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ZineQuest Follow up: Tanya Floaker

I reached out to people I interviewed for August's ZineQuest to do a follow-up interview. Not everyone responded, but a number did, and I will be posting these as mid-week interviews over the next few weeks. First one up is with Tanya Floaker, who funded Lo! Thy Dread Empire. You can catch the original interview here, and buy the finished product here.


Question. First, did your project fund?

Answer. Yes! It far exceeded my expectations. Getting the 'Projects We Love' tag from Kickstarter certainly helped. Q. Tell us two things you learned with this project: one thing you were really pleased with and one thing you would do differently. A. I really think a lot of games would be improved ten-fold by designers adopting a non-hierarchal working relationship with the other artists on a project. The collaborative process between myself and Julia (https://www.instagram.com/julianevalainenart/) has been so fruitful as a result of us both respecting one another's art. I don't tell her exactly what to draw, much the same way most games designers don't expect the artist they work with to tell them how to design the game. We have great dialoge, and I've been surprised to learn about the setting I kickstarted through her art! If I was doing anything differently, I'd have to go with being better with managing my time. Between being a full time parent and a part time student, my time as a game designer feels very constrained before I add in all the things that you can do to promote a Kickstarter. I'd also not try run a concurrent Kickstarter campeign like I did this year (as I also organised the crowdfunding side of a findraiser zine for my local club, the Edinburgh Indie Gamers). It is a lot on my plate! Q. Are you planning on participating in the next ZineQuest (or ZineMonth), whenever it is and in whatever form? A. I have an idea for a few different projects which could appear as part of ZineQuest5 project. A playtest version of Remembrancer was included in Counjourations Issue 2 (https://conjurations.itch.io/nowcasting), and I reckon it is ready to be polished up. I've also been working on a game called Winter's Respite, which is a one-shot RPG about small town mentality, shame, and burning someone alive in a Wicker Man to bring back the sun! Q. What kind of community support (either the crowdfunding platform, podcasts, blogs like this, etc) would you find helpful with the next ZQ project you do.

A. I've been really fortunate to be active on the Zine Creators Workshop discord server (https://discord.gg/Ywnd4xDyyY). This was set up as a place for RPG zine creators to share best practices and help one another out in a spirit of mutual aid during ZineQuest. It expanded to run SideQuest (https://sidequest.info/), an independent crowdfunding event that takes place 6mths either side of ZineQuest events. The nice thing about ther ZCW and SideQuest is that they arn't tied to any one designer or game studio. This ensures the focus is equally on the participating crowdfunding projects.


I'm also a huge fan of Scheduled for Launch, Wobblies & Wizards and Yes Indie'd Pod. All three do a huge amout for the smaller indie and osr designers. Thomas Manuel's Indie RPG Newsletter and the More Seats at the Table newsletter also do loads to promote new designers. Highly recommended.

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