Looking to submit? Now’s the time!

Have you been planning to submit for a while, or just getting the last touches together on your interactive piece? Now is the time to submit! We will be accepting submissions for Vol. 3 through the end of July.

So get your editing caps on, round up the beta-testers, and bring us your submissions.

Coming Soon: Heavy Metal Thunder

HMT-InvadersAlmostHereFrom Cubus Games comes sci-fi adventure Heavy Metal Thunder, a story invaders from space and the resistance members that band together to stop them.

The game is due for release in the near future, probably sometime this month. If you haven’t yet seen Cubus Games’ first release, you should also look into getting The Sinister Fairground.

New Release: Blood & Laurels

 

In case you missed it, Emily Short‘s Blood & Laurels, has recently been released for iPad. Here’s a description from the news release:

“Blood & Laurels is a political thriller set in ancient Rome. Built on the Versu engine, it combines work in advanced character AI by Richard Evans (Sims 3, Black and White) and dialogue modeling by Emily Short (Galatea, Alabaster). Characters respond to the player, remember what he has done, and form relationships with him, allowing the player to deceive, cheat, seduce, plot, or play it straight as he tries to survive the volatile landscape of imperial politics.

With a richly branching storyline and over 240,000 words of interactive content — of which a player is likely to see only about 7% in a given play through — Blood & Laurels has plenty of room to shape its story around the player’s unique choices.”

The platform that built it, Versu, states on its site that it works to bring AI interactions to a higher level in interactive fiction: “Just about everything you can do affects your character’s opinion of the other characters, and theirs of you, altering the playing field for what’s to come.”

Blood & Laurels looks like an exciting new release, and is definitely worth checking out!

DestinyQuest Contest!

The creators of DestinyQuest Infinite have a new contest going on in which participants design an item based on folklore or mythology–and the lucky winner will receive a copy of their game with their item included! The deadline for submissions is June 29, so get those creative juices flowing!
More details below:

We’re holding a contest for our upcoming game, DestinyQuest Infinite, and we’d love a chance to spread the news! 
Here’s some info about it:
To enter, participants must write the name and description of an item for the game. You don’t need to be familiar with DestinyQuest to take part! DestinyQuest frequently draws on fairy tales and mythology, so the item must be inspired by a fairy tale or myth – but which one, and from which culture, is entirely up to the participant.
One winner will get a copy of the game, and have their item included in it, with credit and a link. If we receive more than 20 entries, a runner up will be selected as well.
Last day to enter is June 29.
For more information, the full rules, and instructions on how to enter, please visit the contest page: http://destinyquestinfinite.com/contest/

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.

09-35-ENG - Copy

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.

07-35-ENG

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.

 

 

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.

 

Author-bio:

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.

 

 

 

Vol. 1.2 is released!

We are proud to present Inky Path’s second volume, featuring some fascinating stories of the crazy things that happen once you step off of your doorstep–or the struggles of just trying to begin that journey.

Experience interactive fiction ranging from the dark and surreal to whimsical adventure. We’ve even written up a fun little IF adventure to help you get started–quest for the elusive “worldgates” through a gamebook RPG-styled choose-your-own-adventure!

We could talk about it for hours, but it’s probably best if you experience it for yourself first.

Click here to read Vol. 1.2, “There’s a Crazy World Outside!”

Inform Updates, Pulp Mag Cover Generator, Gamebook Adventures and More!

We’ve been quiet, but that’s because we’ve been busy pulling together the finishing touches to our lovely second volume!Mark your calendars, put sticky notes on your sundials, and prepare yourselves for the May 31 release of Vol. 1.2. 

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image Looking to read some interesting new IF? Hoping to pull together a cover for a publication? The marvelous Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual has got you covered. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read The Toaster With Two Brains? That’s what I thought. The astounding Pulp Magazine Cover Generator also lets you customize your own lovely-looking poster like the one on your left, there, and you can even have your custom image printed on various household items!

If one IF piece isn’t enough, Gamebook Adventures has many more pieces to choose from of many sizes and flavors. Check them out!

Storium is also looking to tell stories, though in strange, new ways. This article calls Storium a “web based card game inspired by ideas from pen and paper RPGs” where players collaborate online to tell stories. It is currently being crowdfunded, with $10 minimum granting access to the game’s beta. 

Changes are also abound in the IF world. Inform has recently released a new version that cleans up some of the syntax and allows for even more flexibility when writing stories in various tenses and points of view. Although it may not be fully compatible with works previously made in Inform, it does show a lot of potential for experimental IF in the future.

