Remember DestinyQuest Infinite? Well this gamebook is nearing the end of its production, and seeking beta testers to help squash whatever bugs might remain. The perks include a free copy of Act I of DestinyQuest, your name on DQI’s site, and of course a chance to play this great gamebook before anyone else (and that means bragging rights.)

From the creators:

 

Development for our digital gamebook DestinyQuest Infinite is nearing an end, and we’re ready to squash some pesky last bugs and put a polish on the user experience. Whether you’ve been a gamebook fan since you were a kid or you’ve never even heard of the genre before, we want to make sure DQI is fun to play and easy to understand.

Now we need some help: we’re looking for testers for our game-meets-book.  We’re interested in people from different walks of life and different levels of experience with gamebooks.

To apply, anyone interested just needs to fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EbojbIRTpgItDHpX70v-Tj65FHOuiXZbMCVZjAsiv5c/viewform We’ll then select a handful of people to test with.

You can find more information about DestinyQuest Infinite on our website www.destinyquestinfinite.com or by following us on Twitter @QuestForge.

Below is some additional information:

 

Testers will:

Play through the Prologue and one quest of DestinyQuest Infinite in a Skype session. (This should only take about 30 minutes).

Share your thoughts as they play: what’s good, what’t bad, what’s confusing.

We’ll do the rest! There is no technical knowhow or previous experience required.

 

As a way of saying thanks, testers will receive:

A free copy of Act 1 of DestinyQuest Infinite when it becomes available.

A listing of their  name (or nickname) on our website.

A chance to play DestinyQuest Infinite before anyone else!

 

Again, the form is located at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EbojbIRTpgItDHpX70v-Tj65FHOuiXZbMCVZjAsiv5c/viewform . We’d appreciate if you spread the news.

 

Thanks!

 

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New Release: Heavy Metal Thunder

Cubus Games (creator of The Sinister Fairground) has just released their new interactive fiction piece, Heavy Metal Thunder. As described by the creators, “Heavy Metal Thunder places its readers at the core of an interstellar struggle against alien invaders, requiring immensely difficult and exciting choices to be made as the narrative grows, expands and twists.” 

If you’re looking for an awesome new gamebook for iOS, Heavy Metal Thunder might be just what you’re looking for.

Website: http://www.cubusgames.com/heavy-metal-thunder

Gameplay Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMbobtp4OjU

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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/

Spring Thing, Lit about Games, and Gamebook Fun!

It’s time for voting in the compo world. The Spring Thing IF Competition is now open for voting. Voters have until May 11 to get their votes in, and those wanting to vote must play at least half of the compo’s games to be eligible. There are ten games available, so now is the time for playing IF!

The IF Comp has revamped its site and now looks pretty snazzy. Although the competition isn’t for a while (intent to enter begins July 1) it’s now easier to access the competition results and the compo rules have been revised.

Last time we talked about games about literature; this time we’ve got news on literature about games! Cartridge Lit is a new and wonderful little lit mag showcasing video game literature–which is exactly what it sounds like.  They state, “We believe video games are important and vital to [pop] culture. Why shouldn’t there be a lit mag dedicated to showcasing lit + games? We don’t know why not, either, so, here we are.” They are accepting both lit submissions and informal pieces for their blog, The AirshipMay 5 begins the launch of work online.

Want to check out some great gamebooks? Cubus Games, based in Barcelona, is a developer of branching stories in various different worlds. A current news post states that a game under development, The Sinister Fairground, has over 60 characters. Wow! Be sure to check out their work in the future.