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Before Space Game Odyssey...

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

I have a confession to make: This isn't the first time I've attempted a space gaming publication. Back in 2006, when my preferred medium seemed on the edge of extinction, I thought it might be a good idea to set up a website devoted to space games, especially since the great A Talent For War had gone dark.

Development on Stargamer (in partnership with Martin Ellis, the talented guy behind evenews) initially went well, but the site launched with far too many features for a small team of part-time volunteers to keep up with. After just eight months the tanks were dry and Stargamer was left to fend for itself.

Stargamer's early abandonment wasn't helped by the fact that magazine work was taking up more and more of my time. In 2005 I helped create an official Eve Online magazine, Eon, which by the following year had been joined by two more titles and the promise of others to follow. It wasn't until 2011, with Eon being the last mag standing, that I suggested to its publisher that a more general sci-fi gaming magazine might be a good idea.

Born of those discussions PlaySF was intended to be a kind of support act to aid Eon as it made the transition to a digital edition. The idea being that it would be heavily templated and light on words, so it wouldn't require too much effort to create. Of course, we ended up going above and beyond anyway.

Brilliantly designed by the Eon team and including contributors such as Brian Rubin, long-term Eon ally Brendan Drain and Dan Griliopoulos (not forgetting wingman Stuart Griffin), the hope was that PlaySF could eventually step out of Eon's shadow. Sadly, with Eon's readership in decline, PlaySF was killed off after just two issues, followed a year or so later by Eon itself, which managed a more respectable 30.

At this point you may be wondering why I would attempt a fourth space gaming journal in 15 years. To be honest, having written this far, I'm also questioning my judgment. But then I remind myself that my ambitions are more modest and my destiny is more my own. With Space Game Odyssey there's no whizzkid coder to leave me for dust, no publisher to shut things down and very little likelihood that a new space gaming magazine will need me to launch it.

Not that I'd turn it down if one did.

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