1. What the Heck’s a Zipwhaa?

Answer: Zipwhaa  is a small game company that is currently run by two people. Dave Cook – President and Chief Monkey Warden; and Tamara Cook – Shmoozer.

2. How did the company name Zipwhaa, come about anyway?

Answer: Back when the earth was young, and Dave was in college, during one fit of boredom and desire to avoid studying for finals a streak of creativity was born. For no other reason than pure silliness and to do it, we all made a silly word that we called our own. Dave’s was Zipwhaa. Why? Who knows, he’s the strange one that designs the games so sometimes we just smile and nod a lot and make him feel like he’s normal. Years later at a convention when first showing off the very young prototype of “Management Material”, Dave was asked what his company name was. Without missing a beat he blurted out “Zipwhaa” and smiled in triumph and then promptly forgot about it for two years. Then in 2000, Dave was pushed just hard enough to do something with the game that had been put to the side for so many years, and so “Zipwhaa” was once again reborn. This time though it was here to stay. Ever since, the company name has been turning heads and making people blink hard as if they were just “bonked” with a pillow case full of confusion. It’s a beautiful thing.

3. How long has Management Material been out, and how was it first developed? Part I

Answer: Management Material was first designed in 1997 by Dave Cook and his roommate Eric “Scooter” Life-Putnam. At the time Dave worked for a telecommunications company and “Scooter” worked at a law firm. Neither of them actually liked their jobs but they brought home a paycheck so life went on. One day Dave took a “Sanity Day” off of work and just crashed out on the couch, unable to cope with co-workers that he saw constantly avoiding and passing off their work to other people. It was actually a wonder that any work at all was completed with this amazing, and yet quite disturbing practice. To Dave’s surprise while he sat on the couch, “Scooter” came out of his bedroom and announced that he also couldn’t cope with his co-workers for the exact same reasons as Dave.

The two of them laughed for a bit and in jest, Dave mentioned to “Scooter” that there should be a game where you try to avoid doing work. For a moment they both passed off the thought of a game as a passing joke until Dave thought about it for a second time and then looked at “Scoot” and said…”No really…write this down….” Two hours later the very first raw and rough Management Material game was born. It was so rough that it wasn’t even called Management Material at that time. Instead, the two of them thought they were very clever with the simple name of “Promotion”. It seemed good at the time. There was no artwork, or fun quotes from the characters.

All that made up that first deck was some small sheets of blue and gray construction paper with the name of the card and the point value for it. A few weeks later, Dave and “Scoot” took the game to a friend’s party and played it with other people for the first time. It’s true intention for that particular night was that of a simple beer drinking game. The idea was that you would drink as many points as you took in projects.

Well, Dave and “Scoot” quickly realized before it was too late that they were too old to drink that much at a party anymore, so they just played to have fun. Gradually more and more people started to play the game. 7 1/2 hours later, everyone was too tired to play anymore, and Dave and Scoot were having a very hard time believing what they had just watched. During that night, new cards were designed and even the name changed to Management Material” that you see today.

4. How long has Management Material been out, and how was it first developed? Part II

Answer: So…there Dave and “Scoot” sat with a simple little game that a house full of people had a great time playing and no clue of what to do next. Looking around that answer jumped out at them right away. With neither of them having a clue about business or even considering at that time that a business could be created around a card game, Dave and “Scoot” did what any young broke couple of guys would do…they tried to sell it.

Luckily, that didn’t go over so well and nobody so much as really blinked about it and they were never contacted about it with any interest in it at all. So again, like any busy, young men would do; they promptly forgot all about it and went on with their lives for three years.

Enter 2000. Dave had since moved back from Virginia to Chicago and met up with his soon to be wife…Tamara. If there was one thing that Tamara was really good at, it was reminding Dave of that long forgotten game. Over and over the question of “when are you going to do something with that game” came up, and over and over Dave would grunt and shrug his shoulders. Finally one day, Dave caved in and actually gave it some thought. In the three years that he let the game lie he had heard someone mention how they would rather produce it than sell the concept.

Taking that to heart, Dave called up his buddy Don Moffett and asked him if he wanted to be part of the company. When Don said “Uh…sure….” Zipwhaa was officially born. So with much anxiety and a lot of luck and great help, Zipwhaa plunged forward and started to fully develop Management Material.

