Friday 7 June 2024

Gamebook Friday: The Darkness Over the UK Games Expo

Does that sound like a clickbait-y post title or what?

I can't believe it's been a week since my book signing at the Aconyte Books stand at the UK Games Expo 2024. 

As well as signing copies of Moon Knight: Age of Anubis, I also signed 40 copies of The Darkness Over Arkham, which was the first time the first Arkham Horror Investigators Handbook has been available to buy in the UK. The paperback isn't officially published here until 18 July 2024, although you can pick up the eBook now.

Signing books is a serious business!

The final signed copy ended up as the prize in a giveaway competition, although I don't know who actually won it.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to buy a copy. They had all sold out by Saturday lunchtime and so the Aconyte team armed me with postcards and bookmarks featuring the different characters' stats* to give away to interested parties.

Welcome to Arkham, The Darkness Over Arkham, and a UK Games Expo award!

Congratulations must also go to the Aconyte team, but especially graphic designer and layout guy Nick, for winning the Best Gaming Novelty category in the UK Games Expo Awards for the in-world background book Welcome to Arkham: An Illustrated Guide for Visitors. It has already proved an invaluable resource for me when plotting my Arkham-set adventures.

Nick and Jack of Aconyte Books accepting the award for Best Gaming Novelty.

On the subject of gamebooks at the UK Games Expo, I was delighted to be given a copy of Secrets of Salamonis in Danish by Morten, who later interviewed me for a Danish gaming podcast. I will, of course, share a link when it goes live. ;-)

The Danish edition of Secrets of Salamonis.

* Rather like the ACE Gamebooks bookmarks.

Friday 31 May 2024

UK Games Expo 2024

I will be at the UK Games Expo all weekend and this is where you can find me.

Stand 2-T21
I'm sharing a stand with Sir Ian Livingstone in Hall 2. If you've been to the UK Games Expo in the last couple of years, it's in our usual spot.

Click to enlarge.

New Books
UK Games Expo 2024 will also be the first time you will be able to buy the following books (outside of a Kickstarter in the case of YOU ARE THE HERO: An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks).

The paperback, hardback, and limited collector's hardback editions of
YOU ARE THE HERO: An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

The new, fifth anniversary hardback editions of Beowulf Beastslayer (with map endpapers) and 'TWAS: The Krampus Night Before Christmas (with colour art).

Friday 31 May
11:00am - Aconyte Books Signing
I will be at Stand 1-1094, signing the first copies of The Darkness Over Arkham availtable in the UK. If you want to read the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook a full seven weeks before the book is published in the UK, make sure you stop by the Aconyte Books stand on Friday morning.


Sunday 2 June
12:30pm - Write Like a Pro Workshop
I will be joining game designer Darren W. Pearce for a workshop on writing professionally and adventure design.

From starting out, to the middle, to the end like all good stories. You'll learn from them what it's like to work with established IP holders, and how to approach the art of adventure writing, in a fun informal workshop. No previous experience required.

The workshop will be held in the NEC Piazza 1-2 - Panda Room. Apparently.


Sunday 26 May 2024

World Dracula Day 2024!

Today is World Dracula Day, the anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula. But now you can be an active participant in the story, thanks to Dracula: Curse of the Vampire. Here's what author Antony Johnson had to say about the sixth ACE Gamebook...

Dracula: Curse of the Vampire is now available in five different languages - English, Polish, German, Hungarian, and (the latest) Czech.

All the editions of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire that have crawled their way out of the grave so far...

The Czech edition of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire, published by Mytago.

If you have yet to try Dracula: Curse of the Vampire for yourself, why not make today the day you do?

Friday 24 May 2024

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at the UK Games Expo

All of these books arrived within the last week.

The copies of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire and Beowulf Beastslayer at the bottom of the image are the Czech editions of those ACE Gamebooks.

I have spent much of the last eight days posting out YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter rewards, which means that I will be able to have the book for sale at the UK Games Expo next weekend, guilt free. ;-)

You will find me sharing Stand 2-T21* with Sir Ian Livingstone.


