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Adventure Gamebooks Question

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TrollBasher
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Do you think adventure gamebooks are dead or could a determined indivdual (that's me) bring them back to life?

Having already written several FF style books I know I could do a good job in creating a lone-wolf type series based in my fully constructed fantasy world. Only one problem - would anyone actually want them?

All replies read and answered. Many thanks.

Infernal
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

I don't know if they would be as popular today as they were when I was growing up (I was an avid reader and collector of them :D). With so many computer games out there, it is not likely that you would have as big a market. However, with the Harry Potter books making sales, this kind of idea might just take off again.

Have you thought about useing some of the more modern technology to enhance the experence? Like DVDs (a choose your own adventure movie, using a high end scripting software like flash, e-paper, etc). With a bit of creativity with these technologies, and not useing it for the gimmick factor, it could have some market potential.

Nandalf
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Dude, i found one of the Zagor books yesterday, they were great, but they are old hat now, which sucks ass, a new Fresh look at it would be classic!!
computer text based games never cut it, nothing beats a good book, but the game books were kinda sucky in the sense u died too easy lol

Dralius
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

in print form they are just about dead. Electronicly they are quite alive.

Do a search on google for hypertext adventure or interactive fiction.

Could you revive the print version? Maybe, books do have a portability advantage over computers at the moment.

Weather you can have that great effect on the field is hard to say. I suspect you could have a good time doing it though.

TrollBasher
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Thanks for all your replies.

I'm really looking for something to do at the weekends as the rest of my spare time is taken up with my CCG and I thought this might be a fun project - I mean people still read fantasy books don't they?

Please tell me I'm not the only one reading fantasy books. I think I'll give it a go by writing the first book in the series (using my own rules system)and then constructing a website where people and can visit the world it's based in. Even if sales are low people might enjoy using the world I've created for there d20 adventures and my imagination will be out there for all to see.

Anyone else remember the good old days of adventure gamebook?.

johant
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

if you think this is a fun project do it

if you are having a good time working on it whats stopping you?

To be honest i do think that the chances of earning any money from this project is extremaly small

I am currently making a boardgame that i really think could be great, but earning the big bucks?

dont thinks so!

phpbbadmin
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

TrollBasher wrote:

Anyone else remember the good old days of adventure gamebook?.

I did the Lone Wolf thing too, but I have to say the best series by far was Steve Jackson's sorcery series. I had the entire series once but for whatever reason got rid of them...

Here is a link to some information:
http://homepages.tesco.net/~parsonsp/html/sorcery.html

For some reason I thought the books were available to 'play' online but I can't find them.

Another set of game books that were good were the One on One fighting fantasy books were you played against a friend; i.e. each player had a different book... I never really got into those but it seemed really cool.

-Darke

jkopena
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Darkehorse wrote:
TrollBasher wrote:

Another set of game books that were good were the One on One fighting fantasy books were you played against a friend; i.e. each player had a different book... I never really got into those but it seemed really cool.

The Lost Worlds series of fighting flip books was reprinted recently, though showed up at my local shop a couple weeks ago.

If anyone's never tried one of these types of books, I highly recommend it. I can't see playing them all the time, but they're very interesting from a design perspective. I've played both BattleTech & Lost Worlds books and they're pretty cool, though a bit balky until you really get the turn rhythm down. It's pretty neat to charge the other guy, flip to the result, and see him get closer to you in the picture. The Lost Worlds books have rules for multiple players, but they're not very good (IIRC, someone just winds up holding multiple books).

Although I've never played with them, I have a friends' set of WWI air combat flip books that look pretty awesome as well.

--
- joe

OrlandoPat
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This really is a fun genre

This really is a fun genre

One of my best game acquisitions ever was when I discovered virtually the entire Lost Worlds series on the discount table for 50 cents a book. I now think of it as one of the core pieces of my game collection.

Joe, I think the flying game you're remembering is called "Ace of Aces" - also lots of fun, though I am absolutely horrible at it.

- Pat

Infernal
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

I toyed once with the idea of creating a DVD with a choose your own adventure movie. My idea was that you could get a group of actors to act out each path of the story, and at key points the user could select from a menu which path the story would take. However the costs and effort to do this would be quite high. But I think it would be interesting.

