The First Men In The Moon

One thousand new games:

EnterTheStory.com is relaunched as daily online adventures based on classic novels. Instant free play, no Flash or download. A new story added every week, a new chapter every day for the next twenty years, plus user generated content.

Example games:

Available now: Journey to the Center of The Earth, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The First Men In The Moon. Coming next: Romeo and Juliet.

URL: http://enterthestory.com/

Play it now: it only takes a few seconds.

Release date:

Now! (First chapter: Tuesday 21st Feb 2012, then a new chapter every day, a new story every week.)

Platform:

Any browser with JavaScript. No Flash or HTML5 required.

Genre:

Casual: online gamebook. The genre is best known for "Choose Your Own Adventure" but please note, that is a trademark of another company.

Gamebooks are a much older concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamebook.

What's new:

Think "online comics meet Interactive Fiction."

Selling point:

A quick way to explore the classics.

Pricing:

The current story is free. Older stories are archived, and the first half of each story is free. Unlocking online stories is 99c each. $14.99 unlocks all stories, and also allows downloads, including five previous full length games based on classics.

Reviewers:

For unlocking codes, contact chris@enterthestory.com

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ABOUT THE PROJECT:

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The project began in 1997, to create an interactive environment for the world's greatest stories. The technology was not ready, and various engines were created or tried, and experimental games were made. Now with ubiquitous powerful javascript, the original ambition becomes possible.

More history: http://enterthestory.com/test/a/web/about.html#history

The new engine is designed to be very easy to use: easy to play, and easy to create. Anyone can add their own story: the first game is a guide to making your own games. The second game is The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Seven days after release, the next game will be H.G.Wells' The First Men In The Moon. Seven days later, Romeo and Juliet, then The Wizard of Oz, and so on. Stories are released at a chapter a day.

Each player's decisions are recorded, resulting in a score for bravery, intuition or romance. Certificates can be printed and ranks compared.

This is a labor of love. Chris Tolworthy lives in a remote Scottish village, and loves stories. But there are so many classics of world literature and so little time! He figured that others would have the same problem. And being greedy he wanted to be part of the story and make his own decisions, so he invented "Enter The Story."

More about: http://enterthestory.com/a/web/about.html

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NEWS HOOKS:

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"One thousand games"

The first few years will include the complete works of Shakespeare and every book of the Bible.

"They said I was mad"

"Years ago I planned for this to be a thirty year project to make one hundred games. People said I was mad. They were right! Only one hundred?

What was I thinking? So I redesiged the game engine from scratch. There will now be one thousand games in twenty years. Much more sensible." - Chris Tolworthy, developer

"Highbrow game maker shocked at lowbrow customers"

("They're all Lemmings!")

"In making these games, the biggest surprise was the crazed nature of modern players. As a lover of the classics, and the beauty of theor subtle prose and sensitive portrayals of human emotion, I naturally assumed that players would choose the sensible course through each story: to avoid danger and accumulate points for wisdom. But early tests showed that players' favorite occupation was to die horribly! Apparently kids today are not interested in caution. If a story has access to dynamite, they will use it. If the story takes place in outer space, they will open the door without a space suit. I finally gave in to pressure: all stories that could involve a death now allow that choice. If you are very perverse, The First Men In The Moon even allows you to end all life on Earth (as threatened in chapter 2 of the original book). Thankfully, Romeo and Juliet does not allow such recklessness, but I suspect that the swords and poison will be chosen rather more than Shakespeare intended. Kids today.

Wasn't like this when I was young." - Chris Tolworthy, developer

"A tribute to the first adventure game"

In tribute to the first video adventure game, Colossal Cave, the first released new game is Journey to the Center of The Earth.

"How to get parents to read to children: use a computer game"

Think of opposites. You can't get more opposite than the loving parent who reads classic novels to his children each night... and the delinquent parent who plays video games instead. Well that's about to change. Enter The Story is a daily chapter of a classic novel, with simple illustrations, but one difference: the reader make the decisions. The all-ages approach makes these make perfect bedtime stories for intelligent kids like yours: the stories are short, action packed, and force parents and children to discuss choices together. "Tonight we make the journey down a volcano to the center of the Earth. Tomorrow we battle a prehistoric monster. Or do we?" Let the debate begin!  


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