Does it bring you joy?

The imps present the castle treasures to the master

The Master was tired of nearly breaking his neck falling over imp toys this week, so Crumbly Head Castle has had a bit of a clear out.
The vaults, secret rooms and treasure chests were cracked open and each item was placed in the throne room, with only a handful of imps lost to long forgotten traps or devoured by hungry monsters.
With items including the battle axe of the dwarf giant, the face of an Amazon princess, socks, the misery of a dragon king and the arm of the master’s mortal enemy, each was held and carefully appraised with the simple question: Does this bring you joy? If not, the item was thanked and tossed away into the infinite pit of emptiness. If yes, it was lovingly packed into a treasure chest and placed behind a brand new deadly trap.
Crumbly Head Castle is now decluttered and full of joy – at least until the next hero invasion.

In other news, Grrexit is moving slowly. In case you have been living in a cave for the last couple of years (I know some of you have), Grrexit is the process of breaking up from our nearest trading partners, the Stink Trolls. Despite the troll region being our primary source of food, horse carts and attractive, foreign imps, the vote from two years ago must be respected, where a small majority of imps voted to leave.
The imp in charge of Grrexit negotiations, Theresa Slay, has so far spent last two years by not bothering to negotiate a deal and learning to dance like an awkward robot. With just a couple of months left, the castle is preparing for a hard Grrexit, with the pitchforks being sharpened and the castle moat being filled with fresh sharks.

GBAT 1.18 Release!

It’s that time of year again when our goblins and elves are running around in an overly excited fashion, stabbing each other and setting fire to things.

It can only mean it’s Christmas!

To celebrate this occasion, we are proud to announce the latest version of the GameBook Authoring Tool. Let’s look at the new things:

Export multiple HTML files to folder

In our biggest feature this time around, you can now export your book into multiple HTML files, with one section per file.

This means you can now check your gameplay at any point by opening up the numbered html file or quickly prototype your game outside of GBAT.

For the technical imps, this means you can upload your exported folder as-is onto your webserver and you have an instant playable gamebook. Joy!

Bugs squashed and that

  • Auto summaries were being lost on reloads
  • Uninstaller no longer tries to install things

Download

Download The GameBook Authoring Tool 1.18 for free today!  Please share the word on your blog and social media.  Thanks for all of your support!

Next Year

Next year we’ll be looking at your most requested features – please contribute to the twitter thread or email us if you have other great ideas!

https://twitter.com/CrumblyHeadGame/status/1072930550078410752

ideas@crumblyheadgames.co.uk

GBAT 1.17 Release

Beloved Gamebook Authors,

Thank you for rolling high stamina scores for this one. Gamebook Authoring Tool 1.17 is finally out – and it’s a biggie.

Hidden Choices

You know those gamebooks where you can play the Magical Ukulele of the Boogeyman by adding +20 to the current section and seeing if the new paragraph makes sense? Well, now you can do that.

Hidden choice option

Tick the hidden box and the choice will no longer show up in your preview or your exported book.

Dotted choices

It does show up in your flow chart though, with a dotted line.

Top tip: You can combine this feature with turning auto shuffle off for both the section where you use the item and the section it takes you too!

It also shows up in your exported json/xml files if you’re a developer and you’re using those.

Section Per Page

Relive those Choose Your Own Adventures by making each section appear on a new page. This will work best when your sections are full of text. For shorter, snappier sections (Fighting Fantasy) you are probably better off sticking to the default continuous sections.

One section to a page option

This option will affect your book preview and your exporting – although only rtf export makes sense for now.

Sections now split by a page break

Tweaks and bug fixes

My god, so many bugs. Thank you if you reported these.

  • Fixed crash when deleting after a shuffle
  • Fixed crash when opening a non-existent file
  • Fixed ALL installation problems (hopefully)
  • Improved export flowchart when zoomed
  • Improved the shuffle score calculation to penalise similar sections more (so shuffles should look more shuffled)

Download

Download The GameBook Authoring Tool 1.17 for free today!  Please share the word on your blog and social media.  Thanks for all of your support!

