Just some comments and constructive criticism on the magazine. You may not like it but if the only feedback you ever get is blindly positive then it doesn't help you make a better product, which hopefully is what you want.
Just to preface, I have been directly involved with actual newspaper & magazine editing, layout and production. I'm not saying your magazine has to be pro but if you're trying to sell it for $5.00 (for a physical copy) then there's some things you should probably take note of.
1. The whole "Anyone for Raspberry PI?" headline has been done to death already...months ago by various sources releasing articles with the exact same title. The article reveals little depth and comes off as little more than an advertisement.
2. The GMCJam article doesn't even mention what Game Maker is anywhere in the article. You keep referring to GMC (the acronym) and some GMC forum users but how is anyone outside of the GMC community supposed to know what "GMC" is and who those people are? If this is supposed to be an Indie news & development magazine and not just Game Maker news & development then you need to preface by explaining what Game Maker is. Also, you end the article by directing people to the main forum page. You should instead link them directly to a relevant article or official announcement on the website. If it's something from the forum you can use an url shortener like bit.fly or goo.gl.
You then show a list of the winners with a bunch of random user names like Skeletor992 without a single link to their games or anything relevant. If I'm some random reader and not a GMC regular what does Water,Water,Water by Orange08 mean to me? Absolutely nothing.
3. You do a 4 page game review on Bastion which was released like 8 months ago. If you want people to buy your magazine then reviewing games that are almost a year old isn't going to cut it.
Again...another review for Transformice which...was released like TWO YEARS AGO. And Back to the Cubeture 2, again 2 years old.
4. You have full page advertisements for Game Maker HTML5 and some mod for Arma II (which is old). If you're not getting any compensation for including these advertisements in your magazine then what does it provide your readers other than filler space? If you think people should use it or try it out, why not do a review on it instead?
5. The 3-page article (which supposedly has a part 2 pending for next issue) doesn't grab the reader. It says the writer has some ideas for a great card game and then slowly and painfully draws it out through 3 pages without offering much reason for doing so. Don't ramble unless you have some good rambling that draws your readers in. The article should state its points upfront and then elaborate. Also, the way in which the article is written to me, makes no sense to cut off the article half-way and say wait another month for part 2 to listen to this idea I have.
6. You probably know this already or its probably been pointed out that the layout is a bit grating. I'm not gonna tell you how to layout your entire magazine but it would be a good idea to look at some magazines that you like, study their layout and try to emulate them. Pay special attention to how they format and layout images and text.
Also, the magazine is laid out like one big vertical page. If you are offering physical editions for sale then you should ask yourself what is this huge vertical thing going to look out when it's printed side by side? Probably not too great.
Also, pay attention to details like headers and footers that real physical magazines have.
7. Misc pointers:
I've seen a lot of independent magazine projects like this die out like flies. People have a short attention span for them too, quite often. Instead of doling out old news/extremely old news on a monthly basis you may want to consider a news type blog, with articles, dev news, etc. on a piecemeal basis.
If you really feel like doing a review on an old game, you should have a reason for reviewing it such as some brand new feature or update.
It's completely static. There doesn't appear to be a single dynamic link in the entire magazine.
Some of the stuff, comes off as really re-hashed like the Raspberry Pi headline/article, i.e. it sounds like you read an article about it then rewrote an article about the article you just read. If you're going to replicate what others have already extensively covered then you should have something new or an unique angle to bring to the table.
I'm not saying it's downright bad. I've seen so much worse but these are some things you should consider if you want to elevate it to a higher level.
Edited by needsfoodbadly, 11 March 2012 - 01:52 AM.