Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 13, 2012.

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Richly-illustrated full-colour print gamebook. Go back to 1930s New York and control a group of investigators facing occult mysteries.

Update 22

FUNDED!  Now, STRETCH GOALS!

Past Updates

PLAY THE "DEMO"!  Click through for a fully-playable mini-adventure you can download for free and share with your friends!  (Want to have the mini-adventure in print?  See our stretch goals!)

What is Arcana Agency and how did we get here?  Read it straight from our author, Paul Gresty, in a series of illustrated interviews: part 5, the great detective novels.  Part 4, game mechanics.  Part 3, the basement of creativity.  Part 2, from app to gamebook.  Part 1, the original app.  Also a pre-interview commentary roundup.

What do gamebook authors Dave Morris, Herbie Brennan, and Stuart Lloyd think about Arcana Agency?

Meet our heroes!  Detectives Humphrey Brown, Joe Strelli, and Tom Shanigan; secondary characters Beverly Craven and Catherine Henshaw.

Read our foreword (thank you, Dave Morris!) and game rules.

If Arcana Agency succeeds, one day we may do a sequel.  And if we do . . . this is how it will begin!

What Is Happening?

Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories is a gamebook in which you control three private investigators as they race to unravel the paranormal mysteries of 1930s New York.

This 200-page book (549 game paragraphs) will be printed in full color, featuring dozens of rich illustrations detailing both the fantastic and everyday elements of depression-era America.  This is a high-quality hardback publication (perfect-bound hardcover) – yet one that will be printed at costs that would normally allow only lesser-quality paperback works. 
When we say "quality," this is what we mean:

View from the gamebook: On the job.
View from the gamebook: On the job.

Though in some ways similar to classic gamebooks such as the Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy series (which we don't own, by the way), Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories introduces innovative elements to interactive fiction.  It is written in the third person, not the second, which is a departure from most gamebooks.  Its expansive non-linear plot (549 game paragraphs means a lot of alternatives) allows the player to control three detectives at once.  Game mechanics blend seamlessly with the story, and the book's system of codewords – used to great effect in the Fabled Lands series (mentioned with permission) – allows a precise record of how the player affects the world.  As such, the choices you make have real, long-term consequences – in this story, and in future Arcana Agency adventures.  Of course, that's only if the book gets funded.

View from the gamebook: The high and the low.
View from the gamebook: The high and the low.

How Did We Get Here?

The story OF the story began in 2009, when Megara Entertainment published Arcana Agency: Prologue, one of the first iOS gamebook-style apps available.  Since then, Megara has published iOS adaptations of classic gamebook series – Fabled Lands: The War-Torn Kingdom, Fabled Lands: Cities of Gold and Glory, and The Keep of the Lich-Lord (a Fighting Fantasy title).  Megara has also delved into dead-tree publishing – another project in the works is The Way of the Tiger, a roleplaying game adaptation of the hit gamebooks first published in the 1980s.  Today, we hope to combine all these threads and produce a print gamebook of Arcana Agency.

View from the gamebook: A little orientation.
View from the gamebook: A little orientation.

At last, Megara is returning to the Arcana Agency setting, and to the gamebook roots that have always inspired the company's mandate of creating excellent, and original, games.  The book is written.  The artwork is finalized.  The printing presses are ready to roll.  Your pledges to this Kickstarter project will make the printing and distribution of this book a reality.

Who Are These Masked Men (/Women)?

The team behind it all!
The team behind it all!

While the man in charge of the US branch, the Kickstarter project, and all obligations of making the books get from us to you, is Richard S. Hetley.  (I'm in the project video!  Wave hi!)  Both he and our noble leader Mikaël Louys are available to answer your questions here or on Facebook.

And What Do They Want (To Publish)?

Summary of the 3 cases in this gamebook.
Summary of the 3 cases in this gamebook.

Enough Rhetoric - Show Me The Goods!

The rewards you see in the graphics below are cumulative: You get everything up to your pledge level.  On the right you'll see some exceptions: "Tech Specialist" (promo codes), "Book and a Bonus" (certain higher-level rewards combined with the hardback), "Bookstore" (extra hardback copies), and "Worldcrafter" (several art commissions) give rewards unique to the levels indicated.  Shipping worldwide included where applicable.

