Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Fighting Fantasy

In the last 16 years I have written seven Fighting Fantasy adventure gamebooks, which are part novel and part game in which you, the reader, are the hero. They are Spellbreaker (1993 and 2007), Knights of Doom (1994), Curse of the Mummy (1995 and 2007), Bloodbones (2006), Howl of the Werewolf (2007), Stormslayer (2009) and Night of the Necromancer (to be published in April 2010).


































46 comments:

Jon-Paul said...

Hi Jon, really enjoyed reading Stormslayer. Where did you get the name Larni from?

Larni.

Mataeus said...

Hello!
I don't know if you are able to reveal any details or not, but I have to say Knights of Doom is long overdue for reprinting by Wizard (and maybe a little editing by you beforehand ;-) ). So what's the story? Will it ever be taken up by them, after all they have re-released both Curse and Spellbreaker and Tony Hugh's artwork has already been printed by Wizard too, notably with his new illustrations for Bloodbones. Have Wizard given any specific reason for not releasing Knights (yet) or is it as much of a mystery for you?
Mat, investigating on behalf of the Unofficial Fighting Fantasy Forum! :-)

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Matt

Here's the thing with Knights of Doom...

When interest was shown in re-publishing Curse of the Mummy, Steve was also keen to do Knights of Doom. I did a mini-edit for both books, but there's only so much you can do without changing the overall structure of the book, which wasn't an option with these.

Then someone made the point that the first Ruddlestone book was Spellbreaker and so it was decided to go with that one first...

Then talk of the re-launch started and talk re-printing old books was put on a back-burner.

At this stage, as far as I am aware, there are no plans to reprint Knights of Doom. To be honest, if the option was to write new material or reprint Knights of Doom, I would rather actually write new material, mainly because I feel I'm a better (i.e. fairer) gamebook writer now and although I love the atmosphere of Knights of Doom there's a lot wrong in terms of game play.

Does that answer your question for you?

Mataeus said...

Hi Jon,
Yes it does indeed and I would agree with you on all points. Although the set pieces in Knights of Doom are very well written in my opinion and exciting, quite a large portion of the adventure is very hard going, especially for a character with average stats - you have no chance! I also look forward to new material more than reprints, but that's being said as someone who has the original run of FF adventures anyway. It just seems a shame to leave out one book from your FF work; the completest inside me starts surfacing every so often wanting a reprint to sit nicely with the other Wizard editions!
However, I don't thing any long-term FF fan (especially the hardcore - Hi everyone ;-) ) would disagree that, if the news the next adventure on April 1st was going to be Knights of Doom or Night of the Necromancer, the latter as new material will be anticipated a lot more!
Thank you for taking time out (again) to answer my questions :-)
Mat.

kingfede said...

Despite all the problems KoD could have as far as playability si concerned, I admit I wouldn't mind a reprint of this book instead of another reprint limited to Livingstone and Jackson's books; maybe it's impossible to see it for the first part of 2010, cause we already know which books are going to be republished, but why not to propose it for the end of the year or the beginning of 2011?

Jonathan Green said...

Hi kingfede

(Suddenly feels guilty for still not having completed the interview...)

Who knows? With all the interest in KoD maybe I'll suggest it to the guys at Wizard...

It would certainly be a quick and easy one to produce...

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Jon-Paul

I take it you're Larni. If that's the case I got the name from you on the FF discussion boards. (I apologise - I didn't realise you were of the male persuasion - hence the female hunter/huntress... whatever!)

It was one of the homages to my supporters over at the FF site.

You'll find a few others in Stormslayer too. As well as Larni, there's Vastarin (as in Vastariner), Sylas, Mataeus (who's also replied to this post) and... I think that's it.

kingfede said...

If you put a sort of KingFred in Night of the Necromancer I'll send you a huge Christmas cake! ;) ;) ;)

As far as KoD is concerned, I'm glad to see it's not completely impossible that Wizard reprint it... I hope they really do it, I want to fill one of the biggest holes in my gamebooks collection!

Jonathan Green said...

Ahhh... It's a bit late for that I'm afraid. I completed the NOTN manuscript over a month ago.

Never mind, Christmas cake never was my favourite anyway. ;-)

sourcerernl said...

Hi Jon,
I am trying to figure out how writers go about writing a gamebook, maybe you can offer some insight? Do you start with one winning path and then spot brancing opportunitues, create those and then start filling in gaps? Or do you map it out entirely in advance? Or do you map some paths and then fill?
Any insights would be really appreciated!
Kaj

Jonathan Green said...

Hi sourcerernl

You've asked a lot of questions there and opened a potential can of worms discussion-wise.

As a result, what I think I'll do when I've got the time, is to right a series of posts about how I go about writing a gamebook.

But for now, to bed...

sourcerernl said...

Hi Jon,
That would be awesome! I'll be glued to your blog :o)

Jonathan Green said...

As they say, watch this space...

Larni said...

No worries, Jon. Being in the book is my immortality, lol.

kinor said...

