About this project
THANK YOU to all of our backers for this amazing campaign... Wow that was fun!
A few things of note...
- We released a new video every day over the 30 days this Kickstarter was live... you can watch The Looneys play through all 22 of the games in Pyramid Arcade.
- We are making extras of the special KS Green pyramids for the retail stores who backed the project, so if you missed out on this Kickstarter, check with this list of fabulous retailers - they have special green pyramids!
- The small pack of Bonus Cards that was unlocked at $111,111 will also be available after the Kickstarter. The cards are listed at the bottom of this Other Pyramid Games page. Your local store can get them from us, or you will find them in our webstore.
- The Chessboard Bandana that was unlocked at $133,333 was created special for the backers of this project, and won't become a product in our line. A few extras will be available in our webstore, but likely not for long. You won't find these in stores.
- Look for Pyramid Arcade in game stores everywhere - Fall 2016!
Pyramid Arcade is a complete boxed set of 22 of the best games for the Looney Pyramids. Whether you are new to Looney Pyramids or have been playing with them for years, this game set will bring you endless hours of enjoyment!
We have something for everyone! From fast games to long games, luck games to strategy games, simple dexterity games to brain-burning puzzle games, games for two and games for ten.
Many of the games in this collection are pure abstracts, but some will take you to other worlds. Get ready to become everything from a microbe fighting for control of a petri dish to a galactic overlord commanding an interstellar space fleet. You'll build rockets, hack computers, send armies across epic battle fields, and fight as both insects on a flower petal and space marines teleporting between lunar outposts.
Here’s what you’ll get… a whopping 117 components in all!
- 90 Pyramids
- 8 Mini Game Boards
- 1 Two-Sided Folding Game Board
- 2 Deluxe Plastic Boards
- 9 Dice
- 1 Deck of Special Playing Cards (with 5 suits!)
- 1 Mini Deck of Twin Win Cards
- 1 Deck of Arcade Cards
- 1 Drawstring Bag
- 1 Turn Token
- 1 Starship Captain Sticker
- 1 Instruction Book
Games included in this set have received three Origins Awards:
2000—Best Abstract Board Game—The Martian Chess Set (This four-game pyramid set featured Martian Chess and IceTowers and two games that were predecessors for Zark City and Homeworlds; these 4 games are all part of Pyramid Arcade.)
2001—Best Abstract Board Game—Cosmic Coasters (This game was originally played on drink coasters using coins as game pieces. Pyramid Arcade features Lunar Invaders, which is an improved version of Cosmic Coasters using pyramids instead of coins.)
2006—Board Game of the Year—Treehouse (This game changed the paradigm of the pyramid system away from 15 pyramid stashes to 3 pyramid trios.)
Here are links to some of the comments we've gotten so far related to Pyramid Arcade:
W. Eric Martin, Editor of BoardGameGeek News: "...a 22-game compilation that represents decades of work in a fantastic-looking, retro-futuristic package..."
Avri Klemer, Game Designer, "Well, if I am allowing myself to back a single boardgame Kickstarter campaign each year, 2016 will be the year of Looney Pyramids . . ."
Jessica Fisher, Gameosity.com, "It’s like a library of fun that fits in your backpack!"
Kimberly Keyes, Sagittarius Dolly blog, "...the same game boards, cards, and dice can be played in 22 different ways. Talk about a value package for families!"
Butsudoka, BGG Member, on the topic of if you had to choose just one game: "If a "game" is defined as its physical representation, i.e. its components, I'd pick Looney/Icehouse Pyramids. I'd have over 400 games to choose between, including conventional abstract strategy games, simple wargames, dexterity games, space battle games, modular board games, push-your-luck games, area control games, pattern building games, set-collection games, and programmable movement games."
Susan West, GAMES Magazine article from October 2005 (Looney Pyramids were known as Icehouse pyramids back then), "At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, students of game design read a textbook titled Rules of Play (by Katue Salen and Eric Zimmerman). The glossary in back lists arcade games, board games, card games, computer games—and Icehouse games."
Calvin Daniels, Yorkton This Week, "While I happen to gravitate to abstract strategy games, that is only one genre of game [which] designers have explored with Looney Pyramids. No matter what your favoured genre there are games which you are sure to enjoy exploring with pyramids..."
We’ve got two ways to introduce you to the 22 games in the Arcade: with videos, and with a set of cards.
