Texas, 1870. The small, dusty mining town of Affliction, alone and isolated in the middle of the Badlands is the only place with a gaol for fifty miles in every direction, the only place Marshal da Silva can take his captive, the brutal outlaw, Walter Korse.
But when he arrives in town with his prisoner in tow, it is strangely deserted. The wind moans through the dusty streets and dust devils dance where the townsfolk once walked. But when the night comes... so do the vampires.
These were the first words written about the project that would become “The Good, the Bad and the Undead.” Originally envisioned as a video game, then a comic, and then (briefly) abandoned, the project now returns to life as an interactive novel. More character-driven and story-driven than other gamebooks in the high fantasy tradition from which it springs, “The Good, the Bad and the Undead” includes no game mechanics, no character creation or inventory, no “rules” at all. It has been pared down to the most essential components of interactive fiction, so that nothing breaks your immersion in the story.
The experience should be very much like reading a traditional novel, but with one important difference: you choose the story. Unlike a traditional novel, where you are a passive observer to the action, in this *interactive* novel, you get to make choices of an almost authorial nature. Sometimes you get to choose which character’s point of view you want to follow in a scene. At other times you get to inform a character’s actions. Ultimately, the choices you make can dramatically change the outcome of the story.
"The Good, the Bad and the Undead" is a hair-raising adventure in the best traditions of both the Western and Horror genres. It can be described as, "Night of the Living Dead," meets Clint Eastwood--cowboys vs. vampires in an epic struggle of good vs. evil. For the last two years, Ashton Saylor and Jamie Thomson have been working closely together to bring “The Good, the Bad and the Undead” to ravenous fans everywhere. Pledge to claim your copy today!
We have an exciting lineup of stretch goals for you. We have worked hard to keep costs for the initial outlay as low as possible, so it's up to you to help us hit the stretch goals so this book can be not only good, but great!
STRETCH GOAL #5 - $10,000: If we can hit this final level in the last few hours here, we will unlock myriad wonders, perks and delights, including...
- Cover art by an experienced, renowned master artist
- Downloadable desktop background versions of some of the GBU art
- Story modules added to Aces and Spades, including one original story module, as well as notes on how to run the GBU story yourself
- An Online Party at a date TBD, with prizes and games, where you get to chat with the creators, ask questions, and get the inside scoop on the creative process!
STRETCH GOAL #4 - ACHIEVED: We hit this stretch goal before I even got a chance to update the page!!! Go team. Now that we've reached this stretch goal, we will be able to include at least five half-page scene illustrations as black and white interior art. This brings us to the full target amount of interior art we were hoping for. Thank you!!!
STRETCH GOAL #3 - ACHIEVED: Aces and Spades, an original roleplaying game set in the world of "The Good, the Bad, and the Undead." This will be delivered as a .pdf file for free at all levels $35 and above, and can be acquired in hardcopy as an add-on (see below.)
STRETCH GOAL #2 - ACHIEVED: Act Header Illustrations: At this level we can commission three, beautifully envisioned, full-page illustrations, one to set at the beginning of each of the three Acts of the book.
STRETCH GOAL #1 - ACHIEVED: Black and White Interior Art: At this basic level we can afford to hire our illustrator, Callie MacDonell, to include 8 black and white ink illustrations for the interior. More forthcoming the farther we get!
Several Add-Ons are available for, "The Good, the Bad and the Undead," and several more will become available as stretch goals are unlocked!
To claim one of these, you MUST use the Pledge Manager to adjust your pledge level. In the post-Kickstarter survey, you MUST let us know which add-ons your extra funds will go toward, so that we can send you the right rewards.
Early Access will be given by digital file, even if you pledged for a print copy as well. The print copy will arrive with all the others at release time. This will also give you the chance to give feedback to the authors before we go to print, and maybe have your ideas/suggestions reflected in the final product!
The Hardcover Book and Art Book are included in case you want to get copies of those along with the Limited Edition book.
If you wish to order some of the art, please email us when you make the pledge. If you pay the full price for Sponsored Art, we will create a new piece thanks to your pledge, and you will have a say in the nature of the piece. If you order Original Art, we will send you the signed hardcopy original for one of the pieces of art already included in the book.
We are pleased to announce that our cross-promotion partner, the fabulous, "Fabled Lands, The Serpent King's Domain" by Paul Gresty, Dave Morris, and Jamie Thomson, has successfully funded at over 600% of it's original goal! Way to blow it out of the water, guys!
If you missed the Fabled Lands Kickstarter campaign, don't worry! You can still claim the special, laminated cross-promotion map from both of us!
All you need to do is pledge for any of the cross-promotion levels available here with "The Good, the Bad, and the Undead," and then also add $14 to your pledge (as seen on the add-on chart, above) to claim the Fabled Lands Cross-Promotion Map Add-On. We will pass those funds over to the Fabled Lands team to cover the cost of your map, and you can still take full advantage of our cross-promotion.
In the meantime, congratulations to Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson, Paul Gresty, and the great team at Megara for resurrecting a beloved series that many of us have been waiting for for twenty years. The resounding success of the campaign is a clear statement by the fan community that Fabled Lands books 7-12 are still missed and wanted!