A TASTE OF ARCANA: PDF of case 1, a complete adventure out of the 3 from the full gamebook.
A TASTE OF ARCANA: PDF of case 1, a complete adventure out of the 3 from the full gamebook.
THE ARTIST: The full PDF version of the gamebook comes with a PDF of bonus art from another of our projects, Fabled Lands.  Also, there are limited "early adopter" promo codes as a bonus at the same price (see the TECH SPECIALIST levels on the right).
THE ARTIST: The full PDF version of the gamebook comes with a PDF of bonus art from another of our projects, Fabled Lands. Also, there are limited "early adopter" promo codes as a bonus at the same price (see the TECH SPECIALIST levels on the right).
THE REAL DEAL: The hardback gamebook!  Certain higher-level rewards such as a signature and dedication are available for an extra cost (see the BOOK AND A BONUS levels on the right), as are multiple hardbacks at a discount (see the BOOKSTORE levels).
THE REAL DEAL: The hardback gamebook! Certain higher-level rewards such as a signature and dedication are available for an extra cost (see the BOOK AND A BONUS levels on the right), as are multiple hardbacks at a discount (see the BOOKSTORE levels).
ANGEL OR DEMONESS: Arcana Agency t-shirt of your choice.
ANGEL OR DEMONESS: Arcana Agency t-shirt of your choice.
ANGEL AND DEMONESS: Note this reward includes both t-shirts.
ANGEL AND DEMONESS: Note this reward includes both t-shirts.
THE WRITTEN WORD: Hardback is signed.
THE WRITTEN WORD: Hardback is signed.
THE ENTERTAINER: Megara Complete Musical Works 2007-2012, generally from our videogames, but with one track inspired by the Arcana Agency gamebook.
THE ENTERTAINER: Megara Complete Musical Works 2007-2012, generally from our videogames, but with one track inspired by the Arcana Agency gamebook.
THE WARDROBE: T-shirts (two of them) from another of our projects, the Way of the Tiger RPG.
THE WARDROBE: T-shirts (two of them) from another of our projects, the Way of the Tiger RPG.
THE LADY: Something you won't get from other books, handcrafted New-York-inspired earrings (two of them).
THE LADY: Something you won't get from other books, handcrafted New-York-inspired earrings (two of them).
CROSS-CONTINENTAL ENGAGEMENT: All our materials from another of our projects, the French edition print Fabled Lands RPG.  Just read your screen for the contents.
CROSS-CONTINENTAL ENGAGEMENT: All our materials from another of our projects, the French edition print Fabled Lands RPG. Just read your screen for the contents.
ARCANA AGENT (MAYBE): This could be you!  Commission us to make you a character in the world of Arcana Agency.  We will give you a graphic, a backstory, and an actual place as a secondary character in any sequel!
ARCANA AGENT (MAYBE): This could be you! Commission us to make you a character in the world of Arcana Agency. We will give you a graphic, a backstory, and an actual place as a secondary character in any sequel!

Also, see our WORLDCRAFTER levels for a tremendous opportunity for the most creative backers: Pledge $1,500 or $3,000 to commission a 15-illustration or 30-illustration spree!  That's right, enough images (one character or one environment at a time) that you could start illustrating your own story!

. . . In The End, What Have We Done?

If this project is funded, Megara Entertainment LLC will get you your rewards, and Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories will go on sale for the rest of the world.  The artists and beloved author will get paid for their tireless work.  The company will be able to push forward into yet more projects, including (if you backers want it) the hinted Arcana Agency sequel.  And we will thank you many times.

Stretch goals!

  • $20,000 - The book comes to be - FUNDED!
  • $22,500 - The Case of the Unghostly Ghost in the gamebook proper - Response to our free demo has been positive.  UNIVERSALLY positive.  How great would it be to see it in print?  If we reach this goal, we will add the 57-section adventure (around 30 full-color pages) to the hardback of The Thief of Memories!  This won't change availability of the free download, and with your support it WON'T change the hardback's price!
  • $30,000 - Faux leather hardcover option - A full-color hardback is already "deluxe"; but how about screaming "special edition"?  If we reach this goal, then all backers at the $60 or greater level will have the option of a faux leather cover on the hardback book!
  • And then onward!

