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Happy New Year (again)!

I had a great new year! How was it for the rest of you? I hope it was all good. My new year's eve celebrations began with watching the last sunset of the year with Vicki, while eating Chinese takeaway. It was amazing. The clouds parted and stayed apart so that we could watch the sun set. I had my sunglasses on, so it was almost like looking at it on TV. It was a deep orange, and it's really quite fascinating seeing it actually moving down below the horizon line. It set behind the mountains of the south island, so they provided this ragged, silhouetted line for the sun to slowly disappear behind. It was really cool. Then we sat in the car chatting about stuff while watching the clouds change colour. When we couldn't see the clouds anymore 'cause it was too dark, that's when we went back home. There we drank and chatted and listened to music until about 4am. Oh, and we went for a walk at about 2am for half an hour. It wasn't too bad a night for it.

So my new year's eve celebration was very relaxing, and lots of fun in a comfortable sort of way.

Ever since the evening of the 27th December, I've been inspired to work on a website. It started when my friend James (in Canberra) decided that he wanted to be part of a Play-By-eMail (PBeM) roleplaying game that I wanted to start, based on characters within the Star Trek setting.

A PBeM game can be described like this:

A PBeM is a game played by electronic mail. You can, for example, play chess via e-mail by taking turns exchanging chess moves with your opponent in alternate mail messages. Many games can be played, or modified to be played, by electronic mail. In some general way, the GM will send a mail note, or public post, to all the players describing the surroundings and current situation. The public post may also contain dialog from non-player characters or summaries of characters' previous actions. If there is some specific information that would only be available to a smaller group or a single player, the GM will send a separate e-mail note to them. Players in turn, send a reply via e-mail message to the GM and other players that describes what their character does in the given situation. If the action is not visible to all the character (or is, perhaps, a question to the GM) private e-mail will be sent also. The cycle of e-mail messages is then repeated and you're off and PBEM'ing!

My plan was to just have the two of us playing, so I began working on a website based around a scout ship, which would just have the two of us as crew. I created rules and stuff to help James play the game, so that he'd know how to play it and what he could do. As I created this site, I showed it to some others who I also currently play PBeM Star Trek with from another site, and they liked what I was doing so much that they wanted to join it. The interest level made me work harder at improving the appearance of my site. It also ended up forcing me to decide that it needed to be about a bigger ship, in order to accommodate the larger number of people, so I changed it slightly so it was about a Defiant-class warship (from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) which can have up to 48 crew (with only about 8 on the bridge). In only a week, I've developed one of the best-looking sites that I've ever done [ http://thespirit.aptlearning.com/startrek/ ] and I've now got 7 people playing in it, including myself.

Roleplaying has been a hobby of mine for 14 years now. Two years ago, I got into roleplaying by email, and now I've got my own game. Having my own Star Trek game means that I'm Captain of my own ship, and I have to create and maintain the website to support it. It effectively went live today, with the game starting and the 'crew' being introduced to each other and their roles on the ship. It's been quite an exciting week for me, with virtually all of my spare time being put into developing the site. It's been an exercise for my creativity, which has been somewhat suppressed up until now, and I'm having an absolute ball with it!

My new year has started very relaxing, and full of excitement and creativity at the same time. This is going to be a good year.

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