A new, independent publication which celebrates the craft, creativity and community of board gaming. Created by Dan Jolin and James Hunter.
What is Senet?
Senet is a magazine for people who love board games, from those who are new to the hobby and just discovering it via gateway games, to veteran players and board-game designers.
It takes board gaming seriously as an art and entertainment form in a lively, interesting and visually impressive way. It will include previews of the most exciting and intriguing upcoming games, reviews of the latest releases, from both major and independent publisher, and features which inventively explore the creative processes behind board games, as well as the tabletop experience itself.
Senet’s main features will unbox the board-gaming experience via five strands:
Where we focus on a popular game theme, such as Vikings, Mediterranean trade, HP Lovecraft, zombies and Star Wars.
Each issue, one of our gaming experts digs into how a particular gaming mechanism — such as worker-placement, deckbuilding or roll-and-write — actually works, and reveals which games do it best.
We interview a major board-game artist to uncover the secrets of great tabletop visual design. For the first issue, this artist will be the brilliant Ian O’Toole (Lisboa, Black Angel, On Mars).
4. The Player Experience
A think-piece which tackles a different issue each month. For example, co-op playing, cheating, welcoming newbies, making game nights work, tackling conventions, and rocking print and play.
5. The Game Designer
A ‘Hall of Fame’ in-depth career Q&A with a major industry figure. In Issue 1, this will be with Elizabeth Hargrave, designer of Wingspan, for which she won the Kennerspiel des Jahres.
Board games are beautiful
With high production values, impressive artistry, engaging themes and elegant mechanisms, they have, quite simply, never looked so good as the titles being published today.
Board games are social
They bring people together in an entertaining and immersive way. There is now such a variety of games — from party games, to collectible card games, to Eurogames, to role-playing games — the hobby is genuinely open to all, making it a diverse and universally welcoming activity.
Board games tell great stories
Every great game experience contains drama and comedy, twists and turns.
Conceived by a pair of passionate gamers with 30 combined years of experience in publishing, Senet celebrates and explores all these aspects of the hobby, at a time when it is going through an astonishing renaissance.
Senet will be written by the most passionate and knowledgeable tabletop-gaming writers in the world — including Owen Duffy, creator and editor of The Board Game Book, Matt Thrower, author of the Haynes Manual of Table Top Gaming, and Meeple Lady, of boardgamemeeplelady.com. We are also proud to include Tristan Hall — designer of Gloom of Kilforth and the upcoming 1545, St. Elmo's Pay — as a contributor. Tristan will be sharing his insights into the industry.
It will also boast amazing illustrations, including work by Private Eye cartoonist Nick Newman.
Senet will comprise 64 full-colour, 160mm x 240mm pages, printed on 100gsm uncoated paper, with a 250gsm uncoated cover featuring a special colour.
Please note that the pictures above are for illustrative purposes only, and the actual appearance of the rewards may differ.
We need £11,900 to produce and publish the first issue of Senet. All our contributors will be paid. This is a passion project, but we don't expect anybody to share their expertise and creativity for free.
Any additional money raised will be invested directly into creating Issue 2 and beyond.
Dan Jolin, co-founder and editor
Dan is a journalist with more than two decades of experience, who specialises in writing about tabletop gaming, cinema and TV. Formerly features editor of Empire magazine, he is now a freelance writer and editor who contributes to The Observer, Tabletop Gaming, Time Out London, Screen International, Pilot TV and Empire. Dan’s favourite games are Lords of Waterdeep, Scythe, Agricola, Gloomhaven and Dungeons & Dragons, and his favourite game of 2019 (so far) is Wingspan. When not playing board games, he enjoys watching movies, creating banging DJ mixes, writing children’s fiction, or riding his mountain bike in the Chiltern Hills, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
James Hunter, co-founder and art director
James was an art director at The Sunday Times and now has his own design practice where he makes magazines like C20, the member’s magazine of The 20th Century Society. Senet is the coming together of two things he loves and finds interesting: board games and magazines.
Special thanks to...
David Hughes and Sam Ibrahim for so brilliantly shooting and editing our Kickstarter video; Simon Brew and Owen Duffy for their invaluable Kickstarter-guru advice, and to Owen also for sharing some of his own Expo footage for the video; Elizabeth Hargrave and Ian O'Toole for agreeing to be part of the campaign, and Issue 1 itself; Nick Newman for creating our mascot Nubie; Ellie Foreman-Peck for making portraits of us; James Cowen and all friends at Leytonstone Tabletop Games for introductions and encouragement; Simon Esterson and Stephen Coates for their feedback; Lucy Jolin for her eagle-eyed editing skills and all-round support, and Lucy McKenzie for her patience and support.
Finally, what does Senet mean?
Senet is the world’s oldest board game, dating back to ancient Egypt. Nobody is sure how you play it, but its name translates as “Gateway” — as in the gateway to the afterlife. So it sounds both welcoming and like it promises paradise. Perfect, we thought, for our magazine.
Risks and challenges
We understand that making a magazine involves lots of different people and processes, and we don’t want to disappoint our readers by delivering Issue 1 late. We have drawn upon our 30 years experience in publishing to create a feasible editorial and production schedule. We have worked with many of our contributors and collaborators before, and have discussed the nature of the content with them well in advance of publishing. James (the art director) will be passing the issue at the printers, working closely them to ensure you get your copy on time.
This is our first crowdfunding project, and we have been thinking a lot about the logistics of creating, sourcing and delivering different components of each pack to different places. Where possible, we have tried to work with UK companies where we already have a relationship, or have agreed schedules before starting working together for the first time. There is always a possibility that rewards could be delayed, go missing or become damaged during shipping — but we are working closely with our partners to take steps to protect against this.
We have a big spreadsheet! When printing magazines and manufacturing products, invoices can become big and cashflow is very important. We have budgeted in a way that makes sure we can fulfil your rewards. We have set up a limited company and secured credit accounts where possible in case of cashflow problems. We have researched into fees and taxes that we would be liable for.
We will do our very best to make great things, and get them to you by the end of January 2020. If we become aware of any problems, we will communicate this to you in advance, and do everything we can to resolve them.
- (31 days)