Episode 7: Return to G15-275 is still in development and has been expanded to 450 references. I've nearly finished writing, but it's quite a complex book and so there will be lots of checking to be done. Hopefully it will be entertaining and so hard that no one will be able to finish it. I've had high hopes for previous titles in the series, but some of you are far too clever.
Ulysses Fri Apr 1 14:21:43 2011
I realise now that I have kept fans of the WWGB series waiting for about a year for the next episode. It is long and complicated, so it it is taking a while; but it will be a grand adventure featuring mystery, action and romance.
222 (Mystery!) You walk into the shadows and up to the screen, reaching out to touch it. The screen lights up with text. You read curiously. It is some kind of legal document authorising the use of lethal force against any individuals who are not registered guests or authorised employees/assets of the company that move within a three metre radius of a particular set of coordinates. Good to know. Of course you have no idea where the coordinates are on the planetoid. As you wonder, you hear a voice above you, dripping with satisfaction. “Consider yourself…informed,” it says. The alcove is then illuminated by a light, a sickly green glow that emanates from several main-blades held on the ends of multi-jointed arms. The greenish glow plays off the blood-red panels of the death-bot that looms above you, pausing to savour the anticipation of ridding the universe of another organic. You panic and try to run, but with a flash one of your legs is severed and you crash to the ground with a cry of pain. The death-bot steps closer, and begins to chop you finely.
YOUR ADVENTURE ENDS HERE
202 (Action!) You swim gently, trying to stay low. You are confident in your recollection of where the entrance lies. You no longer feel the tentacles sweeping the water and start to feel for the edge of the opening. Your hands knock against something, but instead of the hard polymer of the imitation cavern, it is rubbery.. The tentacle bursts into action and wraps around you. You are wrenched through the water and other tentacles seize you. You squirm and struggle, trying to reach your lasersword, but the beast pulls you in several different directions and painfully wrenches you apart. As your awareness fades you realise that the monster outwitted you by leaving a tentacle to guard the exit. You spend your last moments wondering at the intelligence lingering in the heart of such a monstrous beast.
YOUR ADVENTURE ENDS HERE
249 (Romance <3 !) You set down the glass and turn to the blue-skinned lovely. “How’s that, babe?” you say with a sultry smile. For years to come patrons at the bar are able to see this look since the poison kills you so rapidly your body stiffens in moments. You are glazed and put on a stool in the corner for all to see. At long last you are famous.
YOUR ADVENTURE ENDS HERE
john Fri Apr 1 14:31:18 2011
I've enjoyed the series so far, but couldn't you have chosen something a little more... uplifting?
Ulysses Sat Apr 2 01:53:08 2011
53 Cash! The arrow clicks rapidly, inexorably slowing down to a fate that cannot be denied. The segments flash by, and your heart leaps as it begins to slow and you estimate anew where it will stop every second that passes. The wheel comes to a stop and makes the final click over, sealing your fate. You have won 1,000 GR! You squeal in delight and jump repeatedly as the crowd claps politely. While the death-bot beeps in disappointment, a gold-clad hottie hands you a cash card and kisses you on the cheek. Jubilant, you leave the stage, and people clap you on the back while you keep a tight hold on the cash card.
75 Prizes! You place a cash card on the glass tray and after a bar of light scans it, the joystick lights up, accompanied by expenditure-enticing music. You manoeuvre the joystick, making the robotic hand move about on the ceiling of the cube. Seeing a teddy bear head sticking up, you aim for it and press the button. The robotic hand descends, and lands on the head of one of the teddy bears. The hand closes and is hoisted up again. The teddy bear remains firm in the grip and is transported over to a chute in one corner while you squeal and jump in delight. The rainbow-coloured teddy bear is dropped into the chute and soon appears in a cavity below the joystick. You scoop it up to establish your possession. You now own a rainbow-coloured teddy bear, which you promptly name Mr Fluffles 2.
john Sat Apr 2 19:39:41 2011
I've never been one for game shows (save for the computerized version of deal or no deal) but I certainly wouldn't object to a massive amount of cash. Regarding Fluffles II, I hope this isn't the start of a recurring episode of my first adventure. Seriously though, great work, and can't wait to play!
Aiken Thu Apr 7 13:39:04 2011
Ulysses- great stuff, can't wait. And I've got five three premonition spells into the bargain!
john Thu Apr 7 17:53:40 2011
Ulysses, how long is your next book going to be? I noticed by one of your previous posts that your well into the 200's, and was wondering how much farther you've still got to go.
Ulysses Thu Apr 7 21:01:51 2011
It will be ~500 refs long. I've written about 450, so the writing will be finished soonish. It's quite a complex book, so it will take a while to check and then I will invite an editor to have a look and give feedback. That whole process will probably take 2 - 3 months. Then I will email the gamebook to the webmaster, who will adapt it for online play if he wants to and when he can. I would reasonably expect that you will see an online verision before 2012 :)
Ulysses Wed May 4 05:01:12 2011
Stats about Episode 7 of the WWGB series (as of today):
References: 550 Pages: 284 Total number of words: 115582 Average words per reference: 210 Codewords: 37 Number of times the word "bot" appears: 489 Number of attractive women: 1 Number of attractive fermales: 27 Number of available haircuts: 3 Number of octopusses: 2
Coming soon....but not too soon.
john Wed May 4 11:11:06 2011
I'm frankly amazed. I'd never be able to come up with all that on my own. Are haircuts important?
