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 Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè

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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 18:13

Well, we have a similar situation: many books have been translated from other languages ​​into Russian, but specifically translating their books into English to make them available to the world - so far it's planned) Translators are also not professionals, and a work of art is generally such a thing, where much knowledge of the original language is lost. In the language there are always puns, specific expressions that are not understood in another environment. For example, I remember translating somehow a poem from a German, and there everything is built on a game of words, a literal translation of them loses. Well, for example, the expression literally translated as "hears how the grass grows" (this means "very smart", but in translation, out of context, it looks like nonsense). In general, the question of translating into English, I plan to decide) I'll try to accumulate messages in the subject so that the functions are opened - and I'll put links to different materials)
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 18:47

Good evening Skald and welcome among us.
It's really unusual (but awesome) to discover the world of gamebooks from Russia. About the best french books, it's difficult to give you a global answer : there are so many and so different... I think everybody has his own favorites, for his own reasons, different from the others. But some are generally considered as masterpieces or really good such as The Talisman of Death, Island of the Lizard King, The Manor of Hell (really difficult), Seas of blood...

There is also the saga of Lone wolf, really famous and appreciated, with a strong community of fans, writers and gamers who go on making it living after (infortunately) the death of its "father", Joe Dever. It's a big saga, with an entire world, its countries, landscapes, rules and traditions, people, history, events... Some fans have made a very big and good job, collaborating with Joe Dever, to make it better and attractive.

Sorcery ! counts only four books but is very appreciated too. You have to make a journey to save your kingdom through the four books and you can choose to be a warrior or a wizard (with a complete book of spells).

If you are attracted by the Far East, you could be interested by The way of the tiger saga, six books written by the same authors that The Talisman of Death. You are a ninja, discovering his destiny (to recover his stolen kingdom) in a world dominated by magic and various religious brotherhoods.

And the last one, the saga of The Priest John, five books in witch you are a knight and a priest at the time of the Crusades, looking for a mythic city, Shangri-La. It gonna take you on an incredible journey through countries and time. This saga has a different tone, more "adult" (but with sometimes a strong sense of humor).

You can also notice that some of us are amateur writers (as I am), writing our own gamebooks and sometimes illustrating and even publishing them. Our community is small but very involved and passionated.

Once again, welcome among us and thank you for your interest.

Lonely Traveler.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 19:05

Hello! Thank you! From the "Saga of The Priest John" in Russian translated one book - "The Fortress of Alamut" Doug Headlain. From the "Lone Wolf" translated into Russian three books. "Island of the King of Lizards", too, was transferred in 2017. If there are French books in English, I would try to translate them. By the way, one of our authors, Konstantin Taro, wrote several books about France: about Jeanne Dark and about the brigadier Gerard (who conquered Zaragossa).

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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 19:21

You could be interested too by The messengers of Time, less famous than the others but good. Four books in witch you can be a man or a woman, Prince of Time or Princess of Time. Coming from a mysterious Kingdom of Time, you have to compete against your brother/sister to inherit the crown. The competition takes place through four places and times : The Middle Ages, the French Revolution, the american Civil War and in the 80's in San Francisco.

If the rules are a little bit complicated (or maybe sophisticated), the story is very good, well written with long paragraphs and beautiful illustrations. The tone is more literary and serious, less "teenager" but it's good.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 19:26

Thank you! It's very interesting and good. Just love the original books written in a good literary style. Templated fantasy, science fiction and mechanics have become boring, so we like to experiment and love unusual books, including complex mechanics.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 19:35

I agree with you.
Most of the amateur writers among us try to write something different : different tone, different universe, different characters and atmosphere... Something more original or unexpected. We were all teenagers at the golden age of gamebooks but now we are adults and a lot of us are looking for something a little bit different (even if it's not always easy...).
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 19:53

