Next Issue Teaser: Dreams and Secret Lives

Here is another teaser for one of the six new and original science fiction stories that will be included in the next issue of Ares Magazine: “The Secret Life of the Goldleaf Hotel” by Jonathan Balog:

It started with the dreams. Every night, a different person, a different life–but all in the same place: The Goldleaf Hotel. Was he going crazy? Or was something else going on?

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The second issue will also include the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall, an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade (who voiced Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer in World of Warcraft), and an article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler (Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction).

Stay tuned for more teasers and inside looks at the second issue! And if you haven’t gotten a copy of the first issue yet, head on over to OSS Games and get a copy. While you’re at it, sign up for a subsciption! For a limited time, we are offering a three-issue subscription for $78 — that’s $12 off the cover price!

Horror Game Design Contest Winner Announced!

Back in July, we hosted our very first game design contest. We received 7 entrants, who all submitted horror-themed games. We judged the games using objective criteria, including factors such as Originality, Completeness, Practicality, and Fun. We didn’t judge on the basis of the quality of artwork, though that might have been an interesting exercise — some of the designs had well-crafted art. We also weighted the criteria. Originality was weighted heavily, while Practicality was given less weight when point scores were tallied.

One design led the pack, with high scores in Originality, Completeness, and Fun. It also had the best art, but we promise that didn’t affect scoring. That design is:

Affliction: Purity’s Sorrow

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Affliction: Purity’s Sorrow

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Affliction: Purity’s Sorrow

The design is a one-or-more-against-the-system engine. Players control a small band of heroes combating a pervasive evil army spreading affliction throughout the land. There are some twitchy procedures, such as those used to record injury, but nothing that wouldn’t be sanded smooth by a short development effort. We couldn’t agree if the design would hold up to publication as a full-size boxed game, but it would work well as a folio, POD, or PDF game. Kudos to the winning designer, Dalton Techmanski!

Two other designs stood out as games people should keep an eye on (or out for):

Cannibals, designed by Deoel Noveno and Christian Sasso, seems to have a small design team, rather than a single designer. This is not against the rules. Cannibals was the simplest game design we evaluated, and the artwork was cartoony in mostly a good way. It isn’t deep. Playing it won’t teach you very much about political science or military strategy, but it is an enjoyable romp on an island populated by cannibals and human-stomping giants.

Alpha Omega (not a copy of the old BattleLine/AH game of the same name), designed by Stephen Oliver, pits four groups of hostile aliens against the outnumbered human defenders of the Alpha Omega base. The game had a fair amount of personality, though an architect would probably not approve of the base’s layout. Players running the human defenders must hold off the invaders for about 12 turns before rescue arrives.

That said, we were astounded by the quality of all of the designs. We didn’t know what to expect, so we braced for the worst. We had a lot of fun running this contest. No doubt we’ll line up another presently.

And as to the winner? The check is in the mail.

Next Issue Teaser: Keep an Eye on your Garden Gnomes!

As promised, here’s another teaser for one of the six new and original science fiction stories that will be included in the next issue of Ares Magazine: “The Gordian Gnarl of Greed” by Erik Bundy:

When Nathan Balcour looked out his bedroom window and spotted a strange gnome figurine in his yard, he thought someone was playing a joke on him — until the gnome  looked up at him, doffed his red cap, and strolled off into the mountain laurels ….

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The second issue will also include the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall, an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade (who voiced Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer in World of Warcraft), and an article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler (Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction).

Stay tuned for more teasers and inside looks at the second issue! And if you haven’t gotten a copy of the first issue yet, head on over to OSS Games and get a copy. While you’re at it, sign up for a subsciption! For a limited time, we are offering a three-issue subscription for $78 — that’s $12 off the cover price!

Next Issue Teaser: Space Marines and an Alien Invasion!

Here’s another glimpse of what’s coming in the second issue of Ares Magazine–this one another teaser about one of the six new and original science fiction stories that will be included: “Causalities of War” by Torah Cottrill:

USMC Captain Radha Lancaster and her squad of space marines discover an alien force behind an attack on an asteroid outpost and fight to save the Earth from invasion….

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The second issue will also include the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall, an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade (who voiced Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer in World of Warcraft), and an article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler (Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction).

Stay tuned for more teasers and inside looks at the second issue!

Next Issue Teaser: Backwater Bars and Smugglers

Here’s another teaser for a science fiction story that will be included in the second issue of Ares Magazine– this one from “Red Death” by Jack Wolcott:

A routine smuggled goods drop becomes something far more significant when dark military secrets from the captain’s past catch up with him in a backwater bar….

