Friday, November 19, 2010

News and links

Hi, I've been busy recently.  I've been planning more posts on gamebooks and buying gamebooks on Amazon, including familiar and unfamiliar Choose Your Own Adventure books.

I've also been reading gamebooks that I have had for ages but never tried.  For example, I am flicking through Duelmaster gamebooks 3, The Shattered Realm. 

I meant the plural - the duelmaster series is made up of four parts, each one consists of two gamebooks.  More is explained here on an encylapedic gamebook website, which I recommend:

http://www.gamebooks.org/show_series.php?id=124

The books seem very innovative.  One contains even numbers and the other contains odd numbers.  The aim is that two players battle each other with the books. 

In The Shattered Realm, the players take the roles of rulers of two countries that are going to war.  Each player picks from three rulers.  They are different by name, but each country's three rulers follow the same kind of description - one ruler is in charge of the army, one is a magic user and the other is a woman (really - that's her USP).

The plotis split into two halves.  The first halve involves travelling the land to recruit allies to your cause.  You have to sweet talk several rulers to provide soldiers to boost your army.  However, if you both decide to visit the same country at the same time, you may end up duelling your opponent. 

you would wonder how some of the other countries manage to not implode.  There is a country ruled by the priesthood of death.  There is also an anarchic city.  It makes you wonder what our moderate democracies are doing that is so wrong if a country ruled by a priesthood that has no problem with spreading disease and sacrificing babies is able to thrive.

The second half involves a battle, which I haven't taken part in because I haven't found someone to play against.  However, I enjoy the format and flavour of the books.  In the future, I will write a post about multiplayer gamebooks.  There are four Duelmasters, The Scarlet Sorcerer by Joe Dever and The Fellowship of Four (based on the heroquest boardgame - http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/699/heroquest).

Just as one competition ends, another begins.  http://www.adventurecow.com/ is holding a competion where you enter a 50 or 150 Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook using its program found on the website.  Check it out.  The deadline is December 15th.  I'm going to write for it as it fills the void left by the Windhammer Competition.

Which brings me to the competition - I won it!  I'm so pleased.  I have entered it for the 3 years and I feel I have improved a lot.  My first gamebooks were not very descriptive and quite linear - in fact, everything I didn't want my gamebooks to be.  However, I have taken the feedback provided from this group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gamebooks/messages?o=1

and looked at what made the winners so successful.  I would like to thank everone who voted, provided feedback over the last few years and to Wayne Densley for providing a platform for me.  If it wasn't for this competition and Yahoo group, I wouldn't have written any gamebooks.  I have learnt a lot about gamebooks and writing because of it.

Look at his Arborell gamebooks online.

http://www.arborell.com/

One last website I would recommend is Litopia, a writers' community website:

http://litopia.com/

I have listened to several 'after dark' podcasts and found them entertaining and informative. 

I have ideas on other things to analyse in gamebooks and will be posting them soon.  Have a nice time!

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