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Kickstarter brings Zine Quest back to February for 2023’s fifth annual indie TRPG event

A representative says the creator-focused event will keep this schedule going forward.

The cover art for Kickstarter's Zine Quest 4 event.
Image credit: Kwanchai Moriya

Zine Quest will reclaim its original February timeslot for its fifth annual event in 2023. Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which hosts Zine Quest, moved the indie tabletop RPG design fest to August this year to align with Gen Con. After public outcry and criticism over the decision, Kickstarter now says it has “heard our community loud and clear” and will not be moving the event in the future.

Kickstarter announced the rough dates for Zine Quest 5 earlier this week in a press release focused on the upcoming iteration still planned to take place in August. This puts it square in the middle of Gen Con, the largest tabletop convention in the US, which angered a lot of independent and smaller creators who felt as though Kickstarter was making them choose between the two.

Zinequest began in 2018 as a communal crowdfunding initiative during which artists were encourage to pitch and fund a zine-sized tabletop RPG, supplement, dungeon or other resource using only a two-week campaign. In exchange for the short timescale, Kickstarter would internally advertise the project along with others using imagery and a special section of the website. While the results of that support have not always been consistent, Zinequest proved a success among players and artists, and the resulting games show off an incredible range of taste and approaches to a physical booklet.

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“We moved Zine Quest this year to test if we could make it even more successful than previous years,” said Kate Bernyk, Kickstarter’s senior director of communications. “August is a month that historically has been one our strongest for pledges to games projects. And we still think Zine Quest will be incredibly successful for indie creators, as there is a lot of visibility for such projects in August, especially thanks to the fans and creators at GenCon that month.”

“But we heard our community loud and clear: February is where Zine Quest belongs and that's where it will remain moving forward. We get that creators want to rely on the consistency of Zine Quest happening every February, so we're committed to do that in 2023 and beyond. “

Kickstarter told Dicebreaker in an email that it would have more information soon about its plans for promoting August’s Zine Quest 4 and 2023’s Zine Quest 5 in February. The company did show off the key art for the event (seen above the headline) which was illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya, who has put his brushes to several well-known games including Cryptid, Galaxy Trucker, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Halls and Dinosaur Island. Dissatisfied with Kickstarter’s initial decision to move Zine Quest 4 to August, many independent designers created their own Zine-based initiative last February and called it Zine Month 2022. The grassroots coalition aimed to offer more support for all who took part and created a website for finding projects that worked better than Kickstarter’s own and was easier to navigate - a longtime complaint from users. It’s not clear whether Zine Month will continue in 2023.

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