Author Topic: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine  (Read 14260 times)

XLambda

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • MSN Messenger - tau_iota@live.de
    • View Profile
    • The Weird Rogue
Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« on: May 16, 2013, 04:37:19 PM »
This was once a thing, and it's a shame it isn't anymore. So, I've been thinking about reviving the mag of old.

In this golden age of RL development, many folks want to stay up-to-date wrt the state of the dev scene, and I think the form of the magazine offers something our current media don't. It is more compact than the Roguelike Radio podcast (which is excellent, and you should not miss) both in size and organizational overhead. Especially developers of smaller projects probably feel more comfortable with answering some questions over email or irc than jumping on the radio for a one-hour discussion. And it is probably more pleasant than looking through roguebase, for people who don't like reading devblogs. All in all I think it would be neat both as a way to keep informed and discuss specific games and topics that devs and players (should) care about.

Of course this wouldn't be weekly or monthly - I think a period of two or even three months would be optimal. There isn't just enough going on in the scene to allow for more frequent 'releases', and I (as well as possible interviewees) happen to have a life as well. It would also be enough time to allow for content contributions from the crowd.

I guess my question to the roguetemplars is, would you read a Roguelike Magazine?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 05:39:19 PM by XLambda »

Z

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 905
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Z's Roguelike Stuff
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 05:20:04 PM »
Well, Roguetemple has a similar goal: Slash and Darren Grey once did publish monthly news articles on Roguetemple, and sometimes there are reviews and interviews. Maybe you should sign in as an author? Also Irinka is running a similar news/reviews portal in Polish.

jim

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 05:43:52 PM »
Really depends on the content for me. I've found on Roguelike Radio they often don't want to get "too far into the weeds" by discussing specific occurrences on a given roguelike in too much detail, so they stick to more accessible topics like code and methodology of design. I'd prefer the opposite in any sort of RL magazine - something more for enthusiasts than insiders. Perhaps something along the lines of www.gameological.com with a roguelike focus. But I am probably in the minority.

Darren Grey

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 2004
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • It is pitch black. You are likely to eat someone.
    • View Profile
    • Games of Grey
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 12:12:13 AM »
There have been a few attempts at things like this and they've all been great whilst they last. I'd be interested whatever you decide to go with, but please do try to make it regular and reliable!

getter77

  • Protector of the Temple
  • Global Moderator
  • Rogueliker
  • *****
  • Posts: 4926
  • Karma: +1/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 01:02:37 AM »
Could be cool, though out of sheer bias for the format as a late discovery I should think it extra awesome if it could revive in diskmag format, Hugi-style, or perhaps somehow even more interactive under something like a XDRL shell:

NSFW, but artsy and a fascinating part of history you could easily lose weeks browsing through as a window to the past: 

http://hugi.scene.org/
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

chooseusername

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 02:54:23 AM »
This was once a thing, and it's a shame it isn't anymore. So, I've been thinking about reviving the mag of old.

In this golden age of RL development, many folks want to stay up-to-date wrt the state of the dev scene, and I think the form of the magazine offers something our current media don't. It is more compact than the Roguelike Radio podcast (which is excellent, and you should not miss) both in size and organizational overhead. Especially developers of smaller projects probably feel more comfortable with answering some questions over email or irc than jumping on the radio for a one-hour discussion. And it is probably more pleasant than looking through roguebase, for people who don't like reading devblogs. All in all I think it would be neat both as a way to keep informed and discuss specific games and topics that devs and players (should) care about.

Of course this wouldn't be weekly or monthly - I think a period of two or even three months would be optimal. There isn't just enough going on in the scene to allow for more frequent 'releases', and I (as well as possible interviewees) happen to have a life as well. It would also be enough time to allow for content contributions from the crowd.

I guess my question to the roguetemplars is, would you read a Roguelike Magazine?
What definition of roguelike would it apply?  :'(

There was a thread in the roguelikes reddit recently where someone said "check out my roguelike".  Someone replied "that's not a roguelike".  The response to that was along the lines of "well, they both have tiles."
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 02:57:42 AM by chooseusername »

XLambda

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • MSN Messenger - tau_iota@live.de
    • View Profile
    • The Weird Rogue
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 10:38:07 AM »
So, it has been decided. This June will see the resurgence of the ancient and hallowed roguelike magazine under a new name. Of course I had to go with the cheeziest name imaginable, but people will get used to it.

