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A Saint Beckons
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
The Trial Of Allibor's Tomb

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Sat Jan 4 16:01:44 2020
The Curse Of Drumer
Well itís a matter of personal preferences. I think I had some expectations of something similar to House of Hell since itís related. House of Hell had very little humor (if any) and focused on setting up a grim atmosphere.

I think I wouldíve reacted differently if your book wasnít somehow linked to HoH. I think an Indiana Jonesesque dialogue works nicely in an action/adventure context but in this case I believe this kind of character interaction does a disservice to anything horror-related.

Again, it depends what youíre going for. I canít feel any immersion if the main character reacts in an unrealistic fashion. I think itís perhaps why the communication of protagonists in ff games is often passive as opposed to actual text quotes because it facilitates immersion.

We all have ideas as to what gamebooks *should* be. I personally could never get into ę†Wrong Way Go Back†Ľ because of the comedic overtone. Itís not for me but Iím not saying itís bad, itís not what Iím looking for.

I think predictability is also a big element of immersion. Giving choices which are things someone in a certain situation would likely do. If the reaction is unthinkable or counter-intuitive, immersion is gone.

As for the amount of choices, I think thatís a key element when it comes to game books. A lot of realistic choices which provide a lot of different outcomes. As a player, I expect to take part in the story as opposed to passively being told what happens as this the nature of a book or novella.

I think if someone is very attached to the telling of a very specific story, itís sometimes better to opt not to use the gamebook format. It allows the development of characters as the writer intends to as opposed to being based on the playerís decision.

I think a lack of agency hinders immersion, involvement and ultimately fun. In your gamebook, I could hardly continue when the protagonist would use quips while being pursued by crazed cultists. No one would ever react like that. I think running away in fear would be what most people would do, saving their breath to save their lives as opposed to saying: ę†Iíll take my chances!†Ľ

Iím writing all of this as feedback for your next creation. Feel free to dismiss my message, itís just my opinion after all.

Sat Jan 4 16:06:22 2020
Shrine Of The Salamander
I liked this adventure. I just wish it was longer.

At the end, it wouldíve been awesome to have to do the journey back to safety. It wouldíve lengthened the story and make for a more satisfying ending. I hope youíll expend on this story as opposed to write a new one. The spells mechanic sure was a lot of fun.

Robert Douglas
Sat Jan 4 16:35:06 2020
The Curse Of Drumer
Okay, thanks for the response and feedback :)

Sun Jan 5 14:12:01 2020

I've been trying to read how the various authors write their gamebooks in the feedback sections but I'm pretty sure I missed some.

To authors:
How do you proceed when writing a gamebook? Try to be as detailed as possible in your writing process please: optimal method, software used, use of maps, inventory size, number of instant deaths...

also: what you consider to be the fundamentals of a good gamebook and things to avoid.

Thank you!

Phil Sadler
Sun Jan 5 18:23:50 2020
Well I tend to go like this:

1.) General idea for a story, but it may be best to do your own sequel to one of the real FF books you love if it's your first attempt.

2.) Get a map together and fill it with essential, useful or red-herring items.

3.) Have some of those items guarded by favourite monsters, tricks, riddles or other types of traps, but try to fool the reader into not knowing which items are which straight away.

4.) Have some fights interspaced between the essential items, as well as other interesting situations such as mass-battles, wild-goose chases and bluffs/double-bluffs.

5.) Have a sprinkling of instant deaths here and there.

6.) Play test it (I always try to balance for 'average' characters, apart from in my first book where I was too inexperienced).

7.) Edit it.

8.) Release it.

Now for some general advice:

(a) Always try to balance so that an average (skill 9) character can get through, that way, if he can, then those characters near him in abilities (Skill 8, 10 and 11) should be able to as well. Don't worry about the extreme ends of the skill spectrum.

(b) Do the same for luck and stamina.

(c) Try not to have enemies of more than 9 skill unless they are weak, avoidable or have other ways to weaken them or power yourself up.

(d) Try to avoid to many tests for luck/skill/stamina, especially ones that result in death, absolutely especially on the 'main path'.

(e) Try not to have a complete shopping list of items, especially essential ones. It's just book-keeping for the player.

(f) Almost always end each paragraph with at least one choice.

(g) Not too many 'dead' rooms with nothing or very little in them because you'll go there once and then never again.

(h) Give the player a few clues here and there but sprinkle in a few false ones too.

(i) For monster encounters you should make them interesting in one of two ways: either the monster itself (triple-headed dragon for instance) or the combat instead (he can take your skill or luck or become more powerful or steal your things or break your sword or weaken you, or whatever).

Mon Jan 6 11:23:48 2020
Great! This is exactly what I wanted to know.