Watch this space for updates!  Thank you for your pledge!

Cross-Promotion

Fascinated by this kind of game?  Want to see more?  We're not the only gamebook on Kickstarter . . .

Maelorum: An original fantasy gamebook project
Maelorum: An original fantasy gamebook project

Maelorum has succeeded in their Kickstarter bid!  If you have already pledged to Maelorum at a minimum of $30, then you can pledge to Arcana Agency at a minimum of $40 to receive unique rewards from both projects!  You will receive three laminated character bookmarks from Arcana Agency, one for each detective, and a separate reward from Maelorum (see its project page).  Click here for details!

And from there, we pass on the chain of cross-promotion proudly . . .

YOU ARE THE HERO: The "history book" of the Fighting Fantasy series
YOU ARE THE HERO: The "history book" of the Fighting Fantasy series

As of this writing, YOU ARE THE HERO still needs your pledges to succeed!  If you have already pledged to Arcana Agency at a minimum of $40, then you can pledge to YOU ARE THE HERO at a minimum of £30 to receive unique rewards from both projects!  You will receive 3 character sheets and 1 codeword sheet printed in color on bristol board from Arcana Agency, and a separate reward from YOU ARE THE HERO (see its project page).  Click here for details!

Thanks to you all for making Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories a success!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As stated, we have a complete book, and we also have a printing deal. For other reward levels, we already have printed t-shirts and other materials ready to go. The only "risk" is that the printer's place will explode or the shipped items will get eaten by paranormal beings. With your strength, your spirit, and your pledge, we should be able to overcome any challenge.

FAQ

  • It's handled for basically everyone, everywhere! We are shipping some orders from the USA and some orders from France. The price you see here is all you'll pay.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! Here's how:

    Promo codes start at $15. For a higher reward, pledge the amount for the level you REALLY want (e.g., $40 for the hardback and affiliated rewards), but select the relevant Tech Specialist level. (This lets us monitor our limited quantities of promo codes.) If and when the project succeeds, you can tell us on your backer survey what your REAL reward level is. It is particularly important you tell us this if you select one of the $70 rewards (since there are multiple options). Delivery dates will be as stated for your chosen level.

    Last updated:
  • The promo codes are only for iOS; we do not have computer games on other operating systems. That's one reason Arcana Agency is being published as a book; PDF and print books work anywhere (exception: underwater)!

    However, the promo codes WILL work for other countries. If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and happen to be in the UK, go for it!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    13 backers

    A TASTE OF ARCANA: PDF version of case 1 (167 illustrated sections + rules), a complete adventure out of the 3 from the full Arcana Agency gamebook.

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    57 backers

    THE ARTIST: Full PDF version of the Arcana Agency gamebook with all 3 cases (549 illustrated sections + rules) + PDF of The Art of the Fabled Lands, a full-color artbook from our Fabled Lands apps (120 pages).

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    37 backers Limited (63 left of 100)

    TECH SPECIALIST (iPad): All the above + a gift for early backers: 1 random promo code for 1 of our iPad gamebooks (possible apps: Arcana Agency: Prologue, Fabled Lands or Keep of the Lich-Lord). Note: promo codes expire, and are not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards.

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    16 backers Limited (134 left of 150)

    TECH SPECIALIST (iPhone and iPod Touch): All the above + a gift for early backers: 1 random promo code for 1 of our iPhone & iPod Touch gamebooks (possible apps: Arcana Agency: Prologue, Fabled Lands, or The Keep of the Lich-Lord). Note: promo codes expire, and are not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards.

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    THE REAL DEAL: All the above + what you're really here to get: the 6"x9" full-color hardback of the Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories gamebook. Shipping worldwide included.

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    48 backers

    BOOK AND A BONUS v. 1: All the above + your Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories hardback will be signed, numbered, and personally dedicated by the author, Paul Gresty. Shipping worldwide included. Note: "book and a bonus" is not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards unless specifically stated.

