Command Ops Magazine/pdf

Discussion in 'Command Ops Series' started by Daz, Dec 11, 2015.

?

Is my idea for a Command Ops magazine similar to my St Vith AAR a:

  1. BAD IDEA

  2. GOOD IDEA

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  1. Daz

    Daz Member

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    The positive feedback you guys have given me about my St Vith AAR has been wonderful :happy:
    I would like to thank all of you very much, especially Jorge Arraya, who helped me with the proof reading, and who in my rush to finish the first pdf, I forgot to credit for doing so :(

    I have been thinking about writing a magazine for the game along the lines of my St Vith AAR.
    It consists of 30 pages and although it took me about a year to finish it :shame:, it probably took about a days work to do each page on average.
    The OOB usually takes several days.
    But going by this speed, I could probably produce a 30 page magazine every second month, so about six a year.
    The first 30 days of the St Vith AAR have only covered the first 24 hours of a 5 day scenario, so depending on the length of the scenario, I would be covering about one complete scenario a year.

    As you know there are dozens of scenarios for Command Ops so It could keep my busy for quite a while!

    As I have already said in another thread, I am getting a bit long in the tooth for the job I do at the moment, so I was thinking about semi retiring in order to do this magazine.
    This obviously means that the pdf's/digital magazine will not be free.

    I was hoping that Dave Heath and LnL would publish them for me.
    Now I haven't approached either of the Dave's yet to check that this would be ok with them, although I did email Dave O'Connor over a year ago to ask his permission to use elements of the game in my AAR's, which he was kind enough to give me permission for.

    What I need to know before I go down this route (although I guess the Dave's will know now lol) is whether I will have a market for it.

    That's where you guys come in, and the reason for this post.
    Is it something you would be prepared to pay for, or a bad idea?
     
  2. David Heath

    David Heath Administrator
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    Hi Daz,

    We would be honored to publish it for you. We need to know what we are getting (file type and styles). If you like to make a mini edition and could lay it out and then make it available for the public to review if you like. When you are ready let me know.

    David
     
  3. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Thanks Dave :happy:

    I'll get something sorted out after Christmas, to send you.
     
  4. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Depends on the price, Daz, for most people, I'm sure. Any ideas?
     
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  5. melmoth2

    melmoth2 Member

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    Absolutely - I'd be happy to pay for it
     
  6. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Ultimately, whatever you guys decide you are prepared to pay for it I guess.

    Hopefully Dave Heath will be able to advise me on it when I chat to him after Christmas once I have worked out some kind of business plan and format for the magazine.
    I am a complete armature in this line of business, so its going to be a steep learning curve for me.

    I'm under no illusion that its going to make me rich lol
    All I need is enough to fill the hole in my income that taking time off work will create.
    I am going to be losing some of the customer base I have built up over the last 25 years as well, that will be hard to replace if this doesn't work.

    It would be nice to be able to cover my overheads as well mind.
    For the last three years I have been paying £50 a month to Adobe for the CC suite, so obviously that will have to continue now as the suite is required, where as in the past its been optional if I want to have it or not.
    I will also need to approach Google about using their Google Earth for profit, in order to overlay the maps, and I have heard that its tough to get permission from them. Currently you are allowed to use their software so long as your not making money from it.
    I am probably going to want to use some stock art in order to do a good job of it as well and that will cost.
    Copyright law of ww2 images is a bit of a nightmare. So much so, that although I have read quite a bit on the subject, it still doesn't make much sense.
    Although I have been careful to use photos that have been presented as 'in the Public Domain' so far, I have no proof that they definitely are, or any idea how you would go about obtaining a signature (if that's what is required) to confirm it.

    Another problem is although its new for you guys at the moment, there is a fear that it will become quite repetitious.
    After all there is a finite number of Game Tips I know lol
    Although the scenarios will be different, there is a danger that my tactics will become predictable, unimaginative and boring after a while.

    Then of course there is the big problem that my fate will be ultimately tied to Command Ops, and Dave's health and willingness to sustain the series.
    Hopefully by then I will have learnt enough about the business, and the tools I use to make the magazine, to maybe start another with a different game or something.
    The future is always a worry, but if you don't seize onto the moment, it may pass you by.

    I think all I can do is give it a shot and if its not sustainable, then its back to trees for me.
    But hey, at least it will be summer again by then :)

    Thanks' Memoth :happy:
     
    #6 Daz, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Member

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    Well, if you are afraid of running the risk of repeating yourself: Have you considered to design this magazine as a magazine about different games to begin with? You could then write about wargaming in general, write about how different aspects are represented in different games (e.g. FOW) or write more detailed AARs about one game, have interviews with designers and reviews.

    I would guess that the market for a pure CO mag is too small to sustain such an endeavour.

