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ZiMo23 Interview: Max Moon

Max Moon, the author of Twelve Years, Fairyland, and other zines, is raising funds for The Demon Lord Expansion.

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

A: The Demon Lord Expansion is the first expansion zine for the Twelve Years solo+ roleplaying game. This expansion adds a new quest, BBEG, new encounter types, enemies, two new archetypes, and a more specific dungeon type, the Hellmouth. The core gameplay remains the same, assemble a party of adventurers, gather your gear, and head off into the wilderness in search of the six sigils to complete the banishing ritual to rid the world of the scourge of the Demon Lord! And all beautifully crafted and assembled.

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: This is my 3rd ZiMo/Zinequest project and my 5th Kickstarter campaign (6, if you count, supporting Black God's Kiss). Something I have learned and struggle with is to keep things as simple as possible while balancing that with allowing backers the types of variation that give them personal choices and are exciting for me to make. It can be easy to overdo it when it comes to offering options and variants. I haven't quite crossed that line yet, but I have definitely pushed it. I love making interesting and unique cover variants. I have worked with foil, screen printing, and now am experimenting with gold leaf. The biggest thing I am doing differently this time is offering a standard edition without a screen-printed cover. I have not been able to keep zines in stock as well as I had hoped, so I am shifting to making the screen-printed covers a bit more exclusive. I love screen printing, but I have to admit that it does slow things down quite a bit when I need to produce a few hundred zines at a time.

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: One of my favorite parts about any project is the art. I am most excited about the team of phenomenal artists who have agreed to work on this project with me. Justine Jones is someone who I have wanted to work with for a very long time, so having her on the team is incredibly exciting. Another artist I am working with is Robin Harris, aka Mystic Barbarism, who I have actually worked with a little in the past but that secret isn't out yet, so very few people know anything about that. And lastly, Andy Webber, who has worked with me on almost everything and aside from being a phenomenal artist, is a key person in making almost any Max Moon Games zine happen. I am, of course, excited about the expansion itself, but just wait until you all see the art for this zine! I am very excited about opening the door to expansions for Twelve Years. I designed it with the assumption that expansions would come and so now it feels like I am really supporting the game in the way it deserves! I look forward to more expansions over time!

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