When Nintendo Power Magazine was shut down in late 2012, I decided not to let its legacy die without a fight. I'd been part of the IGN Nintendo team for over six years already at that point, and knew I had the writing and design skills needed to launch an all-new Nintendo-focused magazine to keep NP's momentum going – if I had help. So I put out the call to some of the hardest-working, most well known Nintendo journalists around the planet to form a new, united team. Together, we became the Nintendo Force, and we launched NF Magazine in January 2013.

Today, we've completed seven issues and are concluding our Kickstarter campaign to fund a second full year of subscriptions: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910078610/nf-magazine-year-2-subscriptions

You can also grab subscriptions directly from our website store right here: http://www.nintendoforcemagazine.com/product/the-nf-magazine-year-2-subscription/

As the final hours tick away in our Kickstarter campaign, I'll be hanging out here on Reddit answering anyone's questions. Fire away!

http://www.nfmagazine.com/ https://www.facebook.com/NintendoForce https://twitter.com/NintendoForce https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910078610/nf-magazine-year-2-subscriptions

Comments: 204 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

hotcereal43 karma

What does it take to get a job on the team?

LucasMThomas31 karma

I was recently interviewed by 4 color rebellion and offered an answer there. I'll repost it here:

My inbox is filled to overflowing with writers asking that very question, and while I can’t accommodate everyone, I have begun working with at least one new writer per issue to feature some new, unique articles. In our most recent issue (Issue #7, with Shovel Knight on the cover), we printed a piece called “Building a Better Nintendo Kid,” in which new contributing writer Justin Baker told the story of his relationship with his brother, his brother’s struggle with autism and the role Nintendo video games have played in their relationship over the years. In our upcoming Issue #8, we’re debuting the premiere installment of an article series called “Peripheral Vision,” which will run in our Retro section and shine the spotlight back on older Nintendo games that will probably never have a chance to be re-released because they were made specifically with old peripherals in mind. (Like the NES Power Pad, Power Glove, Zapper, etc.) That article series was pitched to me by a writer named Kris Randazzo, whose email had been sitting in my inbox unresponded-to since last August. He was surprised to finally hear back from me, and to be given the green light to jump into working on the series!

So, yes. I’m always on the lookout for new writers with new ideas, and anyone who’s interested in contributing to NF Magazine can use the Get in Touch form on NFMagazine.com to introduce themselves, pitch me some article concepts and link me to some examples of their past work. I’ll pick at least one new person to contribute to each new issue going forward – it’s a promise!

dogbusonline28 karma

Thanks for doing this. I'm curious what the response has been like from Nintendo? I can't imagine they have any issue with it, but how supportive are they and what have you heard from them on "picking up the torch" for Nintendo Power?

LucasMThomas53 karma

Nintendo has been incredibly supportive, helping us out with art assets, review codes for games and invitations to press events as with any of the other Nintendo-focused journalistic outlets out there. And why not? Our team is made up of the people who cover the company for those other outlets too, from GoNintendo to Nintendo World Report to Destructoid and many, many more. They were familiar with all of us as individuals before – now, we've simply come together to join forces and offer our coverage of Nintendo's games in a different format.

I think it's important to point out, too, that the people who work directly at Nintendo and Nintendo's PR were just as bummed when Nintendo Power was unplugged – maybe even moreso. These are individuals that love the Big N so much that they rearranged their lives and moved to Seattle (or elsewhere) to be able to work directly for the company. They're huge fans! And we've heard from many of them, on a personal level, that they're happy that coverage of the company is continuing in magazine form. :)

zmilts11 karma

Hi and thanks for both doing this AMA and bringing Nintendo Force into my life!

I have 2 questions:

1) Do you think Kickstarter will be your preferred method for future years after 2? I really like the model since it both lets me know you will be around another year AND lets you know there is enough demand to be around another year.

2) How could you put Mario on the cover of the November issue and NOT Link!? I was looking forward to having my first Zelda-themed cover for NF to go with the ever-awesome Zelda-themed Nintendo Powers over the years. (This is tongue-in-cheek, I am not actually angry). I really hope you guys have an amazing Zelda-themed one planned for whenever Zelda U comes out!

