"I've been playing Fluxx for a few months.
I am hooked. Can't get by without playing a few games each day."
-- Beth K, comments with order #108440
another batch of links and commentary on topics including: His
currest group of students, the Top Ten Low-pass Fly-by's, a visit
to the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Shanghai Expo, Noam Chomsky,
Le Tour du Monde en 80 secondes, Ten radical restaurant designs,
Seven Astounding Beach Scenes, 3-D fatigue, Soviet Sci-Fi anime
from the 80s, a Michael Jackson rotoscope, the new re-mastered
Beatle CDs, Doing a Total Background Check on Yourself, Pennies,
Unshaven Women, the Future of Space Flight, Rash's occassional
round-up of wacky new products, and the question, "What
do you call a small neighborhood store that sells stuff like
candy, beer, lottery tickets, and an assortment of groceries?"
||Back To the Future! / New
Hires / Renaming Rabbits / Shel & Shake
It's been another
very busy month. Firstly, in case you haven't heard yet, the
exciting news I couldn't really talk about in my
last update is that our big fall release is Back to the
Future: The Card Game!
Here's the cover
art and official blurbage (which is all Looney
Labs is cleared by Universal Studios to release so far):
"Now you can jump into the action of the Back to the
Future movies, with this ingenious new time travel card game!
Play as the descendants of Marty McFly, Biff Tannen, Doc Brown
and others, as you travel back to the events depicted in the
movies. Your mission is to make sure pivotal events are not changed
by other time travelers before time travel itself gets un-invented.
Using a unique, patented game mechanic for simulating time travel,
Andrew Looney now puts you in the driver's seat of the famous
The artwork is being done by Derek
Ring, whose exceptional work appears in Zombie
Fluxx and EcoFluxx.
As you can see from this first image (and you'll just have to
trust me on the others he's finished so far) he's doing an awesome
In other big news, we've had some major
personnel changes this month. Firstly, as I talked about last
time, Jessica Blair is no longer working for us... we wish
her the best of luck in her future endeavors. And as luck would
have it, we've already found someone to take over the Sales Department.
His name is Chris Marshall, and he has tons of experience selling
games in our industry from 5 years at Games Workshop. He's a
gamer through and through, and has already learned enough about
our games to give me a run for my money in my favorite Icehouse
At the same time, we've also hired our
old friend Josh Drobina, to help out with Sales Processing
and Customer Support. For the last year and a half we've had
a series of part-time temps doing this job (Nikki,
& Sadaf) but we've gotten to the point where we need
someone doing this full-time. Josh moved back here from Ohio
last year, and when he heard we had a position open, he quickly
applied. We concluded he was just right for the job, and it's
great to have him working in our office again. (Josh is also
an excellent Homeworlds player.)
That's Chris on the right in the photo shown here, while Josh
is on the left.
So far, everything has been going very smoothly with these
new hires, and we're feeling really good about our new team.
(To put it in "Good to Great" terms, it feels like
we've got a great set of people on our bus.)
Another big change is something we've been
contemplating for years, which we're finally decided to move
forward with: renaming our fan
The name we used for many years was Mad Lab Rabbits, but we've
come to realize that this name has a number of problems and drawbacks
-- enough so that we want to change it.
To begin with, it must be understood that we make games for
adults. Most of our games can be played by children, but we design
them to be fun and challenging for grownups. Unfortunately, what
people think of when they see our Mad Lab Rabbit imagery is "stuff
for kids," and it can be very difficult to get past that
Why rabbits, anyway? Well, because that name seemed fun and
catchy, and we wanted our fans to multiply like rabbits. But
rabbits don't feature in our games in any way. (OK, there's a
Keeper in EcoFluxx called Rabbits. But that's it.) Meanwhile,
one of our game company peers (called Playroom Entertainment)
has a series of games called Killer Bunnies, and this unfortunately
just leads to more confusion and misunderstanding. It's easy
for people to see our rabbits and assume we're the Killer Bunnies
Then there's the problem of people just getting it wrong,
and calling our fans Lab Rats. Sigh.
Anyway, we've gradually been moving away from the rabbit imagery,
referring to our dormant fan program simply as our Fan Club.
But now that we're finally moving forward on relaunching the
program, it's time to adopt a new name.
But what should the new name be? That's the big question we've
been struggling with ever since we realized that Rabbits just
isn't the best name for our fan group. But after literally years
of contemplation we think we have the answer, and it's very simple:
It'll still be awhile before we roll out the new Lab Assistants
program, but we felt it was time to start letting our fans know
that we're going to be ask them to hang up their Rabbit ears
and start calling themselves Lab Assistants instead.
On top of all that turnover and change, Wunderland.Earth
has two new residents. Due to some major upheavals in her own
life, our very close friend Shel West found herself looking for
a new place to live, just as we were finally getting our spare
room ready to turn into a rental. Since moving most of our business
and life operations across the street to Alison's
house, Pepperland.Earth, we've been re-purposing the rooms
at Wunderland.Earth. We still do a lot of entertaining over there,
and parts of the old house will continue to serve as office space,
but the place has been needing a new resident, so I'm delighted
that Shel has moved in.
Shel brings with her a charming white cat named Milkshake.
My own very dear black cat, named Little Cat, is taking a dim
view of this change in her once peaceful household, but integration
of the cats is also going well enough so far.
As if all that weren't enough, I've had some great new game
design ideas this month. My 21st game for Icehouse pyramids is
a big hit with my playtesters, as are my Radically
Simplified New Rules for Nanofictonary. Also, I had a great
new idea for a new Fluxx rule while working on the design for
BttF, and we've decided to make it into a promo card to release
Speaking of which, Origins
is fast approaching, and planning for Big Experiment #11 is starting
to dominate our thinking. (It's my favorite week of the year
-- will YOU be there?)
that's what's going on around here at this time. Thanks for reading,
and have a great Whenever!