I still want to do a solo zine that is easy/cheap to mail in physical form, but for now it's on hold awaiting inspiration. In the meantime, I once did a survey in which I asked people what they wanted in a solo adventure zine. Let's see the stats first and then I have more to say.
- Sample size around 75 people.
- Only 17.5% want it tied to a system. 45% prefer it to loosely refer to a system.
- 55% want a unique and flavorful setting, 20% want a D&D style setting, 25% want something else (rotating, SF, etc.)
- 52.5% want 1-2 hours of playtime material, 42.5% want 3-5.
- 60% prefer self contained adventures, 15% want continuity, 25% don’t care.
- PDF is preferred, about 17.5% want to be sent paper. Many asked for phone/tablet/Kindle friendly.
- 25% want graphic content, 22.5% want it kid friendly, everyone else is in-between.
- "Include mysteries and puzzles"
- "Build a setting over time"
- "Endings are cool, and rarely carried off well”
- And while they wasn't anything particularly quotable on this front, about 10% of the responders expressed a desire for hard or semi-hard science fiction. I feel like there is a real (and probably loyal) audience there waiting on someone.
Themes and Formats
- Paper map and stand-up minis/counters, or more choose your own adventure style text-based with illustrations?
- Stand-alone scenarios loosely tied together in the same world or a true ongoing adventure? If the latter, "seasons" of 12 issues or just commit and keep going?
- Envelope size? I want to use a standard stamp. But I could probably do it with either business envelopes (2-4 tri-folded full-size pages) or with a birthday or thank you card sized envelope and a small stapled (or not) booklet. A thank you card envelope might even work with a folded one-page zine like the Pocket-Mod format.