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The second issue will also include the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall, an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade (who voiced Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer in World of Warcraft), and an article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler (Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction).

Stay tuned for more teasers and inside looks at the second issue!

Next Issue Teaser: Last Thursday

The second issue of Ares Magazine is zipping along–and we want to start giving you some glimpses inside! First up, a teaser about one of the six new and original science fiction stories that will be included among its gorgeous pages–“Last Thursday” by Davian Aw:

After discovering another person with identical memories to his own, a man sets out to unravel the mystery of his existence….

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The second issue will also include the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall, an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade (who voiced Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer in World of Warcraft), and an article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler (Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction).

Stay tuned for more teasers and inside looks at the second issue!

Latest Press Release: Content and Game Revealed for next Issue of Ares Magazine!

AresV1I2_cover_v1Mission Viejo, California (August 29, 2014) – With the premiere issue of Ares Magazine under their belt, One Small Step Games released more details about the content of the second issue.

“The first issue is on the shelf, so it’s time to let our readers know what’s coming up next,” says editor-in-chief Michael Anderson.

The next issue features six original science fiction and fantasy stories and the second installment in the ongoing novelette The Fall. Summaries of each story will be released over the next few weeks on the magazine’s blog at www.aresmagazine.com.

Also included is an interview with voice actor Dino Andrade, best known for his villainous portrayals of Scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum and the characters of Mimiron, Professor Putricide, and High Tinkerer Mekkatorque in World of Warcraft. Rounding out the issue is a science article exploring what it would take to build a space elevator by physicist Dr. Charles Adler, author of Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction.

The second issue will also include CFS Quicksilver, a two-player game that takes place onboard a frigate-class starship in the not-too-distant future. One player controls the actions of the human crew while the other controls an alien infestation.

“The object behind the design is to create a high-tension and scary game to play,” says Anderson.

The editorial team had originally considered including a Greek mythology based multi-player game, Born of Titans, in the second issue, but the development of CFS Quicksilver went faster than anticipated.

“We had two great games—that’s one problem I don’t mind having,” Anderson says. “Ultimately, we decided that Quicksilver went better with the content in the second issue, so we’ll be running Born of Titans in a future issue.”

OSS Games aims to get the second issue into subscribers’ hands in November. In the meantime science fiction and gaming fans can buy the first issue at select comic books stores and online for $30. Subscribers can choose from a variety of options at www.ossgamescart.com, including a six-issue subscription for $120 and a new three-issue starter plan for $78. The site also provides options to purchase the game and magazine separately, and a digital version of the magazine is available on GooglePlay for $3.99.

Latest Press Release: First issue of Ares now on Sale! Variety of Purchase Options Available!

AresMagazine001 Mission Viejo, California (August 21, 2014) – The first issue of Ares Magazine is now in the hands of subscribers and available for purchase.

The 84-page first issue features nine original science fiction and fantasy stories, an interview with game designer and author Bruce Cordell, and an article on singularity written by best-selling science fiction author William H. Keith (who also writes under the pseudonyms Ian Douglas and H.J. Ryker).

The flagship game included with the magazine is Bill Banks’ War of the Worlds, a two-player game of conquest and survival that pits the military forces of Queen Victoria against Martian forces under the command of the evil Martian overlord. The game includes a rule book, die-cut playing pieces, and a large map.

Production on this unique product launched a
fter a successful Kickstarter in January earlier this year. Editor-in-chief Mike Anderson, who premiered the magazine and game at San Diego Comic-Con last month, is very happy with the result.

“We faced some challenges in the printing process,” says Anderson. “We apologize for the delay, but as we’ve said from the beginning, we are more interested in doing the job right than doing the job now.”

The first issue is available for purchase at select comic books stores and online for $30. Subscribers can choose from a variety of options at www.ossgamescart.com, including a six-issue subscription for $120 and a new three-issue starter plan for $78. The site also provides options to purchase the game and magazine separately, and a digital version of the magazine is available on GooglePlay for $3.99.

 

ABOUT OSS GAMES

One Small Step Games has been around since 1996 and has published dozens of games, including designs from Bill Banks, Dan Verssen, Joseph Miranda, and Richard Berg. More information is available at www.ossgames.com.

CONTACT DETAILS

OSS Games Store:  www.ossgamescart.com
Ares Magazine website: www.aresmagazine.com
Inquires/Press: rules@ossgames.com
OSS Games Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OSSGames
Ares Magazine Facebook: www.facebook.com/AresMagazine
Twitter: @AresMagazine www.twitter.com/AresMagazine