On a few questions with the creator of “The Crown Atomic”

You’ll find a lot a After Action Reports, or AARs, in forums dedicated to Paradox Interactive games. There’s a lot of variety, but most have one thing in common: They show screenshots of the actual in-game action with a little snarky commentary. Not so much “The Crown Atomic”, which starts where other Kaiserreich AARs would end: With the Canadian reconquest of Britain. Most events shown had to be custom-coded by cookfl, the creator of the AAR. The unique approach seems to have worked, as the AAR has been viewed over 900k times after two years of semi-continuous updates – about

The curious case of stories in Crusader Kings 2

When a player of Crusader Kings 2 recommends the game to a friend, what do you think he’ll rather talk about – game mechanics or that one time he crushed the balls of that Irish Duke after executing his entire family, but he had it coming for him because he gained carnal knowledge of the player’s wife while they were off crusading in Jerusalem? Yeah, didn’t think so. But what is it that makes Crusader Kings 2 so suited for this playstyle?

Why build a world?

Why do people sit down and draw maps of places that will never exist? Why do they write biographies for people that never lived? You’ll get about as many answers as you’ll ask people, but for me, the answer has to do with that most famous worldbuilder of them all – Tolkien. Oh god, not Tolkien again. He has defined the worlds of fantasy – or science fiction – for too long already; isn’t it time we finally leave him behind us? Sure. But hear me out for a second.


Matthew Stover is not a man who makes things easy for himself. Make George Lucas’ script for Revenge of the Sith into a compelling, interesting, well-rounded story? No big thing. Adapt Hearts of Darkness and Apocalypse Now into a galaxy far, far away? Sure, he’ll do it, and even succeed. Because while his novel Shatterpoint is not without flaws, it is a great example of what Science Fiction can be.

The many ways to tell a story

What is it that you think of when you think of storytelling? Books? Movies? Camp fires? Old men with long, white beards? Or is it something completely else? There are countless ways to tell stories in this day and age. And more keep cropping up. What I will try to do here, on this blog, is detail some of these new forms, some of which you may even not think about as storytelling, per se.