    Cheers
     
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  8. Daniel Cornell

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    great idea. a few suggestions make it free with donations and yes stick to CO2. review scenarios and give play tips. i bet the donations would cover expenses and a bit more. just my 2 cents.
     
  9. john connor

    john connor Member

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    I would strongly endorse Iconoclast's advice, Daz, if there's any need to make money out of it. Go broader. CO is a great game that we all love, but there aren't that many of us, I think, and your clear talents and enthusiasm in the engrossing AAR etc department are skills that need not be confined to any particular game. Plus, it would be better (marketing) for CO2 if you were to, for example, do this kind of superb AAR treatment in another game in 'your magazine', a game that had a broader user base (perhaps the big bucks paradox games you like also?) or even a few such games, and CO2 was in there also, and so word of it was thus spread to a wider group of wargamers, because your AARs (and other stuff) have a genuine ring about them that would certainly be attractive to players of other games, I feel. Though you're fighting against the dominant trend in all this (as far as younger folk are concerned - my son, for example) which is Youtube gameplay videos. To be honest, I would think that THAT is the area you ought to expand into, if you want income replacement. Or maybe that as well. Not just a magazine, but a video too. That way you catch a variety of ages.

    Peter
     
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  10. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    I won't vote. I have done gaming guides (100 pages text or 200 + images) that got like 50,000 downloads between Compuserve and AOL (yes, I am old). At $10 USD a copy, of course, that would have been a lot of money, but it is hard to get people to pay.

    My views of the guides I have written over the years:

    * If you cannot make real money, than do it for free and enjoy the "good will" feeling.

    * It has made me a much better player teaching others, since before you can teach you must fully understand. If you fully, understand, then you can refine your techniques and get even better.

    * It made me a better player, since I played against those I taught. So, it pushed me stay out in front of them to keep out in front of them.

    So, myself, I would not charge. (If you can figure out a way to tie your magazine distribution to new sales and customer retention, then you might speak to the Dave(s) about it.)

    At Matrix we did try to do a War College thing, it didn't fly. But then, you aren't asking for participation.

    Guides done included:

    Falcon 3.0 H2H & teaching

    EAW H2H & teaching

    HTTR

    COTA

    1830PC

    PS: So, I don't think there is real money in such guides, but I think you could take these skills you are developing and turn them into a marketing business. As you are already in business, you just need to learn the ins and out of finding marketing clients and how to provide hard metrics of what your work has contributed to their bottom line.
     
  11. melmoth2

    melmoth2 Member

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    My first thought when I saw this thread was the ASL annual which Avalon Hill ran, based around a single game system. I guess the readership for that was significantly larger than for a pure CO2 mag but I'm not sure going down the route of a generic games pub would be the way to do it, as then you're competing with others like, for example, Armchair General. A mag with articles on CO2 and historical stuff tied in would be very interesting, which was the ASL Annual model. The article they ran on the Japanese army in the one they released alongside the Bushido module, for example, was fascinating. I'd happily pay a few bucks to read articles about the background to a scenario alongside a walk through.

    Re. charging for it - as a writer I have a real thing about people publishing stuff for free. I think it devalues writing as a whole and makes it difficult for people who do think creative work is worth paying for. Don't give it away, always charge, even if it's a nominal amount. If in doubt look up Harlan Ellison re. Pay the Writer on YouTube - he sums it up much better than I could.
     
  12. kipanderson

    kipanderson Member

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    Hi,


    Huge fan as is every one. Did vote for magazine.

    Only comment would be that your work doesn’t seem formatted for printing in A4?

    Each to their own but when reading anything wargame related as in Getting Started or How To I like to print it off and then play the game while holding the pages.

    Having diffident windows open doesn’t work for me. When at work yes, but not for leisure. Breaks the immersion I guess.

    All the best,

    Kip.

    PS Can be printed in A4, but very crowded..
     
  13. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Some great responses there guys, and lots of food for thought, thank you :)

    Iconoclast.
    I'm going to stick with what, and just as importantly, who I know best I think.
    That would be Dave and Command Ops.
    As you know I have been churning out bits and bobs of stuff for quite a while now for command Ops.
    Most of it very disjointed, and the majority of it very amateurish, but I have enjoyed doing it, especially the praise from you guys even though when I look back at it on the Matrix site, some of what I have done makes me cringe a bit :shame:
    Your right we are a small niche market and I am going to have to take a large pay cut I think, but like I said in another post I am getting to old for what I do.
    I came back from a big tree job last week, downed a handful of pain killers, washed it down with red win and went straight to sleep hoping that when I woke up most of the pain would be gone.
    I have white finger in my right ( one handed chainsaw) hand and in cold weather I can't feel it at all, almost permanent tennis elbow in my left arm, my back gives in for about five weeks a year on average, where I can't even got of my hands and knees sometimes. My eyesight is deteriorating rapidly and I have developed a come and go pain in my hips, so I think its time I started looking at alternatives anyway lol

    Daniel Cornell.
    Thanks for the input Daniel. It's something I will have to think about I guess.

