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I'm eating a fork-full of mashed potatoes and stuffing, and listening to Margit Gedra: "...It doesn't taste like soup at all."

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procrustean (proh-cruss'-tee-an) adj. 1: of, relating to, or typical of Procrustes (a villainous son of Poseidon who forced travelers to fit into his bed by stretching their bodies or cutting off their legs) 2: marked by arbitrary, often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

This surreal masterpiece is the source of many important concepts: Golden Tickets, a factory that doesn't look anything like a factory, a corporate executive who wears a purple sportscoat, gum that transforms a small girl into a blueberry... the list just goes on and on. But you'll still have to read the book to find out about the Square Candies That Look Round. (And as long as you're reading, don't miss the incredibly weird sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, as yet untainted by Hollywood.)

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Easter Eggs

Thursday, November 30, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? A Production Record: 38 Days

As I said a couple of weeks ago, sometimes a game takes a long time to develop, and sometimes it practically invents itself. A month ago I mentioned having had an idea for a game while hanging out in a bar, which we codenamed Secret Project 44-CC; today I'm proud to announce that this game will indeed be released early next year and will serve as our all-purpose gift this holiday season.

This is truly amazing. Even when a game design does come together quickly, the production cycle usually takes a lot of time. I basically invented Fluxx in a single day, but refining it and producing it took months. It took almost a year of solid work to get Chrononauts from idea to finished product. Yet we took this game from raw concept to final art in just 38 days. (38 days?! That's insane!) But we were driven to meet our holiday gift giving deadline, and since the production elements were few in number and actually pretty easy to create, we were successful. Of course, it wouldn't have been possible without Kristin's ability to achieve manufacturing miracles, Alison's writing and graphic design skills, and the willingness of both of them to playtest the game with me at any hour of the day or night.

To give you a sense of just how hurried this production has been, we didn't even know what we were going to call it until the night before we shipped off the final artwork. One name suggested itself immediately, but being perfectionists we spent a lot of time brainstorming up other names, hoping to hit on something even better. We changed names as often as we made new prototypes, but in the end we decided to use the name we originally started with. (In the interests of preserving the gift wrap, I'm not going to tell you what it is yet; but I will say that the initials are "CC", as in the project's codename.) As Kory observed at the end of the creative bullpen session we held on Monday night, when we made the final decision on the name, "we left the store wearing the same hat we came in with." But that's OK, it's a nice, comfy hat.

Anyway, that's about all I can tell you about the new game right now, since we want as many people as possible to be surprised when they receive this year's gift. (If only there was some way to brainwipe our playtesters...) But we're really excited. Secret Project 44-CC is definitely the coolest game I've invented since... well, since Chrononauts, I suppose. I can hardly wait to show it to you!

AndyDon't Forget to Play!

the story so far

Thought Residue
"I have been anxiously awaiting for someone to ask about our 'award'. Thank you for being the first. 1) I voted DAO best game of the year. 2) for the year 2000. I did not put the year on the sticker since I plan on using them again next year when I will vote DAO best game of the year for 2001." - Dao company spokesman as quoted on the Seattle Cosmic Game Night's website, in response to queries about who exactly had given them the award they tout on their packaging
"We really enjoy the 'IceTowers' variant of Icehouse. It plays quickly, has no turns and allows for a surprising amount of strategy." -- J. Scott Reeves, 9/21/00, responding to a request on for "Lunch Time Quickies", games you can play when you've only got 10 minutes left after lunch
"Change history and save the world, all over lunch. [5 out of 5 stars]" -- Tim Seiger's review of Chrononauts, posted to

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