Published Gamebooks I've worked on:

Some writing communities I'm involved with:

Thoughts on the 2012 Windhammer Prize entries - Part 1

Well the annual worldwide Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction is over for another year… It’s been running for 5 years now by the awesome Wayne Densley who it must be said deserves a lot of credit for cultivating a re-emergence in gamebooks: together with others such as Tin Man Games who’ve featured a few Windhammer authors in their titles too (and some of which I myself have helped to produce).

I think it’s fair to say that the 2012 Windhammer Prize has demonstrated the huge diversity of gamebook goodness out there, the healthy level of interest and that there’s plenty willing to have a go. I imagine it’s also the case that there’s been more interest, votes and certainly more entries than ever the Windhammer Prize has had before. I want to congratulate all involved for putting in the effort to complete an entry and submit it for public scrutiny. You’ve all done gamebooks proud!!

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Brewin
Ahhh I see now... Thanks for clarifying for me Torallion, I was totally mis-using the Epiphany12 code by following the instruction... Read More
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 06:34
Kieran
Thanks for the review of A Knight's Trial, Brewin! I must admit I wasn't greatly pleased with it myself and did briefly consider n... Read More
Saturday, 10 November 2012 17:30
Brewin
Really interesting to read your thoughts on this Kieran! I'm personally reassured by knowing that whatever you do, some will like/... Read More
Sunday, 11 November 2012 00:27
12680 Hits
14 Comments

Announcing the winners of the Coffin Hop giveaway!

Well the month of October has passed us now, and I have a (somewhat brief!) moment to reflect...

The first three weeks of October I was involved with the Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read promotion, together with nine other authors, which raised a total of 328 books for the charity Books for America, and gave away a number of free books and cash prizes to the lucky winners (who've been contacted already). -You can read details about how the event went here.

This last week in the lead up to Halloween itself, I've been involved in the Coffin Hop promotion, together with over a hundred other horror artists, where we've each written articles (on our own sites and others) and had giveaways, competitions and general craziness.

(These events have been in addition to the other things I'm doing at the same time, like the "day job", upcoming projects and having some semblance of a social life haha)

But all in all, I have to say both the Fiction Frolic and Coffin Hop events have been a great success for me, and I certainly intend to do more of them! In the month of October, I've gained around 250 new followers on Twitter and Facebook, had around 1000 visits to my website, and generally had a lot of fun! But really, I'm all too aware of how difficult the battle for publicity / awareness actually is, and know that for everything I do manage to do, there's at least three, and probably at least ten times as many other things I should be doing as well... But I'm getting there ;)

-Not that I'm sure where "there" is as yet, but at least it's somewhere different from where I've been :)

So anyway, onto the winners of my giveaway (whom have by now been notified by email):

The following three people are each receiving a signed paperback copy and t-shirt for The Dark Horde in their chosen size:

Jennifer Ricketts, Julie Saffold, Lauren MacKay.

And the following thirteen people have each been emailed a free pdf copy of The Dark Horde:

Adele Symonds, Aniko Carmean, Georgina Morales, Jeanette Jackson, Jennifer Mathis, Jessica McHugh, Kim Koning Author, Mary, Neil McGrory, Paul Smith, Rob Smales, Scott Hilton, Shane Garvey

Congratulations to you all!

-I did have to draw more people than the initial sixteen, due to (a) some people being drawn twice (apparently Rafflecopter doesn't account for this) and (b) three people who won pdf copies but already had one (whereupon I've organised alternatives with them, and re-drawn).

For all those that missed out, fear not, you can always grab an e-copy for $3 on Amazon HERE ;)


I hope you all had a great Halloween (although sadly if you're in NE America and copped Sandy and its aftermath you probably didn't)...  I'll be back with some more news / stuff I hope is interesting soon!

Continue reading
2506 Hits
3 Comments

Announcing Coffin Hop 2012 and a MAD giveaway

Coffin Hop 2012
Brewin's Coffin Hop Prizes!

