Publishing Models for Games on ZedGames

Can you get to a radio or a decent internet connection? Then tune in to ZedGames on 4ZzZ tonight for a discussion about print and digital publishing in the gaming industry.

Why yes, I’ll be a guest on the show. Why do you ask?

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Typeface and layout

I came across this blog post by Brad Murray, an indie game publisher. I don’t know how many people are at the layout-stage of their design (I am not), but if you are like me, you are probably thinking about it! This particular post  explains Brad’s process for choosing fonts for his projects. I am far more… umm… intuitive… less analytical (?) than Brad, and I think this blog post has given me some sound structure that might make choosing typefaces easier in the future. Have a look and see what you think. The post is here.

Writing fiction for your game

An option that you might already have considered for your game is to include a piece of fiction.  It might be to help evoke the mood of the game, or even as an example of play (Fictional Play, rather than Actual Play?).  If you are, then spend a little time learning about how to write fiction.  Articles like this one (All Your Characters Talk The Same) can be tremendously useful.

Are you going to include fiction in your game?  Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Another resource

Hey folk. I just want to let you know about another print on demand (POD) option – Create Space. This is a company owned by Amazon.com and so your product is automatically listed there and they will supply you with an ISBN (the string of numbers above a book’s barcode used to identify book publisher, genre, etc) if you don’t have one. I have not used Create Space but at a glance the costs are very competative if you are buying the book yourself and distributing to stores etc. The Create Space and Amazon fees (20% and 40% of cover price respectively) seem high but are not actually any different to Lulu (20%) and RPGnow (40%).

It appears that the POD options out there are many.

Resources and information

I have added a link to Dave Clark’s website, Dust (just check the Resources sidebar). Dave is an illustrator and graphic designer and he is keen work for you! Check out his gallery, his art is amazing.

Also, check the comments for the previous post, Print on Demand. Jason Morningstar (designer of Grey Ranks, Shab Al Hiri Roach and other games) has commented with some good information to consider. I have begged him for more details.

I encourage everyone to post about the Stockade to the forum communities that you frequent and talk about the project with anyone with even a passing interest in games. This will help to build interest in the endeavour, your games and the project overall.

Print on demand

While most of us are nowhere near the point of looking for printers yet, I have put links to a couple of print-on-demand companies in the Resource section. To use these companies you create an account, upload your files and order your books – it’s basically that simple. Lulu has a very simple user interface and wizard that helps you create books. I personally have not used Lightning Press but have heard good things about them.

Game Components

Sooner or later you are going to want to turn your game from idea into reality.  You might want cards, tokens, boards or dice to come with your game.  In the last year or two there has been a resurgence of publishing roleplaying games in a box, complete with dice and character sheets.  So even if you’re not planning a board game or a card game, the option for game pieces is still available to you.

In that light, an option that came my way recently is The Game Crafter.  Personally, I’ve had no experience with them for printing game boards and the like, but they have a wide selection of common game pieces and a catalogue of complete games.  One option for my game Siege is a game board, so I’ll be keeping my eye on this.

I’ve added this link to the Resources section on the front page.  Since the list is quite small at the moment it’ll stay there.  But as we go, this list is likely to get larger and probably earn its own page on the site.

But enough about my links.  What about you?  What resources have you found on the web to help with your games?  Do you know a great publisher for Print On Demand?  Do you know a great graphic designer to help with art or layout?  Add your find to the comments of this post.