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On game design, creativity, agency, and The Beginner’s Guide

I recently played The Beginner’s Guide by Davey Wreden. It left such an impression that I wrote him a long, long email. It is reproduced below in its entirety. The letter below contains spoilers for the game. Please play the game first. It’s free on Steam.

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5 Disney Princesses Reimagined as Stock Photos of Toast

Welcome back and check out this awesome article that definitely wasn’t created by a data-scraping bot or an unpaid social media intern!

#1 – Princess Belle

In this incredible reimagining, Belle is a stock photo of a silver toaster with two freshly-toasted slices in it. Mmm, you can almost smell the butter! Be our guest–have a bite of toast!

#2 – Princess Jasmine

Jasmine is reimagined as the same stock photo as above, but cropped out a little larger so we can see the wound-up electrical cord. Someone really should plug that in, or the toaster won’t work!

#3 – Mulan

Mulan’s stock photo is from a different angle, showing us a different side of the toasty goodness, as well as a “reflection” of the toast in the shiny chrome exterior of the device. When will my reflection show the toast I am inside?

#4 – Moana

Moana is reimagined as the same toaster from a nearly head-on angle, representing how she faces her problems head-on. What can I say except “you’re welcome”?

#1 – Princess Leia

Say what you want, but Leia is a Disney Princess now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise. in the above reimagining, we only see the toast. This is because the toaster was Alderaan, and Darth Vader blew it up. Spoilers!

Stay tuned for our next article, “15 of the best shots from the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer that are actually just the same photo of Keanu Reeves”.



Sam Swicegood is an author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster from Cincinnati, OH. He is the author of fantasy and science-fiction literature, including The Wizards on Walnut Street and No Place.

FAQ for writers looking for advice on Social Media (Updated January 2019)

I belong to a handful of social media groups that target writers of all kinds. I see a lot of the same questions posted a lot, and wanted to do my part to help answer common ones. feel free to share this post to any new writers looking for advice. But be aware: my answers are honest, and honesty is sometimes hard to hear.

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“Your Criticism is Lies”, or “Why I stopped giving advice to writers online”

Recently, to broaden my horizons as a writer, I joined a bunch of writers’ groups online. I’ve learned a few things.

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The World-Building Series

Hello, writers. And not just writers–creators, dungeon masters, game designers, and more. If you have a world and you’re trying to populate it, then you’re a world-builder and that’s why you’re here. To World-Build.

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“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” – Robert J. Hanlon

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