…Golden Dragon Fantasy Gamebooks!
About 4 years ago, an email from famed gamebook author, Dave Morris, first appeared in our inbox to see if there was any possibilities for collaboration. We were obviously really excited as this was THE Dave Morris, one of the pantheon of gamebook writers from the 1980s that we’ve always held in such high regard. Dave has been one of the torch-bearers for gamebooks and interactive fiction, writing a large number of titles over the years and is co-creator (with Jamie Thomson) of arguably the most innovative gamebook series, Fabled Lands – a work so far ahead of it’s time! When Dave first got in touch, it was the early days of Gamebook Adventures and licensing deals were not even on the radar for TMG. We didn’t have anywhere near the amount of tech and tools that we use now and to be honest we didn’t have the experience either. So sadly nothing transpired, but we still kept in contact with Dave and Jamie with the hope that someday we could work on something together. That someday has now come to pass and we’re over the moon to be able to bring Dave Morris’ six-book fantasy gamebook series to iOS and Android.
(The Temple of Flame covers above are from the US and British versions)
Over to Dave…
Who didn’t have a gamebook series in the mid-eighties? That’s how it seemed. Oliver Johnson, Mark Smith and I had been at college together. Mark went to school with Jamie Thomson, who had worked with Joe Dever and Gary Chalk and Steve Williams at Games Workshop – where, of course, the two grand old fellas of Fighting Fantasy first cooked up the whole idea. We all lived quite close to each other, too. Jamie had a flat around the corner from me. Mark and Oliver were a ten-minute walk away. We’d bump into Ian Livingstone in the local pizza place. Paul Mason joined our role-playing group and pretty soon he was writing gamebooks too. Only Herbie Brennan avoided being part of that little London enclave, by the simple dint of living in Ireland.
Golden Dragon got started like this. In the mid-80s, the big London publishers were eyeing the success of Fighting Fantasy and they all wanted a gamebook series of their own. Angela Sheehan, who ran Dragon Books, asked me to come in. I’d hardly finished my coffee before she offered me a two-book contract. A week later another meeting, with cocktails this time, turned it into six books to be written by me and Oliver. That’s how much easier it was to get publishing projects off the ground back then!
Role-playing was and is my real passion, and I always saw gamebooks as a way to smuggle it into high street bookshops. I used one of my Tekumel scenarios as the basis for The Eye of the Dragon, and later series like Blood Sword drew heavily on my Legend campaign and the characters who inhabited it. But the Golden Dragons came first, and most of those were just plotted as I went along. In spite of that (or perhaps because of it) they were and are among my most popular books.
We’ll be releasing all six books next year as part of two compendium apps that contain the following books:
Golden Dragon Compendium 1: Crypt of the Vampire – The Temple of Flame – The Lord of Shadow Keep
Golden Dragon Compendium 2: The Eye of the Dragon – Curse of the Pharaoh – Castle of Lost Souls
If you have any vague interest in gamebooks or interactive fiction (you’re here, so you must have!) then we highly recommend checking out the Fabled Lands blog. Lots of amazing posts and articles! If you’re a fan of Jamie Thomson’s work too, then you might want to keep a close eye on the our blog in the coming weeks, as we may have some information than may tickle your fancy.
Join us again tomorrow when we open the fifth door of The Twelve Days of Gamebooks!