Open Ideas for Issue Ten

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
September 20, 2008 - 11:18am
I know it's early but we need to get people interested in the next issue so they submit.

Remember all submissions go to submissions@starfrontiersman.com and please do not post on the website.

What the zine needs:

Campaign/Adventure Hooks
Equipment
House Rules
Articles about possible Star Frontiers Canon or actual Star Frontiers canon.
At least one new character race or some creature of a sort that can be used in the game.
Classifieds
Art work galore!
and whatever you think will contribute to fellow gamers and their gaming....
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.
Comments:

Will's picture
Will
September 20, 2008 - 11:48am
Any ideas as to a projected due date, Gerg, or are we still going with the idea of publishing a new issue every three months? 

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 20, 2008 - 8:31pm
Having done this once now, I propose we go bi-montly and shoot to have the next one out mid November.  With that in mind, I propose we have a deadline of November 1st.  Gergmaster can edit the submissions as the come in and then send them on to me.  I'll do layout and assemble the articles into the final form.  The goal will be an issue out by November 15th.

I'll say up front that everything submitted may not make it into this next issue but please don't let that hold you up.  The goal is to generate a backlog so that we're not scrambling.  I currently have a very big rules article that could easily make most of an issue already along with some of Will's stories.  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.

Anyway, that's my suggestion.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
September 20, 2008 - 10:18pm
I'd like to see:

1)  Different borders based on the subject of the articles.

2)  Email hotlinks to the authors and/or threads here to discuss articles.  The zine should attempt to engage the community better.

3)  Playtesting ratings for articles.  I suggest using some programming lingo like:

Alpha:  Untested.  Actively interested in feedback and experiences with the content to advance playability.
Beta:  Minor playtesting. Actively interesed in feedback and experiences with the content to further hone playability and balance.
RC (Release Candidate):  Significantly playtested, edited, and developed.  However, it is still open to tweaks.
Gold:  Heavily playtested and found to be well-balanced with SF Cannon.

I think this is important information to set the frame of mind that the reader should have when approaching the article and help establish their expectations of the playability of the content.  It could also lead to revisions of certain articles in past issues to make the quality of the mags better so that they end up being more like reference books instead of catcher's mits for random ideas.  And, finally, it encourages appropriate feedback from users.

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
September 20, 2008 - 11:16pm
Guys if we want to release every month we need to get everybody contributing. For now maybe we can cut the magazine to every other month until we get people use to the idea of the new submission format.

Also having the zine to every other month allows for submissions to build up so we can have an issue that is the regular length (30-60 pages max is the target that Bill was talking about a while ago).
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
September 20, 2008 - 11:19pm
TerlObar wrote:
Having done this once now, I propose we go bi-montly and shoot to have the next one out mid November.  With that in mind, I propose we have a deadline of November 1st.  Gergmaster can edit the submissions as the come in and then send them on to me.  I'll do layout and assemble the articles into the final form.  The goal will be an issue out by November 15th.

I'll say up front that everything submitted may not make it into this next issue but please don't let that hold you up.  The goal is to generate a backlog so that we're not scrambling.  I currently have a very big rules article that could easily make most of an issue already along with some of Will's stories.  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.

Anyway, that's my suggestion.


I completely agree with you TerlObar. I also believe we need to get some more staff members for the zine to help spread the weight out. Which means we should have at least two people editing and formating at a time. Until Larry gets back I will sort through the submissions and make sure everything is in ship shape. If you want to volunteer and help for long term or short term just PM or Email TerlObar or myself.
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
September 20, 2008 - 11:25pm
Full Bleed wrote:
I'd like to see:

1)  Different borders based on the subject of the articles.

2)  Email hotlinks to the authors and/or threads here to discuss articles.  The zine should attempt to engage the community better.

3)  Playtesting ratings for articles.  I suggest using some programming lingo like:

Alpha:  Untested.  Actively interested in feedback and experiences with the content to advance playability.
Beta:  Minor playtesting. Actively interesed in feedback and experiences with the content to further hone playability and balance.
RC (Release Candidate):  Significantly playtested, edited, and developed.  However, it is still open to tweaks.
Gold:  Heavily playtested and found to be well-balanced with SF Cannon.

I think this is important information to set the frame of mind that the reader should have when approaching the article and help establish their expectations of the playability of the content.  It could also lead to revisions of certain articles in past issues to make the quality of the mags better so that they end up being more like reference books instead of catcher's mits for random ideas.  And, finally, it encourages appropriate feedback from users.


Sounds like some pretty good ideas. We should probably wait for changes until we can get some consitency with the magazine issues. If you want to help us expand the format and protocal of the zine we could always use it.
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
September 21, 2008 - 5:57am
TerlObar wrote:
  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.


