Be An Interplanetary Spy Interactive Gamebook
Be An Interplanetary Spy Interactive Gamebook
Help us bring the Be An Interplanetary Spy gamebook series back for iOS and Android with updated art and interactive puzzles and games.
Help us bring the Be An Interplanetary Spy gamebook series back for iOS and Android with updated art and interactive puzzles and games. Read more
About this project
Who can forget gamebooks? No matter your brand of choice, many of us nostalgically remember these books as a super-fun reading experience that allowed us to take control of the story and have a real influence on the ending in a way movies couldn't offer. Some of us even regard them as our earliest exposure to interactive narrative, critical thinking and problem solving in a fun and exciting context, precursors to the adventure and role playing games we would come to love.
As a fan of science fiction, I consider myself very lucky to have come across the Be An Interplanetary Spy series when I did. When I first found Robot World and Space Olympics on a sheet-metal book fair shelf at my elementary school I knew where my allowance would be going for a while. The mixture of interactivity, fast paced storytelling, space opera tropes and 80's video game visuals was irresistible.
We are very happy to be bringing back the Be An Interplanetary Spy series as mobile apps for iOS and Android. We are developing the apps in Unity in order to facilitate a nearly simultaneous release on both platforms.
There are twelve books in the Be An Interplanetary Spy series, and we'd like to bring them all back. We have got to start somewhere, so the goal of this campaign is to fund the first book in the series "Find The Kirillian". The $10k goal will enable us to develop the backend framework necessary to support the series and get the first book produced and deployed within it. If there is enough support for the project, we will unlock subsequent books in the series as stretch goals are achieved. Just like in the books, how far we go is up to you.
The Artists & Authors
Since we care so deeply about the roots of this project, we had to reach out to the creators to make sure they were cool with the plan. Without question, this was one of the most rewarding parts of this journey so far. We'll bring you their personal reflections on the series in upcoming project updates, but for now, let me introduce a few:
Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley, co-creators of Breathtaker, Mars, and Blood of the Innocent, illustrated four of the first five books in the Be An Interplanetary Spy Series. Marc and Mark gave us their blessing on the project and have been very supportive. In fact, they've even offered to provide signed copies of selected prints from their archive as rewards for backers. Examples of their are presented below.
Steve Fastner and Rich Larson (Caution: Mature Content) have been collaborating for almost 30 years on works ranging from Sci-Fi magazines to t-shirt designs and album covers. Not just any album covers, we are talking Over Kill and Intruder. Very metal. While Steve and Rich prefer to concentrate on monsters and babes these days, they illustrated Interplanetary Spy's sixth book, "The Star Crystal" breathing life into two of the series' most beloved recurring characters, Callisto & Tunk. When contacted about our plans for this project, Steve and Rich were very supportive and also offered to provide signed prints for backers. Check out some of their work below.
Ron Martinez wrote "Space Olympics" and "The Star Crystal", two personal favorites from the series. Ron is a supporter of this project and it is due to Ron's inspiration that we want to reunite Callisto & Tunk on a special reward for our backers.
Seth McEvoy wrote seven of the twelve Be An Interplanetary Spy books. Quite regrettably, we have not been able to get in contact with him. Seth! If you are out there and you see this, drop us a note, man!
What was and what could be...
Below are a few examples of how we might approach updating these books in order to create a more interactive experience that respects the engaging tone of the original work. Of course, nothing is set in stone here and we are very interested in your feedback on the direction expressed here.
The Galaxy Map
And so we leave the fate of our journey up to you. Do we turn back here? Do we map the first sector, unlocking book one? Do we unlock every sector of this map and bring every last bit of this classic and interactive science fiction adventure into the modern age? Do we go on to create volume 13 and beyond?
The choice is up to you.
A. Fleming Seay
Fleming lives and works in Austin, Texas, where he is a User Experience Designer and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Upon completing his education at Northwestern University in 2007, Joseph spent several years traveling and playing poker professionally before settling down in Austin, Texas.
James is a Principal Designer and currently lives in Austin, Texas. He graduated from ArtCenter College of Design with Honors and very much enjoys tinkering, chefery, and a good laugh.
Trademark Information: Be An Interplanetary Spy is a registered trademark of Byron Preiss Visual Publications and is used by permission.
Risks and challenges
Though this is our first gamebook project, our team has experience designing and deploying apps and games for iOS and Android. We are also working with an experienced app development house and have confidence in their ability to deliver on their commitments to us. Even so, we may encounter unforeseen challenges and delays in development. We pledge to communicate frequently and openly with our backers and will make good on our commitment to you or refund your money.
An Important Note for International Backers:
It is our intention to deliver iOS apps to our backers who select them via Apple's volume purchase program or VPP. Limitations imposed by Apple's volume purchase program make it difficult to distribute apps to backers outside of the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. We will get you your app one way or another, but it may not be as quick and easy if you live in a country not listed above.
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