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ZiMo23 Interview: Paul Czege

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

A: It’s The Ink That Bleeds: How to Play Immersive Journaling Games. I write about the aspects, procedures, and fun of playing journaling games, and show it all with excerpts from my own actual play.

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: I did a ZineQuest project in 2020 just as the pandemic hit, and it was already mostly written, but it was a pretty difficult time and I ended up delivering it late. This time for The Ink That Bleeds, it’s fully written. I’ve even printed some already, so I can have a limited tier of copies I can mail as soon as Kickstarter funds clear.

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: I started out designing RPGs at The Forge, talking about how mechanics and procedures create play experiences. Now I’ve played dozens of journaling games the past two years, and had such fun and such great experiences, and insights about play and bleed and self-care and everything — I realized why journaling games are having their cultural moment, and it’s not because people holed up during the pandemic and wanted solo games because they couldn’t play face-to-face; I saw why writing dialogue is so affecting, and it’s because of how we create worlds with each other in conversation; I realized why bleed happens and what it means — and I felt like I could write about it all and inspire people to play and have their own experiences. In fact, a character in a game I played told me to do it.

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