And if you're looking for more interactive fiction goodness, there are other projects live now on Kickstarter worthy of your attention!
The Midnight Legion: Operation Deep Sleep is an eerie sci-fi story in which you wake up in a world gone wrong... and you have to find a way to fix it.
Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem is a beautifully realized, politicaly fantasy visual novel, with romance, intrigue and danger. It may be more accurately classified as a video game, but beneath the sleek trappings it remains a 150,000+ word interactive novel.
The funds raised from the Kickstarter will overwhelmingly go toward providing art for the novel and artbook. Other funds will be allocated toward editing and proofreading services, as well as, of course, toward printing, fulfillment and everyone's favorite: shipping.
After fulfillment, printing, processing, shipping and handling is all accounted for, only a limited percentage is left for art. Please make sure to support this project now, rather than buying later, so that we can commission more excellent art and make it the best it can possibly be!
Ashton Saylor is the writer and co-creator of "The Good, the Bad, and the Undead," He is an up-and-coming interactive fiction author with three Merit Awards from the Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction to show for himself. The ideas for the novel were Jamie's to begin with, but when Ashton came on to the team, he got right in there, mixing it up, fleshing out details and adding his own personal touch.
Jamie Thomson is the original creator of "The Good, the Bad and the Undead." He was the mastermind behind the story, and while Ashton has taken point on the writing, Jamie has been a source of creative direction, input and good advice throughout, providing an invaluable sounding board to the creative process. Today his primary focus is on the Dark Lord books, for which he won the 2012 Roald Dahl Prize. With Dave Morris, he is co-founder of Fabled Lands LLP, a creative studio dedicated to originating worlds, characters and properties that span media from print to games to television.
"The Good, the Bad and the Undead" is being published by Fabled Lands LLP, the in-house publishing company of Jamie Thomson and Dave Morris, based on their renowned Fabled Lands gamebook series (now returning to market, see our Fabled Lands cross-promotion partner campaign!) Fabled Lands LLP have a tremendous lineup of excellent books, both from back in the "Golden Age" of gamebooks, as well as many other fine books that have come out more recently.
The sun was a tiny sliver of reddish gold on the horizon. A fly buzzed near him, fairly glowing in the red light of the dying day. A wooden shutter flapped in the wind, a lonely sound.
As the last burning sunlight vanished across the town, Josiah heard the creak of a door opening nearby. He whirled, searching for the sound, his gun leaping into his hand.
So begins the epic story in which three heroes drift into an isolated mining town, only to discover a terrible darkness that has awoken beneath the rocks and sands...
"The Good, the Bad and the Undead" is fundamentally the tale of three people: the renowned lawman, US Marshal Josiah da Silva, the hardened killer Walter Korse, and the tough and smart Diana James, an independent trader who has travelled the length and breadth of the west.
The story opens with Marshal Josiah da Silva, standing alone on Main Street with the sun setting behind him on "Day Three." He's bloodied, he's injured, he's exhausted. One of his hands is so badly hurt he can barely use it. And as the sun sets... the vampires emerge. They roll their heads and spin their eyes. They lick their lips. They keen in their hunger and bloodlust. They come for him. The marshal shoots, and shoots, and shoots, but they're coming faster than he can kill them. And he's running out of bullets... When he has one bullet left, they're almost upon him--
And we cut to "Day One." The marshal is healthy, whole and rested, looking sharp in his grey suit. He's got his prisoner in tow, and the train is rolling up to their stop, where they will get off to take the road to Affliction.
The reader knows that the events of Day Three are in the future. You know it's coming. But you don't know how Josiah will get there, and you don't know how, and whether, he will get himself out.
But unlike a normal novel--these questions are not already answered for you. YOU make the choices that lead Josiah to that scene. YOU choose the road he takes to get there. And YOU set up the circumstances which will either save him, or doom him.
You have the chance to make choices like this for all the characters. They have personality and dimension of their own--you don't create them from scratch. But you shape them. You can tilt them toward good, or toward evil. You can tilt them toward cooperation, or toward strife.
As these characters enter the town of Affliction, they will be faced with challenges more terrible than they have ever seen before. Beyond the vampires which would feast upon their living flesh, there are worse monsters lurking in the dark which would feast upon their living souls, and beyond those--they must face the darkness inside themselves, and inside each other.
At the end, will they defeat Tezoca, the Bled One? Will they purge the vampires of Affliction? More importantly, will they purge the darkness inside themselves? Or will they succumb, joining the ranks of the damned?
Tell YOUR story. Support the Kickstarter today!
Risks and challenges
There is always potential for unexpected setbacks in any creative project, but things are honestly looking pretty good for "The Good, the Bad and the Undead." The story is almost complete, with the outline and notes fully complete. The art is underway, but the illustrator will not be able to fully hit her stride until funds come in from a successful Kickstarter campaign. And we already have a plan in place for printing and distribution, using extremely reliable, big-name solutions. Barring hell or high water--or vampire attacks--we see no reason why we shouldn't be able to put "The Good, the Bad and the Undead" in your hands in a reasonable time frame.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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