The Video Series
We are creating a series of 30 videos—one for each day of the Kickstarter—to help you get a sense of the depth and variety of the games in this box. The introduction video at the top of the page is the first of these, but there are also sample game videos for each game, as well as seven more surprise videos! We will promote each new video on social media, add links to the list below, and include links to all videos since our last update in each update.
Links to all Videos: Introduction • Sample Games: Give or Take, Black Ice, Ice Towers, Color Wheel, Volcano, Hijinks, Treehouse, Launchpad 23, Ice Dice, Petal Battle, Pharaoh, Martian Chess, Homeworlds, Pyramid-Sham-Bo, Twin Win, Petri Dish, World War 5, Powerhouse, Looney Ludo, Lunar Invaders, Verticality, Zark City • Secret Bonus Videos: Unboxing the Arcade, A Brief History of Looney Pyramids, Kristin's Re-Boxing, Andy's Deal, Three Game Throwdown, Campaign Update, Thank You
The Arcade Cards
One of the exciting features of this set is that it comes with a deck of Arcade Cards which depict each of the 22 games. These cards essentially form a playable table of contents. They can be used to help choose which game you want to play and what components you will need to play it. They also tell how long it will take to play, how difficult the game is, and how many people can play.
All those game details will be on one side of the cards, with a unique “patch” design for that game on the back. We thought about making these cardbacks uniform; however, the choosing process is more about considering all the options than randomly selecting a card, and when randomness is desired, the chooser can simply close their eyes.
Here are the 22 individual game logos (created by our friends at OTHER) followed by the fronts of the cards.
At the heart of Looney Labs are its founders, Kristin and Andy Looney, and the values they stand for—peace, love, happiness, and fun. Andy designs nearly all of the company’s games (including the hit card game, Fluxx), and his distinctive style of game design shines through all Looney Labs products. He is an artist creating fun-filled expressions of himself, and Looney Labs is proud to be the exclusive publisher of his life’s work. Kristin is the poster child for extroverts everywhere. She loves making friends all over the world and bringing them joy with her contagious bouncy exuberance and a bag full of crazy-fun games to play. Together, they have spent over two decades building a company with a heart and soul.
The Looneys would like to thank the hundreds of people who have been a part of making Pyramid Arcade a reality—from the family and friends who got excited in the first place and made the first hand-made pyramids and games to play with them, to the fans who ran with it and created nearly 500 more games to play, to the staff members, artists, and printers who made these beautiful works of art a reality, to the distributors and retailers who put their hearts into demonstrating and spreading the word about this great game system... thank you. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate every one of you taking this journey with us. You have supported us unfailingly, and we love you dearly.
Thank you from all of us at Looney Labs!
Pyramid Arcade has its origins in a story Andy wrote in 1987. He described an imaginary board game played with colorful little pyramids, called Icehouse, which was as commonplace and popular in Andy’s fictional reality as Chess or Backgammon in ours. He also put forth that the game was originally played 100,000 years ago, on Mars, and that knowledge of Icehouse had been passed down from the ancient Martians who’d fled their dying planet so long ago. Andy described this imaginary game with a tantalizing level of detail: long on some specifics, but with a lot of hand-waving required by the fact that he hadn’t actually learned how to design games yet.
The concept of Icehouse took fire in the imaginations of some of the people who read the story, including one of Andy’s oldest friends, John Cooper, who came up with a working set of rules for a game very much like the one Andy had described, and Kristin Wunderlich, Andy’s co-worker at NASA and future wife, who dreamed of starting a company to publish this new game as soon as she saw Andy and John playing it as obsessively as the characters in Andy’s stories.
They started publishing hand-made pyramid sets back in 1989, and after a few years they started inventing more games for the pyramids. But the challenge of getting real plastic pyramids manufactured was difficult to overcome back then (they had no Kickstarter!), so Kristin challenged Andy to invent something that would be easier to publish (“How about a card game?”) and that’s how Fluxx got started.
Fluxx was an instant success, which allowed their new company, Looney Labs, to finally create the first injection-molded pyramid sets, in 1999. Since then, they’ve changed the way they sell the pyramids a number of different times as gameplay innovations have taken them in new directions. As the number of games for the pyramids continued to grow, so did the complexity of the system. What game do you start with? What equipment do you need? Where do you find all the rules?
