So, remember Choose Your Own Adventure books, the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf gamebooks, and other solo-adventure enabling products? Those are interactive fiction. We like to bring them up from time to time because they were formative influences on our gaming tastes long ago, and they still provide a great source of inspiration and enjoyment. If you long to revisit the days of exploring an authors world in a more immersive way, of following literary versions of the IF/THEN/ELSE command to their destinations, you should check out VuPop 2 – An Academic Conference Where YOU are the Hero: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online. Organized by our longtime resident gamebook expert Demian Katz (who also runs gamebooks.org), the event promises several informative talks on the genre. Best of all, if you can’t make it out to Villanova University in Villanova, PA this Monday (tomorrow), the conference will be streamed online. So skip work, wake up early and get interactively fictional to start your week off right.
Archive for the ‘Gamebooks’ Category
The entries in the 2011 Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction have been made public, and voting is open until October 30th. If you’re a fan of interactive fiction and want to reap the fruits of this year’s competition, just visit this page. As the competition page so eloquently puts it, “within these entries can be found humour and madness, domestic terrorism and desperate stands, and the dangers that can be found in both inner and outer space.”
The Fabled Lands series is one of the most ambitious gamebook projects ever attempted: a huge world which can be explored in a totally non-linear fashion, with each book representing a different region full of adventure and hazard. The tragedy of the series is that it never sold well enough for all of the volumes to be completed, and many adventurers have been roaming the world of the first six books aimlessly since the 1990’s, hoping that someday they could reach the distant lands of books 7 through 12. Just when it seemed all hope was lost, the books have been revived both as an iPod/iPad app and as new print editions. If these reissues sell well enough, the series may finally be completed. If you’ve never experienced the books, now is the perfect time to get involved. If you’re a fan from ages back, you can return to your old stomping grounds or share the adventure with your friends and family. Either way, buy some books and help complete a fascinating unfinished piece of gamebook history!
The third year of the Windhammer Prize competition is now underway. Five short gamebooks are available for free download, and you can vote to determine which author wins the cash prize! If you’re a fan of solo adventures, take the time to check it out here. If you’re really ambitious, perhaps you’ll be inspired to start planning an entry for next year’s competition!
In case you missed out on the first two years, the third annual Windhammer Prize is posting its rules and schedule early to allow plenty of time for writing and judging original gamebooks. While this hasn’t quite reached the scale of the computer-based Interactive Fiction Competition, it’s a similar opportunity to be creative in a medium with a lot of potential, and I hope it keeps growing. Do your part and check it out! Oh, and did I mention the cash prize?
If you plan to give gifts this holiday season – or better yet, receive them – you’ve surely been perusing local stores and forming a list. The Cave dwellers have done the same, in the third section of our OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2009. This portion, the Twelve Boxes for Christmas, focuses on board games, in the hope of guiding some of your big-ticket expenses toward enjoyable gaming choices.
All that remains is our traditionally last-minute PDF/downloadable product list. We’ll be sure to drop it down your chimney when you’re least expecting it. … No, that’s not a euphemism for anything! Sheesh!
Variety.com reports that Convergence Entertainment has secured the rights for a live action Lone Wolf feature film. Joe Dever’s classic fantasy gamebook series has already made the transition to full roleplaying game through Mongoose Publishing, but the leap to the movies is a big step. Convergence also secured the rights to produce a Gungrave film, based on the anime series which has already spawned two PlayStation games. According to the story, Convergence plans each film to have “budgets in the $30 million-$35 million range”. If the project comes to fruition, this could be interesting – or another good idea mangled by Hollywood. We’ll see.
This year, the home of the free online Chronicles of Arborell gamebooks is hosting a competition to encourage new authors. All the entries are in, and readers are now encouraged to take a look and vote for their favorites. The adventures begin here. Take a look, put in your votes, and think about contributing if this rolls around again next year. I’d love to see gamebooks get their own competition as large and interesting as the computer-based Interactive Fiction Competition, which is also in the voting stage at the moment.
It isn’t often that we link to an AOL feature article, but their list of the top 20 Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks is somewhat entertaining. We lend even more credence to the list due to the author thanking Gamebooks.org, a site created and run by OgreCave’s longtime staff member and gamebook specialist, Demian Katz. Good to know some AOL writers recognize quality when they see it.
For years, Wayne Densley’s world of Arborell has been growing through the online publication of gamebooks and fiction at www.arborell.com. Today, the latest addition has been unveiled: Quest for the Orncryst, the first in the Torchlight series of card-based gamebooks. Through a combination of a 101-page book and several decks of cards, a player can have an ever-changing solitaire role-playing experience, exploring a dungeon that never has quite the same layout or dangers twice. Best of all, the whole thing is free — you just provide the paper and scissors.