Push 2 Proposal Guidelines

2006 Nov 25

So Push vol 2 is about to get underway. Here’s the scoop.


If you want to write an article for Push, I’d like you to send me a written proposal or discuss your plans with me over the phone or in chat. It doesn’t have to be fully thought-out or outlined, but I need a clear sense of your topic and how you plan to approach it.

I am willing to consider a partially finished or completed essay as a possible contribution or something that might be turned into one, but such articles will still need to be revised (sometimes heavily) and brought up to date during the writing process.

General article types include:

How We Play (Macro) – This type of article describes a large community or (multi)national style of roleplaying: Nordic larp, Jeepform, Japanese roleplay, online freeform, fanfic, MMORGs, cosplay, etc.

How We Play (Micro) – This type of article describes lessons learned and techniques developed by individual groups during play or designers during the design/play process. These could range all over the place, covering just about anything.

How We Play (Meta) – This type of article describes recent or historical developments in design and play, analyzing trends, assigning meaning, projecting into the future. Discussions need to be backed up by strong sources and examples, not just empty theorizing.

How We Play (Transcript) – This is not an article at all, but an actual transcript (edited for clarity) of real, honest-to-God actual play. Online play transcripts are the easiest, but recording and transcribing tabletop works too. Finding a way to document larp play would be terrific, but difficult. Same with MMORGs and other things.


Push is also willing to consider a limited number of short-form game proposals. Unlike article proposals, I’ll need to see a near-playable version of the game before I can be sure that Push is interested, but running the concept by me is not a bad idea either, just to make sure you’re in the right ballpark. That may seem like a tease but, even if we don’t accept your game, you still have a neat game on your hands, so that’s not much of a loss, in my opinion. The other contributors and I will help you revise, playtest, and polish the game for publication, but the bulk of the work will still fall on you. This is mainly what I’m after:

Dream Games – These are games that might exist in an alternate universe or in dreams, if roleplaying was invented by Native American ballplayers in 1300, if rpgs were played by dolphins, if roleplaying was invented by the blind or deaf. Ideally, they should still be playable by human beings today and be relatively short, less than 50 pages.


The people who will write marginal commentary are usually specifically invited to do so. Kenneth Hite, Judd Karlman, and Claire Bickell have tentatively agreed to provide commentary for Push 2 and there will certainly be a half dozen more commentators before this is over. If you’re interested in being a commentator, feel free to let me know, but I’m really looking for a specific mix of individuals here, so don’t feel bad if you’re not quite what I need right now.


The following schedule can be changed if necessary, but this gives us aggressive deadlines to get us all moving.

– Article proposals due by Jan 1
– Initial Discussions and Drafts happen here
– Complete Drafts Due by Mar 1
– Final Drafts Due by April 1
– Edits/Comments by May 1
– Final Proof by Jun 1
– Print/PDF out by GenCon


Contributors and/or commentators will be expected to participate in group brainstorming, discussions, and peer editing, which will take place on the Push message board (to be set up soon). How much you choose to participate is up to you, since I realize that different people have varying amounts of free time they can spend on this. But if you flake out on us, we may flake out on you. Fair enough?

You also have to be willing to work with your fellow contributors and especially me (the lead editor) during the editing process and make revisions to your work in a timely manner. Articles that are not keeping up with deadlines (which are ever-changing, so I will give you fair warning) may be dropped from Volume 2.


Commentators get a lifetime subscription to Push. Woohoo!

Contributors get an even cut of the profits from print and PDF sales, delivered on a regular schedule (either quarterly or biannually), but completely subject to my whims. Let me be very clear that this is not actually payment for rights, because I’m intentionally avoiding legal contracts. It works like this:

• You own all rights to your work and can do whatever you like with it.

• You are donating limited print and electronic rights to reproduce your work in Push as long as the journal is around.

• I have no responsibility to pay you for anything. However…

• I do plan to send checks out to folks, as large as I can make them while still covering costs and making sure I get paid myself.

• All financial records will be completely transparent, posted on a regular basis, and available at any time by request. This includes copies sold, how much money I’m paying myself, and anything else you might want to know.

• If you decide, at some point, that you’re unhappy with the situation and no longer want your material to appear in Push, I will honor that request out of the goodness of my heart, but have no legal responsibility to do so or to compensate you for anything.

If this gets too complicated, I may have to go to real contracts and all that jazz, but I’d really rather not. This is a hobby project. I’m not doing it for the money and neither should you. However, I am selling copies of it and don’t particularly want to keep all the profits for myself, since that doesn’t seem fair.


You can email proposals or questions to me: jaywalt at gmail.

The Push website is http://plays-well.com/push

The Push blog is there as well, which is probably the best source for regular updates. Subscribe to the feed.

Once you’re on board in some capacity, I’ll create an email list of the contributors to keep you updated.

I think that’s all for now. Let’s get crackin’!

8 Responses to “Push 2 Proposal Guidelines”

  1. Annie Says:

    funny, I have the beginnings of a game design for each of the “genres” you mentioned. :) You WILL be hearing from me again soon.

  2. Dev Says:

    I’d be happy to commentate, and I’d also suggest pinging Greg Costikyan for this or the next issue of Push.

  3. Jonathan Walton Says:

    Annie: Yay!

    Dev: Cool. I’ll let you know for sure about commentary once I get a better sense of who I’ve got signed up in that capacity. Are you suggesting Greg as a commentator or contributor?

  4. Dev Says:

    Contributor, but he would actually be a really need commentator even. He’s also really busy and slightly moved on from the TRPG thing, so YMMV.

  5. Space Says:

    Dude, I’ve got a twisted little idea for a Dream Game that I’m pretty sure you’ll be hot for.

  6. Mo Says:

    When did Google team up with Blogger? The Space comment, was from me… doh!

  7. Jonathan Walton Says:

    I figured it was you. The Google-Blogger thing happened a LONG time ago, but the affects are just becoming apparent now.

  8. Mo Says:

    Ah. Dude, where are you? I’ve been looking for you on IRC….

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