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This Tom Hanks production about a rock 'n roll band's rise to stardom in 1964 currently tops my all-time favorites list. It's funny and upbeat, the music rocks, and it's an inspiration to anyone with dreams of fame and success, whether in the music industry or otherwise.

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Thursday, March 25,1999

What's New?

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Contagious Dreams report: The response to last week's big mailing has been really great. Lots of little game companies are currently in the process of submitting games to us, and everyone is very excited about the prospects of this new venture. New at the site this week is an FAQ file, which Kristin has been building up in response to the questions being asked by the Dreamers we've been talking to. The Toaster Testers are psyching themselves up for playing a bunch of new games, which started arriving in the mail yesterday...

Fluxx Third Printing report: The good news is the cards have been printed and cut; the bad news is that, once again, the box is proving to be a problem child. It's been delayed on account of font absenteeism. We were supposed to have received the cards at the beginning of this week; now it looks as though we won't get them until next Wednesday. Nevertheless, we should have new decks very soon. In the meantime, we're just sitting on the orders that come in for Second Edition Fluxx, and we shall fill these orders the moment we get our shipment of decks from the factory. If you're getting impatient and wish to have us fill your outstanding order with First Edition decks instead, let us know and we'll send it right out. But in any event, thanks for your patience! (And speaking of Fluxx, didja hear about us getting the Mensa Select award? We're still kinda jumping up and down about it...)

This weekend, we were featured guests at Technicon 16, an annual science fiction convention held in Blacksburg, Virgina, and we had a totally grand time.

I was invited to be a guest of honor by Jazzfish, a longtime Fluxx fan, but when they found out Kristin was a Rubik's Cube expert, they upgraded her to Guest of Honor status as well, signing her up to host a panel on the cube in the process. As GoHs, we held three panels during the weekend: one about Fluxx, one about the Rubik's Cube, and one about the game design and marketing processes. The first two were nothing more than play sessions really, but they went well. The third panel on the other hand was much more like a formal talk - we even prepared handouts. (But we kept it from being too formal by sitting on the floor.)

Kristin and I spent the hour talking about how we got started in this business, and the process we go through when publishing new games. The handouts included our Design Flowchart, which outlines the Game Development Process we use here at Looney Labs. We got a nice sized audience who listened with rapt attention and asked lots of questions. It was cool. We also set up a little instant sales booth and sold a bunch of games before and after the talk, where I also signed a few autographs. It's fun being an honored guest!

We were joined on this adventure by Alison Frane, who'd never been to a sci-fi convention before but had always wanted to go to one. Among many other things, Alison spent some time wandering around with a stuffed broccoli tied onto her shoulder with her hair, giving everyone Tirade buttons, saying "Would you like a sentient broccoli pin?" She also costumed to match us, and joined with Kristin in being my entourage when I donned my classic Emperor of the Universe full dress uniform for the formal dance on Saturday night. They were giving out prizes to those best dressed that evening, and I found myself being pulled out of the crowd and handed just such an award! (Alison too was a prizewinner, taking second place in one of the weekend's two limbo contests.)

But for you the websurfer, the best news of all is that there's finally a working search engine for Kristin's been failing to find time to get that working ever since it broke, during the site rehosting last fall, but with having recently passed the 2000 page mark, the need for a replacement search engine was getting pretty serious. Fortunately, thanks to the tireless efforts of the other Kristin, we finally have one again. And it's a great one, too, allowing you to refine your search by searching the results of a search. So three cheers for toK, and...

Don't forget to play!

Thought Residue
"People don't buy products, they buy solutions to problems." - Sarah White, The Complete Idiots Guide to Marketing Basics
"'I like your little joke', I said. 'I like it very much, more than I can possibly tell you.' Very softly I added, 'When does it stop being a joke?'" - "Of Missing Persons", by Jack Finney (a sci-fi story from 1957 that would have made a great episode of the Twilight Zone)
"Wake up, you Mensa award-winning game designer you!" - Kristin's first words to me this past Monday morning

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