Coffin Hop is an annual event in the week leading up to Halloween where a hundred or more authors, artists, publishers and more host giveaways, prizes and even games on their blogs to celebrate horror fiction in all its forms. Every visitor to any of the blogs taking part can "blog hop" between one blog and the next: discovering new things, having fun and having the chance to win the stacks and stacks of prizes on offer from those taking part.

* HERE IS THE LIST OF ALL THE AWESOME PEOPLE TAKING PART *

 

This year is the first I'm taking part, and I'm joining in the fun with a MAD giveaway of my own stuff: I'm doing a few guest posts around, but most of all I'm giving away a bunch of e-books and three signed paperback copies and t-shirts for The Dark Horde, mailed to you FREE (at a cost of quite a bit I must say) and all for a few crazy clicks!

       

It might be a crazy idea really, but sometimes I think you've just gotta do something crazy to see what happens. Put another way if I throw enough mud, I mean free stuff, at the universe, I figure something cool has to happen... And that could be YOU! So below is the prizes I'm offering and the link to enter:

* 3 MAD bundles with a signed paperback copy and t-shirt in your choice of M, L or XL size; and 13 e-book copies! *

My giveaway ends when midnight strikes on Halloween (EST time), so you don't have long! But stick around the Land of the Brewin a bit first, I think you'll discover something you like :)

 

Enter Brewin's MAD Rafflecopter giveaway!!

Continue reading
Recent Comments
James
Thanks for the opportunity to win some of your cool stuff. Glad you're taking part this year. Sadly, I am well behind in my visits... Read More
Saturday, 27 October 2012 16:30
Brewin
Thanks everyone for your comments: much appreciated! Good luck with your entries, hope you enjoy, and of course have a great Hallo... Read More
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 05:56
4346 Hits
11 Comments

The Dark Horde - Complete Unreleased Prologue and Book Trailer


If you've been following this blog since I started writing it earlier this year, you may have read the complete (and unreleased) prologue to The Dark Horde before. Or possibly you have seen it in other forms over the years: maybe in one of the many printed manuscripts I've handed out or perhaps even you've heard some of the associated musical album, in one of its many unreleased versions.

-Whether this is your first or hundredth time, I invite you to read these words, to learn of the future, and to remember your past...

But first, here's a little taste of what's to come:

 

*                  *                  *

To read the rest of this post, and find out how you can enter to win up to $200 in Amazon GCs, 10 signed books, swag bags and more, check out Fiction Frolic, where 10 authors strive to raise 1,000 books for charity in 3 weeks, all in celebration of All Hallow's Read!

Continue reading
2792 Hits
0 Comments

My favourite work of "dark" literature

The world of dark fantasy, the supernatural and the occult have always held a strong attraction for me. To explore the worlds “beyond the veil” and revel in the supernatural mysteries beyond “mundane reality”. I have always been a lover of fantasy, science-fiction and horror, but it is the horror genre that I tend to come back to most.

I’m not really sure why it is, but I’m proud to say that the first story I ever wrote when I was six, was a horror story called The Dangerous World where all my family members, myself included, died as a result of various disasters. Nor can I really explain why most of the stories I wrote throughout my childhood were horror stories filled with demons, undead and gore, and usually ended with the death of the protagonist at the hands of some nefarious entity.

Continue reading
2226 Hits
0 Comments

The Book That Ignited my Love of Reading and Writing


There is a book that I credit as being the one, more than any other, that makes me the writer I am today, that opened my eyes to a whole world of fantasy, and what was at the time an entirely new genre. A book whose authors were my childhood idols, a book I must have read over twenty times. A book whose influence was so profound, that my first novel’s last third pays homage to its genre, and is actually featured in a chapter of my second novel (including extracts). A genre that I now work in to produce titles of my own and those of others, and where I have the amazing privilege and honour to be working for one of the original authors himself: a dream that my childhood self would simply have been unable to believe...

 

***

 

To read the rest of this post, and find out how you can enter to win up to $200 in Amazon GCs, 10 signed books, swag bags and more, check out Fiction Frolic, where 10 authors strive to raise 1,000 books for charity in 3 weeks, all in celebration of All Hallow's Read!

