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Nostalgi

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This post is fetched from the Kaleidoskop website, but since it’s a project I will work with intensely in the coming weeks and it will mostly be a project I write on my own, I think it’s appropriate to write something about here as well. However, in the future, when I post updates regarding this project, I won’t do so here, so kindly refer to Kaleidoskop.se.

Since Nostalgi was published a couple of years ago, we have received feedback on the game, both from players and reviewers. In general, we’ve enjoyed very positive feedback, especially from players on gaming conventions, and this is also where most people have been interested in buying the game. In short, it’s been obvious that more people than the two of us (Olle Linge and Martin Ackerfors) enjoy this game of story-telling, bickering and boasting.

However, listening to feedback from players and reviewers, as well as playing some on our own, we have come up with a number of things we think could be expanded or changed to the better in some way. At the outset, there were only a few things on our list of things to add or fix, but as the list has grown longer and longer, we have decided that the time is ripe to write a new version of the game.

As you have noticed, this post is written in English, and that is the first of the changes we will make. The sequel will simply be called Nostalgia and will be entirely in English. Some sections will be translated from the original, others will be rearranged and still more will be extended. However, most of the game be re-written from scratch.

This does not mean that we will change the core that made Nostalgi such an entertaining game. Instead, we will define the key ingredients that made the first version good, and then polish and repackage them to form a better product. There is as yet no deadline or estimate when Nostalgia will be finished and published, but we have already settled on most of the content; now we just need to write the book. As opposed to most other projects we’ve been running, the ambition is to write more about the process here on the Kaleidoskop website, so stay tuned!

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These days, it seems in vogue to either lambast internet piracy or endorse it. Some people regard it as their quest to quench this fire, which is, allegedly, burning through the revenues of the big media corporations. Other people regard the present copyright legislation as something that is doomed and that other ways of thinking and new strategies are needed.

Even though I and my Kaleidoskop friends have decided to publish three of our games (Haragada, Nostalgi and Terone) for free download via The Pirate Bay, this should perhaps not be over-interpreted. First and foremost, this is a wish to spread our games to as many people as possible, regardless if they later buy any product or not. It is also an experiment in marketing and a wish that there can be an alternative to the current system of intrusive copyright legislation and enforcement.

Even if you’re not interested in role-playing or are unfortunate enough not to be fluent in Swedish, I still hope you can help us by downloading and seeding the torrents linked to below. Any feedback regarding this decision or any of Kaleidoskop’s games is naturally more than welcome. If you want buy Kaleidoskop games, the easiest way is to visit our website.

Here are the torrents:

Bibliografi
Haragada
Nostalgi
Terone

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The most recent edition of the Swedish gaming magazine Fenix features a vote for the best Swedish role-playing game published last year, along with a vote for the best expansion. Even though it should come as no surprise to me, it still jolted me to see that I had written one entirely on my own, co-authored another and contributed to a third. Because of the fact that most information about this is in Swedish, I feel that I should write something about these projects and why I would be happy if you went to the Fenix website to vote.

Tornet mot stjärnorna (English “The Tower to the Stars“) is an expansion to the role-playing game Skymningshem: Andra imperiet, published by Rävsvans förlag, focusing on high-level conspiracies in a sprawling universe. The problem this time is that the enemy, if it is an enemy, is not a race of slimy aliens, but an idea (a meme if you are familiar with that terminology). The text is written by me in its entirety, although I owe much to the original creator of the game,  Krister Sundelin, who also hired me to write the text. It’s my first freelancing project and means much to me in so many ways that I should probably have written a separate post about it earlier. Now, however it’s merely something I’m proud of to have completed.

Nostalgi (English: “Nostalgia“) is a short and to-the-point game about a group of old heroes or heroines who retell their youthful stories of adventure and bravery to their grandchildren. The goal of the game is to present oneself as the greatest of the heroes, exploiting the fact that no one really remembers what actually happened. Haggling about what happened, scoring minor, ego-boosting points and generally trying to impress the children are all integral parts of this game. I co-wrote and co-developed Nostalgi with Martin Ackerfors, and even though we’ve been thinking of an English version, the game is currently only available in Swedish. Nostalgi is published by Kaleidoskop.

Haragada, also published by Kaleidoskop, is a game focused on life (or as it happens in most cases, death) revolving around the decadent desert city of Haragada. It’s a game of sword and sorcery, using rules heavily inclined towards creating a good story. The game is a collaboration between all members of Kaleidoskop, and is thus in itself an interesting creation for me.

