The Daily Illuminator
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August 30, 1996

Farewell to Claudia!

It is with heavy heart that I must report the departure of Claudia Smith our ever-perky Sales Manager, Convention Liaison, Guru, Cheerleader, and resident Cthulhu '96 Spin Doctor.

We're all going to miss her a lot and we're certain you will too. But fear not, the Illuminator will be profiling the shadowy figure taking on her vast responsibilities later next week.

'Bye, Claudia - Good Luck!

-- Bob Apthorpe and the rest of the SJ Games crew

August 29, 1996

Worship the Spork!

Succumb to the will of the almighty spork! Learn the ways of the foon! This graphic stolen from

The Utensil Gods have spoken - Obey!

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 28, 1996

Today's Public Service: The Zipper!

Okay, that's a little more provocative than I intended (oh well). Regardless, if you're an American and you want to find out what lower life form claims to represent "you" in Congress, hop on over to the Zipper.

Just enter your ZIP code and - boing - out pops the appropriate fiend in Congress. It's just like a toaster - how convenient!

So, have some fun! Play with Congress. Heck, you might as well - you're paying for it.

Boy, are you paying for it...

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 27, 1996

Knightmare Chess Now Shipping!

Gruesome! It's finally arrived! Knightmare Chess has cycled its way through our warehouse and is heading toward you today.

Be afraid, be very afraid...

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 26, 1996

Feeling Down? Get Kranked!

Visit Caffeine-Boy! Drowsy? Lethargic? Sedate? Sounds like you don't have enough caffeine in your system.

But you say you can't stand coffee (too hot), tea (too wussy), soda (too sugary), diet soda (too chemical), or No-Doz (too druggy)? What's an unwired body to do?

Through the miracle of FDA regulation, the nice people at the Interstellar Beverage Co. bring you Krank2o Highly Caffeinated Water.

No, really.

What's more, in order to finance your high-grade caffeine, uh, hobby, you can even sign on with these guys to help move product. School's just about to start and before you know it, exams will be upon ye. Better to be prepared - BUY GOBS OF CAFFEINE RIGHT NOW! Sell it to your friends at an extreme markup. Then buy more caffeine with the profits. Congratulations - you've just passed Econ 101; have a perky beverage!

But wait - it's not all just cheesy (well, caffeiny) advertising; IB also tackles some of the deeper issues in life. Why do you think all those beat poets hung out in coffee shops? Certainly not for the atmosphere - it was the caffeine, man...

Your mileage may vary,

-- BBoobb AApptthhoorrppee

August 23, 1996

Dino Hunt Science Update!

Dino Hunt! Dino Hunt isn't even back from the printer / collator / whoever yet and we're already tracking new information about the dinosaurs on the cards. Stay tuned to the Dino Hunt Science Update page for the latest dino info!

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 22, 1996

Dino Hunt Art Gallery Now Open!

AsteroidStrike In our effort to appease you, the Gentle Viewer, we've placed a portion of the Dino Hunt card art online for your enjoyment. Please accept this token of our appreciation and consume mass quantities of Dino Hunt right now.

Your humble servant,

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 21, 1996

GURPS Dinosaurs Now Shipping!

[GURPS Dinosaurs Cover] As I arrived today, our burly, literate, and well-armed Shipping Department was manhandling pallets of GURPS Dinosaurs off the truck and into our warehouse. Soon, mountains of antediluvian fun will be stomping its way to a retailer near you.

[The Venus (of Willendorf?)] In celebration, we've posted some of the art from GURPS Dinosaurs to the web including the lovely Venus figure, pictured here. For more information on the significance of the various Venus figures (Willendorf, Lesplugue, Laussel, et. al.) and other preshistoric art, take a look at From Venus Figurines Through Time - The Mother Goddess from Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona and Art and Adornment.

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 20, 1996

The Corporation Welcomes You!

Global Censorship v1.0 Now Shipping! Welcome to The Corporation! Our Humor Products are currently available in a variety of styles and sizes to suit your particular humor requirements. Currently stocked items include:

So consume today. And get back to work.

