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Old 09-04-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
jaxx6166
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eBook as Interactive Entertainment?

Has anyone considered or explored the possibility of using the new technology as a form of interactive entertainment?

Almost like the return of the old "Choose your Own Adventure" stories, but not as cheesy or juvenile?

Ex: I had been working on a c-RPG in the spirit of the old Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games.

But, as all fan projects go - real life gets in the way. I had been thinking about maybe considering the possibility of using the eBook tech to kind of allow this dead project to live on. I've got over 100 pages of design documents and stories and acts and so forth already written up. I'm just wondering how possible it is to make real.

I've also seen eBooks be compared to DVD's lately. Some books I've purchased have come with writer commentary, deleted scenes, etc. Which is another option I've employed in a project I'm currently working on. But THOSE are easy.

I have a feeling this may require programming, or something similar. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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I thought of this before.

Making PDFs or ePubs that link about should not be hard.

Looking at some flowcharts might help you with trying to write something like CYO:

http://outspaced.fightingfantasy.org...arts/main.html

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Old 09-04-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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I'm thinking along the lines of an almost actual game (like Suvudu for the 505)

But, this may work. I'm just confused about a couple of things, and don't know very much about HTML programming.

In one point of the story, if there is a MAJOR plot change, how do you go about making it impossible to undo?

And if it's just linking, is it linking to different documents or different pages in the same document? The former may help a lot of issues I am thinking of. The latter, I don't know about. I don't want to in Sony speak, have the reader choose Option B on page 12, which would take the reader to page 155 and then have the reader accidentally hit the previous page button and end up on page 154.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I'm thinking along the lines of an almost actual game (like Suvudu for the 505)

But, this may work. I'm just confused about a couple of things, and don't know very much about HTML programming.

In one point of the story, if there is a MAJOR plot change, how do you go about making it impossible to undo?

And if it's just linking, is it linking to different documents or different pages in the same document? The former may help a lot of issues I am thinking of. The latter, I don't know about. I don't want to in Sony speak, have the reader choose Option B on page 12, which would take the reader to page 155 and then have the reader accidentally hit the previous page button and end up on page 154.
Navigation of a CYO style book would be different, but not unpleasantly/uncomfortably so, from regular eBooks. You would select links, and activate/click them--you would only use the page-turn button if the current segment was more than a page long (or if there was a full-page illustration). Upon clicking a link, if using ePub, you would be taking to the appropriate section/segment, if using PDF, the appropriate page.

There is no way to prevent people from going back (not back one page, but back to the page wherefrom they jumped)--however you shouldn't want to do so either... not being able to undo game/book ending choices will make (some) people stop reading, not finish the book, and not bother with the next one in the serious.

You shouldn't worry about people accidentally using the page-turn button. It's sure to happen once or twice, since that's how they usually navigate their eBooks, but they'll notice the mistake as quickly as they'll make it, and page-turn back to where they need to be.

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Old 09-04-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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Another question you may have meant to ask...

How do you make changes... "stick". Well, most books seem to offer choices (as you can see from the flowcharts) that branch out to parts of the book that eventually join back together. Not quite like a game... more like a book, that reveals different things to different readers.

You still have a plot and a story that starts, advances, and ends... but how the readers makes his way through it all is up to them many times (but not every time) during the read.

For situations where the state of the book/game world matters, the easiest (and fairly accepted) way to go about it is to rely on the readers honesty:

"If you have found the rusty old lamp, turn to page/segment 28; otherwise, turn to page 153."

The alternative approach does most definitely require programming (to create, not to view) and would involve the book having lot of repeated segments with only some of the "turn to page X" messages being different. (i.e.: After finding the rusty old lamp, when you go to any places you have been before, you will be displayed segments whose content is identical to the original segments you saw before, but whose "turn to page X" messages cannot lead you back to the page/segment where you are given the opportunity to find the rusty old lamp.)

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Old 09-05-2009, 04:17 AM   #6
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I've toyed with it, but as Ahi says, unless your story is simple and quite linear (although with different paths like CYOA books) you will require a programming tool as you will go nuts trying to resolve the story "forks" (with/without the lamp etc).

You could append/prepend every actual book page with a "you are likely to be/you were eaten by the book grue" to stop accidental page turns since normally you jump to another page anyway
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing this useful information. It's great.
this is interesting.. thanks so much for sharing!
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #8
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Setting up such a book where each scene has a unique suffix number where that is a list of all possible inventory items represented by prime numbers and multiplied together works --- just duplicate each scene under every possible multiplication (combinatorial math --- gets hairy w/ more than a few items) and track that way.

William
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