Steve Jackson Games

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Steve Jackson Games
Type Private
Industry Game publisher
Founded 1980
Founders Steve Jackson
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States of America
Key people Steve Jackson
Products Munchkin, Chez Geek, Car Wars, Ogre, GURPS
Revenue US$7,000,000 gross (2012) [1]
Owners Steve Jackson
Employees 28 full time (2012)[1]
Website sjgames.com/

Steve Jackson Games (SJG) is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and the gaming magazine Pyramid.

History[edit]

Founded in 1980, six years after the birth of Dungeons & Dragons, and before the height of role-playing games, SJG created several role-playing and strategy games with science fiction themes. SJG borrowed and expanded upon ideas pioneered by strategy game companies such as Metagaming Concepts, Avalon Hill and TSR. Despite these similarities, SJG had a unique feel all their own and became popular with their releases. SJG's early titles were all microgames initially sold in 4×7 inch ziploc bags, and later in the similarly sized Pocket Box.[2] Games such as Ogre, Car Wars, and G.E.V (an Ogre spin-off) were popular during SJG's early years.

Today SJG publishes games of numerous varieties (card games, board games, strategy games) and genres (fantasy, sci-fi, gothic horror); they also publish the book Principia Discordia, the sacred text of the Discordian religion.

Raid[edit]

Kickstarter project[edit]

In April–May 2012, Steve Jackson Games ran a successful Kickstarter.com campaign for a new "Designer's Edition" of Ogre.[3] [4] The final game, due to be shipped in November, 2012, will weigh 14 pounds or more, partly because the high level of extra funding achieved in the kickstarter enabled significant game additions.[5]

Games published[edit]

Steve Jackson Games' main product line, in terms of sales, is the Munchkin card game, followed by the role-playing system GURPS.[6]

Card games[edit]

  • Battle Cattle The Card Game, a card game, compatible with the Car Wars card game, based on the Battle Cattle miniatures system.
  • Burn In Hell, a semi-satirical game centered on collecting 'circles' of notable historical and contemporary people's (sinners') souls that share common characteristics.
  • Car Wars: The Card Game, a card game version of the Car Wars miniatures system.
  • Chez Geek, a card-game parody of Geek culture with many spinoffs and expansions:
    • Chez Goth
    • Chez Greek
    • Chez Grunt
    • Chez Guevara
    • Chez Cthulhu
    • Chez Dork, a card game centered on the characters in the comic book, Dork Tower, collecting the objects they obsess over.
  • Cowpoker, a card game partly based on poker mechanics with a central theme of old west cattle ranchers.
  • Dino Hunt, a card game where players travel through time to capture dinosaurs. Features over a hundred dinosaurs with color drawings and accurate scientific data on each one.
  • Hacker, a modern-day card game based on the mechanics of Illuminati.
    • Hacker II: The Dark Side
  • Illuminati, a game of competing conspiracies, based largely on the Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson. Originally published in microgame format followed by three numbered expansions. Later published in a full-sized box with expansions 1 and 2 as Deluxe Illuminati. Expansion 3 would later be reprinted as Illuminati: Brainwash.
    • Illuminati: Y2K - all-card expansion for Deluxe Illuminati
    • Illuminati: Bavarian Fire Drill - all-card expansion for Deluxe Illuminati
    • Illuminati: New World Order (INWO), the collectible card game based on concepts in Illuminati.
    • Illuminati Crime Lords, a mafia-based variation on Illuminati which combines gameplay elements of the original Illuminati and INWO.
  • King's Blood, a Japanese card game originally published by Kadokawa Shoten.
  • Lord of the Fries, a game of zombies attempting to assemble orders in a fast-food restaurant. Originally designed by James Ernest and published by Cheapass Games.
  • Munchkin, a card-game parody of hack-and-slash roleplaying with many spinoffs (all able to be mixed with the original). and expansions:
      • Munchkin 2 - Unnatural Axe
      • Munchkin 3 - Clerical Errors
      • Munchkin 3.5 - Clerical Errata
      • Munchkin 4 - The Need For Steed
      • Munchkin 5 - De-Ranged
      • Munchkin 6 - Demented Dungeons
      • Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards
      • Munchkin 8 - Half Horse Will Travel
    • Star Munchkin
      • Star Munchkin 2 – The Clown Wars
    • Munchkin Fu
      • Munchkin Fu 2 – Monky Business
    • Munchkin Bites!
      • Munchkin Bites! 2 – Pants Macabre
    • Super Munchkin
      • Super Munchkin 2 – The Narrow S Cape
    • Munchkin Impossible
    • Munchkin Cthulhu
      • Munchkin Cthulhu 2 – Call of Cowthulhu
      • Munchkin Cthulhu 3 – The Unspeakable Vault
      • Munchkin Cthulhu 4 - Crazed Caverns
    • The Good, The Bad, and The Munchkin
    • Munchkin Booty
      • Munchkin Booty 2 - Jump The Shark
    • Munchkin Blender
    • Munchkin Zombies
      • Munchkin Zombies 2 - Armed and Dangerous
      • Munchkin Zombies 3 - Hideous Hideouts
    • Munchkin Axe Cop
    • Munchkin Dice
    • Munchkin Miniatures
    • Munchkin Apocalypse
  • Ninja Burger, a fast-paced ninja delivery card game based on the Ninja Burger website.
  • Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls (SPANC), a light-hearted competition between starship crews of cat girls in search of toys and loot.
  • Spooks, a Halloween-themed card game where players try to get rid of cards from their hands.

