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Video Steve Jackson Games Shows Off Their Latest Tabletop Games at SXSW (Video) 95

Steve Jackson Games occupies a special place in the history of gaming, not only for publishing some of the best-known tabletop games ever published, especially their distinctive microgames, but the company's failure to roll over in the aftermath of an FBI raid more than 20 years ago led to the creation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Since 1980, Steve Jackson and company have been publishing games -- and a magazine, and even a book. The company is based in Austin, Texas, so while I was at SXSW, I had a chance to meet up with SJG's Chief Operating Officer and Managing Editor, Philip Reed, who gave a quick overview of what's new on the table. (Har har.)
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Steve Jackson Games Shows Off Their Latest Tabletop Games at SXSW (Video)

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  • Car Wars? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tmshort ( 1097127 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:10AM (#39450029)

    I miss Car Wars.
    I had lots of fun playing that after school and playing the cheesy computer game based on it (which came with a mini-toolkit in the box - no more swag like that in games any more!).

    SJG stopped publishing supplements and revised the system. Unfortunately, they over-simplified it and effective killed it.

  • by Rurouni_Jaden ( 846065 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:17AM (#39450089)
    SJ Games will have a special place in my heart because of GURPS. A great roleplaying system that really helps bring about the roleplaying aspect, instead of just the tabletop wargame aspect. Plus you gotta love an RPG that sticks with a version for 15+ years, vs. other systems that try to get you to replace all your books every 3 years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:33AM (#39450255)

    ...had the displeasure of exchanging emails with him many years ago. That's when he informed me that if you play his games everyone playing the game must own a copy of the rules else he will sue the players without rules for copyright infringment. There are more details involved but that nicely summarizes it. Beyond that, he assured me that if you were to play any of his games via any of the online board game interfaces (there are several options including WebRPG and OpenRPG), then you need to pay him thousands in royalties else he will sue you for stealing his games and creating a video game with it.

    Growing up I was a big fan of his games, including Car Wars, Ogre, and Traveler. I've never played nor purchased another game of his since. I encourge everyone to stay away from this very irrational and greedy person until such time he stops beliving everyone who plays his games using modern technology owes him tons more money, or worse, are in violation of copyright simply simply playing a game with friends.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:09AM (#39450753)

    Ummm - sorry, But it is you that is full of shit. I was a developer for OpenRPG at the time. The results were shared with other active developers. If you bother to get off your butt and check, he has a reputation for being unstable and paranoid, perhaps even delusional. His baseless accusations he made in that exchange very much fell in line with reading I had done years before. This was his reaction to asking if a FREE, non-commercial OpenRPG server could be used with his blessing to promote his games - which I owned. That's when he assured me he would sue all players involved who didn't own a copy of the rules. There was no misunderstanding there. And I am sooo glad I did ask, otherwise I'm very sure he would have sued me if I moved foward. Basically I was asking to do a favor FOR HIM. I thought it would be good visibility for both his games and OpenRPG. What company doesn't like fan promotion - Steve Jackson Games, that's who.

    Bluntly, the summary above is very low key compared to the actual exchange which makes him sound like a complete lunitic. No, I'm not saying he is, but many others have made such accusations. I don't know. I'm just reported what happened.

    And yes, I've disclosed too much as is as I DO FEAR he will attempt to sue me. He has a reputation for being rather letigious. Justified or not I can't say, but its there nonetheless. And based on my personal exchange with him, I can say his letigious reputation is well justified. He's very quick to threaten to sue even when its very clear he has absolutely no justification whatsoever.

    So please Mr. Anarchduke, stop trolling and pretending you know something just so you can pretend to smart, when you very clearly absolutely know nothing of the subject matter. Oh wait, this is slashdot... So go on, go crawl away and do some research on him. He has a reputation for being his own worst enemy and everything stated above easily falls within the internet lore surrounding him. Which is to say, I presented the information far, far more politely than his exchange went.

    So who should people believe? First hand account? Or some troll (you) on slashdot just because you don't want to believe it and clearly know nothing of the subject matter at hand. Hmmm....real hard choice.

  • Re:Steve's all right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cirby ( 2599 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:18PM (#39452521)

    Let me try this again - forgot to log in for the above post:

    (Disclosure: yeah, I worked for SJG back then - guess what product I worked on. No, I don't make any money from it nowadays. I never had any problems with Steve at all - most of the people who have issues with him are, well, idiots.)

    So, when someone was talking about taking his games (which are what he makes his living on) and handing them out for free, he reacted in a rational manner, and those people who were wanting something for nothing got their feelings hurt?

    Gee what a shame.

    It reminds me of the time right after Car Wars came out, and a guy I knew showed up to a gaming session with a photocopy of the game. Now, you have to remember that this was the early 1980s, and the copies cost him about 25 cents a page - he paid more for the crappy black and white copy than he would have for the nice, full-color, well-made game. The idiot couldn't understand why that was wrong.

    Of course, about the same time, there were at least three different automotive combat games hitting the market, and all three were directly because of Car Wars. I talked to the maker of one of them, and he happily told me that it was a poor quality copy designed purely to rip off the Car Wars brand.

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