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Issue #14 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine
(10-02-2016, 07:25 AM)Rick McDowell Wrote: What can I say, Picasso?  It's your thing, do what you want to do.  Anything is better than nothing and you are picking up the gauntlet unlike anyone else and you are entitled to your, perhaps, peculiar, way to go about it.  Yeah, you aren't making any money, likely losing some to do this as a benefit to the players that like this style of games.  

Just keep doing it.  Make your choices.  But if I miss a promised article submission because the deadline was 10 days after the last issue was published, just understand. 

As just a reader opinion, along the lines of this discussion, I would like about 50 pages bi-monthly.  And you should charge for advertising.  I think you should edit out some of the stuff submitted, although I realize in this time its probably more time consuming than just keeping everything in.  It's just, if everything gets in, doesn't that make it closer to junk mail?

I am putting together an Alamaze article, more in what I think is missing for players trying to discover new games: just explaining the basics, not way deep into some specifics in games players don't know.  So I want to show a couple maps, an extract from a turn or two results, and let that do most of the talking. 

Anyway, I want to be encouraging.  I think I am engaged in what you are doing, Grim.  It's just most of us are accustomed to deadlines, and, editing for stuff that is not too good. 

On a completely different note, I have been asked several times lately who are the remaining major PBEM companies?  I can't give a good answer, all I can give is a guess.  Another reason for S&D to try to define the hobby a bit more.  Alamaze has started more than 200 games in the last three years.  It seems like lots of PBEM standards have started about 10 games in that time, but I don't really know, not really trying to start a fight, I just think people would like to know. 


1. It was never designed - nor intended - to make money.

2. If you miss a promised article submission because the deadline was 10 days after the last issue was published, I will understand. You can't miss a deadline that doesn't exist, though. Additionally, you've had several weeks, and your article hasn't arrived. So, when future issues published, and no articles or ads for your games are included, understand that it is because they never arrived. I can't publish things that don't actually get submitted.

3. If you feel that the magazine becomes closer to junk mail, because it contains things that you, yourself, don't care for, then it always remains your choice as to whether to download it or not. Not everyone likes the same things. The articles and other materials that you, yourself, might prefer appear in the magazine cannot be included, if they are never submitted in the first place. I give priority to stuff actually submitted, rather than to hypothetical stuff that may or may never materialize.

4. As for editing, when I edit, some complain. When I don't edit, some complain. When I go for a compromise, and don't publish at all, some complain. As I have often said down through the years, and over the course of the magazine's life span, we live in an imperfect world. If you have some spare time just lying around, and would like to spend that time editing material submitted to the magazine, then I'll be happy to do so.

5. I can and do appreciate the fact that you are accustomed to deadlines. I, on the other hand, am accustomed to trying to give individuals time - even extra time - to get articles submitted, before publishing particular issues. I've done that for you, in fact, previously, ending extra reminders, from time to time.

6. As for material that is "not too good," as you call it. Personal taste is largely a matter of opinion. One man's junk is another man's treasure. One man's lyric is another man's vulgarity. To the best of my recollection, reading requires an affirmative act. Thus, I leave it to each individual reader to decide for themselves which articles to read, and which ones to skim through, and which ones to skip over altogether.

7. As to who the remaining major PBEM companies are, it has been my experience over that last long while that game companies and game moderators frequently demonstrate little interest in actually communicating in a timely basis, if at all. Most PBEM games are not run by companies. As for PBM companies, notably commercial ones that use the actual postal service for turn delivery and turn results, there are very few of those left. If there weren't any, then Suspense & Decision magazine would never have come into existence, at all, and I likely wouldn't bother investing any time or effort of note into trying to publish a magazine, at all. PBEM games, web games, and other games with Internet delivery of some sort or other are able to make use of Suspense & Decision, if the individuals or game companies behind them want to. No one has to make use of it. Many don't. Some do. I tend to give priority to those that do.

Additionally, I created the PBM Wiki. Game companies, former game companies, and game moderators apparently do not consider it to be worthy of their time or effort, to a large degree. As I stated around five and a half years ago, "I'm not here to save the play by mail industry from a final death, nor am I here as a harbinger of a revival of the hobby of postal gaming. From time to time, I will post, when I take a notion, and hopefully, a few others will join in, whenever the mood strikes them." (See this posting:

8. I don't consider you to be starting a fight.  I understand that you are trying to be encouraging. 

9. Defining the hobby requires time, effort, and energy. Suspense & Decision magazine is an extension of a hobby interest of mine. A lot of my previous efforts to define the hobby more have been met with silence. Additionally, not everyone is equally receptive to the way that I define things, be it the hobby or other things.

10. If you dislike particular articles, then send in letters to the editor. If articles that you don't like keep appearing, then keep on writing in. Readers are free to disagree. It tends to make the magazine more interesting to read, I think. Others may feel differently, of course.

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RE: Issue #14 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine - by GrimFinger - 10-03-2016, 01:45 AM

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