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gamebooks
A Day In The Life
Rise Of The Night Creatures
New Day Rising
Bloodsworth Bayou
Golem Gauntlet
Shrine Of The Salamander
A Flame In The North
A Shadow In The North
Escape Neuburg Keep
Any Port In A Storm
Below Zero Point
Tales From The Bird Islands
The Ravages Of Fate
Nye's Song
A Knight's Trial
Return To G15-275
Devil's Flight
Above The Waves
The Curse Of Drumer
The Word Fell Silent
A Strange Week For King Melchion The Despicable
Sharkbait's Revenge
Tomb Of The Ancients
A Midwinter Carol
The Dead World
Waiting For The Light
Contractual Obligation
Garden Of Bones
The Hypertrout
The Golden Crate
In The Footsteps Of A Hero
Soul Tracker
Planet Of The Spiders
Beggars Of Blacksand
The Diamond Key
Wrong Way Go Back
Hunger Of The Wolf
Isle Of The Cyclops
The Cold Heart Of Chaos
The Black Lobster
Impudent Peasant!
Curse Of The Yeti
Bad Moon Rising
Riders Of The Storm
Bodies In The Docks
House Of Horror
Rebels Of The Dark Chasms
Midnight Deep
Lair Of The Troglodytes
Outsider!
The Trial Of Allibor's Tomb
Hellfire

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Gamebooks




Robert Douglas
Sun Jun 19 13:59:51 2016
@ A.E.Johnston,
Joe Dever's Freeway Warrior series was also based upon the Mad Max idea, and a much more satisfactory experience. Superbly illustrated by Brian Williams (also artist for Trial of Champions) who sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 54. A great loss. He also illustrated the Lone Wolf series (books 9 to 29). Gary Chalk did books 1-8.

Phil Sadler
Sun Jun 19 14:56:30 2016
I'm afraid he didn't write the 'Zagor Chronicles' either. All he did was come up with the titles: all is revealed in 'You are the Hero'.

Haoie
Fri Jun 24 23:09:57 2016
That's an interesting piece of trivia!

bcyy
Fri Jul 8 09:01:08 2016
@Robert

Sorry, not that familiar with Allansian geography. I don't even know the exact distance from Dree to the Yellowstone Mines, let alone Mirewater. What are you writing? "The Adventures of Ganga"?

@Phil

CotS impossible to complete? Just wait till you try Sky Lord. Even with perfect decisions, your chances of surviving your unavoidable first space combat are meagre. :-)

Robert Douglas
Fri Jul 8 10:04:53 2016
@ bcyy,
I'm thinking of doing an FF gamebook but the distance/terrain between Mirewater and Dree is only a part of it. No worries, I can probably find clues in Creature of Havoc. Titan has a lot of interesting trivia and information, but it would be nice to have maps with measurements (square miles) on them. It would help with a more realistic time/travel factor. Perhaps somebody could do them? Of course, it would have to be officialised by the founders. I'm probably asking a lot anyway.

Robert Douglas
Tue Aug 23 02:45:24 2016
Speaking about 'Creature of Havoc', it was certainly very ambitious and superbly written, the dungeon alone was a trial in itself, complete with Steve Jackson's trademark secret passages plus coded dialogue (due to their creature's low intelligence, the player could only progress further by finding a certain element and then translate the strange language which was an in-depth mechanic for the gamebook). However, while there were some intriguingly detailed outdoor scenarios (Dree, Training Grounds, etc) it's a shame the player couldn't explore such gems without fear of a tragic end. I wouldn't have minded so much if it was down to poor player logic, failing a test roll, or even lacking a certain item, yet the path was unforgivingly narrow and somewhat spoiled what was otherwise a great experience. How many death entries were there?! Playing COH in 1987 (my first FF purchase) resulted in hours of frustration, and even in my late twenties I had to download the solution! Although, at that later age, I did finally work out the coded speech on my own, but it can be frustratingly tricky for many younger readers.