Would it be posible to break those down into 2-3 parts and spread them out over a couple of issues?
Or maybe focus on one per issue depending on the size.

I could try to slap toether some maps.  Anyone have some ideas for locations?
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Will's picture
Will
September 21, 2008 - 10:24am
Gergmaster wrote:
TerlObar wrote:
Having done this once now, I propose we go bi-montly and shoot to have the next one out mid November.  With that in mind, I propose we have a deadline of November 1st.  Gergmaster can edit the submissions as the come in and then send them on to me.  I'll do layout and assemble the articles into the final form.  The goal will be an issue out by November 15th.

I'll say up front that everything submitted may not make it into this next issue but please don't let that hold you up.  The goal is to generate a backlog so that we're not scrambling.  I currently have a very big rules article that could easily make most of an issue already along with some of Will's stories.  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.

Anyway, that's my suggestion.


I completely agree with you TerlObar. I also believe we need to get some more staff members for the zine to help spread the weight out. Which means we should have at least two people editing and formating at a time. Until Larry gets back I will sort through the submissions and make sure everything is in ship shape. If you want to volunteer and help for long term or short term just PM or Email TerlObar or myself.


Bi-monthly works for me. 

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 21, 2008 - 12:12pm
Full Bleed wrote:
I'd like to see:

1)  Different borders based on the subject of the articles.

I'd be more than happy to incorporate different borders if someone wants to make them.  On a scale of 1 to 10 my artistic ability is about a -3.  Doing this seems to be a little difficult with Word (at least to have different borders on different pages within the same document).  Of course that may just be my ignorance on program features.  I actually tried playing with the borders and it always ended up affecting every page, not just the one I was working on.

Full Bleed wrote:
2)  Email hotlinks to the authors and/or threads here to discuss articles.  The zine should attempt to engage the community better.
  This should be easy to do.  I would request that the authors include what they want linked in their submission as well as the e-mail they would like to be contacted at if desired.

Full Bleed wrote:
3)  Playtesting ratings for articles.  I suggest using some programming lingo like:

Alpha:  Untested.  Actively interested in feedback and experiences with the content to advance playability.
Beta:  Minor playtesting. Actively interesed in feedback and experiences with the content to further hone playability and balance.
RC (Release Candidate):  Significantly playtested, edited, and developed.  However, it is still open to tweaks.
Gold:  Heavily playtested and found to be well-balanced with SF Cannon.

I think this is important information to set the frame of mind that the reader should have when approaching the article and help establish their expectations of the playability of the content.  It could also lead to revisions of certain articles in past issues to make the quality of the mags better so that they end up being more like reference books instead of catcher's mits for random ideas.  And, finally, it encourages appropriate feedback from users.
This is a lot more work, especially if this information is coming from someone other than the author.  It's not a bad idea, but doing so would significantly increase the turn around time from submission to inclusion in the magazine if it has to be tested by others.  This was part of the job of line editor as Bill described it (and one of the reasons I originally deferred on the position as I don't really have time to playtest all the suggested optional rules).  Do I sense a volunteer?Smile
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 21, 2008 - 12:14pm
Rum Rogue wrote:
TerlObar wrote:
  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.


Would it be posible to break those down into 2-3 parts and spread them out over a couple of issues?

The stories could be broken up fairly easily.  The large rules section is a rework of the spaceship rules.  I haven't looked at it that closely but at first guess it may not make sense to split it up.  It is something I'll have to look closely at.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 21, 2008 - 1:17pm
Gergmaster wrote:
Until Larry gets back I will sort through the submissions and make sure everything is in ship shape. If you want to volunteer and help for long term or short term just PM or Email TerlObar or myself.
Don't expect Larry to be back anytime soon.  I got an e-mail from him saying he's done with Star Frontiers for a while.  I guess he's busy with life and Star Wars miniatures for the time being.  It didn't sound like he was gone for good, just for a while.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Full Bleed's picture
Full Bleed
September 21, 2008 - 9:12pm
TerlObar wrote:
This is a lot more work, especially if this information is coming from someone other than the author.  It's not a bad idea, but doing so would significantly increase the turn around time from submission to inclusion in the magazine if it has to be tested by others.  This was part of the job of line editor as Bill described it (and one of the reasons I originally deferred on the position as I don't really have time to playtest all the suggested optional rules).  Do I sense a volunteer?Smile


I don't see any more work in this, other than to add a rating to the articles.  I never said any play-testing had to be done, just that readers should be told how well-tested the material actually is.  So once the author submits the article you just shoot him the rating categories asking him for what it should be set at.  They've got no reason to lie about how well-tested the content is, especially if they actually would like to get some feedback and make it more playable.

