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ZiMo23 Interview: Stuart Robertson

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

The artist Stuart Robertson is raising funds for Advanced Ancient Academy, an adventure for Old School Essentials.

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

A: Advanced Ancient Academy is a dungeon adventure zine for Old School Essentials, suitable for a party of low level adventurers. This is an expanded version of the original Ancient Academy and as funding progresses there is the potential to unlock more content, including new levels which will turn the zine into a mini mega-dungeon, or even a small campaign setting.

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 first time doing ZineQuest, and I'm really excited to be a part of it. I've been contributed writing and artwork on a number of different people's indie game books, with recent titles including Knock Magazine, Dwarrowdeep, and the Megadungeon Monster Manual. I think ZineQuest will be fun to do and let me combine both my writing and artwork in the same book.

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 original Ancient Academy was published a decade ago as part of the One Page Dungeon contest, as an experiment in packing the most dungeon I could onto a single sheet of paper. Most of my original notes for the adventure had to be condensed to the bare minimum, with many rooms only having 7 or 8 word descriptions. A great deal of the mystery behind the academy could only be hinted at with a few random objects I could squeeze in. I'm sure dungeon masters have expanded the game in their own ways, but I've always felt I could have expressed my original intention better without the one-page format. I'm really looking forward to sharing the Advanced Ancient Academy with everyone!

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