Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer of gamebook kickstarters

It is an exciting time, gamebook friends, with no less than five gamebook kickstarters this summer. So have a look at them and get your pledges ready!

I've listed the kickstarters in reverse order of finishing date because I wanted some kind of order, but couldn't decide on what would be best, so I just went with this one. Enjoy!



The Good, the Bad and the Undead

Deadline: End of August

Status: Soft launch page up.

Ashton Saylor volunteered himself to write this western based gamebook which was an idea from Dave Morris. Dave lost hope on getting it done, but now that Ashton is on board, it looks like it will LIVE! (mwahahaha). The kickstarter will launch at he beginning of August, so keep an eye on the Facebook page for the time being. You can read a demo story for it here.

There is now a soft launch page up.



The Midnight Legion: Operation Deep Sleep

Deadline: 29th August

Status: Almost $3000 backed (out of $14500)

Aaron Emmel is a writer who is producing this sci-fi gamebook series. In this book, you wake up with no memories of your previous mission, but they gradually return to you as the story unfolds. Aaron has clearly done his groundwork, using the bits he wants from Lone Wolf and Fighting Fantasy to enhance the experience. $28 gets you one book and $50 gets you three. Have a look at his fabulous book!






Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland

Deadline: 3rd August

Status: Backed

This is a project by Jonathan Green of Fighting Fantasy fame (but he has done a lot more!). In this gamebook, you guide Alice as she returns to Wonderland and you help her explore the fantastic place. £15 gets you the ebook and £20 gets you a paperback.



Fabled Lands: The Serpent King's Domain


Deadline: 3rd August

Status: Backed (a lot!)

This is Paul Gresty's second gamebook that he is writing, has put on Kickstarter and is working with the Fabled Lands crew on. If you are new to gamebooks, the Fabled Lands series was a wide open sandbox gamebook series that was originally planned to be 12 gamebooks long. Unfortunately, it only reached 6 gamebooks before being cancelled in the mid 90s (the time when gamebooks went into hibernation for almost two decades).

This project was funded in around 45 minutes, so you will be guaranteed anything you back for. A lovely book is 35 Euros (around £25), but it will be a high quality hardback. I'm looking forward to this one!

The Frankenstein Wars

Status: Finished and backed.

I am looking forward to this one. Paul Gresty (Arcana Agency) and Dave Morris (everything) have teamed up with Cubus Games to create an interactive app that is fabulous in every way - the look, the story, the sound. The original idea is Dave's - Victor Frankenstein's technology has been stolen and it has been used to create an (almost) unstoppable army. Your job is to stop it.


The project raised its target on Kickstarter in a campaign with almost as many highs and lows as the book is going to have. I've never been as gripped as I was since I watched Distrcit 9 (good film). If you did not back it, keep an eye on the project for when it comes out.

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 :)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ODM0C0gB6oWTl6TzdlcVFaUlU/view?usp=sharing

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Wondrous Nightmare Begins!

I wonder if, one day, Summer 2015 will be remembered as The Summer of Gamebook Kickstarters. We've recently seen the Kickstarter for the interactive fiction app The Frankenstein Wars - and, as one of the people intimately involved with that project, I'm overjoyed that we (just!) managed to reach our target. Thank you, thank you, thank you, good backers. In just a few days we'll see the start of the Kickstarter for the next Fabled Lands gamebook, The Serpent King's Domain. And in the nearish future (I'll have to check my dates) we'll see a Kickstarter for the Jamie Thomson / Ashton Saylor gamebook The Good, The Bad & The Undead.


But today is the day that Jonathon Green launches his own gamebook Kickstarter for Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland. Have you read a Fighting Fantasy gamebook in the last 20 years? Then you know who Jonathon Green is, and that the quality of his writing is up there with the best.

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland seems a wonderfully odd bird. Though it's based on a work of classic literature, it seems to place a firm focus on game mechanics and playability - it is both game and book, you might say. Uniquely, the Kickstarter's project page mentions it can be played with three different sets of rules - one using dice, one using playing cards (how flavourful!), and one without any random component at all. Curiouser and curiouser.

Enough shenanigans. Here's JG's press announcement on the book: -

On Saturday 4th July, at 1.00pm BST (which is 8.00am New York time and 10.00pm in Melbourne, Australia), I am launching my latest Kickstarter project, ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND.

ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND is a brand new nightmarish gamebook - a multi-path book, very much in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, in which you choose the course of the story - inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll and the Steampunk genre.

ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND is set several years after the events of 'Through the Looking Glass'. Alice finds herself back in Wonderland and called upon to save the realm from the increasingly deranged Queen of Hearts. But all is not as it first appears, and soon Alice is battling to save herself from the nightmare that is rapidly overtaking Wonderland.

If you've ever wondered what would have happened if Alice hadn’t drunk from the bottle labelled ‘Drink Me’, or if she hadn’t joined the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for tea, now you can find out. In ALICE'S NIGHTMARE IN WONDERLAND, rather than becoming Alice yourself, YOU guide Alice through the fluctuating dream world, deciding which route she should take, which perils to risk, and which of Wonderland’s strange denizens to fight.

But be warned – whether Alice succeeds in her quest, or meets a dire end as the nightmare escalates, will be down to the choices YOU make.

If you think this project might be for you, please check out the project's preview page here -https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1412864360/111052384?token=119fa0a4 - and set your alarm for 1.00pm on Saturday to make sure you don't miss out on your ideal reward. After all, there are some limited rewards that gamebook fans and Alice aficionados alike are going to want to get their hands on before anyone else.


(Post by Paul Gresty)