Sorry Dana, there's no more Crisis for anyone.

What the Fuck Happened?


So I was sitting around downloading music from the past off the Internet when I heard a song that reminded me of the trip to GenCon. I sat back and thought about it for a minute and realized that the best part of that weekend was the Crisis game that I bought. So I went to and looked up crisis board game. It was the third or fourth entry on the search. The board is different (cosmetically anyway) from the one I bought 11 years ago, but otherwise has it changed at all?

So as "Normal Bob Smith", are you actually one of the Brothers or someone affiliated with them? I met the guys when I bought the game at GenCon and I think there was a Bob in the group.

Is it cool if I use the new card ideas in our game? I loved a couple that I read the other day.

Dan Bench

Yes, I am the Bob of those brothers.

Rick and I have kept the game almost exactly as it was. I have redesigned its look and a few rules have been straightened out to make it play smoother and easier. Rick and I went through and wrote a lot more cards for the new version too. Feel free to write them into your game.

I still have high hopes about somehow making enough money to produce these games and sell them on my site. It's a big dream but I'm going to try and make it happen somehow. The only thing we lack is dough.

Take care of that game you got.

A Twisted Laugh at You

Every time I receive a request for Crisis, a little part of my heart dies...too much, you think?!?
Fuck you, Crisis was my baby! And it is at these moments that I feel a strong need to tell the whole story. So, this is the time and here is the place.

Many, many years ago (1990) in a land far, far away (Colorado) my brother and I began work on a boardgame. It was a complete accident that we had a concept for what should be the new standard in boardgames. A game like REAL life. Players get kicked out of the house by their parents and must suffer being pelted with life's trials, temptations and maimings. It was a race to survive and then ultimately die. The "Crisis" experience contained the comedy of pointing and laughing at a serious car crash combined with the sarcasm of our cynical hearts.

After producing a proto-type, submitting it to game testers and earning rave reviews, we were able to justify producing 1000 copies. After seeing only a rough proto-type, a chain of game stores agreed to reserve shelf space in all of their stores. For working stiffs (like ourselves) we could not keep up with the supply and demand. As fast as we could assemble them, they were sold. With the kind of response that we were receiving we were certain that it was destined for greatness. However, we were aware that because of our game's controversial content it would not be a consideration of the board game giants (Milton, Parker,Toy R Us, etc...)

Enter Rob Lightburn.

We never intended to earn a living from this game. We only wanted it to be available for the masses (and reap whatever lame-ass fame comes along with making a board game). We had to pass the torch and we were willing to give up almost everything to preserve its integrity and originality. Rob provided a promise and a contract. After lawyers, references and many discussions we signed. We only wanted Crisis to move forward. We couldn't have been happier. Here was a guy who appeared to be as enthusiastic as we were and he wanted to produce our game.

Crisis was a designed, developed and play-tested sure thing. The contract allowed 2 years to have it on store shelves. But Rob couldn't focus. It seemed that the only reason a contract was drawn up was so he'd have another token to validate his business. As the press date drew closer we could see that very little progress was being made. He couldn't seem to hold onto employees and was inept when it came to finding game assemblers. Our phone calls with him were exhaustive. Talking with Rob was like trying to hold a conversation with a display shelf of Furbies. Worst of all he was buying up the rights to several more games, and our conversations with him were 90% other games. I think that he thought that we cared. During this time he also had the whim to open up a chain of game stores. His responsibilities were growing fast and it didn't take long before Crisis found itself at the bottom of his priority list.

Where was all the money for this coming from? Rob's earnings? No. His shrewd investing? Yeah, right. His 1999 RISK tournament championship.


I'm sure that was a well spent 83 hours. If Rob ever earned a dime it was for being payed to shut the fuck up.

His father patented those little plastic containers for 35mm film. That's BIG money. It is our guess that everything Rob had was on his dad's dime. Little did his dad know that by doing this he would halt Rob's journey into adulthood. Thus creating Rob Lightburn, Professional Hobbyist. And why was he such a successful hobbyist you ask? Because you never have to finish anything and you can't get fired.

I suppose Rob's dad came to the realization that if he did not finance his son's life he would be destined to co-exist with Rob like a festering goiter.

The contract became null and void when he didn't reply to our certified letter. The letter called him on his failure to produce Crisis within the allocated time. Five months passed before he stumbled upon our letter (I'm sure) and made a frantic telephone call to us. When Rob realized that we were unsympathetic, it turned even uglier. He demanded that we owed him thousands of dollars (for wasting his time and resources). He even suggested that we sell him the Crisis logo (the logo that he had locked up with a Trademark Pending under his name) for some unforeseen future project of his down the road, maybe. In true Rob fashion he was still trying to fill that scrapbook he calls a career. If Crisis had to die, it's better that it died on our shelf instead of his.

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