Polyglot (webzine)

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Polyglot
Screenshot of Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #12 released in August 2007 announcing the release of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition
Type of site
Game Hobby Industry, Computer Games
Available in English
Owner Polymancer Studios, Inc.
Created by Polymancer Studios, Inc.
Commercial Yes
Launched 4 March 2005 (2005-03-04)
Current status Discontinued

Polyglot was a biweekly online newsletter about the game hobby industry that ceased publication in 2012. It contains official press releases put out by roleplaying game, board game, miniatures, card game, LARP, comic book, and computer game companies. It is published for free as a downloadable PDF. Polyglot is published by Polymancer Studios, Inc., a Canadian publisher that also prints Polymancer magazine.

It was announced on July 19, 2007, that Polyglot would include editorials and product reviews.[1] The webzine's publisher has not previously endorsed the inclusion of original or editorial content.

In the second anniversary issue (the filename for which indicates it was placed on the company's server on March 8, 2007), the publishers of Polyglot stated that there have been over 600,000 "unique downloads" of Polyglot since March 2005.[2] This was stated in the 53rd issue of the webzine (similar press releases have been made in other outlets[1][2]) which likely means that the statement was made about the previous 52 issues combined. This equates to roughly 11,538 downloads per issue.

Format[edit]

Polyglot's issues were numbered in a volume/issue format that is similar to how printed magazines are numbered; that is, not sequentially. For example, the 27th issue of Polyglot was not "Polyglot issue #27" but "Polyglot Volume #2 Issue #1."

Polyglot was formatted as a US letter size PDF. It is divided into two sections, one for "traditional" games (the term the company uses to describe RPGs, card games, board games, miniatures, etc.) and one for "digital" games. Every page of Polyglot has a banner image of the top containing Polyglot's logo. There are two different logos, one for the "traditional" gaming section and one for the "digital" gaming section. The front page of each of the two sections has a slightly larger logo. The "traditional" gaming section's logo has the slogan "the language of gaming" and the digital section's logo simply says "digital section." In both sections, the logos have different colors on each page, repeated in sequence (there are 5 different colors for the "traditional" section" and 4 for the "electronic" section).

The first 12 issues of Polyglot (i.e., Volume #1 Issues #1 to #12) did not have any images in them other than the Polyglot "traditional" section logos. Starting in Volume #1 Issue #13,[3] images of games, game company logos, and convention photographs have appeared in the newsletter.

There was no "digital" section in Polyglot until Polyglot Volume #1 issue #25.[4] The first computer game press release appeared in the previous issue[5] alongside press releases for "traditional" games. A table of contents first appeared in Volume #1 Issue #25 as well, the first one with clickable internal hyperlinks was in Volume #2 Issue #4.[6]

Most URLs in Polyglot press releases are clickable. Many of the items that appear in the newsletter have contact information for the game company or the publicist who issued the press release. Often (but not always), the writers are attributed.

As of November 1, 2007, the largest issue of Polyglot to date was Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #9[7] at 65 pages.

Impact[edit]

Polyglot has grown over its history from a 3-page PDF of all text to as large as 65 pages with over 50 press releases and as many as 91 images in Volume #3 Issue #9; the PDF's file size ranges was 5.3 megabytes.[8] More than 100 companies (see below) have sent material to Polyglot over the course of the webzine's first 55 issues.

Stephen V Cole of Starfleet Games identified Polyglot as one of the "People Who Will Contact You" in his online book about how to run a game company. He advises game companies to "ask them to tell you the kind of information they want... and give it to them."[9] (The reference is to "Polymancer" but this is incorrect, that being the name of a separate publication by the same company.) Mr. Cole has also stated in his blog that "If you really want to know what's going on in the adventure game industry, you can't do better than" reading Polyglot.[10]

Polymancer Studios has encouraged other companies in the game business to adopt professional press release writing techniques such as using the inverted pyramid in a style guide on their web site.[11] A press release by Polymancer Studios in Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #1 indicated that this has had the effect that the company intended.[12]

Polyglot was distributed freely on other game companies' websites.[13]

Regular Contributors[edit]

Apart from editorials, Polyglot's only "contributors" are companies in the game industry. Their press releases are often signed by the company's owner or president. However, the computer game companies' press releases are typically signed by third party public relations and marketing consultants. More than 100 companies have sent material to Polyglot since it first went online in March 2005 and as a result a full list of contributors would be long. The companies named below are a partial list.

Roleplaying game companies that have had material posted in Polyglot include Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, Mongoose Publishing, Columbia Games, Eden Studios, Paizo Publishing, and a large number of smaller "independent" game companies. Polyglot also regularly has had marketing and publicity material from Mayfair Games (known for Settlers of Catan) and other German game companies. Several miniatures companies also send to Polyglot (usually including color photos of their products) including Games Workshop and Rackham Miniatures. Traditional wargame companies like Amarillo Design Bureau and Avalanche Press also have sent product announcements on a regular basis. Some toy companies (e.g. Briarpatch), conventions (e.g. Gen Con), game industry professional associations (e.g. GAMA, and film festivals (e.g. Fantasia) have also had marketing material appear in Polyglot's "Traditional" gaming section.

The various computer games that have been featured in Polyglot include Activision, id Software, Electronic Arts, MTV (who have a game studio), Ubisoft, and numerous smaller companies. Activision is the most frequent contributor, generally having several press releases, product announcements, and pages of screenshots or video stills placed in every issue of Polyglot (see various issues in the Notes below for examples of this).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Polyglot is so successful, we are adding to its features due to readers demands." http://www.thegpa.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=163 Game Publisher Association website, accessed November 1, 2007
  2. ^ Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #1 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+3%7Cpolyglot_volume3_issue1.pdf/
  3. ^ Polyglot Volume #1 Issue #13 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+1%7Cpolyglot_volume1_issue13.pdf/
  4. ^ Polyglot Volume #1 Issue #25 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+1%7Cpolyglot_volume1_issue25.pdf/
  5. ^ Polyglot Volume #1 Issue #24 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+1%7Cpolyglot_volume1_issue24.pdf/
  6. ^ Polyglot Volume #2 Issue #4 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+2%7Cpolyglot_volume2_issue4.pdf/
  7. ^ Polyglot Volume #2 Issue #19 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,download/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+3%7Cpolyglot_volume3_issue9.pdf/
  8. ^ Polymancer Studios Inc. - Offline
  9. ^ Cole, Stephen V. Stephen Cole's Running a Game Publishing Company. Amarillo, TX: Amarillo Design Bureau. December 16, 2006. http://www.starfleetgames.com/book/2-the_company.pdf Accessed April 10, 2007.
  10. ^ If you want to know, see ... POLYGLOT! February 22, 2007 http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/blog/2007_02_01_archive.html retrieved on November 1, 2007
  11. ^ Polymancer Studios, Inc. "The Polyglot Guide to Press Release Writing for Gaming Professionals" Montreal: Polymancer Studios, Inc. http://www.polymancerstudios.com/documents/HOWTO_Press_Release.pdf Accessed November 1, 2007.
  12. ^ Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #1 http://www.polymancerstudios.com/component/option,com_vfm/Itemid,55/do,view/file,PolyGlot%7CVolume+3%7Cpolyglot_volume3_issue1.pdf/ page 37: "Not only are we getting more material to put into Polyglot, we are also getting better material because game companies are sending us better press releases with each passing week." (Original emphasis.)
  13. ^ Polyglot Volume #1 Issue #14 retrieved from On The Line Games Company website http://www.pizzaboxfootball.com/pressreleases/polyglot_volume1_issue14_2005_09_03%201%20.pdf