Of course. When you read books, games popular 20-30 years ago - you feel nostalgic. But an adult has other interests than a teenager, another baggage of knowledge, and other requirements for literature. But if the reader wants diversity, then the writer - even more so. If many old book-games boiled down to the fact that the hero was walking through the labyrinth and fought with monsters, and the player just dumped a cube and watched who caused more damage - now you want serious books that raise important questions, give you the style, increase the erudition of the reader , make you think, have a deep plot and three-dimensional characters. Mechanics should also be interesting, presenting many opportunities for strategic thinking: the FF series was scolded for a boring monotonous combat system, because usually it just needs to roll the cube again and again until the character of the player conquers the enemy, or vice versa; in the very first officially published Russian (1991) book-game of possibilities in combat, and that was more - the enemy could not only perish, but, for example, surrender or escape, and not only health, but also coolness was taken into account
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 21:13

The question is: when you read a gamebook are you looking for gaming or for litterature ? Your examples many come from litterature but it is also interesting to look at the so called narrative games which lead to gamebooks as well as interactive litterature !
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 21:38

I think  "literary gaming" is possible. You don't have to write a Pulitzer or Nobel price book : if you write it with a good vocabulary, the right words, the right rhythm, to make it immersive and entertaining, that's already good. A well chosen word at the right place is often better than a all sentence.

I agree that long paragraphs can be risky : to throw a dice after two or three long and well written paragraphs can break the rhythm of your story. That's why I consider important to choose carefully your words, to express what you want without too long sentences or paragraphs.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 21:52

Differently. Just a community of fans of book games is very diverse, and everyone is looking for something close to him. There are people with a humanitarian mindset who like book-games, similar to traditional literature, but with branching. There are people with a technical mindset who like the gameplay, sometimes very difficult, paying little attention to the literary side. There are role-players who look for books in games that are used to in desktop role-playing games. At different times, one and the same person may like different, completely unlike book-games, for completely different reasons. And the complexity of the rules can differ dramatically: from the basic (book-game without mechanics, just transitions to paragraphs) to a table game for several players with a field, miniatures, maps, non-standard dice and complex calculations. Personally, I prefer a balance between the game and the literary part: for example, in the book-games that I write, the mechanics are quite complex, but it's interesting and connected with the plot that carries players (because of what they normally refer to complexity; and when the complexity is just for the sake of complexity - it can already annoy).
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 22:03

It's always difficult to find a balance between  the literary part and the game part.

When I write a gamebook, my principal aim is to make it immersive : the reader is not a reader, he's the hero. If the story takes place in an iced desert, I want him to feel the cold, to shiver under the iced wind, to have difficulties to walk in the deep snow... If the story takes place in a desert, I want my reader to feel the heat, the sun burning his face, to feel the thirst... I insist on all the senses, the feelings. I don't like a gamebook where the reader see the hero as a stranger. He is the hero.
And for that, I consider the writting more important that the gameplay or the rules, I must admit.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 22:21

Yes, it is very important. For example, this year I wrote a book about the military captain of the Renaissance, which was later written in reviews: "This is not just a book-game, but an interactive novel about the adventures of Captain Clemens, a real encyclopedia of naval knowledge, with living characters , humor, sometimes cruel, but fascinating, from the first pages it makes you feel the sea. " Equally, I paid attention to the artistic and the game side: one is closely related to the other. The essence of the story: seamen, fishermen and other local amateurs gathered around the port tavern to drink and dream. They tell the story of the captain, and as more and more drinks are drunk, they start to speculate and exaggerate more. A small cuttlefish turns into a huge kraken, a small boat into a line ship, a light wind into a terrible storm, and so on. If there are a lot of nonsense, the narrator is interrupted, and the story begins to be told in a completely different way and from another place by another person. A lot of parameters are taken into account - one must maintain authority on the ship, build relations with its own crew, other sailors and whole powers. The character should not be either too weak or too strong, otherwise the story will turn out to be implausible and the narrator will be killed - you need to balance. Traveling by sea is like shuffling a card deck. Without increasing the volume - the game can last a very long time, and no passing is similar to the other even statistically. The goal of the game is not to defeat all enemies or be the strongest, but to get to the truth, to find out what was really happening.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 22:48

Yes, the most important thing to me is to tell a story, to make my reader intertained, to offer him one or two hours in another life, another world.
The characters are important too : a warrior is not necessarily strong, muscled and stupid, a wizard is not necessarily wised, intelligent, wearing a long dress embroidered with stars... Life is more complicated than that...

