Long term readers know that I’m a bit of a fan of old Metagaming Microgames from the early 1980s, and particularly the seventh microgame, OLYMPICA, a tense and fun game of combat on the Martian surface. I’ve certainly posted on the topic before and I have tried converting this game to miniatures. In general, I liked the result, though I admit I’m still not satisfied with that conversion, so you might be seeing more posts about that subject in the future.
Since I had an involuntary snow day Monday (along with a lot of other people on the East Coast), I decided to port Olympica to the Ipad as an Epub file. I like EPUB as a format for low-complexity games over PDF as the footprint is much smaller and it works on a wide range of devices.
I don’t plan on doing many more Metagaming conversions to epub (see previous posts on WarpWar, Melee, and Wizard..) because there aren’t many more I want to make an effort over (possibly, I might do ICE WAR at some point), and I don’t just want to concentrate on formerly commercial products– it would be too easy to trample someone’s property that way. Still, Oly is a favorite of mine, so I had to do at least one more!
It took a little effort. My PDF scan of the old rulebook was as good as I could make it– meaning the 1982 era typeface, being a bit faded, smudged and wrinkled in places, didn’t always scan well. When I ran OCR using Adobe Pro, I created dozens of “styles” from the bad images. Also, tons of badly OCR’d words. I tried to convert ALL of the style sheet references by hand, and that did exactly nothing to the look and feel of the document. Oh well, more to learn. I ended up pasting sections into notepad in Windows, pasting it back into SIGIL and fixing the inevitable OCR errors one by one, section by section. It wasn’t hideously tedious, but it took some time. THEN I went and killed the confusing stylesheet and replaced it with a “plain vanilla” one I have used for an earlier conversion. That worked fine! So the final product (as of last night, 3/17) looks pretty good, font-wise, but might have one or two misspelled words that I missed here and there. So it goes– it’s a pretty good conversion for all of that.
In sum, If you want to read Olympica on your tablet, Kindle or Nook, here it is as an EPUB file (or click on the Olympica Cover above). It’s on the Digital Rules Page, as usual.
If you want to peek in on the Olympica Miniatures Game Project, look at these two posts: