Posts Tagged choose your own adventure
Telling a great story of murder and intrigue, Curse of the Assassin is a highly enjoyable adventure gamebook from the iOS masters of the genre.
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Everyone loves interactive fiction, right? Ok, I might be a little biased due to my huge love of the genre, but I’m certainly not alone there. Plenty of people love the dark world created by H.P. Lovecraft, too, and his work has proved a fantastic inspiration for many great games and other forms of media. One such title that’s set to capture this spirit is The Moaning Words: a game currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign and looking rather promising.
The game is written by Science Fiction author, Alan Dean Foster, and follows a dark investigation across 18 episodes set to be released daily. Players will be able to shape their own adventure through the choices they make. Uniquely, the app will also offer a form of social adventuring with the ability to share one’s story with others as well as invite friends to unlock new content.
Continuing with an original twist on the interactive fiction idea, a card game of sorts will also feature alongside numerous riddles and conundrums. Plus, there’s set to be even more options thanks to the free writing tool that will allow users to create their own story! Not bad, eh?
We talked to co-founder and designer, Manea Castet, to learn more about this ambitious project.
148apps: Did any other books, games, or films influence The Moaning Words, besides H.P Lovecraft?
Manea Castet (MC): The design of The Moaning Words was influenced by the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books and popular video games Heavy Rain, Baldur’s Gate, and the Dragon Age series. In fact, our interactive fiction is built around different video games mechanisms. These mechanisms were specifically taken into consideration when writing the alternative [choices] and when designing how players interact with the story.
The first influence of our story is H.P Lovecraft’s body of work. Our app is designed to be a tribute to this well-known author. We believe it will please veteran readers of the “Lovecraftian” stories. It will also be a very good start for people who discover the Cthulhu Mythos for the first time. The story, written by Alan Dean Foster, is contemporary and its events will take place in many countries around the globe.
148apps: Some of the Kickstarter pledge rewards involve gaining a pack of gold to use in game, how will these help in game? Are they crucial to progression?
MC: In The Moaning Words, gold is the virtual currency. It can be obtained for free through card games for example. Users will not necessarily have to purchase gold to progress. Every time a user wins a card game, he or she will gain gold.
When people purchase our “Curious” Pack on Kickstarter, we will provide a ‘huge pack of gold’ to start with. Players will then experience the game with more freedom at the beginning. However, anyone can experience the whole story and progress through the 18 episodes without having to purchase anything with actual money. As in many free to play games, the players will have access to premium optional content if [they] decide to purchase it.
148apps: Will it be vital to recruit friends in order to progress, or will it be possible to see everything the game has to offer without?
MC: Although recruiting friends will never be vital in order to progress in the game, we think this feature is a lot of fun. Friends will help you shape the story in a different and meaningful way. They have the ability to transform your own adventure. They can also give you information about what happened in their story. You can experience the whole story without inviting any friends.
148apps: How open-ended is the story? How many different endings will it offer?
MC: The story has 6 different main endings arcs. However, each arc can and will be modified by the player’s decisions. Each one will be drastically modified by previous choices and by the final decisions. Different characters in the story can disappear or become insane for example. The changes can affect the environment on different scale, grand or small.
148apps: How simple will it be to create your own story?
MC: At any time in the app, players can access our writing tool for free. They can either use it directly in the mobile app or on their computer. It is a simpler version of the tool we use. We want it to be as complete as possible. Users will be able to write their fiction, add choices, grant mental sanity points and implement card games in just a few clicks.
No development skills are required to create an interactive fiction; the writer will only need to have a clear idea of the kind of interactive fiction he or she wants to write. Writers can publish their stories directly through the app and will be rewarded if the story is well reviewed by other users.
The Moaning Words sounds like it’s shaping up to be quite an interesting twist on an increasingly popular genre. Keen to be a part of it? Take a look at their Kickstarter campaign for the pledge rewards available.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on its development. It’s currently set for release later this year.
As a huge fan of interactive fiction thanks to a childhood full of Fighting Fantasy and Choose Your Own Adventure books, it’s been a pretty exciting time on the App Store of late. Besides Tin Man Games’s steady conquering of all things Fighting Fantasy, the release of Sorcery!, and Visual Baker’s Underground Kingdom, things have been kicked up a further notch.That’s thanks to the latest Kickstarter campaign, focused on Choose Your Own Adventure books aimed at younger readers and now known as Choose ‘Toons. With the Kickstarter just launched, we took some time to chat to Shannon Gilligan, publisher at Chooseco.
“Choose ‘Toons are interactive cartoons, plain and simple. There are very abbreviated amounts of text at the choice points, but that’s it. Otherwise, you are watching an animated story, with choices!” explained Shannon.
The first app is based on Your Very Own Robot in which the reader uses their parents’ robot lab to put together a robot named Gus, leading to some entertaining mishaps. While Shannon told us that there are some “slight amendments and additions”, the app is set to follow the book “pretty faithfully”.
