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ZiMo23 Interview: Absurdist Productions

The duo of William Thompson and David Thomas are raising funds for Seven Murders 'Til Midnight.

Q: Easy question first: Give us the elevator pitch of your project. Tell us about it in two sentences or less.

A: Seven Murders Til Midnight is a solo, card-driven, journaling RPG about hunting a killer. Inspired by films such as Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, and True Detective, this game is for anyone who likes psychological thrillers. Seven Murders is a follow-up to Transformation, using the same base game mechanism. You'll play a detective in this game, investigating a string of connected murders. As the story progresses across seven in-game days, you'll begin to learn the mind of the killer and a bit about your character's own fears and humanity as well.

Q: Is this your first ZineMonth project or have you done it before? If it's your first, talk a bit about what inspired you to give it a shot this year. If you've done it before, what's something you've learned from previous crowdfunding projects that you may be doing differently this time, or, if you're not doing anything differently, talk a bit about your previous projects.

A: David and I have worked together on three other Zine Quest projects. The first two were 5e adventures and the third was Transformation, our first solo RPG. We've learned a lot from each of these projects. Each time we refine our process, improve our engagement with backers, and make better products.

Our campaign for 7 Murders will be pretty similar to what we did with Transformation, though we are making a few changes. For one, we experimented with AI art for the backgrounds on Transformation. We won't be doing that again. There are too many issues with AI for us to support it going forward. We will, however, keep working with Aster Kordona and Charlie Kim to do our art. Their work was fantastic on Transformation.

We think this is going to be even better than our previous effort.

You can expect a lot of the same stretch goals that we did on Transformation, though we may rearrange them.

Q: Finally, tell us something about your current project that really excites you but the average backer may not be aware of. Maybe a twist to an old trope, a new way of presenting something, or maybe just something you've never tried before that you're using this as an opportunity to try out.

A: Doing another game with the Transformation system gives us a chance to refine the mechanics and really dig into the experience. For 7 Murders, we are replacing the "Mementos" and "Bonds" mechanics we used in Transformation with clues and details about the killer's psychological profile. The "Changes" in Transformation are replaced with details about the crime scene. All of this should come together to make some really unique scenes in this game.

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