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software to write gamebooks ?

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kilele:
Could you recommend some software to write gamebooks like the Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf series ?
BTW you might be interested in this blog about writing this kind of books :
virtualfantasies.blogspot.com

Paul Keith:
Could you clarify? Aren't gamebooks just regular books but ones where you include things like stats and drawn art? Wouldn't a novel writing application or even a word processor suffice for that task?

kilele:
Could you clarify? Aren't gamebooks just regular books but ones where you include things like stats and drawn art? Wouldn't a novel writing application or even a word processor suffice for that task?
-Paul Keith (September 06, 2011, 03:09 AM)
--- End quote ---

A gamebook is a book that you play while you read it. Each section has a little bit of story and then a decision for you, the player, to make. Your decision takes you to another numbered section of the book, where you read the story that results from your action.
I'm trying to find a program that allows to randomize sections(paragraphs), write the story building a map where each node is a section, create player stats, test your game from any section with the possibility of altering stats and changing routes(sections), export to pdf...

Paul Keith:
That is going to be tough. Well, I don't have any suggestion but if you have heard of ChoiceScript it can deal with the stats but testing is pretty much an interactive fiction rather than a book.

A storyboard program like Celtx could supplement the map but this is assuming mindmapping programs can't work for you.

The rest would have to be dealt with via a novel writing software or some other form of notebook/outliner. Maybe even a software wiki could supplement the randomized sections. If it's random events, maybe PopUp Wisdom can make up for it.

Ampa:
As a teenager I was a huge fan of these types of book, and even went so far as to write my own.

It was not very long (perhaps 30 locations leading to 90 paragraphs of text) and to my adult eye the quality is pretty mediocre, but a great experience none the less.

I can't give you a suggestion of a definitive piece of software to use but here are a few thoughts...

You will need to design a map. I drew mine on paper in the manner that I used to map text adventures as I played through them. I know that there are various mapping tools for Dungeons and Dragons / Interactive Fiction that might help you here.

Tip: You will find that most of FF or LW adventure books are fairly linear and have discreet sections where the player is effectively trapped, unable to backtrack too far, nor proceed until they have solved a series of puzzles. This greatly reduces the permutations that the author has to deal with!

There is a lot of crossover between FF style adventure books and the text adventure games of yesteryear (now more usually called Interactive Fiction or IF). There are some fantastic IF tools - my favourite is Inform 7 - well worth a look! The Inform language is both very straight forward (it is almost natural English language) yet very powerful as it understands basic concepts such as location, objects, weight, light/dark etc.

You may also consider creating the book in the form of a Wiki which would allow you to write and build the adventure on the fly. Although the wiki would have no 'intelligence' (unlike Inform7) and thus could not enforce rules or handle inventory automatically, it still has some advantages: there is no scripting language to learn, yet it can highlight unwritten sections, handle simple text formatting etc. I like WikidPad but there are plenty of others you could try.

Good luck and keep us informed of your progress!

UPDATE: Couldn't resist a bit of searching myself and found this handy (and lengthy) guide to writing adventure books on the Fighting Fantasy website itself!

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