Criticism Summary of Wizard’s Den / Space Wizard’s Federation

This page will attempt to summarize the major points of criticism of the top leadership of Space Station 14, “Wizard’s Den”.

In my opinion, there has been several incidents of inappropriate behavior among the top ranks of project managers (ex: Jez, Sloth, DrSmugLeaf) and the main project lead (PJB) as described below.

Note that my criticism is directed specifically at a small, core leadership team of people at WizDen.  SS14 is a massive open source project and the vast majority of regular code contributors and regular game administrators have nothing to do with these shenanigans.  It’s primarily only the top 5-ish devs that are the problematic ones.

The main criticism PDF from the community was written by UnsuitableArbiter and is available here.  It is a great read, but doesn’t contain recent events so I will put the key points here.  I will cite my sources on my criticisms below so you can see where my opinions are formed and as a starting point for your own research.  All opinions are my own, and are not necessarily reflective of the entire SS14 fork (player run server) community.  The statements in this document are based on limited information (linked herein), and should be considered merely my opinion and require independent verification.

SS14 Project Manager’s Piracy / Felony Plot

After I was critical of the WizDen leadership, one of the project managers (Jez) went to a piracy site known to host cracked copies of my other unrelated commercial game. On an alt account, in a thread dedicated to cracking and leaking my (unrelated to SS14) game builds, she encouraged my game to be cracked (“Dude don’t be afraid of cracking it”) in order to cause me financial damage and “ruin” me. She even went as far to request someone send her a protected build so she could try doing it herself on a newer version, and also said “I’m going to start messing around with an old file I have”.

“She [Skye] complains about a cracked version of her game ruining her? Good, she deserves to be ruined then.”

— Jez, Project Manager for Space Station 14, posting to a piracy forum

Cracking does have a serious financial effect on game developers — especially at the small solo-dev scale of myself. If people can get something for free instead of paying, many of them understandably will choose the free option. The threat of cracking is a powerful, serious weapon that Jez tried to wield.

Jez initially lied regarding this being her, but later admitted it and claimed this to be for research purposes and not cracking. Given this was posted in a cracking thread, with no shortage of vitriolic statements against me, and her previous lies, there’s just no viable reason to believe this wasn’t a cracking scheme. (In the linked article below I debunk the research claim in 13 points.)

But regardless, a AAA game dev shouldn’t be hanging out in a piracy thread of an indie gamedev’s game in the first place, much less actively encouraging piracy of a fellow developer. At a minimum, this is wildly inappropriate behavior for a AAA industry professional.

For full information on this story and to read the original Jez posts this is based off, see the original whistleblowing article.

Ignored Reports of Unlawful Behavior / Cover Up

I made a report to WizDen’s github regarding Jez the project manager’s inappropriate behavior above.  It was quickly redacted by Jez’s significant other, DrSmugLeaf.

Before redaction (archived), After redaction.

No action was taken and Jez is still a project manager. I was banned from the SS14 github in retaliation.

WizDen has dehubbed player-run servers for much less than what Jez did, why will they not hold their own staff accountable?

Deplatforming Attempt

In further retaliation for the whistleblowing, it appears Jez reached out to both my webhost and my payment processor in what I believe was an attempt to have me deplatformed.

Fortunately, it did not succeed.

Defamation & Unjustified Dehubbing

WizDen retaliated (yet again) for the whistleblowing by removing my game server, BlepStation, from the official SS14 launcher’s server list (dehubbing).

WizDen posted a defamatory statement on their hub announcements claiming I am a “serial harasser/doxxer” (Live version / Archived) as the reason for the dehubbing.

Both of these I had already publicly debunked on the Jez whistleblowing article, where I show that the only information included was her name, and that she already uses her name on her LinkedIn and on her portfolio before I published the article.  No “doxxing” took place.  In addition, I included a screenshot of my e-mail client to debunk the claim of me ‘continually’ sending e-mails to her.

