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April 30, 1997

Toon Pages Retuned

Take a look at the spiffed-up pages for Toon. Now we need some more Toonish articles, some more links to fan pages, and so on. Hint, hint . . .

Yes, Jackie's talking about doing some animation for these pages. How could we resist?
-- Steve Jackson

April 29, 1997

Web Help Wanted

We're looking for several people to help us keep the major game sections of our site active and up-to-date. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, check out our web help page for all the dirty details.

April 28, 1997

Report from CGDC

The Computer Game Developers' Conference is a big deal. Thousands and thousands of geeks and blinking lights. Cool.

I got into the "Nation Assassination" game (think it sounds like Killer? Good call) and promptly got scragged. Ah, well. Look for the rules to this interesting mass game on our Killer page soon. (And roses to the CGDC staff for - not just ALLOWING the game - but making it an OFFICIAL part of the show.

Heavy presence here from the "traditional" adventure game industry. I've already run into Chaosium's Greg Stafford, R.Tal's Mike Pondsmith, Hero's Ray Greer and Steve Peterson, and several others - saw Richard Garfield across the room at the presentation on mass-participation WWW games.

And yes, we're talking biz with various developers and publishers. Nothing to announce yet, but we're definitely having a Real Good Time. Stay tuned. . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 27, 1997

More Feedback on the Feedback

Another comment that showed up more than once on the web survey was "Do pages for the OLD games." Okay, we will. It's not going to be the highest priority, but it will happen. We don't have much in the way of support material for (for instance) Kung Fu 2100, but if we put up a page, who knows what might come out of the woodwork?
-- Steve Jackson

April 26, 1997

Assassins in the Auction

Our auction returns to INWO territory, with three complete sets of Assassins. Each set has all 125 cards, including the Ultra-Rares. If you've been meaning to get a complete set, here's your chance!
-- Kira

April 25, 1997

Orlando Was Fun!

In the company of those maniacs from Sci-Fi Supply, I got a behind-the-scenes tour at the Universal Studios park. Let me vouch for this: the Terminator 2 3D show is just as exciting when you know how everything works. And the 3D effects are great . . . they got a couple of flinches out of me. The Back to the Future ride is also excellent; more thrills than a roller-coaster, in a car that doesn't really move more than a few feet. But when you're inside, you sure THINK it's moving . . .

On to Sunnyvale

Tomorrow, Micah and I take off for the Computer Game Developers Conference in Sunnyvale. Who knows - maybe we'll make a deal or two. We'll keep you posted.
-- Steve Jackson

April 24, 1997

War Declared ! Or Not!

Well, it had to happen. The Republic of Texas has declared war on the Federal government, the State of Texas, and the United Nations. Or maybe not. It's kind of a long proclamation . . . read it for yourself if you're worried. Furthermore, another "Republic of Texas" site denies, decries, and generally disapproves of the proclamation. So is it time to take up arms against the tyrant, or should we just see what's on the tube tonight?

Micah's Here!

Micah Jackson arrived today to take up the mantle of Director of Licensing and New Media. He and I will be heading off this Saturday to the Computer Game Developers Conference in Sunnyvale, and we'll see what happens. And those who have submitted GM aid projects for approval, and gotten slow or no response, can expect Micah to solve THAT problem shortly after we get back from Califnordia.
-- Steve Jackson

April 23, 1997

www.sjgames.com!

You're reading this now on our new web machine. You should notice an immediate performance improvement. We'll also be adding several new features to the site over the coming weeks and months... a search engine, chat boards, and more.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our auction and made this new machine possible!

Help us debug the site - if you spot anything that looks broken or amiss, please send mail to webmaster@sjgames.com and let us know so we can fix it...

You may have some DNS troubles reaching www.sjgames.com initially - if so, try using pyramid.sjgames.com.

Enjoy!
-- Kira

April 22, 1997

Hunting Dinosaurs In Orlando

I'm off to Orlando, Florida today. I'll be filming a TV-shopping-show spot for Dino Hunt. We've never tried anything like this before, so (doh) we're trying it now.

Whilst in Orlando I'll be hooking up with the folks at Sci-Fi Supply (who don't yet have a web page for me to link to, shame shame). These are the people who make the Ogre Macrotures - the 1/72 scale miniatures - that I'm hoping will someday go into full-scale production. I'll give them a little pep talk . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 21, 1997

GURPS MECHA and PYRAMID ship soon . . .

We have seen sample copies of GURPS Mecha and Pyramid issue #25, and they look great. The Mecha cover is Dan Smith doing anime style, colored by Derek Pearcy -- a bit of a departure for us, but it works.

These will ship to distributors the last week in April; they should be in your store the first or second week in May.
-- Steve Jackson

April 20, 1997

Convention Schedule

Another frequent comment in our recent web survey was: "Why don't we post a list of the conventions we're going to be at (and far enough in advance for people to plan to go to them)?"

