Sunday, April 11, 2021

Blog posts I would put in a gamebooks textbook

 Hello gamebook team!

How are things going? I'm going to try to get a regular weekly schedule. I'm just feeling out what to write as well as whether a blog is still the best medium. Going dark after a few years and then coming back makes me feel a bit like Captain America coming out of the ice.

Unfortunately, that doesn't include the whole
"peak of human performance" thing as well.

Anyway, I'm going to go easy and build up some posts while I bring to light some things I've been working on in the past. 

A while ago, I thought about making an ebook where I would copy and paste blog posts that I thought a person who wanted to write a gamebook should read before they try. My idea was to reach an audience that didn't read blogs or use social media. 

I made a list and asked the authors for permission to use their blog posts and offer to link to their blogs in the ebook (which I would make free). I never heard back from some, so I put the project on hold, but I still have the list, which I will present to you today.

I've presented the list in other places, but I will add a quick commentary on why I would include these people on the list.

I also would like to update this list as I made it a few years ago.

So, here is the list.

Grey Wiz

Grey Wiz wrote a brilliant six part series on the problem with gamebooks and how to fix them. A very deep analysis indeed.

Grey Wiz is currently working on Break! RPG and has a Twitter here.

Andrew Drage

Andrew Drage (aka Brewin') worked at Tin Man Games, wrote the Sci Fi entry Infinite Universe and also worked on other Gamebook Adventures with other authors. He has a degree level knowledge of statistics and has also written a novel. His blog post on writing better gamebooks has great insights.

Ashton Macsaylor

I first came across Ashton Macsaylor with his awesome Windhammer entries. He wrote a blog for a while before working on The Good, the Bad and the Undead. Ashton's blog posts has some good ground rules for designing games which also applies to writing gamebooks.

Ashton has a Twitter account and is runs RPGs professionally (nice work if you can get it!)

Sam Kabo Ashwell

Sam has a great blog with many many in depth posts on interactive fiction. The two comprehensive posts I've linked to below are the most gamebook relevant ones, but he has much much more.

His last game is Scents and Semiosis on Itch.

Jake Care

Jake had a gamebook blog for a short time and seemed to have an interest in writing gamebooks that were as short as possible. I've not been able to see any updates from him for ages or get in contact with him. His blog posts are still insightful, however.

Paul Gresty

Paul Gresty has worked on many gamebooks including Fabled Lands 7. Anyone who has taken up the mantle of an open world gamebook system and studied 6 books in enough detail to link the 7th one to them all whilst adding his own insights knows a thing or two about gamebooks.

Dave Morris

Dave Morris is the cocreator of Fabled Lands, Critical IF, Bloodsword, Golden Dragon and many many other gamebooks. These posts are only the tip of the iceberg of his vast knowledge. Dave is currently working on an open world gamebook system based on Greek myths.

Richard S. Hetley

Richard is a writer, gamer and psychologist who helped reprint the Way of the Tiger series along with books 0 and 7. Here is a great post about Way of the Tiger. I'm not sure what he is up to these days.

Jon Green

Jon Green has written several great Fighting Fantasy books and other gamebooks (such as the Sonic the Hedgehog gamebooks), nonfiction books and fiction books. Look at his blog. He is currently working on Ace Gamebooks , a gamebook series based on public domain fiction. His latest project is Heorot, an RPG based on Beowulf.

Heather Albano 

Heather has produced work at Choice of Games and also made lots of other interactive stories.

Heather can be found at and she also has a Twitter.

Heather's latest work is an interactive romance novel called To Sail the Ghostly Sea.

Adam Strong-Morse

Adam Strong-Morse is the cofounder of Choice of Games, a choice based gaming app company that has gone from strength to strength since it was founded. He has tons of experience writing such games and the below blog posts are a sample of what he has to offer.

Dan Fubilich

Dan Fubilich is the cofounder of Choice of Games, a choice based gaming app company that has gone from strength to strength since it was founded. He has tons of experience writing such games and the below blog posts are a sample of what he has to offer.

Emily Short

Emily Short has written many many interactive fiction games and tools and works as an interactive fiction consultant (living the dream!). She is a very prolific blogger as well. A lot of her posts are about computer programs, but she has plenty that would also apply to gamebooks. In fact, I need to catch up on her work. Her posts are always thorough. Below is a post that works for gamebooks.

Beyond Branching: Quality-Based, Salience-Based, and Waypoint Narrative Structures

Doug Sharp

Doug Sharp has had a very eventful life. I know very little about his work apart from the fact he made a lecture entitled "Story vs game" in 1989. The transcript can be found here.

Peter Agapov

Peter very kindly volunteered to put his content on this blog and he has great insights and thorough analysis of gamebooks. He was also organised enough to label his posts, making linking to them very easy.

Have a great week, team and happy gamebooking!

More! More! More, more more!
I made this list a few years ago. Since then, a lot of new gamebook authors have emerged. I will be going through their blog posts and linking to them in this blog in the future.

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