Board games[edit]

  • The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, designed by Tom Wham and originally published by TSR.
  • Battlesuit, a spin-off of Ogre and G.E.V. featuring infantry using powered armor inspired by Starship Troopers.
  • Car Wars, futuristic battles between automobiles.
  • Dork Tower, a fantasy game that takes place in the world the Dork Tower characters play their games in.
  • Frag, "a first-person shooter without a computer".
  • GreedQuest, a light, randomized romp through a simple dungeon to gain loot.
  • Knightmare Chess, a chess variant played with cards. Translation of the French Tempête sur l'Echiquier published by Ludodelire.
  • Kung Fu 2100, a simple game of hand-to-hand combat where players use martial arts to smash their way into the CloneMaster's fortress.
  • Munchkin Quest, a boardgame variation of the Munchkin card games
  • Nanuk, a boardgame of bidding and bluffing, centered on Inuit hunters.
  • Necromancer, a fantasy game for two players, in which each player becomes a powerful wizard controlling the forces of the Undead.
  • Ogre, the classic simulation of future war involving a cybernetic armored juggernaut firing nuclear weapons. Designed by Jackson, and originally published by Metagaming Concepts.
  • Ogre: G.E.V., a spin-off of Ogre focusing on futuristic but "conventional" infantry, artillery, and armor units.
  • One Page Bulge, a simulation of the German Ardennes Offensive in 1944, with the rules printed on a single page.
  • Proteus, a chess variant using dice to represent normal chess pieces.
  • Shockwave, an Ogre/G.E.V. expansion set with new units and a new map.
  • Ogre Reinforcements Pack, an Ogre/G.E.V. expansion set with new rules and replacement pieces and maps.
  • Battlefields, an Ogre/G.E.V. expansion set with new rules, pieces, and maps.
  • Revolution (board game), a blind-bidding area-majority game.
  • Snits, two classic Tom Wham games, Snit's Revenge and Snit Smashing, both originally published by TSR.
  • Star Traders, a game where players race through space to deliver cargoes.
  • The Stars are Right, a boardgame where players attempt to change a 5x5 tileboard through the use of cards, and gaining victory points based on certain constellations of symbols.
  • Strange Synergy, a game where teams of warriors battle with a different set of powers each game.
  • Tile Chess, a multiplayer chess variant which can be played without a chess board.
  • X-Bugs, a combat game where futuristic bugs are represented by colorful tiddly winks.

Role-playing games[edit]

Miniatures[edit]

Computer games[edit]

  • Autoduel, an action arcade game with role-playing elements. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
  • Ogre A computer version of the Ogre board game. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
  • Ultracorps An online space strategy game originally developed by VR-1.

Dice games[edit]

  • Cthulhu Dice, a custom dice game where the faces are Cthulhu symbols, including the Eye of Horus, the Yellow Sign, the Elder Sign, Cthulhu, and Tentacle. You roll the dice to compete with others to be the last sane person left.
  • Zombie Dice, a custom dice game where the faces are Brains, Shotgun Blasts and Feet. The goal is to push your luck stacking up zombie kills before your buddies.
  • Proteus, a custom dice game where the faces of the dice represent chess pieces. The goal is to change your pawns into higher pieces and take over all your buddies' pieces.

Magazines[edit]

Publication history[edit]

Gaming magazines produced by Steve Jackson Games have included:[7]

  • The Space Gamer (1980-1985) – Steve Jackson took over the magazine from Metagaming Concepts with issue #27, and transferred the magazine to SJG in 1982; the final SJG issue was #76 in 1985, and the rights were sold to Diverse Talents Inc.
  • Fire & Movement (1982-1985) - a wargaming magazine purchased from Baron Publishing - sold to Diverse Talents in 1985
  • Fantasy Gamer (1983-1984) - short-lived magazine split from Space Gamer
  • Roleplayer (1986-1993) - replaced The Space Gamer as the company's periodical for their fan base until SJG started the new generalist magazine Pyramid
  • Pyramid (1993-1998) - published for 30 issues as a print magazine
  • Pyramid, volume 2 (1998-2008) – published as an online, weekly, subscription-based magazine
  • d20 Weekly (2002-2003) – an online magazine devoted to the d20 market
  • Pyramid, volume 3 (starting 2008) - a PDF-only version of the magazine

Mentions in third-party media[edit]

In Uplink, a 2001 computer hacking simulation game by British software company Introversion Software, there is a company named Steve Jackson Games. While this company may occasionally offer hacking contracts to the player, its main feature is a Public Access Server which, if accessed, displays the following information:

Steve Jackson Games

Public Access Server

ATTENTION

This computer system has been seized
by the United States Secret Service
in the interests of National Security.

Your IP has been logged.

This jokingly refers to the 1990 raid by the US Secret Service. As noted in the Ultimate Uplink Guide, this was "put into the game because of the Secret Service Raid on the company, for supposedly making a 'Hacking Guide'. This guide was actually a work of total fiction for a game the company was making, and contained technology that didn't even exist".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jackson, Steve. "Report to the Stakeholders: 2013". Steve Jackson Games (website). Steve Jackson Games. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. 
  2. ^ "The Maverick's Classic Microgame Museum". Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  3. ^ James, Geoffrey (May 8, 2012). "Crowdfunding Lessons From a Kickstarter Success". Inc.com. 
  4. ^ Kuchera, Ben (May 9, 2012). "Steve Jackson’s Ogre wins at Kickstarter: more games will be printed, and each game will be better". Penny Arcade Report. 
  5. ^ "Ogre Designer's Edition". Kickstarter. 
  6. ^ Steve Jackson Games 2007 Report to the Stakeholders from SJGames official website
  7. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. pp. 102–113. ISBN 978-1-907702- 58-7. 
  8. ^ The Ultimate Uplink Guide. Retrieved 2014-10-07.

External links[edit]