ZineQuest Meet the Publisher: Tanya Floaker
Tanya Floaker is a queer anarchist communist based out of Edinburgh, Scotland. They design games that consciously engage with their political outlook, help organise Edinburgh Indie Gamers, and mod r/RPGcreation. You can catch them on timeoftribes.com or on insta and twitter as @timeoftribes. Their latest game, 'Lo! Thy Dread Empire' is coming to Kickstarter on the 2nd of August: If you're interested in hearing more they've also appeared recently on the Wobblies and Wizards podcast.
Question: Give us the elevator pitch of your project. Tell us about it in two sentences or less.
Answer: The world had been ground to dust and ruins by The Death Cult of Capitalism. Undead masses rise up in struggle, gain bodily autonomy through the act of collective animation, and fight The Skeleton War for the liberation of Life and Death!. Q. Is this your first ZQ 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 ZineQuests 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 have a fair bit of experience when it comes to ZineQuest. I was inspired to make a quirky SLA Industries fanzine for ZQ1. It was my first time running a Kickstarter, and was a strong success due to the great work done by other designers to openly explain their process. I went on to produce a second issue and have a third vaguely in the pipeline. Then last year, for ZQ3 while we were all locked down, my local indie games club produced an anthology zine to raise funds. As well as writing an article, I handled the Kickstarter, the production and the fulfilment. In terms of content, it is one of the best anthology zines I've seen. I'm very lucky to be involved with such a special club and friends with such talented designers and artists. I also participated in #SideQuest2021 and successfully funded my first solo published game, BE SEEING YOU.
I've been designing games my whole life and I have a history in publishing political, punk and arts zines. The reason I took the plunge into publishing my own RPGs was the death of an old fried due to COVID. We had always had those never-never talks about publishing games, but never seriously done anything. Just before his death, had set up a small company to sculpt wargames terrain and was starting to make some real progress with it. I still had some art he did for Celtic Fantasy larp festival I helped run - Time of Tribes. I'd also written a ttRPG based on some of my ideas from the larp. I'm planning on publishing it, along with a dedication to my friend, once I've built an audience who can trust me to pull off a "big game". So with that in mind, I've been working to get my other games up to the standard others could run them from the book, put them out, and build the skills and rep needed to hit my end goal.
The thing I'm doing differently this time is working with Julia Nevalainen. Usually, I either source my art from free sources or work with someone I'm already friends with. Julia is just someone who I spotted on Instagram and really fell in love with both her physical and digital media art.
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 thing that excites me most, as a game designer, is the hybrid of wargame sensibilities with storygame mechanics. This means that rather than going down the path of rolls to hit, rolls to injure, making killer builds and the such (all things I do enjoy elsewhere), L!TDE is able to have the unit actions on the battlefield flow from the tactics and narrative you lay out. By the end, the game should feel like the kind of story or battle report I find myself making up after the fact when playing other wargames. I really think this will make wargamers really expand what narrative wargaming can be using modern design ideas, while RPG and storygame fans can add sweeping mass combat into their games in a seamless fashion.