Monday, 21 March 2011

Choices series - Add-on Adventures

Today I am pleased to announce a major development with regards to my gamebook series, "Choices". 

My first book in the series, "The Wounded Falcon" was released on March 17.  I have visited various markets over the past two weeks, attempting to garner interest in the series.  So far, I am quite pleased with the number of sales.

If you have not read earlier entries on my blog (or on the official Choices website) you may not be aware of the primary gamebook mechanic that the Choices series uses: My new "Hidden Choices" system.  I will not explain how it works once again in this entry, but you can read more about how it works in my blog, here or on the Choices website here.

Moving right along, I realised (only recently) that the operation of the "Hidden Choices" mechanic had potential to be used in a manner that I had not originally intended.  Once I discovered this, and worked out the mechanics of how it would operate (which turned out to be quite straightforward) I was quite excited.

The instructions for the system are now complete (and work very well), so I can now announce the introduction of:


For those of you who are familiar with computer games, you will be aware that many games include things like "bonus missions" or "expansion packs" to continue the game once you have completed the original game.  These are normally provided via an internet download.  I have created the same system for the Choices series, and ironically, it is the workings of the "Hidden Choices" system that makes these Add-on Adventures work extremely well.

Looking at the first book in the series, "The Wounded Falcon", I am currently writing the first Add-on Adventure for this gamebook.  Once complete, I will be placing the story extension on to my Choices website, for free download (as a Doc/PDF file).  Without going into the mechanics in detail, the reader will use both the original book and the Add-on adventure together, discovering new areas of the story to explore and (here's the great part) using the add-on Adventure module to alter the outcome of scenes in the ORIGINAL story, without me having to re-write the original story!

The Add-on Adventures will be regularly updated in a manner similar to a downloadable patch to a piece of computer software.  The first module: The Wounded Falcon - Add on Adventures - Version 1.0 will be released as soon as it is complete.  Over time, I will add extra scenes to the Add-on Adventure and then re-release it as version 1.1 and so forth.  Therefore, the adventure will become like a Never-Ending Story (while getting bigger and bigger each time).

I envisage that the first release will be (approximately) 25 sections long.  Having the story released in shorter segments will enable me to release them more quickly.  Having an expansion adventure taking me a year to write sort of defeats the purpose, time-wise.  I may as well write another gamebook, instead.

In a sense, this setup has similarities to the Fabled Lands series, for those of you who are familiar with it, however, I am approaching it from a slightly different perspective.

I plan to utilise this system for each book I write in the Choices series, so the second book in the series, The Lost Diary (which I am also currently writing) will have the same idea - Release the major gamebook first, followed by the Add-On Adventures afterwards.

For those of you who have already bought, or eventually buy "The Wounded Falcon", I encourage you to take advantage of these "Add-On Adventures".  They will be free and be downloadable from my Choices website.

Thanks for reading,



Ikaros said...

Wow, that's a nice way to expand an adventure. (If I understand correctly how it works). I'm a bit old for children's books, but maybe I'll give it a shot...


J P Barnett said...

If I remember rightly Ikaros, you made a comment about "The Seven Serpents" somewhere else on my site recently. If you are happy to read that, you won't find reading "The Wounded Falcon". It is similar to that, reading-level and content wise. My website has a store section that includes links to places where the main adventure can be bought.

Today is set aside as my major writing day of the week, so I should get a fair chunk of the first "Add-On Adventure" module written and edited today, for "The Wounded Falcon". I've written three pages of it so far, and the module should get to a page number count around 25 pages or so.

Aussiebuck said...

G'day! I am currently looking for gamebook writers :-)

I am a game-developer and can make textual games be available by IM-client AOL Instant Messenger. Windows Live Messenger, or any other that supports XMPP.

If you are interested in turning a couple of your books into on-line textual RPGs, contact me please.

fomenko5045 AT

Just a few words about XMPP:

BTW, I live in Adelaide now :)

J P Barnett said...

Hi Aussiebuck,

Is there an example of any previous work you have done that you can direct me to (on the internet or elsewhere), in order to have a look at it?



Aussiebuck said...

Yes, sure, I can. I have already started one game, but it is not in English. I will prepare a short English variant specially for you and post another comment when it is ready (may be today :-)

J P Barnett said...

Ah. Very good. I look forward to having a look at it. It will help me get a visual picture of the type of work you do and therefore, whether it would be potentially suitable for any of my gamebooks. (I already have one software company making an iphone app. out of my first gamebook but my second gamebook mentioned in this blog post has had no such developments.)

Aussiebuck said...

I would like you to read this: (it is an extract from a text that I am planning to publish soon on the Internet)
.... .... Now, you can play gamebooks using instant messaging (IM) clients. Multiuser Textual Role Play Game (RPG) played on your cellphone, PDA, iPad, computer or any other device is good leisure, fun and a way of getting new friends.


To start playing you need an IM-client that supports XMPP (Jabber) protocol like AOL Instant Messenger ( or Windows Live Messenger ( There is a great variety of jabber-clients for any OS like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. or a mobile device (smartphone, PDA, iPad, etc.). If you have a problem finding a jabber-client for system, check this page first:, there is a list of nearly 90 clients for any OS you like!
As you see, XMPP protocol is better than just an app, because the problem of cross-platforms is already solved. Though there is a disadvantage, the game should be played when the device (phone|computer) has to be on-line.

J P Barnett said...

Thanks for the extra info. At first glance, I can see some longer-term goals of mine potentially being fulfilled with something like this.

Let me know when you get the english variant ready to look at (even a small section will do). This will help me to make a decision on whether we can continue with discussions.

Thanks again.

Aussiebuck said...

It is 99% ready!! :-)

Add this jid as your contact

send any command and just follow the instructions. Also, I have a few words to say about it. Send me a line to my email please, I will email you back.

Aussiebuck said...

Also, I would like to add that the demo game uses in many cases just sample texts, so emphasis your attention to features of the game engine not the game itself.