Monday, May 18, 2020

DON BOSCO'S GAMEBOOK ACADEMY _____ Learn how to create your own simple gamebooks

My kids love to read. But turns out they don't enjoy reading the same stuff. So they seldom discuss books. When it comes to games, though, wow, they really bond. They analyse levels together, exchange tips, watch each other play, plan future sessions, and all that. I was inspired to start producing gamebooks, also known as interactive fiction, to see if we could collaborate and create something special together.

What's a gamebook? It's a role playing experience using mostly text, where you're given options at the end of each section, and your decisions will determine what happens to your character. (See Wikipedia)

But first, I had to teach myself how to create a gamebook. It seemed really tricky. I found lots of helpful information online, and I also gathered tips from game designers. Then I simplified everything so I could share all this knowledge with my kids.

We started with The Secret of the Chatter Blocks, part of the Toy Mystery series, for young readers (8 to 10). And after that I created the Last Kid Running gamebook series for slightly older readers (10 to 12), and this is published by Penguin Random House.

Since then, I've received requests for gamebook writing workshops, mostly for kids. But I still have lots more to learn myself, and I won't be available to organise one anytime soon. And so, for now, this is my solution, Don Bosco's Gamebook Academy. Every now and then I'll share a new lesson that will help you have fun creating your own simple gamebooks at home. I'll be updating the list of posts below. So come back here often. If you do end up making a cool gamebook, please share a photo online and tag it #GamebookAcademy so we can all check it out.

Happy writing! May your gamebooks be awesome.

— Don


Lesson 1: How to create your first really simple gamebook

Lesson 2: Ideas for making your gamebook longer

Lesson 3: Different types of gamebook adventures you can create