SJG

Pocket Box Games, as they sound, are games designed for and packaged in small plastic boxes that are easily transported so you can bring them with you anywhere.  How big are the boxes?  They measure a mere 4.25 inches in one direction, 7.25 inches in the other, and only 2 inches thick.  This puts it in the same size class as the Tiny Epic series of games, meaning they will be highly portable and you could easily bring several of them without much effort.  But enough about the box, what about the games?

The games they are packaging in these boxes are what really bring back the 80’s as they are reprinting classic SJG titles for these boxes.  The initial titles (not including stretch goals) are Illuminati, Ogre, GEV, Battlesuit, Car Wars, Truck Stop, and Crash City.  Also since they are wanting to really relive the time, they are making minimal to no additions or changes to these games so they will play like they did back in the day, although with a “2019 Reproduction” stamp on components so you can tell editions apart.  However, they did depart from the original in one way, and that’s the price.  Each pocket box game will cost you $20 plus shipping, with discounts for buying in sets of 4.  Also available are just empty pocket boxes themselves, that way if you have the original but the box is beat up and busted, you can just get the new and improved box at $10 per pair of boxes.

So if you are looking for some gold from Steve Jackson Games’ past in a brand new box, check out the Kickstarter page today!

Although Steve Jackson Games does not have any shareholders (other than Steve Jackson himself), it does have a lot of people that take part in its success.  The company refers to these folks as stakeholders and their annual report is directed towards them (employees, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, volunteers, and people who play their games).  The annual Stakeholders Report gives a transparent look at some of the inner workings of Steve Jackson Games.

Munchkin and Zombie Dice, the evergreen games of the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) lineup, dropped to $5.5 million (down $500,000) from last year. Even with the drop in sales of these titles, SJG anticipates a break even or slightly profitable year. Due to the decline in sales, SJG plans to try and keep the top ten Munchkin games and expansions available at all times, but everything else will see out-of-stock times with the possibility of going away for the immediate future.

SJG is making slow progress with their employee manual and acknowledges the need to finish this to have more established processes in-house.  Additionally, the company is having a hard time meeting deadlines without involvement from upper management.

Those were the low points of 2017, but there were some high points, too.  The Fantasy Trip, a roleplaying game, is being worked on for Kickstarter.  This is Jackson’s first RPG from 1977, published by Metagaming.  When Metagaming went out of business, the rights to the game were in limbo, but SJG has since secured the rights.

Munchkin still receives a lot of attention from SJG and Munchkin Shakesphere, Munchkin Spell Skool, and the Munchkin Gift Pack all did well in 2017.  The Munchkin Collectible Card Game is set to go on sale on February 21, 2018, as well and is receiving a lot of attention due to the collaboration from Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson.

Steve Jackson Games also partnered with CMON and Asmodee Digital.  Their partnership with CMON allows CMON to create Munchkin-themed board games.  Their partnership with Asmodee Digital is aimed at bringing a Munchkin video game to fans.

In addition to all of these exciting things, the Ogre Video Game launched in October, Munchkin Valentines sold well, the forums remain active, and GURPS added on-demand printing to Amazon.

SJG saw mixed success/failure with the Ogre Miniatures Set 1 (behind on delivery), Ogre Reinforcements (slow sales), and Ghosts Love Candy (reprint was stopped).  SJG changed their staffing structure to try to focus the creative team on making games, but it didn’t work out as planned and the company is exploring new ideas.

Steve Jackson Games saw failure with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (took a lot of time from upper management and is costly, but selling well), Port Royal (cheaper European copies are outselling SJG copies), and sjgames.com (it’s an old site that requires a lot of attention).

SJG’s priorities for 2018 are to support the Munchkin CCG, complete all outstanding Kickstarter commitments, maintain support of the original Munchkin games with a new tuck box expansion set and two or three new base games, and launch a successful new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter with a 2019 or 2020 delivery date.

There’s more covered in the Stakeholder’s report, but this gives a glimpse at 2017 for Steve Jackson Games.

In 1977 RPG’s were still in their infancy when Steve Jackson and Metagaming got together and published one of the first point-based systems out there, The Fantasy Trip. I recall playing it in 1978 or 1979 and being blown away at the flexibility of the system compared to the other RPGs I was familiar with way back then.

Characters in TFT were defined by only 3 stats: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence (ST, DX, IQ). Humans started with a base of 8 in each stat, and 8 more points to allocate as the player wished. Demi-humans had different starting stats and some special abilities. Action resolution was handled by rolling 3d6 against the relevant stat and attempting to get equal to or lower (after modifiers) than your stat to get a success. It was innovative and successful at the time and my middle school friends and I played often.

Then in 1983, Metagaming shuttered its doors and Steve Jackson was unable to secure the rights to his game, and he began focusing his efforts on a new system that would offer more detail and be more universally applicable, eventually publishing himself as GURPS Basic Set (first edition). This game found even more love and more acclaim for many, many years.

Well, according to this post from the man himself, Steve Jackson Games has finally secured the rights to the eight The Fantasy Trip titles that he wrote. He is still deciding what exactly will become of TFT at this point, but having it back is certainly a cause for players and fans of the game to celebrate.

