Gamebook store

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Fabled Lands on your phone

News so hot you could cook a roc's egg on it: Megara Entertainment, the development wizards behind the Fabled Lands HD game for iPad, are right at this moment putting the finishing touches to the iPhone version (which will also run on iPod Touch, of course). This will be submitted to Apple tomorrow and should therefore be on sale within a matter of weeks. Building on the roughly 12,000 man-hours of work that went into the iPad app, this version features a completely new UI to fit the smaller screen and of course has all the extra content from the updates to the app over the last month.

Props to Mikael Louys, Roland Derhi, Richard Hetley and the rest of the Megara clan for their amazing job in getting this conversion done in such a short time. They've been working around the clock these last few weeks, hyped up by musical accompaniment from Messrs Clapton and Knopfler, and can now take a well-deserved evening off at their local Thai restaurant. Just don't fall asleep in the tom kha gai, fellas. All that work was because you demanded it, FL fans, so please be sure to give them your support.

26 comments:

  1. Ah, good news. That way I can delay buying an iPad for a few more weeks, AND still get this app. Keep up the good work, everyone - you rock!

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  2. Oh, Efrem - get your iPad right now, then you can read Mirabilis too :)

    Mikael just mailed to say he's taken his team to an Italian restaurant, not Thai for once. So it's bolognese they'll be nodding off into. Tomorrow, once the app is submitted, they're planning to celebrate with a game of "Runewaker Pathfinder Part 1 levels 1-3". (I'm guessing that's a MMOG.)

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  3. Nice one.. but please ANDROID version, and an Android version. or, heck even a PC version (for my slate) Please :-)

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  4. Kiwi, I know that Megara would be happy to find a 3rd party to take on the Andoid conversion. With only limited resources, and with 5 (or maybe 11) more apps to go, they can't do it themselves. But the good news - there is a PC version out there: http://sourceforge.net/projects/flapp/
    And it's free!

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  5. Hello Dave !
    Nice news, but a Android version would be very sweet too ;o)
    Please note that Pathfinder is a paper RPG (not a MMO), probably the guys from Megara could not wait anymore for Fabled Lands RPG.

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  6. Hi Quire, yes, Mikael sent me an email this morning berating me for my ignorance of modern paper-&-pencil RPGs :-) The fact is, my group mostly create our own settings and systems (or we use our 7-stat variant of GURPS) so I haven't had the need to go into a game store for over a decade.

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  7. Hi dave!!!
    This news really made my day since i only have an iPod Touch and iPhone. Really thought that i had to buy an iPad to play the app. thanks alot Megara Entertainment =)

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  8. The PC version of the FL App is absolutely fantastic. Perhaps not as shiny or portable as an iPad/iPod. But it fits nicely onto my bog-standard USB key, so I can happily play on netbooks or desktop PCs pretty much everywhere I go.

    I really find it incredible that you're happy to make these treasures available for free. Really, thank you Dave and Jamie, and everybody else who has worked on this application.

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  9. It's not unadulterated altruism, Paul, as my view of the market is that it's better to have a funnel of customers, many of whom experience the product for free but still help spread the word, than to insist on charging for everything and only end up with a tiny readership. Of course, if you play the PC version and end up wanting to buy the print books, or the iPhone version, or the roleplaying game... so much the better :-)

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  10. Well, it worked for me! I knew FL because I downloaded FLApp.
    Now I have 4 books, and expect the other 8! (and maybe the RPG...)
    So, Thanks again for FLApp and Fabled Lands!

    Ikaros

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  11. I hope this comes to the android market because I have a touch screen phone but it's not an iphone. I would surely buy it.

    I have had the FLApp programme for some time, it is brilliant. But it lacks the pretty pictures this app has. I would like to mention I have bought the new books despite the fact I play on FLApp. I see it as an investment in getting the as yet unpublished books. I even have 5 out of 6 of the original books, I never could find the original book 4 anywhere but the library. Sometimes I wonder if it's still there and they might sell it to me.

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  12. My local library used to sell off old stock, Wanderer - a good source of long-sought-after books at low prices. Nowadays I think the librarians have got wise to eBay, though.

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  13. I have a question and a comment:

    The question: Are you going to make an appearance at the London Book Fair? If so, maybe you can meet Michael Ward there. I'm hoping that you will land a publishing deal with someone, I don't see why not, as you have so many excellent ideas. Plus, you wouldn't need to sell a concept, as the Fabled Lands series is pre-established. Try to sell them on that.

