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synchronicity
(sin'-krun-iss'-it-tee) n. 1. the relation that exists when events occur at the same time; simultaneity; synchronism. 2. coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related, conceived in Jungian theory as an explanatory principle on the level of causality; used especially for psychic events that are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality. [from Greek syn- "same" + khronos "time."]


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"Sometimes the game lasts only a couple of minutes; sometimes it takes half an hour. It's fun the whole time. The only danger is that because games are so fast-moving and take so little time, you'll keeps saying, 'Let's start another one.' Not so good on school nights, as we discovered." -- famous sci-fi author Orson Scott Card reviewing Family Fluxx


Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?


Farewell Kory!

Six years ago, this guy from California named Kory sent us email, telling us how impressed he was with what we were doing, in particular with Aquarius and the Icehouse system, and that he was so inspired by us that:

  1. He'd invented a new game that combined Icehouse & Aquarius, called Pantopia
  2. He'd programmed a version of Aquarius in Java called Javaquarius (which is available now here at Wunderland.com), and
  3. He was thinking of moving out to our fine city and becoming a part of our little community.

And that's exactly what he did. These past six years, Kory has been living in a little apartment in Greenbelt, right up the street from Ginohn and many of our other friends... but as of yesterday, that's history. Kory's east coast adventure has ended.... he's gone back to California.

We're really gonna miss having Kory around... he's a cool guy and he added some excellent energy and ideas to our group. More than that -- he invented some really great games! While he was here, he invented one of the most popular Icehouse games, Zendo, which we actually published, and Why Did the Chicken?, which our friend Jake started a company in order to publish, not to mention various interesting prototypes of games which may yet be publish somewhere someday. My personal favorite of all Kory's games is RAMbots, a programming game played with an Icehouse set, and I'm still fond of Zagami, an Icehouse game he and John came up with.

Kory also provided invaluable insight and ideas for other games we've cooked up here during these past 6 years. He helped us with playtesting lots of times and always had good suggestions to try. Kory was one of the "Gnostica Four" who spent a year tinkering rules for Zarcana into a new game called Gnostica, and Kory's influence was felt on Volcano, Cosmic Coasters, Chrononauts, and Homeworlds, among others.

Towards the end of his time here, Kory -- along with many of us -- got really into Texas Hold'em and many (if not most) of the 81 cash games of Hold'em I've played since Dec '04 have been with him. And while my game has been improving, his is even better... he's talking about maybe becoming a professional poker player...

Why's Kory moving? It all comes down to money. He's been offered a pretty sweet rent-free living space out there, and that just can't compete with the rent he'd been paying on his Greenbelt apartment. So, he's gone, and we're sure gonna miss him.

But hey, maybe someday he'll win the World Series of Poker and he'll decide to move back here. But by then of course, we'll have finally completed our gradual move to Hamilton...

It's interesting to note that Kory moves like I design games, and he designs games the way I move. I've created many of my best games in very short order, overnight in some cases, in days or weeks in others. On the other hand, Kory designs games very slowly, like a slow methodical craftsman, tinkering away in his workshop for months or years before finishing something (an analogy Kory once used to describe himself, as I recall, describing me, by comparison, as a "bolt-from-the-blue" style inventor). As for moving, we announced our intention to move over a year ago, and though I've packed 265 boxes and taken many preparatory steps, we're still a long way from being ready to move. Kory on the other hand decided just a few weeks ago to move back to the west coast, and now he's already gone.

Good luck dude! Keep in touch!


Meanwhile, there's been lots of other stuff going on. Over the weekend we found time to meet up with my brother and his family at Mt. Vernon. Alison and I hadn't been to George Washington's house since we were kids, and Kristin had never made the pilgrimage during all her years living here, so we decided to tag along when we heard Jeff was introducing his kids to George's place this weekend.

We had a lovely time... it's really cool to walk the halls of the Washingtons' house, imagining the busy "hotel-lobby" feel the front room apparently had sometimes, with various famous people coming to visit for a few days at a time. My favorite spot? The Front Parlor, with tables arrayed with cards and chess pieces. Oh, to be a time traveler, and drop in for a few hands of something in THAT game room!

The photo shown here is of my niece and nephew petting a couple of sheep they found on George Washington's farm. The various animals proved to be the biggest attraction, at least for Sharon, much to Jeff's dismay. "I've been telling people at work," he told me, "that what we really need, to bring the crowds to Monticello, are some cute animals. And here's the proof!" As if to further drive home this point, I find that the most interesting photo I took that day was of the kids with the animals...

But there's plenty of other neat things to see down at George Washington's place... check it out someday when you're around!

Andy Thanks for reading, and Don't Forget to Play!

Thought Residue
"So my mind sort of drifts, and I start thinking about how indefinably cool these little colored pyramids are, and about how infinitely more colorful and artistic they are than a boring old chess set, and how *right* the design is, of three sizes and five of each size and everything, and I start thinking about the mind-bogglingly huge number of imaginable games that could be invented with these pieces, and dammit, isn't it about time *I* invented one?" -- Kory Heath, from an email to us, August 14, 1999

"2006-01-27 at 03:37pm (kristin) spoke with Bill about assembling Treehouse. He doesn't even want to bid on the job, there is no way we can afford for him to do it... after factoring in good salaries and vacation and health insurance - he charges $35 per hour for his assembly folks time - and counting out these pyramids and putting on these little stickers would take LOTS of time. He told me point blank that the right business decision for me would be to just get the product made in China. Wow." -- internal call notes which have triggered a re-evaluation of our commitment to domestic pyramid production (we're still refusing to go to China, but we're now seriously considering Canada or Mexico...)
"It's a very slim mandate, and the party that is holding power is holding it by a thread. If you have a party system divided into four, one party can take power with a proportion of the vote in the 30's percent range. That doesn't mean the country is moving right." -- Pierre Martin, a political scientist at the University of Montreal, seen quoted in "Canada's Shift: To the Right, Gently"

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