time playing it. Looks like our next product is going to be another hit!
  • I gave a talk called "What's Next?" in which I showed off the prototypes for all the new game ideas I'm currently testing, and since I've got a lot of cool stuff in the works at the moment, this was a fun talk to give. The main topics of interest were Monty Python Fluxx, Martian Fluxx, Meta Fluxx, Fluxx version 4.0, and Secret Project EMR-35, which I'm now calling "Are You The Traitor?" but I mentioned a lot of other ideas I've been pondering, too. The crowd really seemed to enjoy this talk.
  • I had similar success with another new seminar I gave, called Captain Looney's Homeworlds Academy, in which I taught both the basics and the details of Homeworlds using a sample game played with giant pyramids.
  • Jennifer Waddington brought a huge sampler of chocolates from England to share with our Rabbits, and I have a new favorite: Cadbury's Twisted. It's basically just a Creme Egg, but it's the size & shape of regular candy bar and it's a year-round product!
  • At the end of the show, the tear-down of our booth was done with particularly amazing speed and efficiency, thanks to Alison & Robin's detailed planning efforts (and a squad of well-organized Rabbits). The Booth Bug-Out was impressive!

Anyway, it was a fantastic event. and as always, I'd like to extend a special big thanks to all the Rabbits who helped make it happen. We couldn't have done without y'all!

Specifically, here's a big thank you to Aaron Meadows, Amy Anders, Amy LoCurto, Beth Dillon, Cheryl Tackett, Chris Ballowe, Corey Tackett, David Pryor, Dayle Hodge, Elliott Evans, Emily Frawley, Eric Tackett, Eric Zuckerman, Greykell Dutton, Gwendolyn Schmidt, Jared Newbold, Jeff Wolfe, Jessie Clark, John Gillick, Johnpaul Adams, Justin Clothier, Karen Bennet, Karyn Hunt, Kat Dutton, Kat Robertson, Katie Tackett, Lee Butler, Liam Echlin, Lisa Padala, Marc Hartstein, Marissa Wills, Nathan Dilday, Petra Mayer, Ryan McGuire, Shane Tilton, Shanna Grow, Steven Black, Timothy Hunt, Tucker Taylor, and of course, our overall Event Coordinator, Carol Townsend. Special thanks also go to the Myers clan, both for storing and bringing a bunch of gear we use only for this annual event -- and for surprising us once again with another useful new piece of custom built equipment. Even more special thanks are due to the members of the Big Experiment Steering Committee (BESC) a group of about a dozen of the key people who've been helping us do these events for 9 years now. Earlier this year, we formalized this planning group for the first time, and the many discussions they had in the months and weeks beforehand made a huge difference in how smoothly things ran this year, and as long as I'm thanking folks, I have to mention those three awesome ladies who run Looney Labs with me, Kristin, Alison, and Robin: Thanks everyone for the best Big Experiment ever!

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!

Thought Residue
I am supremely bummed to learn that Disney is planning to close Pleasure Island this September, for one reason: The Adventurer's Club. I haven't been back to the World in many years, but the Adventurer's Club was quite possibly my favorite Disney thing in all of Florida. All the other stuff at Pleasure Island was forgettable, but the Adventurer's Club is totally unique, incredibly cool, and very inspirational. I'm really hoping it can be saved. I think they should rebuild it at their Animal Kingdom park, it would fit right in over there.

I absolutely love the idea proposed by Michael Benson (in an editorial in last Sunday's Washington Post) of strapping a big engine onto the International Space Station and sending it off to the Moon and beyond. We've built this incredible space ship (there's nothing stationary about the space station, it's already flying through space) yet the ISS has no mission and no purpose. All it needs is an ion-thrust engine and a landing module (and a few other details) and the ultimate spaceship would be ready to go! Haven't we spent enough time just flying circles around the Earth? Wouldn't it be cooler if the ISS orbited the moon for awhile, and then went off to Mars?
One of the reasons Pink Treehouse is taking so long is a design debate we've been having about it. I had this idea, see, to make one of the trees in the set an opaque pink, so that the House tree would stand out from the players' trees during the game. This would also have given Icehouse fans 2 new colors at once, since the Idea included making a companion product (at the website only) featuring 1 translucent and 4 opaque pink trees. We found this concept interesting enough to keep considering for a long time (we even asked KLON to investigate opaque pink plastics), but it died when we remembered how nice the upgrade path to Volcano becomes with the Pink Treehouse set containing 15 translucent pyramids.

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