I bought in print the first issue when it was first available and have been a print subscriber since you could be that (I've also kickstarted enough to continue my print subscription). Seriously, thank you all for providing a great Nintendo magazine! Please keep up the good work and I hope to be a subscriber for many more years!

LucasMThomas9 karma

You're welcome! Thanks for your thanks. :)

1) Kickstarter has become an ingrained part of gaming culture over the last couple of years, and it's worked wonderfully well for us this time around – I think it would certainly make sense for us to approach renewals/new subscriptions for Year 3 in this same manner in early 2015. It would be simple to do just from an organizational perspective – we've already got all of our Year 2 subscribers there now, linked to the current campaign, and one new Update posted to it in, say, next January could alert everyone that Year 3 has become available and everyone could jump over and re-up for it with just a few clicks. Yes, I'd say there's a good chance you'll see us go this route again.

2) I was torn between the two! The deciding factor that made me go with Super Mario 3D World on the cover of Issue #6 instead of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was the fact that we were publishing our sixth issue, but we hadn't yet given the cover spot to a Wii U title. It had been all 3DS all 2013 long before that point – Fire Emblem: Awakening, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Pokémon X & Y for Issues #1 through #5. I couldn't bring myself to make the Wii U wait any longer!

zmilts-5 karma

[...] but we hadn't yet given the cover spot to a Wii U title [...]

Perhaps if the Wii U had more than a few games the entire year, this wouldn't have been a problem. :-p

LucasMThomas6 karma

Other Wii U titles that had been considered for the cover spot before Super Mario 3D World finally nailed it down: Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.

kikenovic10 karma

Congrats and thank you for keeping the exciment alive!

Question, how many hours of sleep an editor in chief gets?

LucasMThomas16 karma

A regular Editor-in-Chief at a normal magazine? Probably a normal eight hours a night when a deadline isn't looming. Me, with a five-week-old baby here at home and running a Kickstarter too? I was already up at 4 a.m. eating Honey Bunches of Oats.

JWylie159 karma

For those of us who chose the digital subscription tier and want to opt for the iPad version rather than PDF's in an email, will we still be able to get the desktop wallpaper versions of the "pull-out" posters?

Thanks for doing the AMA and for giving Nintendo fans a magazine again!

LucasMThomas15 karma

Yes! Everyone who's backed the Kickstarter will get those wallpapers. Doesn't matter which pledge tier you picked. :)

CompC3 karma

As a digital subscriber, is there a way to get a physical copy of just the Mario Kart 8 issue? I'd much rather have a poster than wallpaper!

I may just have to switch to a physical subscription....

LucasMThomas5 karma

Yep! We've got print copies of the Mario Kart 8 issue available as an add-on for $5 through the Kickstarter – so you could subscribe digitally, then add an extra five bucks to get that one issue in print (along with the poster).

Extra print copies of the issue will be available through NFMagazine.com after it's released, too.

SamTH3Doctor8 karma

Hey Lucas, love the magazine and am really glad you guys are doing this for Nintendo fans all over the world. Is there any chance you guys would bring back the "Game Forecast" page and/or the "Reviews Archive" pages? Those were always really fun to look at and it makes the digging for release info/old scores much easier. Thanks!

LucasMThomas6 karma

The Game Forecast page has made a return in recent issues, though with a different approach than NP used – it now focuses on just the next half-dozen or so major upcoming releases so readers can know what to be saving their money for in the immediate future.

Reviews Archive is something we could definitely bring back now that we've got over a year of previous issues to look back upon. I'll make it happen!

drunkdude9567 karma

This is something I've always wanted to ask anyone who works for a gaming magazine: Surely now, this is your day job, correct? What was it like when you first started out in the industry? How did you ever manage to find the time to live your life (school/work, social life, etc), play games, and write articles about them? Edit: Please don't replt with "gaming IS my life!" or something to that effect. I want details, please!

LucasMThomas18 karma

Yep, this is my job. I'm still a part of IGN too, as I continue to contribute a couple of regular columns there as well. But NF is my primary focus.

Video game journalism started off as mostly a hobby for me. I worked on my high school's newspaper back in the '90s, and I was such a huge Nintendo fan that I'd find any excuse I could to work in game reviews when I could. I had the benefit of having an awesome journalism teacher who was just as much a gamer as I was, so he allowed that sort of thing pretty freely.

