APAGear - Volume 5, Number 3 - May 2003

The House Organ

Words of Questionable Wisdom from the Distribution Manager

Shockingly different, isn't it, this new look for the site? There are reasons for it.

Some few months ago, we, the APA, decided that it would be nice to broaden APAGear's focus to include all of Dream Pod 9's worlds. With CORE Command coming out this month and with the D20 Mecha Compendium halfway through its second printing, a wealth of new stories and articles can be told, and we're more than a little interested in exploring these settings. If we were going to allow ourselves to treat CORE Command and the various Mecha Compendium settings, why not include as well Jovian Chronicles and Tribe 8?

So here we are with a ton of new vistas for our mad writing skillz.

The problem is (at least in my mind) we can't very well have the classic Heavy Gear construction stripes running down the left side of a Jovian Chronicles article, can we? I've found in the past that trying to maintain different styles for different settings (such as Gear Krieg versus Heavy Gear, back when we first opened ourselves up to that) was a big pain in the ass. I wasn't too keen on trying that again.

The obvious solution was to shoot for a generic style that would be used for each setting but that wouldn't be particular to any one of them. Josh Peters and Dennis Kirkpatrick came up with the idea of picking colors (or "colours," in Josh's case) that matched the new Silhouette CORE rulebook. Brilliant! So here we are with the blue background and the grey text, at least as far as the navigation index is concerned.

That brings up the next bit of the redesign: it seemed like it would be nice to have an issue's index always present with that issue's contents. It certainly would be more convenient. Hence the navigation index.

Well, that might be a point of contention for many of our visitors and for a few of our contributors as well. That navigation index relies on decent support for cascading style sheet standards -- CSS level 1, certainly, but even a little bit of CSS level 2. A good, modern, standards-compliant browser should present you with the correct display. Some of the older browsers will not render this stuff properly, nor will some of the unreasonable but modern ones. That's too bad, but at least you'll still get the text.

In the index, you will note brief textual notations to indicate the setting for which a particular article is written. "[HG]" means "Heavy Gear," "[JC]" means "Jovian Chronicles," "[GK]" means "Gear Krieg," "[CC]" means "CORE Command," "[T8]" means "Tribe 8," and so forth.

The style revision and the re-engineering of past issues is still in progress, and it will likely be in progress for a few months before the whole site looks the same. Please bear with us.

Before I forget: special thanks to Jason English, Dennis Kirkpatrick, and Josh Peters for their help in working out this new format.

On with the show!

Your Vaguely Humble Servant,


Christian Schaller

APAGear II Distribution Manager


Gail Camaya claims the Keener this month, and Harman Meyerhoff is the runner-up. (Technically, Chris Schaller wrote his piece on May 14, 2002 -- two thousand TWO -- but that really shouldn't count; I only decided to submit it four days ago.)

New Rules

It's worth noting that with the new material, we're going to be changing a few of the APA rules. Among other things, I won't be as draconian with the policy for new members.

We will not be offering D20 material here in the foreseeable future. We're not interested in dealing with the formal licensing issues involved, nor with the liability they introduce -- not as an APA, at any rate. That doesn't mean we won't be visiting the new worlds DP9 has to offer, such as the Cities and Empire setting or the Space Ranger Ouroboros setting; we just won't be presenting D20 material for them.