Friday, 29 June 2018

Bloody Business

Something's bloody wrong here!
Something was bothering me, but I couldn’t find out what it was. We had received the first print proofs of Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift Revised Edition from the manufacturer, LongPack Games. The table was covered with big paper sheets and original maps of PM:AR. At first glance the print proofs of maps had looked fine. But just to be sure, I checked every square and compared those to the original maps. It was the map ”Small Nest” where the truth finally hit me: the blood on the floor was grey!

We hunted the missing blood colour for hours. Eventually we found out that one specific effect in a layer in Photoshop files acted differently in CS5 vs. CS5.5. The error could be fixed only with version CS5.5, and only one of our team members had that. Fortunately he had time to help. Making the maps requires several technical steps and it took us two days to fix everything. Still, it was a relief to find and fix the error before actual production.

Nostalgic Moments

We had busy May: development week in Vienna and then 3 conventions in 3 different countries. From Vienna we headed straight north, to Brno. There was a small gaming weekend in a local board game bar. One of our team members, David, lives in Brno, and it was great to meet him again. We had two extra hours before the event, and we used those in the Technical Museum. I could have stayed there the whole day after I found the computer with Bubble Bobble! Oh, what a nostalgic moment!

It was kind of nostalgic to hear the Finnish language, too. A Finnish couple stayed at the same camping place near Brno. They had a boy, a few years younger than ours, but also named Väinö. While the two Väinös were playing, we parents had time to compare traveling experiences and - because Finland is such a small country – to find common friends. The lady was Finnish sculptor Heli Ryhänen, she knew the artists of my home village and had taught my cousin.

Murphy Strikes Again

Many people thought our problems with car and caravan ended when there were none mentioned in latests blog entries. The three flat tyres we had in Italy just didn’t seem like news. Mr. Murphy obviously agreed and created new tricks when we entered Poland, on our way to Pyrkon.

Polish roads are narrow, curvy and bumpy. A bit more bumpy than other countries. So somewhere in the middle of a Polish country road, we heard a loud crash. We stopped and found our 6 meter long awning lying on the road side. It required some geometrical appraisal and strong muscles to get that thing in the caravan. We found out that the distance from the end of our bed to the kitchen window is exactly same as our awning.

My dearest friend, Google, was again helpful. I couldn’t believe my eyes when my search gave me a 24/7 caravan repair shop just 40 km away in the direction we were going. Well, they didn’t speak any English there. And Google navigation directed us to the wrong place. But after three phone calls (mixing English and German), one false address and navigation based on a Facebook page, we eventually found the repair shop on a suburban backyard. There was an Ukrainian worker, no common language. He understood the problem after seeing the muddy and scratched awning on the kitchen table and the empty holders outside the caravan. It was soon fixed and costed less than 30 euros.

So Family Multamäki beat Mr. Murphy again, fast and furious. Murphy made his revenge the next morning and ripped one mudguard off the caravan with the help of bushes at the campsite. But who needs mudguards, anyway.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Rest rooms and rooms without rest

It was small, but totally in a wrong place...
The thunderstorm was a welcome surprise. We’d been suffering 30 degree temperatures for days, sweating in the car for hours, driving from Italy to Slovenia. Now it was raining and lightning was brightening the sky every now and then. We had found a nice campsite in a nature reserve near the Postojna cave. I run through the pouring rain to a toilet building. I locked the door, sat down and... saw a snake on the floor. It was staring at me, licking the air with its tongue. Thunder roared close by. ”My life is a horror movie...”

Tricky Toilets

Toilet at a gas station in France.
If you press the wrong button,
you might end up to space...
During this tour I have seen a great variation of toilets. Even the ones in motorway rest places have usually been nice and clean. In Finland the public toilets often look like a health hazard. Earlier this year, in France, I talked with a service patrol that takes care of the motorway rest places, ”aires”. They had noticed our Finnish registration number and wanted to congratulate us. This was during the Olympic games and Finland had just won a medal in skiing. One of them was dreaming of driving to Finland with a caravan. What odd dreams people have!

Campsites usually have toilets and showers. But there is a big variation of what that means in practice. Some toilets don’t have paper, at all. Or it is in big rolls outside the toilet. It’s something you learn to check. After the incident in Slovenia, I started to also check the floor and corners for intruders. Fortunately, I have only found butterflies so far.

Our campsite in Modena had toilets without seats. You know, the type where you squat down and hope that you don’t pee on your pants. Only the handicapped toilet had a proper seat. So I decided to be one for a week. Don’t get me wrong. As a Lappish girl and after spending a lot of time on fishing or hunting trips in the wilderness, I’m used to ”bush-pee” while hundreds of mosquitos admire my butt. But in the civilized world I would like to have some comfort.
Restaurant toilet in St. Gaudens, France.

Five Star Shower

Five stars: Camping Bozanov.
Many campsites charge for warm water, especially during the winter time. So you need coins or tokens to have a shower. Usually you then get 4 minutes of water, which might – or might not – be warm. I have started to really appreciate the ability to adjust the water temperature.

I hate showers with movement detectors, because the movement detectors hate me. After desperately waving my hands in front of a detector I might get water for 3 seconds. In the Alps, the shower lights worked with a movement detector. So I ended up having a shower in the dark, no matter what kind of acrobatic movements I tried to do in that one square meter cubicle.

The most beautiful toilet and shower I have found in a campsite is in the Czech Republic, near the Polish border, at Camping Bozanov. When I went to take a picture of the shower room for this blog, there was a lady drying her hair. It must look weird when someone is taking a picture out of a shower. So I felt a bit embarrassed, and quickly explained what I was doing and why. ”I totally agree, this is 5 star class!” she replied and helped to keep a door open so I could take my pictures. She was British, worked in a campsite, but had taken a year off and was now traveling with her husband. What an interesting way to spend a year...

Notice in a toilet, Camping Vienna.


I survived the Slovenian toilet without snake bites. I didn't even scream! (Because I was too scared even to breath...) When I told the receptionist about the snake, he didn't seem surprised. If you have a campsite in a nature reserve, you have to accept visiting animals also.

PPS. So many events and so little time to write. I try to catch up now that we have a summer break in conventions and both Darwinning! and PM:RE in production.