Tuesday 1st September 2015


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Your Idea Could Live in the British Library Forever!

Crowdfunding publishers Unbound are running a competition that’s sure to pique your imagination.

The winner will have the unique chance to work with author Yannick Hill to create one of the curious rooms featured in his debut novel, Versailles. 

Versailles is a 100-room mega-mansion set back from the Pacific Ocean and is home to Casey Baer, founder and CEO of the Internet’s pre-eminent social network, and his family. But all is not well in paradise and this is the story of a nuclear family set to explode.

Of Versailles’ 100 rooms, the majority are locked test-chambers for Casey’s ongoing investigation into the human experience. In one room, a crew of actors play out a realistic plane crash on a loop. In another, varsity athletes from around the country come together for career-ending, bare-knuckle brawls.

What happens behind the next closed door? You decide…

To enter and be in with a chance of winning this excellent prize worth £1000 all you need to do is pledge for Versailles before midnight (BST) on 31st August 2015.  The higher you pledge, the more times your name will be entered into the draw.

Second prize gets you two tickets to the launch party once the book gets published. Third prize is a limited-edition Versailles inspired Risograph print created by award-winning illustrator Andrew Groves.

Can’t wait? Get involved now and share your room ideas on Twitter using #VersaillesRoom

Good luck!

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Reaching new audiences for games through great writing

Luke Kelly

PhD analysing the links between literature, film and videogames

“From the outset, we were looking at Christmas Day”, explains Andrew Eades. “Somebody has this new Playstation, the family are sitting down after eating a huge dinner, and that’s when you crack open Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. We’d give them a new option: ‘it’s just like a TV game show, except you get to take part’”.

Andrew is one of the developers behind Buzz! a BAFTA award winning video game that was much-praised for its ability to attract audiences who’d never sat down in front of a console before. He’s since sought to replicate this success with Blue Toad Murder Files, a puzzle game aimed squarely at the Midsomer Murders demographic – with a dose of Carry On style humour for good measure.

The ability of both of these games to reach non-traditional audiences is based partly on writing. Both were carefully scripted in order to appeal to as many Christmas Day family members as possible. Andrew’s belief was that the sort of things families enjoy watching as a group – murder mysteries and quiz shows – they’d also enjoy playing as a group. Trivial Pursuit mixed with Pointless; Cluedo with a dash of Miss Marple; the games Andrew creates are designed to slide seamlessly into those moments so many families enjoy (or indeed endure). Read more »

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