The original game that Dave and “Scooter” developed three years earlier was torn apart and put back together with new rules, a new layout and the fantastic artwork from Roy Schneider. Characters near and dear to the heart were created with names and biographies and put up on our original website. Prototypes of the game were made and shown at the Game Manufacturer’s Association’s Trade show in 2002 to great reviews and expectations.

Five months later Zipwhaa’s first game was in print and on store shelves throughout the country; Management Material – General Office. A year later, Ray Keller and Tamara Cook were officially brought into the folds of the company to help it grow and guide it and Zipwhaa also released it’s second game; Management Material – Information Technology. And then to top off a fantastic release, Management Material – General Office, Zipwhaa’s very first game was nominated for the Nationally Recognized “Origins Award”…a true honor for any game designers first game.

Today the company blazes ahead developing new games and releasing them to the public as quickly as it can.

5. Game Play Question – How many times can a project card get passed around a table?

Answer: Glad you asked. The answer is actually…”A Whole Bunch”. Once a Project hits the table and is played it will go around the table until someone completes it. Because let’s face it…in the real world…Projects never just go away.  They just shuffle around until some poor soul is unfortunate enough to have to complete it. With this in mind, in our own games we’ve seen Projects go around the table three, almost four times. It doesn’t matter that you’ve already Excused yourself out of that specific Project twice before…so has everyone else. So it just keep going and going until someone is either unable to pass it on, or they just decide it’s not worth using so many Excuses to do so anymore. When the Project is finally accepted by someone, the turn ends, the marker moves to the next player and it starts all over again.

6. Can you use more than one Excuse to get out of a Project?

Answer: Another Brilliant question. The answer is simply…Yes, you can. In fact not only are you able to play multiple Excuses in order to get out of a particular project…most of the time you will have no choice BUT to use more than one. If you happen to be the lucky player with a hand full of low point Excuses, you most likely will find yourself stringing your small Excuses together in a wild story of doom and gloom of why you couldn’t possibly do that particular Project. Even if you have to burn most of your hand in order to get out of a particular Project, sometimes it worth it to keep your point total low. When the turn marker comes back around you’ll start to build your hand up again, and you never know, perhaps fate will smile fondly upon you and just give you a small Project to cope with next time.

7. I have Excused myself for more points than the Project requires, can I bank my Excuse points for the next project that comes?

Answer: Unfortunately not, but we’re sure it looked impressive to overkill with the perfect Excuse for the Project at hand. Some people like to play where they deliberately use higher Excuses than are really needed in order to deter Recognition cards being slid their way. However, others find it more useful to play Excuses that only add up to the Project total and then play it by ear for any sneaky Recognition that might slide in. Regardless of the preference, when that Project is passed off to the next player, all points attached to it, be that Excuses or Recognition, are sent to the discard pile.

8. Do recognition cards get passed with the project card?

Answer: No, fear not, you will never have to worry about a Project growing to the point where there just aren’t enough Excuses to get out of it. Whenever someone manages to weasel out of a Project and pass it on to their new found friend next to them, all of the Recognition and Excuse cards played get tossed into the discard pile.

9. What Makes Management Material fun?

Answer: Believe it or not, what makes Management Material the fun game that is the telling of the stories of why they can’t possibly be bothered to do that horrible project they have been tasked with. Anyone can lay down cards, add up the points but the true master of the game is the one that can tie their many excuses together in a story weave that would make their mother’s proud. So go on, tell your stories, weave your tales and make sure that you aren’t the first one to fall into the dreaded grip of Management.

10. I’m a retailer, do you have a retail locator on your website?

Answer: As a matter of fact we do and we’ll be happy to add you to it if you contact us with your information.

11. Who is Roy Schneider?

Answer: We found Roy wandering the earth searching for purpose to his life back in 2000 and promptly gave it to him by hiring him to do the artwork for our games. At least that’s the story that we’re going to stick with. The one you might hear from him is that his is an up and coming cartoonist with some incredible talent. We were very fortunate to be able to fit into his busy schedule as he strives to see his strips in syndication. The reality of it is, it’s just a matter of time. He has some great ideas and really funny samples of his work on his website. If you need a good giggle, we highly suggest visiting his site. And if you’re working for one of the syndicates…FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD…GET THAT MAN SIGNED UP!!!!

12. What’s with the Dead Guy?

Answer: Doesn’t everyone have a dead guy hanging out?