Shipping Swag

We shipped out the bulk of the Kickstarter swag today. We’re suckers for the happiness of our faithful backers. We’ve reserved some items to ship out later. The reusable shopping bags, polo shirts, Politics as Usual games, and most of the buttons made their way into bags and boxes over the last few days, migrating to the post office today for worldwide distribution. And the world is a better place for it.

Domestic customer should see their package no later than this time next week. For our overseas friends, your guess is as good as ours. Keep your eyes peeled.

SwagOut

NY Times: D&D as a Literary Tutorial

nytimes

“Though Mr. Díaz never became a fantasy writer, he attributes his literary success, in part, to his ‘early years profoundly embedded and invested in fantastic narratives.’ From D&D, he said, he ‘learned a lot of important essentials about storytelling, about giving the reader enough room to play.’

And, he said, he was typically his group’s Dungeon Master, the game’s quasi-narrator, rules referee and fate giver.

The Dungeon Master must create a believable world with a back story, adventures the players might encounter and options for plot twists. That requires skills as varied as a theater director, researcher and psychologist — all traits integral to writing. (Mr. Díaz said his boyhood gaming group was ‘more like an improv group with some dice.’)

Great New York Times article on the way playing Dungeon & Dragons honed storytelling skills for many authors — click here to read the whole thing.

We Are Cheating You!

PoloShirts

Many of our beloved Kickstarter backers pledged for premiums that included T-Shirts. We didn’t make T-Shirts. Given all of the delays and other nonsense to which we subjected our wonderful, patient supporters, we decided to go for embroidered Polo Shirts instead of heat-transferred T-Shirts.

(The ladies’ Polo is on the left. The men’s Polo is on the right.)

It cost more to do this, but we felt that the higher product quality was worth the expense.

Now if you are due a T-Shirt, and really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really want a T-Shirt, we will cook one up for you.**

Notify us at orders@ossgames.com. Be sure to include your name, address, shirt size, and gender.

** Note that we used eight “reallys.” Your desire must be in the eight-really range or we can’t help you. Seven “reallys” simply means that you aren’t serious enough, and nine means you’re over the top.

Update on Ares Magazine

countersJust want to post a bit more background on the status of the magazine. In May, we got the magazine, rule books, and maps back from our printer, but the counters didn’t meet our specifications. Now on our third printer, long story short, the printer swears the counters will arrive at the beginning of this week. (To the left is a picture of the finished counters sent to us by the printer!)

We know that this is as frustrating for our subscribers as it is for us, and we apologize for the delay. We promise that the moment the properly completed playing pieces arrive, we will begin shipping it out.

In the meantime, we began shipping all the Kickstarter swag—be looking for it your mailbox soon!

Also, feel free to visit www.facebook.com/aresmagazine and www.twitter.com/aresmagazine for updates and additional content!

Ares is hosting our first game design contest!

Counter01WBGLast week, we launched the first in a series of game design contests! The grand prize is $100—but if the judges choose your game for publication in the magazine, you’ll receive an additional $1000.

The current contest runs for one month, ending on July 23. If we receive more than eight designs, we will select a runner-up to receive $25.

The theme of the first contest? Horror. The game should actually be as scary as a board game can manage — and how you pull that off is up to you.

You are free to use any format and components you choose, but remember that the purpose of the contests is to find games to publish in Ares.  Extra credit will be given to designs that use the components of games that run in the magazine.

The next design contest is ready to launch after this one wraps up. All entries for that contest must be designed by women. The plan is to include the winner of that contest in an upcoming issue of Ares that will feature female authors. After that, we’re looking at quest-oriented games in the spirit of the classic Sinbad movies and then designs running along the lines of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

Contest information, component guidelines, and the online entry form are here.

A Boatload of Arg!

…and not a pirate to be seen!

I just returned from the print bureau with the enviable task of picking up Ares Magazine Issue #1. I have magazines, response cards, maps, and rule books.

…and no counters.

I did not feel that the counters met specifications, and asked that they rework them.

Bother.

I apologize for the additional delay. As we have stated a few times during this project, we are more interested in doing the job right than doing the job now.

We ask you for a bit more patience.

Anticipation

Budgets. Deadlines. Requirements. Deliverables. Putting this magazine together is like having a job. Who knew?

Issue #1 is in the can. We started work on Issue #2 a couple of weeks ago. We think we’ve finalized the fiction selection for it.

The game selection has not yet been finalized, but we think we are going to go with a Joseph Miranda/Michael Anderson multi-player game collaboration called Borne of Titans. Each player controls a hero drawn from Greek mythology. Heroes undertake quests, gather prophesies, and enlist the aid of the mighty Olympians as they travel to dangerous lands, outwit horrific monsters, and gather spectacular treasures.

We also wanted to let everyone know that we did ship the files to the printer a bit later than we wished. This does push our projected shipping schedule back about a week or so. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we had the choice of meeting a deadline or doing the job right. We always choose what’s behind curtain #2. We’re funny that way.

Issue #3 is taking shape, too. We’re thinking, if we have the material to support it, of doing issue #3 as a Halloween issue.

Scared?