This seems quite impressive, and perhaps it is, but to me, it’s merely the result of work I’ve done a long time ago. Tornet mot stjärnorna took roughly 200 hours to write, but it was almost finished more than a year ago, and even though the other projects were not so voluminous, they were also completed almost a year ago. So, what lies ahead? Will the vote for the best game and expansion in 2009 also hold three items to which I’ve contributed?

No, probably not, at least not three independent projects like last year. I hope that I will be able to publish my major game, Magneter och mirakel (English: “Magnets and miracles”) in 2009, but I won’t promise anything. The text is almost done, but there is layout an illustrations still to be done or decided upon, which will take time and energy I don’t feel I have at the moment. I’m in no hurry to publish this game, but it will be the most comprehensive of all Kaleidoskop’s games so far when I do.

However, Haragada was a project completed almost as fast as it was instigated, and since it turned out alright, I’m prepared to do something similar this year, granted time and good ideas. Also, some minor writing projects might be completed, but considering that I have a novel to write and Chinese to learn, I think it unlikely that as many projects will come to fruition during 2009 as did in 2008. Regardless of this, the major thing here is that a lot happened in 2008 and looking back, I feel immensely proud and satisfied.

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After an eventful weekend with two releases from Kaleidoskop at the local gaming convention LinCon 2008, both Haragada and Nostalgi are now available for sale on the net. Both games are in Swedish and can be ordered from our website: www.kaleidoskop.se

Haragada is a role-playing game focused on creating interesting stories incorporating powerful people in the decadent desert city of Haragada. The game is the result of a short campaign we played last autumn, which was interesting to such a degree that we thought it would be worth to publish the concepts it embodied. While Andreas was the driving force early in the process, the rest of us soon got involved. Personally, I have written parts of the setting, and I have also edited the text.

Nostalgi is more of a story-telling game in which the players assume the roles of veteran adventurers, who, after a long and dangerous career, have finally settled down to tell tales about their former glory. However, the truth is often not enough to convince grand-children that any given retired adventurer is the greatest of all adventurers, so creative use of imagination (lies) is encouraged. Nostalgi is co-written by myself and Martin. We have vague plans of making a translation to English, but I will not go as far as to actually promise anything.

It feels incredibly good to publish these two games. Not only are they the first of my projects to be printed and sold in this way, but they also constitute an impetus to creativity in general. In short, publishing something makes me want to finish more projects I am currently working on. I am also awed by the power of synergy, which is especially true for Haragada.

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LinCon 2008

After a good night’s sleep, it is time to explain why I have not posted anything since the April monthly report four days ago. I have been at a gaming convention in town, LinCon 2008 (in Swedish), and I have lacked the energy to write something creative here in the meantime. At the convention, me and my Kaleidoskop friends organised drop-in role-playing of two of our products, The Supercrew (in English) and Nostalgi (in Swedish).

Even though we did not intend to attend at first, an e-mail from the convention organisers convinced us that it was worth coming. We were able to get premium location at the convention and had lots of people around our tables, most of them playing, but some of them also bought our games. Combining playing and selling rendered a much better result that just selling, not only because many people who tried the games also bought them, but also because only selling becomes tiresome after a couple of days. Venting creative output with strangers in a gaming session is then an excellent break.

In general, I am very satisfied with LinCon this year. Previous years, we have always encountered problems with the organisers, who have seemed be looking to annoy people rather than help them. Not so this year, everything has been perfect in that regard. I am also quite content with our part, except that I am a bit disappointed that one of our new games, Haragada (in Swedish), did not sell as well as we had expected. Hopefully, we will be able to polish our presentation of the game when we make it available online, and be able to convince everybody what a great game it is. However, this disappointment is compensated by the fact that Nostalgi sold very well. Both games will be released for online purchase very soon.

Compared to GothCon 2008, few people I knew beforehand attended the convention. This did not turn out to be a big problem, but it still affects the general impression of the past few days. I attend conventions mainly to meet people I seldom meet otherwise, and with a few exceptions, this was not possible this year. However, organising events and selling games demanded enough time and was entertaining enough to make LinCon 2008 worthwhile indeed. Considering my Taiwan adventure, there will not be any conventions for a very long time. Therefore, it feels good to round things off with such a successful event!

Update: Here are some photographs taken at the convention by Tobias Radesäter:


Our banner with The Supercrew characters attached.


Playing Nostalgi, from the left: me, Martin, Calle, Linus, Anders.


Still playing Nostagi, from the left: Niklas, Martin, me, Joachim.


Still playing Nostalgi, Martin with Anders, Fredrik and a lot of strangers.


Even more Nostalgi with Peter, two strangers and me, along with Andreas reading a book.

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