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Board Game Magazine Question

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MondaysHero
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Joined: 07/08/2011

So, I'm beginning the long (and probably painful process) of thinking about starting a Board Game Magazine. What Board Game Mags do you read regularly? And Why? What do they have (in content, quality, style) and what mags do you NOT read due to the aforementioned features?
-Monday

Tj
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Joined: 04/14/2011
game mag

Monday,

Just back from Spiel. Had three prototypes in the inventor's area. The editor of this magazine http://www.gemengdebranche.nl/view.cfm?page_id=10146 approached me and told me that if I get published to give him a contact. I used bing translator (it's in dutch). might answer some questions. will be posting "lesson's learned" when i return home next week.

larienna
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It seems that most magazines

It seems that most magazines have died with the arrival of the internet. So there is good reasons to get published anymore, at least not in paper format.

If you do want to make one, I strongly suggest making an electronic version. People were asked comments regarding an euro magazine going world wide called "Plateau" and most people said they would have preferred it in electronic version for their tablet. Else the annual fee were pretty expensive, Something around 70$ US. This is why I did not subscribe.

I think to make the magazine attractive, you will have to offer something that the Internet cannot offer. And just that could be very hard to find. The arrival of tablets could be a good reason to have a magazine.

Like I said to one of my friend for a podcast project, people now have a very short attention span, you cannot ask them to dedicate 30-60min of their time to something. They can hardly keep a 10 min focus. So consider that people will not be interested to read a magazine from head to tails. But random separate articles organized by type might attract more people. This is why the internet seems to have replaced the magazines. More flexible, more volatile.

Magazines are still used in scientific research, but even there, the articles are indexed and people only search the indexes and ask for a specific article in a specific magazine. They will never read a magazine from head to tails.

I don't want to discourage you, I just don't want you to put time on something that could fail. Still, if something like "Board Game Geek" did not exist, a magazine would have been essential for me like it was the case of my "Nintendo Power" subscription back then.

Stormyknight1976
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Joined: 04/08/2012
Very true

I agree with Larienna. Been thinking of a board and card game magazine to work on. But it came to one thing. Is this game just for me or for the public. Well of course the public and then for me. Is paper back really neccessary these days? Its a yes and no. Yes. Because I like holding a magazine in my hands and most of the times I am not at the computer to read the info online. So, there is alot to think about this endeavor. But the journey is worth it.

lewpuls
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What kind?

You haven't said what kind of magazine you're interested in doing? First question, to make money? Very, very unlikely, even magazines with decades of history are shutting down. As others have pointed out, the Internet serves the same purpose, except for those like me who read a paper magazine while eating a meal (PC Magazine and GameInformer).

Someone suggested more or less separate random-subject content. As this is no different than BGG, why would anyone bother? You need focused content, with related articles (which, of course, is much harder to arrange). Then someone might read your magazine because he or she is interested in the subject you're focusing on.

Some years ago I did three issues of a free PDF magazine (of sorts) about Sweep of History games. But it wasn't worth the effort, and when I stopped it, no one really noticed.

Good luck.

Lew

larienna
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Some of my friends want to

Some of my friends want to make a audio french Podcast. Apparently, there is a lot of english podcast out there already. Pod cast could work better because it's an audio medium. So people could be listening to the pod cast while doing other thing. People could also hear it on the net, but the format might make it more interesting for listening it while doing other activities. This is why I think it could work, and I will probably participate.

As for magazines, regarding the format, the only thing I can think of is tablets PC/e-readers . That could be a reason for people to want a magazine if they can read it on their device. Sometimes, these devices or the user does not have an internet connection, so if they could simply upload the magazine and read on the road, then it could work.

So I don't say it's impossible, I just say you should give some thought to the medium.

Stormyknight1976
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Podcast

I think the Podcast is the way to go to get all of the information out for all of the gaming needs. Like upcoming events, new games and how to play them. What was taken out of the games from new versions etc.