Ulysses Wed May 4 11:38:16 2011
Presentation is always important :P
john Wed May 4 13:19:22 2011
Ulysses, I just look at your earlier post again. I'll have to admit to being a little doutful of my chances of finishing this one without the download. I can't believe you managed to type out (what was it) 115582 words... wow! Any ideas as to how much more work you've got to do, and congratulations!
Ulysses Thu May 5 04:22:11 2011
@John: You don't need to be so apprehensive. This adventure is set in a place you can explore day after day so there are lots of conditional options; e.g. the reference you read the first time you go to an area is different the subsequent times you visit. That's why there are so many codewords. The facility is also quite large. Although there are many steps to be taken to achieve success, it has been designed so that if you explore cautiously, you will discover all you need to do and then can perform the tasks. I'm writing the final encounter now, then I will have to check everything. Can't give a firm estimate of the time.
john Tue May 10 13:55:43 2011
Ulysses, sorry if this has been said in the gamebooks, but how far into the future is the WWGB series set?
Ulysses Tue May 10 23:49:55 2011
I never decided exactly, but just a few hundred years. In The Golden Crate it gives some dates in terms of time since humans began to explore space. I recall that as being about 200 years after exploration. However 'Exploration' refers to manned spaceships flying outside our solar-system; so we aren't there yet.
john Mon Jul 18 18:22:55 2011
Ulysses, just curious as to the status of your book. I haven't been on hear recently, so forgive me if I missed something, but I was wondering how you're faring.
Ulysses Tue Jul 19 02:11:41 2011
Thanks for your interest. I haven't worked on it for a while since I've been busy with work, study and life in general. But I did say it might appear early next year and that could still happen. I've nearly finished the main block of writing, but I have decided on several changes in the course of writing that will mean I need to revise some sections to make it consistent and improve the overall story. That shouldn't take long as soon as I am able to give some time to it. In total now it is 600 references because I added a 64-reference game of Slogrlokrolk.
john Tue Jul 19 12:24:49 2011
Sounds good; thanks for the update. Why (if you can tell me without spoilers) would you need 64 references for a game?
Ulysses Tue Jul 19 12:52:44 2011
Because 2^6 = 64 But I just checked my notes and I see now that I didn't use every possible combination of outcomes. It's just 38 references. In the game you face a number of rounds and either win or lose each round. The maximum number of rounds you can participate in is 6, but of course it is possible to win or lose the game after just 3 rounds depending on your choices.
If you're still asking why, it's because there is a major bonus available at the end if you win, so I wanted the game to be hard, or at least complicated.
Ulysses Ai Thu Dec 13 01:39:40 2012
It seems so many people are involved with Tin Man Games. I must have missed the boat at some point.
In other news I am currently working on the final episode (No.8) of the Wrong Way Go Back series. Given that it is the finale, I would very much like it to be the best episode yet. I am happy with the basic premise, but how it is executed is another matter. The reviews of The Ravages of Fate from the Windhammer competition this year were very insightful; and I realise that for that competition at least I don't write the kind of gamebooks that people are generally looking for. That said, the WWGB series has been successful in its own way so there won't be any major deviations apart from what there have been already. By that I mean that the series was originally intended to be comprised of short but challenging episodes. However, a few have ballooned out, especially Episode 7 which came in at 600 references, but I didn't try to reduce the difficulty very much. The general structure of Episode 8, where you can visit every location you have been to previously over the whole series, means the gamebook is likely to be lengthy as well. Therefore I am looking for some detailed reviews of any or all of the episodes of the WWGB series (what you liked, what you didn't, what you would like ti see more of, and general feedback), to feed into the final episode. If any of you would like to help me, you can post reviews here or send to my email: ffstories(at)hotmail.com
If anyone REALLY wants to know what the premise of Episode 8 is, here it is:
You return to Amorphonon 12 just in time to find the love of your last three months is being married off. Five suitors have been selected to prove their economic worth and ensure the continued growth of the family business. You manage to become the sixth suitor. A bridal challenge has been issued to the suitors: in 30 days deliver to the palace something which will best ensure the continued success of the company and demonstrate your suitability to marry into the cashed-up family. Your character knows immediately what the best and most obvious thing from his previous adventures is to go and get, but never bothers to mention it. If you have played the entire series, you may have an idea. You then have 30 days to visit any or all of the seven locations to get what you need to win. Each of the seven worlds is like a miniadventure where you get to visit old friends and enemies. Also of note is that there are three successful endings to Episode 7, which lead into three different variations of your character in Episode 8, with occasional unique plot points for each. Now you don't get to be surprised.