It’s not technically IF, but if this whole ‘commercial’ project goes anywhere (fingers crossed!) in the future there might actually be a website that sells IF, so what about offering gamebooks and good old fashioned CYOAs there as well?
I just thought of this because on the Adrift forum David mentioned a new Fighting Fantasy being released, with the followup comment that it was ‘pretty dire’.
Even if it was awful, it proves that gamebooks are still publishable; I know there’s a lot of talent here, so the question is, could we do better?
Now, I may be an eternal procrastinator when it comes to IF (and then there’s the fact that even with something as user friendly as Adrift, variables still frighten and confuse me…), but I think I’m pretty good with static fiction, try to write a couple of hours a day and all that, and as a matter of fact have a couple of html CYOAs in the works.
If we were ever to try this I assume a downloadable PDF would be the way to go (even though I hate hate hate PDFs and want them to die), though I can still dream about an actual physical book.
There’s certainly a market for gamebooks, but I’m not sure how big a market it is. With the Fighting Fantasy series, it might seem like a success considering the second series has now hit 26 books… but 24 of those are reissues of books from the first series. Of the two actual “new” books, one (Eye of the Dragon) is an expanded version of a gamebook that was originally written years ago (so not really “new” at all), and the other was written circa 1996 and has been lying around ever since (so not “new” either). Both are dire. Whether there are any plans to release any new books, i.e. actually pay to have new books written, I don’t know. The fact that the series has now reached 26 books and there hasn’t been a genuine honest to god new book tends to indicate otherwise. But who knows? Maybe when they run out of old ones to reissue with a new cover, they’ll get around to commissioning some new ones. We can always hope. Unfortunately at the rate they’re reissuing them, it’ll be another 10 years or so before it reaches that stage.
I’ve had a few stabs at writing gamebooks over the years but never really finished any of them, unless you count the CYOA-style games I’ve written. There’s a very limited market for them at the moment which is probably one of the reasons why I never get round to writing one.
I loved game books when I was in my pre-teens. I’ve still got a bunch of old fighting fantasy books lying around that I intend to re-read one of these days, but I think I’ll have more fun if I cheat when I play them this time I always kept dying and having to start over…
Do you hate PDFs or do you hate Acrobat Reader?
If it is the latter, there are many alternatives; all of which are much better.