BtMM Volume Two: January update

With 2017 now well under way I thought it was time to post an update on what’s happening with development of Volume Two of Beyond the Morning Mountains.
The planning process for this second book has been significantly more complex than that of the first, as I am now incorporating all of the found or bought items from Volume One that will be of use and/or importance at some point during the second part of your adventure. This also includes the existing and new RARE items, which will play a much larger role in Volume Two, and offer some unique gameplay options for those carrying specific items in certain places, and for particular encounters. I’ve created the five new RARE items (and illustrated two of them – see the preview below) and am constantly adding further gameplay features around them to make their optional inclusion fully worthwhile.
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Volume Two will be quite different to Volume One, especially due to its extensive forest and mountain environments – where many and varied unseen dangers lurk – and also owing to the changeable weather found within this part of Quahnarren. Most players will be tested during their adventure, suffering serious health loss and finding themselves caught in difficult circumstances, and I expect that it should be rather challenging at times!
I’ve added a number of new creatures, monsters and spirits to Volume Two, and some of those listed in Volume One‘s Creature Compendium, that never actually made an appearance, will now emerge from the wilds to make your journey increasingly demanding. I’m currently intending to illustrate everything in the expanded Creature Compendium for Volume Two, however, this will add quite a bit of work to the schedule, so I’ll see if that’s still an achievable aim later on this year.
Below are previews of three new section illustrations, including the agile and aggressive Elluanxa spider, and the two-headed Ghubben (which has already been added to this site’s Creatures page).
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I’ve recently completed the design and layout for the town of Liust; your desired destination on the south-eastern coastline. An article describing the history of, and places of interest within this seaside settlement will be included alongside this map in the bonus pages following the adventure. Here’s a small preview of the map:
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Also, I added two new items to different sections of the site not too long ago.
The Great Gathering of Principled People (Major Events page) describes how a rise in civil disobedience and minor disturbances led to Quahnarren’s current system of governance, and the establishment and selection of the seven Wardens that uphold the nation’s laws. The following map showing the geographical areas of responsibility will also feature in the back of Volume Two, together with an article describing these seven Wardens and individual portrait illustrations of each person. Warden Durvanne of the south-western area is shown below.
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And, within the ‘Beyond the Morning Mountains’ gamebook page you’ll now find a ToQ Battle Process tab, which is a full ‘how to play’ example showing an encounter between the fearsome Makkhra (the cover star of Volume One) and myself. I’ve added this visual guide to show the Battle Process in full and to further explain the flow of my system. This isn’t something I’d ever desired to include within the book, but this website allows the opportunity to easily add such a detailed example, illustrating how to correctly use a Battle Box and the Momentum Sequence.
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I’ll be posting many more illustration previews during 2017, and will also detail anything that I believe may be of interest as I continue to write and illustrate this second gamebook. If you have any requests for specific information or simply wish to share your thoughts, please add a reply to this post or send me an email via the address listed in the About tab.

NEW black & white edition now available

A more affordable, black & white edition of Volume One is now available to purchase. This softcover book features exactly the same content as the full-colour version, and is also the same 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback size. You can see from the images above (taken outside in the garden) that all of the colour maps and illustrations have been suitably adjusted to match the specific requirements of mono printing – I’m happy with how they present here, and know that this cheaper version of the book will please many who wish to play the adventure with a printed copy.

Volume One of ‘Beyond the Morning Mountains’ turns to 400

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An important milestone has just been reached: the layout of Volume One has now been completed, and with the guidance of the gamebook gods to help it finally emerge in finished form, the overall page count has arrived at that most significant of all numbers – 400!
Four illustrations still remain to be completed, and the links are not yet set, but the progress made recently means that it’s now in the home straight and rapidly reaching the finish line. The layout process has been quite lengthy, as I’ve reread the book again and updated a few written sections that didn’t exactly capture the moment that I had envisaged, and I’ve subsequently then picked up a few minor errors, various typos and general inconsistencies that had frustratingly avoided detection until now.

December update and art preview

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As 2015 comes to a close, progress continues on Volume One of Beyond the Morning Mountains and its upcoming release is within sight! All writing is complete, the time-consuming editing and checking process is now done, and plenty of illustrations have been finished.
Above you can see a partial preview of a few new illustrations. The total of images to feature in Volume One has continued to rise throughout the development period as I balance the overall book and provide the level of visual content that I believe the project demands. As of now, the book will feature a total of 45 full-page illustrations – a significant increase over my initial aim of just 25!

Volume One of Beyond the Morning Mountains written!

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My first Tales of Quahnarren gamebook has now been written. Volume One of Beyond the Morning Mountains consists of 1000 sections and over 145,000 words, growing from what was originally planned as a ‘large’ project to an absolute behemoth – and it’s only half of the full adventure!
From the initial conception for a gamebook series, I was always prepared to simply write what I wanted, without technical or creative constraints hampering my ideas or plot lines. Volume One has steadfastly refused to be hobbled or simplified, repeatedly increasing in scope and detail as the writing process continued to evolve naturally. I’m really pleased with the construction of the finished text, as the opportunities for exploring this ancient land of Quahnarren are plentiful, engaging and often brutally dangerous.
Now I just have to complete the proofreading, editing and play testing; illustrate the remaining colour images; renumber all the sections; finish setting the page layout; create the hyperlinks for the pdf version; and check, check, check again. So, only a few more tasks before completion …