THE JEZZBALL STORY OF SVEIN LADEHAUG
Part 1. A little about me:
I was born in 1961 and live together with Kari, born in 1963, and our two children, Eline born in 1994 and Anders born in 1999, at a small place in Norway called Dokka. You find Dokka on the map about 50-km south/west of Lillehammer, who is known for the winter Olympics in 1994. I work in the commune administration with cultural matters, and have a lot of interests. For example all kind of sport (specially skiing, mountaineering, athletics and soccer), astronomy, art and literature.
Here is my Jezzball story:
Part 2. I dont play PC-games!
Ever! I have so much else to do, so I dont like to waist time on playing silly games at my PC. But one night... It was one of the last days in May 1998. I should just close down my PC and go to bed. But before I did, I jumped a little bit around between the programs at the PC. And there it was! JezzBall! A simple, bad looking and nasty little game. Two(?!) stupid balls bumping around at a grey playground. Why should I try it? Dont know, but I did. One time. Two times. Three times... One hour. Two hours. Three hours... The next morning, after a short sleep, I was really angry with my self. Wasting a good nights sleep on the f...ing red and white devils. After a day at work I nearly had forgotten all about JezzBall. But after dinner I started my PC, and there it was - again! I played constantly for 6 hours. My girlfriend and my daughter thought I had turned mad. And I had! At the beginning I was a really bad JezzBall player. Couldnt even reach a score of 100,000 points. One day a friend of mine tried JezzBall, and he was doing well! 134,000 points! The next days I got some "good" results, and after a few days I had a high score on about 200,000. Than I gave it up. It took too much of my time.
Some weeks later I found JezzBall at my PC at work, and one evening I started a game... About one year after my first JezzBall game my highest score was 337,000 points. I thought I was really good! Then, after my summer holiday 1999, I search after JezzBall on the Internet. I found www.jezzball.com and "got the moon in my head". 170 million points! I couldnt believe it! How was it possible? I started reading. (As you already have noticed Im not very good in writing English - my reading is not much better). But I got some good tips, and started to play again. Home, and sometimes even at work. Soon I had got a high score at about 650,000 points. I understood that a really "brake threw" was to come.
Thursday the 30 of September, I started a game at home. I concentrated hard and learned a lot. I reached one million points and didnt close my PC down. After a few days I was mastering level 49 without problems! Unbelievable! In the beginning I thought I would be satisfied if I could reach 15 million points and would be able to enter the Top 20 list. But soon I understood that I could beat Ruben Spaans, who was the best (and only) Norwegian on the Top 20 list with 25 million points. It took me about ten days. I was still learning from game to game, and I understood that I could hold on to my PC closed down or the electricity system failed. My big goal was 200 million points or the highest score I could reach before year 2000. I thought that my PC perhaps would collapse when 1999 was ended. It was a big day when I really understood that I was going for the record!
JezzBall is a hell of a game. It costs you at lot of your time, your sleep and, if your not carefully, your mind... One late evening I was playing JezzBall the big "answer on every questions" dropped into my head. In one tenth of a second I understood everything! Its simple. Its easy. JezzBall isnt a game. JezzBall is reality. The atoms arent virtual atoms on your screen. They arent just "dead somethings" who are bumping around without meaning. The atoms are alive! They are thinking, and planning to beat you, to fool you. They are learning of their friends mistakes and avoid your traps. You have to be clever to trap them - before they trap you... Believe me! More than one time I noticed that one atom went into the trap, once the trap was finished. If I wasnt fast enough to trap the atom the first time, it could be a very long time before an atom went into the trap again. Instead they were hitting the trap walls on both sides. Twenty, thirty or perhaps fifty times! The atoms in JezzBall are everyones enemy... So go on. Play the game of JezzBall every night before you go to sleep.
When I was playing this game I learned many of the techniques that are described on Internet. In my best single game I had 40 lives left when I finished! That game gave me a bonus of 586.033 points. The technique that give you the possibility of making traps without loosing lives is hard to learn, and I never learned it very well. But its necessary to reach a high bonus.
I got a son on the 31st of October and Saturday the 6th of November I got him and Kari home from the hospital. When the rest of my family had gone to sleep I played a couple of hours of JezzBall. When I stopped playing that night I had a total score of 88,022,973 points. That is my personal best. Why do I stop playing? Took it too much time? Was I scared of loosing my mind for real? No. After playing JezzBall I was surfing a little bit on Internet, and got some trouble with my PC. To get it functioning again I had to gamble, and I lost. The PC did not turn of, but it closed all the open programs. My game was gone! Shit!
I had screen saved from nearly each day I had played the game, and sent some of them to David Rich. With 88 million points, I entered the 6th place at the Top 20 list. Will I do it again? Perhaps, but I think I shall try to enter the new list with best results up to level 45. That must be a better and harder competition. David Beusterien, your record was in great danger, but it survived.
