This page is where I will post links and resources that relate to creating Zines, and small press games. If you have any good links or references, let me know, and I’ll add them here!
Zine Month (ZiMo) – 2022 – 2023
Discord Link to ZiMo channel.
ZineQuest Kickstarter Links
The RPG Zines Facebook Group is a great community of Zine lovers.
The RPG Zines Reddit Page is worth checking out.
Some zines are minimalist games, some are not, but if you feel your game is, the Minimalist RPGs Facebook group could be for you.
Articles and Info
A thorough and thoroughly excellent blog post detailing all the steps to planning, creating, and budgeting for a Zine project, by Sam Sorenson.
A phenomenal article on creating Zines, from @zeshio.
The Quest Continues: An article on Medium from the KS team about the Zine Quest 2019 – including some useful thoughts about some of the things you should do…
A lengthy and detailed blog post on creating Zines. Well worth reading! At Mazirian’s Garden.
A Twitter thread about printing Zines from @zeshio
A Blog post about Shipping considerations, from @zeshio
More from @zeshio – stats drawn from the 2019 Zine Quest, and some great accompanying thoughts.
Layout and Grid, a great reference for laying out RPGs, from Clayton Notestine.
A great Twitter thread from @HealthPakStream on commissioning artists.
Booklet layout – how to structure a file for booklet printing.
A blog post from RPG Ideas with lots of useful links and information about art, maps, and so on.
Marketing Yourself – Lots of wonderful advice about setting up your brand, site, socials, and so much more, from Ash Kreider. Well worth reading!
Selling your Indie Product to Retailers – An interesting article that looks at selling your indie products (say zines for example) to retailers after the Kickstarter is done and dusted. The article is by the LoneArchivist.
Creative Market – seems a useful place to buy templates you can use for various things, not least of which are Smart Shape PSD files to make mockups of your zine…
Mock Ups Design – a great source of free mockup templates for Photoshop (and which also work in Affinity).
FreePik – a resource for finding free PSD resources, vectors, and more.
An awesome DLC for an editable character sheet for Table Top Simulator.
The Indie RPG Newsletter from Thomas Manuel.
This spread sheet is designed to help budget for the production of an RPG, from the wonderful folx at Machine Age Productions.
Bone Box Chant is a phenomenal website that has been tracking ZineQuest projects and data… well worth checking out!
More resources – a page with a collection of resources, like this one, but from the Lone Archivist.
A fantastic article about SRDs (or System Reference Documents), from mv.
This phenomenal little program from Geoff Engelstein can be used to explore dice probabilities.
A great article from LunarShadow, about the money side of running his Kickstarter for Project Cassandra (ZQ3).
Making your RPG docs accessible. An excellent blog post from Nate Lee.
Public Domain or Creative Commons Art
It goes without saying that for any piece of art it is worth checking on the license to make sure it is ok to use, and under what conditions (Commercial use? Attribution? etc)
Artist Stéphane Richard dropped 90gb of their art online.
A Twitter thread with links in it, in which I ask for recommendations for art…
A great Twitter thread on pay rates for freelance artists, focused on charging appropriately for the art a freelance artist does. From @MooCheese
A fantastic article from Jamie McKelvie, all about creating digital files for colourists. While it’s specific to comics, there is a ton of great info in there that applies generally as well.
A fantastic Twitter thread from @JohanNohr, on setting up body text – very good stuff!
Mixam – A printer that specialises in Zines, based in the US.
Impact Digital – Large printer in Melbourne, Australia.
JukeBox Printers – based in the US.
Short Run Printing – based in the US.
Software and Web Tools
Affinity Publisher – a fantastic publishing and layout program.
Affinity Photo – great for linking with Publisher, and can be used to create smart object mock ups.
Imposeonline.com – An online tool for the imposition of PDF files.
Photopea – make mock ups and PSD files for free and online! Awesome!
A lighting reference – looking at lighting from any angle on a human head. From William Nguyen.
An excellent Tweet, with an image showing a range of different software options to use instead of the Adobe suite, from @lf_osr
Music and Sound Effects
Fesliyan Studios – Royalty Free music and sounds – read the license before use, they ask for a donation, but very good.
ZapSplat – Royalty Free music and sound effects – as above, read the license before use, very good.
A Twitter thread collecting some nice free fonts, from @Gontijo.
My Blog Posts about the ZineQuest
Beginnings – About the ZineQuest.
Choices – Choosing between a game in development, or creating something new.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – A range of questions about producing a printed zine that I need to find answers to.
Printing – Some research about printing and printing costs, including some sample quotes I got.
Honing – Playtesting and the start of a mini-campaign.
Resources – links (some of which can also be found above), and comments on why they are useful.
Moving Forward – some notes about playtesting Corsairs.
Shipping from Down Under – some investigation of the shipping costs for Zines from Australia to international addresses.
The Starting Line is in Sight – some thoughts about costs and costings as the ZineQuest approached. Looking at pricing and considerations for a Kickstarter Funding Level and Backer Levels.
The Wait is On – The Corsairs Kickstarter Project is waiting to be approved.
Corsairs! Coming Soon to Kickstarter – dropping the preview page. This marked the beginning of a frenetic period of ‘getting the word out there’.
Ruminations – Kicking off a series of articles about running my Kickstarter for ZineQuest…
Why ZineQuest – Why did I decide to launch a game for Zinequest?
Why Kickstarter – Why did I want to run a Kickstarter, and what were the benefits of doing so?
How Things Change – Charting the Journey of Corsairs from a micro-RPG concept to a ZineQuest Kickstarter.
Certain of my Uncertainty – Planning for the ZineQuest, with a focus on printing costs, funding goals, and backer level prices.
Shipping a game about Ships – The planning and costs of shipping for Corsairs.
Levels and Goals – The costs and resulting choices I made about the Funding Goal and Backer Levels for the Corsairs Kickstarter.
Pixels and Pages – My thoughts going into the Kickstarter about PDF vs Physical copies, and the reality once the Kickstarter was done and the dust had settled.
Stretch Goals – Thoughts, wonderings, and considerations on what to do for stretch goals and whether to, or not to…
Updates! Get your Updates here… – Some thoughts about the updates I made for my Kickstarter project during ZineQuest.
Living in a Bubble… – Hitting the limits of my social media influence was a weird feeling.
Timing and Tax – Some thoughts about timing income and expenses with an eye to what it means come tax time.
Implications – Setting Backer Levels can impact choices well after the Kickstarter is finished…
In a Bind – Making a tough decision about what to do for Zine Quest 3 in 2021.
Locked and Loaded – Decision made, I move forward with a few essential steps (art, layout, and fonts)…
Announcing: Rascals – Announcing my game for the 2021 Zine Quest 3. A sci-fi action-adventure game called Rascals.
Rascals, in 3, 2, 1… – The prelaunch page goes live for Rascals, and a little about the game.
On the Cards, A Question of Design – A design article that delves into the whys and wherefores of the card system in Rascals.
Downsizing, a Plan? – an article about the costs of shipping from Australia, and plans for ZineQuest 2022 that *could* be worthwhile…
Early Reflections – Owlbear Omelette – an article about why I wanted to try an A6 format, the costs of shipping, and what’s coming from Caradoc Games for ZineQuest 2023…
Announcing: Prisoners of the Elf King – an A6 game where you play Dwarves escaping the clutches of the Woodland King!
The Year that Was… – reflections on the year of 2022, fulfilling Foundlings, plans for other games that year, and an experiment with my A6 zine: Owlbear Omelette (as well as some financial reflections for the year).