Robert Douglas
Sat Sep 3 00:45:16 2016
Just watched BBC News (1:35am). Ian Livingstone featured in a report about how games - such as Minecraft and Rollercoaster Tycoon - enhance logical and problem solving abilities. Also that coding and computer terminology are 'the new latin' for a new generation, according to Ian. One teacher explained how students' enthusiasm for educational games such as Minecraft provide a real aid to his lessons; it's something they're familiar with and they want to learn more.

Ulysses
Mon Sep 5 12:52:08 2016
Hi everyone.

As you may have noticed, I haven't written any gamebooks for a while. This is because I've become a little bored with it the last couple of years and have been working on a novel instead. I am currently taking a break from that while the first part is being reviewed, so I am thinking of continuing one of the partial gamebooks I have written.
I have several titles on which I have done substantial work on, and all of them would require no small amount of effort to complete. At this stage I can probably bring one to completion, and so I thought I would let any of you who are interested have input into the decision.
Please have a look at the works in progress below and let me know which one you would like to see sooner rather than later:

1. WWGB Episode 8, the penultimate episode. I have written a third of this one, quite literally. It takes the three possible endings from Episode 7 and continues them as alternate realities that ultimately return to a single reality just in time for the final episode of the series.

2. The Wages of Sin. The sequel to The Ravages of Fate. This is another fight-a-big-monster story. Like the original, the combat is fought through choices of tactic and tests of your varying resources.

3. The Band of the Swift Hand. This was an interesting one based on the premise that you play the adventure as the leader of a mercenary band, and if your character dies, a new leader is chosen. So you as the player would go through the adventure and depending on the skills and abilities of the character you have at the time, your experiences and possible choices are very different.

4. The Throne of Blood. This is set in the same world as The Diamond Key, meaning it is another 1000 reference adventure, and was meant as my version of Deathtrap Dungeon, except your character makes his way through a number of interconnected arenas rather than a bunch of dungeons where no one is entertained by your demise.

5. The Mountain of the Dragon. Remember that bit in The Diamond Key where you found a mountain full of orcs digging out a dragon? Well, this is the story about that. It's a massive adventure for which I already wrote about 800 references and it's probably only half finished. Of all the titles, this would be the hardest to complete. It is pretty awesome though.

These are in order from 1. easiest for me to complete to 5. most difficult.
Happy voting.
It would be very sad if the WWGB story was never finished, so I'd definitely go for 1. After that, my preferences in order would be 5, 2, 3, and then 4.

Gaetano
Wed Sep 7 00:12:11 2016
I agree about WWGB, but I also would love to see 4 and 5.

Robert Douglas
Wed Sep 7 18:04:11 2016
@Uylsses,
I quite like the sound of No. 3 - but would the first foray affect the second, etc? What differences would one leader make to a scenario for his/her successor to discover? Scorpion Swamp did have a '...if you've been here before...' factor, but often such places were barren, deserted, boring.

Changing tack: I've finally done it. I've made a personal achievement. Fans from South Africa and New Zealand would probably wonder what all the fuss is about, yet at the same time they'll be more understanding than the people in my own country who sadly are driven to ridicule a thousand and one things when really they should just accept and move on. But I'm not going to tell you: can you guess what it is? The clue is in the countries I mentioned. I'll give the answer on Sunday night, 11pm (GMT). No prize, just fun!

Ulysses
Thu Sep 8 01:47:38 2016
@Robert

Within the story there are what amounts to a number of quests that the mercenary band must complete. If your character dies, the quest is failed and the band retreats to regroup and elect a new leader.
Upon subsequent attempts there are permanent changes depending on the nature of the quest. Others are reset completely. For some the leader's body (and all those lovely items) is lost, for others the body can be found and the items retrieved.

I originally conceived this as a series with three adventures. I even finished the first adventure. But it needs a lot of adjustment to the mechanics of it, and I would also want to turn it into a single adventure rather than a part 1.