    Also: I found an article entitled "Choose Your Own Adventure books:How The Cave Of Time taught us to love interactive entertainment."

    http://www.slate.com/id/2282786/pagenum/all/#p2

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  14. LBF is really a publishers' forum to make foreign rights deals, Mike. Some authors do go along but frankly they're wasting their time, as publishers prefer to deal with agents, not authors directly.

    Happily neither I (repped by Curtis Brown) nor Jamie/Fabled Lands LLP (repped by Piers Blofeld at Sheil Land) have any complaints about our agents - they can close the deals, the only limitation is how much work we can get done with only 24 hours in a day!

    That's a great article. Good background on the genre and perceptive analysis.

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  15. So Dave, is the CRPG going to have that terrible, Japanese-inspired anime-like type of artwork>

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  16. Hamza, which CRPG? The iPhone app is just a port of the iPad game, so I expect it'll be 99% the same only with a different interface. The Java-based FL app pretty much only has the maps, I think. But if Electronic Arts phones up and wants to do a Fabled Lands MMO or even a sole CRPG - hey, we'll let them use any art style they like :-)

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  17. Ah, well in that case I have to say it will be the same - sorry, Hamza.

    As you know, I don't care for manga characters myself. (And talking of pet hates, here are some more: http://bit.ly/35Ns31 ) But not all the art in the app is Japanese-anime style by any means. There are a lot of original Russ Nicholson pics that have been colorized (with his blessing).

    And the image above reminds me more than anything of Clangers creator Oliver Postgate's old "Noggin the Nog" animated show!

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  18. There are 800 new coloured pics in the app made by 15 different artists with different styles, like they did for Magic.
    So it's a mix of new art techniques and old ones, of eastern influences and western ones.
    If we would only have done old 80s western style graphics, I would have had comments too the other way round - especially from the younger community which sees some old western traditional style graphics as alien dinosaurs.
    Mikael, Megara

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  19. Looking forwards to this.

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  20. Alien dinosaurs! Now that sounds like a great gamebook, Mikael.

    Madcat - yes, I think you'll enjoy it. As Mikael says, the impression that the whole game is anime-style is misleading as there are lots of diffferent art styles in there and plenty to appeal to every taste.

    Overall, although I personally don't care for the "JRPG" character style, Mikael is absolutely right when he says the old FL style is out of date. I don't want to see gamebooks coming back that look like Warlock of Firetop Mountain or early D&D - that "old skool" stuff was arthritic even in 1982.

    What Mikael's team have done is rejuvenate the FL brand. Obviously that isn't going to please everyone, just as the BBC's new version of Doctor Who didn'r please all the old fans. But in both cases the show can only go on if a new audience is attracted. I just hope Megara's app has the same relative success with FL as RTD had with Dr Who!

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  21. Dear Dave,

    I’m 36 years old and live in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Although I’m not an English native-speaking person, I definitely want to support the “renaissance” of Fabled Lands and bought the books today on Amazon.

    All the best, Steve

    PS: my son is now 18 months old. I’m pretty sure that in 15 years, he’ll have fun in the land of Sokara. Wouldn’t it be cool ?

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  22. I hope you enjoy the books, Steve - and, more importantly, I hope your son will enjoy them in years to come. I once got an email from the father of a 12-year-old boy in France who had bought books 1-4 in my Blood Sword series, but could not find the last in the series. I had a spare copy and sent it over, and I got back the nicest letter from the dad about the look on his son's face when the parcel arrived. I still have that letter right here in my desk drawer because it means so much to me to have written something that was the source of such passion and joy - even if just for that one lad!

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  23. Steve from Geneva3 March 2011 at 12:40

    Hello Dave,

    I just received the 4 books today. Dispatched from the UK and already delivered in Switzerland: Amazon is definitely efficient!

    Needless to say that I'm looking forward to "dive" into this new world. And most of all, like I presume the entire FL community, I'm hoping that you'll get the opportunity to complete the serie.

    Until then, thank you for this interesting and entertaining blog. Best,

    Steve

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  24. Thanks, Steve. Well, it would be nice to complete the series - and, thanks more to sales of the apps than of the print books, I am beginning to think that might eventually happen. But in the meantime, as you'll see when you start playing, these are not like other gamebooks where there is a single story you have to follow. So the existing books are all self-contained and complete as they are, and it might be better to think of the later books as expansion packs - not essential to playing FL, just opening up more quests and locations.

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