I choose Gaming as a topic for my magazine. I did my research from retro gaming magazine covers to nowadays gaming magazine covers and here are my favourite ones:
When it comes to the front page...
The concept for almost every front page in a magazine is the same. There are a few similar elements like: the image which is related (or not at all) to the theme of that magazine, the masthead and one or more headlines. I have a more minimalist vision than the usual retro gaming magazines has. I am aiming for a mixture of games and illustrations, using only the elements mentioned a few lines before.
When it comes to the masthead...
The front cover will contain the masthead (first of all). I searched for an unique name but every single title involving "game", "gamer" and "play" was taken already so I decided to search for slang expressions used by gamers. I found the following possible titles : 2M2T (Too much to handle), GG (Good game!), FTW (For the win) and AFK (Away from keyboard). I selected "For The Win" as the title for my magazine. The whole magazine is minimalist so I searched for a clean, futuristic font in order to attract my target audience who is seeking for mainstream. I learned to work in Illustrator in order to create the masthead and the headlines for the cover. Until I got to the final version I made some subtile changes involving the shape of some angles (from sharp to rounded) and I also erased some sections.
When it comes to the bar code...
Furthermore, I decided to create an original bar code, by simply playing with opacity and filling of two images. It is not a complex procedure, I just overlaid two layers in order to create something simple.
After a few days I looked back at the bar code and I had a better idea, to introduce the barcode in the shape of a joystick so it will be more visible. Because of the low opacity, the controller is not very remarkable.
When it comes to the photo-shootings...
I chose "cosplay" as an issue of my magazine because it's very impressive. It's a real challenge to build the costume and the props. Furthermore there is a whole community : tons of amazing people who are passionate and brave enough to do a cosplay. I will recreate princess Leia from Star Wars because the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was viral on the internet. Even though cosplays are usually made after new characters, I opt for the older version of Leia because she seems more iconic that the new one and I hope that I will attract a wider audience for my magazine and I will influence people to watch the whole series Star Wars, not only the new movie.
Even though it's a rather simple cosplay, which involves only a white robe , a wig and a gun, (make-up: blush and red lipstick) (the props),it's visually striking and minimalist - exactly what I needed. I tried to express the same feelings as princess Leia, to have the same attitude as hers: cold, opulent and gracious. Here is the first photo shooting session:
The last photo seemed to be the good one and I decided to edit it a bit.
I made the second photo shooting in my school, using some of my gamer friends as models. I chose the "mindfulness room" because it has a green wall which I used instead of the green screen. I could easily edit the photos because of this. The purpose was to recreate a photo with the winners of an international gaming championship. They were the team who won, so I asked each one of them to bring a white t shirt so they could all match in order to express unity. One boy forgot his t-shirt and I tried to include him as the "captain" of the team. I has some issues involving their punctuality and it was pretty hard for them to focus and to look serious, not to laugh while posing. Despite all these facts, they were great. We did it!
I tried a different formula. I eliminated Dan, with his black t shirt and I rearranged the boys:
In the editing part, I used 6 different layers in order to create the effect I wanted. The first layer represents the stadium in which the League of Legends International Championship from 2014 took place and I used it for the effect from the top of the photo. I also used some green lasers because I like this effect - they stabilise the colours and they highlight the team - they are the winners. The galaxy creates the "explosion" effect in the background and a layer full of stars/light which fill the exterior of the photo. I choose the bubble photo because it has a black background and it blends all the colours, it makes them look more natural. I played with fill and opacity a lot for the background. I adjusted the initial photo with the boys and I added the League of Legends cup on the left side of the photo. In editing the phtots I lowered the opacity in order to make them harmoniously blend together. I used the crop tool, the magnetic lasso tool to eliminate the green background, I cut layers, I enlarged and smudged different elements. I also adjusted the tones, contrasts and colours by creating new adjustment layers and clipping them to my initial image layers. Here are all the separate layers:
I used a normal galaxy photo for the first drafts and also "2016" in the background. I eliminated them on the way until I got to the final photo. I decided to add a logo to each member of the team, on their white t shirts, because it looks professional. They are called "The White Ninjas" and I created a simple logo for them Here are the drafts and the final photo:
When it comes to the table of content...
For the Table of content I found here some good sources of inspiration :
I want to use images for the table of content because they captivate you from the first page and it's more interesting and expressive. Without colourful pictures, the content is not giving you any hint about the gaming magazine you are about to read. I am using the photos from the photo sessions and some sketches to capture the reader from the very first page and to highlight some of the main features of the magazine. The table of content will contain Gaming as a job, Future of gaming (New Tech), Cosplay, Upcoming games, Questions and Answers (Q&A), Reviews, Electronic-Sports, Hardware, Retro gaming and How a game/character was made.
When it comes to the double-spread...
The Double-spread contains different articles from the magazine's table of content and the representation is very important. I like to draw on my graphic tablet so I want to illustrate a character from scratch. I will present myself as an upcoming artist and I will show the concept, the sources of inspiration, creating a story about the character. Here are my favourite examples of how I want my double-spread to look like:
I thought about me being a girl and being interested in video games. Then I had this idea about gender equality in the virtual world and stereotypes when it comes to gaming. Because of this, I m going to include "Gamer girls" as one of my chapters. Furthermore, I am opting for a girl as my double-spread character. I am giving an interview, describing the new champion from League of Legends, which I, a "famous concept artist and illustrator ", created it. In the interview I am saying a few words about myself, about my inspiration and about the storyline, skills and the features of the champion. The article will include some sketches and the final 3D character.
