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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

Evil Victorious

The interstellar fleet commander suddenly gave the order to attack. After colonizing nearby star systems, acquiring new technologies, and building more and better starships, all while acting peaceful, he was finally ready to strike. His warrior ships created a supernova that vaporized his neighbor's homeworld, decimating her space fleet. Gina snarled. "Another game?" asked Jake.


"Hey look at that gate."
"Oh yeah..."
"Pretty cool."
- Koralleen and me

Cool Words

ambry (am'-bree) n. 1. a storeroom or cupboard; pantry; closet 2. in churches, a niche near the altar for keeping sacred vessels and vestments

Haiku Reviews

Outside Providence :-|

Don't believe the hype,
this "outrageous comedy"
is simply drama.
Daddy-O's Reviews

Planet of the Apes

I used to think I'd seen this film, even though I never actually had. I'd seen clips and sequels aplenty, but never the original. Now I wish I'd seen nothing else, and that I could have seen this film with no prior knowledge of its content. The numerous sequels it has spawned have served only to cheapen, weaken, and distract from the brilliance of the original.

Tirade's Choice

Keep the Metro Open Later!
Fruits of Chaos
Institute of Official Cheer
#12's Webcomic picks

Thursday, September 9, 1999
by the Wunderland Toast Society

New this week:

What's New? The Postcards Are In The Mail!

Well, we are now officially behind schedule. Naturally, our original timetable had some extra time built in, but we were hoping to have the books mostly finished up by now and things are (as usual) taking longer than it seems like they should. Of course, with 3 perfectionists on the team, that's bound to happen, and while they may not be getting done as fast as we'd like, we're extremely pleased with the quality of the materials we are producing. Currently, the Martian Chess volume is virtually done, the IceT**ers book is well in hand, and the Zarcana book is in the early stages of layout work.

Traditionally, book formatting has been Kristin's purview, but this time around Alison is doing it, having recently learned to use Quark for exactly this purpose. And Kristin is really glad to have the help, since she's been just way too busy working on everything else that needs to get done.

The main task that's been crushing our skulls this week was getting the postcards I talked about 2 weeks ago stamped, labeled, and into the mail. We got the postcards back from the printer at the end of last week, which meant the pressure was on to prepare the mailing labels. But this was no easy task.

We've done lots of mass mailings before, usually to a list of 100 or so of our friends and relations, but this mailing is an order of magnitude larger and the names and addresses of people we want to send these postcards to were scattered across half a dozen resources, ranging from our accumulated sales records to business cards we've collected over the years.

Kristin spent several days this week chained to her desk from dawn to dusk, working to pull all this data together into a brand new, all purpose, business-and-personal address tracking system. After designing and building the new system, she extracted all the vital locator data for our past customers from archived sales records. We've used 3 different systems for electronic order collection over the last few years, and the files they produced were all (of course) in different formats.

Another database Kristin exhumed for address harvesting was our old Hypothermia mailing list. Long time Icehouse fans will remember that Icehouse Games inc used to mail out a little blue newsletter called Hypothermia; although these records are now so old that half of them will undoubtedly bounce, this should still prove to be a worthwhile source for addresses of people interested in hearing about the new Icehouse sets.

Anyway, it nearly killed her, but on Tuesday she printed up over 1300 mailing labels, and the postcards are now in the mail. If you're a regular reader of this site, chances are good you'll be getting one in the next day or two.

As for me, my time has been fairly evenly divided between helping each of them get those tasks done and working on getting the material for the books (text, diagrams, etc) ready to go. (Plus of course we had to stop for an evening to celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary...)

But although the deadlines are looming and the pressure to meet them is starting to make us cranky, things are coming together extremely well and the 3 rulebooks are going to be really really good. In fact, this whole product is going to be really really good. We can't wait to get them finished up so that people can start playing with them!

The beautiful new 3-D rendering of our signpost seen above was done by the incomparable Dave Bondi, the guy who did the game art for Icebreaker. I haven't seen him since he moved away to LA a couple of years ago, but he surprised and delighted us this week by sending us this great new version of our logo. It's animated too - click on it to see it move. Thanks Dave!

AndyHave you pre-ordered your Icehouse set yet?

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
Hasbro (which already owns Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Tonka, Kenner, Oddzon, Playskool, Tiger and Galoob) is buying Wizards of the Coast (which itself owns TSR, the Game Keeper, and Andon Unlimited) for $325 million. It's like I keep saying: in 50 years, everything will be owned by about six mega-corporations.
This week it occurred to me that the inside back covers of the 3 Icehouse books will be blank, and that it would be fun to put game-related Nanofiction onto these otherwise unused pages. I wrote this week's entry for the IceTraders volume; look for the other 2 in the coming weeks.
"And please, Mr. Spock, if you won't join me, don't disapprove of me - at least not until you've tried it, huh?" - Dr. McCoy, after offering Spock a drink in the "Conscience of the King"

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