Daily Illuminator Archive for April 2011

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April 1, 2011:
Some of the most consistently-strong sellers in Warehouse 23 are the packs of blank cards for the various Munchkin games. We've had many requests to find ways to make them available in retail stores, and we decided: why stop at cards? . . . read article

April 2, 2011:
That's right: Munchkin shirts are light enough to be worn under another one . . . or two . . . or three. Okay, wearing four shirts at once is going to get a bit warm . . . read article

April 3, 2011:
Me, I like to use 1.5 ounce glasses for milk. It's just enough liquid to dunk a doughnut into, but not enough to upset my stomach . . . read article

April 4, 2011:
September/October of 1983 was a busy time for Steve Jackson Games. Ogre and Car Wars were selling well, and SJ's interest in designing GURPS was just beginning. On top of all this, the company planned on attending both Gateway and WorldCon . . . on the same weekend! . . . read article

April 5, 2011:
I was going to call this one "The Best Idea I've Heard This Year," but decided to go for a title that would show up in a search. Thanks to Brian Sullivan at Northeastern U. for pointing me to this great TED talk by Arthur Benjamin . . . read article

April 6, 2011:
Do you like games? Not just quick-playing awesome party games like Zombie Dice, not just strategy-heavy awesome games like Revolution! . . . heck, not just awesome games from Steve Jackson Games? . . . read article

April 7, 2011:
Combine Google Maps with a historical photo collection, and you get What Was There?, a site that can show you how a given location used to look . . . read article

April 8, 2011:
As we posted last week, Target is testing Munchkin in their stores. After one week, it's significantly outperforming two other popular hobby games that are also being tested . . . read article

April 9, 2011:
Does a deadline looming over your head stimulate creativity? I know from personal experience that, yes, it can, but the tradeoff is the stress-induced zombie stare that sets in shortly afterward . . . read article

April 10, 2011:
The next time the Department of Homeland Security wants to do a dry run to test everyone for disaster preparedness, they should see how they fare against zombies. Maybe you recall the paper from the University of Ottawa we featured in August of 2009 that explained the dynamics behind same, but that's just math on a page . . . read article

April 11, 2011:
This may be my last report. I've lost too much blood . . . read article

April 12, 2011:
Many of you know about Garfield Minus Garfield and the brilliantly surreal humor that can come from removing a key element from a classic comic strip. There's a new entrant in the field, but instead of relying on Photoshop wizardry, it finds its humor in merely omitting the final panel . . . read article

April 13, 2011:
In an odd coincidence, last month I incorporated musings on sales trends into the usual e23 announcement, and just a day or two later Fred Hicks of Evil Hat posted his thoughts on his recent success with The Dresden Files RPG. Both of us noted the tried-and-true rule of thumb: new releases start with large sales and then gradually slope down to a fraction of the initial rate . . . read article

April 14, 2011:
The Origins Awards nominations were announced Tuesday, and we picked up a few! Zombie Dice has a nomination in the Best Family, Party or Children's Game. We'd call it a party game . . . . . read article

April 15, 2011:
I'll admit: I'm not a pen enthusiast. Give me a cheap clicker, or an automatic pencil, or even a highlighter, and they'll all work just fine . . . read article

April 16, 2011:
It's coming along well. It was slow going for a while, but now we're rolling: Sunday night I got most of the Munchkin Axe Cop cards more or less finished and e-mailed a question to Ethan Nicolle - basically "Would you ask Malachai what shoes Dinosaur Soldier wears?") Monday night I got Malachai's answer, giggled madly, put it into the game, and finished balancing the cards . . . read article

April 17, 2011:
When you install a Cyclone Engine (you know, the biomass-fueled engine that was labeled "meat-eater" by Wired a few years ago) onto a surveillance robot that knows how to stay out of sight, you have either an extremely long-range drone, or a massive "robots will destroy us all!" scare. I'm hoping for a little of both . . . read article

April 18, 2011:
I learned of the day's first mystery when an e-mail landed in my staff inbox. The subject line read, "50-Ton Spaceship Illegally Parked." Elisabeth sent the helpful note politely explaining that -- although she wasn't sure whose it was -- the 70-foot starship currently in the parking lot was nevertheless taking up 18 parking spaces . . . read article

April 19, 2011:
As work on Ogre continues we thought it would be fun to demonstrate just how drastically different the upcoming edition (announced here) is compared to the older editions of the game. And there's no better way to show the differences between the edition's components than with this comparison shot of a small Ogre Mk . . . read article

April 20, 2011:
The latest edition of Awful Green Things from Outer Space should be landing in a week or two. Each game will then need to be broken down into component molecules and beamed to your friendly local game store . . . a process which takes a couple weeks . . . read article

April 21, 2011:
First: keep the core Munchkin sets, and Munchkin Quest, in print." -- SJ, 2011 Stakeholder's Report Remember that new core set we released about two weeks ago? Munchkin Zombies was the title, but maybe we should have called it Munchkin Sprinter -- our warehouse has technically sold out already. As the guide book says, "Don't Panic." We have the second half of the print run scheduled to arrive before the end of April (hurryhurryhurry), and the distributors are mostly stocked up . . . read article

April 22, 2011:
Do you publish a webcomic? Are you a Munchkin? . . . read article

April 23, 2011:
On Thursday, April 28, Steve and I will be attending the GTS Distribution Come & Play Day in Atlanta, GA. This distributor show is a chance for us to meet retailers and show off a few new releases -- we'll have a copy of Munchkin Deluxe -- and spend time teaching games and asking questions about what works (and what doesn't work!) on shelves these days . . . read article

April 24, 2011:
Of course you do! We're holding a public playtest of Munchkin Axe Cop on Saturday, April 30, at Wonko's Toys and Games in north Austin . . . read article

April 25, 2011:
Welcome to the show of easy prizes and hard choices! It's Let's Deal! . . . read article

April 26, 2011:
Tuesday afternoon Phil and I will take off for a few days in Atlanta. We'll spend a day visiting PSI, our distributor to the book trade (and Target!!) - then Thursday we'll be at the GTS Distribution "Come and Play" day, meeting retailers and playing zombie games . . . read article

April 27, 2011:
We love the guys at ThinkGeek, even as we bemoan the fraction of our collective salary that finds its way to their hands. Apparently they returned the favor, as an impressive lineup of plush figures in this video includes several Chibithulhus (right about the 1:00 minute mark) . . . read article

April 28, 2011:
I know the convention doesn't start until July 20, but it's never too early to prepare for San Diego Comic-Con. This year I'll be at the show with Ben and Andrew, and we'll spend our time at the Adventure Retail booth where we'll give out Munchkin promo items, teach everyone who stops by how to play Zombie Dice and Cthulhu Dice, and do our best to drive the Adventure Retail staff insane by running them out of stock before the first day ends . . . read article

April 29, 2011:
Fleece University, that is. This generation teaches that one the elements of Discordianism, so long as they don't mind learning it at the hands . . . er, wings, of geese . . . read article

April 30, 2011:
Although they haven't been formally announced, attendees of PAX East got a sneak peek at the 25mm Munchkin dice we'll be releasing this summer. What they didn't see was the Warehouse 23 exclusive: the Glow-in-the-Dark Munchkin Jumbo d6! . . . read article

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