I made a dumb new thing called GamebookBot400.
Find it on Twitter here: @GamebookBot400.
|"Millions of voices suddenly cried out, 'Weeeee!'"|
Posted by Dan at 20:48
I'm told this book is hard.
Siege of the Necromancer begins with a classic FF trope - a bad dude has amassed an army, and someone has to kill him. You. Even if you've spent the last year working in a coal mine instead of practising how to kill necromancers backed by an army of 'goblyns' (don't tell me Peter Jackson has trademarked the conventional spelling...).@radioovermoscow Boy oh boy, that's a toughie! Very rewarding if you can make it through though.— Tin Man Neil (@TinManGames) July 18, 2015
|Ow! My dignity!|
@radioovermoscow Boy oh boy, that's a toughie! Very rewarding if you can make it through though.— Tin Man Neil (@TinManGames) July 18, 2015
Posted by Dan at 20:49
Fighting Dantasy is making a flying jump into the 2010s - hopefully successfully testing my skill in the process - and taking on one of the Tin Man Gamebook Adventures series.
But it's not a book - it's on a tablet! Aaeerreeerrgghhh!
Taking advantage of the vast amount of supercomputing power Samsung's able to fit in 7 inches of plastic, rare earth metals and patents ripped from Apple, the GA series takes ye olde FF template and multiplies it - but it's not quite Moore's Law in action. Instead of 12+2D6 for stamina, you get 24+4D6. And it's called vitality, but you and I both know what it really is.
The ever-diminishing luck mechanic is replaced by fitness, and fighting is split into offence - based on dice rolls - and defence, based on what you're wearing.
The rules also suggest it's possible to have companions who fight with you - rolling all those dice would have been a nightmare in 1988; I can only hope the Galaxy Note enjoys being shaken.
On starting An Assassin in Orlandes, I'm prompted to play Classic style, or Casual - if you've read any previous Fighting Dantasy blog entries, I don't need to tell you which I chose. It's basically the difference between using a three-finger bookmark - which is still cheating, really - and ignoring all the rules whatsoever. But in the words of Ian Livingstone: "Let's face it, most of us cheated when we read Fighting Fantasy books."
Yep. The guy who wrote the book(s) told me even he cheats.
Anyway, taking advantage of the tablet form, I get to name my character! Um... Let's go with 'Kane'. (I'm watching the fifth ODI between England and New Zealand in a couple of hours, so let's assume the experience Kane has Orlandes tonight is an omen of how his namesake bats this evening...)
After rolling some stats more akin to Chris Martin's batting than Kane Williamson's, I'm off!
The first page reads, "Today has probably been the worst day of your life..." Five minutes into the book, I'm face-to-face with a cannibal. In a sewer.
He tells me I'm his next meal, and I am. The text goes into excruciating detail - Hannibal smashes my ribcage and eats my intestines. That would never have gone to print in 1988. The Tin Man GA series is obviously aimed at the same readers as FF - only aged as they are now.
The good news is I got an achievement! 'Off the Beaten Path: Find Medius the Cannibal'. That's not an achievement...
Posted by Dan at 19:59
Posted by Dan at 20:21
Freeway Fighter is set in the future - 2022, to be exact - and since we're now closer to that than the book's native 1985, I thought I'd get in theme and play it in a manner that would have blown 1985 Ian Livingstone's mind.
Laptop for blogging, external keyboard 'cause the laptop's keyboard is fucking tiny, phone with a dice app 'cause there's a baby in the house who might eat the real thing, an iPad as the adventure sheet 'cause again, babies and pencils don't mix. Oh, and a copy of Freeway Fighter - on the original vinyl.
|Because I had to use Internet Explorer for reasons I won't go into there, it took more time to take, upload and insert this photo than it did to read the damn book|
Posted by Dan at 21:08
The instructions to this example of Steve Jackson sadism are headed 'HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOUSE OF HELL'. To mangle a phrase from a popular movie that came out the year before, the only surviving move is not to play.
I wrote this phrase before giving House of Hell a second go, in anticipation I would fail. I planned to close with it, but the fact I wrote it before playing about sums up this book's reputation.
So I didn't bother playing it.
Posted by Dan at 21:18
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Posted by Dan at 21:02
Not so much Fighting Dantasy in the news, as Fighting Dantasy writing the news... For the day job I wrote a news piece about the 30th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy, its rebirth on digital platforms and the new book, Blood of the Zombies.
Ian Livingstone kindly agreed to answer a few questions, as did Neil Rennison from Tin Man Games - the company who'll be making iOS and Android versions of the games from now on - and Alex Ballingall, a fellow Kiwi whom you might know as the editor of Fighting Fantazine.
Without further mucking around, here's the link! It might be the first piece of writing of mine you read that doesn't contain a swear. Except this one.
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