    Peter.
    I don't think I am going to have enough time, at least at the start, to include other games in the magazine.
    If I get faster at doing them, which hopefully I will, then I might start doing short AAR's or even just the first few pages for other games and post them on their forums with a link back to my work here.
    That will hopefully give people on other war games I like, a taste of my style, and if they like it, it might even get them interested in Command Ops.
    As you know its the best Operation war game out there, so all we need to do is get them to take a look at it ;)

    Markshot
    Its great to have advice from someone that has been and done it Mark thanks.
    My intention is not really to be the best and teach everyone.
    One of the reasons I refused Dave's kind offer to do the Beta Testing, is I don't want to know to much about how the AI works and I also think that I am quite a valuable tester not having the software that allows you to see both sides moves anyway.
    It allows me to see things from the players view point, which also helps me to identify the bugs that really matter to someone that doesn't have that kind of intel.
    The game breaking (IMHO) intel bug that we have had a couple of times, for example.
    So although I hope to impart some of what I have learnt onto other players, I certainly don't confess to being an expert on the game.
    My main intention is to present my game in an attractive manor, so they can see the successes, and the disasters I make, and learn along with me.
    Obviously I also like to share game tips that I have learnt while playing the last few years as well, and I have played the St Vith Tutorial enough now to be proficient at that one at least :)

    Melmoth2
    Thanks for the advice and support mate.
    Its very much appreciated.

    Kip.
    It's going to be primarily for digital publishing I think, as maps are big things I'm afraid.
    There are not that many maps printed on A4 paper for sale out there :joyful:
    Did you download the Ordeal at Overlon part 2 planning aids pdf I did for you with instructions on how to print out the maps/large pages?
     
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  14. kipanderson

    kipanderson Member

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    Daz,

    "Did you download the Ordeal at Overlon part 2 planning aids pdf I did for you with instructions on how to print out the maps/large pages?"

    Apologies.. no, must have missed it.. off to do just that.

    Thanks.
    All the best,
    Kip.
     
  15. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    Daz,

    Well, people felt I was an expert at HTTR/COTA, because whenever you write, you become an authority.

    However, with F3 and EAW, I had students and taught. Also, I flew competitively with others. So, I knew I was in the top 5%. It wasn't just my pet theories; what I taught truly worked, my students improved against their peers rapidly. And since I broke it down, I knew exactly why. Finally, with F3, I had at least three students who I taught who would ultimately get to the #1 national ladder spot which I had done previously.

    But with HTTR/COTA, we'll never know if I was any good or just a guy with some sticky threads. A keyboard and a sticky thread can be a dangerous combination! :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I really believe you have the skills and intellect for a brand new business. I think you should make a CO2 journal a hobby, but truly start building up a new business.

    My last suggestion is talk to Bil Hardenberger (former team member). I think he could give you some ideas, since his business comes closer to what you want to do than mine which was systems.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Member

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    No need to justify yourself, Daz. Absolutely not. I am just saying that I think, and that is my honest opinion, the "market" is a cruel place. Your reasons to find something new are certainly all the right reasons; But sometimes it is the wish who gives birth to the thought...or something liek that.

    Having said that, I kind of fill out of character because usually it is me telling people to aim for the stars no matter what, so: Daz, if that is what you want to do. Go for it.

    Cheers
     
  17. Sigwolf

    Sigwolf Member

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    Well, he wouldn't have to worry about competing with Armchair General, as that went defunct at the beginning of this year... ;-)
     
  18. melmoth2

    melmoth2 Member

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    I know the print magazine Armchair general stopped but now the website seems to have died as well - anyone know what's happened?
     
  19. Rosseau

    Rosseau Member

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    My 35th year in the magazine business, and it is truly sucking wind. Too bad about AG. Some people will spend more money on books for research - partly for gaming - and is often a waste. So yes, I would pay.

    Other than CO, I could really use some help with the Combat Mission 2 series, but I guess that would be tough to negotiate, even though games do not compete. I would edit/proofread for free as needed :happy:
     
  20. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    Rosseau,

    Yes, CMx2 is far different from CMx1. I just finished reading a fascinating thread on their forum that explains some of it (underlying).

    (I cannot find the thread right not, but I will look.)

    What I find most amusing: CMBO was the most realistic tactical game ever made, but then it wasn't and CMBB/CMAK was, and they weren't, now CMBN/CMFI/CMRT are. They can't all have gotten it right can they? Myself, I've stopped worrying too much if they model things perfectly, as long as the model is logical and has closure, and the game itself is fun.
     

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