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Found this about gamebooks

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  • Found this about gamebooks

    I was going to post this earlier, but as we all know there was some other stuff going on in the Off Topic Forum at the time.

    Anyway in my random google searches, I found this article about gamebooks on someone's blog which I thought was interesting (And not just because I surprisingly got mentioned) I took time to comment and mention Infinite Story, because hey every little bit of exposure for the site helps.
    Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!

  • #2
    Have you ever tried writing a serious gamebook (aside from online CYOA/Legend), End? If not, why?

    I'm hardly one to accuse someone of spending time on (what others think are) worthless projects; I'm not being critical. But your writing seems uniquely suited to that, and I wondered.
    Last edited by Locke; 06-27-2014 at 12:16 AM.


    • #3
      No, mainly because if I actually tried to write a gamebook it would cease being fun for me. I know Legend is somewhat well rated on here, but honestly it wasn't the most enjoyable thing to actually write and it felt like forever as I slogged through the last bits of it (Most notably the priest path and the demon possessed path). My enthusiasm dropped severely and really quickly as I continued writing it. Out of all my stories on here, I'd actually rank that one at the bottom.

      If I did Legend all over again (and I have considered it) I'd probably make it pure story and focus strictly on the rogue character, seeing as that path had the best writing in it. If anything Eternal is more like how I originally wanted Legend to go as far as the scope of it is concerned. (And I'm more enthusiastic about writing it)

      I briefly considered doing a Ground Zero spin off game with stats and all that over at CYS since I got several requests of wanting a "proper ending" for one of the branches (Seeking out Becky from the experimental shelter) and I was going to use their tools , but ultimately I didn't see the point. It wasn't going to be fun for me and the story as far as I was concerned was told.

      I just prefer focusing on the story rather than stats and such.
      Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


      • #4
        I saw you losing enthusiasm - mostly in the various religious segments - as I read Legend (it was still well-written, but I could tell. You're right in that the Rogue path is probably the heart of the story).

        My favorites are, in order:

        Necromancer/Death's Song
        Ground Zero
        ("Primal" would go here if it still existed)
        Paradise Violated/Innkeeper/Geek
        Alpha Wolf

        Granted, I haven't read most of your stuff in years, so I'm not sure how the older ones would fare on the reread.

        Why is Eternal so far down in the order? It's pretty much a straight "fighting/strategy" story, in your usual style. Yes, your writing has improved some - even since, say, Necromancer - but it's still par-for-the-course, conquer-the-world End Master. Where Necromancer stayed entertaining throughout, there was just so much of the same kind of fighting that it started to get a little old by the time I finished (the "beg" path; I don't think you've cleared any of the others yet). I still look forward to seeing how you deal with the rest of it.

        Don't get me wrong; it's still head and shoulders above most other stories, and an enjoyable read. If I was to start at the beginning and read through to one "old age" ending, I'd probably rate it at the top of the above list.

        EDIT: You really do log out after every visit. Slippery.
        Last edited by Locke; 05-21-2012, 01:58 AM.
        Last edited by Locke; 06-27-2014 at 12:16 AM.


        • #5
          Well lots of fighting is sort of unavoidable given that he's a magically engineered soldier bred for combat and all, but I thought I sort of cut down on the fighting segments though since even I get bored with writing them over and over again. The problem though is they're necessary to certain parts of the story and I can't very well just write "They fought and some people died." (And I actually did do that a couple times in Paradise Violated)

          I didn't really think it was a conquer the world story though. The Eternal can become a ruler, but he's never Necromancer level, its more like Ground Zero level in places which is also what I'm trying to accomplish. A fantasy counterpart to GZ but bigger. I had an idea to do that with Necromancer originally, but it doesn't branch nearly enough and I didn't start it from birth.