Where do we go from here?  Let us know!  Send ideas to ideas@crumblyheadgames.co.uk and if they get past the troll we’ll get them implemented!

GBAT 1.16 Update

Hey Gamebooksters!

We’ve updated the installer for GBAT. One of our dependencies was installing its temporary files into the root directory and then not tidying up. It’s fixed.

See more details here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/950683

Or just write some gamebooks!

Love,
Crumbly Head Games

GBAT 1.16 Release

Hi Gamebookers

Just in time for your vampire themed gamebooks, we’re releasing GBAT 1.16! We’ve implemented a much requested feature: Shuffle Smarts.

Shuffle Smarts

Our shuffle algorithm has traditionally been very primitive. It loops through all of the section numbers in your book, unhooks all the sections that aren’t marked as fixed position, shuffles all those numbers and then assigns them to the empty slots. This is surprisingly effective, but you can get into some situations where the shuffling has put your sections and choice destinations next to each other.

Here’s an excerpt from Jeff the Country Singer Vampire Slayer:

3
You accidentally awaken the vampire, and he now has his horrible hands around your neck!

- Sing the vampire one of your greatest hits - 4
- Hit the vampire with your guitar - 15

4
You try to sing the popular "I wanna whip your cow" but the vampire's grip has crushed your delicate vocal chords. You are unable to serenade the vampire with the beauty of your voice!

Your adventure ends here.

The shuffling has placed your section and one of its choices next to each other. This isn’t want we want! We want surprises and the choices to mean something.

The new shuffle algorithm now shuffles your book multiple times, each time calculating the shuffle score, which is how much a book is shuffled. The shuffle which has the greatest shuffle score will then be applied, and this should mean your book should feel more mixed up.

Calculating the shuffle score can be surprisingly complex! First we find the section number and all the choice destination numbers. With this set of numbers, we find the average difference between each of them. This gives us an indication of how distributed a section and its choices are. If we loop through all the sections performing this calculation we have an indication of how mixed the book is.

It seems to work fairly well, please send us your feedback! It will be more effective as your gamebook gets bigger.

Export Graph Bug
This has been fixed, thanks for reporting this!
There is still a known issue where if you change the zoom level the canvas size doesn’t export with the zoomed size, but that will be fixed next version.

Download GBAT 1.16 today!

GBAT 1.15 Installer Update

Hi Gamebook Gang!

Some of our lovely users have reported issues with our latest installer. There was a problem with the dependencies not all being installed. These are hopefully now fixed.

If you’ve been having problems installing, please try our updated version:

GameBook 1.15

Really sorry if this has affected you, but many thanks to those of you who reported it. Your bug reports have been super useful in tracking this down.

As always, please let us know about bugs you find and features you want so we can get around to them.

GBAT 1.15 is Released!

Hi Gamebook Gang!

Here’s a nice new version of the Gamebook Authoring Tool today. We have implemented a much-requested feature: choice templating!

Turn to choice now available
Turn to choice now available

You can find this new option under Gamebook Properties. You are no longer stuck with the hideous dashes in your choice output. You can use one of the new predefined templates:

dashes

If you preferred the old way – 7

parenthesis

You decide to choose your own adventure (17)

turn to

If Fighting Fantasy was more your thing, turn to 37

squares

You decide to beat the wizard to death with your square bracket [400]

Don’t like any of these? Add your own! Choose the custom option and write your own template. Use the special tags {{text}} and {{destination}} as placeholders for your choice string.
Like this:
{{text}}, wiggle to {{destination}}

If you eat a bit more of the apple, wiggle to 75

Hope this makes sense! Enjoy!

Download The GameBook Authoring Tool 1.15!

GBAT 1.14 is Released!

Hola Gamebookers!

Update: For some of you, the gamebook authoring tool isn’t even starting! Oh no! So here is a brand new installer which should install all the prerequisites. If you had problems stating the software, please try this and let us know how you get on. Thanks!

Here’s hoping your adventures have been prosperous thus far, and much XPs have been gained! Now, here’s a new Gamebook Authoring Tool release for you.

File association

Double clicking one of your saved GBAT files will now open the file up in The Gamebook Authoring Tool.

