Friday, 25 January 2013

Beowulf Beastslayer!

While I was running my YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter, a number of people asked about the possibility of new gamebook content. Well, following on from the success of YOU ARE THE HERO, I'm planning on crowd-funding a brand new gamebook, based on the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.

In BEOWULF BEASTSLAYER you will play the part of the eponymous hero - the first superhero of the English literary tradition - battling such monsters as Grendel, Grendel's mother and a dragon, as well as sea serpents and all manner of other creatures along the way. Will your adventure follow the course of the original story or will you carve out a new epic all of your own?

To express your interest in this project, please visit the BEOWULF BEASTSLAYER Facebook page, click 'Like', and share the link with all your friends.

So, until next time...

Monday, 7 January 2013

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter - The Aftermath

I feel strange today. Slightly bereft. My email inbox is missing those 'New Backer Alert!' messages.

That's right, today I'm on the come down from running my first ever Kickstarter project.

YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - achieved funding at 3.02pm GMT yesterday, Sunday 6 January. It had been a crazy, stressful month, during which it felt like I did very little other than promote and run my Kickstarter. And it probably felt like that for a lot of other people too. But at the end of the day, the project funded. All I have to do now is write the book!

Thank you to YOU if you pledged your support, or retweeted my messages, or blogged about the project, mentioned it on message boards, interviewed me, allowed me to guest post on your blog...

I learnt a lot from the experience - not all of it good* - and made new friend and contacts - which is always good!

  • The project ended up with 449 backers overall who pledged, on average, £47.71 - which was just under the VAMPIRE pledge level of £50.

  • Almost a third of the money raised came directly through people checking out Kickstarter.

  • A total of 2,278 people watched the Kickstarter video, which means that in the end, just under 20% of those people actually backed the project. (1,289 people also 'Liked' the project on Facebook.)

  • The three most profitable days (in decreasing order) were Day 1 (£1,971**), Day 3 (£1,579) and Day 25 (£1,536).

  • As predicted, the most popular pledge level was TROLL (£25 for a copy of the book) and second was CYCLOPS (£30 for a copy of the book but with a dedication in the acknowledgements).

  • 44 people backed at the MINOTAUR level (£100 for a copy of the book signed by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, as well as myself, and various other accessories).

  • A total of 10 fans will be interviewed for the book and five of them will be going for lunch with Steve, Ian and myself.

So what will happen now? Well after I've had a little lie down, I need to arrange further interviews and then get back to collating information for the book.

If you pledged but forgot to add post and packing, you can now do so via the Paypal button at the top of the sidebar on the right of the YOU ARE THE HERO blog here.

One question remains... Would I do it again?

Yes, I would!

In fact, I'm already planning my next Kickstarter, and have ideas for one or two I'd like to run after that. But don't worry, I'm going to leave you all in peace for a month or so... Well, a couple of weeks at least. ;-)

* I've never been accused of spamming before but I've made up for it now. More than once, too, unfortunately!

** Bizarrely (and entirely coincidentally I am sure) 1971 is the year I was born.

YOU ARE THE HERO has funded!

In case you missed the news* yesterday YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - funded on Kickstarter. And Family Green recorded the moment for posterity.

I'll be getting to work on the book in a month or so's time in order to have it ready for Autumn/Winter this year. Wish me luck!

* And if you follow this blog, or my Twitter feed, or check out my Facebook account from time to time, I find that very hard to believe.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO has funded on Kickstarter!

At just after 3.00pm this afternoon, YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, funded on Kickstarter!

I have to say I am delighted and thank you to everyone who pledged and gave their support in so many ways.

I will post again in more detail, but for now I think I'm just going to collapse in a heap somewhere and wait for my heartrate to return to normal.

But the best news is that YOU ARE THE HERO is definitely going to happen!

Now I just have to write the thing... ;-)

6 Hours to go!

It's 9.00am GMT which means we've only got 6 hours to go until the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter comes to an end.

We've also taken the bold move of announcing a second stretch goal of £23,000 and if we achieve it in time, every physical copy of YOU ARE THE HERO will be a hardback rather than a softback.

So please do all you can to push this project to the last, and help make YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks - the magical artefact all of us want it to be!

Thank you.

Read about YOU ARE THE HERO on the Forbidden Planet International blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on The Trollish Delver.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Kicktraq.

YOU ARE THE HERO on the Fighting Fantasy Project.

YOU ARE THE HERO on Titan - The Fighting Fantazine Blog.

YOU ARE THE HERO on RPG Kickstarters.

YOU ARE THE HERO ends today!

The YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter ends at 3.00pm GMT today!

It's still not too late to back the project yourself - or to up your reward level if you've already pledged - so check out the YOU ARE THE HERO page today and help make this the very best book it can be!

Thank you. :-)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - 24 hours to go!

That's right, we're down to the last day of the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter, which means there's not long left in which to make sure you're a part of history. The History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks!

Tell all your friends, blog about it, post on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure you've pledged to receive one of the unique rewards on offer. Oh, and don't forget to add the correct amount of postage. ;-)

See you again at 3.00pm GMT tomorrow!

YOU ARE THE HERO - Upgrade of the Spider God!

The SPIDER level reward over on the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter has been upgraded, thanks to the generosity of the Tin Man himself!

Now, if you add £10 to your existing pledge and you will receive not only a copy of GAMEBOOK ADVENTURES 7: TEMPLE OF SPIDER GOD, written by Yours Truly, you will also receive Gamebook Adventures 1-6 for either PC or Mac.

