May 31, 1997: Dino Hunt In Museums
We're just back from the Museum Store Expo, where we showed off the game to buyers from all over North America and beyond. We got a lot of compliments . . . and a lot of orders from prestigious museums, including the Field Museum in Chicago and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
And Mr. Games gave Dino Hunt a favorable review!
"Dino Hunt may be the first game that successfully crosses the age boundaries, remaining as fun to a 34 year-old as it is for a nine year-old . . . Once again, Steve Jackson Games produces a high-quality, well-balanced, elegantly-designed game that's major fun to play."
April 25, 1997: Checking Out The "Feathered Dinosaur"
A "dream team" of some of the world's leading paleontologists, sponsored by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, is now in China examining the feathered dinosaur fossil that has drawn so much attention.
Their initial impression is that the dark, fibrous ridge along the back and tail of the 22-inch-long Sinosauropteryx prima may not represent "bird feathers" . . . but it's still an important discovery. In the words of pterosaur expert Peter Wellnhofer, "It's definitely something quite new and unusual. Whether it has anything to do with bird feathers, I don't know."
The study continues . . .
April 7, 1997
February 25, 1997
We now have a web page where we can accept Dino Hunt Card Suggestions. All ideas are welcome . . . thanks!
Right now we don't have a Dino Hunt supplement on the schedule, but stay tuned!
February 18, 1997
The name Neovenator salerii has been given to a distant relative of Allosaurus which lived on the southern coast of England 120 million years ago. First found in 1978, this very complete skeleton was completely excavated and prepared only recently.
Neovenator was 26 feet long (8 meters), making it only about 2/3 the size of Tyrannosaurus rex. Lightly built, it probably ran down its prey, which scientists think was the very common Iguanadon.
December 28, 1996
More good reviews! See the reviews page.
December 18, 1996
Dino Hunt got a very favorable review in Science Fiction Weekly! Tamara I. Hladik says: ". . . although this game is for folks eight years old and up, it will have a strong pull for older players because of its potent ingredients: superb art, good concept, strong science and fantastically awesome dinosaurs.
The game is also prominently listed in the brand-new Dinosaur Society catalog.
December 14, 1996
This is rumor, so far . . . but according to a report translated from a Japanese newspaper and posted to a list we read, a new specimen of the feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx has been reported from China. This one is said to be a meter long (twice the size of the first one) and totally covered in 2mm long feathers. It's speculated that this one is an adult and the previous specimen was a juvenile.
December 9, 1996
At the 1996 annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology, a paper by Bell, Sheldon, Lamb and Martin presented the first direct evidence that mosasaurs did, in fact, give birth to live young! They have been studying a fossil of the mosasaur Plioplatecarpus which contains two very small fossils of the same species, and the lack of acid-etching of the small bones seems to indicate that the babies had not simply been eaten by the adult.
November 18, 1996
Remember "Sue," the biggest tyrannosaur fossil ever found – the one the government confiscated from its discoverer because, they said, he hadn't followed the right procedures when he bought it from the landowner?
Well, Sue is going up for auction at Sotheby's of London. The catalog will list her as "Property of the United States of America in Trust for Maurice Williams of Faith, South Dakota." The Bureau of Indian Affairs has given Williams – the landowner who originally sold the fossil for $5,000, before it was excavated – permission to sell Sue and keep the money. How much? Maybe a million, maybe much more. Or maybe less.
The tyrannosaur has been in FBI custody since 1992. Some scientists have been concerned that the bones were deteriorating due to lack of proper care. As it is, one scientist estimated Sotheby's will have to spend a half-million dollars on cleaning and preparation before the auction.
The government attorneys who jailed Sue's discoverer, and the museum scientists who backed them, argued that fossils found on any government land – even Indian ranchland – belonged to the U.S. people, and that it was wrong to profit from them. Ironically, the high bidder for Sue's bones is likely to be in Japan, and rancher Williams may take home a bundle from selling her overseas.
Stay tuned . . .
