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Trade Paper Back format (twist on PnP)

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subhuman
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-Boring stuff-

I would really like to start a game company. Don't know why exactly but I pretty everyone reading this has thought the same. The problem is not enough money, time, know how...etc. The main reasons I cant do this is the investment is too high and the margins are just way to thin. Which is a shame because while I don't really want to do such a thing for profit I also cant be throwing away what little money I don't have.

So on the way to work today I was thinking about Warriors of God. A great game that was first published in a Magazine, got popular, then got republished as a full size game. This got me thinking that I should really subscribe to a couple of those wargame mags but they are expensive and often filled with articles that I have no interest in reading. I just wanted the games. So why doesn't a company print up a magazine with just games in it for a reasonable price.

-Idea-

Publish a quarterly professional looking Trade Paper back for a reasonable price. I did a little reading and I have found that I could have a reasonable number of TPBs printed up with a comfortable margin (mind you nothing I could quite my job over but enough to cover production with some left over for the next run).

I think there would be a pretty solid customer base for such a thing. Each issue would be about 50 pages and contain 6-10 games. Since this would be a very small operation to begin with I would not be able to pay designers (publication, shipping, and artwork are going to be expensive) but hopefully a couple copies of the TPB, having the designer keep all rights to the game, and right to claim that you are a published game designer to large game companies.

Would anyone be interested in such a thing?

fecundity
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Quote:Since this would be a

Quote:
Since this would be a very small operation to begin with I would not be able to pay designers (publication, shipping, and artwork are going to be expensive) but hopefully a couple copies of the TPB, having the designer keep all rights to the game, and right to claim that you are a published game designer to large game companies.
This is a pretty hollow offer. I published a couple of "magazine scale" games in Pyramid magazine. They paid me real money. That does not get me any traction towards publishing other games, not even with the company that publishes Pyramid.

Also, a game printed in a magazine will probably take the same amount of work to put together as a game distributed as a PDF. The only way you can make it easier is to have cards or game chits printed on cardstock in the magazine, but that will drive up your printing costs.

Again, me with the negativity.

Dralius
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I have been doing research on

I have been doing research on just such a project for the last 3 month. My idea is a little different but otherwise it’s a quarterly magazine whose primary focus is in playable content rather than just articles about games. I’m in the process of developing a business plan to evaluate the viability.

Other than my magazine having fewer pages my plan differs from your idea in that I would pay a small but amicable mount for submissions, something akin to what pyramid and other publishers offer.

I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag until I have a cat and bag so I’ll say no more. I just wanted to give you a heads up to let you know you might have some competition in this field.

jeffinberlin
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game books on demand

Another alternative is to publish a game book on demand, something like those online photo albums you order and then get a bound copy in the mail. It would probably be too expensive, though.
I only recently saw one of these from a friend (a photo "book" from her family vacation), but have no idea what these things cost. A collection of games in a hard-bound book would certainly look cool, though!

subhuman
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-

Thats a shame but that's why I asked. What is the "standard" rate for a game? I was think of something smaller then pyramid. More of a 250ish print run. Cutting the sheets would be almost as much work as PnP but a publication brings the games to people instead of people having to find the games.

Dralius - good luck! I dont think you are going to have any competion from me. I am very much just brainstorming and it is not looking good on the numbers after all.

Jeff- That would run about $11 just for the printing not including needing to make the pages cardstock or the hardcover. Not sure hardcover would be the way to go since part of the idea is cutting out the games. Though a friend of mine suggested including a CD with copies of the components so collectors could keep there copies in near mint condition.
http://store.comixpress.com/printing/print.php

fecundity
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Quote:Though a friend of mine

Quote:
Though a friend of mine suggested including a CD with copies of the components so collectors could keep there copies in near mint condition.

Once you've done that, it's no improvement at all on print&play-- at least from the point of view of having people actually play the games. You've made a collectible object d'art, but was that really the point?

larienna
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I like the idea of a magazine

I like the idea of a magazine because it keeps people informed on what has been published.

I would rather more have an E-zine/OR/magazine, free/OR/paid, which would talk about all the Print & Play market. This way, it would increase the exposition of the P&P games. Might also have some ratings, price, location and comments about each new game.

I don't like much the idea of having games in a magazine or book. My first impression is that it will seem like simple and cheap games since you cannot easily supply components (especially in a book) and you cannot really submit an heavy game. Most games in books are games you can play with a pen and paper. Also in a magazine, the player does not choose which games he want, while if he could get some information about games available, it might convince him to buy the games he want.

Besides keeping track of new games and reviewing games, you could give information on how effectively build your print and play game. What are the generic components available you can find and use. Interview a P&P designer.

Still having an e-zine could be harder to get exposed than if you sell it as a magazine. You could also do both to reach people outside you distribution area. You could also distribute your magazine as a CD-rom. This has already be done but I am not sure if it really succeeded. The CD is packaged with a cardboard sheet containing the title and the right size to fit in a magazine stand. You could supply some P&P games on the CD as a promotion. Or supply demos of P&P games since many P&P games offer a demo before you can buy the game. Or you could include free P&P games.

I think the common point in all the ideas above is that it needs to be cheap. P&P are cheap games ( in their component), the magazine should be somewhat cheap too. I would strongly suggest black and white printing.

Dralius
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No reviews

Reviewing PnP games is something that a monthly e-zine can do much better than a quarterly publication. The Quarterly format makes it months behind news wise on most things so reviewing products free or otherwise is not something I see working.

If you are looking for PnP reviews you can find them at http://printandplay.blogspot.com/

Whether publication is possible in print or electronic format, free or subscription is still under evaluation. I would be thankful for any further feedback especially on potential content since I am still in the research phase and good data is hard to come by.

kungfugeek
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Piecepack

The problem of components (quality, and inconvenience of p&p) could maybe be trimmed down a little if you made it easy for your readers to get a hold of a piecepack, and made sure that some of the games used it. Maybe offer a piecepack with a yearly subscription or something...

But I think there is already a lot of places where you can get piecepack games...

Good luck with it.

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