Would you like to say you're a published writer of tabletop wargames rules?
What about seeing your painted minis in print?
Or perhaps you have a talent for art or fiction but don't know how to get started showcasing what you can do?
If you can say "yes" to any of those things then I have a plan, and I think you're going to like it. It's the Zero Dark Compendium 2021.
The plan is that, towards the end of this year, I'd like to publish a compendium of exclusively fan-created content for Horizon Wars: Zero Dark. This will consist of four areas of content: rules articles, fiction, miniatures photography and art, all built around the single theme for this year's compendium: UNKNOWN.
1. Rules Articles
Your best chance of a win will come from writing a rules article. I expect to publish 10-20 pieces of new Horizon Wars: Zero Dark content written by fans, with the exact number depending on the quality of submissions. These could be alternate rules, new scenarios, new complications tables... anything you fancy. Max word count ~2500. Articles will be judged on spelling, grammar and compliance with the format guidelines as well as on their content.
Short pieces of fiction based in the Zero Dark setting of the Fallen Earth and/or the colonies of Mars and Venus. Max word count of ~2000 words.
3. Miniatures & Terrain Photography
Photos of heroes, allies, Bosses or Nemeses or even just thematic terrain. PNG format.
Art inspired by the Zero Dark setting of the Fallen Earth, the colonies of Mars and Venus and by the game's various factions and characters. Art must be submitted in PNG or JPEG format with a minimum resolution of 300dpi.
All submissions must have a tangential connection to the theme for this year's compendium. This year's theme is UNKNOWN.
So this could be rules for Schrödinger's Bogey - you don't know what type of bogey it is until you attack it! Or it could be a mission to reveal the identity of a traitor. Perhaps you want to create an entirely a Red Force themed around a famous conspiracy. Or you could create a special, randomized complications system to replace the table and dice approach. The connection doesn't have to be explicit and how you interpret the theme is up to you. You can always explain why your project fits the theme as part of your submission if you don't think it's obvious and there might even be a special prize of "most tortured interpretation of the theme".
These are the rules:
1. Submissions should be in one of four categories: rules, fiction, photography or art.
a. All submissions should evoke the theme "Unknown". There is broad leeway in how submissions evoke the theme, but submissions will be judged, at least in part, on how well they reflect the theme.
2. Submission must be made electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 1st October 2021. Submissions received after that date will be automatically rejected.
3. By submitting, entrants give permission to Precinct Omega Limited to make use of their submission in the publication "Horizon Wars: Zero Dark 2021 Compendium" (planned publication date, December 2021).
4. Rules Submissions
a. This category is extremely broad and includes new missions, new upgrades, new bogey types, custom complications tables and custom characters (heroes, allies or bogeys) as well as new rules for things like terrain, or alternate rules for existing mechanics. The guiding principle is that submissions should be purely supplementary to the existing rules and should not materially alter the core rules of Horizon Wars: Zero Dark.
b. Submissions in this category should be submitted in DOC, DOCS, RTF or TXT format or as a link to a Google document. Any images needed to illustrate the submission should be submitted separately in PNG format with their location in the text clearly indicated, not embedded in the document.
c. Maximum word count for this category is ~2500 words and no more than three images should be included.
5. Fiction Submissions
a. This category is for submission of short fiction set in the Horizon Wars universe, in one of the following settings: the Burning, the Second Colonial War or the Diaspora.
b. Submissions should focus upon character-driven conflict and combat and be suitable for a young adult audience.
c. Submissions in this category should be submitted in DOC, DOCS, RTF or TXT format or as a link to a Google document.
d. Maximum word count for this category is ~1500 words.
6. Photography Submissions
a. Photography submissions must be of miniatures and/or terrain in either 15mm or 28mm scale (with broad leeway in interpreting those scales) that are appropriate to the Horizon Wars setting (hard science fiction with a post-apocalyptic feel).
b. Photographs should be taken with either a neutral background or with a background appropriate to the Horizon Wars setting.
c. Photography submissions must be of original works by the submitter and the submitter must have the right to make the submission. The organizers reserve the right to require additional images of the submission to prove these rights if they are disputed.
d. Submissions in this category must be made in PNG format.
e. Submission in this category must identify the source of the miniatures and/or terrain used, including if it is a personal design, conversion or scratchbuild.
7. Art Submissions
a. Art submissions must be of original works by the submitter and the submitter must have the right to make the submission.
b. Submissions in this category must be appropriate to the Horizon Wars setting (hard science fiction with a post-apocalyptic feel) and must not portray characters that are subject to copyright not owned by the submitter.
c. Submissions in this category must be made in PNG format.
a. First stage judging will be by Precinct Omega Limited, at which entries that do not meet our standards for publication will be removed from consideration. This will remove any entries that do not comply with the rules of the competition, as well as entries that are transparently sub-standard.
b. Second stage judging will be by the patrons of Precinct Omega, who will conduct a rating of the entries in each category. The highest-rated in each category will be eligible for publication (the number of eligible entries in each category will depend upon the length of entries and the total number of entries in each category).
c. Third stage judging will be by Robey Jenkins, who will decide, of all eligible entries, the best in each category and the best overall entry.
d. The judges' decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
a. The rights to submissions in the Rules category belong in whole and in their entirely to Precinct Omega Limited and submitters give up all rights to further credit or compensation.
b. The rights to submissions in all other categories belong and remain with the submitter who, by submitting, gives permission to Precinct Omega Limited to publish the submission in the publication Horizon Wars: Zero Dark 2021 Compendium without further credit or compensation. Any further or additional use will be with the permission of the rights owner and subject to additional compensation as agreed.
[NOTE: What the "rights" stuff above means is that, if you send in rules and POL later adopts those rules into the main rules for Zero Dark or any other game, you don't have the right to any credit or payment for that. But if you send in art, photography or fiction, the rights to those things remain yours to re-use or re-sell. By sending them in, you say that POL is allowed to use them in the 2021 Compendium but, if POL were to want to use them again in some other book, we would have to contact you for permission and you would be within your rights to ask for a fee for such re-use. Whether we use your stuff in the book or not has no bearing on the rights.]
Submitters whose works are featured in the publication will receive a voucher for a free digital copy of Horizon Wars: Zero Dark 2021 Compendium. In addition, the entries judged the best in each of the four categories will receive a voucher for a free physical copy. The single entry judged best by Precinct Omega Limited will also receive a free physical copy signed by Robey Jenkins, along with a free physical copy, signed by Robey, of either Horizon Wars: Zero Dark or Horizon Wars: Infinite Dark and maybe some other stuff, too. Physical prizes will be shipped free of charge, anywhere in the world.