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Le Valet D'Couer

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Le Valet d'Coeur Online

One of the best game shops in the world?


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The arrival of the MegaTraveller canon on CD-ROM is giving me a real case of Traveller-itis, despite my experiences with GURPS Traveller. If you've never come across Traveller, THE SF role-plyaing game, check out the Traveller Web Portal -, Marc Miller's site at, and of course my own Traveller site at

I still dream of that all encompassing Traveller virtual reality.....


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Finished the manuscript, hurrah. Just the rewrites and the editing to go :-( Be good to get to bed before 1am again. Posted it off to Steve Jackson Games, they should come back with comments by the end of next week. Now relaxing in front of some Anime.

Alternate Reality Gaming

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G2 had an excellent article on Alternate Reality Gaming. It's the genre that the Nokia Game fits in, trails of clues spread across the web and the media. Apparently they started off as fan adjuncts to films etc (the first being AI). But just as viral marketing has commercialised informal viral communications, so ARG has been picked up and used to market movies, games and other "events". There are now even commercial "paid for" games - shades of Michael Douglas' The Game.

A good intro site is They have a brilliant Gamers Handbook that has guides to all sorts of codes and techniques (which very useful on Nokia Game). There's even a Puppetmasters Guide to show you how to set up your own game!

Nokia Game Over


Oh well that's the Nokia game over for another year. Spent Saturday morning between ballet runs racing round Helsinki trying to ram AnyOnes car before 12 o'clock. Great fun. Final score was 121156 which put me 257th in the UK and 4489th in the World - about my normal position. Nokia reckon they had around 1.4m people playing, so not to bad. Prizes only to the first 50th though.

As ever the best thing about the game was the way the fan community pulled together, cracking codes, coming up with hint, building and finding maps.

Roll on 2004.

Nokia Game Final


Made it to the Nokia Game final. Twenty-four hours to race around Helsinki.

Nokia Game underway

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The Nokia Game finally got underway after a great lead-in where we've all been trying to find letters hidden in MMS messages, and practising our snowboarding.

The big difference with the game this year is that all the games are person-to-person games, we're playing real people not a computer. The fact that the most I've had to wait for a competitor is about 3 seconds shows just how many people must be playing.

We've also got lots of things to do (unlike the year before last where we were stuck on a bus for a week!). There are two snowboard courses so far (a subway and a sewer), and two 1-on-1 games (one a version of boxes, the other a match-three-in-a-line game). The 1-on-1 games only give you about 10 seconds for each turn so the pressure is really on. The games are all styled after the new Nokia n-gage phone display, so I expect they'll end up on that afterwards.

I'm currently ranked about 200th in the UK, and about 4000th in the world! Oh well, 2 weeks to go!

Nokia Game has started to warm up with images being posted by Flo to the net with hidden clues. VERY Pattern Recognition (see posts in July when I started this). Since the game is about Flo, and since about 2 years ago I voice enabled my access to Nokia Game fan sites that got me to thinking - why not use Sitepal and my chatbot to create a virtual Flo. Should have it ready for when the game really opens in a week or so.

Nokia Game Time

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Nokia Game is about to start again. 19th to 28th November. Looks like we'll be following Brasilian snowboarding reporter Flo de la Rosa around the world on her adventures.

Last year we were playing music industry bigwigs in a wonderful 3D flash environment, buying stocks and travelling from junction to junction and playing music related games.

In 2001 we were trying to defeat Tragamin - traditional gaming and the dice - since they were trying to keep "the tone" - mobile gaming - captive. Trying to (re)learn morse code in 24 hours was fun!

Before that, and before me, it was Prague, and before that Schipol.

Oh well, during November don't expect to get much sense from me - but I know up be up late into the night.

RPGs Revisited

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Played an RPG for the first time in about 10 years today - as my daughters been asking what those shelves of booklets are in the study. Although we played GURPS in a medieval setting it got me to thinking about Traveller and all the stuff I used to write for it - like The Long Way Home. Looking around the web Traveller still seems pretty active and GURPS Traveller are even looking for writers. Maybe it's time to get the typewriter back out or at least rebuild my Traveller microsite (as a blog?) from all of my old Traveller stuff now scattered across the web.....
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