GAMEBOOK ACADEMY _____ Different types of gamebook adventures you can create
NOTE: This is part of a series that explains how to create your own simple gamebooks. More articles here.
Welcome back! In the first lesson, we learnt how to make a really simple gamebook with just three sections. In the second lesson, we looked at how you can combine different kinds of choices to make your gamebook longer.
This lesson will give you ideas for different genres of gamebooks, so you can create a wider variety of gamebooks and impress your friends.
Now switch your brain to Gamebook Writing Mode and let’s get going!
LESSON 3: Different types of gamebook adventures you can create
1. SCIENCE FICTION GAMEBOOKS
A science fiction gamebook will feature lots of exciting futuristic inventions, from robots to weapons to vehicles to even time travel suits and body cloning machines.
If you want to write a science fiction gamebook, think about how your characters will be affected by all this technology. Will they benefit from the inventions, or will they be worse off? And then give them a tough challenge that involves this technology.
You are on a rocket, traveling to a distant planet, where you have to deliver a sealed box to a mysterious person known as Dr Roo. But there’s an army of aggressive ZipperBots that want to take the box from you. How will you complete your mission?
In a horror gamebook, your character must run away from something awful. This can be a monster, or a dangerous situation, or a scary location. And if you fail, something disgusting or horrifying will happen to you. Yuck! Shudders!
Your horror gamebook could feature a big ugly monster, or a giant pool of stinky slime, or even a swarm of creepy insects that emerged from a spaceship. Create a scenario where your character is desperate to get away from this.
You go to class one day, and find that all your classmates have been turned into zombies. And they want to make you a zombie too. You try to escape them by running to the school office, but oh no, your teachers have become zombies too. Quick, you must run out of school before they get you.
A fantasy gamebook features characters that rely on their magic skills to get things done. There could also be mythical creatures like dragons, giant sea serpents, unicorns, as well as pixies and fairies and orcs, etc.
Think about how your character is affected by magic. Is she or he a really powerful magician? Or is she or he much less powerful than everyone else? How do the characters in the story use magic? Decide on a magical challenge for your character, and a reward at the end if you succeed.
You find out that your best friend is an apprentice Shadowmaker, with the power to create giant shadow creatures that can travel to magical realms. Your friend creates a shadow dragon just to amuse you, but the shadow dragon kidnaps your friend and flies away. You need to save your friend. All you have is a small shadow spellbook that your friend dropped. It says on the front, “DO NOT OPEN UNLESS YOU ARE A TRAINED SHADOWMAKER”.
In a mystery gamebook, your character must solve a puzzle or make sense of some clues in order to learn the truth about a situation. As a reader, the mystery must really make us curious and determined to help the character solve it.
Your main character could be a detective, or a private investigator, or a special agent working for the government, or even an ordinary kid who stumbles upon something weird. You can also add false clues or misleading information to make it more challenging for your readers. And there should be a sense of urgency to solve the mystery quickly.
You have been summoned by Mrs Kee, the richest woman in the world, because someone has kidnapped her cat Regala, and she knows you are a talented detective. She shows you the note that the kidnappers left behind. It says, “LOOK LEFT BEFORE THE GOLDEN BIRD 4541 BLINKS. TONIGHT.” Huh? What does this mean? Who kidnapped Regala? How will you get Regala back? Where should you start?
In an adventure gamebook, your character receives an invitation to leave home and do something unusual, which often involves exploring unfamiliar places and meeting strange people.
This adventure is often in the form of a quest. You are called to travel far away and look for something valuable, and you encounter challenges that test your abilities. Adventure gamebooks can be based on or inspired by historical events, or even real life experiences.
Your school organises a camping trip to Moon Island. Near the camp site, you find a huge hole in the ground with a rope ladder leading down. A woman suddenly appears and says there’s an old pirate’s hideout down there. Your teacher is keen to climb down and explore.
That’s it for now. Have fun, happy gamebook writing, come back soon for the next lesson. :)
NEXT LESSON: How to create a fascinating storyworld
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DON BOSCO’S GAMEBOOK ACADEMY