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ZiMo23 Interview: Marco Serrano

Marco Serrano, writing under the Spicy Tuna RPG imprint, is raising funds for A Butterfly Dies.

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

A: A Butterfly Dies is a zine compatible with Primal Quest placed in a fantastical prehistoric Michoacan along the volcanic mountainside of the oyamel forest where monarch butterflies overwinter today. Events move forward regardless of player interaction and players can choose to engage with the local tensions or keep their distance while exploring the rich mountainside inhabited by megafauna, dinosaurs, and alien entities.

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: We launched two Mothership-compatible zines during the first ZineMonth last year, Knights of Lazarus and Familiar Faces Vol.1. This is the first Primal Quest compatible zine we are launching and one of the biggest takeaways from past crowdfunding experience is making sure we have a clean, decorated, and concise KS page. People are sifting through a ton of project pages during these events.

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: The adventure is inspired by Mexican myths, Jose Clemente Orozco’s mural “Man of Fire”, and stylistically by the Mexican Muralist Movement. It explores the concepts of renewal, cyclical time, and destruction as a means for rebirth in an alternative mythos set in Mexico. I've been enamored with the Mexican realists' style and murals for a good decade and have been working on incorporating both style and concepts from Mexican traditions, myths, and movements for almost two years. I'm most excited about showcasing a slice of Mexican history in the TTRPG space.

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