Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Announcement: I Am No Longer Involved With Seraphim Guard/Rusttown Press

I'm sure this is going to be lost in the news and speculation among gamers because of what is going on with Catalyst Game Labs, but I wanted to make a public announcement of this.

While some paper work is still pending, I am no longer officially involved with the day-to-day dealing of Rusttown Press/Seraphim Guard. I am, however, still the co-owner of some of the properties (primarily the Heartquest name and line) and I am still developing material for the Fudge gaming system. In fact, I have ramped up my long-standing development of a set of Fudge-based rules for modern era playing which will see a number of uses, including a new implementation for the Heartquest line. I have some other ongoing designs that I am polishing up as well. There is going to be a flare-up of new gaming content on the horizon for me.

Expect further announcements here and in other places as projects are completed and new things fall into place. From this point on, its going to be about innovation and new ideas, as well as moving properties forward. If you are a fan of Fudge or of my Open Core systems, this is going to be an exciting time to be a gamer.

So, let's get out there and game people.

Catalyst Games Press Release On Current Financial "Issues"

For Immediate Release

Catalyst Game Labs recently completed a detailed financial review of the company. We learned that over the past several years the company has achieved dramatic growth in terms of demand, increased total revenues and strong sales with an increasing market share in the gaming industry, despite a lackluster economy. We are thrilled by that news and are eager to move forward with our upcoming original game Leviathans, along with our other new casual games. We also remain committed to plans for our beloved licensed games: Shadowrun, BattleTech, Eclipse Phase, and CthuluTech.

While we wish the review had only uncovered positive news, we also discovered our accounting procedures had not been updated as the company continued to grow. The result was that business funds had been co-mingled with the personal funds of one of the owners. We believe the missing funds were the result of bad habits that began alongside the creation of the company, which was initially a small hobby group. Upon further investigation, in which the owner has willingly participated, the owner in question now owes the company a significant balance and is working to help rectify the situation.

The current group of owners was presented with this information on Monday. Administrative organization for the company is under review, and accounting procedures have been restructured, to correct the situation and provide more stringent oversight. We feel the management team at Catalyst did the responsible thing by seeking this financial review and we will continue to restructure as needed. We are in discussions with our partners and freelancers to remedy any back payments that may also be due as a result of this review.
We are embarrassed that this situation did occur but we hope our eagerness to make these changes, along with our reputation for making great games, will encourage you to stand by us. We understand that for a few employees the news was too stressful and we wish them all the best in their new endeavors. However, the majority of the team remains and will continue to bring great entertainment to you all. We appreciate the support our friends, freelancers, and fans have provided us in the past and look forward to a successful future.

(originally posted by Randall Bills)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

DriveThruRPG Once Again Celebrates GM's Day With It's Biggest Sale Ever!

March 3rd, 2010

DriveThruRPG Once Again Celebrates GM's Day With It's Biggest Sale Ever!

(Atlanta, GA) – March 4th has become well known in RPG fan circles as “Game Master's Day,” or GM's Day, a day on which all gamers honor and celebrate the folks who take the time to set up and run roleplaying games. As a part of this celebration, dozens of publishers on DriveThruRPG are offering hundreds upon hundreds of products for sale at 25% off.

“There is no bigger or more important sale for us,” said Sean Patrick Fannon, Marketing and Communications Manager for DriveThruRPG. “Not only is this a powerful and important way to celebrate the most important part of any roleplaying game – the GM – it is vital to our publishers, enabling them to boost their revenue at an important time in their development cycles.”

With what is traditionally called “Convention Season” right around the corner, such a sale is a great way for gamers to get their hands on all that has come out so far. They also strongly support their favorite publishers,
thus making sure new products can be made, published, and brought to market at the various conventions around the country and around the world.

“We are very proud to serve the health and diversity of this fantastic hobby,” Steve Wieck of DriveThruRPG, shared. “For a long time, there have been many claiming that RPGs are dying out. They must be missing what’s happening at DriveThruRPG. We had over 300 new RPG releases last month from a diverse group of amazing publishers serving enthusiastic customers all over the world. GM's day is a great way for us to celebrate the hobby we love.”

The GM's Day Celebration sale runs from the morning of March 3rd through the morning of March 8th this year. Fans should log in and delve into the huge list of titles on sale. “While they are at it, “Sean Fannon adds, “we hope customers remember to use the 'Buying for someone else' option at check out – after all, this is supposed to be a time to celebrate their GMs!” is the world's largest source of RPG products available for sale. It is an industry leader in modern business and technology developments for the tabletop gaming fan. For more information, contact Sean Patrick Fannon (, 614-946-9371).
Sean Patrick Fannon
614-946-9371 (mobile, EDT)
RPG Marketing, Communications, and Publisher Services Manager

They Fought The Law...

An important date has passed now in gaming history. I'm not talking about the release of some long out of print game, or anything like that. Twenty years ago Steve Jackson Games (the US Steve Jackson of course) was raided by the US Secret Service in a crackdown on hackers (you can find more on that in the first link below) ... because they were working on a Cyberpunk supplement for their GURPS game. I know, right? Seems parts of the government had a difficulty telling the difference between reality and fantasy too.

Regardless, this was a very serious happening, and the impounding of manuscripts and computers nearly ruined Steve Jackson Games back in the day. So, take a moment in your day to day to think about what could happen, what might happen. If you have a little extra money you might consider giving something to the EFF (see link below also) rather than buying another game book that's just going to dusty up your shelf. A wise man once asekd, what price do we pay for freedom?

So, I turn it over to Steve Jackson and the posting he made on SJG's Daily Illuminator:

A couple of days ago, we passed the 20-year anniversary of the Secret Service raid on our office. We didn't send out a press release, hold a candlelight ceremony, or even put a giant copy of GURPS Cyberpunk on our roof (okay, that one would have been pretty cool). Instead, we worked on Munchkin projects and tested the alpha version of a Zombie Dice app for the iPhone.

In other words: We just made games. And this is a good thing. The point of the lawsuit against the Secret Service was to defend our civil liberties. Liberty means the freedom to go about your business in peace, and once the lawsuit was over and the computer-snatchers put, for the moment, to flight . . . we went about our business, which is making games. And we're still at it.

But we might not be making games today if it weren't for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The founders of the EFF took on the very serious business of defending us - all of us - against perhaps the worst menace a democracy can face: its own police, laws, and courts gone astray. The balance between freedom and security never stands still, and new technology changes the details but mustn't be allowed to change the principles. That's why the EFF was created, and that's why it's still around, 20 years later. And I'm very grateful.

On Tuesday, March 9, EFF-Austin will sponsor a panel discussion about the raid, its aftermath, and its relevance to our civil liberties today. Time: 7pm. Place: Independence Brewing (a good-omened name!), 3913 Todd Lane #607. I'll be there, along with Pete Kennedy, who was our lead attorney, and Bruce Sterling, who chronicled the whole thing in The Hacker Crackdown. Admission is free, but please plan on dropping something into the hat to support EFF-Austin!

Oh, and if you weren't around back in the day, I really suggest finding a second-hand copy of Bruce Sterling's The Hacker Crackdown for your library as well. Great read and it really gives some insights into what the electronic community that helped transform the internet into what we have to play with today was thinking and doing.