Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to write a gamebook part 3a - Descriptions and Worlds

I wanted to write about how to write descriptions and prominent gamebook worlds, but a few searches online gives us a load of information about writing and the worlds anyway so I thought that I will just point you in the right direction.

Writing descriptions

How to write a description

Story settings exercises

Writing descriptions from pictures

Writing descriptions

You can find descriptions of real life castle dungeons here.

You can also find a Dungeons and Dragons dungeon room descriptor here.

Here are some gamebook descriptions

From Forest of Doom:


The narrow path continues to cut its way through the tangled forest.  Strange animal cries and noises echo through the trees.  At last the path widens to approximately a metre across.  Soon you arrive at a moss covered wooden signpost, on top of which sits a large crow.  The arms of the signpost read 'North' and 'East'...

From Scorpion Swamp:


You are in clearing 1.  Actually, this is no more than a wide spot where three trails meet.  The ground is very shaky and wet and huge insects flit over the pools of water than dot the ground...

From Temple of Terror:


...All you can see is sand and the desert landscape stretches as far as the horizon...

From Deathtrap Dungeon:


The door opens into a large candle lit room filled with the most extraordinarily lifelike statues of knights and warriors.

From City of Thieves:


Through the main gates, you see that the rubbish filled streets of the port are narrow and cobbled.  Old a decrepit buildings line them closely, with their upper stories overhanging menacingly...

From Rebel Planet:


You settle comfortably into the padded pilot's seat of your space ship, strap yourself in and examine the instrument panel.  This is remarkably simple, consisting of a computer terminal and several screens.  The mechanisms of the alpha-ziridium system are hidden deep within the bowels of the craft...

Here are examples of gamebook worlds.

Harkuna (from Fabled Lands)

There is not a Fabled Lands encyclopedia or atlas yet, but since the gamebooks let you explore every nook and cranny of the Harkuna, maybe one isn't needed.  You could say that Harkun is split into twelve different settings (one for each planned book) and you will get to read about them further from the RPG sourcebooks that will be released.

You can find information on Fabled Lands from its Wikipedia entry, the Fabled Lands blog and its Yahoo Group

Magnamund (from Lone Wolf).

Magnamund is the richly detailed world where the Lone Wolf gamebook series (and RPG) is set.

You can find the Lone Wolf gamebooks online for free at Project Aon.  You can also find an encyclopedia of Magnamund here and read about Magnamund in the Lone Wolf Wiki.

Titan (from Fighting Fantasy)

A map of Titan by Steve Luxton.  Also hosted here.
A larger version is here.
Titan is where most of the Fighting Fantasy books are set.  It is split into three very different continents.

You can read about it at the Titan entry on the Fighting Fantasy Wiki.

You can also buy a re-released Titan which has a lot of information of the world.

Orb (from Way of the Tiger, Duelmaster, Falcon #4: Lost in Time, Green Blood and Coils of Hate)

Orb has appeared in several gamebook series with very different rules and settings.  It is a very rich world to explore and seems quite underrated to me.  For more information on Orb, you can find the Encyclopedia of Orb on the Outspaced Gamebook Shrine.

To read the first post in part 3, click here.

Up until now, I had had to make the links by publishing the blog post, then copying the URL and then editing the links in later.  However, I found this helpful guide on how to determine your blog post titles in advance, so I've done that this time.  I hope I've written them out correctly.

Right.  That's it until Sunday when I write about characters.  Have fun!

1 comment:

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