06 January 2022
A curious change from usual scheduling
If you’re having a nosey on the tabletop games section of Kickstarter in the next month, you’ll usually start noticing an abundance of small quirky RPGs, alongside the filter of ZineQuest. This annual Kickstarter prompt is an opportunity for smaller, indie RPG creators to launch their projects at a similar time, and with great number, reducing the chance of being lost amidst the usual influx of big name tabletop games. Rules were simple – creators will need to launch a two week project for a single colour unbound, folded/stapled/saddle stitched RPG zine on A5 or smaller paper, and last year, would be promoted from February 1st. It's quickly become a popular tradition, and offers a little extra security in funding for indie creators.
Whilst Kickstarter has remained silent on ZineQuest, many creators have been working towards the previous deadlines. However, with still no announcement formally from Kickstarter, Director of Games at Kickstarter confirmed on Twitter only last night that ZineQuest would be moved this year. Instead of February, it'll be transferred to August to coincide with GenCon 2022.
Hi pals, Anya, Director of Games @ Kickstarter here, excited to announce we’re moving ZineQuest to August to coincide with GenCon 2022! Official dates to come, but if you're still planning a Zine project for Feb, email [email protected] for a little extra promotion from us. https://t.co/aaVwxEFyx8— Anya Combs 🎷 (@AnyaynA) January 5, 2022
It's somewhat of a surprising move from Kickstarter, for a number of reasons. Indie game designers may struggle to compete for funds against estabilished big game purchases being completed over this period, whereas we've come to expect ZineQuest to be available in February. Regular contributor Anna Blackwell, creator of DELVE, Apothecaria and more, summed up in a tweet in response to the alternative Zine Month offering, stating "I saw the news that Zinequest 4 wasn't happening and felt my heart drop as Zinequest tends to be my big yearly payday that gets me through. I'm so glad we'll have #ZIMO as an even better alternative". Similarly, in advising designers so close to the previous deadline that this was the intention, many have already begun the process of creating the work, sourcing artwork, funds, early copies, and the like.
Whilst many may choose to wait for ZineQuest to reoccur, those who have already prepared their work are being mobilised by Charlie Ferguson-Avery and Alex Coggon of Feral Indie Studio to partake in the newly named Zine Month, or ZiMo for short. Prior to the above confirmation which it awaited, it intended to run in after ZineQuest, or should it be postponed, be instead of Zinequest. Reasons given included Kickstarters controversial move to blockchain technology, geographical limits of it, and as an attempt to demonopolise how projects are funded. When confirmed, they said in an email that the decision to go ahead had been made " due in part to the large amount of creators who already had projects planned for February or would be financially vulnerable by avoiding the month altogether". With a name prepared, they are in the process of putting together a website with Michael Meyers, which will be available soon.
Though details aren't explicit, it appears to be similar to a previous application of SideQuest, whereby it won't be a seperate platform for crowdfunding itself, but rather a way to collate projects wherever they may be placed on the single ZineMonth site. In short, projects will be relased as they would have through ZineQuest, but with ZineMonth collating and promoting them, making them easier to find.
Submissions will be available closer to the time, but you can also email [email protected] with your title, promo image, and description for an early form. This will allow for creators to still show off their works, whilst also allowing them to use their platform of choice, without losing the benefit of a February launch.
We reached out to Kickstarter for a statement regarding this, which has now been issued. You can find it in full here.