-- Bob Apthorpe

Stop Free Speech Now!

August 19, 1996

INWO Digest Archives Get Spiffy!

Well, the Secret Masters finally caught up with me. After hearing about how the OGRE mailing list archives had been shuffled, collated, and imbued with a fresh lemony scent, The Powers That Be "strongly encouraged" me to do the same to the INWO Digest.

Never one to tempt the Secret Masters, I complied fully with their request - the INWO Digest archives are now clean, fresh, and searchable. The search engine is a bit slow but it is functional so be patient, lest the Men In Black pay you a visit to teach you some manners...

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 16, 1996

Dino Hunt Artists Profiled

Extinction:UFOs! Ever wonder where all the great art from Dino Hunt comes from? Satisfy your curiosity and peruse our Dino Hunt Artist Profile page. It has plenty of biographical information on creative talents such as Pat Ortega, Bob Walters, Dan Smith, Byron Taylor, Brent Ferguson, Jeff Koke, and Derek Pearcy.

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 15, 1996

Claudia's Gen Con Adventures!

Well now. Bob asked me to give him a couple of paragraphs about Gen Con. When I asked what specifically, he told me to give my insights. OK. The booth was busy. Meetings. The booth was busy. Meetings. More booth. More meetings. Oh, and did I mention how busy the booth was?

All kidding aside, the booth was amazing. We had some Knightmare Chess sent to the show especially for Gen Con, and we sold out! It arrived on Friday and was gone before noon on Sunday! And we sold out of the GURPS Dinosaurs that we sent! And the GURPS Alternate Earths! In fact, we only sent two pallets of stuff back to the warehouse (out of the four we sent), and one of those was the display and booth supplies.

I would love to report all the hoopy games I played, and all the wonderful events I participated in, but I can't. I didn't do anything silly except the Cthulhu Rally. Of course that more than made up for it. I went as Nylarthotep (the Black Man of the Woods--and I still have makeup in my ears), and was part of the show. The best impromptu speaker for Cthulhu for President was the Undead Trout, who is a creature of few words. We got a writeup in the Milwaukee Sentinel in the weekend edition too, so the evil is spreading properly.

"Cthulhu for President: Why settle for the lesser evil?"


August 14, 1996

Bovril, Breakfast of Champions!


Splicing The Main Brace - with Bovril! Yon webmaster is feeling under the weather. I suspect that I caught some virulent disease on my flight back from Milwaukee, probably from that horrid, shrieking infant. Either that, or someone poisoned my $8 cheeseburger in Minneapolis.

Either way, I decided to start today off right with a few hearty mugs of Bovril! I've had this tiny jar of Bovril for a month or so now, courtesy of one of our Stealth Illuminator Newshounds. She's been harping on me to have some for a while, but I couldn't bring myself to experiment with this tarry, brown substance known colloquially as Liquid Cow.


Anyway, I was up way early and I finally gave in and tried the stuff. Not bad. Not exactly good, either, but if you put it in the Acquired Taste category of foodstuffs like dark beer and lutefisk, it was okay. So far it hasn't killed me and I may start tomorrow off with it, unless its mutagenic properties manifest themselves.


-- Bob Apthorpe

August 13, 1996

Dazed and Confused

Well, the gang has returned from their annual pilgrimage to MECCA (Milwaukee, not Saudi Arabia). I'll be posting tales from Gen Con periodically during this week as Steve, Derek, Claudia, and Susan tell me of their adventures.

As for me, I'm still unpacking and crawling out from under a mountain of accumulated e-mail. I'll save my tales and observations for later. But, if you really need to know, I had my teeth kicked in during a demo of Lunch Money. I salvaged a little dignity by being the last to fall, but if I see that other kid first, there's going to be hell to pay...

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 12, 1996

Troops Return Tomorrow

I fear that the Illuminator may have slipped from "minty fresh" to mearly mentholated; but despair not, your regular host returns tomorrow along with the rest of the GenCon Contingent. Watch this space for a full report (no doubt authored by someone better informed than me.) I have heard rumors that Knightmare Chess sold out all available copies rather quickly.