I'll soon contact one or two people for interviews. In the meantime, please read the @ Gazette's first Call for Submissions. You are invited to submit articles and suggest topics. I'll do the typography and layout, so no need to worry about that. Contributions of all kinds are very welcome.



What definition of roguelike would it apply?  :'(

There was a thread in the roguelikes reddit recently where someone said "check out my roguelike".  Someone replied "that's not a roguelike".  The response to that was along the lines of "well, they both have tiles."

Well I have a somewhat conservative definition of the term, but of course the 'zine is open to related games as well. What's commonly called a roguelike-like nowadays would be welcome.

Could be cool, though out of sheer bias for the format as a late discovery I should think it extra awesome if it could revive in diskmag format, Hugi-style, or perhaps somehow even more interactive under something like a XDRL shell:

NSFW, but artsy and a fascinating part of history you could easily lose weeks browsing through as a window to the past: 

http://hugi.scene.org/

I'll think about it. It would be an incredibly nerdy thing to do (which in my eyes is a good thing), but I still like the idea of the 'zine being printable. So we'll see where we end up.

There have been a few attempts at things like this and they've all been great whilst they last. I'd be interested whatever you decide to go with, but please do try to make it regular and reliable!

I definitely will try to publish on a regular schedule, though it remains to be seen what that schedule will be. I think two months isn't too unrealistic.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 10:40:27 AM by XLambda »

AgingMinotaur

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 802
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Original Discriminating Buffalo Man
    • View Profile
    • Land of Strangers
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 12:28:43 PM »
Cool, looking forward to this. I'll try to help out with a submission sometime (but don't have enough time for the first issue). Maybe you can think up some recurring columns to include – a running web comic, a query (4 different devs asked a different question every issue), an opinion piece by Krice, or what do I know. And right off the bat, I'd advise you to opt for four issues per year. Six seems an awful lot, but you know your own limits best, of course.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

XLambda

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • MSN Messenger - tau_iota@live.de
    • View Profile
    • The Weird Rogue
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 02:37:24 PM »
And right off the bat, I'd advise you to opt for four issues per year. Six seems an awful lot, but you know your own limits best, of course.

Yeah, right now I just want to see how it works out. If six doesn't work out, I will fall back to four. What I want to avoid is this "Release when it's done" mentality, which leaves readers in the dark about when a new issue will appear.

Paul Jeffries

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 257
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Vitruality.com
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »
Sounds like a nice idea.  I might try and contribute something (no idea what, yet) - do you have any more guidance for contributors?  i.e. article length, style guide, review format, examples of the kind of articles that you'd like etc?

If the answer to that is 'no' then I strongly recommend you put something like that together.  I understand if the instinct is to not be too controlling but in my experience a lack of editorial vision is usually the kiss of death to these things.  You also shouldn't be afraid to turn down contributions or demand re-writes.  The lower the quality of submissions you accept the lower the quality of submissions you'll get.  For that reason alone I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion to make it quarterly rather than bi-monthly - you can be a bit more selective that way.

XLambda

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • MSN Messenger - tau_iota@live.de
    • View Profile
    • The Weird Rogue
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 01:02:07 PM »
Sounds like a nice idea.  I might try and contribute something (no idea what, yet) - do you have any more guidance for contributors?  i.e. article length, style guide, review format, examples of the kind of articles that you'd like etc?

If the answer to that is 'no' then I strongly recommend you put something like that together.  I understand if the instinct is to not be too controlling but in my experience a lack of editorial vision is usually the kiss of death to these things.  You also shouldn't be afraid to turn down contributions or demand re-writes.  The lower the quality of submissions you accept the lower the quality of submissions you'll get.  For that reason alone I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion to make it quarterly rather than bi-monthly - you can be a bit more selective that way.

That's a good suggestion, I'll be sure do that. As I said on #rgrd last night, this is the 'community' zine, not the 'one guy with a large opinion talking to himself' zine. This is what I have so far. Feel free to make suggestions.

Regarding the article length, the general layout still hasn't received the finishing touches, so I'm not quite sure what exactly we can accommodate. Anything between a half and three A4 pages (including images) in 1 pica size (12 pt), is practical. A half A4 page is a little bit on the short side, but if it's not mostly images then that would be okay as well. I'll be able to give more precise guidelines later.