 

Continue reading
4924 Hits
0 Comments

Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read



It is a great pleasure to be involved with this initiative that aims to raise 1000 books for charity and in support of All Hallow's Read that Neil Gaiman created a few years ago to promote giving a book or scary story away for Halloween. Ten authors, including myself, have come together with book giveaways, cash prizes and cool stuff like this:

 

...Below is the official word from the blog tour organisers:

 

Help Raise 1,000 books for charity and enter to win $200, signed books and swag!

We are excited to share about an ambitious blog tour—Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read—where ten authors from several genres are working hard to raise 1,000 books in three weeks for Books for America.

From October 1st to 19th, donate a new book (or books!) and earn extra bonus points in a huge giveaway that these authors are hosting.

 

Two winners will each receive the following PRIZES!

$100 Amazon G.C.

5 signed books from the authors hosting the event

A swag bag

Plus—in honor of All Hallow's read, gift a signed copy of one of our books to a friend!

 

With a total of $200, 12 signed books (including the gifted books) and major swag, what better way is there to raise books for charity and celebrate All Hallow's Read?

Each author participating is also donating signed copies of their books to Books for America, an awesome charity that is officially sponsoring their event and excited to be involved with All Hallow's Read. In 2011, Books for America donated more than $800,000 worth of books and materials to DC area schools, shelters and dozens of other educational programs and organizations.

 

The authors are blogging throughout the event at The Fiction Frolic Blog.

·        10/1-5 Read about how books shaped their love for reading and writing.

·        10/8-12 Read their scariest, funniest or craziest Halloween experiences, or learn about their favorite Halloween themed book or movie, or favorite work of "dark" literature.

·        10/15-19 Enjoy some flash fiction, short stories and novel excerpts.

 

So donate, share, and look for daily ways to enter to win. Donate to charity for bonus points!.

 

This event is sponsored by:

Eleanor T Beaty, author of the YA paranormal Veiled Mist

Brewin' author of the supernatural horror, The Dark Horde

Andy Gavin, author of the fantasy horror, The Darkening Dream

Laxmi Hariharan, author of the YA fantasy, The Destiny of Shaitan

Kimberly Kinrade, author of the YA paranormal thriller/romances, Forbidden Mind & Forbidden Fire

Richard Long, author of the supernatural thriller/horror, The Book of Paul

M.C. Mars, author of the mind-bending novel, Burner

Melissa McPhail, author of epic fantasy Cephrael's Hand

Sheryl Steines, author of She Wulf & Days of First Sun

Pavarti K Tyler., author of the Lit Fic Shadow on the Wall and the erotic horror Consumed by Love

 

 Joooin ussss!

Continue reading
2485 Hits
0 Comments

Freeplay 2012 - Some personal reflections

Freeplay 2012
Yeah I know, I look pretty unhappy about only getting a top three finish don’t I ;)

Yes the subtitle is needed, as I’m not going to pretend that these reflections are in any way representative of the festival or the experiences of others… I managed to attend only six talks/panels/workshops on the last two days, and was briefly at one of the after parties, so I did but take a small sample of what was on offer…


Freeplay is Australia’s longest running independent games festival exploring the intersection of indie development, culture, arts and education.

This was my third Freeplay festival. I’ve previously spoken on the topic of “story design” at one of them (a spot I really only got because Neil Rennison of Tin Man Games recommended me), and for this one my Gamebook Adventures title Infinite Universe was nominated for best writing in a game, from out of 115 entries no less.

Continue reading
2919 Hits
0 Comments

News from the Land of the Brewin'

Yep... I can relate to this ;)

…I think one of my issues to address is that I don’t talk enough about what I’ve done, I am doing now or will be doing soon… I’m too busy actually doing it rather than talking about it.

