Procrastination Season is over
December 2, 1996
[Quick note-- on Jan 1: a writeup on the drastic change in White Wolf, discussing their recent firings and changes!]
Hi all, November seemed to be the month for procrastination. Everyone I know kept pushing back projects. Even our review section on these pages just didn't progress, but have been pushed back to December. Chameleon Eclectic's B-5 game got pushed to late Dec/early Jan, Gold Rush Games's "Usagi Yojimbo" is delayed past December, and overall few new games appeared. There was a dearth of magazines at our local gaming shop, but fortunately, at the end of the month, Shadis popped out in time. Worse, we had less than 100 responses to last month's contest. Since most surveys and contests get around a 1% response rate, this we have only 700 or so people reading this. Not the audience size we were hoping for, but certainly respectable enough to continue. We've awarded a prize anyway, by rolling percentile die and choosing the person who responded [roll roll] 55th... since it was an anonymous contest, we'll have see what they want as a prize, and report about it (if they are willing) in next month's column.
On Usenet, I started a thread questioning the utility of Industry Columns and printed Rumor Mills, especially if they appear just once a month. Overall, the response of the net cognizants was favorable. One magazine, Fractal Spectrum, introduced themselves and their excellent 11-page Industry News section. I was most impressed. They distribute through comic shops through Diamond distributing, and are worth looking up if you want lots of good, reliable industry news.
Here, we just do the old-fashioned piecemeal industry news and gossip, of course. While all our information is reliable, it is rather unfocused-- this page is a combination OpEd/Gossip page, after all. Note that all our sources are verified as direct (no "friend of a friend" bits here), and we always ask whether we can print this stuff. So, if you're in the industry and want to leak some rumors, we're happy to be your lackey. We take no stance and have no agenda, we just want to get the word out.
Now that I've got the self-serving bit out of the way, on with the news. Ars Magica, 4th edition, is finally at the printer, and Atlas Games hopes to have it out Dec 9 (their web site has moved, btw). Hero Games and R. Talsorian released their first "Fuzion" system game, "BubbleGum Crisis", based on the anime. As with most first releases, it could use a bit more editing, but the source material is great. Chaosium released "Horror's Heart" and some other stuff, and also got listed as Arcane's best game ever.
Gold Rush Games is busy building a highly efficient games consortium (for want of a better name). They already produce licensed Traveller (Imperium Games) and Hero (Hero Games) supplements, and handle distribution for Crunchy Frog. Now they've added distributing and sales for Black Gate's "Legacy: War of Aces" game. This type of banding together will hopefully increase the number of good medium-press products-- and maybe show that game companies can get along after all.
Some minor snippets-- "Twilight 2000" was sold to Tanktalus, Inc., who own the Multi-Player Games Network site. The new site for the Interactive Literature Foundation is up. Necronomicon Press is back on the Web, after a brief hiatus. Following up our announcement on Hero Games's plan to put books on disk, I was told that ICE considered electronic media and (in my opinion, wisely) discarded it due to copyright concerns, piracy issues, and just simple economy. ICE is more interested in "out-of-game computerised [sic] tools for character generation and the like, and they have contracts with software houses for interactive games in the new setting." Despite this electronic broadening of their line, they aren't giving short shift to their tabletops-- "Essence Companion" has begun work, Spacemaster might be revised, and an ICE magazine called "Portals" is out. This has one, "Portals", has us puzzled-- it's not via Event Horizon Productions, as originally stated, but from a group calling themselves "Event Horizon Games". Any contact information on this new group would be appreciated, as we'd love to add them to our industry directory!Until next month,