“It was interesting to adapt because I actually found that typical cable or Saturday morning cartoons are much more physically violent than what’s in our books,” Shannon noted. “It has something to do with watching vs. reading I think. And it’s nothing new. I watched Roadrunner as a kid and it’s quite violent, sometimes to the point of sadism. Our eyes are trained to be entertained which might demand certain kinds of less cerebral plot points.”
So, young readers and their parents should have nothing to worry about when it comes to the content of this forthcoming adaptation!
The Kickstarter comes with some fairly typical pledge awards, as well as some rather exciting high-end ones such as being able to pay to have one’s voice featured in the app. Most thrilling of all, though, has to be the one-off $10,000 pledge. Unlike anything else I’ve seen before, it gives the buyer their very own Choose Your Own Adventure for real. Throughout the campaign, backers and followers will be asked two questions each week, which will eventually lead to the adventure of a lifetime. While Shannon explained that Antarctica is out because of costs, pretty much everything else is up for grabs. Adventurous spirit and $10,000 to spare? You know what to do.
On a serious final note, anything that encourages kids and their families to read together has to be a hugely positive step. Even better, for this series, it looks set to combine nostalgia for the parents with new discoveries for the kids. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this Kickstarter’s progress. For now, check out the campaign page if you’re interested in participating or you fancy a $10,000 adventure of a lifetime. The campaign ends on September 12.
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Remember grade school recess, trolling the library, looking for interesting new books to read? Who needed all of that pesky social interaction when literature was the only friend that a kid could ever want? A bastion of that glorious reading joy was the widely consumed Choose Your Own Adventure series. Nothing could better engage the creativity of a youth’s inquisitive mind while simultaneously boosting their reading comprehension and decision-making skills. All these years later, Linden Lab is attempting to put an interactive spin on the genre with the introduction of their upcoming digital fiction platform, Versu.
Despite drawing a heavy influence from the popular book series, Versu prides itself on being far from a standard, “Choose Your Own Adventure,” experience. While there are plenty of similarities between the two forms of media, the interactive nature of Versu renders it a far more flexible storytelling medium than its print-shackled counterpart. The scripted interactions available in the narrative change every single playthrough, thanks to an AI system that reacts to the player/reader’s decisions in real-time. Additionally, if there are multiple non-playable characters in a given scene, their dialog options and reactions will also play off of each other, creating a far more realistic group dynamic.
Overall, the storytelling mechanics of the application are fairly straightforward. There are a series of actions that can be pursued at any given point, which will in turn effect how other characters feel about the player controlled avatar. Both dialog options and other physical actions are then triggered as a result of each decision. It is amazing to see how differently stories can play out, especially when replayed while controlling a completely different character in the scene. In another interesting touch, there are certain narratives where a diverse variety of characters are available to use as both NPCs and the reader controlled avatar. The selection of a separate cast can even influence how a given plot will play out.
As was previously alluded to, this is not just a collection of three interactive stories, but rather an entirely new literature platform. Versu has a store available at launch with an additional story that can be purchased, as well as the promise of many more to come. Even more exciting is Linden Lab’s announcement that they will eventually release authoring tools to the general public. It is going to be fascinating to see how other authors can put Versu’s unique toolset to work for their storytelling purposes. Be sure to keep an eye out for its launch, later this week.
Lately, there seems to be a Kickstarter project for everything imaginable. One new exciting project is Underground Kingdom.
The project aims to adapt the work of author Edward Packard, namely his Choose Your Own Adventure books made popular in the 1970s. These books have proved very important to many in the past, myself included, both encouraging literacy and demonstrating how much fun reading can be.
Much like the work of Tin Man Games, Choose Your Own Adventure books are all about taking part in an interactive story and making decisions that lead to many different inclusions.
Underground Kingdom isn’t quite under way yet, hence the Kickstarter project. While I for one greatly encourage getting involved with backing the project, we thought it only right to check in with co-founder and project director Felipe Mingo and creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure books Edward Packard and see how they feel about things.
We asked Felipe about the motivation behind bringing back this series of books.
“In (our) search for an app idea,” he explained, “we remembered the Choose Your Own Adventure series. We really loved these books as kids, and thought that it would be great to transport the concept of “gamebooks” to digital. When we looked for digital versions, we didn’t find any quality apps that would deliver a great experience. We wanted something different, with contemporary artwork, interaction, a map to guide your path… That’s when we decided to start working on it and contacted Edward, who was really helpful and licensed us some of his books.”
Asking whether the books, starting with Underground Kingdom, will be original conversions or if there will be any adjustments, Felipe explained that “The adaptations of the story are completely original from Edward Packard books. We made some minor changes to the text so it would adapt to today’s technology. The artwork is totally new.” As you can see from the artwork below, it’s pretty glorious to look at and a great re-imagining of the original’s style.
Edward Packard explained to us that he believes the “imaginative color art and animations…greatly enrich the adventurous experience” while also stating that he’s “delighted, and especially so about delivering them in app form,” as well as the “added interactive features [and] sound effects”.
While the project is still in the early stages, Visual Baker provided us with some examples of concept art and how the devs there plan to incorporate the feel of Choose Your Own Adventure books into app form. It’s looking pretty great, so far.