Rather appropriately, I also received a commission for another new gamebook today...


* Our usual spot.

Friday 17 May 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come - Post-Kickstarter Thoughts

Yesterday, the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come concluded, having raised 152% of its original funding goal. If you helped make that happen, thank you. If you were late to the party, but would still like to place a Late Pledge, you can do so here.

I have now run 16 successful Kickstarter campaigns, but I have never done things quite the same way twice. I am always trying to refine the process, hoping to find the key that will unlock the greatest crowdfunding success. This time, that involves forking out a not insubstantial amount for targeted Facebook ads.

I don't feel I quite have the handle on such ads yet. Some appeared to do much better than others but I have no idea whether that was reflected in the actual amount raised. I still did a lot of promotion myself on social media and I wonder whether the Kickstarter might have raised just as much as it did even if I hadn't paid for any ads at all.

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come is my most funded ACE Gamebooks Kickstarter to date, in terms of both money raised and number of backers who came on board, but Dracula: Curse of the Vampire comes a close second, and managed to make almost as much money with close to 100 fewer backers. Is that a reflection on the source material for the adventure, or the economic pressures of the times? I don't know.

What I do know is that my ACE Gamebook Kickstarters haven't gone viral yet, but neither am I willing to shell out thousands of pounds to a marketing agency on the off chance that their input might make a significant difference. When I spoke to one marketer, everything he said that his company would do were things I was already doing myself, although I would hope that they would do a better job with targeted Facebook ads than I did.

I will need to think carefully before I settle on what will be my next ACE Gamebook Kickstarter, but I have a couple of ideas that are both things I haven't done yet within the series.

However, for the time being, I have a new ACE Gamebook to finish and some artwork to commission.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."



Tuesday 14 May 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come - The Final 48 Hours!

We're into the final 48 hours of Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come on Kickstarter and are slowly creeping towards Stretch Goal #2.

It is at this point that anyone who clicked on the remind-me-later button will be receiving an email from Kickstarter, reminding them that they might what to pledge their support to Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come on Kickstarter, so it's quite possible we will see a surge in pledges over the next two days.

However, you can do your bit by sharing the link to the Kickstarter far and wide among your contacts too. With your help, there's no reason why we can't hit Stretch Goal #3 by 2:00pm BST on Thursday 16 May, when the Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come Kickstarter concludes.

Thank you for all your support.

"Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends."



Friday 10 May 2024

Gamebook Friday: The Globe, Arkham, and the NEC

I have three things to tell you about in this week's Gamebook Friday post.

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come has one week left to run on Kickstarter and has already passed its first Stretch Goal. Everyone who backs to receive a physical copy of the book will also get a pack of 5 postcards featuring Heraldo Mussolinin's artwork from the book.

If you haven't pledged your support yet, check out the Kickstarter page here, and please share it widely among your social networks.

The Darkness Over Arkham, the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook, was released by Aconyte Books and Fantasy Flight Games this week and has already garnered some glowing reviews.

Click to enlarge.

If you missed the interactive livestream launch of The Darkness Over Arkham with Jordan Sorcery, you can watch it now on YouTube.

You can pick up the global eBook here and, if you are in the States, you can purchase the paperback of the adventure, which will be coming to UK shores in July.

That said, if you are attending the UK Games Expo at the end of the month, you may be able to pick up a paperback of The Darkness Over Arkham at the Aconyte Books stand, where I will be doing a signing session on the Friday.

The rest of the time, you will find me at Stand 2-T21, which I am sharing with Sir Ian Livingstone, apart from when I am running the 'Write Like a Pro' workshop, with Darren Pearce, at 12:30pm on the Sunday.

If you're coming along, do stop by and say hello. Maybe I'll see you there.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

The Darkness Over Arkham released in the US and as a global ebook today

The Darkness Over Arkham, the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook is published today by Aconyte Books, as a paperback in the US and as a global eBook*.

When a renowned professor is found dead, it’s up to the Investigators of Arkham to discover what occult horrors were behind his fate. Pick your path, Investigator, and collect allies along the way to hunt down his killer before they strike again. However, Arkham is full of mysteries, with many wishing to keep the truth buried, and who are hungry to usher in a new era full of death and darkness to devour the world you know it. Can you stop them before it is too late?

