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Let the games begin

2009/04/19
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We’ve updated the project wiki with clearer structure and project pages for all the scenarios in phase 1. You should now have all the info needed to get going.

We’ve got GOs from almost all of the authors, and more than enough to keep us busy for a while.

Lots of folks have offered their help and support during the week. Every single line translated takes us closer to the goal and what seemed like a crazy idea earlier in the week actually feels achievable now.

Everyone deserves a special thanks and honorable mention here, even though I can’t keep the standard of writing bios for each of you:

  • Tobias Demediuk Bindslet
  • Frederik J. Jensen
  • Eva Fog
  • Elias Helfer
  • Lars Vilhelmsen
  • Morten Greis
  • René Toft
  • Johannes Busted Larsen
  • Jesper Wøldiche
  • Alex Uth
  • Anders Frost Bertelsen
  • Claus Kliplev
  • Mike Ditlevsen
  • Kristoffer Rudkjær

This list is in no particular order, and if you feel you should be in it, you probably should. If you have blogs or websites that you want me to link to your names, please drop me a mail and I’ll update it here.

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Whoa, camel! Whoa!

2009/04/16
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Everything is developing very fast. I’m doing my best to keep up. Please be patient for a little while longer.

I’ve contacted almost all of the authors, and I’m waiting for word back from a few of them. So far, everybody loves the project.

Even more people are volunteering to help translating and generally offering their powers and help. It is so cool. I am in awe of this community.

Due to general work-related busyness, I might not be able to do much more before the weekend, but don’t worry, I’m not fleeing. I expect to have almost everything up and running by Monday.

(The title is a quote by Yosemite Sam in a Bugs Bunny, or some other Looney Tunes. In case you wonder.)

Friendly Tip: Using Creative Commons Licenses

2009/04/16

Dear reader! Let’s talk about online publishing, since stuff we translate will at some point be published, on the Internet in some form. Works submitted to Gnavpotveksler are sometimes covered by some kind of Creative Commons license, which is more permissive than an ordinary copyright. It is, of course, up to the author to decide exactly how permissive this license should be. But in short, Creative Commons enables you to assert your right to be identified as the author of the work, without restricting remixing and innovative use that can further rock your work. (In the role-playing community, we obviously always remix published stuff, but this way you give the users official permission to do so and even publish the results).

So, for example, let’s say you’ve already run your scenario at a convention, it’s available for download at Alexandria.dk, and all is well. You said “OK” when Alexandria asked you for permission for distribution of your scenario at their website. (I.e. a quite ordinary role-playing hobbyist situation.) The following is applicable also to printed, non-Net materials, but this project isn’t really looking at publishing on those platforms.

Now, people want to translate your scenario into new languages, because they want to spread the love. You probably don’t know these people. But, you want the scenario to fly on its own wings, and you wouldn’t mind using all the free and friendly labour. So how can you trust that what they do is respectful?

Creative Commons is a license that works like Open Source licenses for software. (That explanation makes more sense if you’re a geek). You can for instance allow people to distribute your scenario freely, provided that they state your name in the text (aka attribute it to you). If you choose, you can add a few further restrictions, the simplest being Share-Alike:

CC-3.0-BY-SA: “This is BY me, and when you remix & redistribute it, you must Share-Alike (i.e. if you publish it again, which you are welcome to do under Creative Commons, you can’t change the license to something else. You have to share the way I chose to do it – that is, under my variant of Creative Commons).”

Another restriction that you can select is that other people can’t benefit financially from your work. This is called Non-Commercial, and probably won’t give you a share of advertising revenue from the site from which your masterpiece is downloaded a million times – but does give you the right to sell your baby to a commercial publisher, should you choose to (and the rpg industry radically change to make that feasible).

You can put together any rules combination for your version of the Creative Commons license in a simple-to-use wizard here. Include the final license text as the small print somewhere in your work.