Steve Jackson Games have announced the games that will be coming out at the end of the first quarter of 2017.  The first of those new releases is the latest Munchkin Guest Artist Edition and this time around it’s the base set getting another new coat of paint courtesy of Edwin Huang.  He is best known for his comic series Skullkickers and Street Fighter Unlimited, so his unique art style will bring some life into the drawings of your favorite Munchkin items and abilities.

Next up is an expansion for the sixth edition of Ogre, or even the Ogre Designer’s edition, and that is Ogre Reinforcements.  This additional pack will get you five 3-D units, 56 counters, and 25 overlays to further expand your armies and battlefields.  Not only that, but you will also get five new scenarios written by the big man himself, Steve Jackson.

 

Last we have a second print run of the game Munchkin Oz as well as it’s first expansion, Munchkin Oz 2 – Yellow Brick Road.  The Oz 2 pack will net you an additional 56 cards to go with your Munchkin Oz set, bringing even more crazy and surreal abilities and items into the game.  Also of note is the Munchkin Oz game was originally a Target exclusive, but now the exclusive is over and you will be able to find both packs on your local game store’s shelves starting in March.

 

Steve Jackson Games seems to be on a roll with getting their games into stores other than game stores, and this time it’s their latest dice game.  Batman: the Animated Series Dice Game has just been released and plays like a variation of the Zombie Dice or Martian Dice games of matching symbols to try and get the most points.  The game will be available through the usual channels, but you will also be able to find the game in Hot Topic stores as well.  This means next to all the other apparel and items associated with the latest DC Comics movie, you will be able to find this dice game.  One thing to note is that this is not happening in every store, so head over to the Steve Jackson Games website to see if a store near you is listed.

 

Munchkin Apocalypse is one of the many variations of the Munchkin game that bring all the apocalypse tropes and cliches into the game.  Come next year they are going to be adding some Judge Dredd to the game in the form of a booster pack.  That’s right, on stores shelves in February of 2017 will be the Judge Dredd Booster Pack for Munchkin Apocalypse.  This 15 card pack will add iconic items from the 30 years of Judge Dredd, including the man himself, so there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy.

Back in March an unfortunate thing happened in that 5th Street Games had to file for bankruptcy, which in turn made it impossible to fulfill the Kickstarter for Ghosts Love Candy. However, over the next couple months, Steve Jackson Games took interest and have decided to rescue the game and release it.  In an twitter post and then official press release to the backers, Steve Jackson Games has picked up the game to release themselves, and as a show of good faith, fulfill the Kickstarter.  So those who backed the game will be happy to get what they paid for, and the rest of us get access to a light-hearted game about kids and ghosts trying to get the most Halloween candy.

In 2008 a quick playing 2-player card game was created called The Battle for Hill 218, which had an area control feel to it.  In the game you would play cards to attack, support, or supply your forces as you try to take the strategic hill 218 for your side.  Now Steve Jackson Games has taken this game and combined it with the Ogre universe to create Ogre: Objective 218.

You can expect the same style of card play and strategic thinking required to win in the new game, but instead of standard military units you will see distinctly Ogre type units.  You will get Ogres, Cruise Missiles, the G.E.V., Heavy Tank, Howitzers, and Ogre MK III units to deploy in the battle to take objective 218.  Game length is set at a slightly longer 30 minutes instead of the original’s 15-20, but still a short game that offers good strategic decisions.  Look for this in your local game store today, and see the announcement on the SJG site.

We Previously covered the announcement of this game here

steve jackson games

Steve Jackson Games had a variety of Munchkin releases last month, in addition to a GURPS supplement.  Below is a summary of these:

Munchkin Meeples

Munchkin Meeples is a variety of monster meeples to add to your Munchkin games, and come in 6 different designs and in different colors.

Munchkin 6.5: Terrible Tombs

In response to popular demand, players will be getting more dungeons from Munchkin.  Terrible Tombs follows in the path of Demented Dungeons including brand new dungeon cards.

Munchkin Fu Guest Artist Edition

A new edition of Munchkin Fu has been released featuring new art by artist John Kovalic.  Only available in limited quantities.

Munchkin Knights

A 15-card booster pack for Munchkin featuring art by Ian McGinty.

GURPS Disasters: Meltdown and Fallout

This supplement will “bring this invisible threat to your gaming table, and give adventurers the tools they need to deal with it.”  Information on handling various reactor types, radiation primers, rules for handling meltdown, and tons of perks and quirks of infected beings.

Visit the Steve Jackson Games website for more information on these new releases. 

ogre

Steve Jackson has release a “soft” announcement that they will be releasing a 6th edition of Ogre that will be set in the Ogre Designer’s Edition Scale.  It is important to note that this edition will include only the Ogre map (which is the same as the one in the Ogre Designer’s Edition), Ogre rules, and a large collection of counters for the game.

The full announcement for this new edition of the game will likely come at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas this spring.  SJG has admittedly cut down the rules set for the game, and is therefore welcome game fans to proofread the new ruleset.  To find out more information about this new edition, as well as access a PDF of the ruleset for proofreading, follow this link to the SJG website.