Scurra
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Darkehorse wrote:

I did the Lone Wolf thing too, but I have to say the best series by far was Steve Jackson's sorcery series. I had the entire series once but for whatever reason got rid of them...

Oh yes, the Sorcery series was by far the best - but perhaps fractionally too ambitious for its own good (iirc to get the "perfect" ending you had to find a way to take more than one of the paths through the story, which was a cool trick.)

infernal wrote:
I toyed once with the idea of creating a DVD with a choose your own adventure movie. My idea was that you could get a group of actors to act out each path of the story, and at key points the user could select from a menu which path the story would take. However the costs and effort to do this would be quite high. But I think it would be interesting.

The Seven Swords of Wayland was the first one of these that I know about. And boy was it crap! No-one has tried to do anything so ambitious since, I think, although the tech and systems have improved, so maybe...

Nandalf
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

the combat books - Games workshop did a few of these, and they looked awesome!
i even made my own.. althought i was young at the time, and they didnt really work lol

larienna
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

I tried many times ago to make a book "where the reader is the hero" but now I tough of some sort of alternative as board games.

The idea would be to have a set of tiles which represent room or areas where something can happen and you move you heroes(can be played multiplayer cooperative) on the tiles or place other markers.

I am not sure if the adventure should be generated randomly, or if I should make an adventure book like heroquest where for each tile, there is a small descriptive text of what happen in this area. Of course, if there is adventure books, I`ll have to always make new adventures.

I also tought of placing tiles face down or placing the tiles when exploring the area. It will give you the feeling of exploring the unknown.

So it is some kind of light text adventure book with a board as additional material. Multiplayer would be easier and you would be able to move back in visited areas. It also has some ressemblance with a solo RPG like "Island of D".

Do you think it is a good idea?

Anonymous
Re: Adventure Gamebooks Question

TrollBasher wrote:
Do you think adventure gamebooks are dead or could a determined indivdual (that's me) bring them back to life?

Having already written several FF style books I know I could do a good job in creating a lone-wolf type series based in my fully constructed fantasy world. Only one problem - would anyone actually want them?

All replies read and answered. Many thanks.

I've been wondering the same thing. I grew up on the Choose your Own Adventure books, as well as the solo dungeons for Tunnels and Trolls. Lately I've been working on a solo system which is coming along right nicely. Computer and console games do pull people away from book based games, but I think that if someone did it right, they could find a nice little niche market. Maybe they could even make a little money. ;) But to answer your question directly, I'd say yes, the hard copy solo books are pretty dead. However, if you were to distribute them electronically, and support them with a well maintained and updated web site, you may be able to generate some interest. It would take a lot of work, and they would have to be pretty cool to generate interest.

Here are the obstacles I think you'd face:

1. Replay value: You play through it a few times and then set it aside. You get to know the challenges, and then it gets boring.

2. Dying quickly: The "middle" game part of the experience would have to be lengthened. What I've noticed, at least with the Tunnels and Trolls books, is that there's no middle ground. 95% of your characters will die before hitting second level, and the other 10% will become uber due to some lucky rolls. Both are boring.

3. Character growth: Providing character advancement at a reasonable rate and also continuity between adventures.

4. Depth: The rules have to contain some depth as far as tactical possibilities, and permitting various character builds, etc.

I've been working on a solo system lately. I'm about 60% done, here's how I'm handling the replay value issue I mentioned:

Dungeon tiles. They are about 3" square, and have corridors, rooms etc. You turn over the tiles and orient them according to the arrow. The dungeons are different every time. There is a basic set of tiles, and then special sets for different types of dungeons, such as crypts, sewers, haunted houses, etc. these are shuffled into the basic deck as needed. For example, to simulate a crypt, I shuffle the crypt tiles into the deck with the basic tiles. Afterwards, I remove them. I drew the tiles myself, printed them out in color, and laminated them. When you enter a room, the theme of the room is determined by the tile. The encounters are determined by a roll on an encounter table. For each difficulty level of the dungeon, roll for one room occupant. Generic rooms will have encounters that draw from the basic encounter list, based on the dungeon theme. Special rooms may have special encounters.