Dehubbing a server because the server operator truthfully whistleblowed about illegal and unethical behavior is a poor reason to remove that server from the hub list. In my opinion, it also causes a chilling effect of currently hubbed server operators being fearful of openly criticizing WizDen actions or allowing their players to do so.

Lead game developer encouraged coups of independent player run servers

The project lead (PJB) has encouraged coups of player run servers to kick out influential community leaders who happen to be critical of WizDen in two cases: 

1) Example from Nyanotrasen (Rane):

(The events leading up to Nyano is covered more fully in another point on this page.)

(Pg 97 of UA’s PDF (“The Takeover Of Nyanotrasen”) goes into more detail on the coup with additional statements from WizDen on the matter where they attempt to justify encouraging a coup of a player-run server. I encourage you to read their perspective.)

2) Example from my own game server, BlepStation, where PJB tried the same strategy to remove me from my own project when directly conversing with one of my own coders:

(Full quote is in the Multiverse Discord pins here, but I clipped out the defamation.  It’s there in full if you want to see it in context, though.)

Both of these incidents have additional context leading up to the coup attempts that is more fully explored in other points on this page.

Spyware Allegation

Jez publicly posted in the official SS14 WizDen discord that my other commercial game contains “spyware:”

This allegation is false and defamatory. The game she references does not have kernel level access, nor administrator privilege. (This game runs in a web browser.)

Nyanotrasen Dehubbing

The Nyano situation is difficult to adequately summarize, and so it is best to read Unsuitable Arbiter’s reporting on it starting at pg 77 of the PDF (“Wizard’s Den Shot First”).

Based on Arbiter’s investigation (see PDF), it appears what happened was the following. Names have been replaced with variables to protect the individuals from what appears to be false claims against one another:

  • Allegedly, a Nyano moderator “G” privately and with consent shared their own kink list with a WizDen staffer “T.”
  • Allegedly, WizDen staffer “T” shared this (without consent) with other WizDen staffers.
  • Allegedly, this private kink list was used by WizDen to try to justify a serious accusation against “G” and force them out of the community.
  • (In my opinion, this accusation does not seem justified and a private kink list should never have been shared by “T” with other staffers without consent.)
  • Allegedly, a key leader of Nyano then retaliated by making serious accusations towards “T” based on the kink list of “T.”
  • (In my opinion, this accusation also does not seem justified and a private kink list should never have been shared without consent.)
  • Allegedly, this retaliation from that Nyano leader was then the motivating factor for the WizDen project lead to encourage the coup of Nyanotrasen away from that leader (see related section in this document).

The server was successfully couped. After the coup, the new leadership of that server seems to be much more strict about players criticizing WizDen.

Unsuitable Arbiter’s PDF goes into much further detail on the dehubbing and is worth reading in full.

WizDen’s public statement on the Nyano situation can be viewed here.

Goobstation Intimidation

In April, one of the WizDen project managers threatened Goobstation (another community-run fork server) with a dehubbing if they didn’t remove one of the Goob staff members.  (Dehubbing is a serious threat as it basically removes the flow of new players to a fork server, and so will eventually kill off a server community.)  

The reason, per the strike notice, appears to be that a Goob staff member (Mary) had been involved in an unrelated project of making an unauthorized game client that could be used for cheating.  It should also be noted that Mary happens to be quite publicly critical at times of WizDen.

I am not aware of any connection between Goobstation and cheating (after all, it’s their own server, so that wouldn’t make sense.)  As far as I know, Mary just happened to make cheats / alt launcher for the game, and also happened to be a staff member/player/contributor of Goob.  It would be easy to perceive this as WizDen acting preemptively to stop Mary from gaining further influence in the community.

Goobstation complied with the demand, but the threat from WizDen was shared by Mary and it leaked out publicly.  Goobstation then received an official hub strike in retaliation.