          Anyway the Shadow Guard path has less fighting, well sort of. It has a lot more back stabbing and arguing with the shadow god, faith or the lack there of. The True Eternal path will reveal the "whole story" or at least some of the important parts left out of the other two paths. I'm thinking that one's going to have less multiple branching overall though. Also have something special planned for that one, but I'm not sure exactly how best to implement it yet.

          I do intend to return to Primal some day, though I'm thinking by the time I get to it, I'll probably rewrite it from scratch and get rid of a lot of the copypasta segments I had going on in it.
          Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Locke View Post
            That ties in with the "religion" angle you've been going on about. I haven't read it yet - but what do you think (with regard to "Eternal,"and your usual stance on writing religion)? Did you approach this one ifferently, or was faith just a necessity in explaining the mindset of the Shadow Guard?
            Damn it Locke, I was trying to respond and you deleted your post! I had to backspace to quote it.


            Well I mentioned the shadow guard followed a god in the soldier path, so I certainly had to incorporate in the story branch.

            (Playa, looks like you get a jump over everyone else at CYS waiting for some of the shadow storyline if you're reading this)

            Basically one of the main reasons why the shadow rebel against the Empire is because of their god and religion. Their god basically told them they weren't strong enough to fight the Empire when they came into contact with them, so they negotiated a peace to serve it as long as they could continue to worship their god. At the time the Empire figured that was agreeable as it saved in resources and it gained an ally.

            So basically the shadows were waiting about 400 years for when the time was right to rise up. By that time the Empire was already having internal and external problems, so it was the best time. Not to mention they'd been secretly supporting other rebels and growing in membership for years to the point where the Empire was sort of dependent on them to keep the internal peace.

            There's sort of a lot of questions and arguments your character has with the god, like why doesn't he help out a lot more directly if he's so powerful for example. The god of the shadows seems sort of dismissive and uncaring towards his flock in the scheme of things and he tends to be deliberately cryptic with the Eternal to the point that he can't tell if he's actually trying to guide or just mocking him. Whatever it is, he does find the Eternal fascinating.
            Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ashton
              These gamebooks... are works of art. (Of course, some of Endmaster's other stories are... well, let's just say they defy description. That, and, I'm never introducing him to my children.)
              I think this might be my favorite part of the article. I mean, yeah, he has some excellent points on skilled CYOA writing versus hack CYOA writing... but it's nothing all that new. This line, though... it's pretty fucking brilliant.
              Originally posted by Ryan_DuBois
              Usoki, you're the crankiest asshole we know. Not that it's a bad thing, it just means that you smell funny and are best left hidden in darkness.
              And it's embarrassing when you make any noise at all.


              • #8
                Interesting series of articles, and mostly well said, but I think he is looking at it through a slightly limited lens. First off, he is using the common name "Gamebooks" (which I don't care for because of the way the word itself can limit the form) but he seems to be talking more about it as a form of art than a "game", which I respect and agree with.

                What I don't think he seems to get is how truly wide the format can be. For example, he says:
                You can't keep secrets from the player, the way you can in fiction, because the player is making choices for the hero. You can't jump from one set of characters to another, because the reader sees the wolrd only through the eyes of a single character.
                He goes on with several more "can't"s throughout his articles, but I say why can't you? Who says the form has be limited to second person experiences, where you are looking through the eyes of the main character? Who says you have to follow the rules set by those who went before you? Why place those limitations on the art form when you can do those things very well, if you are willing to work at it? I see no reason to box yourself in to a set of arbitrary limitations.

                I will agree that what he proposes as the only way it can be done is the easiest way to make one of these stories, but it is far from limited to that. All you have to do is look around this place and see some of the amazing (and not so amazing) stories we have here to see how people go outside these limitations all the time. And some of them actually make it work really well.
                Dragavan: Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - The Land of Karn - Central U (adult) - Dragavan's Adult Stories


                • #9
                  Ashton finally found his way over to Infinite Story, he's been lurking about reading through stories. He mentioned he might revise one of his older works to post on here.

                  Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


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