My DestinyQuest adventure began last year, when I tentatively self-published the first novel in the series, The Legion of Shadow. I’ll always remember when my books finally arrived from the printers and I held one for the first time thinking ‘wow, I actually did it.’ But then, once the heady euphoria had abated, I was left with a sudden and overwhelming feeling of dread (what you would probably term an ‘OMG moment’), which I’m sure most self-published authors experience when they realise the shocking enormity of the task ahead – how on earth do I sell this? How do I make people aware that this book even exists? I had visions of unsold boxes of DestinyQuest in my garage… the hallway, the study, the bedroom, the office, the loo…
But I was lucky. DestinyQuest turned into a success story. In fact, I sold out of my first print-run in record time and had to promptly dig deep for a second to keep up with the demand. It was a lot of effort, money and hard work, but I couldn’t have achieved any of the success if it hadn’t been for the online community backing me. It’s a stark reminder of the power of the Internet, that nowadays you’re never truly alone – if you have a product, an idea, something to say, something to share, then there will always be an audience ready to listen. A community.
Now, over a year later, I’m sitting at my computer and typing this – a blog on someone else’s blog, featuring bloggers who have blogged, now blogged by me. It’s almost “mind-bloggling.”
Indeed, you could say we’ve come full circle – especially as a brand new ‘special edition’ of the book is now hitting shelves. I’m incredibly excited (and a little nervous) all over again. But this time is different. As well as having the experienced Gollancz team helping me every step of the way, I also know that I have a fantastic group of bloggers already out there cheering me on. It’s another OMG moment, but thankfully for different reasons.
And so, to draw this mini-series to a close, it’s time to hear from another DQ ‘super fan’ – Scott Malthouse. As well as running his own website Trollish Delver, Scott also writes and publishes rpg systems and gamebooks. He also gave me a great review of DestinyQuest.
1. Can you briefly tell us a bit about yourself and your gaming background? I’ve been gaming for most of my life, starting with fantasy gamebooks and then moving to tabletop roleplaying games. I now run Trollish Delver, a blog that covers RPGs, gamebooks and comics as well as being a small print publisher. I write Tunnels and Trolls adventures and I have also written a roleplaying system called USR (Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying). I’m currently writing a series of roleplaying games based on the USR system.
2. What convinced you to give DestinyQuest a try? The thing that really convinced me was the sheer scale of the book, with multiple classes, careers and a Diablo-esque loot system. Also, it was the biggest gamebook I’d ever seen. It’s a behemoth!
3. What makes DestinyQuest different to other gamebooks you have read/played? Where to begin! I think the biggest difference is the sheer customisability of the whole thing. While other gamebooks have a basic amount of character customisation, DestinyQuest turns it up to eleven when it comes to how you want your character to turn out. I also love how it’s only semi-linear; you get to choose which quests you do and when, giving you freedom to do as you please. Oh, and the awesome colour maps are a nice addition too!
4. Can you tell us a bit about your DQ hero? I decided to go Rogue for the DPS for my first character. I love stabby, evasive characters. As a career I went swordmaster, with a nice amount of speed and brawn that lets me get my hits in first and pack a punch too. I decked myself in some Nightwalker gear (a great set for rogue heroes), which gives you the gutripper ability that pretty much swings the whole fight in your favour.
5. What are your favourite DQ combat strategies? Pretty basic really, do as much damage to the opponent before they can strike back. Moves like gutripper, first cut and cat’s speed are all good ways to achieve this, as well as having a high speed rating, letting you win more rounds of combat.
6. What is your favourite item of loot and why? Nightwalker chest and gloves. Gutripper!
7. What advice would you give to new DQ players? Don’t be afraid of dying – you can just respawn! If in doubt, go for it!
8. In a sound bite, why should readers give DestinyQuest: The Legion of Shadow a try – even if they’ve never picked up a gamebook before? If you like strategy, fantasy or even MMORPGs, you’ll find something to love in DestinyQuest. Soon you’ll be getting lost in your own imagination – and trying to get hold of all that awesome loot!
A big thank you to Scott and the other DQ fans who have taken the time to answer questions. I hope this mini-series has given you an insight into what DestinyQuest is all about. If you want to find out more about the books, then pop over to the official website: www.destiny-quest.com There is also an active community forum, so if you have any questions, I’m sure someone will have an answer!