November 5, 1996
The U.S. Postal Service has announced a new series of dinosaur stamps for 1997. Painted by noted dinosaur artist James Gurney (Dinotopia), the stamps will be sold in the form of two full sheets, each a large mural which can be broken up into its component stamps. One is a Cretaceous scene, the other is Jurassic; both are set in North America.
October 29, 1996
The German translation of Dino Hunt was released at the Essen toy and game fair. It is called Dino Jagd. It's different in one important way, to be attractive to the German market . . . it has a gameboard, instead of separate Time Tracks and Energy Tracks. And, of course, it's all in German . . .
For more information, contact the publishers, Pegasus Games (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More on that new Chinese fossil: It is being referred to as Sinosauropteryx prima – that is, "First Chinese lizard bird" Whether or not the Chinese government really tried to prohibit photography, photos are already circulating, including this one on Dinosauria On-Line.
October 22, 1996
A new Chinese fossil offers direct evidence that some dinosaurs were feathered, which supports the idea that birds are descended from dinosaurs. The fossil was discovered in Liaoning Province, in northwestern China, in August. It was not known to Western scientists until a few weeks ago, when Dr. Phil Currie of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada spotted it while visiting a museum.
The new fossil, not yet named or officially described, is similar to Compsognathus, a goose-sized predator which ran on two legs. However, it shows clear impressions of feathery down along its spine and partway down its sides.
According to one report, the fossil is some 121 million years old, which would place it in the early Cretaceous. Since the Chinese government is not permitting the specimen to be photographed, let alone taken out of the country, it may be a long time before much more is known about it.
October 15, 1996
By now, you should be able to find Dino Hunt in your game store . . . look for it, and send us email to tell us what you think!
October 1, 1996
The game is shipping to our distributors! It should be in your local game or card store by around October 10! Finally!
September 17, 1996
Sample Dino Hunt cards are now appearing in several card and game magazines. They're all Rare dinosaur cards from the Limited Edition. All 68 such cards were used in this card drop (each magazine has one randomly selected card), so if you read more than one of these magazines, you can expect to get different cards . . .
- Collect! – October 1996 – on the stands now.
- InQuest – October 1996 – on the stands now.
- Duellist #12 – on the stands now.
- Pyramid #21 (September/October 1996) – will reach stores very soon.
- Dinosaur Collectors Club Newsletter – the next issue to be mailed (c/o Dinosaur Collectors' Club, 71 Hoppers Road, London N21 3LP, UK).
- Combo #23 (December 1996) – will hit stores in late October.
- Gamer – maybe the January issue. Likely, but not settled for sure. Watch this space . . .
September 11, 1996The game's not even out yet, and already one of the cards is obsolete!
This isn't a bad thing. It shows how rapidly dinosaur science is progressing! (And that card won't be reprinted, so it becomes an instant collector's item . . .)
Brian Curtice, one of the most active students of the Sauropoda, tells us that he'll soon publish an analysis showing that the giant sauropod Dystylosaurus is almost certainly the same thing as Supersaurus. We appreciate Brian's support on this . . . he's letting the Dino Hunt web site be the first place the general public can read about his findings!
See the Science Update section for details.
September 6, 1996
A Frequently Asked Questions section has been added to the errata page. Right now, there are a whole two questions there :-)
The soft dinosaurs have arrived. The card cutting and collation is proceeding . . . slowly. We still can't announce a release date for sure.
We've seen samples of the gold foil Ultra-Rares, and they look very nice!
August 30, 1996
Everything is done now but the waiting . . . the soft-rubber dinosaurs that are the game counters are still on a ship somewhere on the Pacific (grrrr) and the cards are being cut and assembled.
August 18, 1996
We have signed a licensing agreement with Pegasus Games in Germany – who also publish the German editions of GURPS and INWO – to translate Dino Hunt into German. They're planning to release it at the Essen game fair in October.
August 13, 1996
We're back from GenCon, covered in glory. It was a very good convention. We got 5,000 finished Rare cards just in time for the show, and gave almost all of them away. Look for more Rares as inserts in various comic and game magazines, Real Soon Now.