But so far it looks like I need to continue WWGB Episode 8.

Robert Douglas
Thu Sep 8 10:51:26 2016
@ Ulysses,
Thanks for reply, hope you do okay with WWGB Episode 8. The gameplay mechanic you described would take some careful planning, I'd wager.

Haoie
Fri Sep 9 10:05:27 2016
Another vote for Wrong Way!

Phil Sadler
Sun Sep 11 19:32:09 2016
Just read in Fighting Fanzine issue 15 that Andrew Wright's writing yet another sequel to Out of the Pit. I would literally hunt him down and force him to take my money.

Gavin
Thu Dec 1 04:04:25 2016
Joe Dever RIP

Robert Douglas
Thu Dec 1 14:59:12 2016
I can't believe it. The creator of Lone Wolf has passed away. This is a dark day for the gaming community. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. I can't write anymore.

Haoie
Fri Dec 2 04:56:10 2016
Can't believe he's gone! :(

Yaztromo
Fri Dec 2 18:26:56 2016
Joe Dever RIP :(

Magma
Tue Dec 6 22:28:48 2016
It's sad to see "Lone Wolf" gone. His books were great and part of a generation... The fact you could get stronger over the books made a real change over the Fighting Fantasy Series.

I came here just to let you guys know about Fight Club Reborn.

You can check the game in the link below. It is a cyoa RPG with stats. The setting is a dark near future and very adult tones, including sex scenes, at least one unavoidable. So for 18+ only.

http://fightclubreborn.tk/

Hope you enjoy it.

Yaztromo
Sun Sep 10 21:51:49 2017
I recently played Port of Peril, by Ian Livingstone and I quite anjoyed it!
There are some bits that I didn't like at all, like the internal art and the fact that you start the gamebook hungry, but with 10 meals in your backpack (!), but I liked the fact that the fights are pretty balanced (there are quite a few power ups around to help you) and that you can explore Chalice quite freely, going back if you want.
Overall I think that Port od Peril is not as good as Deathtrap Dungeon, but can be considered at the level of Forest of Doom, Caverns of the Snow Witch, Island of the Lizard King and City of Thieves, all gamebooks that gained the hearts of millions of youn readers, so I hope that Port of Peril will do the same trick once more! ;)

Shadow
Mon Jan 21 21:33:14 2019
Ok so I'm not sure if this is the right place to talk about this, but I've been thinking about writing my own gamebook (for this amazing site), something I considered before but due to life was never really able to start on. However, I love the site, and it would be an honour to contribute something towards it.

On that note, I have a few ideas for potential gamebooks, and whilst hopefully I will write all of them at some point, obviously I need to start with one of them. So I was wondering if you could all give me your opinions on which one you would be most interested in, so I could focus on that one for now. My ideas are these:

Halixor's Gauntlet
A Deathtrap Dungeon-style challenge to retrieve the knife of a legendary hero from where it lies still embedded in a dragon's skull. There will, of course, be other challengers, allowing for some minor character development (similar to Throm) and interesting encounters (like the Ninja). However, unlike Deathtrap Dungeon, set outside, allowing for a potentially more open world.

Trial by Ice
You are a pathetic excuse for a hero, about to quit the adventuring life after three disappointing years, when the Champion of the Lightning Goddess shows up and summons you on a quest with him. Allows for much more character development, and constructing a world that really immerses the challenger in the adventure, from sweltering jungles to chilling ice caves.

The Dragon's Hoard
A dragon that has been dead for millennia once commanded a great hoard of treasure. However, this hoard has never been found, so you decide to recover it yourself. Lacking funds, you decide to take on one or more side-quests in order to finance your operation, leading to a Scorpion Swamp-esque system, with the difference being you can take on up to five side-quests. Obviously, the more quests taken, the greater your funding (and therefore better equipment), but all the quests you take on MUST be completed before you can win. And all (other than the first part) set in the bowels of a mysterious volcano.

