You'd have to admit precious reader that The Indie Game Magazine, though definitely an apt title for an indie focused gaming mag, is far from original. Trust me though dear, this simply doesn't matter, for said Indie Game Magazine is a rather impressive and very ambitious attempt at establishing both a professional quality magazine and an excellent gaming site for us indie lovers, while simultaneously remaining a community driven project. Judging by the 14 issues released so far one can't help but feel optimistic about the mag's evolution too.
The latest issue in particular, the only one I've actually read, makes after all for a great read that covers (in its 24 well designed pages) the best indie games of 2010 in a brilliant feature, and offers reviews and previews of a variety of releases for a variety of platforms ranging for the iOS things to Xbox Live and the PC, interviews, opinion pieces and more than a few mentions to Minecraft. The issue, just like every IGM issue apparently, is available digitally, in a properly printed form and for your Apple iThing. It can be grabbed via the IGM site which also sports tons of great indie content itself.
Oh, and here is a short interview with Mike Gnade, editor and founder of the Indie Game Magazine, to further enlighten you:
1. When and more importantly why did you start Indie Game Mag?
The magazine was started October 2008 on a whim. I had been writing about indie games on the web a lot and had all these reviews and a lot of free time on a Saturday. That weekend I slapped together the first issue of IGM and published it to HP Magcloud to test their printing service. I mentioned the idea on a few forums and people gravitated and seemed to like the idea. After I saw the indie community's support, I really dove head first into the magazine. I realized that the indie community needed it's own magazine. There's tons of console gaming, pc gaming, and Mac focused magazines - and indies can get into their pages if they're lucky, but there was no magazine focused only on indie games. Indie Game Mag's purpose is to support the indie developers out there and their games by giving them a media outlet tailored to their needs. The Indie community supported the magazine when it started over 2 years ago and IGM is going to continue to support indie developers for as long as it can.
2. How would you describe the magazine and the site?
The website and magazine are tightly knit. The website has a lot of short posts and indie news that never make it into the magazine. The magazine is really about focusing on larger articles, features, developer interviews and game reviews. Nearly all of the magazine articles eventually make it to the website as posts or exclusive insider content. The magazine and website are focused on reviewing and discovering the best indie games out there - our content is centered around that, but the whole indie community is so interesting and accessible that there's a lot of great articles that come out of interacting directly with the developers as well.
3. Why choose to focus on indie games?
I sort of answered this above, but there are a few reasons why we chose to focus on indie games:
-There's no other magazine out there that covers only indie games.
-Indie Developers are easy to work with. They don't have big PR departments and will gladly send you their games to review.
-It's a niche market that's growing.
4. Who can contribute to the mag?
Anyone can contribute to our website. When we first started out we had a lot of issues with writers flaking out, so we ask that interested people contribute a few stories to the website to prove their interest. The magazine is really open to anyone who loves indie games and wants to write about them - we just make you jump through a few hoops first. Whether you're seeking a career as a game journalist or if you just want some free games to write about, IGM can help you accomplish it. Anyone who takes the time to fill out our application and email us about contributing - will (eventually) receive an email back explaining the process and inviting them to our SharePoint team site. The SharePoint thing is relatively new - but has been a great organizational tool that lets all the writers discuss story ideas, download free games, and upload their stories for the magazine.
5. What has the magazine's proudest moment been so far?
This past summer we raised over $600 for Charity (The Get Well Gamers Foundation) which was awesome. I'm also really proud of our iPhone/iPad app and our partnership with Zinio is great.
6. Any plans for the future you'd care to share?
I would love to make IGM a monthly magazine instead of bi-monthly, but it doesn't make financial sense yet. IGM is always looking to partner with other websites and is exploring a few new partnerships that would expand readership. We also need to get around to making advertising in the magazine easier. That's been on the to-do list for awhile and needs to get done.
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