Friday, July 29, 2011

How to write a gamebook part 1c - the just write it! method

If you have not yet read the introduction, it will help you if you do.  You can find it here.

So, impatient, eh?  We fly by the eat of our pants.  We're mavericks.  We don't play by the rules, but by God, we get results.

Although there are advantages to planning a gamebook before you write it, there are also disadvantages.  Those of us who have read Chris McReady's instructions to write your own gamebook (number 4 from Mark J. Popp's website - go to the bottom of the downloads page of www.ffproject.com. This has some instructions on how to write a gamebook.  You need to go to the amat file and the instructions are HTML files.  ffinst4 is Chris's) know the advantages - planning can take up a lot of time and effort and by the time you've done the planning, you will be too tired and bored to actually write the thing.

So let's write a 3 paragraph gamebook based around what we had for lunch.


Where did you get your lunch from? I got my lunch from the food in my kitchen.
What did you eat?  I had a cheese sandwich with some leftover green salad.
How was your meal?  It was OK although I would have liked it better with mayonnaise but I couldn't find any.

Where did you get your lunch from? I got my lunch from the food in my kitchen.
What did you eat? I had sausages and chips (aka french fries)
How was your meal?  It was yummy but I am very full.

In both cases, I start off in the kitchen, so that can be paragraph 1.

1

You are in the kitchen.  You have a fridge and several cupboards full of food.  You stomach starts to rumble and you look at your watch to see that it is lunch time.  What will you have to eat?

I just wrote that off the top of my head.  It's not Joe Dever, but I've made more progress than using the other two methods.  How many options do I have?

I can choose between a cheese and salad sandwhich and sausage and chips.  Right.  That's paragraphs 2 and 3 sorted.  Let's finish paragraph 1.

1

You are in the kitchen.  You have a fridge and several cupboards full of food.  You stomach starts to rumble and you look at your watch to see that it is lunch time.  What will you have to eat?  To have a cheese and salad sandwich, turn to 2.  To have sausage and chips, turn to 3.

2

You slice up some bread, butter one of them and cut up some cheese to put in the slice.  You then get the left over salad from the fridge and put it one your sandwich.  You look for mayonnaise, but you cannot find any.  You eat the sandwich.  It is OK but you would rather have mayonnaise on it.

3

You get the sausages out of the fridge and a packet of oven chips from the freezer.  You put the chips in the oven and grill the sausages.  When they are done, you enjoy the meal with a bit of tomato ketchup although you are quite full after the meal so you feel a bit drowsy.
  

Since the gamebook is only three paragraphs, we could make it a tad longer.  We could have the option of searching for the mayonnaise.     

1

You are in the kitchen.  You have a fridge and several cupboards full of food.  You stomach starts to rumble and you look at your watch to see that it is lunch time.  What will you have to eat?  To have a cheese and salad sandwich, turn to 2.  To have sausage and chips, turn to 3.

2

You slice up some bread, butter one of them and cut up some cheese to put in the slice.  You then get the left over salad from the fridge and put it one your sandwich.  You look for mayonnaise, but you cannot find any.  If you search the bottom drawer of the fridge, turn to 4.  If you eat the sandwich without the mayonnaise, turn to 5.  If you forget about the sandwich and make sausages and chips, turn to 3.

3

You get the sausages out of the fridge and a packet of oven chips from the freezer.  You put the chips in the oven and grill the sausages.  When they are done, you enjoy the meal with a bit of tomato ketchup although you are quite full after the meal so you feel a bit drowsy.

4

You open the drawer to find the squeezy bottle of mayonnaise.  You squirt it onto your sandwich and enjoy your tasty cheese and salad sandwich with mayonnaise.

5

You eat the sandwich.  It is OK but you would rather have mayonnaise on it.

So there we go.  A three paragraph gamebook written in no time.  This method is best when it is written for short, simple gamebooks (possibly up to 100 paragraphs) but if you have longer gamebooks or more complicated gamebooks, then making flow diagrams or maps will be advisable.  However, using this method, we have already come up with a workable gamebook while people who used the other two methods have a diagram.


Once you have tried all three methods, we will write them up in gamebook format next week.  

Contents 


For the main page, go here.

For the map method of planning, go here.

For the flow diagram method of planning, go here.

For a list of ideas for your gamebook, go here.

4 comments:

  1. So...emm...i'm writing a gamebook(already completed 380 sections) DEAD ERA....a post apocalyptic one inspired by im alive and fallout...but can't create rules for firearms in combat...can anyone help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In FF scifi books (Space Assassin and Starship Traveller) you roll equal to or under your skill to hit an opponent. Space Assassin also has armour. You need to think about how different weapons inflict different amounts of damage.

      You could have a ranged weapons skill attribute to measure how good someone is at firing weapons (or use a current combat skill).

      You might want to think about ammo?

      Many thanks for your comments - I'm looking forward to reading your book!

      Delete
    2. 6 years on, and I'm just getting into table top and game books. This is one of the best resources I've found yet, thanks!

      n00b from 2017

      Delete
  2. I am new to your site and enjoying it very much. I am hoping to write my first gamebook. Stuart, do you have any ideas on how to publish a gamebook on amazon? I don't feel like the standard ebooks they provide are friendly to the gamebook format of flipping pages back and forth.

    ReplyDelete

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