I am not sure if by “instigate harassment” WizDen means WizDen received public criticism in the SSMV discord, or that the banning admin (Sloth) received a single meme in a DM from a Goobstation member, or if something else happened that no one has revealed publicly.  In any case, based on the limited information I am aware of, the strike seems poorly justified.

Poor Treatment of Volunteers

1) Calling some volunteer coders who requested their code to be reviewed “beggars.” (For full story, please see pg 23-26 PDF (“Reading Receipts ~ Skye, ‘Merge Begging’ Thread”)). 

My public criticism of this was eventually cited as my ban reason (pg 31 PDF (“Reading Receipts ~ Skye, Final Thread, Page 2”)).

2) Publicly insulting an artist when they demanded being properly credited by calling them a “child throwing a tantrum.” 

The original reddit post has been deleted and based on the WizDen response it seems to suggest the artist said inflammatory things.  This frustration may be related to the length of time the artist had been uncredited: “If you asked nicely you probably would’ve been in the credits a year ago.”

Regardless, the only correct response in my opinion would have been to properly credit the artist and apologize — not needlessly insult and antagonize them. It’s not unreasonable WizDen might have accidentally missed a credit, but it is inappropriate to make insults.

3) This random and unnecessary insult from the project lead against me:

4) At the suggestion of briefly thanking contributors for their work when accepting their code (just saying “thanks” in a comment), leadership claimed that volunteers just having their work accepted into the project was thanks enough:

(Caveat: lately I do now see some PRs getting thanked by some mid-level staff, so it seems the situation may be improving generally, if not at the top levels.)

5) Unprofessional, needlessly aggressive feedback posted on GitHub:

My opinion regarding the volunteer/player treatment sections: I respect WizDen’s choice to choose who they allow in their community discord — criticism can be difficult to hear, and I do empathize that they may find it easier to just kick out the critics (even myself). I recognize none of us have any guaranteed rights to be in their discord or their github. That said, it is still not appropriate for WizDen leadership to be rude and unprofessional towards players and contributors.

Poor Treatment of Players

1) A core leader (Sloth) blatantly stating they were ignoring players on unpopular change [pg 47 PDF (“Timeline A – Skye – Brigmedic And So On”)].

I believe this was later claimed to be a joke, but very poor taste if so.

2) Banning a player for replying to a critical steam post with “this:”

PJB attempted to explain this, but I don’t understand her position in order to adequately convey it.  The conversation is in the Multiverse discord, and goes from here with summary here so you can read her position on it. 

3) Staff call players “whitenames” and their suggestion channel is called “ideaguys.” I do not believe these are intended positively as being called an idea guy is commonly considered an insult in the game industry.

4) Allegedly WizDen banned a player when they complained on reddit regarding moderation (PDF pg12 (“Reading Receipts ~ Wizard’s Den: We Ban Everyone, Page 2”); they had been upset regarding this interaction: 1 & 2)

See this reddit thread for WizDen rebuttal, where they accuse the user of ‘gaslighting.’

5) Staff trivialized and ignored player feedback on an unpopular change that required significantly more grinding:

6) Telling a contributor to not solicit player feedback:

(Caveat: The staff member involved was not yet officially on staff when they originally posted this)

7) A player named sTiKyt was banned same day they filed a staff complaint.  WizDen claims this wasn’t retaliation and was instead due to discussing DDOS & ban evasion — unfortunately the screenshots linked have been lost, which makes it difficult to validate.


I encourage you to read Unsuitable Arbiter’s full PDF “SS14 Fracturing,” upon which this page is largely based. The rest is based on the Multiverse discord #general pins.

Please do not contact WizDen regarding this article. As described above, they have already falsely misconstrued public criticism as harassment, and I do not wish to fuel that. However, I do think the player community has a right to know how they have operated and, in my opinion, weaponized their influence as the game’s primary hub arbiter. The best way to counteract that is by players using independently-operated hubs — whether that be SSMV or another one.