Again, the whole point is to set expectations and to encourage feedback from people who might use the article's content.  If users are told, "Hey, this is pretty untested material.  If you use it, please give the author some feedback or post to the forums with your experiences" then the chances of actually getting some play-testing and some user feedback increases significantly.


TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 22, 2008 - 7:57am
Full Bleed wrote:
TerlObar wrote:
This is a lot more work, especially if this information is coming from someone other than the author.  It's not a bad idea, but doing so would significantly increase the turn around time from submission to inclusion in the magazine if it has to be tested by others.  This was part of the job of line editor as Bill described it (and one of the reasons I originally deferred on the position as I don't really have time to playtest all the suggested optional rules).  Do I sense a volunteer?Smile


I don't see any more work in this, other than to add a rating to the articles.  I never said any play-testing had to be done, just that readers should be told how well-tested the material actually is.  So once the author submits the article you just shoot him the rating categories asking him for what it should be set at.  They've got no reason to lie about how well-tested the content is, especially if they actually would like to get some feedback and make it more playable.

Again, the whole point is to set expectations and to encourage feedback from people who might use the article's content.  If users are told, "Hey, this is pretty untested material.  If you use it, please give the author some feedback or post to the forums with your experiences" then the chances of actually getting some play-testing and some user feedback increases significantly.

That works.  It sounded like you like to see the material tested more after submission.  Confusion on my part.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
September 23, 2008 - 10:20am

would there be copyright issues if we put old SF advertisements from Dragon mag and various other sources?

I bit of nostalgia, or would that be too redundant?  

Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

umungus's picture
umungus
September 23, 2008 - 12:19pm
Full Bleed wrote:
I'd like to see:

2)  Email hotlinks to the authors and/or threads here to discuss articles.  The zine should attempt to engage the community better.

3)  Playtesting ratings for articles.  I suggest using some programming lingo like:



I think that those are great ideas. I think everyone here that submits articles would like some sort of feedback. So, a thread dedicated to articles would be good.
I would be nice to know if the article presented is just an idea or if it has been used in a game.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Will's picture
Will
September 23, 2008 - 2:53pm
TerlObar wrote:
Rum Rogue wrote:
TerlObar wrote:
  In fact, I could put out another issue next month but it would only have three large articles in it.  I'd like to have a bit more variety.


Would it be posible to break those down into 2-3 parts and spread them out over a couple of issues?

The stories could be broken up fairly easily.  The large rules section is a rework of the spaceship rules.  I haven't looked at it that closely but at first guess it may not make sense to split it up.  It is something I'll have to look closely at.
 

Email me the rules section, I'll see if it can be broken into more bite-sized pieces.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
September 27, 2008 - 2:15am
How about starting a "Frontier Feedback" section...aka letters to the editor? How feasible would it be to have a few questions posted to be answered by authors of the various submitted material?

Just an idea...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 27, 2008 - 5:31am
I think a Frontier Feedback section would be a great idea.  We may not be able to contact all the authers from previous issues right at first but we can definitely contact newer ones and keep a contact list going forward.

If you want to submit a Letter to the Editor with a comment or question about a previous article, you could send it to submissions@starfrontiersman.com and give it a title "Frontier Feedback:  <insert topic here>"  that would help us identify them in the submission pile as being for this feature.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
October 8, 2008 - 7:10am
I would like to see a Frontier Comic of sorts.

Anyone have pictures of miniatures I could use?

Galinor3's picture
Galinor3
October 28, 2008 - 12:56pm

For me Issue nine's great and outstanding article was the new skills rules. It revised the old rules and brought the game into the modern era. I think there needs to something like this in every issue. Whether it's starships, equipment or atlas material etc. I don't just mean new stuff, (which is also great), but things condensed down into rules revision type packadges. This way the game given time, can recieve a complete overhaul.


CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
November 23, 2008 - 11:19pm
I just want more of the same - more creatures, more robots, more equipment, more NPCs, more races, more ships, more maps, all that stuff that us Referees can easily chew on and turn into useful adventure material.  I always loved the "Adventure!" section - it was usually full of a handful of sketchy plotlines for adventures that I usually turned into useful material. 

Yes of course new rules are great, and so are rule revisions (I've been using the new skill system I presented in issue 9 regularly since, and haven't found much of a hole in those rules yet).  But I think the amount of short story pages shouldn't be the bulk of the size of the issue... just my opinion but not a strong one :-)

As far as layout goes, don't feel like you have to stick to the layout I've been using in previous issues, though it's nice to see you did that for issue 9.  If you want to get creative, go ahead!!  I sincerely enjoy seeing the magazine in other people's hands now - and can't wait to contribute more articles and be a part of a whole rather than the guy standing at the front of it all.  YAY!
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack