June 24, 2011
Volume 4, Issue 2
Introducing Seven Dragons!
While based on Aquarius and functionally identical in some respects, Seven Dragons also has a few strategic wrinkles that make it an even more exciting game.
The big change is the Silver Dragon. This is a new card that starts in the center of the table and is never moved. It mirrors the color of the topmost action card on the discard pile -- when that's empty, the Silver Dragon is wild.
The idea developed from the name of the game. For years we've been talking about redoing Aquarius with a different theme, such as fairies, dinosaurs, and ultimately of course, dragons. But a problem we kept coming back to was the name. For a long time we were planning to call it Dragon Connections. Then we realized that if we added an extra dragon we'd have seven, and that, according to the mystic rules of life, is a magic number. It's like Seven days of the week, Seven Wonders of the World, Seven Seas, Seven Sins, Seven-Up, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers -- Seven Dragons just sounds cool.
After some noodling we came up with the idea of a wildcard akin to the rainbow dragon but which changed from one color to the next as the game progressed. And after thinking of making it the color featured on the top-most discarded action, a new gameplay option shook out in the playtesting. Now, whenever you play an Action card, you actually do two things at once, and have the option to negate either of those actions. If you just want to change the color of the Silver Dragon, you can discard an Action without performing its function. Or, if you want to do the Action but also want the Silver Dragon to stay the color it is, you can add the Action to the *bottom* of the discard pile.
Best of all, Seven Dragons features stunning new artwork painted exclusively for us by a legend in the world of fantasy artwork: Larry Elmore! Larry was great to work with and his fans are thrilled about seeing his work featured in this game.
Seven Dragons is flying in on June 24th, so make sure your Friendly Local Game Store has it on order.
And here's a special bonus for Aquarius fans: If you'd like to try the new rules using the original game, we've created a special promo card featuring a colorful dragon drawn by our friend Alex Bradley.
And speaking of Alex, DO NOT MISS the awesome video he made for us, featuring an animated version of Andy explaining the game to a group of our gamer friends!
Come Sign Up for the new Looney Labs Fan Club!
We have an exciting new web site for our fans - please come sign up today! The site launched a few days before Xmas and we already have over 600 members signed up, with lots of fun conversations going on about Looney Labs Games. If you want to get in on the fun of helping us promote Seven Dragons - read more about joining our new Demo Team on this project. If you were one of the 4000 registered fans in our old fan club years ago, please be sure you read Kristin's Request regarding the old Mad Lab Rabbit Program - Thanks!
What was Larry Elmore's first nationally published piece, and when did he paint his first dragons?
Scroll down to see the answer.
Q: What was it like being animated?
A: "It was a hoot! Obviously, it's pretty surreal to see yourself transformed into a cartoon character. Surreal, and totally cool.
As for the process, that was cool too, since all I had to do was show up and talk about my games, nice and loud. That's pretty easy for me! Alex Bradley did all the work -- everything from writing the script to directing the video shoot to creating the animated Andy and other special effects. I literally didn't have to do anything except speak my lines. Thanks Alex!
We've done two videos now, for IceDice and Seven Dragons. For the IceDice video, I was there during the filming, and spoke my lines from off screen while the actors pretended I was standing in the spot I would later be added as a cartoon. This was sometimes difficult for Eli, the kid in the video, who kept swiveling his head around to look at where the lines were actually coming from, instead of where cartoon-me was supposed to be standing.
For the Seven Dragons video, I wasn't even there during the filming. Someone else read my lines from off camera for the other actors to react to, and later I went over to Alex's place to make the official voice recording. That was even more surreal for me, since I had no idea what the finished film would be like.
All in all it was totally fun and I'm looking forward to being a cartoon in more videos!"
Survey of the Month
Which is your favorite dragon?
Take the Survey! We'll post the results in our next newsletter.
Results of Last Issue's Survey
Here's what the 136 people who responded to the last survey said:
Which of the exciting new mechanics in Pirate Fluxx are you most excited about?
- 53.7% - the SURPRISE card type
- 32.4% - the Captains Hat KEEPER
- 14.0% - the Plunder RULE
Trivia Question Answer
Larry Elmore says: "The first dragon I ever painted was in '80 or '81. It was a freelance piece for the cover of a TSR calendar. I think it was a white dragon coming out of a cave with a few adventurers. The second one was for an Endless Quest book cover, a painting of a white dragon and a blue frost giant, again, published by TSR.
But I had had other art published before: the very first painting that was nationally published was a real killer... Gaaaaa, I still get a little embarrassed by it. It was for National Lampoon magazine, for an article entitled "Trojan Horse" and it was a "real Trojan": a giant prophylactic, with little Trojan warriors dudes jumping out to attack!!! I think I did that piece around '78 or '79. I thought long and hard about doing that one, but it was my first big break, so what's an artist to do????"