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Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

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Haiku Reviews

Quantum of Solace :)

A quantum of trust,
and a quantum of tech...
Hey! A real spy film!

Plus: Role Models and Tropic Thunder


Tirade's Choice

Solar Transit of ISS and Atlantis

"Just wanted to let you know how much I am adoring World War 5! Continuing the theme of gameboards that utilize treehouse pieces in this manner is awesome and I think it adds a lot to the greater 'system'." -- Message from Sam Zitin written on Andy's Facebook Wall

Bento Boxes from Michiyo

Introducing World War 5 and New Cats 3

Last time I mentioned in passing that we'd sent out our Holiday Gift mailing, but didn't really talk about it, since I didn't want to spoil the surprise too much for those waiting to receive their copies in the mail. But enough time has gone by now that I think I can finally talk freely about World War 5.

First of all, WW5 is obviously inspired by those classic world conquest board games of the past, in particular Risk and Diplomacy. But unlike those lumbering dinosaurs, WW5 is quick little world conquest board game, played using Treehouse pyramids on a miniature world map gameboard. Instead of a game that takes all day to play, WW5 is easy to start and plays in well under an hour. For more about how it works and how it was developed, check out the complete rules online and an article I wrote about the design process.

But WW5 also represents another breakthrough in designing of games for the pyramids. (Well, it's sort of new.) The idea of creating new Icehouse games by first creating a new gameboard for the pyramids has gotten me thinking of yet more new games I could invent in this way. (In fact, I've already got another new 3HOUSE game in the works, which uses yet another cool little custom-designed gameboard. And it's testing really well, too, but I'm not ready to release anything else about that one yet, hence the code name Secret Project PD-09.) But like I said, this gameboard-first approach isn't really new; in fact, the second game ever created for the pyramids, called Trice, came about in this same way. So it's more of a forgotten technique.

Anyway, WW5 is another fast-playing light strategy game similar in various ways to Zark City. I hope you enjoy playing it!

Another thing I mentioned in my previous update is that the Looney Labs office had been invaded by cats. I hate thinking about the horrible circumstances by which we came to adopt this trio of felines, but it's been decided that they will stay with us from now on, and that's a wonderful thing. They're great cats and it's an honor to be the people giving them a new home.

Here are some photos Robin took of our new feline masters:

That's Princess on the colorful rug, with her brothers perched on boxes in the second photo. The black and white one is named Toto, and the mostly gray cat is known as Smokey. And they are all are very sweet. They're also getting along pretty well with the frequently visiting dog, but have yet to encounter the two cats who still live over at our old house.

AndyThanks for reading, have a great whenever, and don't forget to shop!

Thought Residue
"Q: What do you get when you cross a Hippie with a Trekkie? A: Andy Looney!" -- example question and favorite answer from a game of "Why Did The Chicken...?" described to me by Dave Chalker on November 27, 2008

"Plastic dinosaur toys are made out of dinosaurs." -- John Cooper, October 2, 2008
"On the homefront, there's another hugely important change you could quickly bring America: Call off the federal government's bipartisan war on drugs. You could get on TV some Tuesday night and tell your fellow Americans the truth most of them have known for decades: The dirty drug war waged by government on its own people has failed by every measure. Then reassert your forgotten call for America to start treating all drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. Then give your presidential blessing to the decision by Massachusetts voters last week to approve the marijuana decriminalization initiative. Then make marijuana as legal as beer. Then pardon all nonviolent drug offenders. Then decommission the DEA. Then, using your best oratorical skills, declare a great victory in America's never-ending war against too much government and too little personal freedom." -- Bill Steigerwald, "Yes, President Obama, You Can Try"

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