The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebooks is running! Entries accepted from 1st December 2021!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2022

Hi all! Here is a list of things that are going on in 2022!

I hope you all have a happy new year. Stay safe!

Competitions

The Lindenbaum competition for short gamebook fiction is still going. Entries need to be in by midnight on February 1st (by the end of January 31st).

Lloyd of Gamebooks: The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebook fiction 2021/2022

Gamebook releases

I VIRUS by Adam Mitchell

I VIRUS is getting a re- release and expansion hopefully due in early to mid next year

Maglanian Chronicles by Joe Cheal

Book 2 is in the making.

Black Dog Gamebooks

Varney the Vampyr book 2 nearly ready . A novel with a separate extra 115 section gamebook

Troy Anthony Schermer

Balance of Fate: The Legorian Kings Saga drops soon and will be the first volume in the all-new Savage Realms Gamebooks series. 

Balance of Fate is 715 pages long with over 80 illustrations and fillustrations combined. It is the culmination of over 3 years of writing for me so I'm very excited to finally be sharing it with the world.

Here are some illustrations from the gamebook.



Authors David Gillson Lowrie, Pat ONeill, and Matthew Hollis Damon have signed on to contribute additional gamebooks to the series.

Destiny Quest

Michael J. Ward will be running a Kickstarter for book 5 around April time. The RPG will also be out at some point. 

Flights of fancy » DestinyQuest (destiny-quest.com)


Solo RPGs

A Dungeons and Dragons solo adventure, Caught in a Wizard's Web is due out in March. You can follow its progress here: Dungeons & Dragons Solo Adventures | Facebook


Other stuff

The Interactive Fiction Database - IF and Text Adventures (ifdb.org)#


What will I do in 2022?

In 2022, I plan on finishing Rulers of the NOW and then restarting my regular SCRAWL 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

December news and upcoming January news

 Hello all. Happy holidays! I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Here is the latest news in December and January. Lots of things to do in the quiet, dark nights.

Crowdfunding

Ronin 47 by Jonathan Green is still going. Back it quickly!

RONIN 47 - A Mech-Vs-Kaiju ACE Gamebook | Indiegogo

Competitions

The Lindenbaum competition for short gamebook fiction is still going. Entries need to be in by midnight on February 1st (by the end of January 31st).

Lloyd of Gamebooks: The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebook fiction 2021/2022

Blogs

Mrs Giggles

Mrs Giggles has some new gamebook reviews! She has reviewed the latest Fighting Fantasy ones, the Tunnel of Issoth (a Tunnels and Trolls solo adventure). She has done many other gamebooks reviews, but you need to go through the list as she has organised them by set order and not chronological order.

Itch

I found out that you could search gamebooks on Itch.io, so you can keep up with gamebook releases.

Top physical games tagged gamebook - itch.io

New releases

The Armchair General

Assume the role of real Generals, Leaders, Soldiers and Intelligence Officers in the Allied Forces during WWII, including Winston Churchill and President Eisenhower.

The Armchair General (penguin.co.uk)

Plague of the Undead

Coming soon...

Published by Red Ruin Publishing and available on drivethrurpg and itch.io, for free. Uses the Dragon Warriors rules and set in the land of Legend. Should be released sometime in January. Blurb:

The town of Overdale is under attack from within! Night after night, the walking dead rise from their graves to stalk the streets. YOU have volunteered to investigate, but will your skills - in combat, the arcane arts or trickery - be enough to save the people of this once peaceful town?

FightingFantasy.net

Jason Archer is working on an online version of Can you Brexit without Breaking Britain?

FightingFantasy.Net Homepage - Welcome Adventurer!

Atariquest

AtariQuest is an interactive novel based on the retro gaming trend, as it is set in the world of Atari 2600 console games. You can read more about it here:

https://venturebeat.com/2021/12/23/atariquest-is-an-interactive-novel-based-on-400-plus-atari-2600-games/amp/

Savage Realms Gamebooks

Balance of Fate: The Legorian Kings Saga will be out soon!

Savage Realms Gamebooks | Facebook

Choice of Games

Pon Para and the Unconquerable Scorpion

Pon Para and the Unconquerable Scorpion is a 742,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Kyle Marquis, and the sequel to Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth. Your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Witchcraft U

You’re a fresh-faced new student at Larkspur University, a college for witches that began accepting mundanes a few decades ago. (Strangely, the mundanes never seem to notice the witches.) It’s your first time living away from home, and that means new spells, new friends, and new opportunities for romance!

