Gamebook store

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Casual games

When I originally conceived my interactive version of Frankenstein, I didn't think of it as a game at all. Yet gamification is now an element of all media, and of course I drew on my 15+ years' experience as a game designer to structure and write the book. So I shouldn't have been surprised to see it nominated for Game of the Year 2012 on Where casual gameplay once meant family fun on the Wii, now it could just as easily involve getting drawn into a narrative in a novel, TV show or ARG. Gameplay is getting to be the sixth element of story - after plot, theme, character, setting and style, that is.

If you want to vote for Frankenstein, there's the link. (And don't forget to tick the Game of the Year box at the top first.) There are a bunch of other great games and/or interactive stories there too. Expect the boundaries to get ever fuzzier from here on in.


  1. Etienne Boullee! ... Sorry, that's rather beside the point of your post, but I've always been attracted to the mountainous geometries of Boullee's vast architectural visions.

    Back on topic: in intellectual mode I prefer to focus on the "book" in "gamebook" rather than the "game", but, to be honest, since any game can be understood as a narrative, and since any story in which the outcome is influenced by the reader/ viewer/ participant can be regarded as a game, I'd have to accept that if there is any interactivity at all then there is no sharp boundary between them.

    1. I couldn't have put it better myself, Graham. My interest in games is always in the idea of a set of rules from which a narrative emerges - which in fact means I prefer sandbox games (which really do produce stories) over adventure games (which are preset stories with mini-games and puzzles along the way).

      It was the idea of Fabled Lands's agent (the aptly-named Piers Blofeld) to use Boullée's drawings in Frankenstein. In the event, I don't think any made it into the iOS app version last year, but I made sure to redress that in the epub3 and Kindle versions which are now ready and we will publish in May if not before.