Well . . . as a matter of fact, we do! The Convention Listings Page is updated regularly, and we've conveniently marked the conventions that one of us will be attending fnord. And if you are running a convention, you can input an entry yourself!

So check it out, and look us up if you're at one of these conventions!
-- Kira

April 19, 1997

Pssst! Wanna Link?

One of the first comments in the online poll was "How about a button that will lets me link to SJ Games?" Well, actually, we've got one, but we seem to have, err, accidentally kept it secret fnord.

Here's the actual code for it:

<center><a href="http://www.sjgames.com/"><img
src="http://www.sjgames.com/img/minisjg.gif" width=163 height=28 border=0></a></center><p>

So there it is. Feel free to use it . More visitors for us, hee hee. More pawns for the Great Conspiracy. More <RANT OFF>

April 18, 1997

New Webserver, New Auction!

Thanks to everybody who bid in our webserver auction. Between the lots already going-going-gone, and the bids for those still "in play," we've reached our goal, even though the cost of the new webserver was a bit more than we first guessed. So, being impatient, we ordered it! The new machine is being set up now and will be serving our pages before May 1. Quote from Kira: "Woooo, it's fast!"

If you're one of the people who has yet to pay for their auction winnings, please get in touch with melinda@io.com and make arrangements!

Auction, Round Two: The auction got so much good feedback that we'll continue it for as long as we can come up with interesting stuff, and think of Worthy Causes to improve this site and keep Kira happy. We're now researching GOOD electronic cameras, to replace our faithful little QuickTake that has limited memory and doesn't do closeups :-( So before long, you can expect to see the QuickTake in the auction . . . and the Amiga 2000 that used to run the BBS . . . and, oh yes, three complete sets of Assassins . . . and more. Hey, this is fun.

Traffic in the Warehouse!

Our agents in the Network report that we had 7,181 hits (!!) on the Warehouse 23 page yesterday, and 56 new items submitted. That sound you almost hear is me, whistling very softly . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 17, 1997

Ogre Page Updated

1997 is the 20th anniversary of Ogre. Over the last month we've been working to locate and update Ogre material for the web . . . and it turns out there has been a LOT of it published over the last two decades. Kira has spent the last week or so HTMLizing the first batch and reorganizing the Ogre pages to hold it. Check it out . . . and look again in a few weeks, because more is coming.
-- Steve Jackson

April 16, 1997

Been to the Warehouse lately?

Visitors keep dropping off interesting contributions; we're well past 500 items now. Feel free to pay us a little visit . . .
-- Steve Jackson

April 15, 1997

Web Survey Success!

Our web survey was a great success, with over 700 people responding. Thanks! We really have learned some things from this. You pointed out some things we should have seen on our own . . . and some things that we never, ever would have figured out without being told . . . and yea, verily, we're dealing with it.

A few of the most commonly mentioned things you wanted to see us CHANGE on the website:

"Playtest files available to non-IO users."
This is in the works as part of the "Pyramid Online" plot, but don't expect to see it happen before mid- or late-summer.
"More Ogre stuff."
Already in progress. In fact, if you check the Ogre page now, you'll see a lot of newly-added material . . . and more is on the way.
"Change the background color. Black is so, well, INTIMIDATING."
And your point is...? *evil grin* Actually, we got a lot of mixed responses about the page colors. Some like black, some hate it. We're going to leave it like this for now, though.
"Put Pyramid articles online!"
We're doing that too fnord. You can already find a few of them in the Ogre section. The In Nomine ones will be next. Watch for more in the coming months.
"More Industry news!"
Absolutely. We intend to roll that in with Pyramid Online. Coming soon to a website near you!
"Character sheets for (whichever game you like)."
Also in the works. And we've gotten feedback that the GIFs of current character sheets don't always print too well. We're looking at making .pdf (Acrobat) versions available.
"Explain what "fnord" means. Please."
Sorry, you're not cleared for that...
"More fnords and weirdness."
Muahahaaaa (as if we weren't already weird enough.) We were asked to post more links to weird sites in the Illuminator, and we will.
"More choices than "Often", "Sometimes", and "Never"!"
Oh, all right. Next time we do a poll, we'll have more choices. Like "rarely"... "Once in a blue moon"... "Only when the planets are in alignment...."
"The Illuminator should be updated more often."
What??? You mean, once a day isn't enough?
And the main thing you said we should NOT change was the Daily Illuminator. Don't worry.... it's not going anywhere. (muahahaa!)

We'll share more poll results soon. Thanks!
-- Kira

April 14, 1997

Keep Those Hits Coming!