In other news, Quest and textadventures.co.uk developer wrote up an annual review of his work, stating his work was “good, but not good enough.” He has now moved to working only part-time on these IF projects, stating that “I’m just not seeing the acceleration of change that I was expecting. I used to be convinced that interactive fiction could grow to become much more mainstream than it currently is, but now I’m not so sure at all.” 

Looking to work for a lit mag? The lovely folks at Transcendence are hoping to get some more prose readers for the new season. Email  transcendencemag@gmail.com if you are interested.

Interview: Magic Books and Deciding Your Destiny

 

From DestinyQuest Infinite’s Gallery: http://destinyquestinfinite.com/gallery/

Magic Books and Deciding Your Destiny: An Interview on QuestForge and DestinyQuest Infinite

QuestForge produces gamebooks described as “interactive, story-driven games that mix Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy/D&D-style RPG.” Their first work, DestinyQuest Infinite: Legion of the Shadow will soon have a call for testers.

The interview below details the ideas behind QuestForge and DestinyQuest and part of the process of gamebook creation.

 

 

To start off, tell me about your work with Adventure Cow and QuestForge. What got you interested in interactive fiction–both creating it and giving authors the tools to share it?

Back a year or two ago, a major video game company released what was supposed to be a magic book. The ads showed these forests and castles growing up out of the pages, which made it doubly disappointing when the book turned out to be a set of large QR codes.

We want to make magic books. As disappointing as that book was though, magic isn’t about vegetation or masonry – it’s about stories that respond to you as a reader. I want to be able to tell a story about an explorer of a lost temple where I can follow your actions and help you build your story around that.

And then I want to give the tools to tell stories like this to everyone. Interactive storytelling shouldn’t be limited to people who can code.

What was the idea behind DestinyQuest? Was there a major goal in mind? Do you feel that’s changed at all as development has gone on?

DestinyQuest pushes the limits of what a gamebook can do. The size (600+ pages), the rules (the special abilities!), the systems – very little of it has been seen in a gamebook before, and all of it is really just cool. What Michael Ward did is pretty extraordinary for paper, but it’s just the start of what you could do with today’s technology.

I’m very limited as a (mostly) lone programmer, so DestinyQuest Infinite was really a test of whether we could make that magic book experience real: take a book that already works in print, and see if we can make that into a game.

It took a much longer time than I could’ve imagined, but through that process I feel like I understand a lot more about what it means for someone to go through the work to make a game, a story, or both.

I’m sure not many people know what goes into the creation of a gamebook like this. Can you tell be a bit about the process?

There are two big parts to it. Michael Ward’s the author of the print version of DestinyQuest, and it’s definitely worth asking him about that process. He hinted that he might be blogging about it soon, so I’d stay tuned for that. For now, his advice is: “Don’t listen to authors! 😉 Do your own thing and enjoy it!”

But as I see it building a gamebook is a lot like designing a game – I’m not waist deep in those details like the author, but I know it takes a lot of charting and quite a few spreadsheets.

We worked on the digital side. What made the digital process really crazy was that for us, there were no precedents. Our initial prototype was a quick-and-dirty version where we spent a day or two writing scripts to scrape the e-book and pull it into Twine. Once we did that though, the fun really started–Twine is able to handle branching and prototyping quite well, but for everything else that makes DestinyQuest a gamebook, we had to build new systems – ways to have an inventory, a map, combat, and other goodies.

Our hope is that people will be able to use what we built so they don’t have to spend years toiling on it like we did, but starting from scratch certainly made things exciting – at least, if you’re a programmer. 🙂

Have you faced any major surprises along the way, either in development or users’ reactions to the work?

Aside from the delays (which, sadly, are a somewhat predictable part of many software projects), I think the process has gone about as expected! I will say that after so long working on DestinyQuest, it was nice to crack open a working prototype, play for a few hours, and start to think, “Hey, this is kinda fun! I wonder when the sequel will come out.” (If only I could wave a wand and make that build itself…)

What kind of successes have you seen so far? What would you say is your ultimate goal for QuestForge and DestinyQuest Infinite?

DestinyQuest is a new experience – I can’t imagine what I would’ve thought if someone had shown me this when I was reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. Ultimately though, when you look at the worlds of video games, visual novels, and interactive fiction, it’s clear to me that there are so many more things that we can do with this medium. Some of those things are already starting to happen in Twine/IF/VG. Some of those things we’ll start tackling through DestinyQuest Infinite and its successor works, and some elsewhere.

Everywhere I look, I see interactive books that we could be making, should be making, but haven’t made yet. DQI is going to be our first, and it won’t be the last!

To find out more, visit DQI’s site: http://destinyquestinfinite.com/