About this project
The Way of the Tiger series brings intense action in a world of strange fantasy, where ninja dwell in the darkness and sorcerers unleash powers beyond comprehension. Match your skill and cunning against brutal villains, strange beasts, and the followers of dark gods . . .
And you can play it RIGHT NOW with our FREE 100-PAGE DEMO:
Why are hardcover gamebooks better for play than mass-market paperbacks? How good are the "add-on" rewards? See the video updates!
Enjoy text, audio, and video interviews about the prequel and beyond in this update.
. . . And before our first update, we were ALREADY FUNDED! Now, STRETCH GOALS!
"On the magical world of Orb, alone in a sea that the people of the Manmarch call Endless, lies the mystical Island of Tranquil Dreams." Thus begins Avenger!, the first book in The Way of the Tiger, by Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson. First published in 1985, this series of 6 gamebooks introduced us to an amazing world where the stealth and skill of the ninja was set against the dangers of a magical realm. You the reader determined the fate of the ninja, Avenger, through your choices in the books.
Originally, the world of Orb had appeared as a traditional fantasy setting within the classic Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, but for The Way of the Tiger things changed: Mark and Jamie infused Orb with what are now iconic Oriental themes. There was (and still is) very little in popular fantasy set outside of "traditional" Western styles, and these books immersed the audience in both the world and the unfolding story. And, of course, there was the gameplay itself: Mark and Jamie gave us a detailed and intense martial arts system practically unknown in the genre.
The Way of the Tiger made history and defined the childhood of many. It also was left unfinished. Today, we have the blessings of Mark and Jamie to bring it back. The six books of The Way of the Tiger are being revised and printed in a deluxe collectable edition, with full-colour new art inspired by the original, edits and revisions (notably to revise book 6 with author approval), increased dimensions, and hardcover binding.
We will print as many copies as we can with your funding: even a pledge for a single book will help launch the series, and you can finish your collection later as you wish. Just don't wait too long, because other readers might beat you to it: this is a limited collector's run funded solely by Kickstarter!
This much-needed illustration and revision will also benefit all future editions in any format. (See "Why should I pledge," below.)
Moreso, the series will also be expanded . . . maybe even at both ends. Under the guidance of Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson, we will create a book 0 prequel, Ninja!
And lastly, we can tell gamers the words they've longed to hear for a generation. Those of you who grew up on these books know the authors loved a good cliffhanger. The series ended on the best (worst?) cliffhanger of all. Having "shaken off the dust" with a prequel adventure, we are partnering with the original authors to get their ideas onto paper once again. That is, the original authors will create book 7, Redeemer! This is history in the making!
The Kickstarter edition would be the first reprinting after almost 30 years. A new generation of gamebook lovers (and, mind you, gamebooks are on a resurgence) deserves a game as enjoyable as The Way of the Tiger. Further, any who knew these books from their childhood will be thrilled to see these new features:
- New covers and a full-colour interior: all the original drawings are being converted and redrawn by our artists.
- Additional drawings for each gamebook. Book 7's illustrations are tied to stretch goals (see below)
- Text and gameplay edits from the original series: on the smaller scale, this means no risk of dead-ends or confusing errors. On the bigger scale, this means enhancements to book 6, which was generally viewed as needing more love. And, yes, all with the approval of Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson!
- Enhanced character sheet with more space for your adventures.
- Bigger book dimensions: 6"x9" so there's no cramped little book bending its paper spine in your eager hands.
- Speaking of which . . . hardcover and perfect-bound! Just right to lay flat and stay there while you roll dice!
- Extra stock so you may complete your collection later: the "edition" is "limited" to what we can afford to print from your funding, but no, you don't have to buy the whole series at once for fear they'll "vanish"!
- The new book 0 prequel, Ninja!, will be overseen by Mark and Jamie, written by our David Walters. This will be a full-length gamebook available in two formats: hardback and DRM-free PDF. (We do not have the rights to provide PDF format of 1-6.)
- And perhaps the single most important feature: the long-awaited book 7, Redeemer!, in both hardback and DRM-free PDF format! It finally will reveal the resolution to the generation-long cliffhanger! Illustrations in this book will depend on stretch goals (see below).
Lastly, an important and special note: this Kickstarter isn't just for a "collector's edition," but for any other editions printed in the future. Obviously, editing and error-correction work can apply to all new printing. But more pressing, the authors are still hunting to get the rights to the original artwork from the 1980's, and they may no longer be available. We MUST draw new artwork if we are to ensure new editions will be illustrated. Please help us make the series live!
We are Megara Entertainment. Richard S. Hetley is in charge of the US branch, this Kickstarter project, and the editing on the gamebooks themselves (wow, I feel honored). Mikaël Louys is our noble leader, wrangles the artists, and makes layout happen (wow, I'm glad I don't do that).
Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson are not from Megara: they're the original authors, and they created The Way of the Tiger from their brilliance. Joining them will be Megara member David Walters, crafting the book 0 prequel under the guidance of Mark and Jamie, and co-authoring book 7 to help them bring this missing book to life.
