2013
07.26

FF_logo_yellow_smallIf you’ve been following us on our Twitter account @TinManGames, which is maintained by Neil, you will have seen him teasing recently about some Fighting Fantasy news that we have. We thought it was about time we let you all into our little plans for our future Fighting Fantasy apps as things have changed quite a bit since we announced our line of FF apps in the Twelve Days of Gamebooks back in December 2012. We have some big news about two new FF titles that we will be developing this year as well as some important updates about The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and some of the other early classics. First up it’s time to venture into Titan City with….

img012APPOINTMENT WITH F.E.A.R.

It’s no secret that our next release is Steve Jackson’s classic superhero gamebook and there are big changes in store for the production of this app. While The Forest of Doom was very faithful to the original story and game design (which on the whole was well received for that decision), we felt that we needed something more visual for AWF as being a comic-book story it lends itself more naturally to visual game design cues rather than traditional RPG systems that suit fantasy stories. Therefore we’ve made a pretty bold decision (well bold for us) to get rid of the DICE! Yup, you heard it, we’re ditching the very game mechanic that we’ve building our digital gamebook apps around over these last three or four years. AWF_02_15_ColouredWe’re not going to reveal how that will work just yet, but it will be more skill based with the difficulty determined by your SKILL and LUCK scores. We’ve created a working prototype and so far it’s feeling pretty great!

Anyone familiar with Jackson’s original story will know that you assumed the identity of Jean Lafayette, better known as The Silver Crusader. Our second major change is that we’re saying goodbye to Jean and the Crusader and are currently developing a character creation system in which YOU can create your own hero (see what we did there? ;)). At the start of the gamebook you will not only choose your superpower but you will also be able to choose to be a superhero or a superheroine, design the colours of your costume and give yourself a snazzy super name. AWF_06_72_ColouredMaking these design choices will dictate the starting stats of your character (STAMINA,SKILL and LUCK), which again negate the need for dice-rolling. We’re hoping that people will have fun determining the combinations of powers and costume design to max out their character.

We have some other plans too including making much more of the Hero Points that get doled out during the adventure. We’ll make it easier to gain and lose these points and will include a leaderboard connected to Game Center so players can compete to become the greatest hero or heroine of Titan City!

We’re hoping to release AWF sometime around October assuming the Federation of Euro-American Rebels (F.E.A.R.) doesn’t take over the world in the meantime. Hot on the heels of that we have some news about the original classics…

WARLOCK, DEATHTRAP DUNGEON & FRIENDS

firetopGames development is a quickly evolving beast and as a small company we need to be able to be as agile as possible to cope with market changes and other shifts in player’s expectations and wants. Therefore we’re quite happy to say that the recent release of  Sorcery! was a bit of a game-changer within our digital gamebook niche and the guys at Inkle deserve all the plaudits for bringing the first part of Steve’s four-part epic to life in a unique and new way. This obviously got us thinking (not to mention Ian and Steve) and we’ve decided to go (slightly) back to the drawing board for the original FF classics: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, The Citadel of Chaos, Deathtrap Dungeon, City of Thieves and Creature of Havoc.

deathtrapIn a happy coincedence if you’ve been following our antics, you will have read about this. We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes over the last few months to try and secure some extra funding and were over the moon the be successful with the Screen Australia fund! Having some extra money means that we can be a bit more flexible in our approach to developing gamebook apps and advance our gamebook engine so that we can do things that we’ve prevously been unable to do because of cost.

Obviously this spills over into our plans for the Fighting Fantasy series of apps and we have some pretty major changes outlined for a revamp of those five gamebooks in particular. We’re not going to reveal too much more at the moment about this but fans can be rest assured that we’ll still maintain our core nostalgic approach to the series, while introducing a lot of new visual features to bring the locations and denizens of Firetop Mountain, The Trial of the Champions, Port Blacksand and the rest to life!

STARSHIP TRAVELLER & ISLAND OF THE LIZARD KING

lizking_startravWe wanted to keep the Fighting Fantasy release schedule on track while we tinker with the engine and so have decided to develop two of the other classics from Steve and Ian: Starship Traveller and Island of the Lizard King. Both of these will most likely take a similar approach as we did with The Forest of Doom, with the first of these due for release later this year after Apointment with F.E.A.R.

If you’re not familiar with either of these two then here’s a quick synopsis for each of them:

Island of the Lizard King

Kidnapped by a vicious race of Lizard Men from Fire Island, the young men of Oyster Bay face a grim future of slavery, starvation and a lingering death. Their new master is the mad and dangerous Lizard King, who holds sway over his land of mutants by the eerie powers of black magic and voodoo. YOU are the only one who can hope to rescue the suffering prisoners, but do you have the courage to risk this dangerous mission?