For many years they’ve been selling the Pyramids in a minimal way, with products like Ice Dice, Treehouse, and Pink Hijinks which featured just a couple of easy games as starting points, and boxes simply of pyramids, for the DIY pyramid gamer to create their own collections. Meanwhile, Andy has been creating yet more cool games, but not releasing them, saving them up for this, the ultimate pyramid game collection. Six of the twenty-two games in Pyramid Arcade are unpublished, but well tested.
Pyramid Arcade is the culmination of over 25 years of iterative design and product development experience. This one big box will have everything you need to play an incredible range of fun board games. Get ready to plunge into the creative, challenging, and addictive world of Looney Pyramids!
We don’t usually use Kickstarter. It would have been incredible to have had something like this 20 years ago when we were first launching Fluxx, but we are now a well-established company and don't usually need that kind of financial support.
But Pyramid Arcade is different for several reasons. It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever made by almost every metric. It is far larger and heavier than the small card games we are used to. And size matters, because these boxes take up a LOT more warehouse space and cost a LOT more to ship to our warehouse. It is also the most expensive product we've ever made. We have already invested $40k in the development, design, and tooling of this product, and it will take another $60k to print the first 5,000 games. So yes, we could use the financial support for this one!
This campaign will also help us settle the one big question we still need to answer before we go to print: How many copies of Pyramid Arcade do we make? While we are hopeful that Pyramid Arcade is going to sell like crazy, it’s very difficult to do the sales projections on something so different from what we’re used to. And it’s vital that we get the right answer. Given the printing and shipping costs, and warehousing demands, we can’t afford to print a lot more copies than we will actually sell. At the same time, we don’t want to make too few, since big runs are cheaper to print than smaller ones. The level of success of this Kickstarter will give us a much more accurate picture of sales projections and help us decide how many to print for this first run.
Pledge $5 or more and get a set of three trios (9 pyramids) in a new color—Kickstarter Green! This will be an opaque, bright green brand-new color that is in celebration of this Kickstarter campaign.
This is similar to the Just Green level, but offers a few extra benefits for brick and mortar retailers throughout the world. Pledge $5 or more and get the set of three trios (9 pyramids) in the new color—Kickstarter Green! In addition, get the ability to order this color pyramid for resale in your store and a special listing in our store locator, pending agreement not to sell this exclusive color online.
Pledge $62 or more and get one copy of Pyramid Arcade, except without the 90 pyramids, and one set of the Kickstarter Green pyramids listed above. This reward level is for long time pyramid fans who already have more pyramids than they know what to do with but don't want to miss out on all the other goodies in the box.
THE GAME <-- SOLD OUT
This level has our old very expensive international shipping rates in it, so we have marked it as sold out. If you pledged at this level with US Shipping, you don't need to change your pledge level; if you pledged with expensive international shipping, you will want to switch your pledge to THE GAME: GREAT SHIPPING.
THE GAME: GREAT SHIPPING
This is the main reward level. Pledge $77 or more and get one copy of Pyramid Arcade and one set of the Kickstarter Green pyramids listed above.
If you run a brick & mortar (not online) retail store, please back our Kickstarter! Stores in the USA can get a free demo copy for their store—just back at the $77 retailer level, and you will get one demo copy and two wholesale copies shipped to you at the same time as the consumer backer shipments go out—plus you get three sets of Kickstarter Green pyramids. We will even pay the shipping!
(Sorry, this level is only available for US stores—we encourage international stores to back at the $5 level to get the Kickstarter Green pyramids, then to order the game and demo copy through their regular distribution channels.)
All brick & mortar retailers who back this Kickstarter (at the $77 or $5 levels) will get a listing on our special store locator plus the ability to order additional sets of the exclusive Kickstarter Green pyramids for resale in their store, pending agreement not to sell this exclusive color online.
Pyramid Arcade will be available through all our usual distribution channels in time for the holidays. After you sell those first two copies, you can restock through ACD, Alliance, GTS, Lion Rampant, Esdevium, and all our other distributors around the world, just like all of our other products.
For the connoisseur collectors! Pledge $111 or more and get one copy of Pyramid Arcade, autographed by Andrew Looney! One set of Kickstarter Green pyramids will be included as well.
