Kickin’ it with Lucas M. Thomas – NF Magazine
4cr: Welcome Lucas! Time for you to tell our readers a bit more about yourself.
Well hello there, 4cr! I’m Lucas M. Thomas, the Leader of the Nintendo Force and Editor-in-Chief of NF Magazine. You might also know me from IGN, as I started writing for the IGN Nintendo team way back in 2006 and am still active there with a few recurring features to this day. I’m married, I’m a dad of two great little boys and my favorite movie is Back to the Future.
4cr: As head honcho over at Nintendo Force magazine, you’re now in charge of the Kickstarter campaign for the second year of said publication. What is your aim for year 2? What worked for year 1? What will change?
I’d say there’s very little that didn’t work during Year 1 of NF Magazine – we set out with the goal of keeping the legacy of Nintendo Power alive, and I feel that we captured the spirit of that classic publication beautifully, while also establishing our own identity. NF isn’t NP, but it is what NP might have had the chance to become, if it had been allowed to continue. Digital distribution, an iPad app, an online community with social media that enables direct interaction with fans – all of these are things that would have been spectacular to see happen with Nintendo Power, and it’s been a blast making them all a reality.
For Year 2, the aim is everything bigger and better. We’re going to recapture more of the nostalgia of Power’s past by introducing fold-out posters to our issues and bringing back more classic columns, like Counselors’ Corner. We’re going to debut new features across the magazine and shine a spotlight on the great work that’s being done by Nintendo fans around the world by profiling community-enriching websites (like 4cr!). And we’re going to increase our amount of Dunsparce insults per issue, as I feel there simply weren’t nearly enough of them in 2013.
4cr: Since the campaign has now reached its main funding goal, what stretch goals are being considered to keep things moving?
Funding the addition of the fold-out posters is a key goal – we’ve already guaranteed that one will appear in our next issue, and we’ll keep pushing forward to be able to have one in each issue after that too. Paying our staff is a stretch goal too, as everyone who’s made NF Magazine happen so far has done so pro-bono – Year 1 was purely a labor of love done to keep the NP legacy alive. (Now, though, it would be nice to be able to compensate our writers and artists.) And then there are fun bonuses like the new print run of our debut issue. Lots of people missed owning a printed copy of NF #1 because it was so expensive to buy back in January 2013 – if the Kickstarter surpasses $64,000, though, we’ll do an all-new print run of that issue and send a copy to all of our Kickstarter subscribers.
4cr: Why go with a print magazine in the year 2014?
I’ll let my good friend Jonathan Holmes address that one! You probably know him from his work on Destructoid and a million different video and podcast projects. He stepped up as the host of our Kickstarter campaign video, and just a few days ago we were able to present a second video featuring Jonathan addressing exactly this question. Check it out on our YouTube channel right here.
4cr: Is there a rewards tier available on the Nintendo Force Year 2 Kickstarter for newcomers so that they can get all Year 1 and Year 2 issues?
Yep! It’s a bit pricey, though, which is why we’re also offering the alternative approach of doing new print runs of older issues as stretch goals in addition to those lofty pledge tiers – if everyone works together to spread the word and enough subscribers join the Force, everyone benefits by getting older issues sent to them for free!
4cr: Have you considered adding more writers to the mix? Perhaps someone who does great features on crowdfunding projects and who also reviews a ton of games each year (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)?
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 example of their past work. I’ll pick at least one new person to contribute to each new issue going forward – it’s a promise!
4cr: Can international backers support Year 2 of NF Magazine?
Absolutely! We ship print issues all over the world. And digital issues, well, you just need an email address for those.
4cr: Thank you for your time. Anything else you want to add.
I’d just like to say thanks for your time! 4 color rebellion has been regular reading for me for nearly a decade – I think that it was back around the time I started at IGN in 2006 when I first stumbled across 4cr, and my browser pulled up that image of the cape-wearing, Zapper-wielding guy riding a giant lizard several times a week after that. (Whatever happened to that lizard, by the way?) Since you’ve all done me the honor of featuring me in an interview here, I’d love to extend a public invitation to 4 color rebellion to appear in an upcoming issue of NF Magazine! I’m brainstorming a new regular feature tentatively called “Website Insight” right now – it would run in our Community section and offer a profile of great destinations online that serve to support the Nintendo fandom, digging into their histories and interviewing the creators behind the HTML. What do you say?