Well this year saw the release of another two books; Jamthology and The Druids Of Pneuma. With these tucked under my belt I prepped to continue work on LIG4, then recieved a rather interesting and exciting request. I have been asked to guest-author for the Savage Realms gamebook series by its creator, the much revered TroyAnthony Schermer. I can’t say ‘No’ to such an honour, and I shall make this book not only better than any I have written for myself – but also better than most I have read. I dare not give out spoilers, especially at this early developmental stage, but work has commenced and the idea is even better than the one I reserved for a full length amateur FF. So there! Eat your heart out Stephen Hand.
Back in the eighties game books were at the height of their popularity, selling in their hundreds of thousands. Come the nineties, the video game era took over and game books saw a decline, with even the most popular series being pulled from the shelves. With game book fans of yesteryear now adults, they now wish to introduce their children to the genre, with many of them becoming authors of interactive adventures in their own right. The game book market is now reviving, as this generation looks for ways to bring children back to reading rather than screen time.
My new book, JAMTHOLOGY, is an introduction to game books with four thrilling pre-bedtime sized adventures, which start off easy and grow progressively more involving until you finish a seasoned game book adventurer. It is ideal for readers of all ages who wish to begin a journey into interactive stories and pit their wits, rather than read standard cover to cover books.
All profits go to charity. Click here to view on Amazon
I’m delighted to announce a project I have been working on with my stepdaughter is about 75% done, and will probably be released early December. She will be joining the ranks of gamebook illustrators at just 16 years old, like her favourite did, the late Martin Mckenna. It will be my fourth publication inside 18 months. Watch this space for more…
Well, I was going to take a rest from writing, but my delightful niece gifted me a pen and notepad specifically to write my next adventure with. Can’t really ignore a demand like that, so three nights ago I came up with a backstory and we’ll be returning to similar mechanics as LIG2. Exciting times, no idea when it’ll release as I’ve only just begun, and there’s no old manuscript to sponge from like with The Druids Of Pneuma. Watch this space for more.
So the special edition sets of The Druids Of Pneuma have started finding their way into their new owners hands. Let’s take a look at a couple of things that make them so special.
1) It’s not branded with the LIG logos. We get to enjoy Malcolm Barter’s art The Bella Mort without the monofett LIG crest across the top. No ISBN or blurb either.
2) It’s a hardback. One of only 35 in existence. Okay, 36 if you include the proof copy. There will never be anymore made, making them rarer than a Magehunter lol.
3) Some text has been removed. If you are a follower of the Literally Immersive Gamebooks page on Facebook, or backed at a Walraven level, you will no what something is when you find it which may be important. Otherwise, your quest may get a little stifled.
4) There is a credit list, and write up about how the book took a quarter of a century to get from my head to its published form.
5) They’re all signed. You’re welcome 😜 Paperbacks will be available on Amazon next week.
So a couple of days ago I received the proof bound of my latest gamebook , The Druids Of Pneuma – the third title in my Literally Immersive Gamebooks series. There are 36 of these hardback copies in existence, all taken by a backer of this grand project. They have 410 sizzling references to look forward to with artwork by Fighting Fantasy illustrator Malcolm Barter, Mike Tenebrae on internals, and Pat O’Neill on fillers. The book will officially launch after these special hardback editions are posted off, and be available on Amazon in late May.
Hey hey! Today I endeavour to finish off the second rewrite of The Druids Of Pneuma. What a nightmare last hundred refs it has been. With plot holes and cross links galore having to have been ironed out, it isn’t any wonder Puffin rebuked 19 year old gamebook writers. Anyway, I think I have come up with a lovely story, or peril and woe, action and adventure, monsters and magic.
Upon completion it shall be shown to three trustees for preliminary perusal, and the wonderful Mike Tenebrae will be briefed on internal illustrations. I have come up with a plan for limited Kickstarter rewards, which people will be able to get a special edition hardback or paperback as well as other goodies. Whether or not that funds, the book will be available on Amazon shortly after the Kickstarter ends. I’m guessing it’ll be a couple of pounds more than the first two Literally Immersive Gamebooks as its over twice as long at 410 references.
Of all the book projects I am ever likely to do, this is probably the most personal to me, and a product of my 19 year old self and 44 year old self combined. There’s that number again! It will also contain a couple of Easter eggs here and there. A 25 year old work is about to come alive. And with a cover by Malcolm Barter, binding me to the Fighting Fantasy series I love and grew up with. This is a dream come true. I’ll be at the Fighting Fantasy Beero tonight, if you cannot make it I wish you all a merry Yuletide break and happy New Year.
