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ZiMo23 Interview: Rhodrick Magsino

Rhodrick is using Crowdfundr to raise money for Traysikel - Ride or Die!.

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

A: Traysikel - Ride or Die! is a high-speed adventure featuring Filipino tricycle taxi chases, nightmarish Aswangs, and a brewing revolution against imperial colonizers.

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 will be my first ZineMonth. I was writing my first zine around this same time last year and didn't find out about ZineMonth until a few months after it ended. I definitely felt like I missed out on something special. The projects that emerged from that time were inspiring and I really wanted to be a part of this community of artists, writers, and story enthusiasts.

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: Traysikel - Ride or Die! is very special to me both on a personal level and design level. This game is an opportunity for me to make something fun and exciting that was inspired by my Southeast Asian roots. On the surface, this module is a high-speed action adventure with motorcycles and monsters. But underneath lies a constant exploration of identity. What makes it extra special is that I approach some of the mechanics from specifically an Asian-American perspective. This adventure is all about finding identity and discovering the lengths people will go to erase or preserve it. The Style mechanic in Traysikel is a sliding spectrum that allows players to dress their taxi to suggest alliances with either the rebellion or colonial powers. In each leg of their journey, they will encounter the prejudice and benefits that come with the polarized viewpoints of their surroundings. No matter how players try to mitigate their appearance, they will always find themselves at the center of controversy for simply existing as who they are. They are characters with no country. Much like how many 2nd generation Asian-Americans, like myself, felt growing up never learning their native tongue or visiting their homeland. Americans suggested that I was never American enough, Filipinos suggest I was never Asian enough. These themes are now being explored in films like The Farewell, but I wanted to make a ttrpg experience simulating this same idea while still embracing a fantastical adventure story within a mythical setting. While I have drawn inspiration from Southeast Asian culture, politics, and folklore, I feel that the social and moral themes tackled in this adventure are universal.

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