Starship Traveller

Sucked through the nightmare of the Seltsian Void, the starship Traveller emerges at the other side of the black hole into an unknown universe.YOU are the captain of the Traveller and her fate depends on YOU! Will you be able to discover the way back to Earth from the alien peoples and planets you encounter, or will the starship be doomed to roam uncharted space forever?

No doubt we’ll start spilling some information on the blog regarding both of these over the next few months – so stay tuned!

IN CONCLUSION…

We’re really excited about the future of our gamebook engine and what we’ll be bringing to the Fighting Fantasy series over the next twelve months, and most importantly we hope you are too! Features that we include will no doubt appear in other future titles and onwards towards a potential major future project that is some way off. Fun times ahead and Fighting Fantasy is in good hands!

14 comments so far

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  1. All good stuff. I quite liked the dice feature so I would suggest you dont drop it long term (its all about me!)
    Its probably a good idea to release Island of.. and Starship… first before the other five as at least some of your target market would have bought those five earlier from Big Blue or wahtever they were called (although i get that it wasnt released on Android)

    Best of luck.

    PS – any ETA for the Gun Dogs and the Grail quest are going live?

  2. Lizard King and Starship will be released after FEAR. Gun Dogs is coming soon! Grailquest likely to be next year. :)

  3. I’m excited for new releases but a little worried that the format you made for the others which works is going to be changed. It felt like FF! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Sounds like Appointment with Fear isn’t Appointment with FEAR anymore :(
    I wish you luck with whatever you do, I’ll see how I feel nearer release time to whether I’ll carry on purchasing. I liked what you were doing previously, not sure about changing it tbh.

  4. Hope they don’t change the winning formula we have with FOD – the dice make the whole thing very nostalgic and true to the original books which attracted me to these apps in the first place.

  5. I think tin man games are clever for doing this, in light of the recent inkle sorcery app. Everyone is calling that app a ‘game changer’ quite correctly, as it achieved something that FF originally tried to achieve all those years ago: That is, playing dungeons and dragons solo. The recent transition of gamebook to mobile devices was only the start. Instead of just replaying the same gamebooks on an ipad, I’d love to see FF evolve into a more dynamic form, utilising miniatures, actual battles and visual representations of some of those classic locations. Inkle have paved the path, and tin man games are being smart and following that path. Good luck to them.

  6. The changes made in AWF sounds very exciting. I’m convinced that Tin Man Games will do a great job and that there is no risk of “Disappointment with F.E.A.R”. ;)

  7. Any plans later down the track to release non-Jackson/Livingstone FF titles? Some of my favourites were by other writers, e.g. ‘Rebel Planet’, ‘Beneath Nightmare Castle’, ‘Dead of Night’.

    Is the plan to convert all 60 or so of the original books?

  8. We’d love to release them all! However we need to be realistic and make sure that they are popular enough for people to want to have them digitally. This is one of the reasons the classics have been chosen as a lot more people know those titles meaning that they will likely be more popular, which for a small company like ours is really important!

  9. How do you select which titles? Have you considered a poll?

  10. Im happy that you getting rid of dices. They were necessary for paper books but in digital format there are so much more better options. Fighting minigames, puzzles, interactivity, things where player decides outcome, not just staring at dices. Definetly the right move

  11. Hi Tin Man, you have been doing a great job with your books, both FF and GA and I have them all, my 8 year old son is now enjoying these and is particular hooked on Forest of Doom.
    I have played Sorcery by Inkle and enjoyed it but I feel it plays more like a board game now, seeing the minature move across the board. For me reading it the more traditional way has you imagining the journey and the situations described, this is taken away by having too many visuals in the game.
    These were the books I read as a kid and for my son who would be playing video games or watching TV otherwise gets to read and imagine like I did, and I hope you don’t go as far as inkle which I consider more a video game than an interactive book.
    You obviously need to keep your business running and making sure you keep things fresh and new, I would just ask that you keep things grounded and not stray too far from the core idea that you started with.

  12. I just got FoD – love it, and looking forward to most of what you have coming out. I’d like to see Seas of Blood and Space Assassin at some point, those were both pretty cool.

  13. Really looking forward to AWP, got to say I’m not too bothered you’re getting rid of the dice, I always cheated anyway :-o

  14. I am a huge fan of the FF series and own all the original books. I really hope you release the entire series of books in time. I for one would purchase the lot. I like the idea of adapting the engine but don’t stray too far from the original conception. After all, it was more about being lost inside our imaginations, that made this series the most popular game books in the world.