                       

So dear reader, I shall endeavour to tell you more about what’s been happening in the “Land of the Brewin”, which is quite-a-bloody-lot haha:

  • Gamebook Adventures 8: Infinite Universe gets Freeplay 2012 Nomination for Best Writing in a Game:
    This is news is actually a week old now, but it’s the biggest news of the moment for me. “Freeplay is Australia’s longest running independent games festival exploring the intersection of indie development, culture, arts and education.” (That’s the description from the Freeplay site). And each year they give awards to what is judged the best game in a variety of categories. Only three entrants are short-listed in each category, so out of 115 entries for the Freeplay awards (more than triple the previous year), it is a special honour to have my Infinite Universe gamebook nominated as one of them… (I think I’d be a shoe-in to win the award if it was “Most Writing in a Game” haha but unfortunately “Best” and “Most” are two quite different things).
  • The Dark Horde October promotion for Fiction Frolic / All Hallow’s Read:
    In order to boost the profile on my horror novel, The Dark Horde, I’m doing a lot of things over October, including the above promotion and many of which I am (somewhat frantically) organising now. In conjunction with hundreds of other blogs, there’ll be book giveaways, t-shirts, a book trailer, and hopefully a few blog articles about The Dark Horde, and some of the amazing reviews thus far. But before then there’s a few things to still get finalised, including distribution channels and newsletters, so stay tuned on that one.

Trial of the Battle God Hall of Fame

Let us remember the fallen heroes that have fought for the glory of the Battle God. Let us honour their memory and praise their achievements. May their deeds never be forgotten and ever inspire us to follow their path to greatness...

92 POINTS:

  • Steve (Goblin)


85 POINTS:

  • Yvraith (Elf)


Continue reading
3182 Hits
0 Comments

Happy Fighting Fantasy Anniversary!

My much-loved copy of Warlock of Firetop Mountain

A little under thirty years ago an event happened that was to change my life forever afterwards... As a seven or eight-year old I walked into my local bookstore and there was this book (actually there were three of them in the series by this point if I recall correctly) called Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

It wasn't just any book though. It was a book in which I got to be the hero. I was the one making the choices and battling enemies. It was still a couple of years before I got my head around Dungeons and Dragons, but it was Fighting Fantasy that was my "gateway drug" to the world of role playing games... Over the next few years I collected over a hundred gamebooks, although stupidly I sold off most of them when I started high school, but I kept my favourites: Grailquest, Lone Wolf, Duelmaster, Falcon and the one that started them all really (even if Tunnels and Trolls came out first): Fighting Fantasy.

Before I was able to be a Dungeon Master for D&D, I was "Dungeon Master" for Fighting Fantasy: reading out Warlock of Firetop Mountain to my friends and having them make the choices... Here is a photo of my battered copy, a book which I must have read at least twenty times:

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone became my idols and inspired me to write and want to be like them one day. And all these years later, it is a special and unbelievable privilege that I am able to be doing just that. :D

And yesterday was the 30 year anniversary of the day that the first Fighting Fantasy book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, went on sale. Thank you Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson for enriching my childhood and life ever since with your magic.

To commemorate the anniversary, Ian Livingstone has blessed us with a new Fighting Fantasy book: Blood of the Zombies. You can read about it and lots more here.

Continue reading
2425 Hits
0 Comments

Book Sale!!

Ignis Book Covers

If you’ve yet to get a copy of either of my books THE DARK HORDE or EVERMORE: AN INTRODUCTION, now is your chance as they just been reduced in price by 50% to 65% !

Available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle, this offer won’t be around long, so grab yourself a bargain!

The Dark Horde (Paperback) for £2.99

Continue reading
4664 Hits
0 Comments

Conversion of the Gamebook Adventures system to a 2D6 system

Fitness checks can made during any particular round to add 1 to your roll or deduct 1 from your opponent’s roll (and having the reverse effect if you fail the roll).




This article is even more esoteric than yesterday’s topic on probabilities in the Gamebook Adventures system, but it’s related and to those that are designing and writing gamebooks of their own, this may prove useful for their own designs…

Or at least give them ideas. There’s a few things happening in the “gamebook world” at the moment that could benefit from this, and so having done this conversion for a new project I’m working on, I thought I’d share my work, and to kinda follow on from my article yesterday.

