Here you will find an eclectic assortment of cool stuff, much of which is related to gaming, all of which is related in some way to Kristin and Andrew Looney, owners and proprietors of Wunderland.com and Looney Laboratories. This page describes everything you will find here, and to some extent, why.
Looney Labs is the game design studio that created the fabulous new card game Fluxx. Fluxx is an easy to learn, totally fun, and completely unpredictable card game in which the rules for how you play constantly change. The First Edition of Fluxx is still available from Looney Labs, but Iron Crown Enterprises has acquired the rights to Fluxx and plans to release the Second Edition in April '98. Looney Labs, meanwhile, will be publishing its second card game, Aquarius, at around the same time.
Wunderland.Earth is the house where Andy and Kristin live. When they got married, she took Andy's name and gave her's (Wunderlich) to the house. That's why they spell Wunderland with a U. Wunderland.Earth is where the offices of Looney Labs are located, and where a weekly, invitation-only Gaming Salon is held.
The Wunderland Toast Society is a mysterious secret society who's members all just happen to be close friends of Andy and Kristin. Keith Baker, John Cooper, Dan Russett and Chort are all fellow game designers that Andy hangs out with. Ellen is Keith's wife, and first encountered Keith at the Wunderland Gaming Salon. Gina is John's wife, and they also met at the Wunderland Gaming Salon.
Andy used to work with Joe and Michelle on the Hubble Space Telescope project at Goddard, and Meg is John's sister, who is now married to Joe, after getting to know him at the Wunderland Gaming Salon.
Rash is Andy's cool older brother. Greykell is an old college friend of Andy's, and Robin is an old college friend of Kristin's. As a kid, Ember was best friends with Andy's sister; years later, she re-surfaced and became close friends with Kristin. She met Renee at a dancing event and first introduced her to Kristin and Andy at the Wunderland Gaming Salon.
In 1992, Andy & Kristin commissioned Lee Moyer to paint a mural at Wunderland.Earth which celebrates all their favorite and all-time classic board games. It's called Past Go. He's married to the Goddess Annaliese, who is the only photographer currently making use of Wunderland's dark room for the purposes that it was originally built. Kristin and Leah and Angie have since begun making constant use of it for tie dying and batik work instead.
Langdon and CZ are both dear old friends of Kristin and Andy whom they rarely get to see these days since they both live in Chicago. (Oddly enough, they don't know each other.) Andy loosely based the character named the Martian Princess, in his novel The Empty City, on CZ.
Some friends, of course, have been lost track of over the years. But perhaps through the Milk Carton page some of those lost friendships will be rediscovered.
Back in college, John and Andy formed a non-existent company called Empire Publications and printed up books of their writings under this company's name, then proceeded to give the books away to anyone they ran into. Several books of Andy's fiction were published in this form and were later combined into the single volume entitled My Secret World, which is now available from Looney Laboratories. As for John's poetry, it's now part of the John and Gina Show.
Icehouse is a game that was first described by Andy in The Empty City and then made into an actual cool game by John. Kristin and Andy formed Icehouse Games in 1990 along with John, Number 12, Dawn Petrlik and Chris Welsh, but they went out of business in '96 because high quality pyramid-shaped game pieces are just too difficult to manufacture. It was pent-up frustration with pyramid-shaped objects that drove Andy to create a video game centered around the destruction of pyramids called Icebreaker, but even so, icehouse game pieces are so darned useful for designing games that a whole series of other cool games have since been created using them, including Arcana, Martian Chess, Igloo, Focus, DNA, Gridlock, and Trice. Looney Labs now sells the cardboard pyramid game pieces that Icehouse Games used to sell, but without any rulebooks - instead, the documentation is all on-line.
Kristin first came to national attention in 1981 when she was the only girl in the national Rubik's Cube finals, televised on That's Incredible. She used a method that she figured out herself, and which was better than everyone else's except for the guy who won, Minh Thai, who used the same method as Kristin but had faster hands. Like all other information in the universe, that method is now on the web.
Jake pioneered the art of Rubik's Cube Mosaics at Wunderland, and also won the Eighth and Final International Icehouse Tournament. Rob was on the team of Bates Discordians who took over the Fourth Icehouse Tournament, along with Keith Baker, who also won the Third Icehouse Tournament.
Every year for Christmas, Kristin and Andy create some sort of thing to give away to friends. For years, this stuff was published under the company name of Geronimo! Industries, a precursor to Looney Labs. The only such product still available is the Human Game Board T-shirt. This year's product was a hat.
Electronic Coffee Table Books are what you get when you let creative people with lots of energy loose with cameras, scanners, and web page development software. The first such book was Kristin's Coasters, photos of all the roller coasters she's ridden since turning 30. The second was created when Kristin started asking everyone to create something with the title The Space Under the Window. Andy's Brain is a text-adventure sort of thing he wrote as a valentine for Kristin, and then ported to the web for no particularly clear reason. Andrew Looney's Image Wall is his on-line photography portfolio, and Gina and her Sister is a scrapbook of photos of one of Andy's favorite long haired models, Gina Mai Denn, plus some of her sister, Lori. The Atomic Bomb Photo Project contains the third incarnation of an odd tradition at the Wunderland Gaming Salon: the taking of photographs of everyone doing something you can't do anywhere else, namely pressing the button on an armed nuclear weapon. Stoners in the Haze is an investigative report on the marijuana smoking scene in Amsterdam.
Tirade is a large stuffed broccoli and is the mascot of Wunderland. (He's also a character in the cyber comic called Iceland.) He was made at least a decade ago by (we think) a company in Vermont called Freemountain, but unfortunately they went out of business long ago. But we like our broccoli so much that we got Leah to figure out how to grow sprouts like him herself, and now Looney Labs allows good, non-broccoli-consuming households to adopt them.
Most of the stuff at Wunderland fits into one category or another but some things, such as the Wunderland Boosters Club (a list of links to web sites that have provided signifcant traffic to our web site) just wind up in the Lost and Found bin.
Wunderland.com is updated weekly, on Thursdays. The What's New page, also updated weekly, lists all the changes to the site that were made that week.