So that's...
GA1: An Assassin in Orlandes
GA2: The Siege of the Necromancer
GA3: Slaves of Rema
GA4: Revenant Rising
GA5: Catacombs of the Undercity
GA6: The Wizard from Tarnath Tor
GA7: Temple of the Spider God

...and all for just £10!

So don't delay! Pledge today and tell all your friends. There's less than 37 hours to go!


The Gamebook Renaissance: Knightmare

If you were a child at the end of the 80s or start of the 90s, then you probably remember Knightmare. It was, for its time, an innovative virtual reality adventure set within a magical dungeon world, and it was on children's television.

Being a loyal devotee of the cult of Fighting Fantasy it seemed obvious to me that the programme was born off the back of the success of the gamebook phenomenon (and RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons of course).

It was a much tamer experience than your average FF adventure. There were no orcs to gut or horrifically described death scenes, but there was still the wandering around a labyrinth of gothically-decorated rooms, weird quasi-medieval characters to chew the fat with, and even some monsters (like the green-screened pet tarantula).

For those of you who remember Knightmare and the dungeon master Treguard (the fantastic Hugo Myatt), then the following will probably fill you with feelings of nostalgia. If you were born after the advent of real VR interactive gameplay and the phenomenal rise of the games consoles, then you don't know what you've missed.

Except that you can find out today (and tomorrow) at 2.00pm on CITV!

I have a feeling I'll probably end up mentioning Knightmare in YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks too! ;-)

Friday, 4 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO - 54 hours to go!

That's right, there's only two days left until the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter comes to an end. If you've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about pledging (or wondering about upping your existing pledge) here why you really should do so today.

1) This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! YOU ARE THE HERO is likely to become a collector's item, even more so if it's signed by gaming legends Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (which is what you'll get with the MINOTAUR level reward).

2) The majority of the art prints available with the GHOUL level reward have not been available as prints before and will not be again!

3) The Adventurer's set available from the WEREWOLF level is unique to this project; it will never be made again, so make sure you don't miss out.

4) YOU ARE THE HERO is going to be the definitive history of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Imagine not only owning such a book but actually featuring within its pages. Well that's what will happen if you pledge at the DRAGON reward level.

5) For many of us Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone were childhood heroes, their books impacting upon and even shaping the course of our adult lives. So imagine sitting down for a relaxed lunch with the two of them, being able to ask them face to face about their experiences of writing The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, or about the early days of Games Workshop. Well that's what the WARLOCK level will get you - and there are still places available!

6) Iain McCaig is a legend in his own lifetime. He illustrated Deathtrap Dungeon and painted the iconic images of the Shapechanger from The Forest of Doom, the Bloodbeast from Deathtrap Dungeon, and the Lizard King from Island of the Lizard King. He was also the artist behind City of Thieves and Casket of Souls. And as if that wasn't enough, he created Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace! And now you could have him paint your portrait! (Check out the SAPPHIRE, EMERALD and DIAMOND level rewards.) Come on, you know you want him to. Besides, you only live once.

So don't delay - pledge today! And tell all your friends, and Tweet about it, and post on Facebook...

Let's give YOU ARE THE HERO one final push to ensure that it becomes the book all of us want it to be!

Thank you.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

YOU ARE THE HERO passes £16,000!

YOU ARE THE HERO is now past its basic funding level but keep spreading the word (and pledging your support) because the more money that's in the pot at the end of the day, the better this book will be.

And YOU ARE THE HERO has been getting even more love from around the Internet. Here are just some of the links you can check out.

I'm interviewed in Morpheus Tales #19 about the project.

Dr Mike Reddy takes about the project here, and his generous donation.

I've guest blogged on Rob Sanders' site here.

And over on Twitter I was tagged in the link to the image below.

Triptych courtesy of Bouncy

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


YOU ARE THE HERO has been getting a lot of love recently from places all over the Web. Here are links to just a few of them.

I guest blogged all over Cav Scott's website here.

And I did the same on Scott Harrison's blog here.

And again on Josh Reynold's website here.

In the interim I was interviewed about the Kickstarter by Geek Native.

Keep spreading the word and keep pledging your support. Remember - the target achieved so far is only the minimum needed to make YOU ARE THE HERO happen, and I want this book to be the very best it can be.

Thank you.

Have your portrait painted by Iain McCaig!

Yes, you read that right. THE Iain McCaig - Star Wars concept artist, creator of Darth Maul, Ian Livingstone's favourite FF artist, and illustrator of such classic Fighting Fantasy adventures as City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon, and cover artist for The Forest of Doom and Island of the Lizard King.

Iain has been very supportive of this project since the start and I was absolutely blown away when he offered his services for the following three - yes THREE - rewards!

SAPPHIRE - Iain will produce one black and white illustration of YOU as a character in a typical Fighting Fantasy interior illustration (of Iain's choice).

EMERALD - Iain will produce one digital colour illustration of YOU as a character in a typical Fighting Fantasy interior illustration, giving you the choice of a range of characters or situations.

DIAMOND - Iain will produce one traditional painting, the subject matter to be chosen by YOU in discussion with Iain, and as long as it fits within the FF world, anything goes!

So what are you waiting for? Check out these new rewards on the YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter page today!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

£15,000 achieved!

What a fantastic way to start the New Year!

As of this morning, YOU ARE THE HERO reached its minimum funding goal of £15,000!

Thank you to everyone who's already pledged their support but if you've been hesitating - perhaps thinking the project might not happen -  get your pledge in now and be a part of something special. There's still five days to go to pick the reward of your choice and get involved.

And do you know what reaching £15,000 also means?

Stretch goals.

And three new reward levels involving classic FF artist Iain McCaig himself. Yes, you read that right. Three!

Watch this space...