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ZineMonth24: Hinokodo and MIRU III

When we opened Sabre in July I had no idea that zines would sell as well as they have been, and one of the best-selling zines we carry are the first two volumes of MIRU. There's just something about them that makes them fly off the shelf. I was super excited to talk to Hinokodo and find out they're raising funds for the third volume.

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

Answer: Miru 3 is the last book in a series of solo-first gaming zines where you hunt down a god who killed your brother. In this adventure defense game, the player must protect their home and friends from a never ending siege of enemy robots. This is the conclusion of the story, either you or god will remain in the end. 

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 zinemonth project! My first project Miru 1 launched during Kickstarter's zinequest event (first I had heard of this format) and I've kept the tradition up last year and hope to do so again successfully this year. I love the lofi stapled bound paperbook format and have no plans on changing that for the MIRU series. I've learned quite a bit since my first campaign. There's no easy solution for international shipping. I've since learned that the US does not subsidize our shipping costs like the rest of the world's countries do.

What costs us $7 to ship, costs many folks in europe only $3 or $4. Often businesses / more corporate-like entities hide these costs in the prices of their products, but on our low priced level of $10-20 zines, it's really hard to hide $10-25 shipping costs in the price of a product like a zine. Handling the reaction to that sticker shock is not something I think I'll ever get used to. Something else I learned is how passionate and wonderful gamers are about the things we put out into the world. I don't want to let myself down, and so I always try to approach these things with a mindset of "I'm making this for me, and it's ok if no one likes it" and when people reach out and ask me a very detailed question about the MIRU games or just comment somewhere to tell me they like it, it always surprises and delights me. That's the high to chase. It does feel good to have extra cash after a campaign to pay bills, but the real dream is making something that others find some joy in. 

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: With Miru 3 I'm taking a baby step forward in my hopeful game design career and I'm in talks with a manufacturer to create components that work with the miru series and generally with other games. With the campaign we're also funding a box of metal coins and a box of hex tiles. Something we could only do with a crowdfunding platform. I'm trying to appeal mostly to the Miru crowd, but also the general gaming public with these items. Our box of coins (We're calling Cards & Coins) that not only features 100 metal coins (they look like the money found in Miru) but also a deck of multi-use cards that can be used or played in a wide variety of ways.

And with the Hex kit, we're making 80 terrain tiles with miru info only on the back, so folks who play other hex adventure games can use them too. The hex kit has enough space to store a number of zines, dice, and other small components. I always love it when I get a zine that comes with dice, but it's hard to fit that dice on the shelf with the game. The hex kit box fixes that as it provides a nice storage solution where both can belong. I'm very excited about this next step in my gaming journey and I hope others will find them interesting as well. We'll find out late February I suppose!

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