I have a special guest interview as today’s guest post. One of the great things about our hobby is being able to connect with so many people all over the globe. And almost exactly a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything about Adam Jones.
Until out of the blue, he reaches out to me on Twitter saying he has a crazy idea of building an online hobby magazine. In this last year, Adam has since released 6 amazing issues, packed full of hobby articles from your fellow hobbyists.
You can check out my review of Issue 3 or Adam put together a special pack of the articles that I’m featured in, you can fill out the form below and download a teaser!
Interview with Adam Jones of The Golden D6
Tell us a bit about your hobby?
The Golden D6 used to be my regular gaming group and we’d meet on a weekly-ish basis to get out Warhammer 40000 on. At the time, the Melbourne 40K tournament scene was a vivid and lively place to play with a mix of gentlemanly sportsmen getting together to figure out who was the best 40K general. This was the age of Rogue Trader and things were good.
All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and circumstances change for players who drift in and out of the hobby. So it was for the Golden D6 Gaming Club. Various attempts have been made to resurrect the garage, but none quite took the same as that halcyon era.
As I have grown up (sic: older), I wax nostalgic about times gone by and how young people today don’t play 40K like we used to. “10 attacks on the charge was good enough for me.”
In more recent years with a son, a newborn baby and my wife needing two major back surgeries in the space of twelve months, my hobby time became a lot more scarce. Painting and playing took a back seat to poopy nappies and convalescence.
My hobby became vicarious as I frantically consumed content from blogs and forum posts. I’d have discussions with people about such and such a post on this or that blog only to realise that I was the only reading some of this amazing content.
Where did the Golden D6 Come From?
One day I was listening to a podcast where the presenter interviewed a guy who started an online magazine and was getting quite successful at it. I remember thinking, I can do that, but what am I interested in enough to devote that much time to?
Between nostalgic longings and general obsession with toy soldiers, twenty-five years give or take, GD6 seemed like a great idea. I was massively interested in the topic and curious about going beyond my, largely neglected, blog.
Knowing that there was no way I would be able to devote enough time to produce an entire magazine worth of content I began to look at a more abundant source of material: the internet. My Feedly blog roll was near three hundred entries long and I began to pore through the list to find cool stuff that I thought other hobbyists would be interested in. I also hassled all my gaming mates and Facebook groups about what sort of thing they were interested in. Before too long, I had enough blog and forum posts collected together.
What started out as vicarious hobbying had morphed into an online magazine.
I’ve been an internet nerd for a while now, and knew a thing or two about putting together a website. That was the easy bit. Putting together the articles into a magazine format was a nightmare! I have NO design skills whatsoever; just take a look at Issue One compared to Issue Two! However, I slaved away over a boiling, hot keyboard to mash together Issue One enough to be happy with the end result.
How did it feel to release Issue 1?
When I finally hit “publish” on that first issue I was really excited. Here was my first foray into online business and I was going to make a million dollars overnight with no work at all.
If you actually believe that, drop me an email. I have a bridge I can sell you.
It was still exciting to get something out there. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an author. Or a veterinarian. While neither of those dreams has technically come true, seeing “my” work out there for all to gander at was amazing.
In the first three days, I gave away more copies of Issue One than I sold. It was more important to me that people saw it than people bought it. That wasn’t sustainable because hosting cost, software costs and it’d be nice to have a bit of pocket money along with the work. However, feedback coming in was positive and I was on the right track, I felt.
Where did you go from there?
Then I took a six-month break between Issue One and Issue Two.
When running a business of any type, closing the doors for that long is a bad idea. When it’s a periodical magazine, it’s pretty well suicide. I’ll cite family reasons as a convenient excuse.
Still, I was determined to make this thing work and so I began to collect more material for Issue Two. As I said before, “NO design skills”, so to plug that hole, I was extremely lucky to get back in touch with Matt Weaver, ex-White Dwarf editor and design super genius, to do the layouts for me.
Looking at the two issues, there is no comparison between Matt’s super-fine designed and laid out Issue Two and my Issue One that looks like I used a crayon stuffed up my nose (metaphorically) to put it together. The investment was well worth it as Matt’s skills filled a massive hole in the creative process. I PROBABLY could have reached the same lofty heights he took Issue Two to.
