I have fallen in love with the idea of mini zines recently, and was very excited to see The Greate Troika! Pocket Sphere Jam as another chance to make some. As the spheres ( i.e. setting worlds) of Troika! can be wildly eclectic, I tried to branch out from more standard fantasy most of my TTRPG writing and playing has been recently. My main inspiration struck as I recalled one of my favorite shows as a kid, ReBoot – the completely computer generated cartoon about the characters that lived inside a computer. So my sphere had a similar setting – the vistors to this sphere are digitized to live as processes within a computer. The locales of the sphere are the components of a computer: power supply, bus, or memory, as well as the components of the operating system and programs within: recycling bin, internet browser, video games. The denizens of the sphere are all processes, components of these programs: cryptocurrency dealers, anti-virus protectors, task managers.
My first foray into using Affinity Publisher, I really wanted to push the old-school computer vibe that suffused ReBoot, so I knew from the beginning I wanted to recreate a computer interface as the main design of the zine. The early GUI era design hit the perfect point of early to mid 90s retro that I was going for, and having the icons on the GUI only be EGA 32 x 32 bit sprites made it very easy to put a bunch of them together.
I outlined several locations and denizens in the two mini-zines I made for this game jam, but I’m hoping to put together a few more – a character option edition and several other editions that outline other areas of the main frame such as memory addresses, cryptocurrency exchange, and video card.
Check out the first two editions of THE MAINFRAME here.