Fonts

Fonts have been a much requested feature for some time now, and our output files have never looked the best. So now we have book-wide controls for section text, header and footer fonts, and your books can be as disgusting or as beautiful as you wish!
The font change affects the preview window and all of your output files, and each font change is saved in your GBAT file.

Zombie gamebook written in a scary font
Zombie in a scary font

Output Changes

To support all of this fontage, the exporters have been reviewed. They now have a great deal more flexibility built into them, which we can take advatantage of in future releases.

During this process, some things have changed which may affect your output files.

HTML & RTF

The much hated bullet points for choices have been removed!
If you miss them, you can tweak the HTML css to turn them back on again. Please let us know if this was your favourite feature and we will reconsider! However, most people seemed to hate the bullets.

XML (for devs)

We no longer use CDATA tags to store section text, instead relying on standard encoding for special characters. This should make your XML output more compatible with XML readers, but if you have written your own this is something to be aware of.

JSON (for devs)

Line endings have been changed from \r\n to just \n. This is more in line with the JSON philosophy of platform neutrality, and should help with JSON reader compatibility.

Bug Fixes

A whole fluff of vile and mutant bugs were vandalised:
– Shortcut keys for menus work again
– Fix rare crash opening file when some dialogs were open
– Choice Of Script missing endings tag fixed
– Docking panes no longer go super tiny

Download The GameBook Authoring Tool 1.14!

Windhammer 2015 – Conclusion

The votes are all in and counted – well done to Felicity Banks and After The Flag Fell!

There’s some surprises! I expected Instrument of the Gods to do a lot better, and I’d like to have seen Frogmen and Sea of Sands to at least register in the top 6.
There’s also an interesting conflict of interests issue. After The Flag Fell seems like a Choice of Games entry, and top prize is turning the gamebook into an app from Tin Man Games. These are different companies, so it will be interesting to see how that gets resolved.

We’ve had lots of entries this year, with some good ideas and some good writing. Congratulations to everyone who managed to get an entry out! Don’t worry about where you finished in the competition, prize money, good or bad reviews. You have a finished gamebook, which is more than most people will ever have. I look forward to reading you next year.

Full results can be found here: http://arborell.com/windhammer_prize.html

Windhammer 2015 review – A Saint Beckons

A Saint Beckons by Robert Douglas

Download A Saint Beckons

Warning! Review may contain spoilers!

Robert Douglas is back this year with A Saint Beckons, a middleages gamebook in which you play an injured soldier favoured by a saint.

I’m a light infantryman named Barnabus Dinglebee, and I’m dead good with a mace and shield. Combat is a modification on the Lone Wolf system, a system I quite liked. It uses a small d6 table as opposed to d20, and with a low roll there’s a chance of instant death. Dexterity is going to be really key here, so I might ditch the shield and go for a mace/dagger combo on the battlefield like some crazy lunatic.

Despite it being a secluded place, tidings of the latest ‘Milburge Miracle’ somehow spread beyond the abbey walls and gathered apace as wildfire. Most townsfolk found some excuse to visit on ‘official’ business yet in truth only to regard you with awe.
Then, on the seventh day, the soldiers came.

The storyline is good and it is really well-written. You are nursed back to health by monks at a priory. The beckoning saint in the title refers to the withered hand of Saint Milburge. These events are not unconnected – there’s an unfortunate event and a series of adventures across the Midlands. But it is tough. Poor old Barnabus met a tragic end holed up in a church in the middle of nowhere; his meagre canine and avian companions watching apathetically at the slaughter before their eyes.

I did find this gamebook really enjoyable. Perhaps I read the rules wrong, but with a dexterity of 11 I didn’t have too much trouble winning any battles. I liked this though, and tried to get myself into much trouble because I felt a little overpowered. This is a carefully crafted gamebook however, although with lots of instant death paragraphs if you stray from the true path, you need to make a series of near-perfect chocies if you are going to see it through to the end. There are a few clues in the text that maybe I could have picked up on more, but it doesn’t seem like you will win it on one playthrough. Despite this, I found a good, well written and enjoyable gamebook. Should finish amongst the top half this year.