As a big, complex project, 7TV: Pulp was developed across two years, with two largely different cohorts of student interns. Two students, Callum France and Jake Litherland, stayed with the project throughout, first as third year undergraduates then as postgraduates. They provided important cohesion, experience and guidance for the second year of interns.
To provide much needed real-world experience, appointment to the design team was competitive. All students involved were required to submit a letter of application and undergo a formal interview process. The successful candidates were involved in all aspects of the game’s design from the initial research phase through planning, design, playtesting, worldbuilding and rules development to the final delivery of the completed profiles, rulebooks, gadget and cliffhanger cards. The team also had input into miniature design, component choice and artwork.
Karl and Peter acted as project coordinators, lead designers and editors for the team, contributing to its overall direction and the development of Pinnacle Pacific Pictures.
I was appointed to the 7TV: Pulp design team in October 2017 as one of the first cohort of student interns working on the project. I have since graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University.
I applied because Peter and Bill said I had to, so I was clearly bullied into doing it! I only had experience with board games and a lot of Call of Cthulhu roleplaying so joining the team was definitely something very new for me. Working with the group was fantastic but I won’t miss long, long hours of working with profiles and making them workable, or going over and tweaking new rules. I found the pulp serials interesting and some where hilarious, but others where harder to watch, being more predictable and repetitive. Masked vigilante was my favourite genre, but anything with an animal companion wins me over.
Like Jai, I was a member of the first cohort of students working on developing the game while I was studying for my MA in Creative Writing. For me, 7TV Pulp was an opportunity to work on a dream project since I love the pulp genre and gaming, even though I had a limited experience of tabletop gaming. I’d studied roleplaying and digital game design at Edge Hill with Peter and discovered the world of Cthulhu and the possibilities available in game design.
My favourite genres were the space and jungle adventures. I was amazed how the quality of serials varied from the charming to the abysmal very quickly! My favourite moment so far was seeing Crooked Dice’s first pulp miniatures and the design visuals begin to appear. Amazing!
I joined the 7TV: Pulp design team with Jai and Bill while studying a Masters degree in Creative Writing . I applied to join the team because I have an abiding love for games of all kinds. The design team provided a chance to work in a creative, collaborative group environment and gain practical experience working in an industry that has always fascinated me.
When I first began to watch the Pulp serials I was put off by their length and their repetitive cliffhangers. However, over time I appreciated them for their faults, and looked forward to the end of each chapter just to see what the cliffhanger would be and how the heroes would escape. I came to see them as less of a flaw and more of a feature. When I think of Pulp I still think predominantly of Amazing Tales, but I also have a soft spot for Mystery Theatre. My favourite model fits squarely in the Weird Menace category: the Unholy Cardinal, a tricky, controlling model with a Lovecraftian air.
I became part of the 7TV: Pulp team for the project’s second year in October 2018, a month after arriving at Edge Hill as a first year Creative Writing Undergraduate. I’ve wanted to write for tabletop games for a long time and the opportunity seemed crazy to pass up. I was excited to work on a real project and for the experience as a whole. My only experience before was playing board games and RPGs, but I quickly learned the rules for 7TV, which is my first wargame.
When I first saw the pulp serials, I wondered whether I was doing the right project. My reaction was that they were pretty terrible and that it would be difficult to adapt. I now see them as clever, and a spring board for modern movie culture and hold them in higher regard and respect.
The highlights have been playtesting and creating the new Lovecratian-type profiles as I enjoyed balancing, revising the designs and creating the world of Pinnacle Pacific Pictures. My favourite genre is Weird Menace and my favourite Profile is the Sky Commando archetype.
I joined the 7TV: Pulp as a third year undergraduate in 2017. I’m currently studying an MA in Writing for Science Fiction and Fantasy at Staffordshire University. I applied to be on the team because I wanted to get some professional experience in the industry as writing both tabletop and digital games has been a career goal for me.
I didn’t have any experience in writing for tabletop except for the Writing for Roleplaying Games module we studied in our second year. I had a little experience writing for games, though, as I studied it in college. The highlights have got to be creating the profiles as we’ve tried to really capture the essence of pulp in each of them and I think we all did a great job at achieving that. As soon as we sat down to watch pulp, I fell in love with the Crime/G-Men genre. They were amazingly silly with their evil siblings or over the top fights. My favourite series were definitely those featuring Dick Tracy and my favourite profiles are the G-men.
7TV: Pulp provided an interesting project to work on and a great opportunity to try something new. I was one of the first cohort of designers who worked on the project from 2017-18. I had played some Warhammer 40K when younger but apart from that I had no real experience in game design, though as a first year I was studying Introduction to Writing for Narrative Games. I really enjoyed working with a group of people who were supportive and amazingly creative. I won’t forget the long play-testing hours and revising the OP profiles.
