Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 7483 times)

wedgeski

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 686
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #45 on: 01 November, 2021, 08:55:21 AM »
Likewise I haven't quite had the time this weekend, but I'll get it done this week. Great work on that graph Funt! I wonder if there's behind-the-scenes material on-line showing the original design documentation for these books?

Barrington Boots

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1167
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #46 on: 01 November, 2021, 11:28:04 AM »
Lovely work on the graph Funt. I tried a second runthrough at the weekend but messed up the keys, I'll do another one for comepleteness using this I think. In your face, warlock!

I've played one of the gamebooks electronically - Island of the Lizard King - and I don't remember it using numbered paragraph headers. I assume for stuff like the keys here you'd just have tagged items in your inventory that allows you to proceed: that's how I'd build it.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6756
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #47 on: 01 November, 2021, 04:29:32 PM »
Likewise I haven't quite had the time this weekend, but I'll get it done this week. Great work on that graph Funt! I wonder if there's behind-the-scenes material on-line showing the original design documentation for these books?


Don't know if it's online anywhere, but I do recall SJ and IL appearing on a children's TV programme in the mid-1980s* and showing their working (an A2 or larger piece of paper with lots of numbers and interconnecting lines).




* I'm thinking it may have been Why Don't You?

Funt Solo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9685
  • Research Monkey
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #48 on: 01 November, 2021, 05:46:38 PM »
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Funt Solo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9685
  • Research Monkey
    • View Profile
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3058
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #50 on: 01 November, 2021, 10:53:01 PM »
The 25th Anniversary Edition came with a fold-out map.

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6756
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #51 on: 02 November, 2021, 10:15:05 AM »
Ian Livingstone on how to write a Fighting Fantasy book. Full 2019 Fighting Fantasy event report!

At 6:15 there's a shot of one of the original design maps.

Cool video - pleased to say I've met four of those featured, and one of those was socially (i.e. not at a games convention or Forbidden Planet signing).

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7987
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #52 on: 02 November, 2021, 03:35:43 PM »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Adventure
Intrepid adventurer that I am, I take it upon myself to ransack the home of a reclusive and (for all I know) benign Warlock, who - fiendishly! - is minding his own business and posing no apparent threat to anyone. Well, that sort of behaviour obviously cannot be allowed to stand - it's like he wants to be robbed and murdered! Maybe I make a career out of this sort of thing? I'm explicitly told I'm a 'likeable sort of person'; am I a confidence trickster by trade, or just a common housebreaker?

Either way, the Gods obviously like a rogue, as I roll up a respectable Skill of 11 and Strength of 20. It's a low-key start to my home invasion, though it soon kicks into a higher gear when I slaughter five salaried orcs in the guards' mess - take that, Zagor! I hope the 'death at work' indemnities cripple you!

I find a fellow burglar languishing in a prison cell and release him back onto an unsuspecting world, though I'm too late to save a safe-cracking dwarf from dying of torture. Things are looking good by the time I reach an underground river - I've keys, gold, a shiny silver bow and spiffy new shield - but stopping for a sandwich nearly proves my undoing, as a hungry Sandworm erupts from the banks and, galvanised by the smell of my fish paste sarnie, whittles my health down by half. The meal takes me up to less health than I had when I got to the river! That was one costly lunch...

Heedless of the old advice about swimming after eating, I doggy paddle through to the next cavern. Without enough gold to pay the ferryman, I take a decidedly dodgy raft across to the far bank, and then... wham! Someone does me dirty from behind, and the lights go out. (It's fine - the occasional cosh is an occupational hazard for a housebreaker). Waking up in a room full of zombies, I heft my trusty sword and head into battle once more - and the first zombie makes absolute mincemeat of me. Recklessly knocking down doors with my shoulder earlier in the labyrinth means my Skill is now 9, which - while respectable - is obviously not enough against the undead. My supposedly magic shield doesn't save me from a single point of damage (I suspect, too late, that I've been sold a turkey) and I can only land a single, flailing hit before the cadaver ends my home invasion once and for all. The next brave burglar will be facing five, not four, zombies...

The Verdict
Not a favourite, but more fun than I remembered from my only previous playthrough (I suspect that's because I died before I got to the bloody maze). What hamstrings it for me is the total lack of narrative - it's just an opportunistic dungeon crawl, with no scene-setting or background to speak of, and not much forward impetus beyond a chance of loot - and the sheer amount of paragraphs that amount to 'You are at a crossroads, and can go east or west.' If you're a player - like me - who just likes to role play the books (What would I do in this situation?) and isn't making painstaking little maps, then those passages are an exercise in tedium. And I hadn't
 even got to the bloody labyrinth yet...!

I think you need the nostalgia factor to get the most from this one. Thanks for making me replay it, though - been meaning to stuck back into the FF books for months. What are we playing next, then - Return to Firetop Mountain...?
@jamesfeistdraws

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7987
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #53 on: 02 November, 2021, 04:02:47 PM »
If you're a player - like me - who just likes to role play the books (What would I do in this situation?) and isn't making painstaking little maps, then those passages are an exercise in tedium.

Just wanted to point out that wasn't a dig at anyone...! Heaven forbid. Funt, your graphs are superb.
@jamesfeistdraws

Funt Solo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9685
  • Research Monkey
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #54 on: 02 November, 2021, 05:41:15 PM »
Thanks! (I also recognize that turning a 40-year old gamebook into a node map is hugely nerdy, not really worth anything in terms of financial gain and not what some people would call a fun weekend. For me, it's as close to Shangri-La as I expect I'll ever get.)

Love the role-play angle.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7987
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #55 on: 02 November, 2021, 06:14:16 PM »
Love the role-play angle.

It leads to some interesting choices! I had the option to try to sneak around the zombies that killed me, or simply go back the way I'd come; but (with the notable exception of the Sandworm) I'd sailed comfortably through every fight thus far. So I thought 'My guy's going to be feeling pretty cocksure at this point; I can't see why he wouldn't just get stuck in' and threw him straight into battle, even though my own natural inclination would be to explore, and avoid a fight if possible.
@jamesfeistdraws

Funt Solo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 9685
  • Research Monkey
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #56 on: 02 November, 2021, 06:22:57 PM »
Oh - that's really interesting. So, if I play Starship Traveller, I could roleplay like Kirk and be fairly gung-ho and aggressive - throwing away my red shirts casually, despite what my calculator brain is telling me.

(I've started the Starship Traveller node map, because it's one of the books I never managed to solve on a straight play-through.)
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Dark Jimbo

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7987
  • Grobbendonk spoke gibberish, a fringeworld dialect
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #57 on: 02 November, 2021, 06:49:19 PM »
It's a fairly light roleplay - I've never created a name for a character or anything - but it sometimes makes me play against my instincts, which makes for a fun game!
@jamesfeistdraws

Richmond Clements

  • Super Moderator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 14875
    • View Profile
    • http://www.futurequake.co.uk/fq/index.html
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #58 on: 02 November, 2021, 10:05:59 PM »
This thread has reminded me that I actually wrote one of these a few years ago... https://unseenshadows.com/napoleon-stone-and-the-army-of-set/

wedgeski

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 686
    • View Profile
Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #59 on: 03 November, 2021, 08:54:06 AM »
Oh - that's really interesting. So, if I play Starship Traveller, I could roleplay like Kirk and be fairly gung-ho and aggressive - throwing away my red shirts casually, despite what my calculator brain is telling me.

(I've started the Starship Traveller node map, because it's one of the books I never managed to solve on a straight play-through.)
I'll be using your map when I get to Starship Traveller. I never completed that mofo.