When I read a gamebook, if the story, the universe and the characters are good, if I really feel it, if I really believe in it, then the gameplay or the rules can be bad (not too bad after all), I don't mind.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 22:54

Naturally, first of all there should not be patterns and stereotypes. Heroes can be flawed, but it must be living voluminous people who have views, habits, beliefs, shortcomings, feelings. The work should cause the player-reader to live emotions: if it touches the heart, makes you feel, experience, and joy, and sorrow - you can close your eyes to many shortcomings, and the work already has the right to life. For example, many of Alexandre Dumas's novels are not reliable from a historical point of view (Maurice Druon in this regard is more serious). But there is the truth of life, and there is the truth of art, and sometimes these are two different truths. When we, for example, read Antoine Saint-Exupery - no one says "everything is different in space", because the world invented by him is convincing and does not leave indifferent.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 23:13

Yes, magic is a key word. The most important thing to me is to be blowed away. And if it is so, as you said, you can close your eyes to many shortcomings.

Unfortunately, I must leave you now : it's late and I have to get up early tomorrow morning...
Thank you for this conversation Skald and have a good night.Salut!
(and congratulations for your English !) thumleft
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyMer 7 Mar 2018 - 23:33

Thank you! Goodnight!
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 11:07

You're talking about the mindset and it is IMHO a very important point.

Concerning the roleplaying games, a big community worked on this topic in the 2000's. It lead to two intersting branches: the GNS theory and the OSR.
Unfortunately, there was no such reflection about gamebooks but we can draw some parallels with the RPG and I interviewed some professional and non-professional writers for a conference.

The RPG is in some way very different because it's about social interactions around the table and co-creation of a story; in gamebooks, you have no relationship with the author, you are a co-writer but only by choosing the blocks you put together.

However, you can transpose the "social contract" of RPGs into a "reading contract": the book promises you something (title, cover illustration, text on the back cover).
So the GNS theory says there are three typical expectancies:

  • Gamism: people want to take up challenges; typical book is Deathtrap Dungeon[i] (Ian Livingstone, "Fighting Fantasy");
  • Narrativism: people focus on the quality of the story and especially on having situations where the reader must take a moral position, a judgement, the story is meanigful and not just a succesion of events; I would say gamebooks like the "Fire* Wolf" serial (J. H. Brennan) or books by Dave Morris, mark Smith, Jamie Thomson or Paul Mason would fit;
  • Simulationnism: people want to believe want they read, it's the "right to dream"; I would include books with a consistant world such as the "Lone Wolf" or "Sorcery!" serial.

Concerning the OSR, it's much about dungeon crawling. They try to reproduce the excitation of the very first years of RPG but with more rational game systems. It's much about GMing (e.g. focus on what the players say and not on the dice roll, player idea is more inmortant than character skill) so I don't know if it can be transposed to gamebooks.

Now concerning the specificities of gamebooks, Paul Mason has a very interesting theory about convergence: gamebooks are not about divergence (i.e. a choice that lead to two different paths) but about convergence (i.e. two different paths that lead to the same section). So when you read a section, its meaning can depend on the path you follow to get there. And as I mentionned a few messages above, convergence is what creates immersion in the world (because it means that the world is consistant and not chaotic) and what make the iterest of the game (well, I get to this situation but I fail because I choose the wrong path, finding the right path is a puzzle).

Also: as [i]you
are the hero, everything you know about the situaiton is what the hero knows. And the hero has five senses (not just sight and hearing) and also has inner feelings (ill-at-ease, sick, excitation…).

And: gamebooks is about choice. Most choices should be to reach a clear goal (e.g. survive, complete a mission, discover a mystery), the reader should have elements to make up his or her mind But not always: in case of an exploration, of a dangerous and unknown environment, blind choice is an important element. Anyway, the choice should have a consequent impact on the story. Always. At short term (direct consequences) but some choices should have an impact later (in consistant world, perturbation have later effects, Simulationism; and the reader should face the consequences of his or her decisions, Narrativism).