Hi anew jon ! A last message from kinor. In two years it will be the 30' s birthday of ff books release. Do you intent for this special event to write a huge 800 paragraphs ff adventure as for the crown of kings from steve jackson (this could also be a good idea ! ).

Jonathan Green said...

I think that's a great idea!

I would love to write a massively long gamebook.

I'll have to run that one past the bosses at Wizard...

kinor said...

Ian livingstone might write a new ff adventure ? It would be a good thing for a talented author because his last "eye of the dragon " was very "middle". Concerning steve jackson 's books i meant 3 of them were really great (the masterpieces "house of hell" and "creature of havoc",plus "appointment with fear" which was very original ).at last jon, what do you think about the rumour which comes and goes on ff websites from fans about the possibility for "legend of zagor" to be a keith martin 's work ?

Jonathan Green said...

I've heard that rumour too, but I can neither confirm nor deny.

If I were have to come down on one side or the other, I would have to say that I think it's by

Slloyd14 said...

Hi Jon! Love the FF series and your work. There is a question at the end of this post...

I've noticed that there is a marked difference for the better between your original series works (Knights of Doom, spellbreaker, Curse of the Mummy) and Howl of the Warewolf, Stormslayer and Night of the Necromancer. I think Bloodbones falls more in the first group.

The originals had very difficult fights and sometimes relied on combat a lot more. The new versions rely more on making choices and the combats are very fair.

You have taken on board feedback about the old books you wrote to make the combats more fair. What else have you intended to change about your gamebooks over time?

Jonathan Green said...

Hi and thanks for your kind comments.

I'm glad you think that there's a marked difference for the better between my original series works and the new Wizard titles.

I like to think so too. The reasons are varied. Firstly, I have very much taken on board feedback about the old books. Also, I was 20 when I wrote Spellbreaker (you can read elsewhere about the arrogance of youth) and I'm now 38. I like to think I have a slightly different outlook on life.

For one, I'm not so concerned with proving to everyone how clever I am at defeating the cheats. My primary intention now (beyond that of earning a living) is to entertain. If a book is unfair or ridiculously hard then it won't entertain - simple as that.

One of the other things I've very consciously changed about my gamebooks is the 'one true path' to completion approach. This was always the way when the first FF books appeared in the 80s, but now - with the development of the games console - when people finish a game they want to play it again to uncover unlockables or try different routes. That's something else I've intentionally tried to put into the gameplay of my more recent FF adventures, and it would appear to have paid off.

Slloyd14 said...

Hi Jon, another question.

I am a teacher, like you. How on earth do you find the time to be a teacher and write all this stuff?

Time management tips would be very welcome...

Thanks :)

Jonathan Green said...

Quite simply, I don't teach anymore.

When I was teaching I was writing one or two books a year, usually late into the night and at weekends or during school holidays.

In the end, I took the decision to jack in the day job. Writing doesn't pay half as well (quite literally) but, other than for the money, every else in my life has improved as a result of that one (very hard) decision.

kinornew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kinornew said...

Hi jon

What about your next ff adventure? You told me a few months ago that it would take place in a high security prison.can you tell us more about it and when you will release it ?
And what about an eventual 800 paragraphs adventure for the 30th birthday of the ff books release in 2012 ? Is this project will come true?
Sorry for my mistaken deleted last message jon.
I hope that this time i 'll be able to see your answer on the screen !

Thanks and keep going.

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Kinornew

No plans as yet for a new FF adventure.

I have an idea for a gamebook set within a high security prison (at least part of it) but, for the time being, that's not yet on the cards.

It's unlikely that an 800 paragraph adventure would ever be printed either (basically due to costs).

As for FF's 30th birthday in 2012 - you'll just have to wait and see... ;-)

newkinor said...

Hi jon

Thank you for your answer about the impossible (unfortunately) release of a 800 paragraphs ff book (too sad !).
I hope that you'll prepare a surprise for us in 2012 so as to consolate us ! (May be the high security prison (great) project ? ).
I just wanted to ask you a question jon : how long do you take, in general, to write a ff adventure ?

We will wait for it and see !

Newkinor.

newkinor said...

Hi jon

Thank you for your answer about the impossible (unfortunately) release of a 800 paragraphs ff book (too sad !).
I hope that you'll prepare a surprise for us in 2012 so as to consolate us ! (May be the high security prison (great) project ? ).
I just wanted to ask you a question jon : how long do you take, in general, to write a ff adventure ?

We will wait for it and see !

Newkinor.

Jonathan Green said...

I'm certainly hoping something big will happen in 2012 to help celebrate FF's 30th anniversary, but as to what that will be, we'll all just have to wait and see.

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Newkinor

How long's a piece of string?

First there's the planning time. Actual writing time is probably six weeks. Then later there's the proof-reading, etc.

Two to three months in total?

Christopher said...

