Brand New Retro Magazine – Smashes Kickstarter

With the lack of physical magazines out there it is great to see a brand new Kickstarter that aims to bring you all the latest news, reviews and interviews for all things FPS. It also covers retrospectives of classic FPS titles from days gone by. So what can we expect from E1M1 magazine? Retro Faith talks to the two creators responsible for blasting FPS shooter goodness to your tea break. Zach Murphy has been tasked with design and Jake ‘the voice’ Parr is editing. 

What is E1M1 magazine and why a physical magazine in 2020?

Zach: E1M1 is a magazine all about the recent “Boomer Shooter/Throwback FPS” resurgence. Games like Dusk, Ion Fury etc. Being a magazine based around a kinda 90’s theme, it only made sense to go full 90’s and offer physical issues.

Jake: It’s a publication that covers classic FPS titles and retro chic shooters. We started with going digital at first, but we thought making physical copies was a challenge worth stepping up to. Reading through game magazines and the many pages of great content is something I loved doing as a kid. I think people are still willing to put cash towards such a product, if its content is up to snuff.

This is a project that has come from many years of hard work. How did you get to the point that a physical magazine was feasible?

Z: Both Jake and I have put many years into writing for a whole host of different websites and magazines. When one of the main sites I was writing for closed down, I tried to find somewhere that I could write about my favourite genre, when I realised that this didn’t exist – it seemed like it was just meant to happen.

J: I really like writing about games, been doing it for a very long time. Since the lockdown happened, I’ve been unable to run my video game-centric radio show. So, I’ve had to solely rely on my other marketable strength, that being writing, to keep me both busy and sane. I haven’t had any luck with paid gigs in a long time, so I just wanted to have fun with it. I remember Zach putting up a post on a Facebook group with this concept in mind, and when we got together and started sharing ideas, it just kept getting bigger and bigger.

The crowdfund has gone crazy, how do you feel knowing that the project will come to life?

Z: Crazy excited, nervous and stressed. Excited to write and get our content out there – being able to highlight projects that aren’t getting the attention they need to succeed is one of our main objectives. We want people that make the games we love to be successful so there is a lot riding on this.

J: It’s been such a buzz! Still, we’ve both been whizzing back and forth with the campaign, as well as people’s feedback online – stressful stuff, but we’re really eager to see it’s doing even better than expected. 

Why should folk back or buy the magazine?

Z: If you’re a fan of the genre, or even just the classics – we want this to be THE go-to source of reviews and info. You should back it if you love the ‘golden era’ of games journalism, and want to see that go through just as much a resurgence as the genre has.

J: We’re covering both old school titles and retro-chic shooters from indie developers, as well as featuring exclusive interviews and nifty features like Top 5 lists that don’t copy and paste answers from everyone else, like some websites seem to do. It’s a potpourri of different titles – old and new, obscure and popular, unique and terrible.

Why do you think folk are still interested in supporting physical publications?

Z: It’s a big ol’ hit of nostalgia. We’re at a point in gaming where so many people go back to play what was instead of what is. What was, was physical publications – annuals, magazines, strategy guides, cheat books… People want this stuff back.

J: Game magazines focusing solely on retro titles are still popular today, and we thought we could pull it off as well, albeit with a particular niche that we, among many other people online, really enjoy.

When can we expect the issues to start rolling out?

Z: We want to get Issue 1 out basically as soon as the campaign ends. That’s when we will be getting copies printed and ready to ship. Expect copies of the first issue to start arriving mid-late October. As for issues 2 and 3, these should be rolled out at some point before Summer 2021 (at the latest), it depends how fast we can work – and how quickly our audience can read!

J: Getting the digital issues out will be the easiest task, as we’ve got to sort out things like post and packaging, not to mention making sure the magazine and merchandise are of the best quality.

What does it mean to you that so many backers have supported the project? 

Z: It means the absolute world that so many people have so much faith in what we can achieve. It also means that we managed to stumble across a real gap in the market.

J: We hit our set goal in under 3 hours – we’d like to thank Realms Deep and people like Dave Oshry of New Blood Interactive for helping get the word out. But the generosity and enthusiasm of our many backers has been really heartwarming and motivating. 

What are the plans for the future of the magazine?

Z: To be decided, we want to keep it going as a regular thing for sure. We have plans for loads of content, and this awesome game randomiser for our review pool. We want to touch on as many games as we can and make E1M1 a real must-have for retro FPS fans.

J: We’ve tossed a few ideas around, but nothing’s quite set in stone just yet. We’ve discussed things like possible competitions to win merch, as well as an online store to buy stuff, so these things are a possibility. If we can make more issues, then we’d be more than eager to keep on going.

Thanks to Zach and Jake for taking the time to answer my questions. If you want to back the project head over to the Kickstarter page now.