Inspiration and Development

We’re back and we’re baring all. The most common thing people seem to ask writers is “Where do you get your ideas?” Apparently, “By eating the brains of more talented writers” isn’t as helpful an answer as we’d hoped. Maybe discussing our creative process in depth might prove more useful. Please forgive us if we enjoy a light snack first.

Human brain

If it’s fresh enough, you can almost taste the synapses firing across your tongue.

Main Topic

We have discussed the craft of scenario writing before, all the way back in episode 25. Our discussion then was more abstract, however, covering general principles. This time, we thought we should talk in specifics, giving examples from our own work. Obviously, this means that we are going to spoil certain aspects of some published scenarios. In particular, we analyse:

To explain our creative processes, we talk about the initial inspirations for these scenarios, how we grew them, how they changed during playtesting and development, and what we think we might change about them now with the benefit of experience. We have tried to avoid talking about too many plot details, but spoilers are inevitable.

Put your hands over your ears if you want to block them out. This never fails.

Given that two of the scenarios we discuss come from our Nameless Horrors collection, we thought we should spread the eldritch love. Our good friends at Chaosium have generously provided us with five copies of the book to offer as competition prizes. If you share one of our social media posts about this episode (on Facebook, Twitter or Google+), we will add your name to a random draw. We will probably do this when we next meet to record, on the 24th of March. It is probably best to tell us when you’ve shared something, as automatic notifications can sometimes be flaky. The five winners will each win a copy of Nameless Horrors. We would be happy to sign, inscribe or otherwise deface these books in any way that pleases you.

News

Matt shares his thoughts on his visit to the wonderfully named Sandy Balls, where he attended the Contingency convention. Thrill to his tales of terrifying games, eldritch cocktails and life-threatening sleep deprivation!

Scott gives a brief update on his latest recordings with the How We Roll Podcast. He has just started running them through The Two-Headed Serpent, which should keep everyone involved busy for the next year. The first episodes will probably go live in April or May and we will post links here when they are available.

We also mention a recent chat on our shiny new Discord server where we talked about writing scenarios for Call of Cthulhu. We shall try to arrange another chat soon. Keep an eye on our server for more details.

Other Stuff

We also give a surprising amount of our creative energies over to the songs we record for our $5 Patreon backers. Don’t be fooled by our apparent lack of talent — we put blood, sweat and tears into these recordings. OK, not our own, but the point still stands. There are two such recordings in this episode, with a great many more to come. If you are still waiting for your moment of horror, please bear with us. It is simply not safe for us to release two songs into the world at the same time.

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7 comments on “Episode 124 – The Good Friends open up to inspiration and development

  1. Jessica Feb 20, 2018

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    • Now I’m not sure even Dr,,,Mack can guarantee 100% success, if he rolls 100 it’s still a fumble. Perhaps you’re thinking that he can avert this outcome by spending Luck, but I assure you that the rules say otherwise. A fumble is a fumble. BTW, what’s Dr,,,Mack’s record with fish?

      • Maybe Dr Mack could push his marriage counselling/sorcery roll. Of course, the consequences for failure for something involving such potent magic might end up like something from David Cronenberg’s worst nightmares.

  2. Very nice episode. Very pleased to hear that Paul playtests with his family. That’s how we do it, too. Not sad to hear that Scott doesn’t know his way around a farm. I would have like to hear more about scenarios that were very out of whack in the first playtest, those seemingly “failed first attempts,” and what you did to bring them back into shape. All in all another nice podcast.

    • That’s a good point. I’ve had any number of initial playtests that crashed and burned. Maybe we could use that as a starting point for another episode.

  3. Evan Dorkin Mar 14, 2018

    Really fun and informative episode, all. Enjoyed hearing the thought processes and development for the stories and how they get shaped into gaming experiences. Your discussions are always inspiring. I wish I listened in before the 10th!

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