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ZiMo23 Interview: Cezar Capacle

Brazilian indie game designer Cezar Capacle is another person using Crowdfundr (this platform is open to folks in the South America, which Kickstarter is not), and they are currently raising funds for their game Derelict Delvers.

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

A: Derelict Delvers is a solo/coop dungeon crawler in space, with a twist. Players take on the role of space soldiers scavenging derelict ships for profit and resources, and getting way more than they signed up for.

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: It is my first time! My motivation to participate this year was threefold. Firstly, I really wanted to work within the size limitations of a zine. I think it is a great self-imposed constraint, one that makes you think about what is essential in your game. Secondly, a good friend of mine, Igor Moreno, another great Brazilian designer, released the SRD for his game "That Dungeon Game with Dragons and Stuff". It's such a fresh take in so many tropes of the classic RPGs that I felt inspired to work with. I have since departed quite a bit from the original mechanics, but the spirit is still there. Lastly, I came across this new crowdfunding platform called Crowdfundr, and the simplicity and accessibility of their service made me want to give it a go> Kickstarter is not available for people from the Global South, so I really want to spotlight other platforms that do, and not only that, cater to their community of creators.

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: Oh, excellent question. This is my first dungeon crawling game, and although I enjoy the simplicity of the premise, I feel a little weird with its original themes and how close they are to problematic topics such as colonialism and otherness. So I felt I had to address that in my game somehow, and a content warning didn't feel enough. So that's when I devised the Wounds mechanic. It may be a little of a spoiler, but basically when you get hurt, you get an alien infection. As that infection progresses, you start to understand more of their movements and predict their behavior. At first, this is yet another advantage for you to keep killing them all. After all, from your perspective, they were the invaders that destroyed Earth's peaceful diplomatic missions. But then, you start to get a glimpse of their hive mind, and comprehend their language, their culture, their individuality. Eventually, you start to question your purpose there, and that finally breaks your soul, when you realize the horror you brought to that society you didn't understand. So yeah, this is an aspect I'm excited about. On the surface, there are a lot of other neat mechanics on how you abstract loot and come up with your own powers (it's super flexible yet very parametric) that I also find really fun, but those cater to the intended experience of a dungeon crawler. Not the wounds. The wounds will catch you off-guard.

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