Two Years Before the Masthead

This issue marks the close of the second year of the Journal of Computer Game Design. It’s been a good year for the Journal. Here’s what has been accomplished:

Subscriptions have continued to rise steadily (the current count is 262 paid subscriptions and 55 free.) About two-thirds of all first-year subscribers chose to renew their subscriptions, a strong vote of confidence in the Journal. The Journal now reaches most professionals in the industry.

The transition to the new format went smoothly, increasing the quantity of editorial content and improving its overall appearance. I have ironed out a lot of the bugs in the publication process. With the exception of this issue, editorial submissions have been strong all year; I have even had the luxury of turning down several good submissions that weren’t quite good enough.

The BBS was launched ten months ago; while it has not been as successful as I had hoped, it has still served a useful purpose. Over the last five months, it has averaged about ten calls per day, with an active user population of about fifty persons. However, about two-thirds of all JCGD subscribers have never logged onto the BBS, and this problem has caused us much consternation.

The Conference
The Computer Game Developers’ Conference was spawned by the Journal, but in the last twelve months it has grown into its own creature. We have had three successful conferences now. Plans are underway for the next conference, scheduled for April 1-2, 1990.

The Future
What does the future hold for the Journal? Aside from increasing circulation (I hope and expect), there are three developments in particular:

First and foremost is the migration of the BBS onto GEnie. Neil Harris of GEnie has generously offered to host the BBS, and the BBS advisory committee has voted to accept Neil’s offer. On September 1st, the JCGD BBS will move to GEnie. We will have a conferencing area with our own categories and our own library. Most of the categories will be private, accessible only to JCGD subscribers. However, there will be three categories open to the general public. The good news is, if you are a JCGD subscriber, your time in the JCGD section of GEnie will be absolutely free! You will need to set up a GEnie account under a special login number; at press time, this login number was not available from GEnie. Check the JCGD BBS for details on how to set up your GEnie account; more details will be published in the next issue of the Journal. Also, I cannot guarantee any of this, as the discussions with GEnie, while well advanced, have not yet yielded a formal contract.

Another grand plan of mine is the creation of a master directory of entertainment software people. If you want to know who’s who and does what, this directory should do it for you. I had intended to do it sooner, but my own product deadlines have interfered. Look for the questionnaire to show up in your mailbox before the year is out.