Last week we had more than 7,000 hits on our top page -- the first time we've averaged a thousand a day for a whole week. And we've had more than 700 poll respondents . . . which, since a lot of you visit every day, means that well over 10% of our users last week took the time to fill out the poll. Wow. Thanks!

And now for something completely different:

Here's a site with a variety of freeware calendar programs for Windows (no Macintosh, sigh). They not only tell you what day it is, they pop up various Stuff. Some of this is fun . . . .

April 13, 1997

The Illuminati Get Mail . . .

On Mon, 7 Apr 1997, The Quixotic Ninja wrote:
> Aaaaaaagh!
>
> I just filled out your online survey, submitted it, and was met by the
> following parting message (which I assume was grabbed from the Warehouse 23
> submissions):
>
> > The Men In Black thank you and, in token of their appreciation, leave you
> > a mysterious crate.  When you open it, you see:
> >
> > A slightly cheap-looking mass-produced classroom globe with continents and
> > countries colored and major cities, seas and rivers labeled in English. It
> > is, however, for a completely unknown planet.
>
> No, no, no, you don't understand... I *just finished* designing such a map
> (ok, so it wasn't a globe) for a live-action roleplaying game I'm in the
> early stages of writing.
>
> Where's the hidden camera?  How did you bug my apartment?
>
> Why is the word 'fnord' painted in clear enamel on my computer monitor?
You're not cleared for that.

-- Kira

April 12, 1997

Steve Jackson Games Hires Director of Licensing

Steve Jackson Games is pleased to announce the hiring of Micah T. J. Jackson as Director of Licensing and New Media. Micah brings many years of experience working with licensed content in both the electronic and paper games industries to this new position. "We are taking the expansion of the games business into the electronic arena very seriously," said Steve Jackson, President. "Bringing Micah in will allow us to deal quickly and carefully with computer game producers and others who would like to license our games."

Micah has nearly six years of experience working with electronic adaptations of licensed games through various positions with Virtual World Entertainment and VictorMaxx Technologies. He will be a featured speaker at the 1997 Computer Game Developers' Conference.

And no, Steve and Micah are not related (as far as we know...)
-- Scott Haring

April 11, 1997

INWO meets the Church of the SubGenius!

Yes, it's true. The next INWO expansion will be based on the Church of the SubGenius. Hail "Bob"!

Work has already started. We are going to try to get it finished and shipped by GenCon, but that is a goal, not an announced schedule. Don't hold us to it.

This will be a hundred-card non-collectible set. The cards will feature art provided by the Church itself. You will like it.

The set of 100 cards will be usable by itself, and will include rules for a 4-player common-deck game, using four Church of the SubGenius cards (with different art, of course). Each represents a different faction of the Church, fighting for control, Slack, and that unending flow of dollars from the mindless Pinks. You can also drop other INWO cards into a SubGenius game, or vice versa!

In honor of this, we've unearthed a classic from the old Illuminati BBS and added it to the GURPS archive: The SubGenius Answers the GURPS Questionnaire.
-- Steve Jackson

April 10, 1997

This Just In!

I do believe that, in the context of the small bit of commercial enterprise we call adventure gaming, this qualifies as Earth-Shattering News, changing Life As We Know It. Quoting from the press release:

Wizards of the Coast to Acquire TSR Inc.

"April 10, 1997 (Renton, WA) -- Wizards of the Coast Inc. and TSR Inc., the two leaders of the adventure game industry, announced today that a letter of intent has been signed by both parties for Wizards of the Coast to acquire TSR Inc. The transaction is expected to be completed in May, 1997."

And:

"'TSR Inc. is the pioneer of adventure games and carries an important industry legacy,' said Peter D. Adkison, president and CEO of Wizards of the Coast. `We look forward to drawing on TSR's worldwide reputation and established lines of popular games to complement our current business.'

"Lorraine Williams, president and CEO of TSR Inc., added, `The synergies that already exist between Wizards of the Coast and TSR ensure a solid home and future for the vast library of intellectual property which TSR has created, and for its creative community.'"

More on this as we dig it up . . .
-- Scott Haring

Ogres in the Auction!

The auction is going very well. THANKS to everyone who has bid! We are close to our goal; in fact, the webserver has already been ordered. And our survey has drawn so many favorable comments about the auction that we will have to think of something else this website really needs, just so we can keep it up!

Meantime, check this out: three painted Mark V Ogres, all veterans of missions to Canada and Japan. Each is a separate lot, and each comes with several buildings and a couple of MHWZs, just because we had them.

Coming soon: memories of the SS raid, and complete sets of Assassins cards.
-- Steve Jackson

April 9, 1997

Daylight Savings Time

Did you remember to fool with your clock on Sunday? How about your computer clock? How about your VCR? Hah you'll never get that one changed.

And remember: if you die between now and the time they change it back, the government has permanently stolen an hour of your life. What are they doing with all that time? Write your Congressman today!

