Monday, 23 September 2013

Journey to Mount Darkness - Read the blurb

A copy of the blurb for Journey to Mount Darkness is now available to read on the official website.  With the book currently at the printers, I am looking at an October 2013 release.

Click here to read the blurb

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Journey to Mount Darkness - Map of Woodland Forest

Things are going nicely with the upcoming release of book 2 in the Woodland Forest Chronicles series - Journey to Mount Darkness.  Leading up to that release, here is a tidbit of what you will find inside the book:

The first drawn map of Woodland Forest (The Eastern Realm)

This is the setting for the first story - The adventure will begin at Hopper's Burrow, to the east and end at Mount Darkness, to the westThe journey that the main protagonist (Theodore Hopper) will take to get there will vary, depending on what decisions the reader makes during the story.

More info. to come as the official release draws closer.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Another Woodland Forest biography - Mrs Slither

The second character biography is up on my Facebook page.  This one is a near neighbour of the Hopper family, and a dangerous one, too.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Woodland Forest Character biographies

I started up the idea of a series of biographies for each major character in Woodland Forest some time back, but never continued with it.  Now I have decided to re-launch the project and see it through this time.

My facebook page has details of the first biography:  You can visit the page to find out who is the first subject.

Monday, 13 February 2012

A brief history of Woodland Forest

Leading up to the release of the second book in the Woodland Forest Chronicles series, "Journey to Mount Darkness", I have written a brief history of Woodland Forest itself, the setting for the first and all future stories in the series.  I have posted this article on my Facebook fan page.


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Inspired by Peter Jackson

For those of you eagerly awaiting the release of the movie, "The Hobbit", you may or may not be aware of director Peter Jackson's Facebook pages he set up to promote this upcoming movie; he has one for himself (Peter Jackson) and one for the movie (The Hobbit).
What I have particularly enjoyed are the tidbits he has been slowly releasing to the fans (mostly in the form of 10 minute production videos and photo stills) in a manner that gets people interested but at the same time, doesn't spoil the movie by giving away important information.
All of this got me thinking about how I had been promoting my gamebooks, and after considering the matter further, I realised that I hadn't really followed Peter's style of promoting my first two gamebooks at all. I basically said very little in the lead-up and then promoted harder once the books were released.

With approximately 9-12 months to go before the first gamebook in my "Mount Darkness" trilogy is released, Peter's approach has inspired me to adopt the same tactic for myself as I have plenty of time to build up a fan base of sorts. Granted, I am a virtually unknown author with a little known gamebook series, so I can hardly expect results comparable to Peter's. To illustrate, as I write, 456,536 people like Peter Jackson's Facebook page and 21 like mine. Nevertheless, if I can do something to increase this number and, at the same time, give some people some enjoyment in the form of tidbit announcements and information about my upcoming trilogy, I will be satisfied.

So, my plan is to use Facebook as my main promotional vehicle for my upcoming gamebooks and give people plenty of interesting information and articles in the lead-up to release. My signature at the bottom of this article has the link to my facebook page (J P Barnett), so if you feel like you would like to come along for the ride, feel free to visit my page and click the like button. I will try to provide regular material leading up to the release of the first book in the trilogy, "Journey to Mount Darkness", in the form of pictures, character biographies, story background and anything else interesting I can think of.

On my Facebook page, there are already articles about my existing books, including my first gamebook, "Invitation to a Feast" which is set in the same location, Woodland Forest, as my upcoming trilogy.

To begin this new promotional vehicle, the first article I will post on my Facebook wall will be a brief history of Woodland Forest itself, so you can become familiar with the place. My plan is to post this in about a week from now.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gamebook Difficulty Index tested - Creature of Havoc/Invitation to a Feast

1 have tested my updated GDI (Gamebook difficulty index) system with a couple of gamebooks and have successfully calculated an (interim) GDI for each book.

The two books tested were:

- Creature of Havoc (A fighting fantasy gamebook); and
- Invitation to a Feast (My first gamebook).

I redid the score for Invitation to a Feast as the first score was calculated using the older (flawed) system.

As Creature of Havoc is a well-known gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series (and is well-known as one of the toughest), I will give the final score calculated, including where the adventure ended each time I read the book, using the GDI system (spoilers ahead).

1) Lost - Creature controlled
2) Lost - Fell off steps into the Bilgewater
3) Lost - Fell off bridge into the Bilgewater
4) Lost - Fell off steps and crashed into boulder by the Bilgewater
5) Lost - Pushed mine truck over a cliff and into the Bilgewater
6) & 7) Lost - Defeated by Darramouss
8) Lost - Captured in Yellowstone mines
9) Lost - Defeated by Chaos Warriors
10) Lost - Mud Slime
11) & 12) & 13) Lost - Couldn't open metal door (Final exit from dungeon)
14) Lost - Captured by Galleykeep (Tree noose trap)
15) Lost - Defeated by moving trees (Forest of Spiders)
16) Lost - Furnace Trap
17) Lost - Dree: Ambushed in alley
18) Lost - Sunk in muddy swamp
19) & 20) Lost - Captured by old woman in Dree
21) Lost - Pushed into muddy swamp by Toadman
22) Lost - Defeated by Hobgoblins (Galleykeep)
23) Lost - Enslaved by Red Cloak
24) Lost - Defeated by Quimmel Bone (Surgery)
25) & 26) Lost - Defeated by Zombie
27) Lost - Defeated by Hobgoblins (Galleykeep)
28) Lost - Joined Zharradan Marr
29) Victory


1) Lost - Defeated by Dark Elf bowman
2) Lost - Defeated by Warrior & Thief
3) Lost - Defeated by Dark Elf bowmen
4) Victory


(INTERIM) GDI = 29 + 4 = 33

Recapping my explanation of the interim GDI and final GDI (from a previous post):

Finally, to wrap things up, I made a comment earlier that this score is what I classify as an interim score. The reason being is that I could just as easily test the book again and come up with a different score. What I plan to do is to indeed, test the book again, calculate the GDI and then calculate the average GDI based on the two tests. I will continue to do this until the average GDI varies by less than 1 point between tests. I will then conclude the test and consider the GDI as the final GDI. 

Looking at the breakup of this score, what it does show is that Creature of Havoc's famed high degree of difficulty lies almost solely with how well hidden the successful path is.  Once the correct path is found, Creature of Havoc is actually a very simple book to complete.

Comparing this to Invitation to a Feast, I came up with the following score: (warning - spoilers ahead)

1) Lost - Deceived by otter
2) Lost - Invite snatched by Walter Weasel at Noble Items stall
3) Lost - Couldn't open Noble Ranger's gate
4) Lost - Invite snatched by Walter Weasel at Noble Items stall
5) Victory


1) Lost - Invite snatched by Walter Weasel at Noble Items stall
2) Victory


(INTERIM) GDI = 5 + 2 = 7

I am currently calculating the GDI for my second gamebook, The Wounded Falcon.  At this stage, I am content with how the GDI system works and probably won't make any major changes to it now.