Month: June 2014
Seducing the Gamebook Community: Interview with Cubus Games
In this interview with Cubus Games, Quim Garreta discusses the company’s goal to create great gamebooks for both those who love gamebooks already and those who might be new to this type of storytelling. Their first release, The Sinister Fairground, is now available!
First of all, can you tell be a bit about the background for Cubus Games? How did it get started, and where is it now?
All of the members of Cubus Games have a “freaky” past: RPGs (The Lord of The Rings, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, Stormbringer, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, etc), computer
games (all from Amstrad CPC, Spectrum, and PC later), tabletop games (Hero Quest!), Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks… and stuff like these for many many years. A couple of years ago, we started making an amateur prototype of a gamebook app for Android devices. The results were so good, so we decided to go further and make the project professional. Now, we are a startup based near Barcelona, with the first gamebook app released in the AppStore: “The Sinister Fairground.” Another one is coming soon: “Heavy Metal Thunder” by Kyle B.Stiff.
As co-founder, what is your role in Cubus Games? What does a typical day look like for you?
Communication and marketing are my main tasks. I’m always searching for new ways to introduce our gamebooks to new readers. Searching for talented artists who want to participate in the gamebook apps development. I also compose the music to take this reading/gaming experience to another level.
Tell me about some of the other members of the Cubus Games team. Are your works collaborations or are various writers/illustrators on staff?
Both. Jaume, our art&content director, is a gamebook expert, illustrator, writer… and philosopher! Jordi is designer, developer, photographer and musician. So we can develop a gamebook app by ourselves. However, we have great collaborators with us.
What goes into gamebook development from your end? What kind of surprises have you found along the way?
We are just at the very beginning of our journey, but we have already learnt lots of amazing things and have met great people. However, I’ll answer this question when Cubus Games has three or four apps released in the market! 😉
What do you think sets the work of Cubus Games apart from other gamebook developers?
We could say that a good gamebook must have “intensity in the experience,” and all the features (music, illustrations, design) and system tools are there to help it. We try to follow this premise, but also the simplicity is very important in order to make the experience of reading/playing much more “user-friendly.” We would like to seduce non-gamebook readers as well. We also focus on the music more than anyone.
Your gamebooks can be read in English or Spanish. What effect do you think this has had on gamebook development or your audience?
We are lucky to be from Barcelona, so we can speak Catalan, Spanish and English. The gamebook world is mainly English, so it’s a must to be present in English. However, the Spanish speakers community is also huge, and people like to read in their mother tongue, so we think it’s very interesting to have the possibility to switch between different languages.
Tell me about your recent release, The Sinister Fairground. How did it come into being? How is it currently doing?
We met some great people from Nocte (Spanish Horror Writers Association). They had released a paper gamebook called “In the Sinister Fairground” and got in touch with us. We found it very interesting to adapt that book to the app format, so we wanted to start the Cubus Games gamebook app series with that adventure. The Sinister Fairground has been a good first step to get into the interactive storytelling developers.
Where do you see Cubus Games in the future?
Our dream is to see Cubus Games among the greatest ones in the world of gamebook app developers. We want to participate with all of them in making this genre grow. We would like to seduce the gamebook community but also the people who might like gamebooks but don’t know it yet.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
We would like to thank all the people that are collaborating with us, one way or another. From gamebook experts and legends, to normal people, old and new friends, writers, illustrators, fans, beta-testers, etc.
Anyone who wants can support Cubus Games joining our Gamebook Community (it’s only a click from http://www.cubusgames.com). We’d like to listen to our audience, to know about their experiences with our gamebook apps, and to improve our product in every release.
If people check our first releases from the AppStore and gives feedback to us, we’ll be able to help the gamebook world get bigger.
VuPop Conference Streaming Live Now!
Weren’t able to make it to Villanova University? You can still check out VuPop’s interactive fiction conference streaming live today! Watch it here: http://ow.ly/xMMjm
Guest Post: Bad Fiction Writing — Important Three Things the Readers Hate
In this post, Harvey Hammond shares tips on keeping readers engaged immersed in a work.
Bad fiction writing has been used among many writers. Fiction writing requires one to create an imaginary scenario and develop a personal voice through the story. In fiction writing, one is also supposed to create and project an image that seems real in the mind of the readers.
There is some fiction writing that can be put in either a good or bad category. A work is deemed bad if it fails to deliver as intended to the reader.
Some of the bad fiction writing characteristics that readers hate include:
Lack of or the inability of a writer to create an image in the mind of the reader
Any fiction writer is meant to use words and create an almost real image in the mind of the reader. This is meant to place the reader in to the real-time events of the story as it unfolds. In bad fiction writing, a reader is left with little or nothing at all of a mental image of the story.
A piece of bad fiction will not use enough descriptive words to help the reader imagine the scene as it happens in the fiction.
Lack of naturality
In fiction writing, a feeling of naturality helps the fiction reader relate to the story. Readers would hate a story where every character feels unnatural. A fiction writer should therefore give their characters natural feelings. Some stories involve supernatural characters. However, if all characters in a fiction story are supernatural, readers may deem that bad fiction and be unable to relate.
Repetition/inconsistency and overuse of words
This is also another bad fiction writing characteristic hated by readers. Repeating a scene and a lack of any new material throughout a piece will make the work feel plain and not exciting. Repetition also fails to paint a clear image in mind, as the reader keeps imagining the same image. A fiction writer should use a diverse range of words while painting an image. One should avoid overuse of the same descriptive words. Also, one should involve a diverse range of nouns to create an image without repetition. Repetition also brings boredom while one is reading a fiction.
This is also one of the bad fiction writing characteristics hated by fiction readers. A fiction writer is meant to use words and have consistency in the fiction story. A fiction should unfold from one scene to the next in a flowing way and in a chronological manner. The easy flow of fiction will in turn assist a fiction reader to be able to follow events happening in the story. Readers do hate bad fiction writing without this flow. This is because it scatters their mind and is not able to be comprehended by the reader. In case of a conversation in fiction, a reader would hate if there is no consistency in the way the conversation is being said. In some cases, the conversation may involve several people which leads to a lot of word exchange. In such a case, a fiction writer is meant to give such a conversation a feeling of direction.
I am Harvey Hammond and I am available to write on any topic and subject with regards to my area of knowledge. And my talent on dissertation services and articles associated to the article writing has allowed me to carry out abundance of coursework academically and non-academically.