Nébula Rol

An author and his fan (II)

This is the second part (and the last one) of Patrick Taylor's interview. Here, Patrick let us know about the new edition of High Space and its upcoming Kickstarter campaign. This part is more personal maybe, but you will find it very interesting, for sure.

Gonzalo Durán: Let’s talk about High Space… Why a new edition?

Patrick Taylor: I have had so many ideas building up since the first release, that they needed a release! A few things happened in 'real life' that got in the way of writing and gaming in general, but they are settling down now and the opportunity is ripe. Part of it is also to celebrate the life and works of Iain M. Banks, my favourite sci-fi author who has now passed away... without plagiarizing them of course

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GD: Will we find big rule changes or subtle ones?

PT: I don’t want to mess with the most popular part of the rules - starships - so that will just be about refining the system. I think the original 'character analects' tried to do too much, so the changes there will be for streamlining and improving. The biggest changes will be setting-based.


GD: What can you tell us about Blockade?

PT: Blockade is a prelude to war, or at least an increased level of conflict! It can be played stand-alone, or if you know the High Space background, it can be played as one of the plot points in the Anti-Pattern campaign. It works both ways because it is a 'sign-post' adventure for the Lantern setting, and the behind-the-scenes antagonists (the Events) don't make a direct appearance.


GD: What will be happening with Confession?

PT: I started writing Confession half a year ago... then I tried to find a freelancer to help with the writing to try and solve the 'constant volume' problem of publishing. Sadly, and financially for me, that didn't go well. I have an interesting adventure written for 'something else', but not for Confession. So, I will did my Confession notes out and start again. The adventure deals with finding out what the Nazmec did all those millennia ago on the Remnant OC-7. It's a lot more of a dungeon-bash that the other adventures, and I think it could be fun to finally get published. However, one thing the whole Anti-Pattern story has told me is that I have invested a LOT more into my plot points than most other SW publishers... and it's a time killer, and not a great marketing strategy either! The next plot-point book will be a lot more like The Last Parsec campaign in terms of level of detail.

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GD: The Savage Worlds Spanish community is small yet, and just a few know about High Space. I think that USA market is your true goal but what do you think about Spanish fans who appreciate your work?

PT: Amigo! Do you even have to ask! Actually in my mind a fan is a fan, even if they dont speak the same language as me. The USA has always been the bastion of RPG sales, but I think that has to some extent been a self-fulfilling-prophecy. I got started on the 'Infinity' wargame right from the (pre-)launch, so I have known for ages just how much passion there is outside of the USA for roleplaying and sci-figaming in general. The Infinity Kickstarter re-confirmed this. I hope this starts a new trend of internationalising games.


GD: One of the things that I thank you is your proximity and accessibility for just a fan like me. Do you like to interact with fans?

PT: Only the smart ones Actually that is a great question, and the answer is definitely 'Si'. I have convinced Joe that Storyweaver needs to try what I consider a bit of a radical approach to engaging fans, and hopefully we will get this going, either via Google Communities or some other digital platform(s).


GD: It was really exciting for me that you shared some work notes about High Space. I was really shocked when you did it in order to help me with my own High Space adventure Legacy of the Aura.

PT: Thanks for saying so! Some publishers guard their Intellectual Property jealously. But I have been around long enough to know that an idea is worthless, unless it is acted upon. So rather than me wasting all my ideas by keeping them in my head, and you wasting your ideas keeping them in your head, if we share ideas we will both benefit! Commercially there is no incentive for me to hoard anything. Writing will probably never be my full time occupation, but I devote what I can to it, as I can.

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GD: Another point is that it was awesome when I found myself invited to a little group with StoryWeaver people for starting to work on the High Space Kickstarter campaign.  You can believe me when I tell you that this kind of things are incredible for a fan.

PT: Yeah, I'm glad you like it. I am a big fan of Jamie Stegmaier and his ethos of 'fans first', so it makes sense to me to show the fans what is /really/ happening behind the scenes... not just some glossy cover-up for the public. Who knows, someone might learn how to run their own Kickstarter from watching us!


GD: What do you expect about the Kickstarter campaign?

PT: Tears of joy! Tears of pain! Seriously, I am not sure. I hear they can be emotional roller-coasters, so I'm happy to be kicking it off while I take a short holiday from work. My main aim is to reach that funding goal... and then the stretch goal of the Spanish translation.

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GD: Why do you want to release a High space Spanish edition?

PT: I think it's important to internationalise any written product. I think there is a real risk of RPGs going stale if their only reference is for USA consumers. There is so much nuance in language, especially 'technical language' such as RPG terminology. I remember working in Mexico as a software-developer when I was travelling around the world, about 10 years ago, and despite having a good understanding of Espaniol I was confounded by how little I understood once technical terms were required! I encountered the same thing more recently working for a Swedish technology firm, where all the marketing material seemed very bland and it made me realize that a lot of 'feeling' had been lost in translation. There are also mental points of difference that go with each language, and I want to write games where these are also encouraged. A Spanish language edition is just the first step towards bringing all the above together. Not ambitious, just visionary


GD: When we can wait for the Kickstarter release date?

PT: The timing may depend on my internet connectivity at the time, but I am aiming for New Years Day.

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GD: Have you got an exclusive news for Nébula Rol?

PT: Yes, I have a message of hope... if we dont reach the stretch goal for the Spanish edition I plan to run a second Kickstarter, dedicated entirely to achieving this!


GD: Pat, it is time you revealed something directly to the fans here in Nébula Rol…

PT: Okay... ... Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father! Oh... did you already know that? Okay how about this, I am a long, long, long time Xavi Hernandez fan! He is my idol each time I step on the field to play football, which is at least once a week. Football is my 'escape pod' from stress!


Thanks Pat for your kindness and specially, for sharing your creativity. Your crazy ideas for a strange nebula born in Australia just for reach to a remote area in the world like Spain, but at the end, all are closer than we could think…

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