Monday, July 27, 2009

Thoughts On A Sci-Fi RPG Mag

As I mentioned during Friday’s discussion, I’ve always wanted to see a magazine concentrating on space and sci-fi settings. Not just Traveller, but all the other wonderful RPGs out there that make that genre such fertile ground. Aside from all the fantastic versions of Traveller, we have Thousand Suns, Fading Suns, Cold Space, StarCluster 2, HardNova 2, Hellas, d6 Space, Nebuleon, Burning Empires, Metamorphosis Alpha, Serenity, Lightspeed, StarSIEGE...and that’s just a few of dozens upon dozens. There’s the influential fiction of Piper, Niven, Pournelle, Bujold, Drake, Bradbury, Asimov, and so many more briliant lights. There's the subgenres of Sci-Fi, from Space Opera and Post-Apocalyptic to Cyberpunk, Military, Time Travel, and Slipstream.

If I ever do ever decide to fully put my mind to making this my RPG venture of choice, I’d want something quarterly, based largely on fan submissions, not unlike Fight On! (which is a tremendous model for exciting, fan-based publishing, in my opinion). I’d also want a lot of interaction with large and small-press publishers alike. But above all, it should be an idea mill, a place where people find really useful ideas and something new every time they reread it.

There’d be a lot to do and to learn, but I think I might be tired of letting the prospect of so much to do scare me off. And I know there have to be others out there who’d love to be part of something like this, who would find it worthwhile and useful in their gaming. I’d just need to make sure that I was doing the best way, to give it the best chance of success. I'll take my time on that.

But above all, it sounds like a tremendously fun project that could really build a sense of community for a genre that's long been an also-ran or afterthought in a lot of ways. I'll be asking for your help with some preliminary surveys soon, to sort of help gauge interest level. Of course, comments and ideas are always welcome, in the comments or via email!

15 comments:

clash bowley said...

I'm with you all the way, Zachary! I volunteer to write for it.

-clash

Zachary The First said...

Thanks, clash! I don’t think it’d be the same if you didn’t… I think I’m going to do a survey, to sort of gauge interest and the like. I’ll post it up here, as well as at the usual haunts!

Richard Iorio II said...

You can count both myself, and James writing help when it comes to Thousand Suns.

Robert Saint John said...

Count me in as a potential contributor and definite customer! I feel like I've spent more time over the past few months going back through old issues of The Space Gamer, Ares, Stardate and Different Worlds than any periodical published today.

Zachary The First said...

Fantastic! Those old magazines had (and still have!) a lot to offer, didn't they?

Mark Gedak said...

That's a very interesting idea. Let me know how I can help.

- Mark
Grand OGL Wiki

Zachary The First said...

Well, the first thing will be to do a survey. I'm working on the questions now, and will likely post it tomorrow. If you want to help get the word out so I get a nice response on it, that would help judge interest and perhaps which direction to go...

Helmsman said...

I'd contribute. I think a project like this is long overdue.

Neoncon N40MI said...

Count me in!

Mike said...

Please count me in.

I used to love the old "Ares" sci-fi section of Dragon Magazine. Contributing in some way to a magazine covering sci-fi gaming would be a lot of fun.

SpiralBound said...

I'd like to be involved. I could write, but it appears you have a wealth of potential submitters already. How about an editor? Someone needs to wield the almighty red pen and it may as well be me! :-) I've been the editor of fanzines a couple of times already, so I know of what I speak. ;-)

Rob Lang said...

What clash said.

Count me in.

Zachary The First said...

@Spiral: Thanks for the idea! We're looking at a couple of arrangements now! If you want, drop me a line so I can keep you in the loop...

HinterWelt said...

Well, you know you can count on me for layout, writing some editing and even some access to distribution if you want it.

Zachary The First said...

Thanks, Bill--I think after this survery, I'd like to have a virtual sit-down with all interested parties to sort of hash out how things might work. You have no idea how much it's appreciated.