Also, how long do you think a ref should be to avoid being wordy?

Phil Sadler
Mon Jan 6 12:06:36 2020
A ref should be as long as you like; as long as you feel it should be.

Tue Jan 7 00:34:28 2020
Don't know about that. I've read criticism before on other books here about being too wordy and I often agree.

Anyhow, has anyone ever tried starting from the "end" and going backwards? Did you think it worked out in the end? I'm trying to find the best way to do this. I'm about 20 refs in by now.

Tue Jan 7 00:48:27 2020
Hunger Of The Wolf
Really good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I often wonder if an actual barbarian would refer to himself as a 'barbarian' though.

This was one the good ones to be honest. It never got frustrating, the difficulty felt just right.

Tue Jan 7 23:10:53 2020
House Of Horror
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
Well, i should have learned from the Original House of hell. Dont drink white wine lmfao

Wed Jan 8 15:15:53 2020
Having a good time! I still prefer house of pain so far but itís very fun.

Ref #: 74
... you steal yourself

# 293:
... to a ancient

# 250: ... although youíre that the...

# 100: ... closely the door...

# 3: ... just continue to stand at the all

You sometimes spell glow stones and sometimes glowstones.

#1: death by skull tentacle
#2: death by devil horse
#3: death by dwarf trial fight
#4: death by shade

Player 1 to 3 on novice, now playing on medium.

I have some things that put me off a bit, let me know if youíre interested. Itís nit picking just so you know.

Phil Sadler
Wed Jan 8 19:09:29 2020
"I have some things that put me off a bit, let me know if youíre interested. Itís nit picking just so you know."

I'm always interested!

Wed Jan 8 20:39:00 2020

#79: watches you with as you

Died 3 more times: cavern monster, cyclop, shade (again).

After you swim past the lake monster and you get to the gem, it says that you take 3 health potions to avoid triggering the trap and take the gem. I didnít any potions left. I mean, I didnít take the gem but I think it might be a good idea to rephrase the alternative: either trigger the trap in getting the gem or leave it where it is. To make you take a single choice here based on something you donít necessarily have feels out place here.

I felt that the death where you walk into a mouth and die was a unfair. I realize the mirrors give you a vague warning about this but itís unpredictable. The other sudden deaths are reasonable but I thought this one was unfair as in: left or right? Left. Ok youíre dead. I know the stalactites gives a vague hint but itís very vague.

Phil Sadler
Thu Jan 9 06:51:25 2020
Can you give me the reference number of the 3 potions trap?

Fri Jan 10 16:08:31 2020
I canít say. Normally I would ctrl+f to find Ďlakeí or Ďthree health potionsí, Iíd be able to give the reference in minutes that way. I only have access to a tablet at the moment so I canít. If you canít find it, Iíll look for it on a computer.

By the way, you havenít mentioned anything about the typos. Do you correct the original script, does it help to point them out? Because I write all of them on a piece of paper so I was wondering it it was helpful.

Phil Sadler
Fri Jan 10 18:49:23 2020
I'll correct the script and I'll send it to Andy (the host) and ask him to upload it.

Phil Sadler
Fri Jan 10 18:53:09 2020
Found the ref 97. I've put this bit into it now:

Unless of course you donít have three potions left. In which case you dare not try to take the gem and leave without it.

Fri Jan 10 20:55:26 2020
Good idea! I think I like deathtrap the most now. I really look forward to your next book. I would personally buy it if you published. Have you considered submitting it? Itís way better than the zombie one recently published. I think youíve honed your craft to be a pro now.

I keep track of my death and I must be closed to 20 now. Some things I liked a lot:
The mutant enemy was a great idea.
The concept of competitors who do their own thing.

I think if you could tweak the combat system in your future book, thatíd be great. Just some slight alterations. Another cool idea is if you did something like sorcery, linking two books together.

Sat Jan 11 16:50:06 2020
House Of Pain
1. How many fears in total do I pick: 1 primal and 3 basic correct?

2. Do you think itís cheating if I Ďskipí over the first part before getting into the mansion? I mean, I donít read the reference because Iíve read them before, I just skip from one number to the next. Online, it takes seconds as I just click but in a pdf I need to scroll through the text to find the reference.

Iíd like to know how you think it should be handled. If I skip, Iíd take the same route, add the same amount of fear, and get the same object. Itís streamlining the whole thing.

On the other hand, starting from the beginning might be the way you intended it to be. I donít cheat and I want to get through it the legit way.

Looking forward to your take on it.

Sat Jan 18 23:46:17 2020
New Day Rising
I have the sudden hankering to continue Mission 3 Set in Stone, for better or worse. Guess I can only play Might and Magic Heroes so long.