Continue reading
13057 Hits
0 Comments

Probabilities in the Gamebook Adventures system

Probability Meme
Odds Meme
Chance of Success (not including FIT checks)
Average Damage when hit (not including FIT checks)
Average Damage per Round (not including FIT checks)
Chance of success for consecutive FIT checks
Chance of Success (including FIT checks)
Average Damage per Round (including FIT checks)
Impact of Fitness Checks on Chance to hit and Average Damage per Round
Adjusted Average Damage per Round (factoring in consecutive FIT checks)

Today’s article is all about probabilities in the Gamebook Adventures system (with some limited comparison to other systems, particularly Fighting Fantasy). Statistics can be a bit of a dry topic haha, so I’ll try to reduce it to the important elements for you… Well important that is if you’re writing for such a system or are interested to know what the game odds are… Beware though, there’s a lot of tables and charts incoming :)

                 

 

Calculating probabilities for a system such as Fighting Fantasy is reasonably straight forward: (In a typical battle) you roll two six-sided dice for each combatant and add a given Skill score to each combatant’s roll, with the highest score dealing 2 Stamina damage to the other combatant. Use of Luck rolls makes it a little more complicated but not by much. You can “Test your Luck”; by attempting to roll two dice equal to or under your current Luck; in order to do one more Stamina damage, but failing this roll means you do one less Stamina. Skill and Luck scores vary, resulting in an exponential scale where even a few points of Skill difference make it unlikely for one side to win, even with far more Stamina.

For example, if your Skill is 3 lower than your opponent’s, then your opponent is roughly five times more likely than you are, to be the one making a hit in a given combat round, not including the Luck factor. In other words, if your hero has Skill 9 Stamina 24 and your opponent Skill 12 Stamina 5, then you both have about the same chance of winning…

                               

 

The Gamebook Adventures system is considerably more complicated to calculate probabilities for (even though the rules themselves are of a similar level of complexity) and shares a similar but less extreme exponential scale, such that the outcome of a combat is not as much of a sure thing. Combatants roll between one and six six-sided dice to attack (as determined by their Offence rating) and between one and six six-sided dice to defend (as determined by their Defence rating). If the attacker’s highest roll is higher than the defender’s highest roll, then they do damage equal to the sum of all their dice. (And in the case of tied rolls, the two tied dice are removed and the next two highest rolls are compared, until no dice are left). In addition, the hero can make a “Fitness check” on any given combat round by rolling two dice under their current Fitness. This is similar to “Testing your Luck” in the Fighting Fantasy system, except that the advantage given is to add 1 to their highest roll, significantly increasing the chance of hitting or defending.

In the extreme case of 6 dice in Offence against an opponent with 6 dice in Defence, and including the two additional dice rolled for a Fitness check, there are 6^14 possible dice combinations for any given round (that’s 78,364,164,096 combinations). And to calculate the highest roll and damage inflicted for each of these combinations, is quite a task… But I’ve done this (well kind of; I had to take some short cuts, but the end conclusions are about the same) and this is what I present below.

This isn’t meant to be a rigorous statistics paper, so I’ll spare you comprehensive details of how I came up with these numbers… But basically I listed every dice combination out on a spreadsheet, so that I could be sure I was calculating correct averages etc, until the number of possible combinations became too unwieldy. I listed all combinations up to seven dice, which is 6^7 or 279,936 combinations. The numbers for the remaining eight to fourteen dice combinations I estimated using a “best fit” exponential regression equation. In other words, I took the half-finished set of values I had manually calculated and used them to apply a formula to estimate the rest…

First of all, we’ll ignore the impact of Fitness checks, and just focus on the chance of success (success being an attack that hits the defender) for each Offence / Defence combination:

                 

 

So to interpret what these numbers mean, it’s saying that if your Offence value was 6, and your opponent had a Defence value of 1, then (not including Fitness checks) your chance of success (i.e. hitting) is 76.00%, and if their Defence was 2, your chance is *about* 57.77% and so on…

The yellow cells in the above table are where I had to cut corners as the number of combinations was too large to individually analyse. These are the values I extrapolated based on the trend already shown. This trend (as you can see in the above graph) is an exponential decline, where the degree to which your chances drop lessens as Defence values increase.