Going off to college, my goal at first was to become a creator of games – so I majored in Computer Science and spent the majority of my time through my freshman and sophomore years hanging out in dimly-lit computer labs, typing away at lines of code into the wee hours of the morning. It was drab. I needed something more life-giving. Something that let me see the sun every once in a while.

So my Computer Science focus got bumped to just be a minor, and I found my new calling in the Journalism building. Rewinding the clock back to my days with the high school newspaper, I joined the college newspaper team and, again, started working in articles about Nintendo games any time I could. I was primarily the movie review guy, since that was the existing beat, but by golly if I didn't push through a full-page combination review of Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion and explain to every person on the University of Kentucky campus exactly how the two games could be linked together to access a new costume for Samus.

The next step was helping to launch a game review site called Gamerz Edge back in 2003 – it started to get my name out there a bit as I became one of regular reviewers tackling Nintendo titles through the GameCube and Game Boy Advance era. That gig got me to my first couple of E3 Expos, and going to your first E3, let me tell you, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (The show becomes a drudgery for many who've attended it over and over again, but that first time is magical.)

Gamerz Edge is still active today, by the way – just under the name "Digital Chumps." Check them out at http://digitalchumps.com/

I'm being a little long-winded with this reply, aren't I? Sorry about that! I'll try to wrap it up and move on to another question.

Anyway, after a while working with Gamerz Edge I moved back to my hometown and landed a job at the Evansville Courier & Press newspaper, once again reverting to my old ways of working Nintendo reviews into a publication previously devoid of them. That only lasted about a year, though, as in the summer of 2006 I was reading a column on IGN called Retro Remix. Mark Bozon had been writing it on a weekly basis, and each installment looked back at an old title from the NES or SNES era and imagined if it might be re-released through the Wii's Virtual Console service. (The Virtual Console was still a nebulous thing that summer. Everyone was speculating about its scope and potential library.)

I noticed that a few weeks went by without Retro Remix being updated, and I emailed Bozon to volunteer my services. I told him I'd pick up writing duties on the column, do a new installment each week for free, and just see if anybody clicked to read my stuff. If they did, great! If not, well, they weren't paying me any way.

But the clicks came. People liked Retro Remix, and I kept cranking out installments in that article series all the way up to the launch of the Wii later that year – by which time my name had become so linked to the Virtual Console service on IGN that Matt and Bozon let me become the reviewer for all of the re-released Wii VC games. (And they started paying me at that point. :p)

I've then continued contributing to IGN's Nintendo coverage ever since, transitioning to working for Craig Harris and then Rich George after Matt and Bozon left for Apple. And it was during Rich's tenure in 2012 when Nintendo Power announced it was shutting down, which brings our story back to where we are today.

What was it like when I first got started? It was fun! It was always a thrill when I got a "yes" to my requests to run Nintendo-related articles in the various publications I worked for, and it was fun taking those first steps into new outlets with larger reaches along the way. It was risky, too, particularly in the span of months I went without pay just to prove myself at IGN – but it paid off. It got my foot in the door.

How do I manage to find the time to live my life, play games, and write about them? Truthfully, I don't play a ton of games for the purpose of writing about them any more – with the Nintendo Force surrounding me and supporting me, I'm able to hand the baton to other talented writers to craft the reviews that appear in NF Magazine's pages when I'm too busy changing diapers to be able to sit down and dedicate hours upon hours to playing through the latest releases. I do make it a point to play through at least one major new release per issue we do, though. Often it's the game from the issue's cover, just for fun. But I sometimes write the review too. My next big review will be for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which I've somehow managed to complete even amidst the running of a Kickstarter campaign and the birth of my second son.

This is my day job, yes. But it started out as my hobby, and I still have fun every day. That's how it manages to fit in with everything else that makes up my life.

. . . OK, so that was still a little long-winded even after I said I'd wrap it up. :p

TwoGlassEyes7 karma

Excited to be a backer! Thank you for this awesome magazine! As a fellow Kentucky Nintendo fan, I was proud to see you are out of Lexington. I'm only 15 minutes away, can I come work for you?

