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Tornet mot stjärnorna

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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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The last couple of weeks I have been lazy or busy, depending on how one choose to regard it, which has had the effect of my not updating the 101 in 1001 for a while. Instead of posting a load of separate accounts of the various tasks, I have decided to deal with them jointly in a single post.

Bad news first. Or rather, challenging news first. I just browsed through the list and realised I have a long way to go. Sure, I have been able to complete some demanding tasks (like swimming 10 000 metres, for instance), but with a year and a half remaining of the 1001 days, I still have 84 tasks to go. Challenging indeed. I decide not to call it bad news, since I still think it is possible to accomplish everything I have set out for. However, I will have to develelop a much more aggressive attitude towards achieving my goal.

Then some good news. There are some tasks on the list I have finished, but not written about:

– Have read a total of 10 books by Philip K. Dick: Few authors fascinate me in the same way as Philip K. Dick. His books often surreal, bizarre and philosophical. They are always expertly written. His mind works in a way truly original and produces ideas which lie far beyond anything I myself would have come up with. Novels written by him are not always spot on, but they are always worthwhile.

1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
2. The Man in the High Castle
3. A Scanner Darkly
4. Ubik
5. Galactic Pot-healer
6. Martian Time-Slip<
7. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
8. A Maze of Death
9. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
10. The Father-thing

– Have read a total of 5 books by Ray Bradbury: I have actually read more than five books and all of them have been reviewed. The best of Ray Bradbury is extremely good, but the problem is that there are too many mediocre stories that pull down the average quite a bit. Here are the books.

1. Fahrenheit 451
2. The Day it Rained Forever
3. S is for Space
4. Something Wicked This Way Comes
5. From the Dust Returned

– Have read a total of 5 books by Neil Gaiman: Not including The Sandman (comic), I have read more than five books by Neil Gaiman (with The Sandman it becomes sixteen). In recent years, Neil Gaiman has ascended to the position of being one of my two favourite authors, equalled only by Philip K. Dick. Here are the five first books:

1. American Gods
2. Coraline
3. Good Omens
4. Stardust
5. Neverwhere

– Finish my freelancing praject “Tornet mot stjärnorna”: It took roughly 150 hours of writing to accomplish this, not including time not spent with pen and paper (i.e. thinking, dreaming and talking about it). Although there are still mechanical things left (correcting errors reported by proof readers), I consider this project done.

– Learn to sleep comfortably on my back: This is a somewhat old task as well, since I finished it last autumn. I cannot say that I sleep as comfortably on my back as I do in other positions, but I can do it when I want to.

– Make someone change from Qwerty to Dvorak: I accomplished this some time ago when a friend of mine, Gastono, changed from Qwerty to Dvorak. To my knowledge, he seems satisfied with the change.

Hopefully, these insights into this project will help me to finish it and hopefully it will also lead to more activity online regarding the 101 in 1001. Wish me good luck and I will probably be seeing you soon again!

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Några saker ska sägas. För er som inte vet det, så är detta ett rollspel som släpptes strax innan jul. Jag har nu postat en recension i den nyskapade kategorin “Blandade recensioner”. Läs gärna om ni har tid.

Vidare startar idag den andra omgången på Skymningshem: Andra imperiet Lexicon . I korthet går det ut på att tillsammans utveckla spelvärlden med små artiklar, tre i veckan. Jag har inte provat detta tidigare, men jag misstänker att det kan bli riktigt roligt. Har du lust, tittar förbi och se om du inte vill vara med du också. Det går bra att hoppa in senare och det kräver inte speciellt mycket tid.

Planerna på att skriva en modul till Andra Imperiet går också vidare, men ingenting är bestämt ännu. Det känns dock bra såhär långt och jag hoppas att det blir någonting av det här.

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