CUSTOM ARCADE CARD
With so many other pyramid game classics out there, you may have a favorite which isn’t in the Arcade. If you are a really big fan of a particular game, you can help us create a new Pyramid Arcade card for that game! Pledge $333 or more and we will work with our design team to make a new card for the game of your choice. This card will be designed to match the style of all the other cards, and the game will get its own patch artwork. All custom cards created through this reward level will be provided to all backers at this reward level, and will also eventually be made available for general sale, and possibly even included in a future boxed set!
You will also receive one autographed copy of Pyramid Arcade and the Kickstarter Green pyramids, shipped at the same time as the other autographed copies.
NOTE: Please email email@example.com with your choice of the pyramid game you want to sponsor. If the game is already sponsored, you can pick another, or change your pledge level. Pledges cannot be changed after the Kickstarter ends, and we will not be able to give refunds for duplicate game sponsorships. BE SURE TO EMAIL US WITH YOUR GAME SELECTION BEFORE THE KICKSTARTER ENDS!
A DAY WITH THE LOONEYS
For those die-hard fans out there! Pledge $4,000 or more and get a day with the Looneys in College Park, Maryland! You'll need to find your own way to get here, but once you're here, we'll give you tours of the office and our home, play games with you, show you cool historical artifacts, and who knows what else! We might play the Icebreaker video game, go sightseeing in Washington DC, do some tie dying, go climbing in the trees, or go out to lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants. You never know what the day might hold!
You will also receive one autographed copy of the game and the Kickstarter Green pyramids, shipped at the same time as the other autographed copies.
Want to have the coolest game night in town? Pledge $5,000 or more and get Andy Looney at your door, ready to teach you and your friends the games of Pyramid Arcade! We'll get Andy to you anywhere in the US, and he'll come to your event prepared for a teaching session, a laid-back gaming session with long-time pyramid fans, an Andy vs. Everybody bout, or maybe even just a head to head Homeworlds game in an attempt to win the coveted "I Beat Andy at Homeworlds" medal! He may also bring some unpublished prototypes for you to try, or a Parsely game for the group to run through. Have games, will travel!
You will also receive one autographed copy of the game and the Kickstarter Green pyramids, shipped at the same time as the other autographed copies.
ORIGINAL SET #77
For $10,000 you can own an extremely rare piece of Looney Labs history! This first edition Icehouse set is part of the hand-poured, signed, and numbered 100-game original print run!
These solid plastic resin pyramids were hand-poured by Andy & Kristin themselves back in 1989, and have never been used. The box contains 60 pyramids, the original trio of booklets, stash pads, business cards, and a cover letter with the piece number and signed by Andy Looney, Kristin Looney, John Cooper, and Charles Dickson (who had engineered the piece-making system).
The pieces in this set are still in fantastic condition! Andy stashed this set in his attic for just such an occasion as this, so the tips are all perfectly sharp, although a few of the pieces have some acquired-roughness on one side or another, due to having gotten stuck to another piece or the bottom of the box during the set’s long years in storage.
If you back at this level, you will receive this incredible artifact of gaming history. You can collect it in person by visiting our office in College Park, or Andy can hand carry it to any place in the world you want it delivered (delivery date to be determined by mutual availability).
Includes a signed copy of the game plus Kickstarter Green, shipped with other autographed copies. You can buy additional copies of the game by adding $77 for each additional game and Kickstarter Green pyramid set (we'll pay the shipping).
When we hit $100,000, we are going to add 30 pyramids (two trios each of five colors) to every full price box of Pyramid Arcade! At a $20 MSRP, this adds significant value to your reward level in appreciation of your help in getting the word out about Pyramid Arcade. It also gives you enough pyramids to play nearly every game invented for the Looney Pyramid system. With a few extra game components that most people have readily available, you will be able to play Zendo, Icehouse, Pikemen, and many more old-school games… all straight out of the Pyramid Arcade box!
NOTES: 1) You will get two expansion sets of either the RAINBOW (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Black) or XENO (Purple, Cyan, Orange, Clear, White) colors. No guarantee on choice of which color set, but we will try to accommodate preferences. 2) These pyramids will be the pointier ones from our last print run, 3) We will not be providing rules for any of these old school games you can play with these additional pyramids, but they are easily found online. 4) The custom tray will not hold these additional pieces, but they will easily fit under the tray, as will other game components you may choose to add yourself, such as marking stones. 5) These bonus pyramids will not be included at the JUST GREEN, NO PYRAMIDS, or RETAILER levels.
If we reach $111,111, we will add two sets of cards to each game shipment!