If you’re keen on backing the Kickstarter, check out the Underground Kingdom project page for details of pledge amounts available.
At first glance it’s easy to think that the various Choice of Games on the App Store are just touch-centric choose-your-own-adventure stories. In a way they kind of are, but there’s just enough going on in the background (i.e. character-building choices) to make each playthrough feel special. Now the developer has spread their choice-driven expertise to zombies.
Don’t be fooled by the walls of text, Choice of Zombies is a full-fledged adventure game. Players have a surprising amount of freedom in deciding what to do with their game, be it trying to band together with other survivors for safety or simply going out and slaughtering the undead horde. Various player stats are tracked throughout a session, and it’s completely impossible to experience everything in one (or even several) playthrough. If past games are any indication, this is going to be a fun (albeit bloody) romp through Zombie Town.
Choice of Zombies is available on the App Store right now for $2.99. It might seem a little daunting at first, but remember that with many iOS titles we get what we pay for.
The sixth volume of the Gamebook Adventure series may not innovate, but it sure as heck entertains.
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Welcome to another edition of iD&D. This month we are switching gears to take a look at a pocket of games that are based on the largely popular pen and paper RPG genre. There is no shortage of games available in the app store that make use of this genre, especially because many credit the original dungeons and dragons as the birth place of role playing games. This month we’re taking a look at the line of Gamebook Adventures available from Tin Man Games.
Currently there are four adventures available in the Gamebook lineup. The four titles are “An Assassin in Orlandes,” “The Siege of the Necromancer,” “Slaves of Rema” and “Revenant Rising.” All four titles use the same background world to build their story base from, which allows for each of the titles to fill in a piece of an overall fantasy world. Each title also offers updated background information on the world itself that helps to deliver an overall flourishing game world.
The Gamebooks are best described as the next iteration in choose your own adventure books. Players (Readers) travel through the story making choices along the way that help to develop the overall direction of the story. At any point one wrong move can bring up an untimely end to the adventure, which only serves to extend the playability of these stories even further.
The true gem, and the reason these are next iteration choose your own adventure books, is the dice component in the overall story. At the beginning of the story players roll dice to determine their Vitality and Fitness scores. These scores are extremely important to the overall interaction of the story because they determine how much health you have, and how agile you are as a player. Additionally, starting equipment is provided that helps to dictate encounters.
As the stories progress players will undoubtedly find themselves needing to fight their way through to the next pages. Encounters are randomized based on the current equipment scores. For example, I started the game with a dagger with a score of 2 and a leather jerkin with a score of 2. A goblin jumps out of the bushes without any armor on and holding a battle axe. The goblins armor score is 1 and his attack score is 4. The scores determine the number of die rolls each combatant gets to make, and then those die rolls are compared against the opponents rolls to determine the results.
Each story, while being based in the same world, is self contained and provides hours of entertainment depending on how many poor choices a player makes. Thankfully there are a number of bookmarks that allow the story to be started from a specific part of the story. Using a bookmark allows the player to begin from a specific point in the story, rather than the beginning.
The following story summaries are taken directly from the iTunes store descriptions from Tin Man Games. While there is no real order requirements, the overall fantasy world story truly develops from game to game, so my recommendation would be to start from Gamebook Adventure 1 and work your way numerically.
Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes
Set within Orlandes City, nobles are being systematically murdered by a ruthless assassin no-one seems able to catch. Finding yourself thrust in the middle of a large conspiracy, you must make decisions that may put yourself and one other most precious to you in great danger. Can you locate the Assassin in Orlandes before it is too late?”
Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer
“Set in the coastal town of Myr, you have returned home after a long Summer in the mines of Durath Tor to find your hometown besieged by strange creatures. A dark presence has taken over the town and you are the only one who can rid the stronghold of Erid Buul, the mysterious new Lord and his ghastly cohorts.”
Gamebook Adventures 3: Slaves of Rema
“Cruelly taken from your homeland of Orlandes, you find yourself in a far off land at the mercy of a gladiatorial arena. Somehow trying to find a way to escape overseas, can you also unravel a potentially dangerous mystery that puts two nations on the brink of war?”
Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising
“The mighty city of Falavia, the military backbone of Orlandes, is under attack from an army led by a man claiming to be a God. How did this come to pass you ask yourself? You’re sure it all started as some innocent adventure in search of treasure but somehow it turned into a nightmare. Also, why are people staring at you strangely? It’s not as if you look like you’ve recently been brought back from the dead or something. Oh yes, that’s right. You remember now… ”
148apps has a limited number of promo codes available for distribution. Leave a comment about Gamebook Adventures and enter yourself for a chance to win a promo code for one of the four adventures.
Thanks for reading the December edition of iD&D. Everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Released: 2010-02-08 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-06-07 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-09-13 :: Category: Games
Choice of the Vampire is a text-based, multiple choice RPG. Set in New Orleans, 1814, the game takes your character through murders, romance, political intrigue, and even a spiritual search for redemption, depending on who and how you play.
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