And: I don't know what is good or bad literature (and I doubt anybody knows except from some general ideas). For me, the style of writting must be consistant to what the writer wants to induce to the reader. It can be sometime slong sentences and sometimes very short ones. Sometime complicated vocabulary and sometimes slang.

Conclusion: an interesting gamebook is a book for which the author thought about these questions: What do I want to induce to the reader? How can the reader can apprehend the situation, what does the hero feel? Are the choices meanigful, do they have a clear goal, does the reader have informations, do they have a true impact on the story, at short and long term? For every element, does it have a Gamism interest, a Narrativism interest, a Simulationism interest?

The author might not make "good" choices, or choices that match the expectancy of the reader, but he or she did not right randomly. With these questions in his or her mind, he or she made decisions, and if these decisions were unsatisfactory, then he or she can do beter the next time. But there is no improvement possible if there is no question.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 14:49

Yes, I know about this approach. Simply in the theory of role-playing games, the division into narrativism, simulationism and gaming was one of the wounded ones, then they withdrew more subtypes of motivations among the players, developed the concept of the Big Model and the like. In fact, of course, in every particular case everything is more complicated (as, for example, a doctor can not make a diagnosis on the basis of the average temperature in a hospital - you need to know the history of a particular patient). Of course, in the general case, book-games and role-playing games differ significantly, although one always influenced the other (in the 70s, role-playing games started to appear, but sometimes there was a reverse situation when the role-playing game was based on a book-game): in role-playing games there is a role-playing and a collective of players with live interaction (there are book-games for several players, but this is an exception to the rules), in the book-game - the interaction of the reader with the author and the game mechanics. Wherein
There is a certain circle of reader players who recognize only old books-games in which the player walked through the maze and fought with monsters, and strongly dislike books with games with a plot and a beautiful syllable (in this they are similar to the role-players of older generations who recognize role-playing games only D & D early editions). But the times are changing, as are the addictions of the readers. Prior to the widespread use of personal computers and computer games with good graphics, book games have won noticeably, but with the advent of affordable computer games with many possibilities, they have lost ground. But it's just that literature has its own merits, and the gnomes are considered despite the fact that there are films and computer games. Any schedule is obsolete, and computer capabilities have their limits. But the book works with the psychology and fantasy of a person: it can be read and admired in a hundred years, if it is written in a qualitative way. Even with the existence of computer special effects in films - people still look at live jugglers, because this is the skill of man. Similarly, a book-game that uses the advantages of literature will always benefit.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 17:43

Well, AFAIK, the GNS theory was dropped by Ron Edwards not because of the multiplication of the categories but because people were talking more about the categories than the actual play and game design (especially the Narrativism category which is the most difficult to apprehend). The Big Model is more general (with the notion of creative agenda) but I still believe the GNS theory is useful.

Especially, when you considere an element, if it does not have an interest for Gamists, Narrativists or Simulationists, it probably means it should be removed or redesigned. I often use a weaker version of this: in a gamebook, any element (situation, object, character, etc.) should add somthing to the story (N), to the flavour of the world (S) or to the game pleasure (G). If it does not, then it should be removed or redesigned.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 17:56

Of course, the GNS theory is useful, just like, for example, Newtonian laws are justified as a special case of the General Theory of Relativity. I also often talk about this. First of all, of course, it is important not to engage in theorizing for the sake of theorizing, but to seek practical application for the ideas developed. For example, periodically there is a debate about the "ideal book-game": the positions of opponents can differ from the complete negation of such books, to the postulation of clearly marked items that make up their composition. Again, someone talks about things that are being realized, based on personal experience, and someone indicates things that he would like to see in books-games, but does not know how to implement them. In fact, everyone puts a fundamentally different meaning in the expression "ideal book-game," and arguing about the "ideal book-game" is roughly the same as arguing about the ideal wife: a real person always differs from an idealized image. And the conditions, called by somebody an unconditional criterion of the "ideal book-game" - in practice may not like a person who is looking for something opposite and considers other things to be of paramount importance. As a result, it is more useful to discuss the implementation of certain books-games written in a certain manner and oriented to a certain type of player-readers, and not something that claims to be the absolute ideal a priori.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 18:44

I personally never talk about "ideal" gamebook, and I don't think anyone on this forum does — but we argue a lot about what we like and dislike ^_^.

