Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide is exactly what it sounds like; a walkthrough for the whole of life, from birth to death. After all, Mario only had to save a princess - you have to learn to walk, go to school, get a career, find “the one”, settle down; who really needs a strategy guide? Not Mario, that’s who.
*Note: The guide may get all of these things wrong, I mean, it’s just a book.
The book is split into 6 main parts:
The book opens with the rules on How to Play - this is what it sounds like, the rules of the book, and the rules of the game. This section contains details on all of the features unique to Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, such as InfoBoxes, Status Effects, the Reputation system and Skill Trees (more about these can be found below).
The second section of the book is Infancy. This section details character creation, as well as listing walkthroughs to the first few quests of Life (like learning to walk, and saying your first words) and slowly introducing the “game mechanics”.
The third chapter is Childhood, and contains guides for quests like you saw on the sample page in the video, and you can see below, as well as mini-games like Tag and Kiss Chase, and your first opportunity to adopt a Skill Set.
The fourth chapter is Adolescence, with walkthroughs to quests like dealing with High School and the important new NPC “The Love Interest”. There also detailed item guides for areas like The Cafeteria and a variety of interesting ways to up your Attributes and Skills. Along with this is the largest optional questline in the book, university, which can lead on to a few new classes in the next chapter and sidequests like “trying to find your way home drunk”.
The fifth chapter is Adulthood, which includes class selection and large questlines like “getting married” and “having a mid-life crisis”.
The sixth chapter is Old Age, filled with a variety of sidequests and optional encounters to fill out the endgame. This is the point where you get to tackle the final bosses, and pursue the ultimate goal: the win screen.
THE SKILL SYSTEM
Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide has a detailed Attributes and Skills system that allows you to follow along with your avatar’s progression, sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure.
Attributes are similar to the basic “stats” you might see in any run of the mill RPG, except instead of things like Strength, Agility, or Magical Affinity, the Attributes in life are things like Memory, Creativity and Common Sense. These level up as your character progresses naturally throughout Life, and often lend themselves to certain Skills.
Along the way in Life, you might choose to adopt certain skills. Skills range from something as specific as Painting or Mathematics, to something as broad as Courage, Leadership or Not Doing Stupid Things. Acquiring certain Skills unlock unique approaches and sidequests (took the Musician Skill? How about signing up for a Battle of the Bands?).These Skills are divided into three trees: Thought, Action and Artistry. In the Adulthood chapter of the guide you will be prompted to pick a Class, and the Skills and Attributes gained up to this point will be more suited to certain avenues.
The reason we require £10,000 funding is in order to pay for the printing and distribution costs of all books and posters. As I'm sure you're aware, we get a discount to purchase in bulk, which is how we are able to self publish. We also need to buy sprite sheet artwork (the sprite maker for characters we have hand crafted and is license-free, but we are buying backgrounds and objects for the screenshots in order to get the project finished in 8 months).
As for why the shipping prices are so high, the simple fact is that this is how much it costs to ship outside of the UK. A lot of Kickstarter projects get away with charging less for international shipping because they are making much bigger margins on the initial product - a lot of the time you will see people selling a 16 page children's book at the same price we are selling a full-length strategy guide, and as their printing costs are significantly less than ours, they can afford to run at a loss when it comes to shipping. We are selling these books with a fractional margin - the printing costs, distribution costs, and initial outlay as well as basic costs while the project is underway, are so high that we simply cannot afford to lessen the international shipping costs.
We could charge £40 for the paperback, and have significantly reduced shipping charges, but that only hurts our UK-based buyers, and we feel is simply too much to charge you. Some Kickstarters might charge a bigger initial margin, we'd rather keep our prices down and charge shipping accordingly.
WHO WE ARE
Hey, I’m the guy from the video. I’ll be writing pretty much the whole book (with insights from people who have done stuff I haven’t, naturally - I don’t know nearly enough about life to do this all on my own). I’m not sure if there’s anything I can tell you about myself that you didn’t already get from the video, but in summary I’m a writer and a gamer.
Hi, I’m Mat, the guy who did that animation in the video. I’ll be working on compiling screenshots for the book, like the ones from the two sample pages above. As well as having provided some of the initial conceptual ideas for Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, I will also be helping out with some of the writing and will be a second set of eyes for the text.
Risks and challenges
We're new to this. We've never written a full book before, but we are eager to tackle the challenge and feel more than capable of crafting a truly high quality product. We have received nothing but positive feedback on our initial material up to this point. We're sure you'll love it, too.
If we encounter any setbacks along the way, such as needing extra hands on the art team, or printing costs go up, then we may have to add people to the project. However, any expenditures will come directly out of OUR PROFITS, so you needn't worry.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)