LucasMThomas13 karma

You could pick me up some lunch! :p

TwoGlassEyes6 karma

I would! Just to have someone to talk Nintendo with. Unfortunately I'm at work. We should try to get some kind of local meet up with other Nintendo fans. Maybe at Arcadium?

LucasMThomas3 karma

You know, I've still never been there. I know that sounds crazy! Maybe that's where the celebration can be when this Kickstarter wraps up. :)

AdamTierneyWF5 karma

Hi Lucas! Congrats on the success of your Kickstarter! :D

Question: What classic Nintendo game brand would you love to see on the cover of NF in a future issue?

LucasMThomas7 karma

Ice Climber – because that would mean that Nintendo has actually made a new sequel to it. :p

Scribshanks4 karma

I would argue that in 2013, the 3DS had the strongest lineup of games on any system. I spent more time on my 3DS last year (and so far this year) than my PS3 or 360. However, outside of reviews, none of the games (SMT 4, Pokemon X/Y, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem) received as much attention or acclaim as major console releases. Why do you think that's the case?

LucasMThomas3 karma

Hard to say – games on portable platforms just seem to have a harder time making as big a splash in the collective consciousness, even when they're selling more than the major releases on the home consoles.

Jake_PK4 karma

Lucas M. Thomas, you and the rest of the Nintendo Force are truly doing Odin's work, and for that I must thank you. Seeing Nintendo Power die caused a fat, salty tear of sorrow to fall from my left eye, and seeing NF Magazine rise up to take its place caused an equally fat and salty tear of joy to fall from my right eye. I've been a subscriber since day one, and I'll remain a subscriber to the end (which, of course, will never come).

I've gotta say that I particularly enjoy the retro game coverage, and I hope that you have plans to keep that up. In fact, I think retro gaming would be an excellent theme for an upcoming issue. While the games themselves may get old, wallowing in nostalgia just never does!

LucasMThomas4 karma

Retro's one of my favorite sections, and establishing it in each issue was one way we set about creating our own identity separate from Nintendo Power – though, of course, NP was always honoring to the old-school as well. Just never with a specific "Retro" area.

An all-Retro theme? It could happen! That's another thing we do differently than NP, for anyone who doesn't know – rather than just put out issues that are defined by the dates of their publications (May 2010, July 2011), we always pick a creative theme and build our feature content around it, even as we continue to cover the latest releases and preview upcoming games. Retro has a theme could work if it got a little more specific – the 30th anniversary of the NES is coming up next year, for example, so we might pursue that as a theme for the issue that would launch and overlap that date.

Cornflip4 karma

What are your favorite titles on the eShop, Wii U or 3DS, that you feel deserve more attention?

LucasMThomas5 karma

I'm lucky in that most of my favorite eShop titles that I feel should get a wider audience have done so – I believe my review of Pushmo for IGN was the first to go live across the Internet, and that game ended up becoming very popular after initially being ignored on its release date. SteamWorld Dig? Another one that has caught fire with fans, so I'm pleased there too.

I think everyone should go back and check out Mole Mania from the Game Boy – it's available as a 3DS Virtual Console game now, and it's Miyamoto's most unsung and ingenious work. (I love puzzlers like that.)

Yoxxy3 karma

Hey I just wanted to say how thankful I am for the fact this exists, the only real question I have is there anyway to get old issues in physical copies? Because that'd be soooo groovy.

LucasMThomas6 karma

All of our old issues are available in physical form through print-on-demand at MagCloud, right here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/magazine/497199

Because print-on-demand is pricey, we set doing an all-new bulk print run of Issue #1 as a stretch goal on our Kickstarter. If we hit it before the campaign ends later today, every subscriber will get a copy of it for free!

Bailie23 karma

Life long Nintendo fan and I had Nintendo power as a kid...

What do you think Nintendo did wrong with the Wii U? Right?

