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Thursday, March 6th, 2008

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an extra day | measuring commonness & rosenguild & sternencrantz, live! | a at eat neat neato

Cool Words

Scotch woodcock (skoch' wood'-kok) n. buttered toast spread with anchovy paste with creamy soft-scrambled eggs on top.

Haiku Reviews

Scotland, PA :|

Someone took Cliff Notes
of Macbeth and smoked a joint,
then made a movie.

Also: Be Kind Rewind

Titanic in 5 Seconds

Tirade's Choice

Dark Roasted Blend: Retro-Future

"I learned to play Fluxx after a day at the Oregon Brewers Festival. I have loved it ever since. It's fun precisely for the reasons that 'gamers' hate it. Strategy can be planned and formulated and then you have to scramble to reformulate it. Primarily, for me, the game doesn't seem like work. One of the reasons I don't enjoy computer RPG games is the grinding tedium of them that makes them ultimately seem like very complicated but nevertheless tedious factory work. Fluxx is more like backgammon than anything else that I can think of. You can have a strategy, sure, but one little dice roll can keep you bumped and ruin everything you were working on for the whole game. That tends to be why chess players don't care for backgammon. :)" -- CSBMonkey, comment #57 added to the article about Fluxx on BoingBoing

Another bunch of links

  • What changes have you made to the rules to Zark City so far?

Our First Non-Trivial Annual Shareholders' Meeting

A little over ten years ago, Kristin and I started a company called Looney Labs. At first we funded the company with money we'd saved up from our old careers in the aerospace industry, but over the years we've also borrowed considerably from family and friends. Starting a new game company isn't cheap, and while we've had a lot of success and made a lot of money with Fluxx and our other innovative game products, we've also continued to need more funding as we've built and expanded our company and our product line.

A little over three years ago, we hired Robin Vinopal, who's been a close friend of ours since before Kristin and I even started dating, and she became our Chief Operations Officer. Besides just helping us run and build the company, one of her tasks was to help us become more corporate. The more our homemade business was succeeding, the more we were needing to function internally as a real business. Robin's administration has meant lots more meetings and memos and in some cases, painful changes and difficult choices, but it's all been for the best and we've gradually been getting our company a lot more shipshape.

Over a year ago, we started working on a major overhaul of our corporate governance underpinnings. It started with us writing an all-new business plan, followed by getting lawyers to write us a new shareholder's agreement, and eventually resulting in the issuance of more stock to a select group of our friends and family members.

And so, after years of preparation, everything is suddenly different. Whereas Looney Labs has always been owned fully by myself & Kristin, we are now just founding co-owners, with ownership shared between ourselves, our employees, and many of the folks who've kept us going during difficult times by loaning us money.

The culmination of all this internal restructuring occurred this week as we held our 2008 Annual Shareholders' Meeting. Our company has been having shareholders' meetings every evening around the dinner table ever since we started, but now that we have other shareholders, our official annual meeting is no longer a simple triviality. And as part of becoming more corporate, we took this meeting quite seriously.

We held our first non-trivial annual shareholders meeting in a function room at the nearby Holiday Inn, and we prepared a detailed 32 page presentation on the state of the company, our successes in the previous year, and our plans for the years to come. Of course we also had the formal election of the Board of Directors as well, this being the main point of business we were legally-bound to conduct.

Anyway, it was actually a lot more fun that it probably sounds. Things are looking good for Looney Labs, and the accomplishments which this meeting represented to us made us feel quite celebratory afterwards.

Other than that, I don't have much else to report on just now. We've been playing a lot of my new game Zark City (including last weekend at a party celebrating Luisa's new visa) and talking about what to name my new Martian Invasion version of Fluxx.

Thanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!Andy

Thought Residue
This week, we in the adventure game industry are mourning the loss of game designer Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax represents the pinnacle of achievement for someone in my profession: not only did his games create infinite hours of fun for never-ending numbers of people, they also revolutionized the culture, inspiring countless other such games, not to mention computer games, books, cartoons, jokes, movies, clubs, businesses, and so on. Goodbye Gary -- and thanks for all the fun.
"The genius of D&D is the way it parcels out rules and fantasy. The game tethers the imagination just enough to keep you focused on an imaginary world (main goal: slaying nasty things for profit) without putting limits on what you could do inside that world. Dungeons & Dragons is like the greatest Etch A Sketch on earth: It gives you the tools to create whatever you want." -- Jonathan Rubin, "Farewell to the Dungeon Master: How D&D creator Gary Gygax changed geekdom forever"

"Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we've been demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain. 'A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,' wrote Thomas Paine when he called for civil disobedience against monarchy - the flawed national policy of his day. In a similar spirit, we offer a small idea that is, perhaps, no small idea. If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented." -- Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon, "The Wire's War on the Drug War"

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