The Daily Illuminator

February 1 through February 28, 1995

Feb. 28, 1995

All our hard work of the past few weeks is finally bearing a little fruit -- we got the advance copies of GURPS Voodoo in today, and boy, does it look hot!
When the printer finishes with a job for us, they ship boxes and boxes of it by regular motor freight, which takes around a week. A select handful of copies, however, get popped into an overnight package, and that's what we got today.
GURPS Voodoo should ship in about another week, which means it will be on game store shelves 2 to 3 weeks from now.
-- Scott Haring

Feb. 26, 1995

Oops, forgot to do an Illuminator on Friday . . . this weekender will have to make up for it.
We've posted the revised, final, Official INWO Tournament Rules for everybody's amusement. Just follow the links.
On an unrelated note, it's good to know that after 20 years of playing these games (and 12 years as an "industry professional," a term that is sometimes synonymous with "jaded burn-out"), a game can still cross my desk that gives me an itch to drop everything and play it immediately. Friday, that game was Iron Dragon, new from Mayfair. It's a train game in the mode of Empire Builder and Eurorails, but with a fantasy twist -- Magical cargos! A vast underground kingdom! Sea travel! Construction foremen of different fantasy races that give you different types of game bonuses! It looks really cool . . . I'll let you know how it plays as soon as I can get a game up.
-- Scott Haring

Feb. 23, 1995

All quiet on the SJ Games front today. Although one of our lost sheep has turned up . . . S. John Ross, who has turned in a first draft of GURPS Russia and is ready to start on GURPS Warehouse 23, has been out of touch for a while. He moved, and we lost track of him. Well, the Illuminati have found him again, and the books will go forward.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 22, 1995

Every Wednesday, at 3 p.m. sharp (more or less), we have an editorial meeting. We put out the most dangerous fires, look a little ways down the scheduling road, and try to set a few priorities for the next week.
We have several staffers on death marches -- but unlike last week, instead of a production crunch, writing deadlines are the bugaboo. Steve is laboring mightily on The INWO Book -- 144 pages of card art, designer notes, rules variants, war stories from the playtest front lines, and more. And Derek Pearcy is finishing the final draft of In Nomine; once he is finished, production begins in earnest, and the game will be out! When? May, I figure . . .
-- Scott Haring

Feb. 21, 1995

Horrible news . . . we just heard that freelance game designer and author Nigel Findley has died of a heart attack in Vancouver, B.C.
Nigel was one of the most prolific and dependable freelancers in the business, and on top of that, one of the best. He wrote GURPS Illuminati and GURPS Supporting Cast (with Fraser Cain) for us, but was probably best known as the definitive Shadowrun writer. If a Shadowrun supplement had his name on it, you bought it. Even people (like me) who do not play Shadowrun regularly loved to read his work. He also wrote for just about everybody in the industry, both game supplements and novels.
Most recently, Nigel was involved with a group of Vancouver-based writers, helping them with their craft and giving them advice on breaking into the game business. The new Adventures Unlimited magazine is published by many of them. His loss will be felt throughout gaming by everyone who knew him or enjoyed his work.
-- Scott Haring

Feb. 20, 1995

One more late night . . . and it all goes to the printer! Thanks to the production wizards -- Rick Martin, Jeff Koke and Derek Pearcy. We got the INWO Unlimited rulebook, GURPS CthulhuPunk and the last bits of Pyramid #12 out the door.
Now what? First, we find a way to not ever again force a watermelon- sized chunk of work like that down the garden hose that is our production pipeline. Plus, I need to get Pyramid #13 together, plus make sure that the next GURPS release, GURPS Robots, comes out on time . . .
In other news, we have acquired a couple of new friendly faces around here: Steve hired Rebecca Bross ( as his new Executive Assistant, and Will Fisher has come on board in the bookkeeping department. Welcome!
-- Scott Haring

Feb. 19, 1995

Here I sit, hacking away at the INWO Unlimited rulebook. It will go to press tomorrow, it will, it will. I'll probably try to upload what I have before I go home, but it's in Quark format now, with non-ASCII characters galore.
Derek came by and we played with our new QuickTake camera. He shot me in my TEAM INWO shirt, and we stuck it on my web page. The whole thing took less than an hour, counting time to find some slightly missing disks. Neat.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 18, 1995

The long-suffering Mr. Haring, along with Mr. Pearcy, Mr. Martin, Mr. Koke and Ms. Stephens, sacrificed their Saturday on the altar of Making That Deadline. (A visitor from FASA pronounced herself impressed.) And how did it go?
Pretty well. Time Travel went out. The Voodoo blueline corrections came in today, and they got done. Pyramid 12 went in, though not completely (it's going to be beautiful - thank you, Richard Meaden!). And CthulhuPunk . . . didn't quite get all finished, though not for lack of anybody's trying.
So it will go in Monday. We're probably still okay on the schedule. Also Monday, the INWO Unlimited rulebook goes in. Busy, busy. People around here will deserve a break next week. Hope they get it.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 17, 1995

