May 27, 2006: Goodbye, Game Aids ProgramFor years, SJ Games has attempted to maintain a "Game Aids" program which would review fan-created game aids, both stand-alone software and web pages. The idea was that we would check out submitted programs, make sure that they actually ran and that their documentation was comprehensible, see that trademark and copyright considerations were covered, certify them as worth your while to download, and promote them.
A noble goal. It didn't work at all.
The goal was to encourage and recognize fan-created game support. If anything, it had the opposite effect. Our apologies to the creators of programs that have been stuck in our pipeline for years. As of now, you're free.
There are, basically, two problems, and both are structural. "We'll try harder" could not change the facts.
First, editorial review time for freebies always has to take a priority behind work on actual new products. The only way to get around this would be to hire an editor who knew GURPS and Car Wars and Ogre and Illuminati . . . and whose ONLY job was to work on game aids. And . . . any time we could afford a new editor, especially one whose skills were that wide, we and you would want him to work on more new products!
Second, fan work just shouldn't be put through a professional review process. When a fan writes a program, he's doing it for himself and his friends, because he wants to. Subjecting him to editorial oversight, on a slow schedule, is a sure way to suck all the fun out of the process. The less fun it is, the slower the creator is to create new updates for review . . . until the whole thing grinds to a shuddering halt.
So. Effective today, the Game Aids program is no more. Instead, fan-created game aids will be covered by the newly updated version of our Online Policy. Read it for details, but basically:
-- Steve Jackson
Notice: Server Downtime Scheduled, Sat. 5/27
There will be a brief outage this Saturday afternoon (Austin time) while we move the servers into the new server room.
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