The Tuesday Interview – Steve Jackson

frontier wars 728x90 KS

You know, the one with the company named after him…? ~

Avery Abernethy & Brant Guillory, 18 July 2017

Following LibertyCon, the esteemed Steve Jackson agreed to a short interview with GrogHeads.


First, the easy question!  What was your single most enjoyable game moment this year so far?

Had to be at LC playing one of the unannounced sneak playtest designs which I will not name for print. Everybody was involved and laughing. Great moment. I do like the chance to play with new people, and when a game clicks it’s wonderful.


One of our writers recently put together a big, multi-part retrospective of classic 80s-era Car Wars.  What can you tell us about the new Car Wars in Development?  What Kickstarter information can you start leaking out? 

I really can’t leak a heckuva lot. We had to set CW development aside to get the Munchkin CCG off to print. We are about to pick it up again. It already works very nicely but we want it to be faster, and the collision rule in particular could stand some polishing.


There are discussions floating around about a planned Deadpool card pack for Munchkin Marvel. Can you give us a thumbnail preview of where it stands? And is there a chimichanga card (and what does it do)?

Thumbnail: I don’t know if it has shipped from USAopoly yet, but I have a finished copy in my possession! There is indeed such a card and it relates to real-world Mexican food on the table.


…the Mark One Eyeball is no longer up to the challenge of reading teensy counters. Where are my gleaming cyborg optics?

Let’s talk about new latest edition of Ogre.  How does Ogre V6 improve the player experience?

With the big board and counters – because for me, and a lot of others I have heard from, the Mark One Eyeball is no longer up to the challenge of reading teensy counters. Where are my gleaming cyborg optics? The rules are unchanged for a couple of decades, except occasional elisions or expansions for clarity.



In two-three sentences each, what are your suggested strategies when playing the Ogre and defending against the Ogre Tank in V6?

Playing the Ogre: Make the most of your undamaged time – it won’t last. Seek out small concentrations of enemy and annihilate them. Don’t get trapped in the middle of a mob.

Defending: Try to bring all your forces to bear at once. Take at least one HWZ to keep the Ogre moving more predictably. I try to destroy main batteries first, then reduce movement.


What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of running a large board game company?

Most enjoyable – getting paid to do what I love.

Least enjoyable – airplane flights, playtesting game X when I have already played it too many times today but we’re not done.


What is your favorite Steve Jackson Games product to play?  What about your favorite non-Steve Jackson Game?

That’s like asking which of my children I like best. Even among other companies’ releases, it depends on type and when you ask. Today it might be: Boardgame – Splendor. App game – Lanterns. PC game – original Starcraft, which they are bringing back, yay. RPG – anything at all if the GM is good, but I do love the Paranoia world, and the just-shipped Planet Mercenary game is excellent. Wargame – Triplanetary. Card game – Fluxx. Best buzz that I have not gotten to try yet – Terraforming Mars. I have a copy on order.


Over the past 4 years, GrogHeads has been slowly expanding our gaming program at Origins.  When are we going to see SJG back at Origins again?

Straight answer: I don’t know.


What, if any, appetite is there for bringing back The Fantasy Trip and updating it for modern audiences?

Metagaming (as far as I know) never sold any rights, and the owner left the world of gaming some decades ago.


What’s the funniest occasion on which you were confused for the UK Steve Jackson (or vice versa)?

There’s an occasional priceless moment in an autographing line. People get so apologetic and they SHOULDN’T. It’s a weird coincidence and an easy mistake to make. I am never offended. Steve gets the same thing with Car Wars.


If you were interviewing yourself, what would you have made sure to ask yourself?

That is one of my favorite interview questions: “What should I have asked?”

How about “will I be at Gen Con?” Yes, I will. I have a Saturday noon panel, I will be hosting the Munchkin Tavern on Saturday, and I’ll be wandering around the dealer room and open gaming.

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