Book of Legends

Online chat has unearthed another open-world gamebook project that launched in 2023, but seems to have hidden beneath the radar for a little while. Book of Legends: The Eternal Empire is the Prologue Volume (that’s book 0 in a projected 10-book series) by Steven W Huggins.

Let’s not deny that a 10-book series is an ambitious undertaking – yet the 200-passage sample has already impressed me. It has a self-contained, explorable region that gives a great introduction to a world of fantastical-extended-Roman-empire that I find pretty original, while also feeling reminiscent of the Sorcery books. A colossal amount of work has gone into preparing the ground for a big series – there are around 50 pages of rules, mechanics and introduction in a 152-page printed copy – and the attention to detail is convincing. Huggins has also used a variety of mechanics – codewords, tickboxes and time-counters – to create an environment that responds and changes as you explores it – which is where the reminiscence to The Seven Serpents particularly comes in.

Online the author talks of being deep into the first volume – and veterans know that when publishing a series, a gamebook author should really be using a formula like (estimated time of writing) x 2 + 2 years. But I think this is one that I will be following…

Speaking of open-world series, Dave Morris is talking of completing the Vulcanverse saga… I’ve been working today on a long series of articles on How to Write an Open-World Gamebook (Series) [link coming when completed!] since they’ve been requested plenty of times, and I haven’t even ventured into the Vulcanverse, let alone mapped them! Book of Legends 0, on the other hand, has been a nice little mapping project.

2 Replies to “Book of Legends”

  1. Oh, that looks interesting! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up! I would never have stumbled across this otherwise!

    1. It’s nice to share 🙂 Somewhere out there, someone recommended Steam Highwayman and a reader who would have never heard of it otherwise stumbled across it!

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