The most obvious benefit of just spelling it all out from the very beginning is that people won’t have to try to reach you all the time for licensing & permission questions. In the future, when you may have lost touch with role-playing scene, been hit by a truck or are taking that extended offline vacation in Bora Bora, this will be especially beneficial. Because who does not want to return from Bora Bora to find one’s favorite scenario translated into Mandarin and played and loved by one billion Chinese geeks?

OK, ciao!

Wiki

2009/04/15
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The masses are screaming for something to sink their teeth into. Olle started a project wiki for sharing knowledge and maybe even working on the texts.

As soon as I get a few hours in a row (most likely during the weekend) I’ll start distributing the texts. Until then you are all very welcome to help me moving into the wiki: create the pages you think we’ll need.

The forces are gathering

2009/04/14
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The project have been out there for approximately 24 hours and it feels like I was right to jump in before I actually know what I’m getting myself into.

As I just mentioned in my earlier post, I got almost all of the scenarios for phase one already, much faster than anticipated. What is even more amazing to me is that I already got a few guys (I’ve got my eye on some ladies too) standing ready in the shadows. And not just any guys: 

Peter Fallesen – Peter has been the first to comment on the site and immediately volunteering. He has written a couple of scenarios and is usually active in making the cafe happen at Fastaval each year. Peter is spending his non-rpg hours teaching at the Department of Sociology in Copenhagen. I love his hair.

Kristoffer Apollo – apart from heading this year’s Otto Award Jury, Kristoffer has been part of the Danish roleplaying scene for almost as long as it has existed. He has written at least 14 scenarios for Fastaval and other Danish cons. Kristoffer works as a journalist and editor. 

Malik Hylfoft – rumor has it that it was Malik that brought LARPs to Denmark after attending a game in UK. He was there when it all started and has never stopped. He co-wrote one of the only original Danish game systems, Fusion, along with a wast number of scenarios. And he is a mayor player in the establishing of roleplaying schools in Denmark with the second well on its way. 

Lars Konzack – I only just met Lars at this year’s Fastaval and I must admit that I know very little about his virtues and vices. He has written lots of scenarios and has attended cons long before I even knew they existed. He is a game researcher writing his PhD. 

Jason Morningstar – Jason is an active  writer in the american indie RPG community. When he heard about the project he is reported to have stated something like “Oh, that is quite a lot to take on! I’ll help.” 

Olle Jonsson – my always energetic husband. Part of the Vi Åker Jeep collective, writer and player of many games. Without Olle spreading the word I might have been able to sneak this by everyone’s noses without having to actually do it. That is too late now. It is on!

Thank you guys for volunteering your help, we will be doing great things.

Getting the originals

2009/04/14
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With the speedy help from Kristoffer Apollo, Head of this year’s Otto Award jury, I’ve got almost all of the original versions of the scenarios for phase one.

Next step will be to get the final OK from the authors. And of course a few more hands to make this happen. I already got pledges to help from some very cool guys but I think they deserve a post on their own. 

I feel fairly optimistic that we might actually make this happen.

The Title

2009/04/13
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I’ll be the first to admit that my brain might have been running slightly on overdrive after five days of too little sleep, plenty of drinks and even more love. Might be that I’ll regret the difficulty for non-danes to pronounce “Gnavpotveksler” but right now I’m quite pleased with myself.

The Gnavpotveksler – the Grumpy Converter from Bluxte – is a creature from the comics series about “Valérian and Laureline” (Linda og Valentin) by Pierre Christin. The Grumpy Converter appears in the album “Ambassador of the Shadows”. He is a little guy that generates new copies of any currency you feed him. The process exhausts him greatly but he inevitably develops a fondness for the one that puts him through it.

Update: my rock star colleague, Benjamin, helped me track down an image of the Grumpy Converter. See it over here.

My aim is not to be grumpy but to help the process of multiplying the great currency of stories. I expect to be fascinated and inspired by the scenarios and games in the project.