LucasMThomas17 karma

Wrong? The name. Right? The GamePad. Wrong? Not having enough games that prove the GamePad was something they did right.

smaddy1232 karma

Lucas,

Why do you think that nintendo is releasing VC games so slowly when they could make money on their back catalog and give their fans something to play between major game releases? Furthermore do you think it would be wise for nintendo so have a subscription service a la PS+ or XBL that give free VC and platinum selling games free each month. Oh and wtf is up with the gamepad buttons not working in vWii mode. thnx

LucasMThomas3 karma

I have no clue about that one – as the Internet's #1 Wii Virtual Console guy, I don't know why the transition to the Wii U has been so clunky. What happened to the N64 games, for starters? And why are we getting one game a week, maybe, and having those games be things like Urban Champion that no one wants?

Nintendo, let's talk. Call me up and let me help you revamp the Virtual Console service.

LucasMThomas2 karma

We hit our final stretch goal on the Kickstarter! Thanks to anyone who found out about us here on Reddit and helped make that happen!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910078610/nf-magazine-year-2-subscriptions/posts/777365

Still about six hours left. Tell your friends!

tamammothchuk2 karma

The first game you ever beat was...?

(Mine was Out Run on the Sega Master System...sorry...don't hold it against me!)

LucasMThomas9 karma

That's a good one! It wasn't Super Mario Bros., that's for sure – never did reach the end of that one as a kid.

It was probably Life Force. That was the first game I and my brothers got for our NES besides the Mario/Duck Hunt cartridge that came with the system. We played the co-op mode in that game to death. Literally – we died, and died, and died some more until we finally got good enough at the game to make it safely through all six stages and the crazy escape sequence at the very end. What a great game! It's out on 3DS Virtual Console now, and with two-player co-op intact, too. You should grab a friend and give it a try. :)

LinkToTheRescue2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! As an avid reader of Nintendo Power when I was young, I need to ask one important question that we all are wondering. Are there still tri-fold posters inside your magazine?

LucasMThomas3 karma

Funny you should ask! :p One of our stretch goals in the Kickstarter was for this very thing (and we already hit it), so we'll be adding a poster to our next issue. We may do more beyond that, too!

Fawk_Nin2 karma

With Nintendo losing third-party support in the home console market and seeing a much slower release of software than in the past do you (or any other journalists) predominantly covering Nintendo, find it hard to come up with features and coverage. Does this worry you going forward? Not tyring to troll, geniunely interested. Big fan keep up the good work.

LucasMThomas2 karma

Nintendo's been such a huge part of the gaming industry for over three decades, with influence extending to reach every corner of the hobby – I don't worry about not having ideas for future content at all. We've got so many that we can't fit them all in as it is!

In concession to the reality of Nintendo's current situation, though, I think that it just supports our approach of being a bi-monthly magazine. Trying to do a full issue every month would be stretching things thin in this particular season of Nintendo's history – you could see that happening in some of Nintendo Power's later years, when they'd need to put out another new issue and not have any big new game to talk about during some of the release droughts. It's possible that things will ramp up for the Big N again in the future, and if and when that would happen, we'd consider ramping up too – but right now, we're right on.

snorlz2 karma

Whats your favorite non-Nintendo game?

LucasMThomas5 karma

Ico.

Sweepy_time2 karma

I remember you from the IGN boards, particularly the Icon board. That was a good community until IGN fucked up the Icon submitting process. Nice to see you've gone on to better things.

LucasMThomas1 karma

Yes, once upon a time I was "nfloser" on the IGN Boards. That was back around 2003 or so – then I switched over to using my real name as my username around the time I started writing for Matt and Bozon.

I miss those days too! We need to have an Icon Board reunion. :)

derek662 karma

Hey I just liked to say congratulations on getting this going for a second round of subscriptions, I'm incredibly happy for your guys' success!

My question for you is what would be your long term goals for Nintendo Force? Any plans on releasing it as a in store magazine or will it continue to be subscription based service/online service?

Edit: wording

LucasMThomas4 karma

Getting a magazine to be on sale in physical locations like Barnes & Noble or Walmart is incredibly risky – it'd be a huge financial investment, and it would only pay off if thousands of people just happened to be walking by the magazine aisle, those people also just happened to be big Nintendo fans and, finally, those people actually made the decision to buy the magazine rather than pick it up and flip through it for free for a few minutes.

