Saturday, 29 December 2012

Living Stone Magazine Issue #1

Introducing Living Stone - the gaming magazine with a British sensibility focusing on cross-media game design, creative content and useable gaming material to provoke,  provide inspiration and entertainment for mature gamers and game designers.



Issue 1 features:
  • Front cover by Jon Hodgson
  • Editorial Column by Ian Livingstone
  • Tabletop game scenarios and rules expansions
  • Short Game Reviews written by game designers, focusing on
    • Tabletop
    • Gamebooks
    • electronic crossovers and notable digital games.
  • Game designer profiles Retrospectives and Interviews
    • Albie Fiore - from dungeons deep to cryptic crosswords
  • Game design + production articles
  • Minigames
  • Decades
    • What was going on in the games industry: 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003. 
  • Letters page
  • Zine reviews
  • Classified ads (5p a word)
  • Ads, lots and lots of glorious ads - Fantasy Flight Games, Black Library, TinManGames, Atlas Games, Steve Jackson Games, Cubicle 7, WoTC, 22Cans, Esdivium Games, LoTFP,
  • Half page cartoon by Lew Stringer
A4 96pp, Black and white interior, some pages 2 colour. 4 colour covers, full-page color ads inside covers. PDF & Print.

No, no, it's not real.

Post originally due to the imminent launch of Gygax magazine, which follows the design of mid-80's Dragon magazine and I thought well, Steve and Ian probably had more of a direct influence on my gaming than Gary, so I thoight I'd do a hommage and reinvent early 80s White Dwarf  for the world of today. Half an hour later - ta-da!

And then Ian gets a CBE in the New Years Honours List on his birthday too (congratulations all round!). And that's one reason there is a "programming for non-programmers" series in there. Ian has worked really hard to get ITC education in the UK moving on a different track "teach children to create technology rather than just being passive users of it", and while Living Stone magazine is not aimed at children, a series of articles about writing a game or a game aid could be very interesting, and a fitting nod.

While I'm here, talking about Fighting Fantasy and stuff, Jonathan Green is running a Kickstarter to write his "History of Fighting Fantasy" book You are the Hero. There are about 7 days left, and it needs another 4k to fund.

And speaking of Kickstarter,  imagine Living Stone magazine is up on there, gauging support,  would you pledge to help make this happen? Would you subscribe? Conversely, if your name is above, would you contribute? would advertisers advertise?

22 comments:

  1. Oh such crushing disappointment. I believed!

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    1. Oh no. I feel like I've just told you Santa isn't real.

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    2. You're not the only one.

      Luckily the office is empty else people might have wondered what could have caused such a heartbroken sigh.

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  2. I was ready to purchase an issue of Living stone :(
    In Australia the British RPG's got a great deal of love.

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    1. Oh no. A sad-face. I wasn't intending to trick people. Maybe April 1st would have been a better date to do this...

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  3. I'd buy, and indeed contribute :-)

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  4. Arrrgh - got me, also! I was looking for the link to subscribe! :-)

    Good one! Right down to the font!

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    1. Cheers! Yes, all the typography is genuine early 1980's GW publication style.

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  5. I wouldn't support a campaign for it or subscribe because for me it's still a little too backward-looking a concept, although the blending of ideas as a core aspect is very inspiring. I do think we need more crossover, more of this kind of open-mindedness. I'd imagine something like it could be a minor general success, but staying too close to this form there is a danger that once the core readership got their fix of nostalgia, it would flag. It might need to be less self-contained and comfortable, with links to a range of current systems and settings and to wider, less familiar spheres.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response! The only games mentioned - Traveller, The One Ring and Talisman are all currently in print, it's not intended to be nostalgic. I'm definitely thinking more "The Edge" for tabletop / book games than "Retro Gamer", but with actual gaming content rather than op-ed.

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    2. The nostalgia itself is less in the games than the names. This is getting on for a who's who, or a who was who. We know many of these people and they already shape the industry, even many years on in some cases. Where are the new voices? This isn't a criticism of the way you've put it together, just a concern that the goal it represents would be too easy for the people behind it to achieve, to little real benefit.

      As for the games, they may be still be in print, but I'm not sure they're all current. Mainstream gaming is still very much using yesterday's thinking and mechanics. I like these too of course, but not everything I like is good for me, or even neutral overall.

      A lot of what a Living Stone would represent is anchored in the time that followed the appearance of D&D. That was arguably a revolutionary time, whether at the tabletop or in front of a monitor, and the beating heart of the general space is transformative. How do we keep the heart beating and use the body it supports?

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    3. Well that's precisely the point, these are significant figures in British games industry. Their careers haven't stood still since the D&D boom, they've adapted in various ways to the changes that have occurred. I expect their perspectives today are quite different than you'd expect, and their insights definitely valuable.

      "New voices", are indeed very important, and I have Ward in there - I could have happily chosen one of many original FF or T&T authors, but went with someone current, because his work is good and contains innovations I appreciate. In my opinion, encouraging those guys to contribute means getting setting a precedent. And hey, Andy Hoare gave a thumbs up, so there's that.

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  6. Damn it! You really had me going! My wallet was halfway out of my pocket after reading the first sentence! Oh...the disappointment!

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    1. I'm seeing a trend here... sorry Wulfgar.

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  7. I'd certainly support such a bold venture! Where do I sign up?

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    1. Consider yourself on the pre-pre-pre-signup list! Ah If there's enough positive feedback I'll consider next steps...

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  8. A Dice Game by Peter Molyneux... could be awesome!

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    1. Yeah. I'm quite taken with the idea of getting top digital creatives, locking them away from the computer and, using only dice, paper and pencils create a game to see what they come up with. I'm sure Peter would come up with something extraordinary.

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  9. Would id be monthly or quarterly?
    But price depending it sounds like a interesting idea add the occasional article concerning 3.5/Pathfinder and I'm in.

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    1. Quarterly! I imagine the 1pg. Dungeon could be easily converted to Pathfinder, but system support would be down to the contributors.

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  10. Dammit, you had me :(

    Put me on the pre-pre-pre list too, please.

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