Sunday, July 26, 2015

Demo Story Available for "The Good, the Bad and the Undead"

Hello, Gamebooker fans! Ashton Saylor here, writing as a contributing author of Lloyd of Gamebooks.

As you may or may not know, I'm collaborating with Jamie Thomson of Fabled Lands to write 'The Good, the Bad, and the Undead," a Weird West interactive novel. I like to describe it as 'Clint Eastwood meets Night of the Living Dead.'

Here's a little excerpt...

"The sun was a tiny sliver of reddish gold on the horizon. A fly buzzed near him, fairly glowing in the red light of the dying day. A wooden shutter flapped in the wind, a lonely sound.

As the last burning sunlight vanished across the town, Josiah heard the creak of a door opening nearby. He whirled, searching for the sound, his gun leaping into his hand."

The cool thing about "The Good, the Bad and the Undead," (aside from cowboys vs. vampires... duh!) is the style of interactive narrative it uses. It's not so much a 'gamebook' in the traditional sense, as instead an 'interactive novel.' There are absolutely no mechanics, no dice, no character creation, no inventory--nothing that would interfere with your experience of immersing yourself in the story.

Furthermore, it's written in past tense, third person, just like most mass market novels. And it even jumps around in point-of-view between three protagonists.

So how is it interactive, then?

As you read, you get to inform the decisions of the whichever character is in the driver's seat at the time. Your choices let you discover and create that character at the same time. You get to make decisions that reveal who that character is, while simultaneously changing who that character is. You can tilt them toward good, or toward evil. You can tilt them toward cooperation, or toward strife.

It blends the lines between reader and author, between recipient and creator. As you read, you will make decisions as to which character's point of view you want to follow, and affect choices that character makes while you're following him or her. And your input, the way you influence these characters, can have a profound effect on how the story turns out.

It's a pretty unusual interactive fiction style. To my knowledge, it hasn't been done before, at least not in a paper book. Therefore, to help people get a sense of what they would be getting into should they decide to support the forthcoming Kickstarter...

I have prepared a short demo story for "The Good, the Bad and the Undead!" It is a short story, written in the same style, set in the same world, featuring two of the same characters, but at a different time and place compared to the main book. You could consider this a hint of a prequel.

Will you read the demo story? Will you capture the criminal, or let him escape? Will you save the family, or let them die?

Will you support the Kickstarter and read the full book? Only YOU can choose!

Read the full demo here :)


  1. Oh--if this sounds fun, go follow the facebook page at


  2. Could use more description like in a novel if there is absolutely no mechanics, no dice, no character creation, no inventory. Looks interesting though.

  3. It's interesting that many current novels use present tense. I suspect that's a fad driven by YA fiction, but could it be because those authors read a lot of old-style gamebooks in their youth? Anyway it's good to see interactive novels experimenting now with 1st person, 3rd person, different tenses, etc.