So, basically, no plans to do that. :p I'm much happier making the magazine just for the fans who find us online, which is a much safer way to reach people today. :)

ignition3651 karma

When the Kickstarter hits the final goal (Which I'm sure it will, it's been climbing relatively fast today), will you be announcing a new final stretch goal, or will that be the end of it?

LucasMThomas1 karma

I started to answer this question, but then the final stretch goal was hit! :p With not much time remaining, I've decided to offer up to a vote what we will try to accomplish with any surplus money over $64k. You can check out the update about it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910078610/nf-magazine-year-2-subscriptions/posts/777365

TheCrakkFox1 karma

I do publishing as well but for a museum. There is so much cost in putting out physical print editions of things and everyone seems to be heralding the idea of digital editions of magazines as the better way. My question is, do you see a larger percentage of people prefer digital editions right now, or do you have more subscribers getting the print edition? I feel like people are more likely to read articles/news on a website/blog version of a publication than an actual digital edition.

LucasMThomas1 karma

Most of our subscribers opt for the print version, or the combination of print + digital. I think a majority of people out there still see the value in having a tangible object to hold, with real pages to flip through.

Our team member Jonathan Holmes (of Destructoid fame), recently produced a video on this very subject. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7UxxO25xck

mikayakatnt1 karma

What type of hats do you like to wear?

LucasMThomas1 karma

My favorite hat is this white fedora-esque thing with Japanese lettering and dragon designs on it – I bought it at Epcot Center when I was there on vacation back in 2008. Since then, it's become an iconic representation of me to a lot of kids. I wear it primarily during Edge Camp, which is a summer camp I volunteer as a counselor for each summer for kids between 3rd and 6th grade. To them, I am "Mr. Lucas."

And let me tell you, there's no job that gets you more instant respect from a 4th grader than being able to say "I play video games for a living."

mikayakatnt1 karma

You must be the coolest camp counselor out there. I used to work at the parks in my city a couple summers back and I remember how it feels whenever the kids look up to you. That is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Have you ever met those kids outside of summer camp?

LucasMThomas1 karma

Yep! The camp is organized through my church, so I get to see most of the campers on a weekly basis even after it's over.

Woodsalt_1 karma

Hi Lucas, I'm the EIC for a webzine that was been started by another ex IGN staff member, All Stars and mods (Sean Allen and Jason Basset). We are dying for Nintendo writers at the moment, I'd love to talk to you more for advice and maybe working alongside you guys.

LucasMThomas1 karma

Shoot me an email! The Get in Touch box on NFMagazine.com goes directly to me.

beltmatt_usa1 karma

Lucas- any chance we get to see Jesus vs Zelda resurrected?

LucasMThomas1 karma

Answered this one up above on the page a bit. Check it out. :)

LudwigAhgren1 karma

Wow! I was a huge nintendo power fan and was sad when it went away. I had no idea you guys were doing this! Thank you and I'll help all I can

LucasMThomas3 karma

I wish all of Nintendo Power's fans could know we exist! NP left so many thousands of subscribers on the table when they ended their run, and so many of them needlessly were saddened by the thought that its spirit was truly dead. Not so! We picked up the torch and launched the very next month!

Stella20101 karma

I have 3 questions for you, I hope you'll bear with me!

1) What was the hardest part about starting your own magazine?

2) How many women are on your staff?

3) How would you rate your experience with Kickstarter in helping fund journalism? (For example, you have a very niche market, has that affected responses?)

LucasMThomas3 karma

1) The long lead time it takes to pull a team together, brainstorm about what the magazine is going to be like and actually create the first issue. We were lucky when Nintendo Power's closure was announced several months before it actually happened – we started working in August 2012 and had the entire rest of that calendar year to prepare for our launch, since NP's final issue didn't go out until December. If you're going to start a magazine, give yourself the time and space to set it up right! Don't worry if you aren't ready to debut your Issue #1 the month after you first sit down to seriously make it happen.

2) Camille Young of Fangamer contributed clay models to our debut issue, Lindsey Layne King of TheSpeedGamers joined us as a regular comic creator and general illustrator starting with Issue #2, Emily Rogers of Dromble debuted as a writer in that same issue and Nadia Oxford contributed some reviews to our most recent issue, #7.

