What Grave Robbers is All About
A Little History...
Way back in 2001, Steve Tassie ("Steve Prime") came up with a ridiculous idea for a card game that involved battling B-movie directors slinging tropes back and forth. He pitched the idea to Z-Man Games, and the initial release of Grave Robbers From Outer Space was born: A party game with a communal deck of 120 cards that played out until someone played a "Roll the Credits" or the deck ran dry.
Over the course of the next 9 years, a total of 10 editions of GROS were produced, each edition being fully compatable with the others so you could shuffle up a massive deck and play:
- "Grave Robbers From Outer Space" (2001)
- "Grave Robbers II: Skippy's Revenge" (2002)
- "Cannibal Pygmies in the Jungle of Doom" (2002)
- "Kung Fu Samurai on Giant Robot Island" (2003)
- "Bell-Bottomed Badasses on the Mean Streets of Funk" (2004)
- "Berzerker Halflings From The Dungeon of Dragons" (2005)
- "Scurvy Musketeers of the Spanish Main" (2006)
- "Bushwhackin' Varmints Out of Sergio's Butte" (2007)
- "Silent But Deadly Night" (2008) - which came in a tin with a plush Skippy the Wonder Dog Christmas ornament, and
- "Grave Robbers III: Suburban Slashers from Sunnydale Street" (2009)
In 2011, Z-Man was bought by Filosofia and merged to create F2Z Entertainment (and was subsequently aquired by Asmodee), and interest in publishing GROS fell by the wayside.
Soon thereafter the rights for the game returned to Tassie, but these rights did not include any of the art assets that Z-Man had created -- and this presented a major hurdle to republish it. In 2015 there was Kickstarter for a "Resurrected Edition" to try and raise the funds for new art that was ultimately unsuccessful due to logistics. Unfortunately, this meant that the game continued to lay dormant...
... until, in late 2022, Steve Caruso ("Other Steve") pitched another ridiculous idea of turning GROS into an Open Source Card Game — and Tassie was on board. Over the course of a few months Caruso trained an AI model on his own artwork, photography, and lots of out of copyright black and white movies to create the initial, temporary art assets for a brand new community edition. The idea was that, over time, community art submissions would ultimately replace the original art as players expanded it, artists were commissioned by ARGH for special sets, and new cards came in.
Now GROS is being properly resurrected as a game that its players can build upon into the future, and in a format that will never go "out of print."
Open Source Collectible Card Game (OSCCG)
GROS is an Open Source Collectible Card Game or OSCCG. All GROS cards and card artwork are released under the GROS Free License. The GFL allows anyone to use the material for the purposes of playing GROS or GROS-Compatible Games and remix them, while allowing the artists and contributors to retain rights to make use of their work normally outside of that context (such as for art prints or merchandise).
The Academy of Resurrected Games & Holdings (ARGH)
The Academy of Resurrected Games & Holdings or ARGH is the vassal of the Grave Robbers From Outer Space rules, regulations, and official card releases. Its purpose is to ensure that GROS will always be available and in print, as well as coordinate the various ways that the community can add to the game by hosting Game Jams, Red Carpet Events, and managing the official repositories of files and artwork and the official printings.
ARGH also aspires to help coordinate and resurrect other games and experiences that have been lost to time and being out of print in similar Open Source formats to GROS.