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?

Free Antiques!

Well, sort of…

In case you haven’t heard, we are celebrating the premiere of the first issue of Ares Magazine by giving away a free copy of SPI’s vintage Ares signed by bestselling science-fiction author Timothy Zahn.

Mr. Zahn wrote a short story featured in the 1983 issue. Many of you who have shown support for our venture have fond memories of the SPI magazine, and this contest is a way of both honoring the past as well as celebrating our vision for the future.

The contest features issue #13 of the classic science fiction and gaming magazine, in which Zahn’s short story, “Damocles Mission,” appears. The contest runs through May 31, and we’ll draw the lucky winner of the autographed copy on June 1. You can increase your chance of winning through options like posting about the contest on social media and referring others to the contest. If you are a subscriber to Ares Magazine, you’ll get an additional chance to enter. Read the rules and enter here.

While we appreciate the nostalgia for SPI’s vintage publication, we’re looking forward to getting our magazine into your hands.  The first issue features nine original science fiction and fantasy stories, an interview with game designer and author Bruce Cordell, and an article on The Technological Singularity written by best-selling science fiction author William H. Keith (who also writes under the pseudonyms Ian Douglas and H. Jay Ryker). The issue also includes 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.

All of that wrapped up and delivered to you next month! If you haven’t subscribed, now’s the time – http://ossgamescart.com.

Strike Teams, Assemble!

If you plan to attend a gaming or science fiction convention with 1000 or more in attendance, apply for the One Small Step Games Strike Team! We can cover your registration cost, and can provide you with a cool T-shirt, great incentives, and a convention kit to help us promote OSS games and Ares Magazine.

As a Strike Team Member, you’ll help spread the word about OSS Games and Ares Magazine by distributing promotional material and conducting several raffles featuring OSS Game giveaways—leaving you more than enough time to enjoy the convention attractions and events! For more information or to apply, contact Mike Anderson at rules@ossgames.com.

Heard Any Good Jokes Lately?

We…Are…Funded!

Well, that was easy.

(If you can’t see it, there was sarcasm smeared all over that last line.)

In a couple of weeks, we should receive our Kickstarter funding infusion. In the meantime, we are finalizing our fiction contract and will be sending it out to our selected first issue contributors by the time the KS check arrives. We probably should be comfortable moving sooner, but we take our commitments very seriously, and want money (for fiction) in hand before sending out any contracts (for fiction).

Speaking of commitments, we want to point out that the influx of fiction has been astounding, both in quality and quantity. Given our efforts with social media, War of the Worlds, contracts, Star Fury, and Kickstarter, we have been lagging a bit processing all of the fiction.

We inadvertently set up the appearance of having to query us in order to get an evaluation of a fiction submission. We evaluated any submission immediately if the contributor sent us a request for status. This was poor process on our part, and created some level of frustration with some of our contributors.

We are now stepping up our efforts to clear the remaining backlog of stories. We will read each story in the order it was received. We will also notify all contributors whose stories have not been reviewed yet to help reframe everyone’s expectations.

We appreciate your continued patience as we evaluate your works.

Given the volume of fiction that we have collected, we plan on temporarily suspending accepting additional submissions very soon — probably by the end of this week. Please submit your story right away, if so inclined. We would like to clear out most of our backlog before reopening our submission database. We will post a notification here when we are ready.

Bury Him Here, Ed…

Recently, XBOX Entertainment Studios announced a documentary about Atari’s legendarily unsuccessful video game adaption of “ET: The Extraterrestrial” and the excavation of a 100 acre landfill in New Mexico where an urban legend touts that Atari buried millions of copies of video game. We asked Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel–who literally wrote the book on the video game company, “Atari Inc.: Business is Fun”–to tell us a little more about Atari and why he and Vendel think the legend is a pure myth.

You can find this interview on our Media | Interviews page. Enjoy!

The Final Stretch

We are in the final stretch! February 2 is the last day to back the Kickstarter campaign for Ares Magazine.

It has been an exciting month! We’re encouraged by the response we have gotten so far and look forward to getting started with production. We’ve received a large number of story submissions—more than enough to fill several issues—ranging from horror and fantasy to hard science fiction. We’re also considering future game ideas, with settings on past and future Earth as well as worlds beyond the solar system.

Remember, the Kickstarter offers a variety of pledge levels, many of which are subscription-based, extending substantial savings over cover price. There is also a fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

The Kickstarter also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue.

If you haven’t backed us yet, now’s your chance!

Pledges We Won’t Haze

We want to provide our customers with a range of products to best suit their tastes, so we’ve unlocked various new pledge levels on our Kickstarter campaign.

The bulk of the new pledge levels are subscription-based, offering substantial savings over the cover price. For example, the ITHACAN gives pledgers six issues of quality science fiction wrapped around a unique board game for $120, which is $60 off the cover price. The ATHENIAN was designed with collectors in mind: two copies of the first six issues for $235, a $125 savings off the cover price.

We also unlocked fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

Our Kickstarter campaign also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue. One backer became our Superhero after pledging $1000, securing his caricature on the Superhero game piece.

Head over to our Kickstarter now and pick the pledge level that best fits you!