Faerie’s Bargain: The Price of Business

Faerie’s Bargain: The Price of Business is a 300,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Trip Galey where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

DL Lewis

Army of Bones, the sequel to The Demon Sorcerer is coming!

https://www.facebook.com/dllewisgamebooks/

Tin Man Games

Tin Man Games is releasing To Be Or Not To Be for the Switch.

https://youtu.be/UnErEQSrwQo

A Branching Narrative

December's release is going to involve the hero from Arcane Rites.

Derilion Returns for December - by Simon Birks (substack.com)

Podcasts

Instadeath Survivors' Support Group

Instadeath Survivors' Support Group has released a Christmas Episode - a playthrough of Twas the Krampus Night before Christmas.

Welcome to Instadeath Survivors Support Group by Instadeath Survivors Support Group (anchor.fm)

Interactive Fiction and Gamebooks discussion group

In January, the group is discussing the Vulcanverse gamebooks.

Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Discussion Group (Book Club) | Facebook

Reddit

Simple Choose Your Own Adventure/Gamebook Engine Designer Needed! : gameDevClassifieds (reddit.com)

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Rulers of the NOW Part 1

Cover by Sammy

Hello all! Happy December 23rd. December 23rd 2041 is the day that the events of Rulers of the NOW kick off, so I thought I would give you the first 219 sections of the book as a taster.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sj93qv2jiRqf5-qGAqdq907yxUDhE_yp?usp=sharing

Incidentally, December 23rd 2041 will be a Monday.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

2021 in review

 

So that was 2021. Although, if big sports events are to be believed, it is still 2020. I hope your year was better than 2020, however. Hopefully, you saw friends more and stayed healthy.

So what happened in the world of blogging and gamebooks? A lot, it seemed. The gamebook community has grown and formed new places to mix and share their ideas and skills and I love it.


This is what the gamebook community will look like in 2023

I don't think I can cover everything in much detail, but I have written about it in other posts, so if you follow the links or go back to the news posts, then you can get more details.

Gamebooks

I suppose I should start with gamebooks. I mean, it's in the blog title.

There were lots of gamebook and app releases in 2021. I've been making monthly news updates as there are far too many releases to list now. This is another side effect of the growing gamebook community.

Gamebook releases of 2021

We have a yearly update from James Schannep.

Click Your Poison (James Schannep)

Click Your Poison year in review:

-With SPIED, 2021 saw the first Click Your Poison book published since 2018.

-INFECTED was re-released as a deluxe illustrated hardback and also as an interactive audiogamebook app on Android and iOS devices in a partnership with Cubus Games and narrator R.C. Bray. MURDERED is slated for an illustrated hardback and audio app version in the 2022.

-Other behind-the-scenes projects focused on the forthcoming HAUNTED (available 2/2/2022) as well as the groundwork for an undisclosed interactive film project.

-The Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Discussion Group (Book Club) completed a full slate of 12 authors and 12 books, growing to well over 600 members.


Events

There have been several you are the beer-o meet ups this year (virtual, mainly). There is one on the 22nd December, online. Details are here: Fighting Fantasy: Yuletide Virtual Beer-o 2021 | Facebook

International gamebook day happened in August. It was an awesome event done online where we could hear from gamebook authors both from the 1980s and 1990s and also from the "next generation". You can watch the videos from late August on the Storymaster's Tales.


Podcasts

There are three gamebook exclusive podcasts that have been running this year. Instadeath Survivor's support group started this year and has interviews with various members of the gamebook community as well as playthroughs.

Welcome to Instadeath Survivors Support Group by Instadeath Survivors Support Group (anchor.fm)

You can support it on Patreon to get add free podcasts with more content 

There are also playthrough podcasts to listen to

Campaign On Dice – Podcast – Podtail

Fantastic Fights — Haunted Phonograph


Online book groups

This group started on the 21st December 2020 and has covered a different gamebook every month.

Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Discussion Group (Book Club) | Facebook


Zines

Fighting Fantazine - issue 17 is out soon!

The Gamebook Zine - released 3 issues this year.

Warlock Returns - this Advanced Fighting Fantasy zine from Arion games released 4 issue.