I don't want to bore you with too many details, but maybe I already
have. ;) Anyway, if you'd like to chat more, feel free to drop me a line or respond to this thread.

Falloutfan

larienna
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Just for the information. Here in canada, we are still selling french traductions of adventure books. Still, there is no new stories, only reeditions of the old stories.

Horoku
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Interesting how great minds think alike

I just wanna say that I was a HUGE fan of the good 'ol Choose Your Own Adventure series books back in the day; it took a recent trip to the library with my younger sis, (whom I wanted to get hooked as well) for me to find out that they were no longer in print. What a loss. But I told you that story to tell you this story.

Infernal wrote:
Have you thought about useing some of the more modern technology to enhance the experence? Like DVDs (a choose your own adventure movie, using a high end scripting software like flash, e-paper, etc). With a bit of creativity with these technologies, and not useing it for the gimmick factor, it could have some market potential.

I'm currently working with a buddy of mine on a game, that will take an actual story I'm working on, weld it with a website, and add to it a "choose-your-own-resolution" type gaming format, in which the results of your gameplay at home can immediately lead you to the next page on the site, thus combining the adventure and discovery that we love about books with a board gaming format that anyone can get into. As many have already said, books seem to be less and less atractive to "modern" gamers (video), but with the game we are designing, the story will basically become the reason for playing the game itself, not vice versa.
Any ideas on this? Or pm me for more details if you want.

Bozonoir
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Horoku:

It must be something in the air as I too have recently begun working on an online adaptation of the Choose-Your-Own type of adventure. My programmer and I have just begun. I'm treating it like a boardgame with heavy narration.

JackDarwid
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

I have the same idea before. I even started my project , but as the project goes, I changed my mind.

This is my project before :
a game book that the player move back-and forth in a village and it's surrounding, and in each location (each entry in a choose-your-own-adventure book) there's an explanation and some things you can choose to do.
I either use a keyword system or an object system to 'remind' the event (example : you go the guard room and speak with the guard then the guard will give you a key. If you give the key to the sheriff he will give you an apple. So, if you come to the guard room and dont have a key or don't have an apple that event in the guard room above occurs, but if you have a key or an apple maybe the guard will just say 'thanks for your help').
it will use pen and paper to play.

But then after some times, I changed my mind (because I don't like playing with pen and pencil anymore) and leave the project to make something more compact and easier to play and put my effort to Island Of D (yes, as many says, the game is like a gamebook, well, it is based on a gamebook concept actually).

And you can see that my gamebook project before evolve to Island Of D 2 : the Shadow Of Dawn (the concept and story is there).

Cheers !
:)

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

Larienna wrote:
Just for the information. Here in canada, we are still selling french traductions of adventure books. Still, there is no new stories, only reeditions of the old stories.

That's interesting to know. Those would probably help me practice my French. I was born in Montreal, but we moved here when I was still young. I've been back a few times, but my French is pretty poor at this point. Are there any web sites you could point me to that have these books?

Falloutfan.

TrollBasher
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Hi all and thanks for your interest in this post - seems there might be some life in the old gamebook yet.

I've been doing some research on the net and it seems the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are being re-printed by Wizards Books - there are currently up to book 21 with high sales figures - go figure.

Anyway I've decided, all money concerns aside, to take a stab at creating my own series of adventure gamebooks.

Here are my thoughts:

A gamebook series written in a more adult fashion (as people are still reading novels). Every three books in the series will fall under a trilogy heading and round up a particular story. The player can also advance in level much like in the lone wolf books and basic D&D.

Hmm, I'm seeing many sleepless nights ahead. Better get started.

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

TrollBasher wrote:
Hi all and thanks for your interest in this post - seems there might be some life in the old gamebook yet.

Here are my thoughts:

A gamebook series written in a more adult fashion (as people are still reading novels). Every three books in the series will fall under a trilogy heading and round up a particular story. The player can also advance in level much like in the lone wolf books and basic D&D.

Hmm, I'm seeing many sleepless nights ahead. Better get started.

