A "Novel" Addition (October 2023)

A "Novel" Addition (October 2023)

Partial screenshot from the BrowserQuests online role-playing game system

Announcing a whole new way to interact with "The Sorrow of Sisla" story--the traditional linear novel! Developed in the same style as the RPG version but strictly a linear read, the new novel addition to the site provides the same multimedia assets (large encounter depictions, thumbnail character depictions, background music and browser-based narration that reads the prose automatically) but doesn't use any of the game play elements. Instead, "readers" simply start with page one and work their way forward without making any choices or influencing the story in any way.

Why a linear novel approach to the story, especially when the RPG version already incorporates a strong story? For starters, there are a lot of folks out there who aren't into RPGs and would welcome the straight, linear, traditional novel approach (our video-based walkthroughs were originally captured for this purpose, but the new novel page is much easier to interact with). Story details can be missed, skipped-over or lost by playing the RPG version as well, so for those who want to know how the story was intended to unfold, the novel version is the perfect way to do that. The new novel approach can also be used by potential authors who may not have the time to develop full-blown RPG modules but would like to leverage the simplified novel-based system to tell their story.

The new novel approach is divided into separate "episodes" that are, essentially, individual segments of the RPG modules. Getting started, the "Vermin Extermination" tutorial module and the "A Sislan Request" module have been divided into four separate initial episodes, now available online (with page-based controls allowing the reader to quickly jump to any page or episode with simply a click or selection). The novel system also doesn't require a login, since there is no actual player data to save; a convenient online cookie does track the user's current page (so it's easy to pick up later where the reader last left off) but returning to a particular page manually is easy to do as well.

As the RPG version of the story currently consists of eight separate modules (plus the initial tutorial), dozens of new episodes will be developed and released over the next several months until the novel version "catches-up" with the RPG modules. Hence, new RPG module development is being temporarily suspended until all the associated novel episodes have been developed and released as well (expect one or two new episodes each week from now until early 2024). Once all of the RPG storyline has been migrated to the novel, then work will resume on Module #9, "Gemcore."

As always, we thank our players for their continued support of BrowserQuests,™ their willingness to report bugs and other issues as they play and for their kind donations to the platform. We're also continuing to solicit marketers, advertisers and organizations looking to leverage our banner ad system to raise awareness of their own brands and generally support what we're doing (see our "Call for Marketers" page for all the details).