Tuesday 31 May 2022

Dracula: Curse of the Vampire LIVE - Part 6! (again)

It's the sixth part of Ken Boyter's live readthrough of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire tonight. Yes, I know Part 6 was two weeks ago, but that was really Part 5, because the Part 5 show was cancelled due to technical difficulties, so tonight's performance is definitely Part 6.

If you're free at 7:00pm GMT this evening, do join the livestream on Facebook to see if Ken, in the role of Count Dracula, can get the better of the Vampire-Hunters and make it back to Transylvania.

And, of course, the 125th anniversary special collector's edition hardback of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire is available now, and selling fast. So, don't miss your chance to grab one of these very rare, soon-to-be-collector's-items now.

Monday 30 May 2022

Secret Project: Playtest #2

So, having revised the rules following on from the first playtest, I gave the new card game another spin. I reduced one stat and the number of cards in each Player's hand. However, I am still considering increasing the quantity available of a particular type of card in the deck, and making the game for up to six Players, rather than just four.

I wasn't very far into the second playtest when I realised that nowhere in the rules does it explain what the icons on the cards mean and, as a result, had forgotten about one of the benefits of one of the icons. Clearly that is the most obvious change that needs to made before playtesting again.

This time the game lasted for 20 minutes, with Player K being knocked out by becoming the victim of everyone else's attacks. Player F left the proceedings unexpectedly early, leaving Player L and Player S to fight it out between them. In the end, Player S won, but only because Player L suffered the same sudden end as Player F.

Once I've made those fixes to the rules, I think the game will be ready for some more intensive playtesting sessions involving people who have never played it before.

Wish me luck!

Sunday 29 May 2022

Secret Project: Playtest #1

Last Christmas, I created the prototype for a new card game. I was hoping to playtest it with the family over the festive period, but in the end that didn't happen. So, I put it to one side and, with everything else that's going on this year, pretty much forgot about it. That was until this week...

Next weekend, I will be attending the UK Games Expo for the first time in three years, and meeting up with some likeminded friends. In the past, on a Saturday night, we've borrowed some games from the Games Library at the Expo and ended up in fits of laughter as we attempt to play them. However, this year, I hope to be able to persuade them to help me playtest my new card game.

With that in mind, I got out my prototype deck, reread the rules, and set about playtesting it myself. I'm really glad I did, because it immediately helped me see where the rules need clarifying - something I probably wouldn't have realised so easily had I playtested it back over Christmas - and possibly where there might be some balance issues.

The game itself lasted about 30 minutes, not including the rereading of the rules. Player L was knocked out very quickly, on the draw of two cards, while Player K, who was hanging on by the skin of their teeth for most of the game, ended up the winner, with Player S meeting the same fate as Player L, only much later in the game, and Player F being worn down by a relentless war of attrition. A completely unexpected outcome, but quite a satisfying one.

As a result, I am now drawing up Version 2 of the rules and considering rebalancing the deck. Once I've done that, I hope to playtest it myself again before heading to Birmingham. I thought it might be interesting to others, as well as helpful to myself, to keep track of how the playtesting goes, hence this blog post, and the others like it that I will write from time to time, hopefully until the game itself is released. So, watch this space...

Thursday 26 May 2022

Happy Dracula Day!

26 May 2022 marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker's seminal gothic horror novel Dracula

To commemorate this momentous occasion, from today you can purchase a seriously limited collector's edition of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, the gamebook based on Stoker's novel. And as an homage to the original, the cover is yellow with red text. To find out more, click this link.

Friday 20 May 2022

Gamebook Friday: The UK Games Expo 2022

Two weeks today, I will be at the UK Games Expo for the first time in three years, and I can't wait! Usually, I have one new book out at each Expo, but this time, because I've not been to one since 2019, I have three ACE Gamebooks that are new to the con, and the 'TWAS RPG.

I will be at Stand 2-T10 from Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th June, sandwiched between Ace Brushes and Atlantis Miniatures. So if you're coming along, do stop by and say hello.

Click to enlarge.

In other ACE Gamebooks-related news, next Thursday, 26 May, the special collector's edition hardback of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire goes on sale, to mark 125 years since the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula. You can find out more here.

“This is the Rolls Royce of gamebooks!”
Chris Halliday, TTRPG designer and author

And lastly, this Gamebook Friday, congratulations to Michael J. Ward, whose DestinyQuest: The World Companion funded on Kickstarter in just four hours and is starting to unlock various Stretch Goals. If you've not seen it yet yourself, click this link.

Don't forget, tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 4 are going fast, so make sure you grab yours today.

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Dracula: Curse of the Vampire LIVE - Part 6!

It's been some time since Ken Boyter's last live readthrough of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, due to a few technical issues two weeks ago (when Part 5 should have occured). So tonight's session is Part 6, even though there have only been four so far.

If you're free at 7:00pm GMT this evening, why not join the livestream on Facebook to see if Ken, in the role of Count Dracula, is able to get the better of the Vampire-Hunters ranged against him?

Friday 13 May 2022

Gamebook Friday: Dracula - Curse of the Vampire Collector's Edition

Coming soon, to mark the 125th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula on 26th May 2022, the Dracula - Curse of the Vampire Collector's Edition. Limited to 50 signed copies in total.

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Fighting Fantasy Fest 4 - Tickets on sale now!

 Tickets are on sale now for Fighting Fantasy Fest 4, and are strictly limited to 400* in total.

The Convention of Firetop Mountain is returning to the University of West London, three years since FFF3, on Saturday 3rd September 2022, to celebrate 40 years of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks series co-created by Steve Jackson and Sir Ian Livingstone.

Everyone who purchases an adult ticket will receive:
  • A uniquely numbered 40th anniversary ticket (strictly limited to 400 in total)
  • A souvenier programme and autograph book
  • A pair of Fighting Fantasy dice
  • Access to the event, including the Traders' Hall and Artists' Alley, and all signing opportunities
  • Access to all talks and panels
  • Access to a special screening of Martin Gooch's new film Argh and the Quest for the Golden Dragon Skull, featuring Sir Ian Livingstone!

Attendees may also pre-order an exclusive Fighting Fantasy 40th anniversary T-shirt and enamel pin badge, ready for collection at the event.

There are also a limited number of Young Adult and Children tickets. (Please note that anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder.)

Steve Jackson and Sir Ian Livingstone will be attending as Guests of Honour, and other guests include authors Rhianna Pratchett, Jamie Thomson, Peter Darvill-Evans, and Jonathan Green, artists John Sibbick, Malcolm Barter, Tony Hough, Mel Grant, and Rob Ball, and original commissioning editor Geraldine Cooke.

Fighting Fantasy Fest 4 is likely to be a very popular event and entry is by pre-paid ticket only*.

If you've been before, you will know what to expect and will doubtless be keen to attend again. If you've not been before, then this is the year to attend your first Fighting Fantasy convention!

So, don't delay and make sure you secure your place at Fighting Fantasy Fest 4 now!

* Tickets are limited to 400 adult tickets, plus 50 Young Adult tickets, and 50 Children tickets.

Sunday 1 May 2022

Livres-jeux Alkonost

I am delighted to report that the recent crowdfunding project run by Alkonost Editions, to bring about the publication of 11 gamebooks this year, has funded, having raised 1,069% of its original funding goal of €4,000. Congratulations to all concerned and thank you to everyone who backed it!

This means that French editions of The Wicked Wizard of OzNEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, and Beowulf Beastslayer - will all be available later in the year from Alkonost Editions.

In other news, Czech publisher Mytago is currently running on offer on the first three ACE Gamebooks. So, if you're a Czech speaker or a collector, you know what to do.