How To PR: The Gaslamp Way

We are at GDC! More specifically, we are in a Hotel, which we are not allowed to leave. If we leave the Hotel, our PR person will shoot us. What we are doing at GDC is we are demoing Clockwork Empires for Members of the Press, so that they remember that we are alive. So far, the press response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Evan Lahti from PC Gamer got the first hands-on look at Clockwork Empires before GDC; we think he’s some kind of Space Pirate or something. You can find Mr. Lahti’s preview here. Inside you will find many of the secret things we have been working on revealed, including Steam Knights, Cultists, Eldritch Modules, and more. Behold its deadly secrets and quake in wonder. You will also find, revealed therein, that the game will be available – thanks to the dreaded manipulations of Early Access, the Wonder of the Scientific Age – soon for those of you brave enough to help us in the development process. We will be discussing this in further detail later.

Since Evan has already kindly written about our game this week, I’m not going to. Instead, here are some notes on the PR process of showing the game to forty different journalists in a five day span.

– Your PR person will set you up with a Hotel and a Space, and will get people into the Hotel. This is because she knows you are Incompetent. Because you are Incompetent, you will buy a shipping crate that was previously designed for musical equipment for the band Rhapsody of Fire, which you will then put foam into. Please test your case by putting the Art Director into it.


(The sides of the box were really sticky due to some foul glue and I really didn’t want to touch them.)

– Because you are Incompetent, the case you chose will not be allowed on board the airplane. Store your computers safely at some random luggage-storing place at Vancouver Airport, who are very nonplussed about this sort of thing.

– People on Twitter will compare your GDC experience to “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Remind them that you haven’t left the airport yet.

– Obtain new computers from Best Buy. These computers will have AMD cards in them. Remember all the things that are currently broken on AMD cards, and realize that your farms are blue and your trees are missing large parts of their geometry. Fix these things hastily; the rendering tasks you put off for “later” have become “now”.

– Take your enormous banner from PAX 2012 with you to put in the Hotel Room where you are showing the game. Daniel demonstrates the correct technique of listening to the walls in the Hotel Room to determine whether the banner is securely attached or not.


– The banner will fall off and choke your art director in the middle of the night. This is Good. It is probably because you used the tape from this kit, which was the only thing available at the local pharmacy:


– To prevent hunger, eat a burrito on Sunday that you will still feel the effects of three days later. Also, take your Horrifying Cough to GDC and show it to other developers and compare diseases. Rickets are totally in this year.

– Buy swim trunks to go sit in the hot tub at your hotel because that’s all you want to do, really, after showing the game for ten hours. Discover your hotel has no hot tub, and that you are surrounded by Ridiculously Healthy people from the Google Android team, and feel Bad about your Health. Try to intimidate them with your Rickets. Fail miserably, and slink back to your hotel room in Shame to watch a nature documentary about the echidna.

– On Monday, go drinking with British Game Developers. (These individuals shall remain nameless here.) British People will go into a Tiki Bar, and order “three more of the enormous flaming drinks and a ****load of straws.” (Here **** represents a British Word that is so foul we dare not repeat it.) What they will receive is Alcoholic Porridge, one hundred and eighteen dollars worth of it, which the bartender will then light on fire. Do not drink the Porridge. It is a Trap. Content yourself with the small gin and tonic a very nice man from Gearbox bought for you because, quote, “he felt sorry for you.”

– Have your brand-new pathfinding code blow up, in unreproducible ways and with exciting errors, in front of a Major Media Outlet. Send code back and forth from your hotel room to Vancouver, only to discover half of your pathfinding code is miraculously commented out. Remove that code; have your pathfinding code blow up in front of somebody from a different Major Media Outlet. This is the Live Demo portion of the proceedings.

– To protect yourself from GDC Flu, smear your entire body with Hand Sanitizer. Put Hand Sanitizer into your eyeballs to protect yourself from Oculus Rift Pinkeye, the Scourge of GDC.

– The Enormous Bottle of Lotion Incident: your PR person will ask your Hotel to deliver Hand Sanitizer to your room, because she is Smart and knows that you are Incompetent. This is why a confused bellhop will show up at your room at 8:30 PM, having misinterpreted your PR person’s request for Hand Sanitizer, with what Daniel described as “an enormous quantity of hand lotion and paper towels.” Your PR person also will not tell you that she has done this, which is why you have to explain some very interesting things to the confused bellhop.

– Be compared to Peter Molyneux by members of the media, and defend yourself from these accusations by one of the following:

a) yelling, “Look! An Echidna!”
b) cleverly changing the discussion to SimCity
c) spray Hand Sanitizer in the eyes of the press and run away making “woop-woop” noises

– You have three more days of this nonsense. GOOD LUCK!

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16 Responses to “How To PR: The Gaslamp Way”

  1. Kazeto says:

    You know, with how things appear to be progressing (and escalating), I estimate you’ll need infinite amount of hand sanitizer on the third day of this mess …

    Erm … but yeah, good luck with all of this.

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  2. AzraelDR says:

    Early Access on Steam? Count me in as one of the intrepid explorers to venture on this expedition! Quiet down and accept my currency!

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  3. Standoff says:

    and then buy some more AMD cards (Kidding! But do it anyway.) 😉

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  4. Matthew says:

    For the British curse word, I nominate “spon”

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  5. Matt says:

    Speaking as a Brit it sounds like you got off relatively lightly.

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  6. Davud says:

    Any rough-idea when this early access will be?

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  7. Robert Tseng says:

    If only you had the budget to give away promotional Clockwork Empires Cog Sanitizer

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  8. Hultaren says:

    Be compared to Peter Molyneux by members of the media… The apropriet answer to this is: DO NOT DARE MENSION THE NAME OF HE-WHO-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED

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  9. Tyler says:

    Thirdeth’d! My blue farms shall produce only the loveliest of deathcap pomegranate tonics!

    For queen, country, and that little green tentacled thing we keep seeing outside at odd hours of the morning!

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  10. einacio says:

    The gameplay looks great, even if it’s not finished. I want it, I want it now

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  11. Micah J Best says:

    Can your first born code? Does he/she have a UX background? If so, we can talk.

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  12. Dtolman says:

    So… when you say early access, you mean for the blog, right?

    ‘Cause I would totally pay good money for that.

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  13. Thomas says:

    Personally I can’t wait to get Oculus Rift pinkeye

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  14. wootah says:

    I lost it at the bellhop with lotion and paper towels. Talk about insanity. Your fans are loyal. Sorry about the laptops. no matter how bad things turn out we will buy the game from you day 1!

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