New Editions of Big Eyes Small Mouth & Silver Age Sentinels Led By Ex-Guardians of Order Founder

A 4th Edition of the Big Eyes, Small Mouth anime roleplaying game has been announced, licensed from White Wolf, and to be updated by Mark Mackinnon with additional writing from David Pulver, Sean D Francis, Jeff Mackintosh, and Jude McLaughlin.

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Here's the press release.

"GUELPH, ONTARIO (29 April 2019) — Dyskami Publishing Company announced today that it has entered into a worldwide licensing arrangement with White Wolf Entertainment to produce new editions of the beloved Japanese anime role-playing game, Big Eyes, Small Mouth (or BESM), as well as the acclaimed superhero role-playing game, Silver Age Sentinels. The new fourth edition of BESM will be updated by its original designer and Dyskami Publishing founder, Mark MacKinnon, launching a line of expansions and supplements to support the game over the coming years.
“It’s been well over a decade since I wrote the third edition of BESM, and having the chance to once again produce the game that means so much to me is a dream come true,” said Dyskami Publishing Company President, Mark MacKinnon. “The fourth edition has been under development for many years and is an opportunity to reenvision an entire new game line, updating both the design and presentation of BESM for today’s gamers yet hearkens back to the roots of earlier editions. Furthermore, we’ll be expanding our relationship with Japanime Games to co-publish the BESM relaunch and provide exceptional customer service and support. What a year 2019 is going to be for anime and gaming fans!"

Since the release of the first edition of BESM in 1997 by Guardians Of Order, the anime role-playing game and related licensed expansions has been nominated for Ennies and Origins Awards across multiple categories, including Best Role-Playing Game, Best RPG Graphic Design, Best RPG Supplement, and Best RPG Adventure. BESM Fourth Edition features cover art by long-time BESM artist, Niko Geyer, plus interior art by Shilin, Zirong, Zearyu, Geyer, and more.
About Dyskami Publishing

Dyskami Publishing Company is a Canadian tabletop gaming company headquartered in Guelph, Ontario. They are dedicated to creating products for today's busy gamers, both casual and hardcore, who may not have as much time for their hobby as before. The company’s tagline, “It’s About Time”, reflects their vision for an evolution in gaming design and implementation. The BESM Role-Playing Game, as well as Dyskami’s line of tabletop games based on the popular Japanese anime series, Sailor Moon Crystal, is co-published by Japanime Games (japanimegames.com). For additional information, contact Dyskami Publishing Company at info@dyskami.ca or visit visit dyskami.ca."


There's also a new edition of Silver Age Sentinels on the menu.

Mark MacKinnon founded Guardians of Order, a roleplaying games company which which collapsed in 2006 owning money to numerous freelancers and businesses.

Update: The article above originally said "updated by Mark Mackinnon with additional writing from David Pulver, Sean D Francis, Jeff Mackintosh, Jude McLaughlin, and Jesse Scoble", taken from the press release. I was contacted by Jesse Scoble who has no association with either the product or the company, so I've removed that name from the above list. It appears that the press release at the Dyskami Publishing Company has also been altered since, too, to instead read:

BESM CREATED AND UPDATED BY MARK MACKINNON • ADDITIONAL WRITING BY SEAN D. FRANCIS • FOUNDATIONAL BESM WRITING CONTRIBUTIONS BY DAVID PULVER, WITH JEFF MACKINTOSH AND JUDE MCLAUGHLIN
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Panda-s1

Explorer
I'm curious if the new BESM will also be updated to better reflect trends in both anime and (Western) anime fandom. both have changed quite a bit since the last BESM came out. hell, the last BESM seemed a little dated when I first read it.
 

JLowder

Explorer
MacKinnon burned a lot of freelancers and business partners, myself included, when Guardians went under. For some, he refused to even give people totals owed so they could write the loss off on their taxes. He essentially maximized damage by the way he handled shutting down the company. Nothing I have seen in the intervening years makes me think he is any more self-aware or trustworthy.

The press release fails to mention the best fiction Origins Award I won for the SAS anthology Path of the Bold. I wonder why?
 
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eyeheartawk

Explorer
MacKinnon burned a lot of freelancers and business partners, myself included, when Guardians went under. For some, he refused to even give people totals owed so they could write the loss off on their taxes. He essentially maximized damage by the way he handled shutting down the company. Nothing I have seen in the intervening years makes me think he is any more self-aware or trustworthy.
Don't forget he also continued to take pre-orders for items he knew would not get released along with continuing to sell his titles for years on DTRPG after losing the license for many of them, as well as other shady things that are beyond simply going out of business. MacKinnon needs to stay away.

Here is a good background thread that as many first hand sources as well as Mark's not so convincing defense: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/963033/mark-mackinnon-addresses-guardians-order-closure-c
 
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gorillaboss

Villager
MacKinnon's shadiness needs to be broadcast far and wide.

ENWorld should take a stand here, and not just mention the awfulness in a throwaway last line.
 