We've worked this sort of magic before, funding another gamebook (of our own creation) last year. The books from the current project will have the same sort of printing and fit the same dimensions on your shelf. Believe us when we say that we can make it happen.
Please select the pledge level for the number of books you wish. You will specify exact titles via backer survey after the project. All books have the features listed in the "Why should I pledge" section above, i.e., full-colour images and full editing. Illustrations in book 7, the newest, depend on stretch goals (see below).
All prices include shipping worldwide. There is a special discount and in-book credit for those who buy the whole series of eight books (see the "Full Collection" in the pledge levels at right, or below).
All backers for hardback gamebooks ALSO receive the two available PDF gamebooks (0 and 7; see below).
DRM-free PDF Gamebooks
Already have books 1-6 from your childhood? Well . . . you STILL want our hardbacks of books 1-6 (no more typos and errors!), but you can finish your collection in electronic form.
We do NOT have the rights to distribute PDF versions of books 1-6. However, ALL orders of hardback books include the available PDF gamebooks (0 and 7) automatically!
SO FOR EXAMPLE
Maybe you've never heard of The Way of the Tiger. But then, maybe you already own the original six books. To join The Way of the Tiger on its new journey and get something you'll enjoy, you COULD pledge:
- $15 and get the first one-and-a-half books in PDF. That's a PDF of book 0 and the free demo of book 1 linked above.
- $30 and get the two PDF files "you don't own already," books 0 and 7. (Plus that free demo.)
- $50 and get two PDF files plus options: hardback book 1 because it's the start of the series, and then the rest can be available later if you want them;
- . . . or book [number] because it's THE ONE BOOK you couldn't find when you were younger and you NEED IT;
- . . . or book 7 because you've played 'em all and you've always wanted to find out what happens next (what happens in the prequel is just a little "perk");
- . . . or what-have-you!
- $100 and get even more options: like hardback books 0 and 7 because, again, they're the only ones you don't have;
- . . . or books 1 and 2 because they're your favorite;
- . . . or anything!
Full Collection and Special Opportunities
FULL COLLECTION: $375. Eight books and two PDF files as described above, with the eighth book at HALF PRICE, plus receive a special "thank you": your name will be credited among the "Grandmasters of the Way of the Tiger" within all the books of the New Collector's Edition. (This does not apply to any future editions.)
APPEARANCE IN BOOK 7 - CHARACTER IMAGE: $1,000. The "Full Collection" plus two special extras. First, an opportunity to speak with Mark Smith and/or Jamie Thomson over Skype video chat. Calls will be scheduled individually, or in conference call, or whatever is necessary to get the authors and the backers together.
Second, see YOURSELF (or your favourite RPG character) in book 7! The individual will not be named in the text, but will be clearly visible. You will receive a full-colour JPEG file of this art, similar to the art commission in the "add-ons" section below, but also the original A4 paper drawing. And unlike the commission, your role will be up to the authors, which should prove interesting . . .
APPEARANCE IN BOOK 7 - FULL CHARACTER IN STORY: $5,000. Like the above . . . but better. First there's the Skype chat. Then, just as RPG sessions spawned many of the scenes in books 1-6, you or your favourite RPG character will have your own scene in book 7. Your character (both IMAGE AND NAME) will be developed through consultation with you. You will receive the full-colour A4 paper and JPEG art as well. Then we'll all get to learn what happens in the book!
ORIGINAL CHARACTER SHEETS - EVIL or GOOD: $600. The "Full Collection," plus a Skype chat (see other "Special Opportunities," above), PLUS: Four of the original character sheets used by Mark Smith and his friends in their foundational RPG sessions on Orb! These sheets were used starting in the 1970's to create the heroic (and villainous) figures we know today, and show early- to mid-stage characters. Each will be shipped in its own archival document sleeve. Only one copy exists of each, so we've helpfully divided them into good and evil.
THE BOOK OF THE GODS or DWITHIN'S JOURNAL: $2,000. The "Full Collection," plus a Skype chat, PLUS: One of two UNPUBLISHED creations from Mark Smith's brain, which came about during his worldbuilding in Orb. The handwritten Book of the Gods has one page per god in the pantheon. The typed Dwithin's Journal follows an intrepid soul who travelled with the heroes and villains (those same characters mentioned above). Only one copy exists of each.
Once you've selected a pledge level, you may raise your pledge within Kickstarter to add on any of the following. Multiples of the same "add-on" are quite alright. Please tell us what you are supposed to receive (e.g., t-shirt size) via backer survey after the project.
You may ALSO receive our JPEG MAP OF ORB: $5. This file is intermediate between the lower resolution published in the collector's edition and the higher resolution cloth map.
More Add-on Options
We've been working in these areas for awhile and have related items that might interest you:
Do you enjoy gamebooks? Would you like to see more? Would you also like to get even MORE rewards? Then join with our cross-promotion partner:
Pledge to our project AND pledge to Shinte 2 at a minimum of $50 each (for us, please select a physical book level), and receive special rewards from BOTH projects! We will ship you a series of eight laminated bookmarks based on cover art from the series, like the "cover slices" on our project page. Shinte 2 will give you $15 credit toward add-ons of your choice, which you select via backer survey after the end (see its project page). Click here for the announcement!