Hi Jon,

Just wanted to say Howl of the Werewolf was excellent. For a while I've been biased towards some of the earliest books in the FF series (esp. Steve's Sorcery!), but H.O.T.W. is a modern classic, among the best, superbly written in all aspects. I especially like your use of multiple options and allowing the reader to go back & try different routes/possibilities as opposed to the 'go west & that's it, you're dead' phenomenon too common in the earliest books. You found the perfect balance between challenging & fair, and an engaging & very cool story too.
Thanks for the great work!

Chris

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Chris

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed Howl - I certainly enjoyed writing it (although it was a few years ago now)!

I'm still hanging on to the hope that I meant get to write another FF gamebook one day...

Norbert said...

Hello Jon!

You are one of my favorite FF writers.

Sorry my English, if I write something badly.

I would like to say thanks for you having written the Knights of Doomot. I loved it that part, when down I had to fall in front of the "ghost". What a perdect idea!
It is very typical of people unfortunately, how it cannot be accepted and to confess their mistakes, and they make their apologies only when he comes to light together back up.
Its almost a perfect book, i think.
You do not have a mood once more to arouse Belgarothot? I will be very happy, because according to me he the evil written in one of the best ones.
Egyébként van most egy új könyvre ötleted?

Thank you!

Norbert said...

Hi Jon!

Vannak még ötleteid egy új könyre? You have ideas yet a new könyre?

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Johnny

Thanks for posting and for your kind words. If you're from Hungary, maybe you can help me out.

Apparently there is a Hungarian edition of Knights of Doom.

http://gamebooks.org/show_item.php?id=7051

Is this right? I've never seen a copy. If you were able to track one down for me I'd be most grateful.

Yours

Jon

davidkinor said...

HI JON

WHAT ABOUT YOUR NEXT FF ADVENTURE ?
IT SHOULD TAKE PLACE IN PART IN A HIGH SECURITY PRISON ?
IS IT ON THE WAY ?
WILL IT BE RELEASED IN 2012 ?
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT IT JON ?
THANK YOU.

KINOR.

davidkinor said...

Hi jon

I remarked that in most of your ff adventures we can find three common subjects : one fight at the first or the second paragraph (spellcaster,curse of the mummy, bloodbones, hotw,notn ), sectators (spellcaster,curse of the mummy... ), and a bestiary on one specifical theme (werewolf,bear werewolf...in hotw, mummy, snake mummy...in curse of the mummy ). Is it a will of your part (and why ?) and will you use them again in your next ff adventure ?

Thank you jon.

Jonathan Green said...

Hi David

It's funny you should mention a high security prison. That is part of one of the ideas I've got filed away in my 'FF ideas' file.

No more FF titles planned at the moment, but should that situation change I will of course keep everyone informed.

Jonathan Green said...

Having the initial combat was a way of throwing readers into the adventure straightaway, adding to the excitement and feeling of urgency.

The themed bestiaries were intentional too, so that there was a recognisable tone to the encounters throughout the book.

They are both techniques I probably would use again in future adventures, if I got to write them.

Of course I used the initial combat and themed bestiary approach with my Gamebook Adventures title Temple of the Spider God:

http://jonathangreenauthor.blogspot.com/2011/11/trials-of-spider-god.html

newkinor said...

Hi Jonathan,

Did you read/play to blood of the zombies and did you achieve it succesfully ?

What is your favourite ff book ? (excluding yours of course !)

Do you intent to release a new ff book in 2013 ?

It would have been great if steve jackson had released a new ff adventure for the 30th birthday (with all respect to ian livingstone !)

Thank you jonathan.


DAVID.13

newkinor said...

hi Jon,

I have three questions to ask you.

Did you read/play to blood of the zombies and did you achieve it succesfully ?

What is your favourite ff book ? (excluding yours of course !)

Do you intent to release a new ff book in 2013 ?


Thank you Jon.

newkinor said...

hi Jon,

I have three questions to ask you.

Did you read/play to blood of the zombies and did you achieve it succesfully ?

What is your favourite ff book ? (excluding yours of course !)

Do you intent to release a new ff book in 2013 ?


Thank you Jon.

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Newkinor

I have read BotZ and I did get through to the end successfully.

My favourite FF gamebooks are probably Deathtrap Dungeon and Dead of Night.

Will there be a new FF book from me in 2013? Too early to say, although there will be some other gamebook projects that aren't FF-related. Just keep an eye on my blog for updates.

KINORNEW said...

Hi Jon,

will your next ff book project about a high security prison you told me once come out this year ? It will allow yourself to celebrate your 20 th birthday since the release of spellbreaker in 1993.

Thank you Jon.

Jonathan Green said...

Hi Kinornew

No new FF projects on the slate at the moment, but I'm still plugging away at a new title for Tin Man Games:
http://jonathangreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/gamebook-friday-you-are-hero-and.html

And then there's this:
http://jonathangreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/beowulf-gamebook.html

KINORNEW said...



Is your exciting project of an eventual ff books in a high security prison on the slate now, or it will never be ?

Thank you Jon.

Newkinor.

Jonathan Green said...

No, it's not on the slate. But never say never... ;-)