Ghal Maraz

Explorer
I agree. And people should point out all those things to White Wolf, as they seem to be struggling to become a more aware company.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
I agree. And people should point out all those things to White Wolf, as they seem to be struggling to become a more aware company.
Do you think White Wolf licensed BESM back to it's creator without having a knowledge of his background and issues? I guess they decided he was the best person for this job. Do you notice the people who worked for GoO previously who are working on the new edition? I guess they decided to go with it.

I understand being angry over the negative outcomes of a corporate meltdown like Guardians went through. If I'm still brooding over something 12 years afterwards it better be a damn sight more... messy than that. BESM was a good game. GoO turned out some excellent products. I for one hope he succeeds, turn out an improved edition and supports it. Preferably without financial meltdown and injury to others. Being aware of someone's past is one thing. Hoping that someone fails, or actively seeking to contribute to that failure is... unfortunate. Hopefully he has learned from past mistakes and, maybe, even become a better person. His current company, Diskami, has had four Kickstarters (I looked), folded two, succeeded with two, and delivered on them. One of the failures was a success on its second KS.

This thread started out with two posts about the game. it then devolved into a series of posts on (after the first post, someone else's) past injuries and the inability to move on or forgive. Fine. Easier for me to say, because he didn't owe me anything, of course. However it might be nice if people have a chance to discuss the game itself and the possibilities a new edition brings. When this tribal cry for justice broke out, others didn't post. I thought about it and decided not to (then). I suspect others did the same. The echo chamber just picked up on this grievance and amplified JLowder's justifiable anger. Some wondered why EN World didn't take up the cause. I don't personally know. Maybe the warning they added at the end was considered sufficient for people to follow up on and make up their own minds? Maybe they assumed posts would be about the game itself?

This type of pitchfork and torch reaction is... wearing. Fine in it's own thread or place I guess, but stifling in another.

My 2 cp. Ymmv.
 

JLowder

Explorer
Do you think White Wolf licensed BESM back to it's creator without having a knowledge of his background and issues? I guess they decided he was the best person for this job.
Paradox/White Wolf has made several notable and highly public missteps in their entry into the RPG market, so they may not have any idea who they are dealing with beyond the credits MacKinnon presented them. And the credit lines in the press release do not automatically mean endorsement. MacKinnon could be listing people who worked on previous editions of the games, whose work would be part of the IP he is licensing. Jeff Mackintosh, for example, died in 2016. And MacKinnon shamelessly used a book for which many freelancers were not paid to hype one of his Kickstarters, as part of the promo video, so counting on good judgment from him will get you nowhere.
 
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gorillaboss

Villager
This type of pitchfork and torch reaction is... wearing. Fine in it's own thread or place I guess, but stifling in another.

My 2 cp. Ymmv.

An informed opinion is a worthwhile opinion. Yours is not.

As a long list of freelancers, business associates, and others have been sharing in recent days, the dude continued his shifty activities well beyond the GOO "meltdown". Even behaved the same in his recent non-gaming career, according to several.

This isn't about some gee-whiz, aw-shucks chance at redemption. The guy burned TONS of hobby industry folks, and did it intentionally and severely. Just because you want his shiny new toy is no excuse to sweep past wrongs under the rug.

That attitude is how Ken Whitman bilked tens of thousands with five(!) shady Kickstarters.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
An informed opinion is a worthwhile opinion. Yours is not.

As a long list of freelancers, business associates, and others have been sharing in recent days, the dude continued his shifty activities well beyond the GOO "meltdown". Even behaved the same in his recent non-gaming career, according to several.

This isn't about some gee-whiz, aw-shucks chance at redemption. The guy burned TONS of hobby industry folks, and did it intentionally and severely. Just because you want his shiny new toy is no excuse to sweep past wrongs under the rug.

That attitude is how Ken Whitman bilked tens of thousands with five(!) shady Kickstarters.
All right. Dug deeper. Got more depressed. I knew some of it and learned more. Too bad, I liked BESM.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
J Lowder;7599327 said:
Paradox/White Wolf has made several notable and highly public missteps in their entry into the RPG market, so they may not have any idea who they are dealing with beyond the credits MacKinnon presented them. And the credit lines in the press release do not automatically mean endorsement. MacKinnon could be listing people who worked on previous editions of the games, whose work would be part of the IP he is licensing. Jeff Mackintosh, for example, died in 2016. And MacKinnon shamelessly used a book for which many freelancers were not paid to hype one of his Kickstarters, as part of the promo video, so counting on good judgment from him will get you nowhere.
As I said in another post above, I looked further into it. Not good, and I can admit when I'm mistaken. Too bad BESM is a good game and GoO turned out some nice products (looking at my copy of "Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne" as I type...). *sigh*
 

Ghal Maraz

Explorer
There are plenty of excellent RPGs on the market.

Numerous excellent publishers.

Some amazing game designers.

We don't need MacKinnon to have a 4th edition BESM.

I'd dare say we also don't necessary need BESM at all, to have an innovative, up-to-date, generic manga-anime RPG.
 

Michael Dean

Explorer
I remember following the meltdown of GOO back when it happened. I must say, very surprised he's trying to make a comeback. I thought then that there's no way this guy will ever show his face in the gaming community again.
 

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