Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guest Blog from Patric Götz of Uhrwerk Verlag

As I'm sure all of you know, the German-language edition of the Space: 1889 role-playing game from Uhrwerk Verlag hit the streets a couple months ago. It's a beautiful prodution and is selling well. I'd told Patric Götz before that if the German-language edition was a success we'd talk about an English-language version as well. And we are.

Today Patric joins us with a guest blog about how he came to the game in the first plae.

Patric writes  . .

I started playing RPGs in 1984 and up until 1989 I played mostly D&D, DSA (Germany’s most successful RPG) and a little bit of Star Frontier and Traveller. Vanilla Fantasy and SF so to say.
I started reading the novels of Jules Verne at the age of 14 and was immediately hooked by the tone and “feel” of his stories. I didn’t only read the well-known novels like 20.000 Leagues and Journey to the Centre of the Earth but also a lot of the less known ones.
Imagine my excitement as I saw the advertisement for a RPG called Space: 1889. I literally couldn’t sleep the night before I planned to journey to my friendly not-so-local game store to take a look at that book (English RPGs weren’t easy to find these days in Germany and there were only a couple of specialized shops spread out across Germany back then).
I wasn’t disappointed at all. The premise of the game was exactly what I was looking for in a RPG. I immediately bought all the stuff that was available over the next couple of months with my not so freely disposable pocket money.
Fast forward a couple of years… Due to a chain of events I never could have anticipated, I now work in the so-called RPG-industry, which is even harder to do in Germany than in the USA or UK I guess.
So after publishing a couple of quite successful (and some not so successful) RPGs, I remembered my old love Space: 1889. The license seemed dead and gone at that time, except for the nice reprints done by the folks at Heliographic Press – but no new material had been published since the early 90ties.
I contacted Mr. Chadwick anyhow about the possibility of doing a new German version of the game. Not just a translation of the old material, but a completely new interpretation of the game – with new texts, new illustrations and new rules.
Imagine my surprise as I got a very positive answer. So we started doing “our” version of Space:1889 and after the usual delays we finally managed to publish the new rulebook in July 2012.
It was an immediate success (well – that is for a RPG in Germany ;) ) and more books are planned right now to further supplement and support this fine RPG-line.
So we now have the very strange situation that the latest version of an American RPG which is mostly centered around the British Empire is now only available in German. ;)
But fear not… there are things going on in the background that may change this fact in a not so distant future…

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ode To A Dead Hard Drive

Back in September I flew out to Celesticon in San Francisco – a wonderful game convention, by the way. I ran a fun Mars Needs Steam game and generally had a great time. Because I had a lot of work to do I took along my computer. This was very nearly my undoing. In the course of travel my computer got bumped and started acting strangely afterwards, becoming more and more “difficult” until at least it packed it in completely. The problem ended up being a bad hard drive, perhaps damaged by the bump suffered while travelling. Fortunately almost everything was on my most recent backup and in any case everything was recoverable from the disc itself. Nevertheless, I was out of action for the better part of two weeks and the following two months were a cascading story of backed-up projects and piled-up deadlines. I am at last seeing daylight – just in time for the holidays and more travel. We’ll see what that brings me, but for now I’m caught up on the fiction front. The game rules front is an entirely different story.

Here are the major writing projects I’ve packed away in that time – just so you know there’s no moss growing on me. I did a science edit of the next Space 1889 and Beyond novel, originally titled To Ceres By Steam but now renamed Mundus Cerialis and now co-authored by Sharon Bidwell and Andy Frankham-Allen. More on that later. I finished the big rewrite on The Forever Engine for Baen Books and sent that off end of October. In November I got the typesetting markups of How Dark The World Becomes from Baen and turned those around, then got the final typeset manuscript last weekend and sent my corrections back for that this morning. How Dark The World Becomes is now out of my hands and cruising toward its February release.  I know it’s not Space: 1889, but it’s a Pretty Big Deal for me, so please bear with me.

Here’s where things stand right now on How Dark The World Becomes. The novel will appear in trade paperback format in February of 2013, just a couple months from now. It is currently available for pre-order on and they have it at a reduced price, under $10.00. (Its cover price is $14.00.) Here’s the link for that:

If you absolutely cannot wait that long (and how could you?) it’s now available as an electronic advanced reading copy (eARC) directly from Baen Books. Here’s the link to their main site and you’ll see How Dark features as one of the new e-releases this month.

You should check out the Baen site even if you don’t intend to buy the eARC, as  the site has the first seven chapters up as a free reading sample. That should help you decide whether the book is to your taste (although really, how could it not be?)