Friday, 2 January 2015

Fighting Fantasy 2014

Happy New Year Fighting Fantasy fans! I hope you've had a restful holiday period and had some time to go adventuring in addition to eating all those festival provisions (you can't go past your initial STAMINA after all, you just get fatter I've discovered).

2014 was certainly an interesting year in the world of Fighting Fantasy. Arion Games released two more Advanced FF books, the long-awaited Beyond the Pit by Andy Wright in January, and Brett Schofield's excellent The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in May (Andy and Brett are both from 'down under', so good work the Ozzies!). Arion Games continues to be the only (English language) producer of brand-new FF lore, so long may their work continue, as new FF gamebooks have become as rare as hen's teeth.

New versions of some of the classic adventures continued to be released in digital form, however. Although we're still waiting on further Sorcery! installments from Inkle (it's been over a year since the release of Kharé, so let's hope things haven't stalled altogether on that front), Tin Man Games have continued to produce the goods (and are also based in Australia, which is rapidly becoming the heartland of FF in the 21st century!), with Starship Traveller in May, Appointment with F.E.A.R. in August, Caverns of the Snow Witch in October, and Bloodbones in December (according to Titannica anyway, though I don't see this one listed on their website yet). I haven't actually got hold of any of these yet (partly because I'm mainly interested in the fantasy titles), which is something I should remedy as soon as I get over the Xmas and New Year hangover.

UPDATE, 07/01/15: @TinManGames "If you're still waiting on Bloodbones on iOS, it's still in review with Apple. Sorry about that!".

Probably the FF event of the year was the Fighting Fantasy Fest, held in London on the 7th of September. Unfortunately I couldn't make it, the price of accommodation and trains from Edinburgh and back (never mind for all you folk outside of Britain) being ruinous. Pity, as it seemed like it was a great event. Maybe next time! It also saw the launch of Jon Green's monumental YOU are the Hero history of Fighting Fantasy (which is STILL on my to-read pile I'm afraid - watch this space). Now, if we could just persuade Jon to write some more FF gamebooks...

Other than that, there has been some new FF stuff produced in France, though as don't speak or read much French I haven't kept up to date with it, and there has been quite a bit of amateur activity, even though the old discussion groups, especially those on Yahoo!, are essentially dead (probably reflecting a move away from discussion boards to blogs, Facebook and Twitter rather than a lessening of interest in FF, at least I hope so). Oh, and 2014 saw only one issue of Fighting Fantazine, which is a significant slowing in production, but issue 14 is on its way and future issues are already being planned and put together so I think things are fine on that front.

It'll be interesting to see what 2015 brings. No doubt there will be further digital releases, but will there be any all new material (in digital form or otherwise)? Let's hope so. I'm aiming to bang out a blog post about once a week this year, and I should also be submitting one or two things for the Fantazine (probably not adventures though, even though I'd like to try and find the time to write some more). Anyone got any news from 2014 or 2015 that you'd like to share?

6 comments:

  1. welcome back paltogue ! I've only started to read YOU ARE THE HERO and I can guarantee you will love every page. Also looking forward to the next fighting fantazine.....love the article you did on the layout of khare.

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    1. Thanks ed! I'll no doubt be revisiting the geography of Khare on the blog before too long.

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  2. I'm really looking forward to more information on Khare, since one of my projects has been novelizing the Quest for the Crown of Kings. I'm partway through Shamutanti Hills, but eventually plan to incorporate the entire quest into the novel. Since I've decided my protagonist is a native of Khare (hey, good people live there, too!), I'm always eager for any scraps of information available.

    I'm also working on a novelization of Scorpion Swamp. It's been a lot of fun expanding the scenes into longer prose and a little more development of some of the characters.

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    1. Thanks Klea! I'll see if I can pull together any more information (and I may have a go at drawing a proper map of the place one day).

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  3. Hi Patalogue

    Great to read your review of FF in 2014. I wouldn't take much persuading to write another gamebook, by the way, but it might be harder to persuade someone to publish it.

    Happy 2015!

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