If I may be so bold as to suggest something -

Since you're going with the more adult theme, which I strongely support, please consider putting some serious thought into replay value. Replay value seems to be a key element IMHO. (Second only to character advancement which you've already mentioned) One thing I've thought of doing, is using both "scripted" sequences as well as random sequences. By scripted I mean your traditional follow the paragraph type of process flow. By random, I mean throwing in some random tables, or conditional statements to liven things up. For example, a list of possible encounters that the player would roll against while travelling throughout the main adventure. Some of the encounters would be your typical "monsters that try to eat you", with no additional background. Some of the encounters would be mini adventures that involved flipping through paragraphs. I'm also a fan of secondary quests - an additional quest that is smaller than the overarching adventure, but interesting none-the-less. Lastly, some consideration for the second, third, and fourth play throughs - in order to keep the player guessing. In the traditional books, it's frustrating to play through once and then just put it down 'cause you've seen everything.

In practice - I've thought of an adventure taking place in a big city, with the character seeking to rise up in the local Thieves guild. In order to rise up in ranks, the character must complete three of eight heists for each rank of advancement. You pick the three you want to try. Failure has consequences, and results in loss of status, or an increase in the local law level. With successive characters, you would be restricted to only picking one heist you've already tried, and the others would have to be different. (Until you'd tried all of them) Within each "job", the protections in place could vary somewhat by chart look up. Something like "Roll a d6 to determine the protection you must overcome".

Anyway - I'm blabbing on again. Good luck on your project, I hope
you have some great fun in putting it together. If you want to bounce some ideas around, drop me a note.

Sincerely

Falloutfan.

TrollBasher
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Hi falloutfan,

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas. Not sure how I'd incorporate random encounters in to the books but it's an intriguing idea and I'm going to give it some much needed thought.

The secondary quest would always be a feature of my gamebooks because I've been brought up on novels and you can't have a good novel without one or more sub-quests - which of course I'll tie up at the end of each trilogy.

By the way, your thief book sounds very interesting. You going to give it a stab?

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

TrollBasher wrote:
Hi falloutfan...
By the way, your thief book sounds very interesting. You going to give it a stab?

I think I will. I've currently brought my board game project up to prototype status, and now just need to hunker down and type up the rest of the rules from my notes. The thief adventures sound like a nice diversion, that would fit in to my next project as well. (Tile laying, solitaire dungeon crawl)

Maybe when I've got a prototype - maybe you'd give it a whirl for me? That would be a ways off however. It would be in MSWord format. I offer the same in return.

BTW - MS Word does some pretty cool stuff with hyperlinks and bookmarks. You could make clickable links that would take people to other parts of the document. You could even use clickable pictures. MS Powerpoint does the same. I think you could even get away with using Excel, which has the added advantage of being able to generate pseudo random numbers. For all the criticism Microsoft takes, they have created some tools which are very suitable for creating solitaire dungeons!

Sincerely

Falloutfan

larienna
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Quote:
That's interesting to know. Those would probably help me practice my French. I was born in Montreal, but we moved here when I was still young. I've been back a few times, but my French is pretty poor at this point. Are there any web sites you could point me to that have these books?

OK, The editor(publisher) is "Gallimard", he has a collection of books for kid called "folio junior" and of course, there is a sub collection containing all the "books where the reader is the hero" .

I found the website of the editor(publisher) and found their page where you can see the list of all the books available. There is 6 pages of around 10 titles. You can click on each title to get a picture of the book and a description of the content. Here is the address:

[url]
http://www.gallimard-jeunesse.fr/3nav/collection.php?id_collection=121&t...
[/url]

There was a book convention in Montreal recently, and I have seen them at their stand. Their book is like the second re-edition since the cover has changed. Most of them are traductions so you will see famous author like "Steve Jackson" and "Ian Livingstone". I am not sure you can actually buy book online from their website.

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

Larienna wrote:

OK, The editor(publisher) is "Gallimard", he has a collection of books for kid called "folio junior" and of course, there is a sub collection containing all the "books where the reader is the hero" .

Thank you! It was an odd feeling to see the French again - it was like a switch flipped in my brain and I suddenly understood it. (At least the more common words) :)

It's funny how that happens.