What a week . . . A lot of long hours as we try to get five projects out the door in one week!
The INWO Unlimited Cards went out the door earlier this week, as did the GURPS Religion reprint. Still to go: the GURPS Time Travel reprint (with all-new art!), GURPS CthulhuPunk, Pyramid issue #12, and the INWO Unlimited rulebook. Steve is still mulling over the last of the rule changes and clarifications for the rulebook -- check out the INWO home page for more details.
-- Scott Haring, new Managing Editor, wondering at times like this why he took the job . . .

Feb. 16, 1995

INWO now has a pair of mailing lists, maintained by Mike Dalton ( You can read about them and subscribe from the INWO homepage.

As an aside, I'll be out of town and offline for about a week. Until next time ...
-- Jim Cloos

Feb. 15, 1995

All the INWO card corrections and updates have gone to the printer. The Unlimited Edition is still on schedule. And there was much rejoicing.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 14, 1995

In Nomine artwork -- and a lot of it -- is now available for browsing. Warning: this is a big batch of files. Unless you have a fast browser, you may want to go for coffee after you hit this link. But by all means, come on by and let us know what you think!
-- Jim Cloos

Feb. 12, 1995

Hammering continues on the INWO card and rules changes. Not only has the rulebook gone to 20 pages, but the type will be a bit smaller as well ... there are just a lot of things to add, to answer every halfway-reasonable rules question that's been raised and to do the other things we want to do.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 10, 1995

Today we saw - for the first time other than on a computer screen - the way the Unlimited INWO cards will look. Very nice; sometimes you look at a proof and change it, but these are just right. The purple is brighter on Resources, the italic type looks good on titles ... and instead of white type, we went with the same pastel color that is in each text box. They look really pretty.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 9, 1995

We got our distributor feedback on the INWO blank cards. Not only are we going ahead with the project, we'll print at least twice as many as the maximum we thought we might do ... This will be a June release.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 8, 1995

You would not believe the fun we are having as we try to get the whole office netted and on Windows. Computer 1 can only see Printer 1, but Computer 2 sees only Printer 3 (which is downstairs from it), while Computer 4 won't talk to the net at all ...
But slowly, bit by bit, it comes together. I think.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 7, 1995

Another death march, but this time a successful one. GURPS Voodoo went to the printer, making the FedEx deadline by a good three minutes. And the INWO stuff is coming under control.
-- Steve Jackson

Feb. 6, 1995

Just one of those days, today. We needed to get GURPS Voodoo to the printer, as well as a large batch of material related to the INWO Unlimited Edition. And the day dragged on, and the day dragged on, and it got late, and nothing got out. We hate it when that happens. That probably blows our February ship date for Voodoo.
In INWO news, very large amounts of proposed rule and card material have been posted to, and the FAQs on the web page have all been updated. -- Steve Jackson

Feb. 3, 1995

Things are pretty slow around here today. Steve came back to the office after spending two days at home reading net response to INWO and making notes about the Unlimited Edition. He is over his illness and looks positively chipper. Today is the last day for our Print Buyer, Andrew Hartsock. He is going back to school to finish his degree. Good bye, good luck, Andrew, and thanks. --Jeff Koke

Feb. 2, 1995

Happy Groundhog Day! I could have told you that winter was over ... 80 degrees here in Austin and skies so blue you could drown in them. Anyway, the first INWO Press Sheet Auction is closed. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks. You helped raise over $13,000 to be divided among the artists and colorists who worked on the project (including me, thanks again).
The offices were pretty quiet today. Steve is at home slogging through the thousands of INWO posts on the 'net, and Derek and I are plugging away at the art for the Unlimited Edition. GURPS Voodoo is set to go to the printer tomorrow, so it will be back in time for a late February ship. Look for it in the stores in early March.
--Jeff Koke

Feb. 1, 1995

Our fourth-quarter 1994 royalties were due yesterday. Our fourth- quarter 1994 royalties were paid yesterday, too. This is a red- letter day ... it's been a long time since that happened. Between the cash shortages from the Secret Service days, and then serious delays in our own accounting, royalties have been an embarrassment around here. We always paid, but we always paid late. Well, not any more.
Huge thanks to Monica Stephens and Joyce Jackson for getting the books so caught up that we could actually compute all December sales before the end of January!
-- Steve Jackson