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The house of Torment Development Map

The house of Torment Development Map

This image represents the layout of 'The House of Torment'. Part of the charm of the old gamebooks was mapping it out. Like old tabletop role playing games you didn't know where or what you were going into. This map is provided for development of the game's map based locations. There are spurs and loops not listed as they are game based. Circles are alternate locations that appear when you defeat certain monsters or when the environment changes. The image is exceedingly large so you will need to click on 'original' save image and use a on drive preview device so you can zoom in or print it out.



Since your "book" (or Game Book - if you prefer) is so "big", I would suggest that you refine the map and included it as "SALES MATERIAL". Sort of like saying "this is how big my book is..." That may attract potential customers who may like your book.

And NOW seeing how LARGE it is - I would include it (or a more refined version of it...) Looking at the map, I was unable to figure out where the game ends - which is good because that forces players to fully explore the map in detail...

Bottlenecks and feelies

re: Hmm.
About: Bottlenecks in map layout.
There are a variety of points within the game that the layout is divided between one section and another. One is at 197 which divides the caves from the house. From there on its really a stright run with a few test that send you back to an earlier locale if you fail. Then at 264/265 there is another bottlneck between the underworld caves and the final conflict within the chamber of the impaled giant. Once completed you get the 'event codeword' that allows you to exit the front door safely.

About: feelies
In old text adventures the game was not the end of the presentation. Often printed media were disguises for the copyright protection. These would be disguised as anything from serious instructions to silly tabloids set in the game world. Many times there would be extras that would be vital for game play. Things such as a world map, newspaper clippings, reciepts for locales within the game, Even plastic coins and baubles that link directly to the game's setting. These helped to complete the games presentation and to set the tone of the game. Like a movie trailer or a prolog it was essential. In my game the 'newspaper clipping' at the beginning was my attempt at an in-game feelie. Also the first or second page has what could be considered a 'back cover advertisement' for the game as well. To me revealing the entire map for a game like this were setting and map exploration is vital seems... somewhat counter productive.

That is why I need people to play my game that.. is not me. I need them to see what I miss. I need them to complain about missing things to point at blatant errors and to bugg me about things they expected from the game once they have completed it. I need input so I can tweak the design to better satisfy the customers.

About: CreepyPasta?
I just discovered this little internet term in refference to short online horror stories that are meant to sound like urban legends. I thought of writing one as a sneaky way of advertising my gamebook. I have a sketchy story but its all just ideas.

The idea i have involves an old scan of an even older early 90's gamebook deemed badly written but too difficult to complete by the given rules. Where those that complete it by cheating seem to dissapear and almost anyone who plays it is often plagued by a cavalcade of neverending nightmares. the story ends with the narrator lamenting that someone with a photographic memory is rewriteing the gamebook and making it even more horrific.

But thats just a half baked idea.

I think you missed my point

By looking at that map, the game is too long... When I saw the map, I thought this book/game is 3x the size it should be.

This is my opinion but if it was up to me, I would make it 3 house floors, each floor having 1/3 of the secret code to the underground mausoleum.

The mausoleum should be the size of a floor and there should be an exit after an encounter of some sort...

And that's it... Maybe the last encounter could be a Lich... Or Lich King...

Whatever you like. Also I would make the mausoleum much simpler to solve and the objective would be to find the hidden alter/throne.

The game is just too long... IMHO.

Best of luck with your game/book...

Re: Length

The idea started out to imitate the video game. Since then it has changed considerably. The original map was a direct copy of the video game. From there some areas were split so there was a safe end of the room and an unsafe end of the room. It also helped to cut down on the number of 'exits' and choices'. For example in the 1st level hall if you took the 3 locales and smashed them together so there is 1 'hall' you end up with 10 exits. This doesn't even take into account game options for searches and monsters. Then you have the directional specific description issue. Some locales are one way or have different descriptions when traveling in the opposite direction. You could have two numbered sections for the same locale describing the other trip, or you could add an additional location. If the location is unique and very detailed than this could be helpful and that is where I ended up expanding locations. Detail and descriptions are everywhere. Like a movie set designer I felt that the locations themselves had to convey part of the story and atmosphere of the game. This is where size got larger. I can honestly say a lot of the house stays the same according to the map above. However I agree that the underground cave section could clearly see some shaving down. Especially that double loop on the lower right side of the map. The problem is that I created so much detail in various areas that tie into the story itself that I have issues shaveing certain areas down while maintaining a vauge unspeakable feeling of being tiny and lost admist something much larger than yourself.
I still want to hear the perception and notes of one who plays all the way to the end. Even if they bend the rules so its guaranteed that they will win. Sometimes the rules to a game can seem complex until you play it. That's why I'm not trying to judge my game by its map size alone. In 90% of the cave section is just move, move move. Verry little in the way of auctual gameplay. But in that movement I added more detail. I hope that you like it.
Here is a link to the map for the Fighting Fantasy "The House of Hell" which by examination seems to have around 70 obvious locations.

About the length, most

About the length, most average game book length were under 300 paragraphs. So I don't think that is an issue.

It reminds me that there was a tool on linux and probably other plat form that allowed you to code a game book like that so that it can be run by the computer.

I saw an implementation of "The Warlock of the Firetop mountain" for that software. It included a different picture for each paragraph, I am not sure if art is a necessity.

That could be interesting because you could playtest your game more rapidly.

length? & Mainly Programs

Re: Size/Length
Larienna; you are right about game length and map size. The Destiny Quest "Legion of Shadow" has 531 paragraphs for the first chapter and is a near free roaming, quest completing, adventure. The book is auctually two acts. Chapter one goes up to 531 and chapter two continues up to 939. I will not argue that my game DOES have a lot of locations but it lacks on character interaction and conflicts for the size of the map. This game is mainly exploration by location and currently it tops out at 447 with map, objects, events, and monsters with their various conclusions all added together.

Re: Program used
I use a program titled "Advelh 2000". It tracks paragraphs. As long as you use a standard set (and its customizeable) "turn to X" format you can move groups of paragraphs together, swap individual paragraphs, create it with random holes for extra space then compress it all together to remove the holes, even mix them all up so that no two are within X number of paragraphs of each other. There's even a visual "Block map" with color codeing. Its a great tool for this and free too.

I would love to have this game remade as an Inform Game. However until the blatant 'turn to x' errors are fixed I will wait.

Fighting Fantasy made a version of "Warlock" for kindle touch. That's the black and white one, as well as for android. The android ones include all the special eye candy that everyone expects. 3d dice that roll across the screen for dice rolls, big push button icons for each 'turn to' decision, soundtracks and effect sounds, in addition to a customized background so it looks like your reading a parchment book, etc. Some will reveal a map as you go, others will not.

Re: Final presentation
As a 'presentation' I wanted complete this game by createing a special pdf file that mimicked old scanned in paperback gamebooks. A color front & back cover scan. Ficticious front matter, Two page scans with black empty space where the scanner couldn't read. And two character sheets. One would be a Bookmark style like the D&D gamebooks used. Those would be for the pre generated characters but charater backgrounds would be in the book text to save space. The other would be a full paperback page front and back for custom characters. There would possibly be a dozen hand drawn B&W line drawn images in the book as well. All of this to create the illusion of an old game book.

This collection of scans is my visual inspiration.
Its a lot of free gamebooks to play.

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image | by Dr. Radut