I found some serials to just be painful to watch whereas others were enjoyable once the action got going. My favourite genre was Jungle Adventure and my favourite profiles have to be the Animal Companions.
Since graduating from Edge Hill in 2018, I’ve been studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the university. I joined the team in 2017 because I’ve loved tabletop wargaming since I was eleven. The design team offered a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an industry I’ve always dreamed of joining.
The gruelling round-table discussions we worked through when inventing names and rules for the profiles were some of the most enjoyable moments of the design process. It has been an incredibly positive experience and entirely supportive. Bouncing suggestions between equally creative minds has produced something truly remarkable.
When I first encountered the pulp serials, I had my head in my hands! The dialogue was ham-fisted and the twists predictable. However, after I relaxed and sat back, I discovered the joy that the weekly episodes held. The action was spectacular, the fights over-the-top, with square-jawed heroes careened around the set, foiling villains at the last possible second. My favourite pulp genre is Thrilling Adventures, and my favourite profile the Ruthless Lieutenant.
After working with the design team through 2017-18, I graduated in Creative Writing and left to begin my career. I applied to work on 7TV: Pulp because it was the exact area of writing and the games industry that I want to work in. I got into tabletop gaming around the age of fifteen, and have been a Board Games Demonstrator for the past four years.
My favourite memory is of the longest meeting we ever had. The whole team sat round and spent over four hours trying our best to name all the profiles and genres. The feeling of a breakthrough when it all just clicked into place was fantastic.
The first serial I saw, Panther Girl of the Kongo, was very enjoyable and really set a precedent for pulp serials, that none that followed managed to meet. My favourite genre is definitely the jungle ones, because of Panther Girl, and my favourite profile is definitely the Native Bearer.
I was one of the first group of designers working on 7TV: Pulp. Aftr graduating in 2018, I have been studying an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill. I joined the design team because I’d always been interested in the process of designing tabletop games, so this was the perfect opportunity to gain some insight and have something great on my CV. I’d dabbled with Warhammer 40,000 when I was younger and I have lots of experience playing and running tabletop RPGs.
I think none of us will ever forget that mammoth first session when we were hashing out the initial profiles! Other than that, it’s just great to see the team’s hard work coming together and seeing the teaser picture for Pulp was a great moment for me personally.
I was a little familiar with the pulp serials before I began working on the game because my parents used to watch them at the cinema when they were kids, so they’d told me a bit about them. I think they have a great kitchy feel and I imagine if I’d been growing up at the time, I would have been rushing to the cinema every weekend! I researched the Green Hornet stuff, so I feel a bit of loyalty to that guy and his awesome gas gun. As for my favourite profile, I think it has to be Cynical Gumshoe! He has a great ‘Sam Spade’ feel about him!
I joined the design team in the second group of interns in October 2018. I’ve played tabletop and RPGs for a long time and studied Creative Writing’s games modules to become a writer and designer with games writing proficiencies. The Writing for Roleplaying Games module taught me to analyse and fix game statistics and to create compelling worlds and characters – and I enjoyed every minute of it! It was through this that I found I wanted to be a part of the games industry; the chance to work in the Pulp team was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It was an exciting experience to playtest the profiles because it was a chance to see how far the project had evolved.
I was aware of and appreciated the modern pulp franchises such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and it was exciting to learn how it all originated in the 1930’s serials. I’m pleased to have helped bring the nostalgia and charm of the serials into the game. Thrilling Adventures is my favourite genre because I love their larger than life escapades. The Amateur Sleuth is my favourite profile because its good to have around when you’re nearly out of plot points and the next objective token is just within your grasp!
I am currently studying for a Masters by Research in the adaptation of the Gothic for the tabletop role-playing game. I applied to the design team for the uncommon opportunity to gain experience in game design, adaptation, and tabletop wargaming, as the experience offered was invaluable and in an area I would like to pursue as a career. I have played and read a range of tabletop wargames from age fourteen, and developing a game similar to those I spent much of my life playing was an incredible opportunity.
Personal highlights from the project were the marathon meetings in which we named, statted, and devised special rules for our original profiles. The feeling of accomplishment when our hard work was given form in the beta profile list over summer 2018 was incredible. When it came to creating further profiles in the autumn, it was really rewarding to see how much easier we found developing special effects after all the experience and groundwork we’d laid out at first.
My favourite serials pitted the heroes against mysterious, masked villains. My favourite profiles are the Lovecraftain ones, though. I think they capture the flavour of their source material perfectly.