I'm familiar with Jackson and Livingstone, I consider them famous as far as I'm concerned. They contributed a lot to my early years of gaming. They are like grands-pères in the game industry.

Thank you for your help Larienna

Sincerely

Falloutfan

tyrfiel
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

I loved FF books as I was growing up. Even then, though, I thought the combat system was too rudimentary. The main reason I liked FF was their diversity...most were dungeon hacks, but some were about sci-fi, spies, superheroes, pirates, and post-apocalyptic Road Warrior settings.

I liked the Grail Quest books the best. They were more forgiving when you died (they had an afterlife section at the back where you could be resurrected) and had a greater degree of character advancement.

The main problem I have with choose-your-own-adventure books is that typically you're presented with a variety of choices and occasionally one leads to certain doom...without any warning or notice that making such a choice is a bad one. I remember feeling cheated that so many of my deaths seemed entirely too capricious. The randomness of the consequences only encourages people to "cheat" by marking their pages so they can go back and make the right choice.

So, my only recommendation is to give readers the information they need to make the right choices. :)

Infernal
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Quote:
The main problem I have with choose-your-own-adventure books is that typically you're presented with a variety of choices and occasionally one leads to certain doom...without any warning or notice that making such a choice is a bad one. I remember feeling cheated that so many of my deaths seemed entirely too capricious. The randomness of the consequences only encourages people to "cheat" by marking their pages so they can go back and make the right choice.

There used to be a time travel set of FF books. In the book the only "end" that you coudl have is either being killed by a monster or completing the quest. So no matter what choices you made you would only be killed by fighting monsters that were too tough (and they usually did give you a chance to run away before the combat).

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

tyrfiel wrote:
The main problem I have with choose-your-own-adventure books is that typically you're presented with a variety of choices and occasionally one leads to certain doom...without any warning or notice that making such a choice is a bad one. I remember feeling cheated that so many of my deaths seemed entirely too capricious. The randomness of the consequences only encourages people to "cheat" by marking their pages so they can go back and make the right choice.

So, my only recommendation is to give readers the information they need to make the right choices. :)

There in lays the riddle friend - The balance between the deadliness of the game, and the duration. The quicker you play through it, the quicker you put it down to never play it again.

But I agree with you, as this happened to me just a couple of nights ago. I was playing a character in a Tunnels and Trolls solo adventure, who was actually doing pretty good for a change. His 15 or so predecessors had met rather grisely deaths in the various solo dungeons I own. The particular one I was playing, I'd never gotten further than a few paragraphs. (I am quite a stickler about not cheating) So my character was all buffed out with the best weapons, armor and stats, only to end his life at one of those capricious paragraphs you've mentioned. See - I was presented with 2 choices: To talk to a group of orcs, or fight them. I'd fought them before, and knew that I could easily wipe them all out. I chose to talk this time, to see what would happen. The book called for me to make an IQ check to see if they'd listen to me. I failed. They ate me for dinner. (Although I could have killed them all easily if I'd taken the violent approach) I was a trifle frustrated. I tore up the sheet and went on to do something else.

I think the sweet spot in a solo type of game, is for it to allow you to complete the game, but to make it so that you only see a small portion of the game in doing so. That way you come back. That being said, many games fall down when it comes to this in practice.

Respectfully,
Falloutfan

Anonymous
Adventure Gamebooks Question

TrollBasher wrote:
Hi falloutfan,

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas. Not sure how I'd incorporate random encounters in to the books but it's an intriguing idea and I'm going to give it some much needed thought.

Hi again,

Sorry I didn't respond earlier. Random encounters are handled in most solo books I've seen by just having you roll a die at certain places. This determines what you see there, or what happens.

This can refer to s simple "wandering monster" list, or an actual mini-adventure. It can be cloaked in such a way as to hide the goodie from the player, thusly:

***
You walk into the misty clearing in the middle of the Tanglewood forest. Roll 1d6 to see what happens there.

If you rolled a "1", turn to page 12 (Player encounters a Merchant)
If you rolled a "2", turn to page 45 (Fights a wandering monster)
If you rolled a "3", turn to page 17 (Finds a sleeping dwarf)
If you rolled a "4", turn to page 78 (Takes a nap, and heals damage)
If you rolled a "5", turn to page 11 (Sees a fight between 2 men)
If you rolled a "6", turn to page 32 (A tree speaks to him)
***

And there you go. The actual random event is masked by the paragraph reference. This way the player will wonder where the other results would lead him or her. Therefore, maybe he'll want to play again. Possible results can even be something very simple, but interesting or weird.