First, we will add four more Twin Win Cards—trees and nests for the Kickstarter Green pyramids and the pink pyramids found in Pink Hijinks. We know the completists out there will want to have Twin Win cards for every color available, and we look forward to making that happen!
Second, we will make enough of all the $333 level custom Pyramid Arcade cards to send one of each along with the game to all game level backers (including the NO PYRAMIDS level), rather than just to those who backed at the $333 level. These cards are for other pyramid games, beyond the 22 that come in Pyramid Arcade. We currently have four backers at this custom level, and they have chosen these four games for their sponsored cards: Zendo, Skurdir, Freeze Tag, and Martian Gunslinger. In addition, Andy wants to make a card for the original game, Icehouse, bringing the set to five custom Arcade cards so far. And since it is still possible to back at the $333 level and add to the fun for everyone, more cards for more games might still be added!
So... this stretch goal will provide our Kickstarter backers a minimum of 9 additional cards, maybe more. These cards will NOT be included in Pyramid Arcade when it goes into stores this fall. Stores who back at the RETAILERS level will get one set of the Bonus Cards for there personal enjoyment.
And to sweeten the pot one more time, we've decided to add one last stretch goal!
If we make it to $133,333 by the time we close on Wednesday (11:59pm EDT), everyone who backs at a game level will also receive a 100% cotton chessboard bandana! Our wonderful customer service person, Alison Frane, drew the artwork for these bandanas over a decade ago, and we made two small print runs of them, but this product has been out of print for a long long time. Pyramid fans have long been searching for a copy of Alison's Chessboard Bandana...
Here is a picture of Alison showing off one of the original bandanas:
If we can all get this thing pushed up to $133,333 before the Kickstarter closes, not only will we bring this foldable chessboard product back to our web store, but we will send everyone who pledged for a copy of Pyramid Arcade a free Chessboard Bandana with their Kickstarter shipment as well. You might want to think about getting some holiday shopping done early and buy another copy as a gift for a friend... each copy bought through the Kickstarter will get all the stretch goal bonuses!
++++++++++ UPDATE !!! ++++++++++
We have partnered with a company in the UK to handle our international shipping! This allows us to offer FREE shipping to Canada and most of Europe, and only $10 shipping to the rest of the world. This sure beats the $45 shipping charge we started with!
We are also able to offer US and EU Friendly shipping, meaning that those countries will not pay any additional customs, fees, or import taxes. Backers in Canada, Australia, and the rest of the world may still have to pay the import costs imposed by their individual countries, but we hope that the greatly reduced shipping charges will make direct shipping an option for those who want it!
We have created a new reward level called THE GAME: INTERNATIONAL that includes these new shipping prices. The original $45 and $30 options will still exist in THE GAME but you can change your pledge to the new level and your total cost goes down!
Pyramid Arcade will be available through our network of international distributors, so any store that sells Fluxx can have the game on their shelves this fall--to avoid international shipping and VAT charges, our non-EU international fans still have the option to back the project only at the $5 level and to buy the game from a local store in their own country.
NEW SHIPPING LEVELS
- FREE - KICKSTARTER GREEN ships free everywhere in the World
- FREE - THE GAME ships free in the US, Canada, and most of Europe
- $10 - THE GAME ships for $10 everywhere else in the World
We will be ready to go to print just as soon as the Kickstarter closes in early May. All US backers should have their games in hand by mid-September, and international backers should have theirs soon after that. The remainder of the print run will be sent to our distributors throughout the world, who will have product available for retailers to order in plenty of time for the holiday sales season.
Risks and challenges
Looney Labs is a well-established game publisher with decades of experience in getting games manufactured and distributed. We sold a quarter of a million card games last year alone. And while our card games are printed in the USA, we have been manufacturing our pyramids in China for years. Both the process and the manufacturing partner are known entities. This is not our first Kickstarter, either. Our Deluxe Werewolf project shipped early and everyone loved it.
Everything needed to manufacture this game is either ready to go or in the final stages of production. All tooling charges have been paid for and samples have been approved. Design is nearly complete and is paid for as well. Shipping partners have been located and are ready to deliver. When the Kickstarter funds we will have the money to go to print and a better understanding of sales projections. We are poised to go to print days after the Kickstarter ends. We cannot foresee anything that will delay production or fulfillment, and feel that there is very little risk to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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