The blog

This blog was resurrected in March and I managed a weekly post since then. I plan on doing weekly posts next year (but I'm not planning on doing the April A to Z. I'm not 27). I'm glad to be back.


The Lindenbaum Competition

The Lindenbaum Competition (aka Windhammer 2.0) is still underway! You have until midnight GMT on 1st February 2022 to complete a 100 section, 25000 word gamebook and send it to lindenbaumprize@gmail.com. Remember to read the rules first!


My gamebooks

This year, I managed to get SCRAWL to a state that I could finally accept. Next year, I want to release monthly SCRAWL adventures.

At the time of writing this, I have planned 95% of Rulers of the NOW. It's looking to be around 600 sections and I have written about 200 sections. I aim to finish it early next year after almost 9 years since I wrote the first 100 sections for Windhammer 2012.


There is a lot going on and I look forward to more in 2022!



Saturday, December 11, 2021

Instadeath Survivors' Support Group

 Hi everybody!

A short post, I'm afraid. Busy busy. Gone are the days where I would crank out a year's worth of posts in advance and just schedule them.



This year saw the birth of a new podcast about gamebooks - Instadeath Survivors' Support Group. In it, the host, Brian Hazzard has interviewed gamebook authors, gamebook fans and played through gamebooks.

I'm in the latest episode with October/November news.

Check it out, along with the other episodes.

Welcome to Instadeath Survivors Support Group by Instadeath Survivors Support Group (anchor.fm)

If you love the podcast, you can support Brian on Patreon, where you will also find ad free episodes, longer episodes and other bonus material for the low low price of $5 a month.

Brian Hazzard is creating A podcast about gamebooks and the readers who adore them | Patreon

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Numbers vs letters

 I remember reading in a gamebook (I think it was Deathtrap Dungeon) that my character went down a very long corridor for a very long time and fell into a pit. I was surprised when I read this because it was not the first time I had read this book, or the second and probably not the third, but it was the first time I had read about falling into the pit. And that's when it hit me. 

I had spent most of my gamebook reading time looking for the game related stuff and ignoring a lot of the story. 

I remember doing that as a teenager - skimming sections for stat changes or adventure sheet adjustments - and not reading the story parts.

This was apparent in my early writing. My first attempt at gamebook writing was a Fighting Fantasy dungeon crawl where my main concern was to not make it impossible like some Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

My next attempt was another Fighting Fantasy book for Windhammer 2008. I messed up the character creation (1d6 +9 for SKILL rather than 1d3 +9) and it was SUPER easy. For 2009, I came up with my own system with a light story. Per Jorner, who wrote a lot of reviews on Yahoo Groups (are those reviews still out there?) had many problems with the story, but won with 1 Health Point left which I considered a success for my system.

After that, I realised that the story is also important and my 2010 entry, Sharkbait's Revenge had nothing but a health score, money and an items list. I let out my puntastic tendencies in a pirate setting and won that one.

This set me off on the first steps of working on my writing. 

Making a gamebook is a delicate balance of numbers and letters and neglecting one can spoil the other. In my experience, most people prefer a good story and it is easier to make a gamebook full of pure story choices (like Choose Your Own Adventure) than it is to make a number heavy gamebook (Which would basically be a solo RPG), so in my experience, it is better to lean towards the story side than the numbers side. Of course, if I do put numbers in, I try to make sure that they enhance the story rather than detract from it. At the very minimum, the system has to work and not be unfair. At its best, it has to enhance the story (so having stats that link in with the story would be good. Choice of Games does this well).

That's all I have today, I'm afraid as the pressures of RL call, but I just need to remind you that the Lindenbaum competition is now accepting entries between now and midnight GMT on February 1st 2022 (that means 1 minute after 11:59pm on January 31st - I'd hate to have it in 1 day late!)

You can find details here:

Lloyd of Gamebooks: The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebook fiction 2021/2022

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Lindenbaum entries are now open!

 

Image by Pat O' Neill


Hello all! Today is the opening day for entries to the Lindenbaum competition.

Entries are now being accepted with the initial submission phase running from 1st December 2021 to the 1st February 2022.

All information regarding this year's comp including full entry guidelines, competition schedule and prize details can be found at Lloyd of Gamebooks: The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebook fiction 2021/2022

Entries should be sent to lindenbaumprize@gmail.com