Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday feature 2012-11-16

Autumn is around and things have a russet undertone. The light is lower, but now again it’s time for Friday Feature! This week we bring you a VBlogg with Adriana and Cecilia.

And next week we will ha an interview our producers. Is there anything you wold like to ask them? Something you always wanted to now? Feel free to post your questions to

It has been many years since they organized together, but we found this photo when searching for some pictures from Carolus Rex, and there you have them! From left to right, Tomas Walch, Martin Ericsson and Henrik Summanen. It's shot down in the submarine where Carolus Rex was played.

As the homepage states, The Monitor Celestra is not only a larp inspired by Battlestar Galactica, but also the spiritual sequel to “Carolus Rex” (1999), a game which many Swedes - and some Danes - have fond memories of.

Those are some large pair of shoes to fill. This entry is all about the heritage from CR, with a brief status report on where we're currently at with the main story arc for Celestra.

Here's what the Nordic Larp Wiki has to say about CR (not much):

You can listen to the bombastic trailer (in Swedish) at Alternaliv,, alternatively go to, click "Projekt" and choose "Urval av tidigare projekt" - cycle one step onwards.

There's also this blog post on the game, written retrospectively by one of the participants:

What we're bringing with us from CR to Celestra:

  • The action-oriented WYSIWYG framework.
  • Science Fiction archetypes, made real and relevant. Yup, we have a space monster - but this time around the monster may be you. There's a cosmic enigma, or rather several. You can go where no one has gone before. Truly.
  • Integrating technical solutions with storytelling, not merely using tech for decorative purposes (sound, command consoles, bringing scenery into the experience by interaction, and more).
  • A complete pay'n play package with costume, food, off-game sleeping and everything else pertaining to the game included. The only expense we don't cover with your participant's fee is your ticket to Gothenburg.
  • Staging the game in the very warship intended for Gjallarhornet, the follow-up to CR which never happened.
  • Specific plot analogues. Remember the threat of the great pyramid, hovering alone in the void? We'll nod to that. The camaraderie of the work gangs and engineering personnel? Covered. The rogue AI? Yup. These, and other thematical parallels will be recognizable if you keep your eyes peeled. And make the right choices...
What we add to this mixture:
  • 13 additional years of experience in organizing larps, running transmedia events, educationalist practice, coding, and whatnot.
  • An even cooler gaming area. This is worth repeating. What's a retired old submarine compared to a warship?
  • At least four times the number of organizers and crew.
  • Custom characters (and more) for kickstarters. Hey, if you wanna give us some lurve, we'll sure as hell return the favor, with extras.
  • Meta-techniques. Not included for their own sake, rather to resolve specific issues. Six and Baltar? Easy.

Report from the Writer Squad

At this point in story development, we've outlined the general (non-customized) groups of characters, complete with themes and twists. We've also set the basics of the main story arc, including turning points and alternate endings. More work on this will, of course, follow. Due to real world concerns, we have to evacuate the playing area for sleep. This is an opportunity, in the sense that it organically leads to a partition of gameplay into acts, or episodes, which allow for the passing of time. There may be cliffhangers, and one or two episodes may even start in media res. We'll be able to give players new input through letters of resort - sealed instructions and flavor text. And we'll be able to reset the stage and do general upkeep, such as emptying the toilets. Someone's gotta do it, sometime.

It's been said that Science Fiction is never really about the space ships or the beam guns, it's about the human beings flying or carrying them. This is also true for Celestra. Our sources of inspiration worked with classical genre stereotypes to entertain, and to some degree comment on the world after the 9/11 attacks. We're doing something similar, a decade or more later, from a modern European standpoint. For better or worse, we're grounded in societal structures marred by unequality, xenophobia and a myriad of conflicting political agendas. The game wouldn't be relevant if it didn't, in some way, reflect this. Celestra will neither be agitative, nor engage in arthouse posturing, but it will most certainly touch on real issues, albeit set in a fictional universe.

So, regarding thematical crossovers and narrative work, this is where we currently stand. To paraphrase the CR trailer:

Sign on!

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