Another thing I've thought of is conditional statements, and stacking modifiers. Lets say your character is going to talk to the grandmaster of his guild. Prior to going to the meeting, he finds 3 notes shoved under his bedroom door. Each one is from a different person, asking to see your character before going to see the Grandmaster. Your character can only see one of these people before his appointment. Which one will he see?Also, when he talks to anyone, he gets a super secret modifier, that he won't understand right away. It comes into play later. At one point you ask the player to write an "A" on his character sheet. Later, due to choices he makes, he's asked to write a "B", or another "A", or maybe a "C". What they all mean is up to you, but you can leverage the players paranoia by using statements like this:

"Count up the number of "A"s, "B"s, and "C"s you have on your character sheet. Consult the following chart:

If your number of "A"s is greater than your number of "C"s, but less than the number of "B"s, turn to page 23."

And so on. Make him wonder. Maybe "A"s secretly respresent goodwill, "B"s represent suspicion, and "C"s represent political leverage.

Anyway, enough chattering from me. Hope this was of some use.
This is one of my favorite subjects, so I go on a bit.

Respectfully,
Falloutfan.

TrollBasher
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

Hi all,

I'd like to respond to a few posts here:

Infernal: Yes I'd given some thought to a DVD interactive adventure. I even played the Scourge of Worlds DVD which is very similar to what you were proposing. However, the whole experience left me feeling rather dead. I didn't believe in the characters and didn't really care if they lived or died. Besides for me you can't beat a really good book unless it's with a sturdy stick.

Nandalf: I agree with you about the computer text games. I've been looking at quite a few and the freedom of play they give you is not really that much different from a well written gamebook. As to the dying too easily in the gamebooks? How about a spell or ability that you can use to return you to a certain point just before death. A bit like a saved game feature - what do you think?

Darkehorse: Yeah the Sorcery series was very good. If I could combine the feel of that series with the charcter progression of Lone Wolf I'd be very happy.

Larienna: Do I think your gamebook/tile adventure system is a good idea? Hmmm. Yes. I do. I think the world needs more solo adventures. In this fast paced world there just doesn't seem to be time any more for people to get togther to play games on a regular basis. I'd say give it a go.

Falloutfan: Thanks for all your posts you're really giving me some things to think about. As to your prototype, when its ready, sure I'll give it a playtest. I doubt, however, that my book will be ready anytime soon - a CCG is unbeliveably demanding - more than I ever thought possible. Hence I only have the weekends to work on my gamebook. By the way if you haven't played any of the Thief games for the PC you should give them a try. They will, I'm sure, inspire you greatly.

Falloutfan (again): Is is worth me getting a hold of these Tunnels and Trolls gameboks. I've never played them before and was wondering if they would help at all in my creation. As to the random encounter/event. Yes I can do that.

P.S. Ramble away. Your posts are of genuine interest.

Tyrfiel: Grail Quest. Yep, what a great series. Although my fav has to be the Way of the Tiger Series. I also hate the certain doom aspect of gamebooks and I hope to avoid things like this by making it pretty obvious before the descion is made that your i.e. hoplessley outnumbered or walking into a trap etc.

Sorry for the long post guys but I wanted to respond to as many of you as possible and to thank you for your interest - my gameworld is coming along nicely.

Scurra
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Adventure Gamebooks Question

falloutfan wrote:
I'm familiar with Jackson and Livingstone, I consider them famous as far as I'm concerned. They contributed a lot to my early years of gaming. They are like grands-pères in the game industry.
They were at GenConUK a few years ago to sign copies of the newly reprinted FF books. So I took along my original 1st edition copy of Warlock of Firetop Mountain to note that I'd been waiting twenty years for this chance ;-)

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