We are grateful for your support. Feel free to use these images to help make the project more visible:
After all these years, The Way of the Tiger is owed a treatment like this, and with your pledge we can publish eight of the best gamebooks you'd ever own. See our project updates for even more information (and pictures)! Thank you for your pledge!
Risks and challenges
Completion depends on a few factors, but with your funding we can succeed.
Our artists are amazing and have delivered on deadline before. With your help to pay them, the only challenge would be their untimely demise. Editing on the first two books is already partially done, and with funding I could afford to devote myself to the rest. So the only challenge would be, um, my untimely demise.
Book 7 is a special case. If funded, the book must be written, then properly illustrated as specified by the stretch goals, and thus must be handled in series instead of in parallel. (Book 0 may be new as well, but writing is nearly complete.) We have given our best estimate. Our entire team will be available to make sure the book happens.
We already have a printing contract. After our last project, we got a good sense of how long it takes to ship books, so we are reasonably confident in our projections.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No, each pledge description lists what you get at that level.
The only things not listed are "add-ons," which any backer may add to any pledge by raising the pledge amount, and the special cross-promotion rewards. These are all listed on the main page.
Glad you asked!
These prices are the MINIMUM that you can expect for quality this high, especially when shipping is included. The books, again, are 6"x9" hardcover with full-colour interior. For comparison, a new black-and-white hardback of the first DestinyQuest book (we have no affiliation with this product) is on Amazon for about $50 once you add shipping, and the added length of DestinyQuest is very little in the printing world compared to colour costs.
Thus, our full-colour hardback is available to everyone on Earth for a flat price of $50. Don't forget that this also includes two additional PDF books, and thus is an even better deal.
Retail price will be $55 (shipping worldwide included) per hardback book after the project ends. Other offers such as the "half price on the eighth book" deal for getting the "Full Collection" will not apply.
However, Kickstarter backers will have special treatment. If you want to buy books in the future, make your order from the e-mail address associated with your Kickstarter account, and tell us your account name. You'll still only pay $50 while new customers pay $55.
Yes! PLEASE DO!
We will print as many books as we can afford with the funding provided by Kickstarter. These will then go on sale as available. It's best if you pledge now so that you don't have to compete for our lingering stock, but there will in fact be "stock."
As mentioned in the FAQ above, retail price will be $55 (shipping worldwide included) per hardback book after the project ends. However, Kickstarter backers will have special treatment. If you want to buy books in the future, make your order from the e-mail address associated with your Kickstarter account, and tell us your account name. You'll still only pay $50 while new customers pay $55.
Yes, that's us!
You can imagine that these projects are related. Doing both does mean that people interested in an RPG will have to wait a little longer. However, the art we fund through this Kickstarter will only improve the RPG, so we hope you'll join us!
(To clarify for newcomers: the RPG is NOT a project on Kickstarter. See our Facebook link or Megara's home page for more information.)
We can only offer a PDF option for book 0 and book 7.
The rights holder, Fabled Lands LLP, is the ultimate arbiter. They have decided not to allow PDF sales of the classic books 1-6 for our Kickstarter project.
"DRM" is "Digital Rights Management."
It's a recent development in anti-pirating technology. It involves such things as requiring you to check with a central server online (to make sure your copy of some file is legitimate) every time you open it.
The principle works fine for centralized gaming systems where everyone joins with full knowledge (you know the big names we mean), but many people view DRM as intrusive when EVERY new purchase forces them to jump through hoops. Imagine, say, being forced to read "your PDF purchase" on a special reader website, with no ability to download it: you'd be less interested to purchase, right?
The debate over DRM continues, but those who disapprove of it don't have to worry here: there is no DRM in our PDF files of books 0 and 7.
We have been unable to reach the artist, Bob Harvey. And when we say that, we mean NO ONE whom we've ever contacted can find Bob Harvey OR find anyone else responsible for the rights to his illustrations. If you know for sure you can find someone responsible, PLEASE CONTACT US!
But until that happens . . . you can understand why we push so hard to get our project funded and get new illustrations for the books. As mentioned on our project page, we will be responsible for illustrating this and all future editions of The Way of the Tiger.
Sorry, but no: our goal is to create a full-colour hardback.
However, note that the rights holder, Fabled Lands LLP, is at liberty to use the results of our work in future editions. This means there could be softcover and/or black-and-white, but we have been informed there will be no such printing this year. Further, please keep in mind that funding for needed edits and replacement art will ONLY come from THIS Kickstarter project!
In short: NOT immediately after the project ends.
Because we can only send a survey once, we want to minimize the risk of shipping addresses changing between the survey and delivery dates. Remember that the estimated delivery is August 2014, which means months of development. Therefore, we'll only send surveys when we need your information to order products.
If you think there's any chance that you'll forget what "add-ons" are going into your pledge, then please write them down somewhere. We want to get you what you are owed!
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