-- Jim Robinson

August 9, 1996

Hot New Games at GenCon!

This just in from print maven Monica Stephens --
Knightmare Chess is available at GenCon, as of this morning. GURPS Dinosaurs will be available tomorrow. The bulk of both products are expected to arrive here late next week, and ship to distributors August 19 (without, of course, any explosive or incendiary devices.)

-- Jim Robinson

August 8, 1996

Trash Day

'Bout the most exciting event of the day occurred around 3:30 when passers by got treated to the sight of Steve Jackson Games' Art Director and General Counsel merrily squashing cans and pop bottles by the curb so they'd fit into the recycling bin (the cans and bottles, not the artist and lawyer).

Those of you unsure of the value of recycling might find some kindred spirits at White Trash Online, but for the rest of you junk aficionados I highly recommend the movie Trainspotting

-- Jim Robinson

August 7, 1996

Not Enough Beer to Keep Bob in Austin

Well, I tried. Last night found your usual host at the Dog & Duck Pub whilst your interim narrator plied him with beer from neighboring tables. This did not work as planned; Bob went to Milwaukee anyway and I get to keep the Illuminator "minty fresh."

MILWAUKEE -- Rumor has it that a certain high ranking Steve Jackson Games official failed to bring along a bathing suit; so keep your eyes peeled for more of [NAME WITHHELD] than perhaps you really want to see.

And, for those of you who'd come to count on having Bob to kick around, maybe a visit to Nick's Subserviant Cam! will temporarily slake you thirst for personal power.

-- Jim Robinson

August 6, 1996

SJ Games Crew Heading To GenCon!

Be on the lookout - the SJ Games crew is invading Milwaukee tomorrow! Steve, Scott, Derek, Claudia and Susan have packed their bags and are going to be zooming off to GenCon Wednesday morning, leaving the rest of the gang to loot office supplies from their desks and loaf about until Monday. I'll be there too (on vacation - no booth duty for me, heh, heh) soaking up the anime, getting my butt kicked at miniatures, and costarring in some Really Bad Movies. Fear not - the Illuminator will be kept minty fresh by the lovely and talented Jim Robinson in my absence.

And depending on prevailing internet conditions in Milwaukee, you may see some realtime updates from GenCon. Who knows - only time will tell...

Show up or blow up,

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 5, 1996

OGRE Archives Get Beefy!

This should be subtitled Bob Plays With The Technology. Here's the scoop - our Good Friend Henry Cobb maintains the Ogre/GEV mailing list. Like any good mailing list administrator, Henry keep archives of the list to preserve the great commentary the list community generates.

Problem - how do we find out what's been said before so we don't seem like clueless goobers when we post to the list? Worse yet, how can we find that particular missive on the hex grid distance formula without reading through a year's worth of postings?

Solution - Bob plays with perl and not only organizes the list archives for easy browsing but has provided a Very Simple Search Capability for impatient lazy people (e.g. Bob). Now the 1996 Ogre/GEV Mailing List and the old Illuminati BBS posts are indexed and searchable because Bob, Henry and the rest of the SJ Games crew cares about you, our Gentle Viewer...

It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread but it will make somebody's life easier. Oh yeah - it was a neat project, too.

Have fun!

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 2, 1996

Use Dino Hunt For Smarter Kids!

Dino Hunt! Steffan O'Sullivan has written a great article on the educational uses of Dino Hunt. A number of activities are suggested for grades K-3 and 4-6 along with advice for parents. Also, there's a directory of other educational dinosaur resources, not counting that hideous purple monstrosity. . .

-- Bob Apthorpe

August 1, 1996

Welcome To The Knightmare Gallery!

[Fly, child - be
free!] Knightmare Chess is coming soon - in the meantime, we thought we'd tease you with some of the beautiful card art from Rogerio Vilela. So drop whatever you're doing and come visit the SJ Games Knightmare Gallery and gasp in awe at the stunning (and occasionally disturbing) imagery.

-- Bob Apthorpe

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