April A to Z – O is for off to see the wizard. An interview with Neil Rennison from Tin Man Games

You have been very busy picking up gamebooks about Hamlet, gamebooks by Herbie Brennan, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, The Forgotten Spell, Gun Dogs Gamebook Adventures and much more. What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment we are working on Lords of Nurroth, our 10th Gamebook Adventures title. This will be followed by GA11 and 12. We’ve had these on the slate for a long time, but Fighting Fantasy has taken precedence over the last year or so! We’re also in the process of moving a lot of our mobile/tablet digital gamebooks over to PC/Mac/Linux and have just released Starship Traveller on Steam and Humble. On the mobile front we are about to release To Be or Not To Be on iOS and Android too, which is very exciting.
Looking longer term we are also developing The Warlock of Firetop  Mountain and Grailquest, but sadly I can’t talk about these much AND we are also tooling up for an unannounced project tied into a pretty major license!

You have new features to your gamebook system. Can you tell us about them?

The latest Gamebook Adventures Engine basically gives us the flexibility to do whatever we want with interactive narrative and present it in new ways. An Appointment with FEAR was our first release in the new version and hopefully gives fans a glimpse of what we can achieve with it. That’s only the beginning though and we have some pretty major changes coming down the pipe in the way that our gamebooks are presented and played.

At Fighting Fantasy Fest, you revealed a new feature that you are planning to include in future apps. Is there anything you can tell the internet now?

No. But we will soon!

As someone who has produced both original gamebooks and old classics, which ones are selling better at the moment?

Our Fighting Fantasy titles are definitely our biggest sellers across all platforms, especially the classic titles like The Forest of Doom and House of Hell. Last year we released The Forest of Doom on desktop via Steam and it had a great reception with it also appearing in a Humble Bundle!

As someone who has written your own gamebook, what is your advice to someone who is doing the same?

I could write a whole thesis on this. Firstly my advice would be to plan, plan, plan. The game design element of the process is way more important than the quality of the writing. You can clean up and edit the quality of your writing later but redesigning a whole gamebook after it’s been written is a LOT harder.

What about advice to someone who wants to turn a gamebook into an app?

Make sure you have a good amount of money, a great tech pipeline and a good marketing plan. Alternatively come and speak with me. 😉

What are the next upcoming releases?

Lords of Nurroth (iOS/Android), To Be or Not To Be (iOS/Android), Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 (Steam/Humble), An Assassin in Orlandes (Steam/Humble) and Curse of the Assassin (Steam/Humble).

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