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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

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OK Go - White Knuckles

Tirade's Choice

12 Most Creative Objects Inspired by the Rubik's Cube

"But even cooler than the Fluxx cards is realizing that the Looneys made enough money selling them to quit their jobs building space shuttles. That's the dream, right there - whether we like it or not, money makes everything happen; everybody has to make some, and a few are lucky enough to make some doing something fun. Like making card games. LIVE THE DREEEEAM." -- Rich Abdill, in the College Park Patch, March 30, 2011: Living The Dream: Space Shuttles, Monty Python And Zombie Ballerinas

The Rash.Log is on hiatus.

I've Been Animated!

First, sorry it's been so long since I updated this page. Last time I said these updates had become almost monthly, but this time it's been almost 3 months! But as I also described last time, I've been extremely busy.

Everything is on track for the two new games we're releasing on June 24, Seven Dragons and IceDice. Everything is at the printers and we're hard at work creating marketing materials and getting everything lined up to start shipping.

At this point we have the process of releasing a new game down to a science. We have a standard timeline we follow for each new product, with various marketing elements having becoming standard procedure (such as a new promo card postcard for each game, along with poster, sell sheet, etc). Anyway, we've now begun making short video introductions a standard part of each product roll-out. We did the first couple entirely in-house, with iPhone video of me explaining the games, and they've proven so successful at increasing awareness and pre-orders for a new launch that we've decided to step up our production value and have started contracting the job out to a local entrepreneurial film-making friend of ours, named Alex Bradley. Since he's also an artist and animator, Alex replaced me with a cartoon version of myself, and I gotta say, it's just wonderfully delightful. I just love the way "animated Andy" appears in the IceDice video, and his storyboards for the Seven Dragons video look even more fun. The IceDice video is available at the Looney Labs Fan Club site, go check it out!

In other news:

  • It's been several years since I invented Zark City, and having played it many times since then, I've found several things I want to fix and improve. I think that Zark City was already once of my best pyramid games, and I think it's even better now. It does play a bit differently though, so we're calling it Zark City 2.0. And what are the differences between the original and this new version? First, you now get an automatic draw at the start of every turn. More importantly, attack values are now scaled, so that Kings do more damage than Jacks. But the most interesting change is with the Aces. Instead of being attack cards, Aces now grant the power to "fly" a card to another location (akin to the power of the Moon in Zarcana). It's really cool! Check it out!
  • In HR news, we've brought on 3 new part-time helpers, Julia, Jean, and KrisOsk. Julia has become Kristin's executive assistant, Jean is a bookkeeper who's helping Robin with various A/R and A/P tasks, and KrisOsk will be helping us update our webpages.
  • Alison has become a bee-keeper! She took a course on the subject, and entered a raffle at a bee-keeping workshop, and just happened to be the big winner of a complete fully-operational beehive! So the bees moved into the backyard at Pepperland and are already at work pollinating the neighborhood.
  • In the previous update's summary of new product news, I mentioned that we were planning to sell Rainbow & Xeno stashes of pyramids only, packaging very simply, alongside the new IceDice & Treehouse zippered-bag game sets. I'm happy to report that the packaging style for these Pyramid-Only Products has been upgraded, from ziplock baggie with a cardboard display flap, to color tuckboxes that are the same size as our standard two-piece card game boxes. You can get a glimpse of these new boxes in this new marketing poster I just finished.
  • I was flown down to Georgia to speak to a Game Design class at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). I posted a report on that trip at the Looney Labs Fan Club website, complete with the handout I created for the talk, called How I Design a Game. More recently, I was invited to contribute to a book on Game Design some of my game designer peers are writing, so I wrote an essay based on this flowchart.
  • Lastly, Origins is starting to loom. If you want to help us run our awesome Big Experiment, please get signed up at our new Fan Club site! Also, I'm happy to report that Back to the Future was nominated for the Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game!

Thanks for reading, and have a great Whenever!


Thought Residue

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