Zine Quest – Resources…

I added a page to this site to catalogue resources I found across the internet in the lead up to the Zine Quest. You can find it on the page tab, or here. As February approaches, I am finding a few more useful threads on Twitter and on various blog sites around the web. I wanted to highlight some of these here.

First off is @zeshio on Twitter. Zeshio has a number of fantastic Twitter threads about various things to remember and consider when it comes to creating a Zine for the Zine Quest. Three of these particularly caught my eye, and are linked to on the Zine Quest page. The first of these is a Twitter thread about printing. In this thread there are a range of useful tips, tricks and nuggets of advice. Things to do with paper weights, binding types, costs of printing, things to remember when creating the file, and so on. Well worth a read, a reread, and then a rereread.

Second in the list of helpful posts from Zeshio is his blog post about shipping. Shipping, he states, is likely to be the largest cost for producing a zine. He then delves deeper into the subject, considering weights, shipping methods, satchel sizes, and so on. Again, this post is well considered, and contains a huge amount of very useful information. Check it out here.

Last of the three (but not last of Zeshio’s great advice – check him out on Twitter!) is a compilation of stats drawn from the last Zine Quest. This is a google-doc that contains a wide range of data points, how many Zines were a part of the Zine Quest, how many funded, how large were they, how many had stretch goals, what were the funding levels, what level did they fund at, and so on. Really interesting and relevant stuff, that contains a lot of useful points that can be extrapolated. Do stretch goals correlate with funding? Are higher backing levels more likely to succeed than lower backing levels, and so on. On the summary page of the google doc Zeshio develops some thoughts around the data, and asks some interesting questions. Well worth checking out!

I’ve said it already, but if you are looking at developing a Zine Quest, or are a fan of the TTRPG industry, you should most definitely check out and follow @Zeshio – on top of all that he is a fantastic artist.

Next cab off the rank is Exalted Funeral, @ExaltedFuneral, who put a call out for anyone interested in having them handle fulfillment. Well worth checking out!

Last, but not least, is a wonderfully in-depth article by Clayton Notestine, @ClayNotestine, that has been circulated on Twitter, reddit, and elsewhere, all about layout. This blog post really delves into the subject of layout, takes a look at dos and don’ts, as well as examines some wonderful examples from a range of RPG products. This link is not just for Zine Quest, but a must read for anyone interested in learning about layout (like myself), or who is jumping into the subject without having any great prior knowledge (like myself).

I am trying to keep a track of the various links I find interesting or useful over on my Zine Quest page, so if you’ve read this far and have some links that you think would suit – shoot me an email (you can find it here) or hit me up on Twitter!

As an aside, my Zine Quest project, Corsairs, has nearly finished being laid out (I am doing this myself this time around, and using the Affinity Publisher program, which I have thoroughly enjoyed). I’m currently in the middle of playtesting a campaign that I hope will be available as a stretch goal – we shall see!

Achievements – Board Gaming

2019 saw me step back into board gaming in a bigger way than I had for a number of years. Last post I wrote about all things related to 2019 and role playing, this post will focus on board games.

ShepparCon

2019 saw the third ShepparCon take off, a local game convention squarely focused on board games. Every year we have grown a little more, and given our venue for the last two years, some questions need to be asked and answered in the planning phase for 2020. It was a great event, and over 150 attendees came over the weekend for games large and small. I am proud to be a part of the organising committee for this convention, and have had a blast running the Wits and Wagers tournaments the last few years. A big shout out to Dominic Crapuchettes, from North Star Games, for being such a sport and recording a silly congratulations message with me for the winning team, or, as they were dubbed, the Wits and Wagers Champions of the World. It was a highlight!

Game Designs

Tentatively: Colour Jungle…

One of the other organisers of Shepparcon is a board game designer by the name of Karl Lange (you can find his website here), and we had the opportunity to put our heads together and brainstorm some ideas over the course of the convention. One game concept span out into three or four different game ideas, some of which are still in development. The most polished of these Karl took with him to Essen last year, and while we haven’t had any solid bites yet, we have had some positive and encouraging feedback, so that is something!

Working with a co-designer has been a great experience, and I hope it is something Karl and I can continue into 2020. This general focus on board games led me to create two other small prototypes, both of which deserve junking, but the bug has bitten. I am hoping to continue it in the coming year.

The hardest thing, as I have previously expressed in regards to role playing games, is finding both the time and the people for playtesting. I’m lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of gamers, but very few (that I know at least), who are interested in design. I am lucky that I have a long suffering group of close friends and family who will tolerate playtesting my games, but it is still a significant difficulty to find the time to make it happen.

As for playing games, this year has seen a significant rise in the number of games I have managed to get to the table. There has been some solid variety, many new games (many of those from Kickstarter), but I have also managed to blow the dust off a bunch of older games that have been sitting in my shelf unloved for years. For stand outs and most played games, well, I think that’s something I’ll come back to in a later blog post!

Podcasting

Last but not least 2019 saw me dust off my microphone and get a few things recorded for some podcasts. Last year I had the pleasure of gracing the On Board Games and On RPGs podcasts. It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with Don and Erik, both wonderful people, ever accommodating of my umming and ahhing, and general inability to finish a sentence with brevity.