You’d still be waiting for it though.
What has been your favorite issue?
If I had to pick a favourite issue, it would have to be issue one. The lack of refinement aside, it represents me doing something that I’ve never done before.
I am an inordinately slow and meticulous painter and over-fixate on getting things exactly right. Rather than trying to get the Golden D6 absolutely perfect, I went live with Issue One knowing it was not perfect (and never would be).
Knowing what I know now, I could go back and refine Issue One to bring it more in line with all the other issues. I think I’ll leave it as is as a reminder to me, if no one else, of how the Golden D6 has evolved.
I also really like Issue Five as it was the first issue since Issue One that I did all the layouts for, using Matt’s spectacular templates to do the layout. Oh, and Issue Two, where some people MIGHT say, (tongue in cheek) the Golden D6 discovered Amy Snuggs’ amazing Seraphon (Lizardmen) army.
What does the Golden D6 offer for readers to buy?
Why would anyone buy the Golden D6? Why? Well, I’m something of a big deal, don’tchaknow. Heh.
I’m not going to delude myself and think I can get stuff out faster than other forums and blogs (there are any number of news sites that put out content at a ridiculous rate). What I am doing is curating awesome content to present it to readers.
Hopefully, some, if not all of it, is stuff that the average gamer wouldn’t normally come across.
I found, for example, this one guy with a blog who writes some great tutorials for beginners through to advanced hobbyists. The name eludes me … erm … smashed paint stick or something. You can find all the stuff that I’m curating for the Golden D6 yourself, but I’m making it easier for you.
What makes the Golden D6 special?
I’ve been playing with toy soldiers for about twenty-five years. Without doing ANY additional research, that makes me the oldest, most experienced wargamer on the planet. After doing something for any period of time, you’ll develop a skill in that area.
I think I eyeball some awesome content for the magazine. As a trainer in real life, I’m a huge fan of tutorials and there are some awesome, well-written tutorials out. I kinda love being able to find this content for my readers.
Issue Six was the “all tutorials” issue. So far, it’s had the strongest uptake of any of the issues. In the future, dedicating an issue to one particular game system or one type of tutorial (painting for example) is a possibility too.
I’m learning more and more about interview techniques from people like Rob at the Paid to Play podcast and I’m looking forward to talking to more “celebrities” in the wargaming world.
If you could get someone to write an article, who would it be?
I’d love to talk to Jes Goodwin again. I hung out with him years and years ago at the first Australian Games Day and he is kind of iconic when it comes to Warhammer 40000.
I was lucky to talk to Andrea Sfiligoi, who wrote the awesome game A Fistful of Kung Fu, and I can’t recommend the game enough. It’s amazing some of the games and people who are out there today and so cool to be able to talk to them.
How can others submit articles for the Golden D6?
One of my favourite things about The Golden D6 is getting content from the community. I can dig through blog after blog and
I can dig through blog after blog and the near infinite number of forum posts, but I really like when people bring me their own stuff. I can look at a blog and find something that jumps out at me, however, I’d rather someone presents me with something that they’re especially proud of.
The same goes for anyone who wants to write for the Golden D6. It’s a bit of a secret, so don’t tell anyone; I have no idea what I’m doing and am figuring it out as I go! As far as guidelines on submissions, it’s pretty simple: make it awesome.
Email me at email@example.com or find me on social media @spruegrey.
Most mobile phones have amazing cameras on them and getting lighting right isn’t hugely difficult (I made a serviceable light box from a washing powder box!), so producing high-quality photos isn’t too hard. After that, take as long as it takes to tell the story you need to tell. Be as verbose as you like, I can always edit anything that I think is too long.
Apart from that, there’s no other limits on my guidelines. Make it awesome, tell a great story, take great pictures.
I’m under no illusions that the Golden D6 lives and breathes because of other people’s help and it has been a massive amount of fun so far. I am thankful for everyone who has helped me so far and looking forward to continuing my work with hugely talented wargamers out there.
It was fun getting a peek into what make Adam Jones tick and why the Golden D6 came to be.
UPDATE: Adam reached back out to let everyone know that if you use the coupon code ‘brokenpaintbrush‘ you will get 25% off! The code will only work until September 30th so grab a copy of issue 6!