Welcome to the new decade – the 20th year of the 3rd millennium – and (more importantly) to this freshly upgraded and visually enhanced version of Gamebook News!
Five years ago J. Pingo Lindstrom, GBN’s founder and Executive Editor, revisited the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook: Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s classic The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Given to him as a Christmas gift, TWoFM was the first gamebook Pingo ever played, and eventually inspired him to finally create his own gamebook adventure, which was self-published in January 2016. In searching for online opportunities to promote his own books and games, Pingo quickly discovered that there were no consolidated, dedicated news sites publishing articles about new gamebooks and the broader genre of interactive fiction, so he started one himself.
Pingo’s embryonic website was little more than a humble blog of limited scope, lacking the visual presentation, structure and news frequency that was desired, and deemed necessary, by the new Managing Editor, Michael Reilly; another self-published gamebook creator who was keen to see GBN thrive. The website has since evolved in its content and structure, gaining a new WordPress theme, new plugins and a raft of professional strategies, such as an agreed approach to direction, standards and features; a journalistic agenda; and the addition of relevant advertising – all focussed on growing GBN so that it can become the genre’s news authority.
To celebrate the beginning of the new year, we start 2020 with a design revamp, boldly branding the website with a new identity system that aims to capture some of the vibrancy of the choice-based adventures we all love to play. The GBN logotype is the main element of our new identity, designed to operate within the masthead area as an artwork container for a rotating selection of gamebook images, and will therefore appear in different forms/colours, although our chosen colour is a very dark blue.
Additionally, we’ve recently implemented an improved system for displaying popular categories, making it much easier for readers to locate favourite and similar content on GBN, and to then easily explore specific types, formats and individual creators of interactive fiction. There’s plenty more happening behind the scenes too (such as improving loading times!) and you’ll soon see some new graphics appearing on specific article headers and in the side panels on the desktop version, as we continue to roll out the full application of our logo and supporting strategies.
All of these changes will help us to deliver a service that is even more professional, and therefore appropriately relevant for consumers, creators and marketers. In the years to come we hope to add further features and new beneficial ways to interact with GBN, and to expand the site’s worldwide reach by publishing a broader range of material from a greater number of enthusiastic contributors.
Thanks to all who have visited the site during our relatively short history so far (whether only once, occasionally or frequently), and a special thank you to those who have taken the time to comment on posts or provide valuable feedback, or have favourably promoted our content and service on social media or elsewhere. It is noticed and appreciated. Don’t forget to add your voice to GBN as either an active reader or a content contributor (see here for more info) – you’re more than welcome to join us if you share our passion and wish to get involved.
We hope that interactive storytelling experiences of all types – digital or analogue – will continue their recent rise in popularity and become even further accepted as exciting, inclusive and profitable mainstream products suited to a wide audience. It’s our goal to assist this renaissance by promoting and discussing the genre as best we can, and on our journey in doing so, you’ll read all about it here at Gamebook News.