I'd rather explore the borders of the domain. To draw the borers is to define the domain. In the image below (on the screen), I placed all the connections between the gamebooks and other domains: (counterclockwise) roleplaying games (left), boardgames, puzzles, video games (right), literature (bottom).

The gamebook domain is in blue.

Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 Twiter_cdang_3_recadree

Below, you have a zoom on the border with the RPG

Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 Recouv11

And below how the gamebooks are included into the literature

Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 Litter10

(Sorry, everything is in French.)

So, for me, the gamebooks can navigate inside this blue domain and get close to one connected domain or the other. For this simple reason, there cannot be an "ideal" gamebook. Just a gamebook that is more adapted to somebody or someone else.


Dernière édition par cdang le Ven 9 Mar 2018 - 11:15, édité 1 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 19:43

Naturally, time makes its own adjustments. There are new ideas, trends, technical possibilities, and all this is reflected in books-games. But there is also a reverse effect. For example, in Japan there were computer games written on the motives of comics, ordinary books, books and games, and books-games written on motives of computer games and everything else. Book-computer game - a film (often this is a triplicity, in any order). But sometimes there are people among the role-players who consider themselves to be "role elites", and blaming others for "playing improperly" (as if there is a right or wrong way to enjoy their hobbies and spend free time with interest). Often this arises because of the "duck's syndrome" (when a person believes that something that he has met before is more correct than what he later learned). Similarly, sometimes it happens with books and games: sometimes people compare everything with books written in the years of their childhood, believing only the earliest are correct.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 20:51

All this is too complicated and sophisticated for me. I never think about all these theories while writing. I prefer to use my instinct and imagination, I can't imagine using a computer to help me writing a story. Writing is like drawing, painting, playing music, creating... It must be your own.
I don't try to write an "ideal" gamebook or even to think about my way of writing. I give what I am, my best things and my shortcomings, anything else would be cheating.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 22:37

And it is right. I once graduated from the Literary Institute in Moscow, and for me, books-games are primarily literature. I approach the book-game in general with the same criteria as for the traditional literature, but with some differences: for example, expecting that the reader will have the opportunity to influence the plot not at the expense of the depth of the work. I never understood the desire of some authors to first write a tree-like scheme and then to fit the work into it, and similar things. But, at the same time, there are authors and readers with different mindset, bringing their experience, so psychology and some theoretical aspects are useful: there are a lot of books-games that are very different from each other. There are books that can be read as a full-fledged novel. And there are similar to the telephone directory. Naturally, as in everything that people do, there are researchers of theoretical aspects.

For example, it is clear that the artist who writes the picture must own the technique, have brushes and paints (they take into account such complex things as balance of shades, dynamic tension, light-shadow modeling, perspective, and much more). This all serves as a help, but the picture is written not by this: it's just a tool for the heart. And art is the universal language of humanity.
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 23:02

In general, there is an opinion that book-games without mechanics and with a good literary style, a deep plot, three-dimensional characters can become competitive in the book market, as they will compete with traditional literature: they will preserve its dignity, while possessing a branched outline. But in order for the narrative to be preserved, it is useful to have a breakdown into chapters: for example, history will in any case pass through points A, B, C, D, E, but different paths lead to this, opening and closing various possibilities in subsequent chapters, influencing tactical and the strategic capabilities of the character and leading to different endings in the end. What do you think?
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MessageSujet: Re: Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè   Êíèãè-èãðû â Ðîññèè - Page 2 EmptyJeu 8 Mar 2018 - 23:37

There is one important question. Books games are often not perceived in the context of the world literary heritage - many see in them something isolated and frivolous. Perhaps, the question of the name is affected: if you say "book-game" - this can not be taken seriously, as, for example, "interactive romance". But I'm just trying to find out if such literature has received academic recognition. I have not yet had the opportunity to see dissertations or monographs dedicated to this topic. Perhaps, if the international scientific community will write serious reviews on quality books-games - the general public will begin to treat them better.
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