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WHAT'S ON THE STOVE?
People always like to know what new things we're working on, and we enjoy being open with our plans. This document is an overview of the many new products and projects we're currently working on here at Looney Labs. This list ranges from games we're almost ready to print, to others that are very much still on the drawing board. Many of these projects will require extensive development time, not to mention investment capital, and some may never emerge at all (as you can see by looking at older versions of this document). There is no guarantee we will actually follow through with anything on this page; this is just a list of things we're thinking about and planning for at this time. Everything here is subject to change.
See Also: What's on the Stove for 1999?
Fluxx Blanxx: For a long time, we've been selling blank Fluxx cards through our website, and they've proven so popular we've decided to make them available for sale in retail stores. But to do this, we must create some sort of packaging. Moreover, it's time (as they say) to take it up a notch, so instead of selling packs of completely blank blanks, we're planning to make semi-blank blanks! Fluxx Blanxx will be 15 card booster packs containing several each of blank Keeper, Goal, Action, and New Rule cards, complete with the color stripe and all the words that never change printed on the cards, leaving just the customizing work up to you (and your trusty permanent marker).
Purple Submarine: For added spice (and cross-product marketing), each pack of Fluxx Blanxx will also include a single Chrononauts card, a special new one not available anywhere else: the Beatles Reunion CD. This Artifact is playable only if John Lennon wasn't killed, but may be used as a wildcard Artifact (for achieving your Mission) if Lennon is dead and you have this card in play.
Fluxx++: After putting to use all those blank Fluxx cards we've been selling, the Fluxx-playing community now abounds with neat new ideas for Fluxx cards. This will make creating an expansion easy and fun. Hal Haag has been collecting up and posting every homebrewed Fluxx card he can find, and hopefully this spring I can begin going through that list like a buffet, mixing ideas I fancy therein with new ones of my own to create an all-new set of Fluxx cards. (If we use your card idea, we'll put your name in the credits, and probably even give you a few free copies of the game.) You'll be able to play Fluxx++ standalone or mixed together with the original.
Fluxx: Goals Galore: Everybody loves thinking up new Fluxx Goals that use different pairs of Keeper. We've heard so many good ones that we made a special set of 5 as promos for Origins last year (and hey, we still have a few of those... we should put them on the Free Stuff page). But since you don't want to overload the deck too much, there's a limit to how many funny new Goals we can create. And while you might think Fluxx++ would provide an opportunity to publish a few new Goals using the Keepers in the original set, my requirement that Fluxx++ be playable standalone makes this impossible. At the same time, the desire to create yet more Goals will be all the greater after Fluxx++ is published, since playing with both decks will provide innumerable new Keeper combinations. Thus, the third Fluxx expansion will be a box containing nothing but new Goals that require Keepers in both sets. To use this product, you'll separate out all Goals from both decks, shuffle them together with the Goals in Goals Galore, deal out 42, and shuffle those in with the other cards from Fluxx & Fluxx++.
Martian Chessboards: The first version of Black Ice came with a chessboard bandanna that had special quadrant dividers ("canals") that enhanced the play of Martian Chess. However, as soon as we got them, we became dissatisfied with them. The printing wasn't perfect, and while the canals are great if you're playing Martian Chess, they can be annoying when you're playing something else. So Alison created a new pattern, and we pulled the first version out of the product. This leaves us with a pile of the old ones sitting around unsold. In order to make them cooler (and hide the printing deficiencies), we plan to tie-dye them in Martian shades and sell them ala carte in the Short Run Depot. We just need to get the tie-dye room going again...
Corrugated Ice: Kristin and Alison have schemed and engineered a way of producing giant cardboard Icehouse pieces, on the same scale (8x) as Mike Sugarbaker's amazing foam set. They even stack and nest. But they'll be super expensive, so we need to know there's adequate interest before investing in the tooling and such. Should we make these in time for Origins? Your email could make the difference. (What does super expensive mean? $30 for a stash of 15.)
Icehouse: Fifth Edition: Although the clear plastic box of Icehouse pieces was a dream come true to create, the format has proved itself sub-optimal. The boxes are expensive and easily broken, and making books to fit the box has also been costly, due to the necessarily non-standard size. Therefore, when the current edition sells out (which we expect will happen sometime late this year) it will be completely redesigned. The new version will be packaged in a regular cardboard gamebox, just a tad larger than a standard trade paperback book (see below) and tall enough to receive said book and the sixty pyramids, with room to spare. The retail price will also be lower (assuming we figure out a way to pay for a large enough print run to make it so).
