Friday, 7 November 2008

The Death of Pyramid Magazine

I've been reading Pyramid magazine ever since issue #1, which I believe was about 15 years ago. It's a gaming magazine, published by Steve Jackson Games, and focussing on GURPS, which was the basis for the homebrew system that I played in those days. (The rest of the homebrew system came largely from Pendragon, but the stats were easy to convert, and the ideas fitted what I wanted back then).

Around 10 years ago, it switched from dead-tree format to webzine format and, with a little reluctance, I continued my subscription. I'm glad I did; there has been a lot of good material published in Pyramid over the last decade. I've even contributed three articles to it myself, two on Glorantha, and one on, of all things, astrophysics. Subscription also got me access to playtests of SJ Games products, and, in particular, I helped out with the testing of the Vehicle Design software, and of GURPS Cops. Perhaps best of all, at least in the long term, were the NNTP discussion forums that the magazine ran for subscribers, where I have had all sorts of cool discussions with a wide range of people.

As of today, the Pyramid webzine ceases publication.

Oh, the magazine will continue as a monthly PDF release, with slightly less content for five times the price. But, oddly enough, that's not much of an issue for me. Because, over the last couple of years, since I no longer play GURPS, the NNTP forums were my main reason for paying the annual subscription anyway - everything else was an added bonus. Since those forums are being closed down, I will be cancelling my subscription forthwith, to claim the refund for the rest of the year. It's understandable why they're closing, of course, at least from SJ Games point of view. For myself, I don't really understand why NNTP is no longer popular as a format - it's so much more flexible than the message boards that seem to have replaced it. Sometimes, newer isn't better, and, while message boards are great for some things (hence the MBRPG I help to run), general discussion isn't one of them. A lot of functionality has been lost in the name of progress - but isn't that often the way?

So I'll miss those discussions... but change goes on, and one can't blame a company for closing down something that just isn't profitable for them. A fond farewell to Pyramid, then, and on to something else instead...

(Addendum: If you're wondering why I'm mentioning this, but not the more Glorantha-relevant news from Germany of a similar nature - I'm waiting for the official announcement before commenting on that).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of Pyramid, even I didn't buy very many - and for a while I too had an online subscription.