Here are some interesting conclusions from these numbers:

  • Even at maximum Offence (6) versus minimum Defence (1), you have at best a 76% chance of hitting. This compares to a 100% chance for a similarly extreme matchup in the Fighting Fantasy system, and to many other dice-based game systems where the best odds tend to be 95% (anything but a roll of one on a twenty-sided dice), 97% (anything but double-one or double-six on two six-sided dice) or 99% in percentile-based systems.
  • Conversely though, even at minimum Offence (1) versus maximum Defence (6), you still have a 7.33% chance of hitting (more once you consider Fitness checks), which typically compares to between 0% and 5% in other systems.
  • Typically your chance of hitting; without including Fitness checks; is lower in the Gamebook Adventures system than that for other systems such as Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Dungeons and Dragons and the Basic Role Playing system. (However when you do hit, your damage is typically higher than what occurs in these systems).
  • Increasing Offence or Defence has an increasingly smaller impact. For instance, you’ll see that Offence 6 is only slightly better than Offence 5, particularly against high Defence values. (Although I suspect it’s not quite a close as shown, since the values in the yellow cells were those obtained from extrapolation).


Now let’s look at the average damage inflicted when you hit:

              

It’s actually difficult to draw much from these numbers since you need to factor in the chance of hitting to say how much damage is done on average each round… The amount of damage done for any given Offence rating only increases slightly with increasing Defence (based on the fact that the higher the Defence value you’re trying to hit, the more likely that a successful hit was based on a high roll).

By multiplying the chance to hit, by the average damage done when hit, we come to this table (which is very useful from a design / game-balancing point of view):

                

 

So now we can start to see exactly how hard any given combat is. For instance, if you have an Offence of 4 and a Defence of 2, and are fighting an enemy with an Offence and Defence value of 3, then you inflict an average of 6.08 damage per attack, whilst your opponent inflicts an average of 5.44 damage per attack… Pretty useful huh?

Continue reading
19507 Hits
1 Comment

Post-mortem of a Book Launch

The latest covers for my three published works

On Saturday the 28th of April 2012, I held my “triple book launch” at the Royal Hotel in Clifton Hill. The video of my speech (which included me reading an extract of The Dark Horde that contains swearing and graphic content) can be seen here:


Attendance and sales for the day was broadly comparable to the “book launch gigs” I held (for the then-released versions of my Evermore novel) in 2001 and 2003. Well when I say broadly comparable, it was actually less. Here’s a reasonably accurate breakdown and comparison of my three book launches:

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Brewin
Thank you for your contribution Nevermore. I think I get what you are trying to say, but I have to correct you on your perception ... Read More
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 16:43
3952 Hits
2 Comments

The Brewin’ Guide to Writing Better Gamebooks

In case you hadn’t noticed (and you probably haven’t haha) I haven’t done nearly as many blog posts by now as I’d like to have done… So whilst I’ve have plenty more articles I mean to get around to doing, I’m prioritising the articles I do post at the moment based on where (I consider that) there is a specific need to communicate something to a given audience.

Today’s blog post is light on pictures (it doesn’t have any, just walls of text), as I just want to put this information out there and then move onto the next thing… It’s a post about my take on how to write “better gamebooks”.

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Fernando
Hi, Andrew! First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. My name's Fernando Lafuente and I'm from Spain. I offer my excuses in adv... Read More
Monday, 24 February 2014 21:48
Brewin
Thank you for your kind words Fernando! It's pleasing to hear that my thoughts on gamebook design were helpful to you and reinforc... Read More
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 04:36
Fernando
Thanks to you too, Andrew!
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 18:52
26947 Hits
3 Comments

The Dark Horde: The unreleased prologue...

The Calling Image 1
The Calling Image 2

Some readers have expressed an interest in knowing more of the back-story to The Dark Horde... If this is you, have a read of the complete prologue below that wasn't in the released book. Even if you haven't read the book yet, it's fine to read this prologue version if you want first...

 

                                         


I was once an avid believer in many things…

I believed in love, in compassion, in hope. I even believed in a God watching lovingly over us and that somewhere within the mystery of it all, there was a special place for us.

