No one needs to know this, but I think I'll tell you anyway...
The Wrong Way Go Back Series was originally going to have 7 episodes. However, I have decided to insert a short episode in between Episode 5 and what was to be Episode 6. The reason for this is that the original 5 and 6 were a little similar in that they both featured loops, where you can explore the same area multiple times. While this can be done very badly, or quite well (I think mine is in the middle somewhere since I tried to avoid the: "If you have been here before..." option as much as possible), it is a bit boring to have two similar style adventures in a row. So I will be inserting a short 50-reference adventure in between; much like The Hypertrout, which was put in after The Golden Crate to break the trend of increasing length.
Fans of the series may also wish to comment on the idea for the final episode which I scrapped. After sucessfully marrying Pomplompotom, you at last have a girlfriend. And that's where the series is currently planned to end. But at one other time I had an idea for an additional episode: Honeymoon on Titan, where the newlyweds would take a holiday to a recreational world where tourists pay big bucks to be able to play a role-playing game on the surface of a planet called Titan, which is populated by primitive and unsuspecting natives. I thought about it for a while, but decided not to do it because I am trying to wrap this series up. However...I have begun thinking about it again...
Aiken Wed Sep 9 11:17:48 2009
Ulysses- although it would be quite understandable to hang up your hat after 8 entire episodes, I for one would be devastated to miss the opportunity to Honeymoon on Titan.
After all the potential for parody and well-meaning spoofing of much loved FF tropes is near-infinite, and I'm sure you'd do a great job of unlocking this potential.
If I get to take Pomplompotom to Khare for a romantic day-trip, (Naturally we'd catch the red-eye flight) it will definitely make my week. Please?
Andrew Wright Wed Sep 9 12:30:48 2009
I agree with Aiken, Ulysses!
In fact, why not make it 200 refs long, and submit it to the Fighting Fantazine magazine! I think we're covered for the next 2 issues, so it would be issue 4 at the latest, barring any unfortunate events.
However, given your excellent writing style, and the comedic potential, it could be a winner!
email for Fighting Fantazine contributions is:
duffmeister Wed Sep 9 17:07:51 2009
Sounds great, Ulysses. One thing that 'Honeymoon on Titan' may need is a link to the rest of the series, since the entire series is dedicated to finding a girlfriend, and 'Honeymoon on Titan will feature one already present. One idea I'd love to see which would link it more with the series would be if some of the role playing games were based on the protagonist's own adventures. I can imagine that they'd end up rather misenterpreted by the galaxy in general, given the nature of the series, so the terribly flawed reimagining of the events as the people of the galaxy see them would make for a fantastic part of the adventure!
Ulysses Wed Sep 9 21:59:24 2009
Regarding submissions for Fighting Fantazine, you seem to imply that 200 references is a requirement. Is that so, and what other requirements should potential contributors be aware of?
Andrew Wright Wed Sep 9 23:52:57 2009
email Alex the editor at the email address given above for any other details on contributions.
200 refs is a definite requirement, along with using the FF rules, I guess, but Alex knows better than I. It's a fan magazine and we need contributions!
Ulysses Fri Sep 11 00:44:16 2009
I suppose I will think more about Honeymoon on Titan. I am not hugely familiar with all of the FF books, having read only about 20. In terms of parodying some of the FF books, I had imagined that at the beginning when you and Pomplompotom arrive at the Titan Tourist Board office (in a space station in orbit above the unsuspecting world) there would be some parody associated with the tours on offer. However, the happy couple will choose just one tour. While references to other adventures can and would be included, just one main quest would be undertaken. Whether this should be something unique, a parody of an existing FF story, or a combination of two or more FF stories is up for debate. Perhaps people can make suggestions...?
Aiken Fri Sep 11 16:39:25 2009
Hmmm... OK this is a little left-field, but here's my copper peice...
Maybe it doesn't matter which one they choose.
This is because Titan's economy is clearly based on a adventuro-necromantic complex which creates demand for items (from rope and provisions to amulets and swords). Without necromancers, everything will grind to a halt, since the inhabitants have no need to eat unless injured. With the death of the last undead sorceror Titan has been plunged into an economic depression threatening its very existence and attractiveness to tourists.
Realising this, our heroic protagonist must struggle to prevent adventurers destorying the Forsaken Darktomb of Nightblack Unbirth, the only means to restore the necromancers, and perhaps, the only chance left for Titan, and, more importantly, it's gift shops...
Gaetano Fri Sep 11 19:48:07 2009
I'd throw in an amusement park ride. "Warlock of Firetop Mountain" roller coaster (could be similar to "Splash Mountain" or "Thunder Mountain" at Disneyland); to find your way off the ride you've got to find the right keys. Perhaps the ride malfunctions and all the animatronic orcs start killing people.
Andrew Wright Sat Sep 12 00:02:37 2009
I'm also working on a short 50 ref Titan spoof for Wayne's Windhammer gamebook competiton, though it's a bit different to the great ideas floating around here!
duffmeister Mon Sep 14 17:05:20 2009
RE 'Honeymoon on titan':
I have personally always felt orcs had a slightly harsh time in the ff series, often being viewed as evil and even unthinkingly killed simply because they're orcs and of course orcs=evil. Naturally, in the ff series they are merely filling the 'evil henchmen' gap, but i'd love to see the orcs on titan set up an 'Anti-orcophobia' group, or something similar, trying to remove orcs bad reputation (Possibly only to spoil it by being unable to resist temptation and killing any non-orc seeking to join). Perhaps they are trying to take non-traditional orcish jobs to combat prejudice, with orcish seamstresses, violinists and lawyers now appearing.
