To the tenth issue of The Guild Companion. A year ago, we published our very first issue and had five hundred listed subscribers by the end of December 1998. Today we have over five thousand visitors browsing the site every month, and our growth continues to astonish even us!
We need your support to become the magazine of choice for all gamers. So please keep submitting articles, reviews and stories to us. We particularly need articles for role-playing games and collectible card games other than Rolemaster and MECCG.
The official press release concerning Nightfall Games and Hogshead Publishing is elsewhere in this issue. The gist is that Hogshead Publishing will become the exclusive worldwide publisher for the SLA Industries game produced by Nightfall Games. Creative and development work on SLA Industries will still be the responsibility of Nightfall Games.
"What's SLA Industries?" and "Who are Nightfall Games and Hogshead Publishing?" are perfectly normal questions to ask at this point. It's also a good reason for the cooperation between the two companies. Both are small UK-based RPG companies. (Actually there aren't any big UK-based RPG companies.) Hogshead Publishing, however, may be familiar to you as the licensee of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play as well as being the publishers of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Violence and so on. By using the publishing and distribution savvy of Hogshead to produce and promote SLA Industries, Nightfall Games can concentrate on what they do best - being creative. It is also a shrewd move for Hogshead Publishing as it adds a complete new product line to their portfolio without the normal development effort. All in all, a very sensible step forward for the UK adventure games industry.
I know I didn't answer the question "What's SLA Industries?". We've signed up Tim Dedopulos from Nightfall Games to write on that very topic. More about that later.
In the other press release in this issue, Pelgrane Press, a newly formed UK-based games company, announces that they have acquired the license to publish role-playing games based on the Dying Earth novels of Jack Vance.
The fact that they plan to start development work next year would normally be viewed with alarm if they were an ordinary start-up games company. The traditional wisdom is that a new game company should develop its core rules and the first couple of supplements before launch. That way, they can concentrate on publishing the products instead of adding a mad scramble to write new material to the hassles of becoming part of the distribution network and so forth. There have been far too many second products from new game companies in the past that were merely lame and lacklustre GM's Screens. Some of them never made it to publishing the GM's Screen.
Fortunately, Pelgrane Press are not an ordinary start-up company. They are at least partially a spin-off venture from ProFantasy Software, the makers of Campaign Cartographer, and this professional background will serve them in good stead. They also share an office block with Hogshead Publishing. (As far as I know, James Wallis of Hogshead is not bent on world domination. Yet.)
The proposed Dying Earth game is likely to be one of the most unusual role-playing games to be published next year. It will certainly be worth investigating.
If Pelgrane Press succeeds with the Dying Earth RPG, there may be further opportunities to transform Jack Vance's works into games. I, for one, would certainly be interested in adapting his Lyonesse milieu or the universe of the Gaean Reach and Beyond (from The Cadwal Chronicles and The Demon Princes series) into role-playing games.
I can at least dream...
The year 2000 will see a number of changes here at The Guild Companion. We will be reorganising the layout of the site to improve navigation so that you can more easily reach articles of interest. These enhancements will also reduce download times. The new look and site organisation is already being beta-tested, so expect it soon.
As hinted above, we've persuaded representatives of a number of adventure games companies to contribute articles. We will be publishing several themed issues during the next year incorporating these submissions and other material. The thematic content will be in addition to our usual articles.
Top Men and Top Women are also working behind the scenes on a number of top-secret projects. Look for some startling developments from The Guild Companion in the new year.
Time for me to stop ranting and for you to start reading. Our next issue will be published in January 2000 but until then,
Keep gaming and have fun!
Nicholas HM Caldwell
Co-author Mentalism Companion
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