Continue reading
5411 Hits
1 Comment

AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF BREWIN’ – PART TWO











So where was I? Ah yes I was telling you about who I am, well at least in terms of my history. Why am I doing this? Well aside from it helping you to understand my works I’m promoting through this site (and hopefully being an entertaining read!) it also helps you understand who I am. Which is in short, a freak haha…

 

A “limited” edition version of the cover for one of my books; limited to one copy!

 

I can actually recall thinking at the age of eight that I wasn’t remotely like anyone else and that what’s more, I didn’t want to be. Being “normal” or “like others” seemed so boring, the internal universe I predominantly lived in creating stories and games in my head, was so much more interesting… And in many ways, I haven’t really changed; I’m still the kid wrapped up in his world creating stuff, it’s just that I’m starting to release some of it now.

But rather than attempting to qualify the above statements much for now (that can come later maybe if there’s sufficient interest), I’ll just tell you about some of the cool stuff I’ve created over the years and post some interesting pictures:

This is a review of one of the more popular games I made (in the style of the Zzap 64 magazine) from 1989… It featured robot ninjas!

 

My childhood, like my life, was anything but normal. By the time I was eight, I was devouring gamebooks and role playing games and had started to write my own. Before I turned eleven at the end of 1985, I was running RPG, gamebook and “creepy-crawly” clubs, had written many stories (some over a hundred pages long albeit smaller pages than a typical book), gamebooks, games, club magazines and was selling and distributing them.

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Brewin
Don't spoil Part 3 Nikos! You'll give the punch line away!
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:13
4302 Hits
2 Comments

AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF BREWIN’ – PART ONE






Well telling you a bit about me seems as good a place as any to start for my blog. Some of the things mentioned here I’ll elaborate on over subsequent posts, but for now, here’s (the start of!) an overview of who I am and how I came to be here writing this post that you’re now reading:

Most people I guess, take a while to find their calling and some never do. This wasn’t my experience however, in fact I was only seven when I decided I wanted to be a writer, and this ambition has shaped my life ever since…

 

The face of genius? ...Nup, it's just the brewin :)

I was born December 1974 into a large family of Brewins but my childhood was more like that of an only child, as I was the only child of my mother’s second marriage (hence why I am Andrew Drage rather than Andrew Brewin) and most of my five older siblings had already left the nest by the time I was born. This environment lent itself to spending a lot of time on my own creating stories and games from about the age of six. My mother was awarded first class honours in psychology the day I was born (a story that was featured on the front page of The Age newspaper at the time but I’m damned if I can find this article now) and her love of knowledge and reading was fostered in me from as far back as I can remember.

I’m quite proud of the fact that the first story I wrote at the age of six was a horror story called The Dangerous World where everyone died, and it didn’t take long for my older brothers to notice my fascination with “imaginary worlds”; be that fantasy, science-fiction or horror; and they gave me this for my seventh birthday:

From the era when “role playing games” had nothing to do with computers and were supposed to teach you about the occult and make you want to kill yourself or other people haha

 

However it was all a bit much for me to understand at that point (that would come a couple of years later) but it contained a TSR catalog called Gateway to Adventure that I still remember fondly to this day. You know how you have those pivotal moments in your life where everything was different from that point onwards? Well this was one of those… And by the glory of the modern internet, I’ve not only found the catalog cover, but the entire document in pdf format as well:

I can remember looking at this catalog for the first time and thinking “Wow, there’s a whole world of stuff out there for me to get into!”

 

A trip down memory lane with all the awesome games and accessories that were in this catalog is now just a click away!

Sometime in the following year (1982) saw the next pivotal moment in my reading/writing/playing life. I was in a bookstore (as I often was in those days) and a new book had turned up that immediately caught my attention:

You mean it’s a book where I get to be the hero, fight monsters and collect treasure? I’m so in!


Continue reading
5440 Hits
0 Comments

WELCOME TO THE BLOG OF THE BREWIN!


Camping at a friend’s property on the banks of the Murray River (and wearing a silly hat).

 

Do you like my blog so far? Nah seriously it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s a great pleasure to welcome you all to my blog…

How many clichés can I start my first ever blog post with? Haha.

Continue reading
3564 Hits
0 Comments