MondaysHero
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Joined: 07/08/2011
e-Mag is definitely a

e-Mag is definitely a direction I was thinking. I am more than aware that this would not be a huge money making venture. It's more a supplementary income that more supports my gaming habit than anything. I'm a freelance game designer, so this would just be one more thing to do that would be part of my job.
When I look around at a lot of the listed online Mags, they are just courier font on a web page. Layout is not a hard thing to do with inDesign, so I'm thinking to myself what is really missing i the Gaming world? I love getting my miniatures magazine every other month (No Quarter from Privateer Press) so why not an e-Mag that really gives me something to read. I enjoy reading the mag front to back, and while I do enjoy going to BGG, I often feel like I'm waiting days in between good articles (since all the articles are iOS reviews.) So I would prepare myself to make a magazien that is small at first, and then grows into a full magazine. Thanks for all of your input, everyone. If you do have additional thought on what content would make you seriously consider reading a Board Game Magazine, feel free to continue piping in.

lewpuls
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No income

There is no prospect of "supplementary income" from a magazine. How many magazines about games can you name that people pay for? Kobold Quarterly (RPGs only). Dungeon, and Dragon (RPGs again). Counter (don't know, I've never seen it)? "Games" magazine (which is mostly about puzzles). What else? Oh, Against the Odds, Strategy & Tactics, etc., but you know those are bought as much for the game as for the magazine.

For attention, a podcast is better than a magazine (or blog) because more people will listen than read. But for the most attention, videos on youtube are the way to go. We're in an age of functional illiteracy, in most situations you can't give a group of people something of significant length and expect them to read and understand it fully, not because they can't, but because they won't bother to. But they'll watch/listen to a video.

If you were wildly successful on youtube you might begin to earn a little by advertising.

The fundamental problem is that you're competing against too much free stuff. Why pay for your stuff, when so much free stuff is available? That's why writing RPGs still pays 2 to 5 cents a word, the same rate that pulp writers got in the 30s but less than a tenth the value. There are too many people willing to do it at that rate, or free. This is why most RPGs sell 500-1,000 copies, there's just too much free stuff around, why pay for something?

MondaysHero
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(No Quarter, White Dwarf)

(No Quarter, White Dwarf) Yes, these are miniature's magazines, but just because it has not been done successfully, doesn't mean it can't be done successfully. (Why has Privateer Press become so popular? Because they challenged GW who was just taking our money, and then they made a magazine that has geniune coverage of their game instead of just glorified advertizing like GW does.)
As I mentioned before, I am merely beginning to research the possiblity. I may find that it's not worth my time. My primary concern with starting a magazine, is to poll people such as yourself to find out what you feel it missing. When you go looking for a Magazine, why don't you d/l or buy it? Is it because issue after issue the magazine just ends up being one gamer's "Troll Rant"? Or because the editor only likes one type of game? Or is it the layout? Good games look great (Uwe Rosenberg) bad games take quite a lot to "get into." A magazine should be the same. Yes, content is easy enough to write up, but what bores me with a magazine, is if the layout is trash, then I feel the editors just don't care enough to make t worth my while.

Thanks again for your input. I do appreciate it.

truekid games
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Spielbox was doing well

Spielbox was doing well enough in Germany that they started publishing an English language version a couple of years ago. It's very content-rich.

larienna
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One of the advantage of the

One of the advantage of the magazine is that you do not spent time searching for the content you want. It's like if somebody said to you "Read this". This has it's advantage and flaws.

The advantage is that I don't have to spend time searching for something good to read. The disadvantage is that I don't have access to all information or I might not want to read what is proposed.

It reminds me of anime group that worked like that "Watch This". Now that I am not in a group, I don't watch much anime because I need to search for anime series that could interest me, sort them out, read reviews, see the few first episode, etc. This all demands additional time I am not willing to spend. I prefer only watch something and don't bother about it.

questccg
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Here is an idea...

MondaysHero wrote:
So, I'm beginning the long (and probably painful process) of thinking about starting a Board Game Magazine. What Board Game Mags do you read regularly? And Why? What do they have (in content, quality, style) and what mags do you NOT read due to the aforementioned features?
-Monday

Instead of producing a "Board Game Magazine", why not make what I call a "Puzzle Magazine". Maybe you could get board game designers to create *mini games* that can be put into a magazine... I always had a dream about a book which is kind of a Puzzle book. Inside the book would be all kinds of different types of puzzles and the goal would be to solve all of them and uncover the secret of the book. I originally thought it could be like a Treasure Hunt but I quickly realized it would be hard to keep information. However if you could use the Internet, and make people search for information on the web, that could be more lasting...

BTW I would be a terrible candidate for such an endeavor. Maybe someone else can profit from this *idea*.

Best.

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