3) Kickstarter is great for publishing – it makes the reward system much easier to understand, because most often if you help a publication get funded, you get a copy of that publication. Simple, easy. Quick turn-arounds most of the time too – our backers will get their first issue delivered just a couple of weeks after the campaign ends, whereas most campaign take much, much longer to deliver the things they're seeking funding for.

maniacalmania1 karma

I have every issue of Nintendo Power, how can I order back issues of Nintendo Force?

LucasMThomas1 karma

If you subscribe through the Kickstarter before it ends today, you'll get a free copy of our Issue #1. Issue #7's print version is on sale through our website right here: http://www.nintendoforcemagazine.com/product/issue-7-new-beginnings-januaryfebruary-2014/

For the others, you'd need to hit up MagCloud and order them by print-on-demand right here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/magazine/497199

Print-on-demand is pricey, but we should be able to print enough copies of future issues that people won't have to deal with that extra cost any more.

levilarrington1 karma

How the hell do I beat Roger Rabbit?

LucasMThomas1 karma

Your guess is as good as mine.

zerpderp1 karma

Who are your top 5 favorite bands?

LucasMThomas1 karma

Rubber, head, rock, FM and -aid.

purpledesperado1 karma

I saw josh Tomas of the bit block on the staff in the first issue but never after that. May I ask why?

LucasMThomas1 karma

Josh contributed to our debut issue, but he's been on hold a bit since then since the magazine format isn't a great match for his video production skillset. He was part of the brainstorming process for our Kickstarter campaign video, though, and I'm hoping to build a stronger connection to his work on TheBitBlock now that we've got a more feature-complete website that can do things like host videos.

The work Josh does is incredible! Seriously, he's the most talented Nintendo + Video guy on the planet.

omgdonerkebab1 karma

What happened to your Nintendo Velocity?

(This is a physics joke, by the way.)

LucasMThomas1 karma

Physics was probably my favorite subject in high school – maybe even beyond journalism. Hard to say for sure, but the reason behind loving both is that I had incredible teachers for both. My AP Physics class studied like mad for that test as a group, and several of us walked away with a score of 5 when it was all said and done. My name and picture are still hanging up in the hall of my high school because of that. :p

krabman1 karma

Hey Lucas! Still planning on writing the zelda book?

LucasMThomas1 karma

I would love to. When that project didn't get enough support, I knew I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate a bit. Then, just a few months later, this Nintendo Force journey began. I feel like there's now an established audience here that might appreciate spin-off projects from the magazine proper, so I'm going to start pursuing those ideas again in the year ahead.

Lizardbowl61 karma

Did you use your own name for the character "Lucas" from EarthBound?

LucasMThomas3 karma

I always play as him in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so that when I win, the announcer says "This game's winner is . . . LUCAS!" And I'm like, "You got that right, Announcer Guy."

bowtieshark1 karma

Great project, congrats on the kickstarter success. Where are y'all based out of?

I'd recommend talking to Rachel Simone Weil for a future issue. She runs Femicom and makes art games for the NES under Party Time! Hexcellent!. She's made some promo posters in the style of the poster inserts that NP used to include.

LucasMThomas2 karma

Thanks for the suggestion!

tybo-turbo1 karma

Will you be at E3? And if so, can I meet you and pick your brain for 5 minutes? :)

LucasMThomas1 karma

I had planned to be at E3 this year, but then my wife and I had another baby! I probably won't make the trip this time with Calvin still being such a little guy. Maybe 2015?

studiosupport1 karma

Back when I ran a gaming blog, John Holmes was nice enough to appear on one of our podcasts. $50 sent your way, thanks for the effort.

Downvotes to the left!

LucasMThomas1 karma

Holmes is one of the nicest guys I've ever worked with. He's incredibly selfless and an all-around good guy!

fonandrez1 karma

i miss magazines. thanks.

LucasMThomas1 karma

You're welcome!

TysonQ71 karma

Lucas! I'm still waiting on your apology to me and all other Dunsparce fans for your blasphemy.

Now for an actual question, what is your favorite Nintendo Console (not handheld)?

LucasMThomas1 karma

And you will continue to wait, sir.

