Greg's Design Blog

A collection of posts by game designer Gregory Carslaw, including mirrors of all of his blogs maintained for particular projects. A complete index of posts can be found here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/58777/index
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Wizards and badly written pulp fiction

Greg
United Kingdom
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Original Post

This is just a quick post to say that I've made a page for Wizard Academy, which I'll update from time to time as the project takes shape

One line posts are boring, so while we're here it might be fun to share a silly story from the last campaign. When I wrote to media sites to try to inspire them to write about 404 I wrote messages to each of my target sites individually, I tried to talk about their particular interests and needs and what I could do to make it easy for them to do a piece on 404. After a few days of this I started to become a little unhinged, repeating the same task for long enough generally makes me feel a little lightheaded, you might find some amusement in a press release I wrote at the height of that feeling:

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The rain hammers on the windows as I trudge down the alley, the water doing little more than forming a pool for the muck to float in. It was a rotten neighbourhood in a crappy city smeared in a veneer of respectability. The door is red and black, I throw my cigarette down as I approach, but the water extinguishes it immediately giving me nothing to vent my anger on. Instead I pound on the door as if it were responsible for all of the evils of the world. Eventually the door opens a crack and I’m rewarded with a scornful look.

“What’re you doing here?” said the curator, tired after the twentieth interruption today, but ever professional.
“I’m here for information.” It was a half truth “It wants to be shared.” That was an understatement. The knowledge burns bright in my brain, seared across my synapses. Desperate to be free. Desperate to be shared.
The curator sighed, heavily as a man who’d had to deal with this same misapprehension so many times he’d trade places with Sisyphus in a heartbeat. “If you wanted to leave a press release why didn’t you just say so? Also you’re in entirely the wrong genre. We’re called pulp games because of how the games are made, as in pulping wood, not because we want to have to approach everything in the style of a pulp movie.” He paused but only to scan the papers, regain his breath and finish the rant “This release isn’t even for a pulp game. This is all about robots forgetting their laws and trying to replace them with ‘destroy breathing’ or ‘improvise science’ or some other such nonsense.”

That’s that then. Out of time and out of luck. We were both only ever transitory characters in a brief pulp story to act as a mechanism for delivering a press release. My job done there’s nothing to do but turn and walk back into the rain. I was only ever a hypothetical, there for someone else’s amusement. I doubt anyone will see me again. I should be bitter, but despite myself, my last thought is “I hope someone enjoyed this.”

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To my disappointment Pulp Gamer never replied, which is a shame since I like their style and enjoyed what I read on their site. I guess that's the day that I should've struck "being mad in public" from my list of viable marketing strategies, but if you follow this blog already know that I didn't manage that. So I guess that the takeaway message from this is that I will write things like this from time to time, but should maybe try to confine them to this blog rather than letting badly written metaphor fiction seep into emails to professionals who almost certainly have too much spam already
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