Who? Hey guys, I’m Georgia Walker a concept artist and illustrator from Cluj, Romania. I started my career as a freelancer in 2011 and now I have a partnership with Riot Games. In my free time I draw a lot, perhaps 4-5 hours per day but I also like to spend time with my family and friends. My hobbies are travelling, swimming, and playing video games. My favourite game is League of Legends, so I decided to help Riot as an outsider, not as an actual employee because I had a few innovative ideas for new champions. I am specialising in 3D modelling now and I am looking forward to create my own game someday.
Inspiration: When I was younger, I was inspired by anime and manga. Nowadays I am often inspired by artists from DeviantArt, even though, most of the times, my inspiration comes from the surroundings. When you have a blank paper in front of you and a pencil in your hand you realise that most of ideas are already taken so it is very hard to be completely original. So I began to think of a new concept of champion, that wasn’t used before in League of Legends. First of all, I wanted to create a support champion, who helps the AD Carry on bot lane.
Storyline: Ginger was born in a crowded city but she got sick of the stressful life and tension so she decided to leave. She went in the forest where she was all alone. She found an abandoned house, full of dust and books. The nights were cold but full of stars. Ginger never felt lonely because she was in the middle of the nature.The books she found - huge botanical books- thought her everything she knows about the world around her. Now, Ginger masters the art of organic healing potions and she helps the ones in need.
Skills and features: For this champion, I was thinking about natural substances, created by herself. Her ultimate allows her to manipulate the effects of her abilities by changing the main ingredient in her potions. There are 2 main ingredients she can choose from, one giving her potions a negative effect, while the other grants a positive effect. Her q ability, which is called Fervor Potion, can grant attack speed and critical chance to allies in positive mode, while doing the opposite to enemies in negative mode. Her w ability, which is called Refraction potion, can grant a temporary damage absorption shield her allies in positive mode, and cause enemies to deal damage to themselves in the negative mode. Finally her e ability, which is called concoction, is a potion that either gives an area of effect heal to allies in positive mode, or cause an area of effect stun to enemies in negative mode. Ginger passive is fortitude aura, which causes allied champions near her to receive 5% less damage from the enemy’s attacks. The support role is usually the least-desired because this position focuses more on game knowledge and map awareness, which are inherently harder skills to show a mastery of. By the way, listen up, support players : don’t steal kills unnecessary, keep an eye on the mini-map and always protect your ADC. Don’t forget that teamwork is the key to success in this game and communication and synchronisation are essential.
Here are some sketches I made:
When it comes to the games that I play...
My favourite game is League of Legends, made by Riot Games - an American video game company and a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings Limited. Tencent was founded in '98 based on funds from venture capitalists, and only after a few unprofitable years, it entered the internet industry. Riot organises The League of Legends World Championship and the League of Legends Championship Series for Europe and North America. Statistics show that League of Legends was the most played game in 2015, followed by Counter-Strike and Dota 2.
Another game that I like is Botanicula made by Amanita Design, an independent Czech game developing company, with only 14 employees. The gameplay is based on the environment and it involves puzzles. Other well known games created by Amanita Design are Machinarium, Samorost, Samorost 2 and Questionaut. Some clients of Amanita design are BBC, Nike and The Polyphonic Spree.
When it comes to other magazines...
I choose to research Game Informer Magazine because it's the most popular gaming magazine, selling approximately 6.7 million copies per month. The american monthly video game company was founded in 1991. It is owned by GameStop Corp, which bought FuncoLand in 2000 (the first owner of the magazine). The current owner, GameStop is a public retailer, "the parent of video games", having 18,000 full-time employees and operating 6,457 retail stores worldwide - because of this, most of the promotion is done in-store.
The second magazine I wanted to research is Eye for Games an online magazine about game design and developers. It presents game characters and it contains interviews with game developers. Rai Sewgobin, the founder of EFG focuses more on the details behind the scene than on the actual game. EFG was founded in 2012, it's a rather new magazine with only 1 full-time member and 4 contributors.
When it comes to the target audience...
The target audience for this magazine, like any other gaming magazine, is made out of teenagers and young adults mainly. I created a questionnaire - some of my friends completed it and I also post it on Reddit. I wanted to create a simple questionnaire from which I can see the people's expectations from a gaming magazine- what they like and what makes them bored, what they read and what they skip. For the stereotypical lazy gamer boys, I made it simple and it involves only ticking boxes. Here is the questionnaire:
After 32 responses, I created an infographic chart using Piktochart in order to transform the qualitative data in quantitative data and to represent it in a minimalistic version. I choose these questions because my magazine is about gaming and I believe they will help me structure the content in a better way, knowing what people expect from a gaming magazine:
The sampling frame is representative because I posted the questionnaire on Reddit and because it was completed by different ethnic groups, different genders and people with different interests. They were unbiased because they couldn't see other responses and because their identity remained unknown - their names were not included in the response sheet because they are unrepresentative. From the results, I decided to include in the table of content the following chapters : Gaming as a job, Fanart, Cosplay, Upcoming games, Questions and Answers, Reviews, Strong female characters, International championships and How a game/character was made.
When it comes to the mood board...
The mood board represents the theme of the magazine, it is made out of representative images and structures related to the appearance and to the concept of my magazine. Control. and Eye for Games are the most emblematic magazines. They have the ideal type of structure. Here is the mood board:
When it comes to inspirational artists...
My favourite freelance illustrators are Loish and Sergi Brosa. They can easily illustrate a detailed scene/character and they have their own styles in drawing. They are different but also similar - they both create characters but the essence of each of them is contradistinctive. I would like to combine the innocence from Loish with the unconventional style from Brosa. I also get inspired from artworks that I find through deviantart and conceptartworld.