Larping has recieved a significant smash in the chops due to lockdpwn rules. Personally, the closest I ever got to Larping was cops and robbers, or am-dram productions with a youth club I attended as a boy. So is there a way to get round this? Yes! Oliver McNeil, creator of the incredibly popular Storymaster’s Tales boardgames Weirding Woods and Dracodeep Dungeon, has created an interactive webcam based format, where Larpers can create there own character and explore the multitude of locations in his ever expanding Grimm-esque universe. With encounters of wizards, witches, monsters and magic, this thoroughly absorbing static larp experience draws you straight into a cooperative adventure with dozens of other characters.
The production levels of this visual interactive phenomenon are high, and many people have compared the experience to the old Knightmare TV series from the 80s. My own character, Half-head Harry, is a Thief who is usually handy to have onside when sneaky skullduggery is relied upong to progress the story. Being new to Larping, I can say its easy to get into, and more experienced Larpers are always happy to help you out if you stifle.
While the world of outdoor social RPG is at the mercy of covid 19, I strongly recommend to anybody who like LARP, RPG, D&D and all other immersive live action co op games to check it out. Search for Storymaster’s Tales Online LARP group on Facebook today and have a chat with some of the members about joining in this incredible gaming delight. Ages 14+
So here we have it. The sublime Rhianna Pratchett enters the Fighting Fantasy franchise with her adventure Crystal Of Storms, becoming the series’ first female author, and armed with illustrator Eva Eskalinen. So how well did the pair do through the eyes of this age old fanatic of FF? Before I sink my teeth in properly, let’s have a look at the premise. A previously uncharted area of Titan, Pangaria… made up of a cluster of floating islands. Yes, floating! With this being a new area it gives Rhianna free reign to do whatever she likes. Even her own ecosystem of creatures. Clever! And she has introduced technomancy to the world, which has been created by a race of friendly Goblins within the archipelago. This is how the islands float. Don’t bicker, we’ve had friendly ones before, Giblet, Marsh Goblins etc. So one day, one of the floaty islands crystals goes pop, and it drops into the sea, sparking your thirst for adventure. It’s a great idea and I really love Rhi’s writing, comparable to Jonathan Green’s and Ian Livingstone’s. This girl is on fire.
Eva’s art is rather reminiscent of the much panned two-dimensional work of Vlado Krizan. While there is a slight improvement, most of these illustrations belong in a fairytale book for under fives. Sorry, it’s just not a met standard given the rock album cover Gods and Hollywood storyboard artists we had before. But of course, ScholasticUK know what kids like better than the six year olds of the eighties that actually read these religiously for four decades. I could moan all day but what good would it do? This is not to slate Eva or her art, it’s great, but just mismatched to this series which used to leap from the pages and tear your face off. Incidentally, I rather liked the Shark Kin illu, old creations are floating through now. Actually, I remember Jon asking for a reminder of it’s stats in the Facebook group. Superfan Victor Cheng answered like lightening. I’ll bet that’s when it was added to the mix. Speaking of which, there’s a whole lot of JG mechanisms on loan here, from creatures and codewords to settings and humour. The latter of which can sometimes get a little excessive… (you’ll see.) There are several typos – even in the intro heading – but in all fairness typos we’re always rife in the series. A couple of plot hole refs can have you flittering around the same island all day so you need to use some common sense. (investigating smoke for example, and how did I get a gold coin out of nowhere to recharge my wings?) In a place like Pangaria, I would have expected a gazillion Bird Men characters as well. Or how come The Watch members are not this species? Would’ve made sense in a suspended habitat.
All in all, this is a good book and a clever adventure. Whilst is isn’t up there with the series greats and that isn’t an Aakor on the cover, it’s certainly a great debut albeit influenced greatly by Jonathan Green whom mentored the author. Do another one Rhianna, and consult OOTP even more 😁👍
So with International Gamebook Day over, I have taken stock of people’s advice to give my gamebooks a series name. If you have been among the first to buy me debut book, you will have an extremely rare copy if they take off, as all books now will sport the Literally Immersive Gamebooks logo as seen in this pic.
I’d like to thank Mr David Tobin for my first Amazon review, and what a corker it is. Also, I can take this opportunity to tell everyone that Literally Immersive #2 is well underway, and I hope to have it available by Halloween, which will be fitting for a Horror adventure.
Jam out x