Loren Wiseman was editor of the Journal of the Traveller' Aid Society (but if you think that the JTAS covers stories of helping distressed immigrants, you are in the wrong place) from 1979 to 2015. In that time, he wrote more than 400 editorials about games, game design, science-fiction, and a lot more. The writings range from the mundane (as in product announcements) to the sublime (with insights into the game design process, or memories of his days at GDW). At an average of 500 words each, the texts come to more than 250,000 words.
Alas, Loren left us in February of this year and we think his thoughts and insights are worth reviewing and preserving. We have put together three examples just for an early peek:
- His introductory editorial when JTAS Online started in February, 2000.
- An editorial from 2002 talking about how he would have done Traveller differently.
- His thoughts on his 40th anniversary as a game designer.
The manuscript runs more than 250,000 words. For technophobes and bibliophiles, the printed book is about 500 pages with a full index.
The book is divided into chapters by year (2000 through 2015), with about a hundred editorials per chapter. The Table of Contents shows chapters by year and individual dated editorials within.
Steve Jackson has agreed to write a Foreword, and Marc Miller will write an Afterword.
And There's More: Loren edited the Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society for GDW Game Designers' Workshop from 1979 to 1988, Challenge Magazine until 1996, and then JTAS Online for Steve Jackson Games from 2000 to 2015. We have collected all of the magazines Loren edited (the GDW JTAS and GDW Challenge Magazine are scanned PDFs; the SJG JTAS is HTML with an interface) on a USB Drive (it totals just under one GB).
About Shipping: Electronic delivery of the Grognard eBook, of course, is free; it will be a download from Dropbox. Our Backer Pledge Levels include shipping for the physical book in the USA, and the USB (if your reward level includes that). The book weighs in at slightly over 2 pounds (a kilo), and international shipping is about $35. Our surcharge takes into account our shipping allowance for domestic shipping. We have a no-additional costs for shipping option for anywhere in the world (it foregoes the printed book; it includes the USB).
The GDW JTAS and GDW Challenge Magazine files are too large for our system to manage for electronic delivery; that's why we are putting it all on a USB for delivery.
About GDW JTAS: GDW published the original JTAS. There's an index (free download through DTRPG) here.
About GDW Challenge Magazine. Following JTAS, GDW published Challenge Magazine for some 50 issues. There's an index (free download through DTRPG) here.
Some of you may ask: "Who exactly was Loren Wiseman?" Briefly,
Loren Wiseman’s first game design was published in 1973, and over the next forty-some years he participated in the publication of more than a hundred titles.
Design: Loren is credited as the primary or sole designer for 37 titles by GDW Game Designers’ Workshop and SJG Steve Jackson Games. He has shared design credit for another 46 titles, including shared credit (with Don Greenwood) for Caesar’s Legions (based on his Eagles from GDW) for Avalon Hill.
Development: Loren was better known as a developer for the Traveller and Twilight: 2000 game systems, with sole development credit for 25 titles, and shared development credit for another 11 titles.
Editing. Loren was best known as the editor of the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. He edited the original JTAS from GDW from 1979 to 1985, and continued as editor (variously Managing Editor, Consulting Editor, or Contributing Editor) for Challenge Magazine through its final issue in 1995. When Steve Jackson Games produced the GURPS edition of Traveller, Loren became editor of the revived JTAS Online from its inception in 2000 though its final issue in 2015.
Overall, Loren’s writing includes (full or partial) design credit on 82 titles, and development credit for an additional 48. He edited 77 bimonthly or quarterly issues of Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society (and its successor Challenge Magazine) at GDW, and then 449 weekly and later bi-weekly issues of JTAS Online from 2000 to 2015.
Wiseman was recognized for his excellence and expertise with the H G Wells Award for “Twilight: 2000 Going Home” (1986), and the H G Wells Award three years running for the “Journal of the Travellers Aid Society” (1979-1980-1981). In 2004, Loren received the highest of honors within the gaming community: he was inducted into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame, and the above recounting of his credits gives some insight into the rationale.
Risks and challenges
We see no significant challenges to this project. We are experienced in this sort of effort and barring unforeseen catastrophes we expect we will meet our timeline. Specifically, the manuscript is in hand, and we have done this sort of project before.
I appreciate the support I am asking for you to provide, and I am inspired by Stonemaier Games Kickstarter guarantee, (https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-22-the-money-back-guarantee-and-trust/) and I offer the same:
"If you pledge to support Grognards on Kickstarter and you decide the book just isn’t for you within one month of receiving it, you may return it to us for a full refund." I won't quibble on details.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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