Monday of this week, we signed off on the final drawings for
the new Icehouse pieces,
and they look just fabulous. Now KLON can start cutting
metal, which means by early October we should have the actual
Duane the Mold Designer took great pains to design our pieces
to properly cap and nest, and the drawings make it look like
they'll do so perfectly. Our main concern was that the pieces
not stick together when they nest, so Duane designed the hollow
inner tip to inhibit the creation of a vacuum seal when joined
by the tip of a piece being inserted. He also made sure the pieces
won't wobble when stacked.
But having finally determined that the piece sizes won't change,
the next question we had to answer was this: Could anything be
done to help make size differentiation a little easier?
Icehouse veterans have heard it a thousand times: "Is
that a 2 pointer or a 3 pointer?" Previous
incarnations of the Icehouse set have all been so labor intensive
that additional markings were never even considered. However,
with injection-molding we have options that were never even possible
before. Our first couple of ideas for subtle sizing marks were
ruled infeasible by Duane, but once we understood the options
and limitations, we came up with something that we all agreed
would be both effective and aesthetically pleasing.
next generation Icehouse pieces will include a set of pips, running
along the bottom edges of each piece, on all 4 sides. The pips
will be sunken, like the dots on dice (only larger), and will
be slightly pear-shaped. On the bigger pieces, they'll be left
justified (kind of like the collar pips on formal Star Fleet
uniforms) while on the pawn, the solitary pip will be dead-center.
The rightmost pips on the larger pieces will also be centered,
thus giving the pips added utility as alignments markers during
the occasional floss call, at Icehouse tournaments if nowhere
We're excited about the design for the pips, but if you've
got a better idea for sizing indicators, keep it to yourself,
'cause we've already signed off on the drawings. (On the other
hand, we're still interested in feedback on IceTowers,
so if you've been playtesting that for us, be sure to send in
This week marks another major milestone: I've posted the final
chapter of The
Empty City, and in so doing I've completed a project I've
been gradually working on for nearly 2 years. Wanna see how far
we've progressed in that time? Take a look at the first
of my weekly entries, when I announced the one-chapter-a-week
plan... (and visit the Archive
page if you want to read the 97 entries in between)
With The Empty City complete, we'll be down one featurette,
so next week I'll be launching something new to take it's place.
It'll be called "Sketchbook Harvest."
at the American Horticultural Society ended this week, and since
she hasn't found anything else to her liking just yet, she's
gonna be helping us out with Looney
Labs stuff full time for awhile. This is great for us, since
we've got more work than we can handle right now, in getting
Icehouse ready for production. Unfortunately, she's gonna need
to get a real job sooner or later, since we won't have money
enough to pay employees until after Christmas at the absolute
earliest. But it's great to have her help right now, when our
Art and Design Department is swamped...