Looking for gamebook writers

Original post by filiph:


for a gamebook mobile app, we are looking for stories. If you already have a gamebook-like interactive fiction or if you have an interesting idea for one, we’re very interested.

The best possible scenario for us is an interactive fiction written in HTML, like here: photics.com/games/revisions/.

The mobile app is now being developed for the Android platform. In the future, it will allow for much more than just choosing one of multiple options at each stage. The gamebook will be fully programmable, with points, inventory, fights and all.

We can’t pay you for your work at this stage (or maybe never, there’s no business model, it’s just a fan project), but if you’d like your story to be read more, here’s your chance. I seriously believe that mobile phones are the future of interactive fiction and – especially – gamebooks.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to your stories and your opinion on the whole thing.

Filip Hracek

Original post by George:

I like the idea of this a lot Filip, but I’m curious what will distinguish your app from playing an html-based game in a web browser running on Android? Or are you not just reading HTML but a custom file format?

Original post by filiph:

Hey George,

You are right: the basic idea is using existing technology (HTML for hypertext, JavaScript for scripting). I don’t think it would be wise to bring yet another gamebook technology to the market – especially since HTML+JavaScript can do anything that the other systems can and since it’s now supported anywhere.

The distinguishing factors from playing a gamebook online are:

  • Speed - files are served locally from the device, no annoying connection round trips
  • No internet connection needed - you can play the gamebook in the underground or on a plane
  • Packaging - finding & downloading a new gamebook will be super easy
  • API - the writer will be able to store data (like inventory, events, experience points etc.) in the App, they will be able to trigger events and such
  • plus saving, quick access, tools etc … the possibilities are endless

What do you think? Is it a good idea?

Original post by Jim Aikin:

The two sites you posted links to are, as far as I can see, just doing CYOA – branching stories with static pages and no user interaction.

Javascript would, I’m pretty sure, allow you to set up a basic parser, inventory management, and so on, so that (a) new text could be displayed within an existing page in response to commands, and (b) features of a given play-through would be persistent from page to page.

Has anybody done that type of thing yet? If so, can you toss us a few links? If not, is that what you’re planning to do?


Original post by filiph:

Hi Jim,

yes, those two gamebooks are pure CYOA. The version 0.1 of the app will only support these, so that’s why I chose them.

I’m not sure if what we have in mind has been done before or not. I know for a fact that online gamebooks with similar features exist (chromeexperiments.com/ – needs a fast computer & browser, though.)

Anyways, right now I’d be glad to get my hands on a regular CYOA. Do you guys have any tips for me?


Original post by George:

There have been Javascript-based games (there was one in an IFComp from a few years back, can’t remember the name off the top of my head), though usually they are command-line based (like traditional IF). I think a new gamebook-style system (i.e. CYOA) is a good idea – but then again I like gamebooks. Jim, there have been (print) gamebooks that were very sophisticated in their use of inventory, puzzles, commands, persistent worlds (persisting your character from book to book) and so on. It is not quite IF as we know it but very good regardless. Of course they usually were fantasy or SF but, as in IF, this isn’t fundamental to the medium itself.

Filip, I recommend taking this question to the rec.arts.int-fiction newsgroup (look it up on Google Groups if you don’t know it). You also could try the Project Aon forums though they are very specific to Lone Wolf, you could find some general interest or knowledge in providing CYOA-based stories. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any general interest gamebook forums out there that are very popular.

Original post by Emerald:

Aunts and Butlers. The author also did a spoof of Hamlet using the same Javascript-based system. But they’re both parser-based, so if the OP is looking for CYOA, they won’t fit the bill.

Original post by filiph:

Thank you both for suggestions! I’m especially glad I found the Lone Wolf project.

I’ll update this thread when the App hits a public version. Thanks again!


Original post by wildermuthn:

I’m interested in writing. I think an iPhone CYOA would be a huge hit. It’s simple technology - I don’t know that you need to make something more complicated than a CYOA. A gamebook would be pretty fascinating, but probably less interesting to most people. My email is nate.wildermuth@gmail.com

Interesting topic, Merk.
Where did you copy these posts from? Is it from rec.arts.int-fiction or another newsgroup/forum ?

It’s what those users posted here originally, before the server crash forced the restoration a three-week-old backup. Eriorg found them in Google Cache or somewhere.

Well, then I’m glad that you restored it. :slight_smile:

The last poster said a very significant sentence:

You know, these days programmers like us experiment with building new systems for CYOA/Multiple-Choice IF on platforms such as DOS, Windows, Linux, Java/HTML and whatnot. Right now it’s all just for fun. But the end result of all that effort is to have it ported on iPhone in the future. And whoever does it first and wins the race could have a major hit in the IF scene. And believe me, SOMEONE will do it definately. And other developers will follow this trend.

Drool over the pic below and imagine how cool it would be to have your favorite interpreter running on IPhones:


Nice to see that there are developers out there who have already ported classic CYOA gamebooks on iPhone/iPod Touch. This is a good sign.
The trend is progressing and speeding up now, as expected. There is not much time left until it reaches maximum and switches to degressive rate.