Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six years on

Good day to you gamebookers! Today is the 6th anniversary of my blog (and also the 34th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy), so I thought I would look back to the past and forward to the future. So, first of all, here is a list of things I've been up to in the past year:

Asuria Awakens: My contribution to the Gamebook Adventures series was released on September 11th 2015 and the people who reviewed it loved it, which is something I am very happy about. I'm so glad that I managed to complete such a behemoth (running at about 160000 words!) and that it went well. It really marked a point where I upped my game in gamebook writing.

Windhammer 2015: Last year's entry, Isaac Newton: Badass Ninja Crimefighter didn't win anything, but I had great fun writing it and gained a lot from it. Renowned Interactive Fiction writer and consultant, Emily Short was kind enough to review it and describe it as "...what you would expect from the title.', which in itself is a triumph as before that, I considered myself pretty bad at titles. I won't be entering this year's competition, I'm afraid to say because I wanted to finish off some other projects first (but there's time to get your entry in. The deadline is the 7th September)

Legend of the Wayfarer: This has changed so much from the original that it is almost unrecognisable. I have decided to use maps, changed the skills and changed the world. The updated versions will appear in the above link. If you want to 8 books from the original system, they are available for PWYW here. I might go with Taigaole's suggestion and give it a new name when it is complete. For the moment, it is something I work on when I have enough time and material to work with.

Project Reboot: I recently finished a book which is a reboot of an existing gamebook - it has most of the original scenarios from the book and some extra ones that I have written in. I can't say any more about it until I have permission from the original author to release it.

Crypt of the Vampire: This is a new shiny version of the book written by Dave Morris, but with extra bits added by David Walters. I had some input in the form of proofing, so I know what David added. I am looking forward to seeing this in all its glory :).

Tunnels and Trolls Magic Weapon solo: This is a project I was saving for when I got hold of my copy of Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls. I made a start on it. The basic premise is that through a thinly veled plot device, you travel all around Trollword on adventures which give you points to make your own custom magic weapon at the end of it. Most of the work has gone into making solo rules for dT&T and then making a system for building a magic weapon that gets more powerful as you grow in level. The adventure itself is currently up to about 100 sections and I'll be working on it periodically for the rest of the year.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy stuff: I a regular contributor to the Advanced Fighting Fantasy forum with extra ideas. The link above has adventures and other things and I have collated all the new items, spells, skills and other things into one document.

Warlock of Firetop Mountain app: I'm really looking forward to this from Tin Man Games. This is where they are pushing the boundaries of their script and taking it to the next level. I also backed to a level where I designed a room and wrote a death paragraph, so I'm looking forward to seeing them in action.

Frankenstein Wars: I also contributed to this to the level where I have a character named after me, so I'm looking forward to seeing that. In fact, thanks to Kickstarter, I now own a load of books with my name in, so I'm really chuffed.

Another super secret project: Something that should be out early next year, if all goes well.

Another super secret collaboration project: This is a big one. And I'm going to love working on it.

Things to check out:

Greek Winter Media: Jeffrey Dean, creator of the Road Less Travelled Books, part post apocalyptic survival, part meta humour, part mind screw, all fun. The covers are done by the excellent Tony Hough.

Emily Short: Emily Short is an interactive fiction consultant who posts regularly on several topics to do with interactive fiction. A great go to blog.

Interactive Visual Gamebook Adventures: An excellent blog with in depth analysis of games and gamebooks.

Way of the Tiger blog: Here, Timothy Byrne plays through the Way of the Tiger series. He has almost finished, so you have plenty of entertaining posts to get through.

Trollish Delver: Scott Malthouse has loads of good stuff on the go. He has just released In Darkest Warrens, an awesome minimalist RPG as well as Magnificent Artifacts, a collection of artefacts for the game. They are both cost PWYW (but they are worth lots of money!)

So what about the future? I'm writing fewer posts for several reasons - my insight into gamebooks is running dry - when I started, I had 2 decades of gamebook experience to use and now I've almost used it all up. I also just want to get on and write gamebooks. I have a list of gamebooks that I want to write and I want to work through the list rather than write much more blog stuff. In my current situation, the list will take several years to get through. Also, the group of us who started writing about gamebooks a few years ago have all started writing gamebooks. I don't now about them, but in my case, writing my analyses down was a case of having an "education" period which I now feel that I have graduated from and so I should carry on with gamebooks. So I'll still post, but probably about once a month rather than weekly. However, I'll have more gamebook stuff coming out. I still will write analysis as my survey said that analysis was the most popular post that people want, followed by news and Kickstarters.

So happy gamebooking, people!


  1. You've done some fantastic work over the past 6 years and I'm super excited to see what the future holds.

    1. Many thanks, Scott. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with next :)

  2. This blog is a fantastic resource. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

    1. Many thanks Aaron. I'm glad you find it useful :)

  3. I thought Isaac Newton: Badass Ninja Crimefighter was brilliant. Full of inventive ideas and laugh-out-loud funny. Douglas Adams would have been proud to have written it.

    1. Coming from you Dave, that's really high praise. I'm so chuffed! :D

  4. Congrats to you, Stuart! You have changed the world of Gamebooks and I mean it. Once again, I must thank you for sharing my blog with your audience! That flatters me far beyond imagination. Also, I just found out that the Windhammer competition is cancelled this year. That is such a shame! How can we fix that? Could they extend the deadline for a few months and have a few of us write short stories to make it happen this year again or should we just accept the facts and wait until next year?