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Thursday, June 7th, 2007

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Haiku Reviews

Demolition Man :(

Maybe we're taking
apocalypse comedy
too seriously.

Coca-Cola Happiness Factory

Tirade's Choice

It's a Geek Thing

"My friends and I, until recently, have played video games when we get together. But we began to realize that, while incredibly fun, there are only so many times one can play Mario Party without getting a little bored. So, I suggested my Looney Labs games (which, admittedly, haven't seen much play lately). Imagine my surprise when they became an instant hit! So much so, that we've begun almost exclusively playing LL games, because they're so quick and easy and fun. I absolutely LOVE the Treehouse design, it's so much better than the old stash concept. And we can honestly say that we've forgotten how much fun traditional games can be. Thanks, Looneys, for injecting a healthy dose of fun into our once-ailing game nights." -- email from a fan named Andrew

No Hovering!

  • Sorry, no video this week, I spent all my time on 3HOUSE

3HOUSE is at the Printers! However...

Well, it's overdue by more than a year but I've finally finished this booklet I've been working on for what feels like 20 years, called 3HOUSE. The files have gone to the printer! Woo-hoo!

It's great to finally have this monkey off my back, and I'm really pleased with the way the book has came together. I did a lot of new drawings and illustrations for it (including this Star Map diagram for Homeworlds) and I'm really excited about the new game I designed just for this work. Best of all, getting it sent to the printer today means we'll be able to have them in time to be selling at Origins!!! Yay!

But there's also bad news in the world of Icehouse pyramids: We're raising the price. We've been running the numbers, and we just can't afford to keep selling those pesky plastic pieces at their current retail price. One of the many consequences of the increase in gas prices over the past few years is that plastic (a petroleum product) has also become a lot more expensive. The costs we're facing for the next print run of Treehouse sets makes it clear we're going to need to raise the price.

When will we be doing that next print run, and what's the new price going to be?

These are excellent questions. Partly it will depend on how quickly we sell through our remaining stock from the last print run. It may depend on how much more gas prices go up between now and then. But one thing is certain: it's going up at least to $10 a tube, probably more.

With that in mind, we're raising the price right now on our remaining stash of Treehouse sets, to $10.

How long will those sets be available, and how long will it be until you reprint?

Those are also excellent questions with difficult-to-predict answers. Our current supplies are indeed running low, and probably won't last more than another few months.

As for reprinting, that may take a while regardless of when we sell out. Depending on how our search for capitalization goes in the next couple of months, we might have the new sets before the Holidays, or we might not. We are focusing on Zombie Fluxx first, with our current available cash. We're more committed to the Icehouse line than ever, but even so, we might be out of them for a short while in the coming months.

AndyJust so you know...

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

PS: Here's a big Thank You to everyone who helped me get 3HOUSE done, in particular my proofreaders, including: Russell Grieshop, James Hazelton, Tim Seiger, Karyn & Timothy Hunt, JK Grence, Ross Andrews, Alex Yeager, Marc Hartstein, Andres Marin, Pat Fuller, Adam Kopczenski, Jesse Welton, Janice Sellers, Carl Worth, Rachelle Grein, Carlton Noles, Laura Marsh, Marcus & Mario, and anyone else I've shown some version of this document to during the past year. (I absorbed 25 pages of comments into my final draft.)

Thought Residue
I'm seriously bummed about the new Fantastic Four movie. What I had been looking forward with great anticipation has instead become a sadness-maker which I now don't even want to see. I've been both excited and worried about it ever since I first heard the title, "Rise of the Silver Surfer." I thought it should have been called "The Coming of Galactus," since Galactus is the real star of the story and is my favorite character in all the Marvel Universe. But alas, my worst fears have been confirmed. The Wikipedia page about Galactus reveals that he won't be in the movie at all: he's been reduced from a god-like being to a cosmic vortex. It's particularly disappointing to learn this after seeing the awesome-looking image of Galactus currently featured on the Wikipedia page. (It looks like a frame from the movie, but it actually comes from a recent videogame.)

As I hear more and more about the honey bee epidemic, I'm being reminded of the importance of bees in nature. That said, I've also been noticing how important bees are to the world of comedy. I was struck by this last Sunday night, when wacky cartoon bees featured prominently on a couple of Adult Swim shows on the Cartoon Network (The Venture Brothers and Futurama were the main ones, but a talking bee on Family Guy helped make the point). And just as I was thinking about this, I read that day's Dilbert, which featured this line: "The project is like a hundred drunken clowns with bees in their underpants." Think of all the slapstick moments involving beehives and consider what a loss it would be to world if there weren't any bees.
We had a big debate on the Icehouse list this week, about the color mapping for playing Homeworlds with Xeno colors. The mapping I'd come up with has Cyan being equivalent to Green, but a lot of people thought it should have been Blue instead, since the Light Blue = Dark Blue correlation is so strong. But we decided my original plan was the best way to go. Alan Anderson's message said it the best: "Just look at transparent Rainbow plastic pyramids. What is it that makes each one unique? Red is the warmest. Green is the coolest. Yellow is the lightest. Blue is the darkest. Don't think about colors in the abstract. Look at the actual pieces. To my eyes, Yellow is too unsaturated to challenge Red for the title of warmest, and Blue is entirely too dark to push Green aside as the coolest. Now look at the corresponding transparent Xeno pieces. Orange is the warmest. Cyan is the coolest. Clear is the lightest. Purple is the darkest."

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