April 8, 1997

Product Update

Just thought you'd like to know where we stand on a few things . . .

GURPS Reign of Steel and the In Nomine Hardback shipped last week and are probably in many stores already. (If it hasn't reached your store quite yet, don't panic -- it will be there soon.)

GURPS Mecha and Pyramid #25 are still at the printer, and are due back in a week or so.

In May, we'll have the reprint of GURPS Compendium I and Night Music, our first In Nomine supplement. (We had hoped to get Night Music out in April, but art delays have forced us to push it back.)

And there's more for June, including GURPS Planet Krishna, The Marches for In Nomine, a second edition of Knightmare Chess and Pyramid #26. Yeah, it keeps us busy, but we like it that way . . .
-- Scott Haring

April 7, 1997

Online Survey

Knowledge is power, and we're trying to learn more about the people who visit our web pages.

If you've got the time and inclination, please fill out our online survey. Note that the survey script does NOT automatically record your e-mail address . . . but if you choose to leave it, we'll put your name in a drawing for one of 10 direct mail credits of $20 each.

Thanks!
-- Steve Jackson

April 6, 1997

The Volunteer Netreps

A lot of our best game support comes from individual volunteers, who put in a lot of time just because they like the games and like helping others. This is especially true when it comes to Usenet and the Web!

We now have a page set up to list and recognize all our netreps and other online volunteers.

Thanks!
-- Steve Jackson

April 5, 1997

New On Our Web


April 4, 1997

More from Reno

Yeah, I promised back on Tuesday I'd do this the next day. I've been busy . . .

To recap for those who've been away, last week I ventured to the wilds of Reno for the 1997 GAMA Trade Show, where the top dogs of the game industry show their latest stuff to the retailers and distributors interested enough to come.

Two years ago (or was it three?), the #1 trend at the show was small companies I'd never heard of, or companies coming in from outside the industry, with a single product to push -- a card game. FPG had Guardians, Daedalus had Shadowfist, Thunder Castle had Towers in Time, Cardz had Hyborean Gates, Cactus had Redemption, Ultimate Games had Ultimate Combat . . . I could go on. Some of these games and companies are still around, most are gone, but they were all equally new a couple of years back.

This year, I saw the same thing -- new companies I hadn't heard of before, with a single new product to push. The difference? They all had roleplaying games. Archon Games made a big splash with Noir, a film-noir RPG; Manticore Productions (a company from the Czech Republic, run by an Australian and an American using a Scottish game designer) had the post-apocalyptic Wasteworld; Ducktek (keeping the silly game company tradition alive) had a sweet fantasy game called Milanda; there was Neverworld from Foreverworld Games; Event Horizon Productions (recently merged with Epitaph Productions) had Hong Kong Action Theater; and there were a few others, too.

More later. Maybe.
-- Scott Haring

April 3, 1997

New Art Director Moves In

A warm welcome to Diana DeFrancesco, who started work yesterday as our new Art Director. Diana recently worked at the Austin Chronicle and Science magazine, and has also been doing her share of freelance weirdness, including last weekend's fire-breathing and robot mashing show by Survival Research Laboratories -- so we know she'll fit right in.

So this is a good a time as any to mention that one of Diana's main tasks early on will be to expand our stable of artists. If you think you could draw stuff as good as what we publish -- and you can do it on a deadline -- then we'd like to see your portfolio. See our Artist's Guidelines for more information.
-- Scott Haring

April 2, 1997

Car Wars in the Auction; Gamefest in Calgary

The great webserver auction enters Car Wars country. Lot 14, donated by Mike Hayden, is the first 22 issues of ADQ!

And Lot 15 is the original pasteup boards for GURPS Autoduel Road Atlas 1.

We're closing in on that new webserver; if you're a Car Wars fan interested in hard-to-find goodies (or, in the case of those pasteup boards, weird, unique and useless STUFF), drop in on the auction!

(Next up: Ogre stuff. Stay tuned.)

TD Imports Gamefest in Calgary

This coming weekend, we will be attending the TD Imports Gamefest 97 show. Starting on Friday April 4th with a retailer only trade show, Gamefest moves into a full consumer game convention on Saturday and Sunday. Attending for Steve Jackson Games will be Richard Meaden.

For more information, check the TD Imports web site.

April 1, 1997

Bandit Apprehended!

We had an unwanted midnight visitor not too long ago. But he's been dealt with. Brenda set a clever trap and caught the miscreant.

Okay. It was actually a pretty standard "live" trap, and the vandal was just a half-grown raccoon who was having entirely too much fun with the fiberglass insulation around our ductwork.

He's now received a chauffeured ride to McKinney State Park, and the nights in the building will be much quieter.
-- Steve Jackson


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