This is Audio EXP for 18h March, 2023, and the episode title is “Language evolves”.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #189]
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Of Gods and Gamemasters is in the Spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons. The interview is up, just today, and it is toasty hot.
Jack, who founded Of Gods and Gamemasters, tells me that marketing is the most challenging part of being a solo trader indie publisher. I hear that a lot and Jack tells me that all that time rarely gets enough sales. That’s very honest of him, unusually so, as I suspect that’s often the case, but my day job is in professional marketing, and it frustrates me to hear publishers talk about it.
Marketing has a bad rap, which influences what people do because it influences what people think it is. We’re getting into the power of words and how they evolve in this podcast.
So, lousy marketing is something like; I have a campaign world; you will love it; buy it now with 10% off.
That’s terrible marketing because it’s essentially a rubbish attempt to grab someone’s attention so you can discount your product.
So, what’s good marketing? You might try instead; do you enjoy games where the player characters are renegades opposing a corrupt regime and backed by newly discovered and dangerous magic? Only one Powered by the Apocalypse setting released this year fits the bill, so why not check out the preview today.
A marketing poster for the D&D movie is up on a bridge near me. It shows famous actors, some monsters, and a cute owlbear and carries a tagline for Honour Among Thieves I’ve not seen before (but perhaps that’s because I’ve stepped back from monitoring the flood of news about the forthcoming release). The poster says, “No experience needed”.
That’s clever, and that speaks to gamers but also reassures non-D&D audiences that the movie is for them. I suspect it’ll also reflect the ragtag adventuring group that Chris Pine’s bard pulls together too.
By the way, if you’re still wondering whether WotC is determined to get every penny out of the D&D brand, I didn’t blog about the Honour Among Thieves poster this week, but I did write up the official chilli and chocolate D&D popcorn now available.
As it happens, I also had some infographic maps from a Crossword Solving website’s marketing stunt this week. It’s about the adoption of language in the USA.
Their research tells me that the most popular slang phrase for boyfriend or girlfriend in New Jersey is ‘shorty’; the same is true for Maryland. That makes no sense to me, and Shorty has no romantic connotations that I’m aware of here in Scotland.
In Michigan, the most popular phrase is ‘Baby Daddy’, and in Georgia too! Whereas in California, it’s “Wifey”.
They researched gamer lingo, too, looking for popular words in States that aren’t so popular elsewhere. In South Dakota, that’s ‘Poggers’, and I don’t know what that means.
In Montana, it’s Rekt, and in Arkansas, it’s Imba. However, the same so-called-unique phase appears in many States, so how unique is it? For example, Poggers is popular in Washinton, California, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
Words evolve; that’s my takeaway, but Crossword Solver also looked at words getting a new lease of life which has been around for a while. That made me think of RPG ARC, a new eBay-like site I wrote up this week. It’s a new launch.
The site’s goal is not just to copy eBay but let people give things away for free. If you created a throne for your battle map and the end-of-campaign boss, and you know you won’t use it again but hate to see it go to waste, then RPG ARC can find the throne a new home.
However, you can sell things, and it’s here where people have pointed out how new RPG ARC is and how it needs to use words better, perhaps some images, to reassure potential users that it’s all above board and legit.
Or, you can be like Wood Planet Gaming Lodge and just buy OSR RPGs outright.
The publisher has bought four from Beyond Belief Games. They are;
Blood & Bullets: Old West – as the name suggests, it’s a wild west RPG.
Black Books: Tomes of the Outer Dark – a Lovecraft horror.
Sabres & Witchery: Historical Monster Hunters – witch hunters, of a sort, versus monsters, which are very real.
The Ancient Mysteries & Lost Treasures: Globetrotting Adventures -government espionage and global conspiracies with a treasure hunting twist.
Also, this week is a rare but worthy long read on the blog. Bronwen Winter Phoenix has agreed to lend me a helping hand and got the ball rolling with a great look at Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series with a breakdown of the best and the worst bits.
Now, stick with me for the bundle deal outro as there’s only good deals but bad news which needs good people to rally around.
Humble has simple but attractive bundles; I suspect I’m late to carry news of both.
The first is Shadowrun 5e’s megabundle. If you want fantasy with cyberpunk and all tied together with D&D’s ruleset, then this is for you.
The second is actually three different Warhammer 40K RPGs, with Dark Hersey, Black Crusade and Only War. These games are all now with Cubicle 7.
Check out this Itch deal, though; $2,159 worth of downloads, all for $5. What are these RPGs raising money for? That’s Trans Rights in Florida, which is a cause worth getting over $2k worth of RPGs for, I feel.
Let’s wrap up on the sombre note of Owen KC Stephen’s worsening health news and the Pathfinder Collection that the Bundle of Holding are hosting for him.
This popular designer is sharing updates on his situation, which seems to get from bad to worse, and he has worked for publishers like Paizo, Green Ronin and even for Wotc. He has bills to pay.
So, let’s finish there; support your national health service if you live anywhere except the one country that doesn’t have one, and keep safe.
Hit us up with some intelligent observations in the comment box below.