Due to my lack of familiarity with the geography and lore of Titan, none of these would take place there, and would instead feature there own, unique land and different lore, including different gods and goddesses, which will hopefully be seen as refreshingly new. Please let me know what you think (and move this post to wherever it should be), as I would really value your opinions. Thank you! :)

Shadow
Mon Jan 21 22:39:08 2019
Ok so I'm not sure if this is the right place to talk about this, but I've been thinking about writing my own gamebook (for this amazing site), something I considered before but due to life was never really able to start on. However, I love the site, and it would be an honour to contribute something towards it.

On that note, I have a few ideas for potential gamebooks, and whilst hopefully I will write all of them at some point, obviously I need to start with one of them. So I was wondering if you could all give me your opinions on which one you would be most interested in, so I could focus on that one for now. My ideas are these:

Halixor's Gauntlet
A Deathtrap Dungeon-style challenge to retrieve the knife of a legendary hero from where it lies still embedded in a dragon's skull. There will, of course, be other challengers, allowing for some minor character development (similar to Throm) and interesting encounters (like the Ninja). However, unlike Deathtrap Dungeon, set outside, allowing for a potentially more open world.

Trial by Ice
You are a pathetic excuse for a hero, about to quit the adventuring life after three disappointing years, when the Champion of the Lightning Goddess shows up and summons you on a quest with him. Allows for much more character development, and constructing a world that really immerses the challenger in the adventure, from sweltering jungles to chilling ice caves.

The Dragon's Hoard
A dragon that has been dead for millennia once commanded a great hoard of treasure. However, this hoard has never been found, so you decide to recover it yourself. Lacking funds, you decide to take on one or more side-quests in order to finance your operation, leading to a Scorpion Swamp-esque system, with the difference being you can take on up to five side-quests. Obviously, the more quests taken, the greater your funding (and therefore better equipment), but all the quests you take on MUST be completed before you can win. And all (other than the first part) set in the bowels of a mysterious volcano.

Due to my lack of familiarity with the geography and lore of Titan, none of these would take place there, and would instead feature there own, unique land and different lore, including different gods and goddesses, which will hopefully be seen as refreshingly new. Please let me know what you think (and move this post to wherever it should be), as I would really value your opinions. Thank you! :)

Shadow
Mon Jan 21 22:55:25 2019
Ok so I'm not sure if this is the right place to talk about this, but I've been thinking about writing my own gamebook (for this amazing site), something I considered before but due to life was never really able to start on. However, I love the site, and it would be an honour to contribute something towards it.

On that note, I have a few ideas for potential gamebooks, and whilst hopefully I will write all of them at some point, obviously I need to start with one of them. So I was wondering if you could all give me your opinions on which one you would be most interested in, so I could focus on that one for now. My ideas are these:

Halixor's Gauntlet
A Deathtrap Dungeon-style challenge to retrieve the knife of a legendary hero from where it lies still embedded in a dragon's skull. There will, of course, be other challengers, allowing for some minor character development (similar to Throm) and interesting encounters (like the Ninja). However, unlike Deathtrap Dungeon, set outside, allowing for a potentially more open world.

Trial by Ice
You are a pathetic excuse for a hero, about to quit the adventuring life after three disappointing years, when the Champion of the Lightning Goddess shows up and summons you on a quest with him. Allows for much more character development, and constructing a world that really immerses the challenger in the adventure, from sweltering jungles to chilling ice caves.

The Dragon's Hoard
A dragon that has been dead for millennia once commanded a great hoard of treasure. However, this hoard has never been found, so you decide to recover it yourself. Lacking funds, you decide to take on one or more side-quests in order to finance your operation, leading to a Scorpion Swamp-esque system, with the difference being you can take on up to five side-quests. Obviously, the more quests taken, the greater your funding (and therefore better equipment), but all the quests you take on MUST be completed before you can win. And all (other than the first part) set in the bowels of a mysterious volcano.

