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arête (uh-'rate) n. a sharp-crested ridge in rugged mountains. [from French, literally "fish bone," from Latin arista "beard of grain."]

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The Squid and the Whale :)

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Thursday, December 22nd 2005
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

Fluxx Espanol! Feliz Navidad!

Spanish-speaking Fluxx fans rejoice! It won't be here for a few months, but Fluxx Espanol is on the way!

Unlike the German and Japanese versions of Fluxx, which were published by German and Japanese game companies (respectively) under license from us, in this case we will be publishing the Spanish version by ourselves. It made sense to let the Germans and the Japanese tailor and pitch the game to their markets on their own, importing their version of our product to resell to our fans (and perhaps to help get our games into schools).

However, in this case, the language in question is widely spoken domestically. Indeed, if America has a second language, it's Spanish, and there are many Spanish-speaking Americans who we think will want this product. So, it just made sense to do it ourselves, and after years of talking about it, we're finally moving forward with a plan!

To help make Fluxx Espanol special, and to help make it appealing and appropriate for the Spanish-speaking market, we're creating all-new art. (And by we, I mean Alison.) We're taking our inspiration from the style of the classic Mexican bingo-style game known as Loteria. Shown here are Alison's finished art for la Luna and el Sol, and her ready-to-colorize drawings for el Amor and la Fiesta.

The inclusion of a new Keeper called La Fiesta is another of the cool little differences we'll be featuring in Fluxx Espanol. Another is the fact that, while based on original Fluxx, the new game will also use the Family Fluxx production model: It will contain only 56 cards, and retail for just $8.

But a thinner deck means trimming the core cards to the bone, and that meant some difficult choices. We finally agreed on a set of 14 Keepers to include, featuring most of the standard Keepers plus the Party. We're also switching Cookies for Cake What are we leaving out? Dreams, The Rocket, Peace, War, and Death. It was particularly hard deciding to drop Peace, but as I kept saying, you can't have Peace without War and you can't have War without Death, so it's an all or nothing deal. Other new cards Fluxx Espanol will include are Goals like Siesta (Sleep + Sun), Happy Birthday (Party + Cake), and Wedding Cake (Love + Cake). I'm also thinking of a New Rule that would give you a bonus if you have the Party Keeper in front of you, OR, if you are playing the game at a party.

Once we get Fluxx Espanol into print, we will be working to get it into Spanish speaking markets all over the US, as well as potential international markets. Both Alvaro (our sales manager) and Luisa (our EcoFluxx advisor and part-time volunteer in the sales department) speak fluent Spanish, so they'll be a big help both in developing the translations and in pitching the finished game!

So, we're very excited about that. And other things, too. Like Josh! And the approach of Christmas! We finally got our tree done, and the shopping and gift wrapping are coming along nicely...

Well, I guess that's it for now. Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Happy Holidays! Have a Great Hanukkah! Enjoy National Play Week, Have fun on New Year's Night, and check back with us in 2006! (In other words, this site will not be updated next week.)

AndyThanks for reading, and Don't Forget to Play!

Thought Residue
A year ago, I started taking Texas Hold 'em seriously, and I've been playing once or twice a week, keeping careful track of my overall winnings and losses. I've played 71 games this year (all in person; the only games I play online are Homeworlds and Martian Chess) and I've lost a grand total of $75.29. (I usually play either $1 or $5 games.) I'm gradually improving... my all-time low was back in September, when I was down $110.68. And the more I learn about Hold'em, the more I realize how much more there is for me to learn about playing Hold'em...

Dang! I just missed it! Someday I'm hoping to find a copy of a little booklet distributed by Betty Crocker in 1963, called Baking's Believing: Authentic Magic Recipes. ("Perform feats of oven wizardry! Table Sorcery! Eating Enchantment! ") Well, a copy of this was apparently included in a collection of dozens of vintage cooking pamphlets & cookbooks from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, which were sold last week eBay. The 40-piece collection only got one bid and sold for just $6.99! I wish I'd noticed it before December 11th!
"Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence. Science is a discipline that yields frequently while attempting to closely approach that elusive goal called 'truth,' but knowing that any conclusion it can arrive at is merely the best one of the moment." -- James Randi's definition of science

3 quotes from the trio of reviews of Chrononauts currently featured on Amazon.com (all of which give it a 5 star rating):

  • "I have to admit this is quite possibly the best game I've ever played." -- John Liosatos (Morton Grove, IL United States)
  • "This is quite possibly the best board game ever." -- Penn Davies (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
  • "It's a lot more than your average card game -- it's immersive, complex and richly imagined." -- Daniel J. Brashler (Easton, PA)

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