Post ZineQuest: time to let out that breath and relax
February has come and gone, and with it Zine Month / Zine Quest has (almost) drawn to a close. As with the previous few years it was a busy month for me promoting not only my own project but those of others. Despite that I have to admit that it felt like the event was a more muted affair than years gone by. 2021 was a frantic hive of energy driven by lockdowns and disruption while 2022 followed up with a hot mess of confusion and last minute panic.
This year though, it felt like the energy and engagement just wasn't quite there. I don’t know if that's just my own perception but I’ve heard others make similar comments. Is that concerning? Yes. Surprising? Not so much. The last few years have been tumultuous and I think the energy of 2021, when many of us were still cooped up at home, was always going to be hard to maintain especially when we factor in things such as twitters slow death spiral and ongoing cost of living challenges.
The question going forward is what does it mean for the industry as a whole? The RPG sphere has been through numerous periods of boom and bust so I just can't help but wonder if we're entering another downturn. At the personal level a slump wouldn't have a major impact - sure, my sales would be down but as I've said repeatedly I do this as a hobby and am not reliant on it for income.
That's not true for many people though so if you're in the fortunate position where you are able to support your favourite creative please continue to do so. It could be buying their games or supporting their patreon but even something as simple as leaving a review, interacting with a tweet or recommending their work to someone you know. It sounds silly to say but it really does make a difference.
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Hopes and Dreams of the Orbital Bound - Quick Reflection
I'm planning on writing some more in depth reflections as the work on Orbital Bound continues but want to share some quick thoughts on the campaign, starting with numbers.
Total raised: £1662 from 100 backers
That total is about double what backers raised for Signal to Noise but slightly short of Project Cassandra and honestly, I'm over the moon with those numbers. Why? Because this campaign was a risk. I came into it without a complete draft or much art to share with backers so people are trusting that I can write the game they have backed.
So what's next? Plenty of admin plus even more writing and playtesting, which I’ll be pushing ahead with as soon as possible and you’ll hear about in future editions of the newsletter.
February may be over but there are still a handful of projects running campaigns, including…
A narrative driven RPG about reality TV competitions with an absurdist, llama flavoured twist. Play as a cast of fame hungry llamas seeking to hog the spotlight and win the big prize, so long as they can keep a lid of their own toxic drama. The campaign has already smashed its target with a week still to go so check it out and create the reality franchise of your dreams (so long as that includes llamas).
The Wrap Up
That’s all for this month. As with each time I’ve run a campaign I have underestimated just how exhausting it can be and I can’t imagine what running a larger effort must be like. So for now I’m off to relax, finalise my UK Games Expo plans and take it easy for a week or two.