Tuesday, May 26, 2020

GAMEBOOK ACADEMY _____ Ideas for making your gamebook longer

NOTE: This is part of a series that explains how to create your own simple gamebooks. More articles here

In the last lesson, we learnt how to make a really simple gamebook, with just three sections.

Once you get the hang of this process, it's easy to keep adding sections, until you have a much longer gamebook.

Your gamebook can have 10 sections, or 200 sections, or 600, sections, it doesn't matter, as long as you're enjoying yourself as you write, and your reader has fun reading and making decisions at the end of each section.

In this lesson, we'll look at the different kinds of choices you can offer your readers at the end of each section. Once you master this, you'll be able to add more and more new sections to your simple gamebook, and make it even more fun.

Ready? Let's begin.

LESSON 2: Ideas for making your gamebook longer

There are four main types of decisions you can offer your readers.

What action should your reader take next? What should she or he do? This is the most basic decision that drives the adventure forward.

If you want to create a fast-paced, thrilling gamebook experience, your gamebook sections should end mostly in action choices.


You rush over and push the door open. Turn to section 5.

You tiptoe to the door and listen first. Turn to section 3.

You could even write a superhero story where your reader has to decide whether to fly to another planet, shrink to the size of a pea, or transform into a unicorn. Your readers will be so impressed with your creativity.

Your choices could be about your character having a conversation with other characters.

This will be good when your character has to get some important information, or find out what the other character wants, or negotiate with another character.


You say, "Tell me quick, where's the key?" Turn to 6.

You say, "Never mind, I'll look for it myself." Turn to 9.

And it's not just humans. You could have your character talking to robots, dinosaurs, monsters, zombies, talking goldfish, and so on, whatever makes your story more fascinating. 

These choices are about physically moving in a particular direction.

You can use these options when your character is exploring a space, or walking somewhere, or running away.


You decide to enter the left corridor. Turn to 4. 

You decide to enter the right corridor. Turn to 7. 

Besides walking or running, your character can ride an animal, be in a vehicle, or even travel on a flying carpet. Wheeeee!

This is for scenes where your character is analysing something, or searching for something.

This is good for detective stories, where your character has to hunt for clues in order to solve a mystery.


You look inside the pot. Turn to 2.

You search behind the stove. Turn to 6.

When you have a scene where your character is looking for something, it often slows down the action. So try not to have too many of these in a sequence. Keep your character moving around, or talking with other characters.

That's it for this lesson! Now you have ideas for turning your simple gamebook into a much longer reading experience. See if you can make a gamebook that has at least 10 sections. And have fun!

NEXT LESSON: Different types of gamebook adventures you can create 

. . . . . . . . . .