Monday, April 15, 2013

April A to Z - M is for More playthrough blog goodness

There are several gamebook playthrough blogs out there on the internet (you can find them at The Gamebook Feed) and since last April's A to Z, we've had a few new ones including the Adventure Gameblog from Ed Jolley.  Ed has already been a long standing member of the gamebook community as he is a prominent poster on the Unofficial Fighting Fantasy forum and also a regular contributor to Fighting Fantazine.   Since last year, Ed has been posting gamebook playthroughs like there is no tomorrow.  On with the interview!

Who you are and how you got into gamebooks?

  • My name is Ed Jolley, and I first got interested in gamebooks in the summer or autumn of 1983, when the kids' section of the Sunday supplement to the family newspaper (the Express, IIRC) included a feature on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Not long after I read that, I came across a copy of Skyjacked (from the early gamebook series Tracker Books( at a book sale. I played it a few times, and then wrote my first gamebook, the Enid Blyton-influenced Smugglers. Then a copy of TWoFM turned up at school, I discovered that in Fighting Fantasy books your character could meet with a grisly end (being eaten, possibly alive, by a Ghoul in this instance), and I was hooked.
  • What you have done relating to gamebooks?

    I have my own gamebook playthrough blog, Adventure Gameblog, which is usually updated three times a week, and covers a wide range of gamebook series (there's an index of everything I've attempted for the blog at I also write the Everything I Really Need to Know in Life I Learnt From Reading Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks feature for Fighting Fantazine, and was author of the mini-adventure in issue 9. I believe my teaser adventure The Sanguine Wave is still online somewhere at the official FF website, I was one of the co-authors of the amateur gamebook From the Shadows, and I'm an admin at the unofficial FF forum.

  • What you plan on doing now related to gamebooks?

    I still have a couple of hundred gamebooks to attempt for Adventure Gameblog (plus the possibility of retrying the ones I lost). There's enough material for at least another two instalments of Everything I Really Need to Know... If I can get sufficiently organised, I hope to write another mini-adventure for National Novel-Writing Month this November, involving a character I created forFrom the Shadows. And at some point I'd like to complete two larger-scale projects: a full-length version of The Sanguine Wave (but massively changed from the teaser, partly to tone down similarities to Bloodbones and partly because I've moved beyond the cynicism that was one of the driving forces for the original plot), and the mystery adventure The Great Blacksand Robbery.

  • What you think the future of gamebooks is?
    Right now it looks as if it's moving more into the realm of eBooks and apps and the like, which isn't really my field. I hope the paper-and-ink gamebook hasn't had its day, but right now it seems to be running into difficulties again. I'm sure that fans will continue to produce material whatever happens, but beyond that I can't really speculate.

  • You can find Ed's blog here.

    The Unofficial Fighting Fantasy Forum is here.

    Fighting Fantazine is here.

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