Published Gamebooks I've worked on:

Some writing communities I'm involved with:

A humble gift...

Humble Bundle Gift - Infinite Universe

 

So free stuff is awesome right? Well right now, I have a bunch of free Humble Bundle copies of Infinite Universe to give away, that'll let you experience this epic mind-bending adventure through space-time for yourself on PC, Mac, Linux or Android platforms!

 

Sounds good right? Here's what you need to do then to get yourself a copy:

 

(1) Either post a comment below, tweet or share this on facebook.

(2) Send me an email or PM on twitter.

...Then I'll send you a copy to enjoy! All you'll need to do is post the link into your browser and viola! the wonders of the Infinite Universe will be yours to explore :)

 

This offer will only last for a short time and while I still have copies to give away, so be quick!

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Jason
This does look good. I have to wonder though whether gamebooks are due a renaissance, or is it just old-school gamers getting a no... Read More
Monday, 25 August 2014 14:50
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Brewin needs YOUR vote!

Need argue with a man, er alien, holding a gun ;)

 

So I’ve managed to get Infinite Universe nominated for Best Dice Game in the Best App Ever Awards… Now I just need YOU to click the button below to register your vote! (Voting ends March 15 2014).

 

Is it worthy of your vote? Well I think so ;)

 

 Vote for Gamebook Adventures: Infinite Universe for Best Dice Game

 

And while you’re there, why not vote for the Pocket Gamer 2014 Awards too… Tin Man Games is nominated for Best Developer, and Trial of the Clone is nominated for Best Adventure/RPG Game – just go HERE to register your vote (voting ends March 7th 2014).

 

Many thanks to all those who vote! (Your reward is in the life after this one haha)

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Return to Rema!

Gamebook Adventures 9: Sultans of Rema

Been a bit quiet over here the last couple of months huh?

Well I'm going to endeavour to change that with more regular posts (currently I'm fantasizing that they'll be every week or so but let's see how we go on that haha)

Anyway, today's post is to share my latest released work, Sultans of Rema, the ninth digital gamebook in the Gamebook Adventures series produced by Tin Man Games, which also happens to be their twenty-second digital gamebook release, and the sixth one I've worked on. <- See I've even updated my side banner with these releases, so check them out if you're interested, and while you're there, www.gamebookadventures.com also lists the others too (I think with the exception of those only released in non-English languages).

Sultans of Rema is the sequel to Slaves of Rema, the third title in the acclaimed Gamebook Adventures series, both of which were written by the talented Gaetano Abbondanza, and subsequently edited / embellished by yours truly… Both works are designed by Gaetano, with modification by me (and a fair amount of input by others I might add), with the aim of balancing combats (so as to be neither too hard nor easy and consistent across differing paths), reducing player frustration (see here for how I seek to re-engineer gamebooks to address such things) and generally being a fun and engaging experience… Based on the reviews so far, like this one for instance, it looks like we got it right J (not that you can ever please everyone of course haha)

Joshua Wright once again lends his excellent artistic skills to bring this work to life (I’ve lost count of how many Tin Man Games releases he’s worked on now, but they include at least the last four Gamebook Adventures titles including this one) and the Tin Man Games team has done a sterling job (as they do!) in pulling it all together…

My summary of what Sultans of Rema is about goes something like “Arabian nights” meets sword-swinging, spell-slinging fantasy in an epic tale of political intrigue, magic and monsters. Which I guess is an abridged version of the app description:

“Your return to Rema takes you further to the east, to the City-State of Callae, renowned throughout the world as a city of great learning. Your final destination is the Emirates of Akbir, ruled by a sick Emir who has remained neutral to Orlandes’ political leanings over the years. His successor threatens to send that relationship into turmoil. You must secretly enter a harsh desert world of political power struggles and strange magics to ensure a stable future for both Rema and Orlandes!”

It’s available now (along with the rest of the series of course) on Android and iOS devices.

Enjoy!

 

P.s. You may also be interested to know that there’s quite a few references in there to things from a forthcoming Gamebook Adventures title (also set in the Reman continent). So it’s with good reason that some things are hinted at but not fully explained… But hey that’s all I’ll say on that for now ;)

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Infinite Universe gamebook now available on Android!


Infinite Universe by Brewin' (Produced by Tin Man Games)

In the fourth millennium, the Mandellian Empire of the Tau Ceti system is at war with the rebel army known as DWORF. And lucky you have been chosen for a dangerous solo mission to kill or capture the rebel leader, through mind-bending loops of time and space. But wait a minute. Just who are you anyway? And how did you even get here? Such secrets you must uncover if you are to unlock your destiny...


(Infinite Universe trailer from 2012 release on iOS platforms)

 

A newly written story by Brewin’, illustrated by Josh Wright.

An all new sci-fi epic set within an all new universe! Our largest GA title yet!  

  • Nominated for Best Game Writing – Freeplay Awards 2012
  • Includes all the interactive reading and gameplay features found in the previous Gamebook Adventures titles, including an authentic e-book experience, realistic 3D dice rolling, automatic character sheet management, bookmarks and achievements.
  • Original story by Brewin’, editor of the first four Gamebook Adventures titles and finalist of international Writers’ Digest and Indie Excellence awards, that has been specifically designed to take advantage of the Gamebook Adventures engine.
  • Beautifully illustrated in colour by Joshua Wright, with cover and menu art by Dan Maxwell.
  • An exhilarating music score by Hanny Mohamed, world-renowned musician from Black Majesty.
  • Read the story and be in charge of your destiny as you make the choices! Where to go? Who to trust? What to do? The choice is yours!
  • Travel through times past, present and future, through far-flung worlds beyond your wildest imagination, to piece together a series of events that will amaze, amuse and entertain you!
  • New battle mechanics such as ranged and vehicular combat.
  • An innovative all new points-based skill system that is influenced by your own unique narrative. Choose the skills to suit your own playing style!
  • Play as a male or female character!
  • A detailed star map with extensive annotations.
  • An expansive encyclopaedia to cover everything from stars, planets and moons, to important personalities and organisations, to technology, to tips for survival, and more!

 

* Click HERE to get the App for Android *

 

Enjoy!

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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.

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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?

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