Choose Your Own Adventure!

It's ok as long as you kept your thumb in the page, right?

I remember whiling away the hours reading through the Ian Livingstone/Steve JacksonFighting Fantasy books. They had green borders, wonderful cover illustrations, and the ending was almost always at paragraph 300. But I don't remember ever actually 'playing' one of them. Just reading through and assuming I'd won the fights, because it was fun to seek out all of the terrible deaths.

Then there were three stand-out series of video-game tie-in gamebooks, for Sonic the Hedgehog, the Mario Bros and Lemmings. I'm actually genuinely amazed that the first two have wikipedia pages, and that there were only two Lemmings gamebooks. I didn't just play those, I used to sit and trace the images. I can still draw a Lemming as a result of that book.

As a writing exercise, I'm trying my hand at creating a CYOA book, mostly inspired by those gamebooks of my childhood. It's complicated; thanks to this article by Karen Woodward, I'm using SimpleMind+ app on the iPad, which makes flowcharts fun and interesting to look at, and also simplifies it somewhat. I'm genuinely interested in inkle, a software for making interactive stories that are just a bit better than CYOA, as they feature sound, colour visuals and so on. I'm really interested to note that there are fighting fantasy games on the Nintendo DS and might see if I can check that out on my own 3DS.

Watch this space; I'll put the decision tree up as soon as it's finished.

I hope you had a great Christmas and that your new year has got off to a nice start!