Friday, 20 December 2013

Edit 20 is done and dusted

Now the title of this blog post might not mean very much to anybody else, other than me, until I explain that what it actually means is that I've sent the manuscript of YOU ARE THE HERO to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone for them to look through over Christmas.
In other words, I think it's just about there. There may well be a few changes that need to be made here and there, so I won't claim it's finished just yet, but it's well on the way. 
Of course, even when the ms is passed as final, I've still got to complete the acknowledgements, the copyright page, add a dedication, add in all the artwork cues, have the last rewards made, send the book off to be typeset, etc... But YOU ARE THE HERO is suddenly feeling a lot more like a proper book today. And it's over 90,000 words long!
Just to finish on something pretty for you to look at, here's a Wordle of 'Edit 20'.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

AdventureX 2013

Today, thanks to YOU ARE THE HERO backer James Aukett, I caught the tail end of AdventureX 2013 at the University of East Anglia (in London, of course), and more specifically the talk given by creator and producer of 1980s kids' TV adventure gameshow Knightmare, Tim Child.

Tim Child and Yours Truly

I was able to chat to Tim briefly afterwards about Knightmare, Fighting Fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons, and then got to talk to Jon Ingold of Inkle Studios, briefly, about Sorcery! 2. It was all over after a couple of hours, but it was an interesting experience and I can tick off another of my childhood heroes that I've been fortunate enough to meet.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Dragonmeet 2013

Today I dropped by Kensington Town Hall for Dragonmeet 2013 with two of the next generation of gamers* in tow.

We had barely entered the building when we bumped into Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone CBE, who were giving the first seminar of the day on the early days of Games Workshop. It was a surreal experience to later find ourselves sitting in said seminar with FF and GW artist Tony Hough, the Tin Man himself Neil Rennsion and Mr Joe Dever, the creator and writer of the classic Lone Wolf series of gamebooks.

Mr Joe Dever and Yours Truly

We weren't there for long but did manage to catch up with Graham Bottley of Arion Games (and take delivery of my copy of Maelstrom: Domesday, that I'd backed via Kickstarter), say a quick hello to Jay Wallis of Greywood Publishing, FF fans Stuart Lloyd, James Aukett and John Berry, Dominic McDowall and Andrew Kendrick of Cubicle 7, one time artistic collaborator of mine Ralph Horsley, and Paco Jaen of G*M*S Magazine. Oh, and buy a lot of dice of course**.

Tony Hough, Neil Rennison and Stuart Lloyd

FF fans James Aukett and John Berry

Graham Bottley of Arion Games

Messrs Jackson and Livingstone did reveal one interesting snippet about the future of Fighting Fantasy, involving a possible game involving miniatures of FF monsters, and possibly being crowdfunded. So, backers of YOU ARE THE HERO, watch this space...

* And maybe even games designers, judging by the way they were changing the rules of 'Loopin' Louie'.

** But then why wouldn't you?

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dragonmeet 2013

Just a quick one to let any interested parties know that I shall be attending Dragonmeet 2013 tomorrow (Saturday 7 December).

Also in attendance from the world of Fighting Fantasy will be Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone CBE, Tony Hough, Graham Bottley and Neil Rennison (and they're just the ones I know about), along with artists of my professional acquaintance Andy Hepworth and Ralph Horsley, and gamebook legend Joe Dever!

So if you're in the vicinity of Kensington Town Hall, London, tomorrow, why not stop by and say "Hi!" (but only early on because I'll be gone by 2.00pm).

Maybe I'll see you there...

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nomination of the Spider God

I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that the Android version of Temple of the Spider God is eligible for nomination in 6th annual Best App Ever Awards in the 'Brain and Puzzle Game' category.

So go here, enter 'GA7' into the search bar, and please nominate the game. The iOS version achieved a 2nd place ranking when it was released a couple of years ago. Wouldn't it be great if it could achieve 1st place this time around?

Monday, 2 December 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - An Announcement

I have some good news for you today and some probably-not-totally-unexpected bad news.

First the good news… The manuscript of YOU ARE THE HERO is finally nearing completion.

Now for the bad news… As you will have already worked out for yourself by now, YOU ARE THE HERO still isn’t finished, which means that it’s not going to be with you in time for Christmas. I’m truly sorry about this but there are various reasons for this that I’m going to bore you with here*. 

One major reason for the delay, however, is that the story of the history of Fighting Fantasy has grown in the telling. What started out as a 30,000 word book has mutated to become a beast three times that size**. The more people I’ve spoken to about the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon, the more wonderful untold stories I’ve uncovered, and yet more contacts have been made as a result, which have led to more fascinating anecdotes. 

YOU ARE THE HERO is a one-off opportunity to tell the whole story of Fighting Fantasy and its development, along with the stories of all those people involved in its success. Although I have been fortunate enough to write seven FF gamebooks myself, I am first and foremost a fan, and as such I want this book to be the very best it can be. And although I realise I’m being extremely biased when I say this, I think it’s going to be rather good. 

So what can you look forward to when YOU ARE THE HERO is finally released next year? Well, as well as Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, there are interviews with the likes of original commissioning editor Geraldine Cooke, the editor of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Philippa Dickinson, artists like John Blanche, Iain McCaig, Russ Nicholson, Chris Achellios and Rodney Matthews, writers such as Graham McNeill, Charlie Higson and Gavin G Smith, and gamebook authors such as Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson, Luke Sharp and Graeme Davis. There are never before published publicity photos, a brand new Derek the Troll cartoon by Lew Stringer and lawman of the future Judge Dredd even makes an appearance. And that’s just for starters. 

So have no fear, YOU ARE THE HERO is coming, but in the mean time I’d just like to say thank you to you all for your support, your patience, and your boundless enthusiasm for this book. It’ll be worth the wait, I promise you. 

May your Stamina never fail!

* Although as one backer once pointed out, it’s a Kickstarter, so what do you expect? ;-) 

** About twice as long as your average FF gamebook.