Andrew J. Looney
|Born||November 5, 1963|
|Residence||College Park, Maryland|
|Other names||Andy Looney|
|Known for||Game Designer, Eagle Scout|
|Title||Chief creative officer|
Andrew J. Looney (born November 5, 1963), better known as Andy, is a game designer and computer programmer. He is also a photographer, a cartoonist, a video-blogger, and a marijuana-legalization advocate.
Andrew and Kristin Looney together founded the games company Looney Labs, where Andrew is the chief creative officer. Looney Labs has published most of his game designs, such as Fluxx, Chrononauts, and the Icehouse game system. His other game designs include Aquarius, Nanofictionary, IceTowers, Treehouse, and Martian Coasters.
Andrew Looney as a youth became an Eagle Scout. He entered the University of Maryland at College Park in 1981 as a freshman with an undecided major between English and computer science. He eventually selected computer science.
He and Kristin, his future spouse, met in 1986 when he started at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a software programmer. Kristin was a computer engineer designing computer chips. Keeping English as a side interest, he wrote "The Empty City", a science-fiction short story. Wanting a game in the story but feeling a card game as too boring, he created a fictional game, Icehouse, that used pyramids. Readers of the short story requested to learn how to play the game. Thus actual rules were invented for Icehouse, then plastic pyramid pieces were made to play the game. The pieces were made from resin in his apartment, which upset the landlord due to the smell. This led them to launch their own game company to sell the IceHouse game. After several years, Looney shut down Icehouse Games, Inc.
He and his wife launched Looney Laboratories in 1996 as a part time home based design company. Andrew soon designed the Fluxx card game. He then went on to a brief career as a game programmer at Magnet Interactive Studios, where he created that company's only entry to the market, Icebreaker. Aquarius was Andy's and Labs' next game, launched in 1998. In 2002, a few years after Kristin went full time with their company, Andy followed.
Patents & awards
Andy has three U.S. patents and five Origins Awards.
Looney holds patents on the game mechanics for:
- Method of conducting simultaneous gameplay using stackable game pieces (U.S. Patent 6,352,262)
- Method of simulation time travel in a card game (U.S. Patent 6,474,650)
Looney has won the following game design awards:
- 1999 — Mensa Mind Games: Mensa Select Award for Fluxx
- 2000 — Origins Award: Best Abstract Board Game for Icehouse: The Martian Chess Set
- 2001 — Origins Award: Best Abstract Board Game for Cosmic Coasters
- 2003 — Parents Choice Silver Honors Nanofictionary
- 2007 — Origins Award: Best Board Game or Expansion of the Year for Treehouse
- 2008 — Origins Award: Best Traditional Card Game of the Year for Zombie Fluxx
- Fall 2013 - Parents' Choice Recommended Seal category Games for Fluxx: The Board Game
- Spring 2014 - Parents' Choice FunStuff Award for Loonacy
- Early American Chrononauts
- Cosmic Coasters
- Family Fluxx
- Zombie Fluxx
- Monty Python Fluxx
- Martian Fluxx
- Stoner Fluxx
- Star Fluxx
- Cartoon Network Fluxx
- Regular Show Fluxx
- Adventure Time Fluxx
- Holiday Fluxx
- Cthulu Fluxx
- Pirate Fluxx
- Oz Fluxx
- Monster Fluxx
- Icehouse and other games played with the Icehouse pieces:
- Looney, Andrew (2007). "Cosmic Wimpout". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 69–72. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
- West, Susan (October 2005). "The Looney Labs Experiment". GAMES magazine. Games Publications.
- Salen, Katie; Zimmerman, Eric (2003). Rules of Play. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. p. 546. ISBN 978-0-262-24045-1.
- Barnes, Denise (August 27, 1998). "The Looneys devise a game plan". Washington Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- Ford, C. Benjamin (November 22, 2002). "Looneys working through the serious business of fun". The Gazette. Post Community Media, LLC. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "History of Icehouse Games, 1987-1998". wunderland.com. Looney Labs. 1998. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- Hale-Evans, Ron (December 2001). "Game Systems - Part 1". The Games Journal. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Parents' Choice Award-Winning Company: Looney Labs". Parents-Choice.org. Parents' Choice Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "2007 Origins Award Winners". ICv2. July 9, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
- 34th Annual Origins Award Winners Archived 2008-04-18 at the Wayback Machine