I’ve been following the stories of crowd-funding, and vaguely paying attention to KickStarter. I hadn’t done much even in terms of looking, only hearing about the periodic article from friends about various old-school video games getting a remake and such based on the funding they arranged on that site.
So then I caught word about one of my longest running obsessions/hobbies/collections/etc – Traveller. Mark Miller is hosting a crowd-sourcing setup on KickStarter to fund the release of Traveller 5. I saw it, was tempted, and then just a day or so ago decided to dive in and help back it. I have pieces of most every edition of traveller that ever came out, a huge collection of little black books, 8.5×11 paperbacks and a few hardcovers. Side games, spinoffs, and other do-dads. “Back in the day”, I was actively involved in a mailing list run on BITNET that we just called the “TML”. From there, and other places, I collected a fairly large archive of fan works and related pieces, a few bits of software, all sorts of things. I published them in one of my first web-based sites. I don’t recall what I called it early on, but now I just call it the “Missouri Archive” and even though I haven’t updated it or really touched the collection in 10 years, I keep it online with the help of a few friends. It’s still sticking around out there at http://traveller.mu.org/.
I don’t even want to think about how long that game has managed to capture my attention, how many days I spent day-dreaming about space operas, designing “starships” for the game, or generally just reading published games or stories related to it. I’ve enjoyed that setting and that game longer than any other I can image (far longer D&D as it turns out), so I’m very happy to help fund Traveller 5 and look forward to it shipping, and more evenings of reading and daydreaming.
I do still hope for some video or compute games that capture some of Traveller. TravellerAR was a long shot – of course I spent my money it too, but they’ve had to close up shop and I never really got to anything with it that I found fun or good (it crashed quite a bit). Sooner or later, I guess.