Something made me excited this week after seeing a new episode of Red Dwarf. But before I explain what it was, and why it made me excited, a bit of explanation…
A long time ago at the age of 17, I created a roleplaying game called Blue Dwarf. Actually a college friend of mine created it, but abandoned it immediately. I kept it running, and more people joined, and over the years – yes it ran for years – we built up a community of friends, and together wrote a long and sprawling story with characters we’d made up. This “game” (that’s what we call it, although it’s more like a really fun shared writing exercise) was based on the TV series Red Dwarf. I love the series, and so do many others. It was the combined love of this series which brought more creative people together, and turned our Blue Dwarf game into something that successfully continued to entertain us for years.
It’s been running, in some form, for the past 17 years. It’s had periods of inactivity, sometimes long, and I’ve not actually contributed much in the last few years, but I keep in touch with the others. Even meeting up last year.
For me, the Blue Dwarf experience has been more than just creative writing, it’s been a creative outlet in lots of different ways, creating pictures for the group, some using skills in 3D modelling I learned at uni, creating a website, recording podcasts of the best stories, and making Flash games like “Brewery Defender” in 2003:
…And “Blue Midget Walker” in 2005 (inspired by “Walker” on the AMIGA):
…and then “Back to Earth” in 2009:
When I started learning the game engine Unity a couple of years ago, Blue Dwarf & Red Dwarf was obviously on my mind. I used Red Dwarf’s Starbug in a thruster game (you can play it here, although requires the browser plugin for Unity which I’m not sure exists any more).
I created a 3D model of the Blue Dwarf, which I used in quite a lot of promo images for our game. Here’s a few:
The 3D model that I made is available for download on Turbosquid. If you’re interested, you can get it here, or the actual Red Dwarf 3D model version here.
I’ve also created a few animated videos. Here’s one brilliantly voiced by Andy Longman:
So anyway, I’m getting away from the reason for this article. What’s the thing that got me excited?
The new series of Red Dwarf features something, something that was very special to me, and to fellow Blue Dwarfers. Especially poignant to me, as someone who has spent probably more time looking at, and creating pictures of Blue Dwarf than anyone.
Here’s the thing I saw:
Yes, this is an actual screenshot from an actual Red Dwarf episode!
This makes me happy. So very happy!
I know this isn’t acceptance of the Blue Dwarf story we’ve been writing for years, or anything other than perhaps a coincidence, but it makes me so happy to see what looks like Blue Dwarf, actually in Red Dwarf!
I won’t go into any spoilers for the episode, or tell you why this was shown. But it was only a fleeting glance. But even still, it’s amazing to finally see it on the show.
The almost exact shade of blue too. Amazing!