My favorite console is the NES. Got my start with it, still love it to this day. Even wrote a coffee table book about its launch lineup back in 2006: http://www.lulu.com/shop/lucas-m-thomas/eight-bit-era-volume-one-the-launch/paperback/product-482312.html

I need to make that available through our NFMagazine.com store. :p

tomatotrucks1 karma

Which Nintendo series is our favourite? (Pikmin, Mario, LoZ, Pokémon, Kid Icarus, Metroid, etc etc)

LucasMThomas2 karma

Never really thought about it terms of which series as a whole – maybe Pokémon, for how excited I get with the release of each new generation because of my anticipation of discovery in seeing all of the new monsters each time.

NachozRule1 karma

Do you have your own collection of Nintendo Power issues? If so, how many do you have? Are the posters still intact or did you rip them out?

LucasMThomas2 karma

I have every issue of Nintendo Power except three of the earliest ones – Issues #3, #6 and #7. And the posters are all intact. :)

-phnxdwn-1 karma

Hi Lucas

'NP left so many thousands of subscribers on the table when they ended their run, and so many of them needlessly were saddened by the thought that its spirit was truly dead. Not so!'

I'm glad there are people out there who want to hold on to legacy and tangibility of a magazine like Nintendo Power. I've been carrying around a sizable collection over the years. It's really nice to be able to go through them later on and realize kid you did something awesome and left stickers or a poster intact. I'm not sure if kid me left an idea somewhere in the pages or the idea came to me one day randomly, but I found another use for the wrinkled, torn, and sometimes forgotten pages.

I started making these.

tl;dr - took the spirit in another direction. I've never had a chance to ask an industry opinion before. What do you think?

LucasMThomas1 karma

That's pretty wild – I've never seen "paper sprites" before. :)

struktured1 karma

Dang i missed the kickstarter window! I'll be sure to subscribe when these magazines debut though.

Thanks for keeping the Nintendo Power spirit alive and well. I don't think I ever loved a magazine as much as I loved NP as a kid!

LucasMThomas1 karma

If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still grab subscriptions from our website right here: http://www.nintendoforcemagazine.com/product/the-nf-magazine-year-2-subscription/

Juuuuuuuulian1 karma

Are you looking for a page designer? Aside from being a journalism major, I'm pretty handy with indesign and a few other programs on the adobe creative suite.

LucasMThomas3 karma

Design is where our team is thin on experience, as mostly it's just me and my Photoshop knocking out our pages. If you've got expertise in this area, I'd love to talk with you. Contact us by using the Get in Touch form at the bottom of NFMagazine.com and we'll talk.

Limonadita0 karma

[deleted]

LucasMThomas2 karma

The more the merrier! I tried to write that response to be welcoming to all. :)

YellowS2k0 karma

Maybe I'm missing something, but the thread is almost an hour old and there have only been two responses? Seems slow for an AMA. Anyways, I don't mean to sound critical, as I appreciate what you are doing. My question is: what program do you use to compile your magazine? I always considered making a magazine for something, but lacked any knowledge of the inner workings. How easy is it to get published? How much is the cost typically? Thanks in advance.

LucasMThomas3 karma

Sorry about the pace, I got a little carried away writing my life story as my third question response. :p

I'm a little crazy when it comes to putting the magazine together, so I complete each page as an individual Photoshop .PSD. It's time-consuming, it's tedious, and I love it.

It's not easy to get published at all – a big part of making NF Magazine happen was the behind-the-scenes formation of a new company called NF Publishing, and striking up partnerships with other existing publishing companies to make printing and distribution happen. (And then working with others beyond that to address the digital side of things.)

The cost to publish a magazine depends on how many copies you set out to produce – printing gets a lot cheaper per issue if you print a whole lot of the same issue at the same time. For our Kickstarter, we calculated our costs at an estimate of 2,000 issues to be printed, packaged and shipped six times a year. It costs about $7,000 to do one issue, so it's $42,000 for six, and after you factor in Kickstarter and Amazon fees and a few extra expenses like paying the video editor who helped us make our campaign video, we landed at our campaign target of $49,000.

wellmylands0 karma

The term "Nintendo Force" makes me think of a bunch of nerd superheroes who thwart evil by beating them on Mike Tysons Punch Out.

LucasMThomas2 karma

That's about right.