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Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Archives Games

playtests galore & banana oat nut surprise

Haiku Reviews

Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny :)

A collapsed prequel
to the greatest rock story
ever told, bar none.

Code Monkey

Tirade's Choice

What's Special About This Number?

"Thank you for all of your wonderful games - and for being a company whose ethics I can recommend to my students. We have played games with teachers and students from all over the country at these events, and they have been very popular with all audiences. We played a set of games (Fluxx, Are You A Werewolf, Uber-Chrononauts, Volcano, and a couple of others) last summer on the campus of Indiana University, with players from Virginia, California, Massachusetts, Texas, and Oklahoma, attracting interest in gamers aged 11 to over 80. It was fantastic, and an experience I hope to continue." -- Teacher Rabbit Irina Greenman

Blogging resumes - photos of cherry blossoms and California poppies - Ecstasy in WET - a solution to global warming?

A Rules Suggestion for Ellen DeGeneres

I'm a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres, and now that I have TIVO, I've become a pretty regular viewer of her talk show. (Given my bizarre sleep habits, I'd been missing it before because I'm usually doing some of my best sleeping around 11 am on most weekdays.) Anyway, on yesterday's show (March 21st), I noticed she had a little problem with one of her on-air games, and being as I am a professional game designer, I just couldn't resist figuring out a solution for her. (Actually, figuring it out was easy: the idea just popped into my head, as I watched her show while soaking in the bathtub.)

Anyway, I present both the problem and my solution to it in a new Ask Andy video, entitled "A Rules Suggestion for Ellen DeGeneres."

You may notice, however, that I haven't uploaded this one to You Tube just yet. (The current link leads to a file stored here at This is because I incorporated clips from the March 21st episode in my suggestion-box video (again, thanks to TIVO), and now, since the upload interface at You Tube makes you swear on 13 bibles that you aren't uploading anything copyrighted in any form without permission, I got all paranoid and decided against clicking that final upload button. Instead I'm just parking it here at for now, and I'm asking with this text for permission from Ellen & NBC to post this video on You Tube. (Yes, I know, everybody else is doing it, but I just can't help it, I'm too much of a Lawful Good Boy Scout at heart.) Assuming I get a yes, I'll upload it later.

AndyAnyway, here's a royal Shout Out to you, Ellen! I hope you end up seeing this and/or my video-blog-thingy, and that you like the game design suggestion it contains. Please Ellen, may I post this on YouTube?

As for those of you who are reading this who aren't Ellen, well, thanks for surfing in!

Thought Residue
Speaking of people getting into trouble after posting videos on You Tube that included reworked copyrighted footage, did you see that redo of the Apple 1984 ad with Hillary inserted in place of Big Brother? I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, since it suits my politics and I appreciated how clever and well executed it was. My favorite detail of the "Big Sister" ad was the addition of an iPod to the hammer-thrower's jogging outfit.

Speaking of Apple and the dark side of the future, I got badly burned by iMovie software this week. (I've been a big fan since the original Macintosh and never have I felt so let down by one of their applications.) I've been using iMovie '04 to edit all the videos I've been doing these last few months, and due to some screw-ups of my own, I mistakenly deleted a bunch of important files. (My entire Superhero audition video and the master files for the Fluxx Espanol videos I just posted, to be specific.) Had I upgraded to iMovie '06, I'd have been able to recover my mistakenly-trashed files from iMovie's special internal trash can. However, since money is very tight we've been delaying upgrades, and the '04 version had been treating me fine up until this point. But I've just learned the hard way that in this older version of the software, there's just no access into that special internal trash can! I can tell it's got hundreds of megs of my old clips in there, but the only option you are given for this special internal trash can is to empty it. Geez, what's the point of showing me a trash can if you don't give me the option to retrieve junk from it? The betrayal was compounded when the hope of recovering the files by upgrading was dashed. I got the 2006 version (although since this is now spring '07, I could feel it getting obsolete as I drove home) and yes, it does indeed feature a Show Trash menu from which dead files can be recovered... but when I load my old project files (with their carefully preserved trash files intact) into the new version, there's a no-going-back update process which leaves my trash nice and empty. Sigh. It won't really be that hard to recover from (since I have the finished DVD of my Superhero audition video and the master tapes for the Espanol videos) but it was a big setback nonetheless and a serious disappointment for this loyal Apple user. It's very painful watching data you'd very much like to recover being instead erased.
Speaking of mistakes in old versions of stuff, it's come to my attention that there's a problem with the Hand Limit 0 card in the 3.0 series of Fluxx decks, which has been causing debates among some game groups as to how that card should be played. The problem is in how this First Edition card interacts with the card Inflation, which was added in version 3.0. The way the fine print reads, some were arguing that Hand Limit 0 was unaffected by Inflation, but had that been my intention, the title of the card would have been Hand Limit Zero. The fact is, it's an oversight, which we need to remember to correct on the next version.

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