Icehouse Paperback Books: As noted, the rules included in Icehouse: Fifth Edition will be contained in a single, trade paperback-sized volume. This book is tentatively titled Nine Games for Sixty Pyramids, and will be volume 1 in a series of matching editions. These books will be 5" x 8" in size, with a glossy paperback cover, and will probably not be released in the same order as they are numbered:
0: The Empty City - a re-issue of the original novel, with a new introduction, author's notes, etc.
1: Nine Games for Sixty Pyramids - IceTowers, Martian Chess, IceTraders, Zarcana-2, RAMbots, Zagami, IceChess, and two other games that are still TBD
2: Original Classics - the rules to Zarcana, and latest version of the Icehouse Handbook
3: Zendo - the book Kory is supposedly writing
4: Black Ice - Volcano, Blockade, and other games that require Black Icehouse pieces
5: EisHausVolksSpielen - Just as the VolksWagen was the "people's car", VolksSpielen will be a book of games ("spielen" auf Deutsch) for and by the community of Icehouse players. It's a long way off, but this will be your chance to get your own game into print. We're going to need to build an online system (it's something else we're working on) to rank and rate the ever-expanding universe of Icehouse games, so that we can let the Icehouse community advise us on which games are great (and which ones fail the "let's play again" test). As with all of these books, the creators of the games included in this volume will divide between them a royalty on each copy sold.
Icehouse Accessory Kit: The product currently known as Black Ice will probably devolve into separate items: individual expansion colors, and a set of Icehouse accessories. This would include a new cloth carrying bag, Alison's chessboard bandanna, and hopefully, a specially molded 5x5 Volcano gameboard.
Icehouse Expansion Colors: As noted, we plan to phase out Black Ice, and instead just make individual stashes of Icehouse pieces available ala carte. Black and clear pieces will then be joined by additional colors, which will hopefully include purple, orange, and an opaque white.
Zarcana-2 Standalone: It's still semi-mythical, but our design team is in the midst of a radical re-design of Zarcana. The new version (still officially unnamed, though lately we've been calling it Gnostica) will be even more fun and exciting than the original, and a lot easier to learn, and as with the original, you'll be able to play it with any tarot deck... but even so, as with the original, a custom tarot deck designed for use with this game is highly desirable. And even after the re-design of the game is finally done (they've been at it almost a year now) this project will still be a long time coming, since a tarot deck requires 78 pieces of artwork and we still haven't settled on an artist. (But Alison's been doing some sketches, so this might start moving forward soon.) Although obviously intended for use with an Icehouse set, the deck will probably include small punch-out cardboard counters that could be used instead if need be.
Icebreaker Re-release: Andy's videogame of pyramid destruction has been out of print for years. The company that produced it has effectively disowned it, but they still control the rights, so while it would be an easy matter for us to burn a few hundred copies of the game to sell through this site, we aren't currently authorized to do so. One of these days we hope to meet with someone at Magnet who's empowered to make a deal with us, and when we do, maybe we'll be able to make Icebreaker a Looney Labs product. In the meantime, it's no skin off our noses if you buy a bootleg or download it from an abandonware site like Underdogs.com. If you want a real copy, try eBay, copies show up there from time to time.
Eeyore's 3-way chesspanels: Eeyore designed a brilliant and beautiful kite-shaped chessboard panel that can be used to make 3 or 6 player chessboards, plus other unusual configurations. We'd like to make these commercially available in some way.
Behind the Scenes Stuff: In addition to all these exciting releases, we're up to our eyebrows in work that isn't as obvious. We're in the midst of a big overhaul of the MadLabRabbits.com website, as well as establishing the program itself, as well as support materials for Retail stores, plus of course upcoming trade shows. Plus, there's the Icehouse Game Inventor's Club (that's the online Icehouse game rating system mentioned above) and other new webstuff as well (including a new edition of Andy's Image Wall). Finally, since the filling of orders has been taking up more and more of our time, we've been working on farming this work out, possibly to two different places.