After joining Edge Hill as a Creative Writing MA student, and as an avid table top gamer, I was excited to get involved with 7TV: Pulp. I had limited experience with table top skirmish games so I was interested to delve into a genre I had not previously explored. This also gave me the advantage of being able to view the rules with fresh eyes.
My highlight has been creating the world building documentation. It has been great the put my writing skills into practice. It has also opened my eyes to the broad range of opportunities available to writers beyond the usual genres of prose, poetry and script. I found learning the rule set to be my greatest challenge. With 130-odd profiles, the complexity of their interactions took quite a bit of getting used to. However, this also generated several fun unexpected surprises during playtesting.
The serials I watched ranged from flimsy but fun to cringe inducing. I particularly enjoyed Manhunt on Mystery Island. My favourite profile is the Giant Reptile Villainous Extra. Its attacks are extremely powerful and remind me of Japanese kaiju movies. My favourite genre is Amazing Tales as the stories are not limited to Earth.
I joined the 7TV: Pulp design team in October 2017 to gain professional writing and design experience with a gaming company after falling in love with my second year Writing Roleplaying Games module. Creating new casts of characters with the 7TV system was a highlight as it helped me to develop my writing skills. My favourite profile was the Femme Fatale, one of the profiles I was involved in developing and for which I created the star qualities.
As a third year Creative Writing and Film Studies student, I applied to be a part of the team because I thought my experience in tabletop gaming would be helpful, and because I have always been interested in how various tabletop games are developed. When I joined the team, I had never played any wargames, and had mainly been involved with advanced board games and RPGs. For me, the most satisfying part of the process was working together and providing feedback on our unmade serial outlines. Not only was it a lot of fun to write an over the top cliff-hanger-filled plot, but when we all worked together to improve the writing, I felt like we had all gained a real understanding for the feel of pulp. I discovered I liked pulp more than I thought I did!
When I first watched the serials, well, it’s not that they’re painful… but they’re very long. I loved the drama and the laughs one can have with friends, but the action can drag a bit, and once you hit the clip show chapter you start to lose the will to live. But these days, I see the charm in their low budget and desperate attempts to get audiences back in to see next week’s show. My favourite pulp genre is Crimebusters for sure and following that I have a fondness for the Cynical Gumshoe.
I’m the owner of Crooked Dice Game Design Studio. I have been an avid gamer and miniature collector for the last thirty years, and I’ve just realised I’m getting old. I chart the good ship Crooked Dice across the Lost Seas of Nostalgia, taking the long way round via Colossa, Tracy and Skull Island. Crew members always welcome.
As a first year Creative Writing student, I applied to join the 7TV: Pulp team because games writing had always been an interest of mine – though not necessarily of this kind. I couldn’t pass up such an unbelievable opportunity. I’d played plenty of board and card games, but never tabletop skirmish games which worried me, because I didn’t know how in the dark I’d be, or how long it would take me to pick it up. But a great team of like-minded, supportive people made it a whole lot easier.
My favourite genre has to be Thrilling Adventures, and my favourite profile the Intrepid Adventurer; it’s a classic Pulp archetype. Not to mention – who doesn’t love a bit of Indiana Jones?
I was a member of the design team in the project’s first year. I am currently in my third year of studying Creative Writing as an undergraduate at Edge Hill. When I first joined the team in October 2017, I had almost no experience with tabletop gaming or pulp serials, but I applied to the team for the same reason I applied to university, to learn interesting ways to entertain and interact with an audience.
My favourite part of the process was definitely researching the serials. I loved the Jungle Adventures and how very dated they are. I think the Jungle Paragon Heroic Star archetype really captures the conventions of what repeatedly happened in pulp serial characterisation.
This is all my fault. I teach undergraduate modules in Introduction to Writing for Narrative Games, Writing for Roleplaying Games and Writing for Digital Adventure Games as part of the Creative Writing degree at Edge Hill University. I am also a freelance games writer and designer for a number of companies. Fortunately, my university is very supportive of innovation and experimentation. When I pitched the idea of developing a tabletop wargame in collaboration with Karl at Crooked Dice Game Design Studio to Edge Hill University Press, I received enthusiastic support.
I thought it would be invaluable for our students to gain hands-on game writing, design and development experience to provide them with enhanced employability for when they graduated. All the work they have done for 7TV: Pulp has been additional to their studies. They have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically throughout the whole process and should be proud of what they have achieved.
I’m a long-time fan of the Flash Gordon and jungle serials so the Space Ace and Jungle Paragon are my favourite Heroic Stars. Alien Tyrants and Ancient Evils are also high on my list of great villains. Appropriately, designing and re-designing the Eldritch Horror almost drove me mad…