Guide to Wunderland
- News Archives
Radiation: Divine Creator
In the distant future, sentient cockroach anthropologists
studied our culture's fossils. Just as we examine dinosaur bones,
they scrutinized our lingering traces, analyzing our ancient
extinction. Imagine their surprise when, through psionic time
travel, they discovered that they owed their very existence to
the radioactive fallout from WWIII. (Their religions were shaken
to their foundations.)
New this week:
"I'd be careful."
"It's going to be interesting to see what comes out of this."
- me, Jim Butler, and Peter Abel
clerisy (clair'-ih-see) n.
- My Dinner With Andre :-|
minds out of balance.
I was both impressed and depressed by this movie.
It had a lot of good stuff to say, about such things as the destructiveness
of homophobia, the positive aspects of marijuana, and the evils
of gun ownership, but like Being John Malkovich, I found the
characters generally unpleasant and unlikeable. In fact, the
only guy I cared about at all was dead at the end, a plot-point
I would have found unforgivable if we hadn't been told it would
happen at the very beginning. On the whole, it's a beautiful
and genuine film, but it ultimately reminded me of medicine:
it's good for you, but it leaves a yucky taste in your mouth
at the end.
|| Paper Icehouse and some
December, we noticed
that we were running out of origami
icehouse kits. This week, we sold the last one. In a few
weeks, it will be replaced by a new version of the product, which
we will call Paper Icehouse.
Once upon a time, the only way to get a set of Icehouse pieces
(short of a custom
job) was to buy a packet of paper pyramids and put them together
yourself. When we first created these, back in 1991, we intended
them only as a stop-gap product, to be eliminated when real pieces
became available... but even in this, the Age of the Injection-Molded
Plastic Icehouse Piece, demand for an inexpensive starter version
of the game has persisted. In fact, it's increasing, hence our
need to reprint.
Back when our company was called Icehouse
Games, an Origami Icehouse set included pieces, rules, stashpads,
and some extras (like a copy of a story called Appointment
at Ten); but the Looney Labs edition was pared down to just
the pieces and some assembly tips, pointing the user to the website
for the rules to the various
games. We figured we could get away with this because we
were only planning on selling them direct to consumer through
our website, which meant that anyone who bought a set from us
would obviously have access to the web... and indeed, they've
been selling well.
Now however, we've decided that A) the current version of
product is too spartan, because B) we'd like to start making
these available to stores at wholesale rates. So, we're renaming
the product Paper Icehouse and we're going to start including
a new book (sized and styled like the ones included with the
plastic set) called Paper Icehouse, along with a copy of the
The task of the week then was putting together this new booklet.
This wasn't a huge job, since most of the material is recycled
from other sources, but I did have to create new cover art and
write a new intro. The book will also include assembly tips,
the rules to Martian
Chess, an intro to Zarcana, overviews of IceTraders
a list of yet more games, and finally, a nanofic
entitled The 100,000 Year Legacy. It all makes for a pretty nice
little intro to the world of Icehouse, and while it's going to
be more expensive than the old Origami edition, it'll still be
nice and cheap. Our target price is $4.95, and it should be available
in about a month.
Also coming soon, as I mentioned last
week, is the Tirade edition of Button Men. The design was
reviewed and approved by James
Ernest this week, though not without some apprehension about
his vast, super-dimensional powers. He may end up being banned
from tournament play, but we decided that's OK, since we'd rather
he be appropriately powerful than competition legal. As James
said: "I mean, after all. He's Tirade." Anyway, that
project is also moving along nicely.
Meanwhile, Kristin has been busy putting into html all of
the rabbit stuff that has been rolling around in her head (and
on the rabbit discussion list) for many months now. The rabbit
pages have been completely updated, and now include several
cgi's that will hopefully make it easy for us to keep the site
up to date, while still showcasing the great stuff our fans are
doing to help promote our games. It will also connect the requesting
and sending of free stuff (prize support, literature, etc.) to
our existing order fulfillment system, which will make a BIG
difference in our ability to actually keep on top of these tasks.
The new pages also include two calendars, one with a list of
events being run by our rabbits, the other providing a list
of the events we plan to make an official
appearance at. Kristin even created fill-in forms to help
keep these pages up to date, so if you've got a tournament planned,
or wish to invite us to your con, then surf on over there and
do some pointing and clicking.
Well, that's about all I have to report this week, since I'm
not yet ready to talk about the great new game I'm designing.
Er, um... how's the weather? It's been great here. It's just
starting to be springtime, so of course, Alison has begun her
gardening. Yesterday, she and Kristin planted 4 kinds of peas.
Hail the Internet!
||"It's a plastic world. And because of plastic,
it's a plastic world in a different sense, in the original sense
of the word: it changes its shape easily. And when the shapes
change regularly, which they do, we begin to *want* them to change
regularly." -- James Burke, Connections,
|The new Hasbro edition of Diplomacy features
metal pieces, and they're really neat. Monopoly experts will
recognize the new army and navy markers as the artillery piece
and battleship tokens that disappeared from Monopoly somewhere
along the line, no doubt for being too warlike. Now you can get
piles of them, in rainbow colors!
||"There's nothing worse in life than being
ordinary." -- Angela Hayes, "American