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All of your favourite games have a strategy guide - why shouldn't life?

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. 

Life has it’s fair share of minigames, sidequests and boss battles - with Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, all of life’s trials will become a cakewalk. Lost your keys? Check the guide. Need to woo that certain someone? Check the guide. Contemplating a career change but aren’t sure whether it’s the job for you? Check the guide.*

*Note: The guide may get all of these things wrong, I mean, it’s just a book.

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CHAPTERS

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.

STRETCH GOALS

100% - We publish the book. You all get your reward tiers and that. We'd quite like to reach at least 100%, to be honest.
100% - We publish the book. You all get your reward tiers and that. We'd quite like to reach at least 100%, to be honest.
150% - We will make a t-shirt available as an add-on to any donation for an extra £15. The design will be revealed once the 150% mark is reached.
150% - We will make a t-shirt available as an add-on to any donation for an extra £15. The design will be revealed once the 150% mark is reached.
200% - We record an audio book free for everyone that donated at least £25, and add a reward tier for those who want it. If we can't find a celebrity with a good voice to agree, then we'll do our best Morgan Freeman impressions.
200% - We record an audio book free for everyone that donated at least £25, and add a reward tier for those who want it. If we can't find a celebrity with a good voice to agree, then we'll do our best Morgan Freeman impressions.
300% - A brand new tier "The Ultimate Boxset", containing a signed and messaged hardback, three posters, a special boxed audiobook CD, five coasters with custom images of your sprites and a T-shirt, as well as some extra goodies.
300% - A brand new tier "The Ultimate Boxset", containing a signed and messaged hardback, three posters, a special boxed audiobook CD, five coasters with custom images of your sprites and a T-shirt, as well as some extra goodies.

COSTS

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

Niru Fekri-Arnold
Niru Fekri-Arnold

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.

Mathew Arnold
Mathew Arnold

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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    SPRITE MAKER - For the price of a large packet of Walkers cheese and onion crisps, you get our 'sprite maker'. This is a Photoshop CS5 (.psd) file, with an accompanying tutorial document, which will allow you to easily and quickly make sprites of yourself and all of your favourite people. You can use them for whatever you like: we suggest personalised birthday cards. Or making your own epic JRPGs.

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    THE E-BOOK - For the price of 6 unflattering passport photos from a picture booth, you get a digital .pdf copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide and the sprite maker detailed above.

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    THE POSTER PACK - For the price of a novelty mug, you receive an A2 size poster of the front cover of the book, plus the e-book and the sprite maker.

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    THE TRIPLE POSTER PACK - For the price of a towel, you will get an awesome triple poster pack, along with the e-book and sprite maker. You get posters of the book cover, an achievements list that you can fill in and a skill tree poster that you can follow as you read. You get the three posters for the price of two, because we're just that generous.

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    THE BOOK (PAPERBACK) - For the price of a pretend cat and horse in World of Warcraft, get your mitts on a paperback copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, as well as the e-book and sprite maker. The physical copy of the book is much more versatile than the e-book; not only can it be read, but it can be used to prop up wobbly tables, it can be shredded for your hamster's bedding, or even use the pages as paper cones for your chips. Plus, you can say that you've read the physical copy 'cover to cover'. What would you say about the e-book? Think about it, donate £25.

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    THE SIGNED BOOK (PAPERBACK) - The above tier, signed. Boom. My signature might not be worth much now, but hey, who knows? Further down the line... Think of it as an investment. Plus it's more personal this way. You should really buy this.

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    THE PAPERBACK POSTER PACK - For the price of two copies of Sonic '06 (that's twice the pain), you get your very own paperback copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, along with the three posters from 'The Triple Poster Pack' tier, the e-book and the sprite maker. Trust me, even for a Sonic fan, this is a great deal.

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    THE BOOK (HARDBACK) - A hardback copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, plus the e-book and the sprite maker. The hardback excels in areas where the paperback simply won't suffice. For example, as weightlifting aids, a shield for prospective dragon slayers, or an improvised weapon.

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    THE SIGNED BOOK (HARDBACK) - For the silvers in your wallet, get the limited edition hardback copy, the one in the animation from the video. Just like the normal hardback, but with an added sentence! Of course, you also receive the e-book and sprite maker.

