Striking the Balance
by Brett Sanger (swiftone @ alumni.psu.edu)
In any business venture (and while Fudge Factor may be non-profit, it is very much a business venture) there is a balance that must be struck between the needs of the business, and services the businesses offers. In my last editorial I talked about the services Fudge Factor can offer to ensure a long and successful existence. This time, I'd like to focus on what you, the reader, can do to support Fudge Factor (and in doing so, support our goals of advocacy and support of roleplaying and the Fudge system).
There are three primary activities a reader can do to help us along:
We are nothing without content. We can offer readers to an author, and the authors can offer us our existence as a 'zine. While I have only praise for the quality of the content that has been submitted, I am concerned about the amount and the variety. There is a dearth of settings and adventures in particular, but any content is valuable, and every additional author is a resource. If you have house rules, an interesting setting, an adventure, and/or advice, write it up and send it in. It isn't a difficult process, and you give to the Fudge community as well as Fudge Factor. I simply cannot emphasize this point strongly enough: Getting that idea that you've been meaning to write down out of your head and into a computer file is the difference between a useful 'zine and a cool 'zine name. See our Submission Guidelines for details.
Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than user feedback. (Even if it then means I have to find out what a cockle is.) Praise and criticism alike are valuable: Praise tells us what we are doing right, as well as making us wish to continue doing it. Criticism tells us what we are doing wrong, and what we can do to improve our work. Anything other than abuse and spam is a good thing.
But this doesn't just apply to the Fudge Factor staff. Our authors provide the bulk of every issue, and they are (usually) just as interested in praise and/or criticism. If praise makes me more likely to continue working with Fudge Factor, it will do the same for an author, and this is a Good Thing. So if you like an article, let the author know. (Let us know while you're at it, so we'll know what you like.) Our authors do great work for little benefit, so a few kind words can go a long way.
The Fudge community is a relatively small one, and it is better recognized among game designers than game players. The Fudge Factor community is smaller yet. We're doing what we can to increase the size of both. As part of both of these groups, why don't you step forward and do your part. Have you made sure that all the gamers in your area know about Fudge? Have you told the Fudge gamers in your area about Fudge Factor? Have you told your non-gamer friends about roleplaying, Fudge, and Fudge Factor?
Send your non-gaming friends to an excellent introductory article. Send your non-Fudge gaming friends to the Fudge rules. And of course, send your Fudge gaming friends straight to our latest issue.
If we the Fudge Factor staff can do our jobs to make the most of the effort you the readers offer us, we will all end with more than what we began with.