Due to my lack of familiarity with the geography and lore of Titan, none of these would take place there, and would instead feature there own, unique land and different lore, including different gods and goddesses, which will hopefully be seen as refreshingly new. Please let me know what you think (and move this post to wherever it should be), as I would really value your opinions. Thank you! :)

Gavin
Thu Feb 7 12:06:34 2019
Sorry for the delay on replying to this but, I'd be interested in the pathetic excuse for an adventurer, especially with appropriately low stats....

A. E. Johnston
Mon Mar 18 06:07:47 2019
Hi Shadow,

Just wanted to give my opinion since you are looking to write a gamebook- I have a few stories I’ve had in the works for a while, most of which are being continually worked upon, but I did submit a finished gamebook a few years ago to Windhammer which received mostly positive reviews. Basically I’m no Gavin Mitchell/ Robert/ Ulysses AI, haha, but hopefully I can provide some constructive feedback.

Before focusing on a setting, try to think about the different paths available to the reader and think what would lead to the most exciting scenarios- linearity is always to be avoided, but then again too many dead-ends/ instant death pathways can also spell the instant death of your story! My favorite example is based on the gamebook “Trial of Champions” (the sequel to Deathtrap Dungeon). By the time I had cracked how to beat it, I had played through it so many times that it was no longer enjoyable, and reaching the end felt more like a chore than a climactic finish. In that gamebook there are so many vital items needed that missing one automatically leads to failure down the road. I would stay away from this in general for whichever story you plan to write! You can use Twine or a different type of software to keep track of your pathways if it helps, and also what items are needed to progress to certain areas (if at all).

Like any story, gamebook or not, interesting characters, settings and plot lines also need to be a focus. What are the motivations of the character? Why should we care? Do their actions make sense in the grand scheme of the story? Saying that let me comment on your proposed ideas:

Halixor's Gauntlet
A tried and true gamebook formula, and honestly one I will always enjoy. Deathtrap Dungeon will forever be a fan favorite, but if you do decide on this route try to add your own spin to it (the outside setting probably won’t be enough to give it flavor to be honest, and setting in an outdoor maze is also something we have seen before and that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend).

Trial by Ice
Sounds similar to the beginning of “Portal of Evil”, another fan favorite about a down on his luck adventurer. Has potential, but again, unless you can add a new dimension to the storyline to make it “pop” it may be best to stay away, as to not rehash an old idea.

The Dragon's Hoard
Interesting premise, but try to avoid making things to complicated, both for the reader, and for yourself the author. Also sounds similar to the “Hobbit” trilogy, so again try to avoid re-hashing stories that already exist, or taking the same storyline and slightly tweaking it.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t feel as if you have to be caged in by the fantasy genre- if you want to stick to fantasy that’s absolutely fine, but keep in mind that all sorts of gamebooks/ stories exist (case in point, the latest update to the site is a story about a 40 year old guy at a music festival combating depression and alcohol consumption).

All three of your ideas have merit, but if you decide to stick to one of them do try to make the story “yours” and as original as possible. Hope this helps!

Ulysses
Mon Mar 18 14:10:25 2019
@Shadow

In addition to the good advice above, I would add that you should perhaps think about the length of each adventure and begin with the one that is likely to be the shortest.
My reading of the three ideas gives me the impression that:
-The Dragon's Hoard would be the longest adventure with the most things to keep track of.
-Halixor's Gauntlet can be as long as you want it to be, although the longer it is the 'richer' the story will need to be to avoid it just being a series of rooms that ends up becoming tedious.
-Trial by Ice is the simplest premise and one that can work as a short adventure. I would avoid the temptation to do too much world-building and keep all of your story branches parallel rather than divergent.

