From the Inventors: Burst Out Laughing Gas
By Guest Bloggers: Claudia Cleveland-Fields and Joyce Johnson
As the saying goes, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” So it was with Burst Out Laughing Gas. We were working on a different game one day when the two of us started joking about how ironic it was that we had the same last name in our families, therefore if we formed a company it would be only fitting to call it, “Joyce Johnson and Johnson.”
And with no time to grab a doctor, the first Combolution was born.
Combolution = Combined Solution
Before long Combolutions were being born everywhere; at the dinner table, on road trips, in line at the grocery store.
We were having way too much fun working on this game, so for a dose of reality we made a stack of 25 cards and showed up at our monthly game night to present our project to eight of the best game testers we know. They loved it!
Lucky for us, when we pitched it to MindWare they loved it as well. When they asked if it was possible for us to come up with 385 cards we knew we had to push. We were doing them in our sleep, people were volunteering them, we were getting texts all day and night from friends and family with new ones. We showed up at holiday parties with cards such as:
The Little Drummer (Boy) Who Cried Wolf
A Partridge In a Pear (Tree) Frog
It was an absolute joy to work with MindWare on this game. They coined the term “Combolution” and joined in the fun instantly by adding their own favorites to the list that kept growing and growing until finally, working together as a team, we narrowed down all those great suggestions to the number we needed. Last but not least MindWare suggested using one of our favorite combolutions to name the game: Burst Out Laughing Gas!
Burst Out Laughing Gas is an excellent party game, we’ve been asked numerous times to “bring one along” to a gathering if the host doesn’t already have one. One of the most fun and funniest games we’ve played had 6 people at the table involved in a game when we got a call from a friend who hadn’t seen the game played so she skyped so she could watch. She started playing along with us and then called her brother who joined in by skype also so we ended up with 6 live players and 2 “Cyber” players. What a great way to include your friends who can’t make the party, right? Burst Out Laughing Gas can be played in the car, in the lunch room, around a campfire, and we think it would be awesome to see this game in every restaurant chain in America. How fun would it be to play Burst Out Laughing Gas while you’re sitting around waiting for your meal to arrive?
Even though the game is officially out on the shelves, making up the phrases continues to be a constant source of amusement for us. The possibilities for new decks of cards including Pop Culture, The Hit Parade, History, and Sports categories would be endless. This would also make a great phone app.
We look forward to a long and continued relationship with the awesome people at MindWare. We consider them not only partners but friends as well.
A native Californian who has spent most of her life in Santa Barbara, Claudia Cleveland-Fields loves traveling and hyphenated names. Growing up in a family with nine siblings there was never a shortage of games to play or people to play them so finding out you could actually make a living at it came as a complete shock. “Donkey It’s A Kick!” came busting out of the gate shortly after that; a high intensity, action packed puck ruckus of a game that critics called “hyper-drive chaos.” After designing games with and for her family for years, she met Joyce through a mutual friend. “It was divine intervention,” she said, because Joyce gave her the inspiration she needed to be creative and provided the kind of partnership that completely blurred the line between work and play.
Weekends she can be found at the beach with her Golden Retriever, Brad, or planning her next great adventure. “One thing I’ve found to be universal,” she said, “is that no matter where you go, people love to play games! And as long as they keep playing, we’ll keep inventing them.”
Joyce Johnson, a big kid at heart, loves to invent card and board games. She has enjoyed many careers – drummer, real estate developer, greeting card designer and best of all…game inventor. With over 40 games published, Joyce loves to collaborate with fellow inventors and
collaborating with Claudia is a total blast! Joyce lives in Santa Barbara, CA, with her husband and their three friendly felines.