The Luchazine was a community-run magazine founded on the forums of Giant Bomb by Goran Popović (editor-in-chief) and Abhishek Chaudhry (lead designer).
The first issue was released on the Giant Bomb forums on June 14th, 2010, which is when I first noticed its existence (The E3 Live Stream Thread that I made was mentioned on page 8 under the "Terrific Thread" section). Thinking it was pretty cool and wanting to be a part of it, I applied for a writer position for the second issue, but I had missed the deadline due to going to the wedding of my friend, Jeremiah, in Kansas.
It was on July 9th, 2010 that Matt Kessler, former intern and current news writer on Giant Bomb, wrote a quick article titled "Have You Seen The Luchazine?" and posted it to the front page of Giant Bomb, giving the magazine a lot of exposure. I became even more interested in writing for the magazine, and was sure to send in my application for a writing position on time. I wrote a short piece titled "Four Minutes of Terror", which detailed a recent event where I thought I had lost all my Xbox 360 saves in the process of transferring them over to my new Xbox 360 S. I had written it while sitting in the middle of my storage room's floor in Killeen, Texas, as this had been after most of my and my brother's stuff had been packed up and sent to Oklahoma. It was also right before we left for our trip to Japan, so it was quite a hectic time in my life. It was at the Shinagawa Prince hotel in Tokyo in July of 2010 that I received a reply back from Goran with confirmation that I had been hired to write for The Luchazine. Though it was a little while before issue 3's release and I had yet to do any work, I was credited in the magazine (mistakenly as "Charles Alan Raliffe (Vito_Raliffe)").
It was around this time that a forum had been created for The Luchazine staff via Zetaboards. Before, everything was done through email, and the forums were a clean, organized solution for everyone. When people started to post their drafts for issue 4 on the forum, I started to copyedit them on my own so as few mistakes as possible would be released into the final magazine. I had then been promoted to Associate Editor on August 19th, 2010, which meant that I was to copyedit all first drafts posted. If another version of a draft was posted afterward, I did not work on it.
On August 29th at 2 PM Central Time, I made my first appearance on The Luchacast (The Luchazine's podcast), which also happened to be my first podcast ever. The podcast was released as The Luchacast Episode #3: Mario Might Be Evil on August 30th. It was a lot of fun! I actually had to go out previously and buy a $30 Logitech headset since too much background noise could be heard via my webcam. All my friends I had talked to were surprised this was my first podcast, especially with a bunch of people I had never spoken with before.
Work continued on The Luchazine Issue #4, and on September 11th at 11 PM Central Time, I participated in my second podcast ever, The Luchacast Episode #4: Weak Week. We had previously recorded for about 50 minutes, but started over due to the podcast "running too long". This affected the quality of the released version, with the unheard portion being much better and natural. The episode was released on September 13th.
On the same day, The Luchazine Issue #4 was released. It was the first issue I had actually worked on, and was by far the most successful release The Luchazine had ever seen, mostly because of the incredible work the design team did. I was credited as "Charles A. Ratliff (Vito_Raliffe) - Associate Editor" and had my name placed at the top of the Staff list, even though everyone was usually listed alphabetically. Along with editing first drafts and doing promotional work, I also wrote two articles, both of which can be seen at the previous link.
A couple of weeks after the release of issue #4, I decided to mail in the cover to the offices of Whiskey Media. I went to Walmart, printed out a high-quality version of it, and then went to Hobby Lobby to have it framed with museum glass. I printed out a note I had written to go along with the frame, including The Luchazine logo at the top to make it a little fancier, and shipped it via FedEx. The total cost was nearly $140. The only proof I had that the cover ever arrived was a photocopy of the signature given when it was delivered, until my attention was brought to this Tested video where the cover can be seen between Will Smith and Jeff Gerstmann as they talk about iPhone games. Ethan Lance of Whiskey Media later posted a picture of it in a blog he had written:
Work immediately started on The Luchazine Issue #5 after issue #4 was released. I was promoted to Executive Editor on October 9th (editing drafts, handling schedules and deadlines, promotional work, along with writing). The magazine went through three different versions due to delays imposed by the founders. There was an October 7th version, an October 25th version, and a November 25th version. The Luchazine project was then suddenly and unexpectedly ended by the founders on November 27th. None of these problems had anything to do with my work on the magazine.
I wrote four pieces for issue #5 that were never officially released (I posted them up on Giant Bomb at the same time I posted them here on my blog):
And that, as they say, was that.