And how long til the game ships? Good question. It's all printed. Two weeks? Three? It's an assembly question.
July 26, 1996
We just got a copy of the first press sheet. The cards look great; the printer cut back on the black a bit, and the colors are even more brilliant than in Demo Hunt. And the chase cards are fantastic even without the gold foil! We will definitely have sample cards for GenCon, even though only a miracle will get the complete game there.
By the way, we did get that last-minute fix done on the Triceratops card (see the June 20 entry).
July 22, 1996
The very last piece of card art (Mamenchisaurus) has been colored and approved. Today or tomorrow, the last card forms go to the printer (the first one is on the press right now).
Printing delays (or, more precisely, film-making delays) in Michigan have probably doomed our chances of releasing the game at GenCon, but at the very least, we will have lots of "real" Rare cards to give away, and copies of Demo Hunt.
July 17, 1996
The 1996 card list has just been updated. The name of the Time Shield card was changed, at the last minute, to Synchronizer. And To The Death! is supposed to have an exclamation point after it. If you had already downloaded the list, you'll want to make those changes.
And Steve Jackson's design notes on the game have been posted.
July 12, 1996
We just sent 50 copies of the demonstration edition of Dino Hunt to the National Geographic store in Washington, D.C. . . . they'll be selling it as part of their dinosaur promotion. We think this is a Neat Thing. :-)
And the Origins crew took 50 copies of Demo Hunt to Crazy Egor's booth at the convention, and sold them all. (If you are one of the people who showed up after they were all gone . . . sorry about that. You can get it by mail at the same price; we're not charging postage on this one.)
Work goes on. A couple more forms of cards have gone to the printers. Five illustrations are still unfinished . . . but only five!
July 2, 1996
We got back our first samples of the Limited Edition cards today. Fronts only, but it's a start. The gold borders look very nice. If you're going to Origins, catch Scott or Claudia and ask to see them . . .
Here's a new Web site dedicated to Utahraptor!
June 28, 1996
Okay, the official card list is now posted . . . all 240 cards, including rarities.
Our DragonCon crew is back. They did a lot of demonstrations there. They also had copies of Demo Hunt at the booth, and sold around 50 . . . which is a sign that people liked the demonstrations. Way to go!
June 20, 1996
One problem with doing a game like this is that new discoveries are constantly making your best efforts obsolete. All I can do is keep up with my reading, make notes, and hope that we can do another printing next year. Here are a couple of things that I've learned in just the past couple of days . . .
Triceratops has long been assumed, without evidence, to be a herding animal. Nobody ever found the sort of mass-death "bone bed" that would prove that it gathered in herds, though such bone beds have been found for other ceratopsians. The card pointed this out. But in a personal communication from Tracy Ford, I'm told that Dr. Jack Horner is aware of such a bone bed in Montana. So Triceratops did herd. (I may be able to get this change made at the last moment.)
Allosaurus is well known as a Jurassic creature, and that's what the card says. But Stephen Dedman, author of GURPS Dinosaurs, has sent me a cite on a single discovery in Australia, indicating that (at least there) Allosaurus survived into the Early Cretaceous. I don't think I'll be able to change this in time, as the period in which a dinosaur lived is a graphic element on the card. Next year . . .
Come to think of it, the "updates and errata" should become a separate section on the web pretty soon. That will keep the set up to date!
June 17, 1996
The rest of the Rare form is off to the printer. The 68 Rare dinosaur cards are the ones that will be inserted in several different magazines in the next couple of months, including Pyramid. Watch here for more information.
June 13, 1996
We're now shipping a special 30-card demonstration edition, which also serves as an expansion set for a 6-player game.
June 11, 1996
The first 40-card form . . . half of the Rares for the Limited Edition booster packs . . . has gone to press!
June 8, 1996
The "Demo Hunt" demonstration edition has gone out to distributors. If you're a retailer – or if you know one – pass the word! These are now available from distributors. We shipped out thousands; make sure YOUR retailer gets one.