Aiken Tue Sep 15 13:17:01 2009
Re: "Honeymoon on Titan", I love Diffmeister's idea. Funnily enought, Ulysses already did something similar (but still quite different) in the Diamond Key:
a group of Orcs have begun to develope bureaucracy and infrastructure, albeit it turns out they are being organised by some evil dragon.
Also, perhaps the kleptomaniac tendencies of the adventurer's of Titan could be spoofed- they collect anything and everything that comes their way, often killing fairly innocent or at least not actively hostile shopkeepers to get it. They need help!
Ulysses Wed Sep 16 00:02:14 2009
When I wrote about the orcs in tDK, I thought at the time that it was a interesting idea that deserved more attention. So subsequently I started to write another adventure about the orcs in that developing kingdom, and their quest to release the dragon trapped within the mountain. It delves deeply into orcish culture, and although a serious work (as in more like tDK than the WWGB series) it will definitely show a side of orcs that people never thought existed, as well as all the things people do know to be true. This is one reason I want to finish the WWGB Series, so I can go back to working on that one. It will be another 1000 reference adventure, of which I have already written at least half, but it is very complex with multiple paths, secret areas and loops where you (as an orc) either grow stronger, or get weaker and perish. I also need to make sure it doesn't become boring, which will be quite a challenge. When I read Outsider! I enjoyed it at first, but then just wanted it to end...but it kept going... My orc adventure will be even worse because of the looping. Hopefully the plot will be interesting enough to maintain a high care-factor.
Re: Honeymoon on Titan, I have decided I will write it, because I have thought of a delicious plot twist that I can't leave alone. Thanks for all your suggestion, everyone. I will try to work in what I can, but can't promise anything.
Aiken Thu Oct 1 10:17:34 2009
I've finally beaten the damned Hypertrout. It is perhaps the strangest adventure yet;
not so much in terms of plot but in terms of the fact that the "True Path" (which is exceptionally narrow) cannot be determined by any kind of logical search through the tree of possible actions. Even the exceptionally unforgiving House of Horror allowed you to realise your mistakes (eventually) when you finally died a gruesome death some 40 references or so after taking a wrong turn. In the Hypertrout each "Commendation" which forms the key to success is a completely self-contained event. You have no way to know how many of these events exist, or when they happen. To add a twist, there is an unseen time-limit which can force you to miss one. Finally, various routes which appear beneficial when compared to others miss these events. Did I mention that almost all the items you can collect are pointless? Ulysses, this is a more profound satire of the FF genre than Honeymoon on Titan could ever be. It's not so much a Hyper-trout as a Hyper-Red-Herring.
Now I've finally beaten the bloody thing, when will my Skill 14 Advanced Electro-Whip trained Enseign's adventures continue?
Ulysses Thu Oct 1 13:36:12 2009
Thanks for your great comments! Any satirical parody of the FF series is entirely coincidental, since my philosophy when writing The Hypertrout was to try and be a complete bastard! Actually that's only half true. I have this operating principle which is that if the adventure is short, then I can be less fair, since replaying it is not too burdensome. Although I have never been trapped inside a giant trout, I was trapped for half an hour in a laundry back in 2006. I managed to free myself with logic and reasoning. Of course I knew what the problem was before I started searching for items as I explored the laundry. Much like a FF adventure, if it hadn't been for the single coathanger that happened to be in the laundry I would have been unable to escape (often success does depend on the possession of a single pivotal item). However, with most things in life, you set out not knowing exactly how you are going to solve the problem. Furthermore, doing things at different times can lead to different experiences. So in this respect the adventure is entirely realistic! It is often impossible to know how significant things will be in the future. When I went into the laundry, even if I had of noticed the coathanger in the sink, I would never have known it was the coathanger of my salvation... A valid counter argument to this is that a gamebook is not real life, and unless there is a way to solve it with your intelligence, then it's not really fun at all. Um...yes. I agree. I can only return to my original argument, which is that since it was so short, I tried to make it as hard as possible! I urge anyone having trouble with any of my gamebooks to look forward to the immense relief and sense of accomplishment you will feel when you finally do suceed! More seriously, The Hypertrout has a number of valid endings. Although there is one ending that is better than the others, it was never meant to be the only path; and once Episode 5 is up, all valid endings will continue into it. That's why the stated objective of The Hypertrout is simply to escape.
Episode 5 has been submitted to the site and I believe is currently under development. As mentioned earlier, the new Episode 6 is underway and about half-written (it will be short adventure that might cause the same kind of reaction as The Hypertrout, since there are many paths leading to success, and some are better than others).
Episode 7 (formerly known as Episode 6) is also half written. And I have written the introduction and first few references for both Episodes 8 and 9. However all of my gamebook writing is temporarily on hold while I attempt not to fail my Masters course this semester (Fun Fact: the duration of my bachelor degree was extended by one semester due to writing The Diamond Key instead of studying!).
Gaetano Fri Oct 2 05:41:19 2009
In The Hypertrout,
is section 32 the optimal ending? If it is, I somehow stumbled into it the first time I played.
Anyway, very entertaining, like the rest in the series.
Ulysses Fri Oct 2 07:58:52 2009
Ending 32 is when you do everything right, except for failing to get three commendations
Ulysses Ai Thu Oct 22 12:40:37 2009
Just some market research on those who have played through the Wrong Way Go Back series up to the end of Episode 4:
How many bonuses to your initial SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK stats have you been able to find over the 4 episodes? What level are you up to now? Also, what weapons training and levels does your character have?
As you may be aware, there are bonuses in every episode, and will continue to be. But I am also increasingly introducing penalties, and would like to know where people at at so that it is balanced
gamebook freak Sat Apr 23 07:25:03 2011
hi, i have a problem with the hyper trout, wen i killed the goldfish king, have i need to roll the dice oare are you killed as a natural thing in the book? if so, wi then the dead world ever exists?