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    THE HARDBACK POSTER PACK - for less than the price of a belt from AllSaints, you get a hardback copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide, the three posters featured in 'The Triple Poster Pack' tier, the e-book and the sprite maker. If you think that you get about 40 words on one side of a £50 note and we predict our book will contain at least 124000 words, that's a clear profit of over 123960 words. That's a no-brainer.

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    THANKS, BRO - For the price of Toni&Guy's cheapest men's haircut, you get everything from 'The Hardback Poster Pack', plus your name and a personal sprite (you can make this with your sprite maker, or make a request and we'll do one for you) featured in the 'Special Thanks' section of the book. As an added bonus, you will receive my unyielding and undying love.

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    CREATE AN ACHIEVEMENT - Everything from 'THANKS, BRO', but you get the prestigious opportunity to add your very own achievement that will feature in every copy of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide. Ever done something so glorious that you felt it was worth an achievement? Somersaulted off of a house to land on a jet ski? Roundhouse kicked a whale? People deserve to know. (We maintain the right to screen your submission for profanity, but really, anything is good to go as long as it's awesome).

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    THE MULTIPLAYER PACK (PAPERBACK) - 4 paperback copies of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide. Struggling with gift ideas? Know a few people interested in chipping in? Nab yourself an added 300% fun.

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    CREATE AN NPC - Everything from 'THANKS, BRO', with the added bonus of getting to create your own NPC (Non-Player Character) that will make multiple appearances throughout the book. Is there a recurring character in your life, a character who you just every out there has an equivalent to? Maybe you distinctly remember The Kid That Eats His Bogeys from primary school, or The Guy Who Thinks He’s Really Interesting from the office? We will voice chat with you online to discuss your initial ideas, and together we will decide together which idea fits best into the story of the book, and refine it to meet the best possible quality.

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    ON THE COVER - You read that right, get everything included in 'THANKS, BRO' as well as your own custom sprite (you can make one with the sprite maker, or just send some specifications and we'll knock one up for you) right there on the front cover. Your 32-bit face on every book and cover poster that gets sold. You'll be a hero, nay, a LEGEND.

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    THE MULTIPLAYER PACK (HARDBACK) - 4 hardback copies of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide. Use these at your own discretion (we recommend tying 2 to each shoe and wearing them like platform boots).

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    CREATE A QUEST - Everything from 'THANKS, BRO', and you get the chance to write your very own quest for Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide. If you’ve ever felt that sense of accomplishment after Running To Catch A Train, or the feeling of charity when Going To A Friend’s Gig (or maybe even Donating To A Kickstarter?) then this may just be the tier for you. You’ll get the opportunity to make any quest you desire, so long as it fits the theme of the book. We will voice chat with you online to discuss your initial ideas, and together we will decide together which idea fits best into the story of the book, and refine it to meet the best possible quality.

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    CREATE A BOSS - Everything from 'THANKS, BRO', as well as becoming the proud owner of your very own miniboss or boss. You get to design an awesome boss fight as the finale to a quest or chapter of the book. Was becoming accepted by Your Partner’s Parents a truly harrowing ordeal? How about your first ever Job Interview? We will voice chat with you online to discuss your initial ideas, and together we will decide together which idea fits best into the story of the book, and refine it to meet the best possible quality. This is highly limited, be quick!

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    HALF PAGE HERO - You get everything from 'The Hardback Poster Pack", and half a page dedicated to your NPC Profile. A custom sprite image of you (you can make it with the sprite maker or send us some details and we'll make it for you) along with your Attributes and Skills and a personal message from you to the readers. These are limited so grab 'em while they're hot!

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    A WHOLE PAGE JUST FOR YOU - Not only do you get all of the goodies from 'The Hardback Poster Pack', but you also get a page dedicated to you. Your custom sprite (either you can make it with the sprite maker, or send us details and we'll make one for you) blown up nice and big, with a short poem detailing how awesome you are, as well as a message of your choice, displayed in the biggest font size we can find. You earned this one, now everybody will know what a crucial part you played in the creation of Life: The Unofficial Strategy Guide.

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    THE ULTIMATE CREATOR PACK - Be our ultimate collaborator! Everything from ‘THANKS, BRO’, and so much more. You get to design, with our help, your very own achievement, quest, NPC and boss battle for the book. We will voice chat with you online to discuss your initial ideas, and together we will decide whichever fit best into the story of the book, and refine them to meet the best possible quality. There is but one creator pack... You deserve it.

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Funding period

- (40 days)