Steve Jackson's Appearances
Want to meet Steve? Here's a list of conventions he's attending, as well as other events where you can find him and say hello.
Our other staff members make appearances, too – click here for a complete list.
February 21-28, 2016
Last year's JoCo Cruise was an amazing experience. It was my first cruise ever; I met a lot of gamers; I heard a lot of music. I also ate too much, but I am given to understand that that is traditional.
What is the JoCo Cruise? Look here. Or, for those who didn't click the link: it's a week on the Caribbean on a humongous luxurious boat, with some excellent musicians, starting with Jonathan Coulton himself and backed up by Paul and Storm and a lot of other talent. You really ought to go click that link.
While music is The Big Thing on the JoCo Cruise, gaming is The Other Big Thing. There's an active 24-hour game room with frequently-replenished munchies. SJ Games sponsored it last year and is sponsoring it again this year, because it was good. Among other things, that's where I first got to play Splendor. (While I am mentioning things that have bigness, I should point out that writing is also a Big Thing. If you are a would-be writer, please note that there IS a writing track, and that the guests on the cruise include John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss, and Wil Wheaton. All of whom can write, and will talk to you about writing.)
But I digress. This year we are doing three special events for the cruise's gaming track: a general "What's New at SJ Games" event at which secrets will be revealed, a status report on the Munchkin Shakespeare brainstorm that we did on last year's cruise, and a NEW brainstorm at which the attendees will get to help me and Andrew rough out a new, NON-Munchkin game.
The fourth of our third events will be a Munchkin playoff. Four aspiring munchkins will win seats at that table during the cruise's earlier gaming events. They will play against me. If I win, I keep the prize.
Last year's cruise was unlike anything I've ever done. I really had no idea what to expect. But I was committed to the 2016 event before the 2015 cruise docked. You really ought to be on board too, but at this point that means you have to have your ticket already, because they are sold out.
June 15-19, 2016
Just like the past few years, I'll be here with my LEGO geek hat on, exhibiting with the Texas Brick Railroad and PennLUG. Maybe I'll even finish the brick-built Castellan
July 8-10, 2016
Last year's LibertyCon was so good (and that's not even counting the train ride) that I'll be back. Even by the high standards of Southern conventions, con committee is fun and friendly, the fans are fun and friendly, and the local MIBs are numerous, enthusiastic, fun, and fiendish. Oops, I meant "friendly." Really.
And there's a particularly good art show.
More as the event approaches.
November 6-8, 2015
Gamehole Con is a convention for all types of gaming. All types, do you hear me? They had over a thousand people for 2015. It was friendly, busy, and really engrossing.
One of the things about this show: they invite a LOT of game makers. Madison is very close to Lake Geneva, where so much started, and a lot of the best Gygax-era names come to visit. I saw Ed Greenwood, Tim Kask, Frank Mentzer, Ernie Gygax, Jim Ward, and the creator of some of my very favorite Old Skool games, Tom Wham! Not to mention young whippersnappers like Matt Forbeck, Jonathan Tweet, Jenn Brozek . . . oh, go read the site.
The big disappointment was that John Kovalic was, mostly, not there. I'd looked forward to some quality hanging-out time, but it was mostly not to be. He came down with a stomachache just before the con. A BAD stomachache. A "your gall bladder needs to come out right now, so give us your insurance card and lie down on this here gurney" stomachache. Trouper that he is, John actually showed up for a couple of events, and he had fun. But he was also hurting, and it was good that he spent most of the weekend NOT at the con.
But I did, and I had a great time. I got a stuffed owlbear. Can you say "stuffed owlbear"? I knew you could. I was introduced to Framboise, and I'm going to keep up the acquaintance. A unique event was the con-within-a-con sponsored by The Game Crafter. Aspiring game creators had the chance to learn a lot about prototyping, and a whole lot of other breaking-into-the-business stuff, that I wish I had known 30 years ago, or even 20 or 10. I got to watch some as-yet-unreleased games, including one that we're going to evaluate a bit more at our office.
A standout about this event: it was very sharply organized. As in: there were a couple of site issues that I'm not even going to describe, because in less time than it takes the average event to go "duhhh, is something wrong?" the Gameholers had FIXED things. Big points for that. Not "we'll fix it next year," but "problem is slain NOW, 2,000 XP, go up a level."
All in all, Gamehole Con was a winning event. Two thumbs up.
November 2, 2015
Retailer Appreciation Open House Day
As we moved back into our office after repairing the water damage – and remodeling the whole place since it was torn up anyway -–we threw a party for our friends in retail.
I did a little presentation on what we have new and upcoming, answered questions, and helped play the games and eat the goodies.
I am especially proud to say that among the games we demonstrated were a couple of SEEKRET ones. We said "We won't make you sign NDAs or anything – just please don't tell." And, (updated more than a month after the fact!) nothing leaked. Thank you for being as trustworthy as we thought you were!
This was by invitation only, but if you are a brick&mortar game retailer within travel distance, and did NOT get an invitation, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what can be sorted out for the NEXT time we do something like this.
July 23-26, 2015
Brick Fiesta is a Lego fan convention – this was, IIRC, its fifth year. It moves between cities, and for 2015 it was back in Austin. Guy Himber of Crazy Bricks was Guest of Honor. Andreas and Rhea did a great job at demonstrations. And there were massive quantities of other Lego-geeky stuff.
Next year it will be in Houston; the best way to keep up with it is on the Brick Fiesta Facebook page.
June 26-28, 2015
I liked my first visit to LibertyCon so much that I was happy to be invited back. And Chattanooga is such a great city that on a previous visit I actually looked at real estate magazines. So this one was fun. LibertyCon is a very comfortable, companionable event, gamer-friendly but definitely a full-spectrum SF convention. And they put me up in a train-car hotel room. How cool is that? (There are some available for GenCon, I know, but I've never gotten a reservation in time.)
The guest list was excellent. It was headlined by David Weber, best known for the Honor Harrington series (though he's done a lot of other great stuff). The toastmaster was none other than Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary, and he did a brilliant job. And I got to play in a test session of the upcoming Schlockiverse game, Planet Mercenary. And lo, I had a very good time.
Along with Howard and his daughter Keliana, con chair Brandy Spraker, and a small and non-random assortment of other con-goers, I played hooky Saturday night and rode the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's dinner train. The Eden Isle is a very fine car indeed. I want one.
This is such a great event that I am looking seriously at going back for 2016; fie on this "have to spread yourself around" stuff. (And it was held in the Chattanooga Choo Choo, right on the city's electric-bus line that runs straight to the Aquarium and the good restaurants. A great choice.)
June 17-21, 2015
While I primarily went to this marvelous event to admire awesome Lego and to hold Seekrit Meetings ////////////////////// consult with Guy Himber (Munchkin Bricks, www.crazybricks.com) I did a signing and defaced some games. Most of my time, though, was at the PennLUG / TBRR table, and at the Great Ball Contraption. And at the charity auction. And the mixers :)
And, of course, at the big Munchkin game that Guy and I did for charity, using the amazing board that he built.