Steve Jackson Games (SJG) is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and the gaming magazine Pyramid.
Founded in 1980, six years after the birth of Dungeons & Dragons, and before the height of role-playing games, SJG created several role-playing and strategy games with science fiction themes. SJG borrowed and expanded upon ideas pioneered by strategy game companies such as Metagaming Concepts, Avalon Hill and TSR. Despite these similarities, SJG had a unique feel all their own and became popular with their releases. SJG's early titles were all microgames initially sold in ziploc bags, later in similarly sized plastic shell cases. Games such as Ogre, Car Wars, and G.E.V (an Ogre spin-off) were popular during SJG's early years.
Today SJG publishes games of numerous varieties (card games, board games, strategy games) and genres (fantasy, sci-fi, gothic horror); they also publish the book Principia Discordia, the sacred text of the Discordian religion.
On March 1 1990
, SJG's offices in Austin, Texas
were raided by the U.S. Secret Service
. The manuscript for GURPS Cyberpunk
was confiscated although this was merely coincidence and not the actual purpose of the raid at all. The raid is often thought to have been related to Operation Sundevil
, a nationwide investigation of computer crime; however, Sundevil was based in Arizona and the Steve Jackson Raid was coordinated out of Chicago. More than three years later, a federal court awarded damages of $50,000 and attorneys' fees of $250,000 (amounts in USD
) to SJ Games, ruling that the raid had been carelessly executed, illegal, and completely unjustified. Cyberpunk
author Bruce Sterling
discussed the affair in his non-fiction book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier
. The case also helped to prompt the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
, as well as spawning a new game, Hacker
Steve Jackson Games' main product line, in terms of sales, is the Munchkin
card game, followed by the role-playing system GURPS
- Battle Cattle The Card Game, a card game, compatible with the Car Wars card game, based on the Battle Cattle miniatures system.
- Burn In Hell, an educational game centered around collecting 'circles' of historical and contemporary people's souls sharing common characteristics.
- Car Wars: The Card Game, a card game version of the Car Wars miniatures system.
- Chez Geek, a card-game parody of Geek culture with many spinoffs and expansions:
- Chez Goth
- Chez Greek
- Chez Grunt
- Chez Guevara
- Chez Dork, a card game centered around the characters in the comic book, Dork Tower, collecting the objects they obsess over.
- Cowpoker, a card game partly based on poker mechanics with a central theme of old west cattle ranchers.
- Dino Hunt, a card game where players travel through time to capture dinosaurs. Features over a hundred dinosaurs with color drawings and accurate scientific data on each one.
- Hacker, a modern-day card game based on the mechanics of Illuminati.
- Illuminati, a conspiracy game, the original game on which Illuminati: New World Order was based.
- Illuminati: New World Order (INWO), the trading card game of world domination.
- Illuminati Crime Lords, a mafia-based variation on Illuminati which combines gameplay elements of the original Illuminati and INWO.
- King's Blood, a Japanese card game originally published by Kadokawa Shoten.
- Munchkin, a card-game parody of hack-and-slash roleplaying with many spinoffs (all able to be mixed with the original). and expansions:
- Munchkin Bites
- Munchkin Blender
- Munchkin Cthulhu
- Munchkin Dice
- Munchkin Fu
- Munchkin Impossible
- Munchkin Miniatures
- Star Munchkin
- Super Munchkin
- The Good, The Bad, and The Munchkin
- Ninja Burger, a fast-paced ninja delivery card game based around the Ninja Burger website.
- SPANC, short for Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Cat Girls, a light-hearted competition between starship crews of cat girls in search of toys and loot.
- Spooks, a Halloween-themed card game where players try to get rid of cards from their hands.
- The Awful Green Things From Outer Space
- Battlesuit, a spin-off of Ogre and G.E.V. featuring infantry using powered armor inspired by Starship Troopers.
- Car Wars, futuristic battles between automobiles.
- Dork Tower, a fantasy game that takes place in the world the Dork Tower characters play their games in.
- Frag, "a first-person shooter without a computer".
- GreedQuest, a light, randomized romp through a simple dungeon to gain loot.
- Knightmare Chess, a chess variant played with cards.
- Kung Fu 2100, a simple game of hand-to-hand combat where players use martial arts to smash their way into the CloneMaster's fortress.
- Ogre, the classic simulation of future war involving a cybernetic armored juggernaut firing nuclear weapons. Designed by Jackson, and originally published by Metagaming Concepts.
- Ogre: G.E.V., a spin-off of Ogre focusing on futuristic but "conventional" infantry, artillery, and armor units.
- One Page Bulge, a simulation of the German Ardennes Offensive in 1944, with the rules printed on a single page.
- Proteus, a chess variant using dice to represent normal chess pieces.
- Shockwave, an Ogre/G.E.V. expansion set with new units and a new map.
- Snits, two classic Tom Wham games, Snits Revenge and Snit Smashing.
- Star Traders, a game where players race through space to deliver cargoes.
- Strange Synergy, a simple but complex game where teams of warriors battle with a different set of powers each game.
- Tile Chess, a multiplayer chess variant which can be played without a chess board.
- X-Bugs, a combat game where futuristic bugs are represented by colorful tiddly winks.
- Autoduel, an action arcade game with role-playing elements. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
- Ogre A computer version of the Ogre board game. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
- Ultracorps An online space strategy game originally developed by VR-1.