I am sure you will be pleased to know that this is the first issue that has been vaguely on time for about three years. That is 'on time' in the sense of it has happened roughly when I had intended, rather than conforming to any recognisable schedule, but that's the way it has to be at the moment. What I have failed to do is review every game I had hoped to (you are missing Vertigo, Gem Hunter, Save the President, Gladiolus, Phalanx, 800 Metres, Distant Seas and Once upon a Time among others) and my stuff is accordingly depleted this is due to a number of personal reasons, but I hope to have these cleared soon. I apologise to readers and publishers for this, and I'll certainly catch up next time though there are a lot of brief reviews (and long paragraphs) in Notebook to make up the shortfall. On balance though, it still looks like a good (and large) issue. Messrs Breese, Clifford, Dagger, Farquhar, Jaffe, Vasey and Ward have all contributed copy and it has pulled together well. I am particularly pleased with the Grand Prix design section and the Downsizing article which I hope is of interest to you it certainly was to me. Design File (renamed Workshop this time) and the Design Awards have been quietly received, with not so much as a mention in some quarters, but I had half expected this reaction and it will not divert me from the cause. The encouraging news is that a number of people are working on game designs, some of which I have seen already, and hopefully the rest will see fruition in time.

Apparently well-meant comments on Sumo's cliqueyness have reached my ears and post box recently. As I am aware that six or seven people are often the tip of the iceberg, I shall tackle 'the problem' in a few sentences. As I see it (and bear in mind it is a lot different sitting here than out there), where Sumo fails is in too many namechecks for Just Games, Leisure Games and my regular gamegroup, and the occasional in-joke. I have tried to curb all this, but beyond that make no apologies because I haven't yet crossed the line to a professional magazine where those things are inappropriate. I also quite enjoy the ease with which such stories roll off the WP the Clifford/Corrie comment last time for one. The reason is simply that I see and talk to these people a lot and like what they do for gaming much of Sumo's enthusiasm derives from them, so I guess I leave the traces of influence behind. What this definitely doesn't mean is that you have to be in this group to contribute or be a part of the magazine. You should at least be told that I have printed, or extracted from, every single useable letter received since day one to specifically encourage contributions from all over. I want reviews by other people and for the letter column to be big and varied and opinionated that is the whole point of it. There is a strong element here of being accused of the one thing I feel I am definitely not guilty of! Whatever the perceived cliqueyness, it has only ever been my intention to make Sumo an open forum. If I went about it the wrong way, I apologise, but you can put it down to inexperience.

On to the Gamer's Notebook.

Sumo - Mike Siggins - Legal Notices and Other Information