Game Day: The Weird Pulp Website

I’ve been creating campaign websites for most of the Blackrazor Guild websites since 1996. We have an extensive wiki for our Greyhawk campaign and experimented with blogs for our Mutants & Masterminds and Star Wars campaigns.

Blogs had been difficult to use because they’re oriented more towards serial writing and less about publishing (and extensively linking to) content. With Star Wars we ended up moving most of the content to a wiki, and left the blog for campaign updates.

For Weird Pulp, I wanted to try WordPress again. The game itself, borrowing from the genre, is highly episodic. We are doing world-building but nothing on the scale of our Greyhawk days. Finally WordPress has gotten better, making it easier to quickly add links to existing posts and pages.

I chose one of the WordPress base themes, TwentyThirteen, for the site. At first I was going to go with a theme that offered more color customization, but after experimenting I liked how TwentyThirteen leveraged WordPress’s post templates and featured images to provide a coherent – and visually appealing — website.

Check it out at http://griffcrier.com/weirdpulp.

I’m using the standard post format for episodes, characters, relics, and other setting content. Every post uses a featured image drawn from historical photos if possible; if not I find something close.

This has been one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the campaign — all of history is our source book and it’s been surprisingly easy to find images (like a crocodile tooth necklace, a kickass sniper, or roguish individual) to illustrate the campaign. We’ve set up a Pinboard page to capture useful images and we frequently pull them up during the game.

The images make a huge difference on the website — I don’t think that a wiki (or at least Mediawiki) would look as good.

I’m also leveraging the rest of TwentyThirteen’s content templates. I use the “link” template to highlight Weird Pulp resources and Savage Worlds websites, the “chat” template for Savage Worlds rules questions and answers, the “quote” template for memorable, pulpy quotations from movies and books, and the “status” template to indicate when the next Weird Pulp game is happening.

I was surprised at how well it all works. The various templates format their respective content differently (eg “status” updates are a dark red, “quotes” are yellow). Taken together the result provides you with a mixed color palette rather than the standard wall of text. Coupled with the featured images, it makes for one snappy web site.

Organizationally I’m using categories and tags to group content, which should come as no great surprise. It’s not as effective as a wiki, but it’s good enough for the lightweight needs of this campaign. The same goes for WordPress’s internal linking capabilities. It’d be better if it was smarter about this — it inserts absolute links to content, rather than relative ones — but it does eliminate the tedious lookup of pages when you want to link to a particular character or episode.

I’ve very pleased with the results. It’s a good looking, easy-to-maintain site that captures the essence of the campaign. It does what a good site should do, which is inspire me to keep adding to it … and to keep pushing ahead with the campaign.