Part 3. I was afraid
of 2000-problems with my PC and didnt play JezzBall seriously again before January 2000. I wanted to play a 45-level-game and started a game the 3rd of January. I reached a score of 7,5 million points and entered the 7th place at the 45-level-list. First I wanted to turn the PC off, but I didnt... After a few days I understood that I was playing for the record again! I planned to play seriously and reach 170 million points in April 2000, but I ended on 57 millions! I had received some mail from David Rich about JezzBall and watched the last updating on www.jezzball.com. When I should close down Internet I got a hang up on my PC. I let it stay on to the next day and consulted some IT-experts at work, but there was no hope. I had to turn it off! For several days I was banging my head into the wall and promised myself that I never should play JezzBall again. But when I was playing this 57 million-game I practised the loosing-no-lives-technique and one time I lost only two lives. Because of that, I knew I could play a better 45-level-game. I just had to play again... The 8th of February I started a new 45-level-game. I played better than last time, but I was a little bit disappointed. I played not as well as I believed I should do. Its difficult to play all the levels with full concentration. The game naturally changes from level to level and you have to change your strategy to reach a high bonus at every level. I think the levels from 20 to 30 is a lot more difficult than the levels from 40 to 49. (I have noticed that many Jezz-players make the traps horizontally. I always make all the traps vertically!) I finished the game with a total score of 8,8 million points and entered the 4th place on Davids list. Its a very long way up to the three 11-million-guys. I think they have done extremely well! I believe that I should reach 10 million if I try very hard a couple more times, but I dont know... Perhaps I will play again when somebody pushes me down on the list?
Part 4. The Dream:
One morning I woke up after a dream. A JezzBall-dream! It was really fantastic! Microsoft and David Rich(!!!) was arranging an official JezzBall World Cup! Everyone on the Top 20 list was invited to take part! The World Cup was arranged in Portland, Oregon (I think Thetra, the cloned monkey, was the mascot of the WC) and Bill G as well as Bill C was in the stands! We where playing in a big hall with everyones PC connected to big screens so the spectators could follow all the games. I woke up before the winner was elected, but I think the players got one US dollar for each point - and in this dream we where playing for a loooong time... (I think Bill G paid the prize money, Bill C delivered the medals and flowers and David R got the admission fee - perhaps he had an arrangement with CNN too!)
Part 5. I do have other interests:
After all this JezzBall-talk, its very important for me to tell you that JezzBall is not the "only thing" in my life. I spend a lot of time with my family, and I am lucky to have an interesting job. Im interested in almost everything from astronomy to writing poems and during winter, I do a lot of skiing. Alpine skiing, telemark, cross country, snowboard and ski-jumping. Doing so many "ski-things" Im not very good (some people even tell me that Im too old...), but I have a lot of fun! Ski-jumping is a great sport! But unfortunately not in all countries. Im sorry to tell that the most famous ski-jumper in the world is Eddie "The eagle" Edwards from England! He was known over the world after the Olympics in Calgary 1988. Not because of his good performance, but that he jumped so bad that everyone thought he would kill himself! I met Mr. Edwards here in Norway in the summer 1988, when we both jumped on plastic. (Yes, ski-jumpers are training in jumping hills with plastic instead of snow in the summertime). I have to admit that Im a little bit envious on Edwards because he earned millions on being a bad skijumper just because he was from England.
Part 6. What about my JezzBall-future?
I dont want to change jezzBall. All this talk and writing about a new "Super-JezzBall" without tricks bores me! OK, make a new game, but call it something else. Only JezzBall can be JezzBall! Some months ago I wished that a game could be saved. But now Im not so sure about even that. (And remember, I have lost two big games which I not had lost if I have had the possibility to save them). I really want to play for the record again, but I would not do it until I have got another PC. It should be a PC just for JezzBall. Im also looking for a possibility to play independent of the electrical system. If I got this things to work, I would start a new record game! And why not go for one billion points?
Playing JezzBall is fun (I still dont know why), but it takes a lot of your time, so one day I started to play level one seriously! Its very captivating and it does not take long time. I think it would be a good idea to start a Top-10-list for level one. (I really mean it David). This Sprint JezzBall is a great challenge and will be a good alternative for playing the same game for weeks and even months. I have practiced some level-1-games and reached the score of 22,449 points. It means that I used 82 "timepoints" to clear out 99%. On my PC that is about 8 seconds. I think this is a good score, but dont know how good it is. Of course its possible to beat 22,449, but not by very much, unless its possible to find a better technique than the one I use. First I use the F2 button to get as good start as possible. I use to cut the playground in twice at the middle with both atoms on the same side (they should not be too close to each other). Then I cut off a small part on the top or bottom and trap one of the atoms there. Then cutting it down and trapping the atom in one grid as fast as possible. Then I make one vertical trap and catch the last atom in one grid. Its important to set the last trap so the atom got into the trap at once. If not, the time passes bye... No tricks is possible (I think) only pure JezzBall. Sprint JezzBall!
I have also played Karen Hagarmans Extreme JezzBall and closed off 75% at level 49 with 10590 time points left. In Extreme JezzBall you play as fast you can and nothing else! Its captivating Karen, and a very good and refreshing alternative to traditional JezzBall! Try it and feel your heart race while the time is ticking...
JezzBall - the intelligent way to waist time!
Dokka, 16th of March 2000.
Also see my thoughts on personal Web Etiquette and You.