Just some quick house keeping stuff. I'll be going to London Friday to visit my girlfriend who is studying there and I'll be there there all of next week. I have not forgotten about my blog (for those of you that read it) not have I forgotten I've promised an article on MDA story, nor have I forgotten that I need to rewire the GameType proposal and send it to Darius. These will be done. Just, next week. Hopefully.
Unfortunately, in preparation for my days out of the country, I've been working 11 hour days every day and feeling exhausted when I get home. I've also been trying to keep up some work with the IGDA, a new venture with Coray, my Torque / ODE work, and with another possible game thing (won't talk too much about it yet...). So I've been keeping busy. Unfortunately, that means none of the things I want to do are getting nearly the attention they deserve. Maybe its time to cut back?
Nah. Never! See everyone in a little over a week.
So I've been doing more thinking about the possibility of an all digital game zine for independent game developers. Greg talks about the possibility siting "a back of the envelope calculation implies you'd need a circulation base of at least 20K to make it work." I'm not one to disagree with Greg, but I think that an independent game zine could work, and work on low distribution numbers. I've been thinking about the concept and talking it over with Darius a bit, and although we haven't really come to a complete consensus, I think we do have enough to start looking for interest.
Here's our idea behind an independent game zine. The zine would be all digital, distributed as CD copies (with inserts?) by mail and then posted on line once the next issue is released. Release schedule is long, probably along the lines of 6 months to a year between issues (I'm thinking a year to start, 6 months once things get going and more people submit).
As for content, the zine is completely dedicated to game design. It contains at least one full digital game, several demos, and several full "paper" games. Each game is accompanied by an analysis from the game's designers (much like what is seen in Eric and Katie's book Rules of Play. The zine can also dedicate several articles to game theory if people are willing to submit them, but lets face it... the blog world has that covered.
Though this is hardly a "new" distribution medium, it would allow people that are interested in independent games the opportunity to regularly receive new and interesting games, as well as in depth analysis of those games for a relatively low subscription price. The only problem would be getting content. As Greg questions in his post, would indie developers provide full games to a zine just for the publicity it would bring back to their studios? I can't see many places doing it for their only game, but for an active experimental studio (like GameLab that might be a possibility. For a nominal fee, GarageGames developers might also be interested. Sure, they'd have to accept a smaller price per copy for a complete game, but I have a feeling that a lot of GG developers are community minded, and contributing to the overall indie community might be something they'd be willing to "take a hit" for.
Now I'm looking for comments. Do you think people would subscribe to such a zine if it existed? Would people contribute games and papers? Would you actually subscribe, and for how much per issue or per year?