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    11 backers

    BOOK AND A BONUS v. 2: All the above + Megara Entertainment Complete Music Works 2007-2012 CD (including a new track inspired by the Arcana Agency gamebook). Shipping worldwide included. Note: "book and a bonus" is not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards unless specifically stated.

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    BOOK AND A BONUS v. 3: All the above + 1 t-shirt from our Way of the Tiger RPG, with your choice from 11 different character classes and 1 gamesmaster design. Shipping worldwide included. Note: "book and a bonus" is not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards unless specifically stated.

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    4 backers

    ANGEL OR DEMONESS: All the above + 1 Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories t-shirt: Demoness (t-shirt #1) OR Angel (t-shirt #2). Shipping worldwide included.

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    5 backers

    ANGEL AND DEMONESS: All the above + the other t-shirt. That is, you receive both Demoness (t-shirt #1) AND Angel (t-shirt #2). Shipping worldwide included.

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    1 backer

    BOOKSTORE v. 1: All the rewards from the $40 "Real Deal" level, but with 3 hardback copies of the Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories gamebook instead of 1. Shipping worldwide included. Note: "Bookstore" is not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards unless specifically stated.

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  • Pledge $120 or more
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    5 backers

    THE WRITTEN WORD: All the above + your Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories hardback will be signed, numbered, and personally dedicated by the author, Paul Gresty. Shipping worldwide included.

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    2 backers

    THE ENTERTAINER: All the above + Megara Entertainment Complete Music Works 2007-2012 CD (including a new track inspired by the Arcana Agency gamebook). Shipping worldwide included.

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    0 backers

    THE WARDROBE: All the above + 2 t-shirts from our Way of the Tiger RPG, with your choice from 11 different character classes and 1 gamesmaster design. Shipping worldwide included.

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    1 backer

    BOOKSTORE v. 2: All the rewards from the $40 "Real Deal" level, but with 6 hardback copies of the Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories gamebook instead of 1. Shipping worldwide included. Note: "Bookstore" is not included in "All the above +" statements in other rewards unless specifically stated.

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    THE LADY: All the above + 1 pair of handmade Arcana Agency: The Thief of Memories 1932 style earrings (partly gold-plated). Shipping worldwide included.

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    0 backers Limited (75 left of 75)

    CROSS-CONTINENTAL ENGAGEMENT: All the above + 1 pack of our Fabled Lands pen-and-pencil RPG FRENCH EDITION (see the visual at the bottom of our story page), including core rule book, 2 maps, 4 copies of the full-color character sheet, a preview of the first game supplement, and 2 digital-only soundtracks. Note: this is a French edition. Shipping worldwide included.

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    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    ARCANA AGENT: All the above (with an option: 2 additional Way of the Tiger RPG t-shirts instead of the Fabled Lands RPG French edition pack, shipping worldwide included) + become transformed. You send us a picture, and one of our talented artists will draw you as an Arcana Agency character. Paul Gresty will write a background for your character and we will send it to you along with the full-colour A4 CGI JPEG file. If we get to make a sequel, your artwork will appear in the next Arcana Agency gamebook as a secondary character under the name of your choice! Be prepared for anything: "you" may as well help the detectives or confront them as a villain!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    WORLDCRAFTER v. 1: All the rewards from the $500 "Arcana Agent" level (including the t-shirt option and worldwide shipping) but with a different art commission. Our talented artists will create up to 15 full-colour A4 CGI JPEG illustrations for you: enough to begin illustrating your own story. Each image is to be either one character or one environment. This reward does not include an appearance in a publication, nor a writing commission: the "story" itself is up to you.

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  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    WORLDCRAFTER v. 2: All the rewards from the $500 "Arcana Agent" level (including the t-shirt option and worldwide shipping) but with a different art commission. Our talented artists will create up to 30 full-colour A4 CGI JPEG illustrations for you: enough to begin illustrating your own story. Each image is to be either one character or one environment. This reward does not include an appearance in a publication, nor a writing commission: the "story" itself is up to you.

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Funding period

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