Author Introductions: Marko Susimetsa
Hi again everyone, and thanks for your continued support! Today, I have some information for you on another of our authors and their plans.
I've also added a couple of FAQ questions to clear things up, and in there I reference the £150 cover illustrator pledge. I didn't include some of the things in the pledge description that I should have, so I've cleared that up a bit. Whoops!
It looks like the Writer tier has sold out - thanks to everyone that helped to get the word out!
Anyway, here's what Marko Susimetsa has to say!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a 39-year-old male with a lovely wife and a 4-year-old barbarian for a daughter. I would not call myself a gamer as such, but I’ve always enjoyed the good ones like Elite, some computer RPGs and the Civilization series. I love classical music and I blame the Elite games for it!
When did you first discover the Elite games?
I discovered Elite back when I was twelve and the game was released for Commodore 64 and it was pretty much love at first sight. It is, in fact, one of the three games that defines my “gamer” self. Later on, I played the sequels, Frontier: Elite 2 and Frontier First Encounters on Amiga 1200 and, later, PC as much if not more than I had the original. I enjoyed the realistic physics in those games, even though the fights were a bit less enjoyable.
What's your favourite Elite memory?
I don’t think I can actually pick any single memory, since there are so many memories of these games. I remember the jumpy field of stars on Commodore 64, the lovely (for the time) planetary landings on FFE when I just flew along coastlines, admiring the cliffs. And I also enjoyed writing fanfic, just imagining stuff that could not actually happen in the games, such as generation ships etc.
Have you written before or is this a fresh challenge? What made you back the project?
I’ve written a lot – most of it gathering dust in my desk drawer. In addition to being a computer gamer, I used to be an enthusiastic (tabletop) RPG gamer and that soon evolved into story writing. I used to write a lot of fantasy stories as well as some sci-fi, including fanfic for the Elite/FFE universe. I released some of those stories on fan forums several years ago, but I don’t even dare to take a look at them now, for fear of dying in shame.
Since then, I’ve been working on my writing skills and my goals have become a bit more ambitious in this area. I’ve lately turned my attention to historical fiction and am at present writing a novel set in the early 17th century that I aim to actually publish. Academically, I’ve also written and published research papers, reports and other works. I am also a senior editor for an online gaming magazine, Hookedgamers.com, which involves me in writing and editing more or less weekly.
I planned to back the project from the very beginning. As it is, the idea evolved in our discussion at the Frontier Forums and I believe I put the seed in the ground about compiling a short story collection. I think this is a great opportunity to all enthusiastic writers amongst the Elite fandom to come together and create something that will hopefully enrich the gaming experience for all of us.
Do you know what you want to write a story about?
As it happens, I got so enthused about this Anthology project that I already started writing. Quite fittingly with our working title, my story revolves around a fledgling frontier world and their problems with piracy – a battle between civilization and anarchy. I’m not going to say anything more for the time being, but I think I’ll release a short teaser quite soon and then I should also have more to say about the story in general.
What one thing most excites you about Elite: Dangerous? Something that's already been revealed or some feature you're secretly hoping for?
I have to admit that I’m excited purely by the thought of being able to have a fresh look into that universe and to fly a Cobra Mk III. For me, Elite is such an important part of my formative years, that no other space game can surpass it. I’m sure I will be quite unable to regard it objectively when I finally get it in my hands.
As far as features are concerned, I’m hoping to see as much hard science as it is possible to have in a game and still keep it entertaining. I don’t want blooming explosions, shock waves or expanding spheres of plasma in space – I want quick flashes of released energy and ships peeling apart as their internal structures are compromised. I want my ship to require the use of retro and manoeuvring thrusters to turn around and operate in space. I want to be able to slingshot my ship around a star. I want to reach another star system without hyperspace if I accelerate my ship to near-relativistic speeds and let the game run for long enough. I will probably never do it, but I’d like the possibility to exist.
I'll bring you more information on the rest of our authors very soon, in the mean time - thanks to those who have backed so far and please get involved if you haven't. I think this book is going to be great! Please pledge, or just leave a note of support for our contributors on the comments section.