The main topics of the magazine are gaming, design and development. The first two are probably most interesting for players, the last two are more interesting for devs. This separation will also be present in the finished magazine.  Any article being submitted must fit into one of these categories.
'Gaming' is to cover actual game reviews, discussion of events and topics in the RL gaming scene.
'Design' is to cover, well, game design from a non-technical standpoint. A lot of this is already being done in the blogosphere right now.
'Development' is to cover the technical aspects of RL making. This includes not just articles on algorithms and data structures, but also the review of libraries and technologies.

EDIT: I should probably add that good spelling is a requirement. I am fairly proficient in English, but I'm not a native speaker, so if I was forced to correct a badly written article I would most likely screw up.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 04:51:49 PM by XLambda »

Darren Grey

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 2004
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • It is pitch black. You are likely to eat someone.
    • View Profile
    • Games of Grey
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 05:12:50 PM »
I posted a link to your site on reddit and it got some comments you might find useful:

http://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikes/comments/1eierq/the_gazette_a_new_roguelike_community_magazine_is/

AgingMinotaur

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 802
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Original Discriminating Buffalo Man
    • View Profile
    • Land of Strangers
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 10:46:29 PM »
XLambda. If I were you, I would definitely contact specific people and actively ask for contributions. It's great that you want to do the heavy lifting, but I also love the vision of a magazine situated where the community is at. I've worked a lot with magazines and other publications, both as an editor and a writer, and while I think it's good with an open call for submissions, the chances for getting a contribution is drastically higher if you contact people individually. (Consider that asking someone to write a piece is a bit like asking to interview them.) I think there are a lot of vocal commentators, bloggers and critics who might respond positively. Anyone from Snargleplax to Josepth Hewitt (it would be cool to lure him into writing a really good essay on procedural desgin). You can style a personal letter, saying that you would love a piece about X (related to their special field of interest); but if they have another idea for a contribution, you are open to suggestions.

I'm also sure some proofreading capable people would be willing to read through a single article now and then, or do other "first aid". Some people have been known to perform herculean tasks of community work before ::) I'd offer to chip in with proofreading myself, but am not a native speaker of English, either. Don't hesitate to contact me if there might be other ways I can help out, though. I hope I'm not coming off as brash in any way. I just got a bit carried away pondering a new RL zine and figured you're interested in all and any comments.

As always,
Minotauros
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 10:48:44 PM by AgingMinotaur »
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

XLambda

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • MSN Messenger - tau_iota@live.de
    • View Profile
    • The Weird Rogue
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 03:30:45 PM »
XLambda. If I were you, I would definitely contact specific people and actively ask for contributions. It's great that you want to do the heavy lifting, but I also love the vision of a magazine situated where the community is at. I've worked a lot with magazines and other publications, both as an editor and a writer, and while I think it's good with an open call for submissions, the chances for getting a contribution is drastically higher if you contact people individually. (Consider that asking someone to write a piece is a bit like asking to interview them.) I think there are a lot of vocal commentators, bloggers and critics who might respond positively. Anyone from Snargleplax to Josepth Hewitt (it would be cool to lure him into writing a really good essay on procedural desgin). You can style a personal letter, saying that you would love a piece about X (related to their special field of interest); but if they have another idea for a contribution, you are open to suggestions.
Hmm, that's a good idea. I'll do that. I'm really a bit shy wrt/ approaching people, but I'll see what I can do.

I'm also sure some proofreading capable people would be willing to read through a single article now and then, or do other "first aid". Some people have been known to perform herculean tasks of community work before ::) I'd offer to chip in with proofreading myself, but am not a native speaker of English, either.

Yes, several people on #rgrd have already volunteered for proof reading. :)

Don't hesitate to contact me if there might be other ways I can help out, though. I hope I'm not coming off as brash in any way. I just got a bit carried away pondering a new RL zine and figured you're interested in all and any comments.
No worries, I can use all the comments I get!

I posted a link to your site on reddit and it got some comments you might find useful:

http://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikes/comments/1eierq/the_gazette_a_new_roguelike_community_magazine_is/
Ah, thanks! I've already replied to some of them in the meantime. I wasn't aware that the roguelikes reddit was so large.

Krice

  • (Banned)
  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 2316
  • Karma: +0/-2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Reviving the Roguelike Magazine
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 07:14:59 AM »
I've worked a lot with magazines and other publications, both as an editor and a writer, and while I think it's good with an open call for submissions, the chances for getting a contribution is drastically higher if you contact people individually.

Yet better are regular writers, good ones. Someone who can commit to the job.