Obviously, I am recommending Trial by Ice, although possibly lesser in scope than you may have been imagining (you can also create sequels to enlarge the world later, perhaps writing an entire series and maybe even finishing it instead of leaving everyone hanging...).
To help limit the scope and add an interesting angle to the story, you could have the Champion of the Lightning Goddess look on the main character with utter contempt, offering no explanations, just a stipend to accompany him/her. Part of the plot can be uncovering what the Champion really wants you to do and why you were chosen. The point of all this or a similar idea is to give the story a central plot beyond the quest itself, and allows the plot development to be more than just a series of events/enemies/traps, etc.

Happy writing.

Gavin
Mon Mar 18 15:46:09 2019
I don't think the protagonist of Day in the Life is combating alcohol consumption, Inebriation is meant to be your high score. I had the idea for a Day in the Life II where our thirsty hero explores the outsider art scene of Wolverhampton and Birmingham, but meanwhile the second mission of New Day Rising is reaching within measurable distance of its end.

Shadow
Thu Apr 4 10:13:05 2019
Thank you to all of you for your advice, I will certainly take it on board.

I will make Trial by Ice my focus for now, which I'm perfectly happy with as it was my (admittedly weak) preference of the three. I do also think that it is likely to be the shortest.

@A.E.Johnston: Funny you should mention Trial of Champions, as it was the first FF gamebook I ever owned. I share your feelings of frustration as there was one path you HAD to follow, and even with a map with the correct route drawn on it was an infuriatingly challenging process. I assure you I will avoid a similar scenario in my own.
Also, I am not that familiar with all the FF Series, so it is likely that any parallels with the series will be entirely accidental and unknowingly done. That said, I would like to avoid such incidents so perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can review my work at some points to ensure that doesn't happen.

@Ulysses: First of all your work on this site is amazing!
Secondly, you recommend keeping the adventure short, so I would like to know how short you would suggest. I hadn't planned on writing anything on the scale of your 1,000-passage epics, I had in mind a standard 400 but was prepared to compromise if the story didn't seem to hold that many. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Many thanks once again for the great advice from both of you. It is really appreciated and I will keep it firmly in mind as I write.

Ulysses
Thu Apr 4 12:08:54 2019
@Shadow

Thanks for the compliment :)

My assumption is that the shortest adventure will also be the simplest (which actually isn't always true), making it a manageable story to be able to complete and learn from before moving on to attempting more complex structures (in usually longer stories).
As for the actual length of your first venture I would let the story dictate that. You could approach this in a number of ways:
1. Find an existing gamebook that seems to be of similar scope to what you have in mind such as number of locations and whether the choices are largely parallel of divergent and plan your own gamebook to be a similar length.
2. Actually plan out all of the branching paths of your adventure, count up how many references you need, then multiply that number by 1.5 to give yourself some room to move - in my experience it always takes more references than you think once you start writing.
3. Don't worry about how long it is going to be and just start writing. I believe there are programs available that will randomly assign numbers to your references, but I don't use those so I can't recommend one. A number of times I remember I have used up my original estimate for the number of references I needed without the story being complete. In these cases I have had to add more references (I seem to recall having to do this a couple of times for particular stories). This isn't a problem, especially when the gamebook is played online, but it does mean than your references are not distributed evenly. It's not that difficult to make sure you don't have gaps if you keep track of things, and also not difficult to make sure you end on a round number (if desirable) by adding in choices somewhere.

Shadow
Thu Apr 4 13:16:08 2019
@Ulysses

Thank you for your continued advice. I am going to use twine to initially write the story, then transfer it into the standard FF format of numbered passages. However, your advice to plan out each pathway separately is not something I had considered, so I will take your advice and, if I feel that I may be too ambitious, I can work out what to cut. A more focussed adventure is not necessarily a bad thing, I think.

As a side-note, apologies if my comments appear multiple times. Every time I refresh the page it seems to re-post the last comment I posted. I don't know if you can also see this, but I apologise if you can, I am not doing it deliberately.

Phil Sadler
Thu Apr 4 14:02:20 2019
Oh that 'multiple posts' thing has happened to me too :-(



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