Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Wherefore 3HOUSE?

  • FromTheLoneGoldfish <thelonegoldfish@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSun, 9 May 2010 21:21:40 -0700
Back in 2003 there was a game store in the town where I went to school... and they had some tubes of pyramids and a martian chess set...

But I never got over the whole "what the hell are those things" hurdle till a few years later (after the place closed)...

I really regret not having the martian chess set... the box was so neat. :(

The separation of Pyramids from a game was a big turnoff for me back then... and I think treehouse is starting to fix that problem (pink treehouse's packaging is especially good for this since it looks like a small card game). But I don't have any sales data... just appearances (and I'm already "in on it" as it were).

For the $10-15 range treehouse falls into, it seems like a good package... but once you get into the $35-50 range people might run into sticker shock with the 3-tube sized package. Another problem would be the "3 games in one!" box. Personally I have a real hard time trusting the quality of multi-game boxes such as this... some kind of ingrained paranoia that I'm going to wind up with X games I don't want to play (probably borne out of some video games from my childhood). As with all these, this is me. Results may not be typical.

The point I think I'm trying to make (now anyways) is that we [the people on this list] are already in on the pyramids... We've bought them (probably) and probably don't need another 3house set. The trick is convincing people who aren't already informed to try it out.


On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 5:46 PM, Nick Lamicela <nupanick@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I disagree. Some small-box games are popular, too. Look at the new, slimmer boxes for Uno, or the pocket-size case for Pass the Pigs, or the minimalist-yet-goofy "bananagrams" case. I will admit that many of my own favorites are "big box" games, but they usually require a big box because of the complexity of the board or number of pieces. For example, the OOTS board game, Settlers of Catan, and Khet come in boxes that are almost as tightly packed as possible, but still rather large in comparison to their simpler kin.

I guess the goal here is to further reinforce the formula "Icehouse ~ Playing Cards." Maybe make a cardstock sleeve that goes around the tubes, with a picture of a pyramid set on the front. This has the advantage of looking sort of like the way playing cards are packaged: tight cardboard case with a picture of the product on it. Of course, then you're not showing off the pyramids as well because they're hidden by the packaging. What's the trade-off?

Also, as far as the posters go, I like the way Andrew's rules diagrams work, like in Pink Treehouse, Ice-7, and 3House, with the little pictures and footnotes interspersed with the rules summary, and a conversational tone. Maybe we could do something like that for a color poster? It'd be like "Hey, what are these pyramid thingies?" under that is a picture of someone holding a handful of pyramids with a confused look over their head. And under that is the traditional "deck of cards" metaphor, with pictures to illustrate. Finally at the bottom, if the reader is still interested, they'll see some websites where they can learn more, a disclaimer about the copyright on the pyramids that ties them to looney labs, and maybe a "related products" list in case they've played a previous Looney Labs game and want assurance that this is the same fun-quality stuff.

On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM, Christopher Hickman <tophu@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On May 5, 2010, at 11:40 AM, David L. Willson wrote:

I believe in the current minimal packaging (no trash) model of marketing. I don't need more crap to throw away, and I enjoy coming up with newer, better ways to carry my kit around.

The stark truth of the matter is that without a big box with a bunch of wasted space, it won't sell as well next to other "big box" games.  It's just a fact that people judge games by the box, and if it's three tubes of Treehouse shrinkwrapped together next to a nice cardboard box like Dominion, it's not going to compare well.  Sorry, but it simply needs to be boxed like Zendo was to market well.

Look at the bright side, though:  More room for pretty artwork! :)


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