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Thank you to Allen Wolf and the You're Pulling My Leg promotional team for the courtesy of providing an Advanced Reader Copy for editorial content purposes. This content may contain affiliate links.
Truth and Tales of The Ultimate Storytelling Game
CLCS- It's a pleasure to get to know more about your talents. How exciting is it to be both a filmmaker and a game creator?
Allen Wolf- I’m a game creator, author, and filmmaker, and I live in Los Angeles with my wife and two kids. I love creating games, books, and movies because I enjoy seeing stories spring to life, whether it’s through something I’ve made or the stories people tell as part of one of my games. Storytelling is at the heart of what I do. I feel tremendously blessed that I can inspire people to expand their imaginations as they experience my games or stories.
There’s a lot of crossover between my work. I featured the original version of my You’re Pulling My Leg! game prominently in my first movie, In My Sleep, which is now streaming on Amazon. I also featured the game in my first novel, Hooked, that will be released as a movie in 2021. I love that I can work in multiple mediums, and I’ve been able to feature my games in the stories I tell. It gives me great joy to hear that my games bring people together, helps people build relationships, and inspires their creativity.
CLCS- We're all for creativity. What was your creative inspiration for You’re Pulling My Leg!?
Allen Wolf- I came up with the idea for You’re Pulling My Leg! just before Christmas years ago when I was thinking about a gift I could give to a good friend. He was dating someone he thought might be his future wife, and I wanted to create something that helped them get to know each other better but within the context of a game to make it extra fun. They loved the game, and so I created more versions for other friends to play. It became a hit with those friends, and soon people encouraged me to turn You’re Pulling My Leg! into an actual game so more people could experience it, so I did. The game ended up selling in toy, game, and book stores worldwide, and I love that it all started as a gift.
CLCS- You created a gift that keeps on giving. What is the overall process for creating a game?
Allen Wolf- When you have a game idea, the first step is to create a prototype. I often visited craft stores and grabbed different sized boxes, jars, whatever I thought would help me make the game’s components. Once you’ve tested the gameplay, the next step is to create the playing instructions. The goal is to create instructions that work without you saying anything since people can’t ask you questions when they’re not sure how something works in your game. You’ll next want to observe people playing your game so you can see what works and what doesn’t, in particular when people you don’t know are playing your game. That way, you’ll get a clearer idea of how the game will play with the general public. When you feel like the gameplay is solid, you can start hiring graphic designers to help create the look for your game. After that
phase, you can either pitch the game to a game company or ask game manufacturers to provide estimates on the cost if you’d like to make the game yourself. Creating a game takes a lot of creativity, time, energy, and resources, but when you see how much people enjoy playing your game, it’s all worth it.
CLCS- Creativity comes easily for some, while others really work toward free expression. Where do you get inspiration for your creative process?
Allen Wolf- I’ve drawn creative inspiration from friendships with others and adventures I’ve taken in my city or around the globe. I’ve also felt creatively recharged when I visit museums, experience a great movie, enjoy a game night with friends, or visit Disneyland, where I’ve visited over 500 times. Everything in Disneyland is based on a story, and I have often spent time at the park to work on novels, screenplays, or other creative ideas.
I also draw inspiration from the Bible, and I try to read every day. It is an epic story of love, sacrifice, and redemption that takes place over thousands of years and continues to impact me today. My family greatly inspires me. I love seeing how my kids are uninhibited with their imaginations. They create stories, games, and characters using whatever resources they can find around our home. They perform with abandon and delight in whatever they make. I find that very inspiring. I’ve been married since 2009, and my wife inspires me as I continue to get to know her story and experience life with her.
CLCS- Our family has been having a great time with You're Pulling My Leg! Junior. Do you have any favorite questions from the books?
Allen Wolf- I have many favorite questions from this game. What I appreciate about You’re Pulling My Leg! is that you’re able to ask people questions that typically wouldn’t come up in typical conversations, so you can get to know that person much better and more quickly. Since the questions are asked in the context of a game, it adds an extra element of fun as you try to figure out if that person is telling a true story or pulling your leg. My favorite questions from the book help you get a deeper glimpse into people’s lives.
From You’re Pulling My Leg!, One of my favorite questions is, “Tell me about a time when you panicked about something,” because you get to hear a story about when that person freaked out about something, and it’s usually very funny in retrospect. “Tell me about a time when you did something you never thought you’d do,” is a great question to hear about unexpected moments in that person’s life. “Tell me about something you’d do differently if given another chance,” allows you to learn more about someone’s history and how they would have made different choices. “Tell me about a date that didn’t go well,” typically leads to some hilarious stories. “Tell me about a fictional character you would be if you could,” lets you see a different kind of life that friends would like to experience.
From You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior, One of my favorite questions is, “Tell me something silly you have done,” because it helps you get a glimpse into what that person sees as funny and silly, and it’s usually hilarious, especially when a kid answers the question. “Tell me about a time in your life you would repeat if you could,” helps you see what that person thinks is a highlight from their life. “Tell me about something not many people know about you,” gives others a chance to tell you something that might surprise you. And I’ve never been able to ask, “Tell me about a time when you ate too much candy,” without laughing hysterically at the answer.
CLCS- I love to think out side of the box when gifting family and friends. Are You’re Pulling My Leg! and You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior, great gift ideas?
Allen Wolf- When you give You’re Pulling My Leg! or You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior as a gift, you’re showing the person you’re giving it to that you value their life stories, want to get to know them better, or think they’ll enjoy connecting to others while having a lot of fun. To me, one of the greatest gifts is friendship, and this is a game that helps people build relationships and get closer while sharing laughter. I wrote the questions so they can have multiple answers so you can play the game over and over again, and it’s always fresh. The book is also printed locally in most countries, so you’re supporting local businesses. It’s eco-friendly, it has a small footprint, and books are easy to gift wrap, a massive plus for me!
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