Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Blog your own adventure?

Has anyone ever heard of a blog being used as a Choose Your Own Adventure-style gamebook? Something along the lines of TSR's Endless Quest series. A 'gameblog'.

It could be done of course, with the choices leading to different posts instead of pages. It might be best built up as a closed blog and made public when finished, in that it wouldn't be much fun as a reader to have to wait for the right post for days or even weeks. That said, because editing past posts is possible, a short adventure could be put up and developed with parallel routes or extra locations over time.

Adding in the combat elements of Fighting Fantasy would be simple too, and could even be done with gadgets. The linked narratives of the Lone Wolf series could be recreated by linking blogs. In fact, a project like this could span many blogs, with characters able to leave one narrative and join another when the opening comes.

Interesting idea, right?

Update: It's well underway now and the starting point is here.
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24 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Loved Steve Jackson and his Fighting Fantasy series of books like Robot Commando and Scorpion Swamp among others, definitely interesting.

Risus Monkey said...

Greywulf did try this last year but he pitched the idea for a general blogosphere project with multiple people contributing and links going all over. It was a great idea that unfortunately pittered out.

Love to see it tried again, though.

Justin S. Davis said...

I know it's not quite what you have in mind, but it seems like a good start.

Over at the Fire In The Jungle blog, the author has been playing/posting the solo Jungle Of Lost Souls module by Judges Guild.

He's even been taking requests in the comments on how to proceed.

Trey said...

That is an interesting idea.

Porky said...

@ The Angry Lurker - Scorpion Swamp was one of my favourites, for the open exploration and ability to backtrack.

@ Risus Monkey - Let's do it then, organically with as many overlaid routes and interpretations as we can. One post is up.

@ Trey - Yes it is...

Porky said...

@ Justin S. Davis - Sorry about that. Your comment was classified as spam, for the links I guess, and I've only now noticed and freed it. That's a fun idea too. I've seen one or two blogs replaying and reviewing old gamebooks, but the participation is a natural extension of that and matches the media well.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

I haven't seen anyone do it, but I think it would be interesting to not do it closed blog style.

Start at the beginning, and get readers to post their choices in the comments thread before posting the next sections. If you had a bunch of people involved, you could create an interesting tree at the end of how far everyone got.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

Man, y'know, that'd be an awesome publicity stunt for a book publisher or Amazon or something... every time you finish one, start another.. get a following.. maybe even give coupons and other prizes.

ArmChairGeneral said...

This would be cool! I grew up with Choose Your Own Adventure. Sometimes I'd be like "Nah don't like that ending." and in my head the narrative would go like thus "Already knowing what lay down that path and not wanting to be eaten by the polar bear our adventurer goes left instead of right..." hehe

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

"Doesn't count, didn't remove my finger from the page!!!"

Porky said...

@ Dave G _ Nplusplus - I like the idea, and if the marketing specialists haven't thought of it already, word might be slowly filtering out right now... Doing it like that would mean extra work for a single blogger if the choices did diverge, and the temptation as a commenter probably would be to suggest any route not yet mentioned. That would be a kind of mass electronic means of keeping the finger in every page..!

@ ArmChairGeneral - We see the budding game designer there! I'll bet most of us have done that, and in a sense there's nothing wrong if we prefer the pleasure of exploration to the strict limits of a traditional narrative.

ArmChairGeneral said...

HAHA! Right you are Dave! BTW I posted into the fold (your GO DOWN) in your post. I am really looking forward to this!

kelvingreen said...

Not quite a blog, but there is Age of Fable, which is in an online "gamebook" type of thing.

Gotthammer said...

Something Awful has done a few of these:

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/choose-dew.php

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/due-paper.php

Interesting idea, one I've thought of doing myself.

The Happy Whisk said...

Neato. Does sound interesting.

Porky said...

@ ArmChairGeneral - Linked. Now we have a better idea of where we are, in that reality at least...

@ kelvingreen - That's stylishly done, old school to boot. A lot of love there and a pleasure to play.

@ Gotthammer - Those are a different take, that much we can say, but it shows how flexible the format is when it comes to setting!

@ The Happy Whisk - Yes, it does. Care to write an instalment?

To everyone reading, why not try it? We have three scenes already, the first here, and you can see they needn't be long. Just move the story on - or start somewhere completely different - and show us what's on your mind.

The Happy Whisk said...

Unless it's an installment about an adventure in a kitchen, with a cook who is trying to find just the right amount of fiber to add to a dessert, without making it taste yucky, I think I'm out.

Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennie said...

Deleted and re-posted to give more choices...

@The Happy Whisk: Pectin is a great source of soluble fiber, and you can use fairly large amounts of it in desserts without making them taste yucky. It jells when cooked in the presence of sugar and water. Hopefully, this will help you solve your kitchen problem in time for you to write an installment here!

I'm fairly sure you could write a scene like the one you described into this adventure without a lot of trouble. You could set it up like this: As you climb over and between the roots of the tree, you find yourself descending into what appears to be a natural opening in the earth, and notice that it gradually widens out, slowly showing signs of being worked. Moving down the tunnel, which has widened to about 6 1/2 feet high by about 4 feet wide, you begin to notice buttresses and braces supporting the roof every few feet, then, further in, brickwork on the walls, and finally flagstones on the floors. A faint smell of smell of warm apples and cinnamon wafts through the tunnel. It intensifies as you continue forward, until you reach an iron-bound oaken door which bars your way. There is a brightly-colored rectangular mat lying on the floor in front of it. You can hear a voice coming from the other side of the door, muttering in sing-song repetition: "Apples or prunes? Apples or prunes? More importantly, how many spoons?"

Do you:

Knock on the door?

Try the handle?

Kick the door in?

Stand and listen?

Retreat back down the tunnel?

Look under the mat?

Porky said...

@ Jennie - That's really something. Your talents range far and wide! If you want to post this at your blog as it is, I'll add the 'rest awhile' scene here and link from that to your page. You'd be giving the adventure a whole new colour and lots of routes to work out from.

The Happy Whisk said...

Ha! That's great. Very funny. Apple or prunes but how many spoons. Just so great. Thanks for the pectin. I used it once ever and that's when I got mold, where the other times, no mold when making jam. But I'd thought I'd try it out. After that, I went back to the way I learned. But I didn't know it was fiber-rich. Good to know.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

Whenever friends of mine complained about wanting to roleplay, I'd always give them this scenerio:

"You're in a square room with no exits. There's a switch on the wall."

They always throw the switch.

"It is dark. You are eaten by a grue."

NetherWerks said...

Truly inspired. Now that I'm back from the hospital, count us in--we'll have something for you shortly...

garrisonjames said...

Okay...so it has taken a bit longer than anticipated, but our first piece will go up on Thursday. Better late than never. This will make a nice accompaniment for Bujilli...