What’s better than choose-your-own-ending gamebooks? FREE choose-your-own-ending gamebooks! This project will fund an 80-page Chooseomatic book that will be given away in game shops as part of Free RPG Day on June 21st. It will contain roughly a third of our upcoming full-length release, Time Travel Dinosaur.
Free RPG Day is an annual event designed to promote gaming and get new players into their local game shops. Depending on the level of funding, we’ll print between 700 and 7,000 copies, which will be distributed to participating game shops and handed out completely free of charge as part of this year’s event. We’re a small publisher, and although our books have been available through game shops since 2010, most people don’t even know we’re here. For us, this promotion means getting on the radar of hundreds of new sales outlets, and getting books into the hands of potentially THOUSANDS of new readers.
What’s in it for me?
Other than the opportunity to make free books happen and spread joy to the world via the magic of branching-path adventure? This Kickstarter is your first chance to order Time Travel Dinosaur and my webcomic collection, Conspiracy Friends Volume One (both released on July 1st). You can also get copies of the first two Chooseomatics (Zombocalypse Now and Thrusts of Justice), and all profits go to funding our Free RPG Day book.
There are also some fun extras, like my adorable short story Tiny Quest, and the anthology Roms, Bombs and Zoms (which includes a story by me). If we meet our stretch goals to increase the free book’s print run, there are additional goodies as well!
Will the promotional book just be some cheap throwaway?
No way! The 80-page portion we’ve selected (titled Time Travel Dinosaur: Mesozoic Mayhem) functions as a self-contained adventure, so readers will be able to enjoy it as a stand-alone book. It will be printed as a glossy-covered trade paperback by the same manufacturer that produces our full-length titles. It makes for a bit of an ambitious (and expensive) giveaway, but we think it will give readers a really good taste of what Chooseomatic Books is about.
Chooseomatic Books are epic, novel-length branching path adventures in the style of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure series. But for grown-ups! Here are the books you can choose from as rewards for funding this project:
Time Travel Dinosaur: Peel yourself off the space-time continuum and prevent a time-traveling lunatic from destroying the one TRUE timeline (you know, the one where people evolved from DINOSAURS). Visit prehistoric times, medieval Europe, the steampunk 1800s, and a moon base in 2271 (and potentially be stranded in any of them, if your decisions are particularly awful). Reach one of 76 possible endings, or get stuck in a time loop and literally read this book FOREVER.
Thrusts of Justice: Be one of three super-powered heroes! Die one of 81 humiliating deaths! A mysterious doomsday plot is afoot, and it’s up to you to save the world (or go villain and crush it under your heel — justice isn’t right for everyone). Thrusts of Justice is written as one big mystery, so when you inevitably choose poorly and die horribly, you’ll learn a little bit about what’s really going on. That way you can make wiser choices next time. (But still die horribly. Seriously, this thing has heaps of humiliating deaths.)
Zombocalypse Now: The book that started it all. You play as a stuffed bunny in the zombie apocalypse, with 112 possible endings (at least seven in which you don’t die!). You’ll be confronted with undead hordes, internet dating, improper police procedure, and the very real possibility that you’ll lose your grip on reality and wind up chewing the carpets. Also, ZOMBIE POLAR BEARS.
Conspiracy Friends Volume One: Warrantless wiretapping! Brainwashed CIA assassins! Lady Gaga clones! Bigfoot (sort of)! Conspiracy Friends Volume One: Clandestine Maneuvers in the Dark includes the first six chapters of my secret webcomic, as well as an exclusive 5-page story only available in this collection. (Which I haven’t drawn yet. Which is why this book won’t be out until July).
Our base funding goal allows us to print 700 copies of the promo book and send one to each of the 700 participating game shops to use as an in-store demo copy. But we're hoping we can do better!
If we meet the first stretch goal, we can up our commitment to 2,100, and each store will get 3 copies to give away to customers. BONUS: Every backer receiving physical rewards will get the Free RPG Day giveaway as well. (If you’re already getting the full version of Time Travel Dinosaur this will be a bit redundant, so maybe give the promo book to a friend?)
At this point we can up our commitment and print 3,500 copies! That’s 5 copies for each shop to give away. BONUS: Every backer gets a PC/Mac/Linux/Android copy of The Wizard from Tarnath Tor from Tin Man Games! These guys did the app edition of Zombocalypse Now, and they're amazing!
If we hit this funding goal we can go all out and print 7,000 total books (that’s 10 copies for each participating shop). BONUS: Every backer gets a digital copy of “U, Robot,” the interactive story I wrote for Jerry Belich’s awesome Choosatron machine!
Risks and challenges
The Free RPG Day book is finished, and ready to send to our regular printer as soon as we know how many copies to order. Barring some unforeseen natural disaster or factory explosion, if this Kickstarter is funded there will ABSOLUTELY be free copies in game shops on June 21st.
The worst thing that could possibly happen after that would be for the full version of Time Travel Dinosaur and the Conspiracy Friends collection to miss their scheduled July 1st release date. Time Travel Dinosaur is written, and in the editing and illustration phase now, so I don’t anticipate any problems. And Conspiracy Friends is primarily material that’s already been produced for the website, so it that should be smooth sailing as well!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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