Well, I NEVER thought it would happen, but it did. Andy and Kristin made it to the UK for the 2015 UKGamesExpo. And I was there, and I got to meet them and say hello.
Let me tell you a little about my weekend;
I saw a couple of weeks ago that there was a section for this years UKGE marked off for Looney Labs, so posted a quick message, asking Andy & Kristin if it was an official demo team, or simply a retailer demo'ing the Looney Labs games. Kristin replied that she and Andy were both coming over to the UK for the Expo. Well, you can imagine my excitement, as I said, I knew that I was unlikely to make it the States, so felt that it was VERY unlikely that I'd get to meet the moving force behind the games we love, or to see some of the demo games before they get to market. How wrong I was..............
Friday, I sat down with Kristin, introduced myself, boasted about my Fluxx collection, and then reminded her that I was still looking for the Zombie Fluxx 'Flame thrower' expansion (long out of print, and rarer than hens teeth in the UK). But if you don't ask (pester), you'll never stand any chance of getting satisfaction. So I asked again, and was told that it may be 're-published' in the future, but no, they unfortunately didn't have any to give to me.
I hid my tears well, and was introduced to Loonacy by Kristin and Andy. Originally, having read the description of this game I wasn't blown-away, so hadn't bothered to add it to my collection. What an over-sight that was. The game is fantastic, and having played just one game with Kristin, I was off to the trade hall to pick myself up a copy, for our family game collection, and it was actually the game we played most over the weekend.
Following my game of Loonacy, Kristin also introduced me to Just Deserts. Again, a game that I felt pretty ambivalent towards, but again a game that plays so well when you actually get your hands on a copy, it's impossible to not pick up a copy for future fun game nights. So of course, it was back to the trade hall, and a second Looney labs game added to my ever extending games collection. And this copy was made even more important to the collection after both The Emperor (Andy) and The Hippy (Kristin) signed their cards for me (shame Alison wasn't there as well, we'd have added her too).
Saturday, Kristin was ill, so I had Andy to myself. What did I do? I took advantage of course. I had him show me his prototype of Dr Who Fluxx. And it's FANTASTIC. Come on BBC, sort out a licence so that it can be produced as a purchasable product for Dr Who and Fluxx fans. That one would have to be added to my collection, regardless of 'playability', but it just so turns out, it's immensely playable (perhaps chase after a UK only licence?).
I also had a quick look at the Fluxx dice expansion, another interesting variable to add to an already fun game.
While I was sat with Andy, a member of the Expo volunteer squad dropped by. Following the sad death of Looney Labs Game Tech, here in the UK, a number of promo's had been found, and he was returning them to Andy, so that they could be 'made use of''.
Now, remember what I said earlier about 'always asking'? I did it again, and asked Andy if he thought there might be a Flame Thrower promo in the pack, 'it's not likely' he said, but started shuffling through a bag of promos, and there it was. My Flame Thrower! I say mine because he gave me the pack, there and then.
But this still wasn't enough for me. I asked if it would be possible to have a second (I'd spotted that there was more than one in the bag), that I could add to this years Jack Vasel charity auction (held on BoardGameGeek). He was kind enough to give me a second. Expect to see it listed when the auction goes live later this year (I'll post here with an update when it's listed).
Sunday, Kristin battled through (she still looked poorly, I'm sure she'd rather have been in bed), she's one tough cookie that lady!
Today was the last day of the Expo though, so it was today that I had my Just Deserts cards signed. And Andy was good enough to sign one of his personal Fluxx cards for my son (the Andy Looney - Keeper), My son's more than happy with his acquisitions.
I also got to have a closer look at the Batman Fluxx, another winner and 'must have' game, particularly if you're a Batman fan, like I am.
The prototype for Ice-House cards looks more than a little interesting too, hopefully the release will see a greater take-up of Ice House here in the UK.
It was great to see Fluxx the Boardgame being introduced to new players by Kristin. I almost volunteered to demo it (Kristin asked me if I'd like to), but it was so much more interesting to watch Kristin at work, while I offered interruptions tips from the side-lines.
It would appear that there are more versions of Looney Labs games that are going to be added to my swelling collection. And if they keep up this level of producing great games, they'll all be welcome.
A special mention has to be made about Andy's ability to play more than one game at a time (and play well), that was truly impressive, and a joy to watch. :)
Thank you Andy & Kristin, you were so very welcoming and made my show even more interesting. It was great to see the inventors of the games we love. Be sure to come back again, I had a blast!
It was a great weekend at the UKGE. I think I spent, 1 and half days in the looney labs area, chatting and eventually demoing certain games for Andy & Kristin. also i think on the sunday me, andy, kristin and 2 other people were the last people still playing a game at the expo. Also on the Sunday i noticed kristin making a quick sketch of a demo / stall layout for next year maybe :D ??
Well, the warm glow hasn't yet warn off ;)
Since getting home I've started to strip out all the 'promo' cards I've added to the different sets of Fluxx I own, I've added so many promo cards over the years, the decks were beginning to get a little 'unbalanced' and unwieldy. My aim is to strip them all back to basic sets, then add the promo cards, where I think they will fit best, adding to each deck rather than detracting from the flow of the game.
This task has been made a little easier, since Kristin and Andy showed me the way that each deck has it's own font (I'd never previously noticed), so I can largely flick through the decks, pulling the cards with the wrong font.
We're still playing Loonacy (great game) when we have a couple of minutes to spare, but in the two days we've been home, we've yet to have a family game of Just Desserts. Not because we don't like the game, but my son has exams this week, and I'm still unpacking and sorting the games I purchased while at the expo. Seems like "we're going to need a bigger boat", or certainly a bigger games cupboard.
The box I had my Looney Labs games in, is overfull, I can no longer add any more games to it, so a new box needs sourcing. And the game cabinet itself is so full, I've had to stack games in front of it. But it's a nice problem to have :)
I know from the podcast, that Andy and Kristin were planning a 'European break' following the expo, so hope they tell us what they thought of both the expo, and the break when they get back.
You mention Andy was playing more than one game. Did he run an "Andy Versus Everyone" event? They set up a bunch of tables in a ring or line or something, with Andy on one side running around playing games, and everyone else on the other side challenging him to just about any of his games. Those are sooo much fFun!!!
Although I'm sure that Andy was willing (Kristin did mention it to me), space was VERY limited this year, and the foot traffic was pretty heavy near the Looney Labs area, so it couldn't possibly be set up.
If they do come again though and have enough room to give this a go, I intend to be one of the players ;)