The book includes profiles for three Investigators - Agnes Baker the Waitress, Nathaniel Cho the Boxer, and Rex Murphy the Reporter - which can be downloaded here, so you don't need to write in the book itself.

You can order your copy of The Darkness Over Arkham here. And don't forget I will be livestreaming the opening of the adventure with Jordan Sorcery on his YouTube channel tomorrow, 8 May 2024.

* The UK paperback arrives 18 July 2024.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come - halfway there!

Today marks the halfway point in the Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come Kickstarter campaign.

It hit its funding goal within 4 days, which was amazing, but in the 7 days since it has only raised £1,230. I say only, but I am aware it is a lot of money. It's just a constant struggle to connect with new backers, and we have Stretch Goals to hit.



I have dabbled with targeted Facebook ads but have a feeling that for them to make a real difference, you really need to invest a lot more than I have.

I expect that pledges will pick up again in the last few days of the funding period, but this mid-campaign lull means that I am toying with running a future Kickstarter for even less time, perhaps just two weeks. But that's some way off yet.

You can help by sharing the project link with your friends through your socials. There will be someone you know who it just waiting to back a gamebook like Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come on Kickstarter. As someone else pointed out on social media, Kickstarter needs a Gamebooks sub-heading because otherwise he could easily have missed it.

Next weekend I will give the campaign another push but this coming week my focus will be on the release of the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook The Darkness Over Arkham on Tuesday 7 May 2024, and the livestream of the game the very next day on Jordan Sorcery's YouTube channel.


Friday 3 May 2024

Gamebook Friday: The Darkness Over Arkham Livestream

On Wedneday 8 May 2024, at 7:00pm BST, I will be taking part in a livestream of my new gamebook The Darkness Over Arkham on Jordan Sorcery's YouTube channel.

The Darkness Over Arkham is released on Tuesday 7 May 2024 as a global eBook and as a paperback in the US*. So, if you're free, do stop by and help decide which path to take and, if you're not free, you will be able to catch it later on YouTube.

In other gamebook-related news, Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come is heading towards its first Stretch Goal on Kickstarter. It's almost halfway through the funding period so there's still plenty of time to get on board and share the latest ACE Gamebook Kickstarter with all your gaming friends.

In four weeks' time, you will find me attending the UK Games Expo 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham. I will be sharing Stand 2-T21 with Sir Ian Livingstone, so do come and find us in Hall 2. You will find more details about the UK Games Expo here.


* The UK paperback of The Darkness Over Arkham is out on 18 July 2024 but, it you're lucky, you may be able to pick one up at the UK Games Expo.


Friday 26 April 2024

Gamebook Friday - Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come has been funding on Kickstarter for three days now and, as of writing, is already 96% funded.


The most popular reward is the HAMLET paperback, with the KING LEAR hardback a not very close second, and the hardback + paperback PROSPERO reward third.




It has become clear that people are bravely and boldly backing this Kickstarter without knowing very much about the actual plot of the adventure. You can read the opening 25 sections here, but to tease you still further, the gamebook is divided into 5 Acts, which are as follows:

Act I - Ill Met By Moonlight
Act II - The Play's the Thing
Act III - Full Fathom Five
Act IV - Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair
Act V - Something Wicked This Way Comes


YOU can help Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come reach its funding goal by sharing the link to the Kickstarter page on your socials, but not just once - every day you can, please.

The Kickstarter concludes on Thursday 16 May 2024, in 20 days' time, but can we reach the funding goal before the end of this weekend? With YOUR help, we can!

Thank you for your support.


Tuesday 23 April 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come is LIVE on Kickstarter!

The eighth ACE Gamebook is now funding on Kickstarter. In Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come, you take on the role of England's foremost playwright William Shakespeare, battling the forces of the Great Old One Cthulhu. Check out the rewards below and pledge your support today.



Thank you for your support and please share the Kickstarter project link far and wide.

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks…”