Space Assassin is a single-player roleplaying gamebook written by Andrew Chapman, illustrated by Geoffrey Senior and published in 1985 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series, it is the 12th in the series in the original Puffin series. There are no announced plans to republish the book as part of the modern Wizard series. Space Assassin is a science-fiction scenario in which the hero, a skilled assassin skilled "in the martial arts of twenty-seven different human and alien species," must penetrate the orbiting spaceship of a mad scientist intent on mutating all the life on the world below. To stop him, the hero must fight his way through the madman's mutant cyborgs. Space Assassin is the second Fighting Fantasy book in the science fiction genre, the first being Starship Traveller; the book places the player on the starship Vandervecken, where a crazed scientist named Cyrus plans to unleash a hideous experiment upon the player's homeworld. The player must make their way through the labyrinthine Vandervecken, overcoming robots and other dangerous foes until they confronts the scientist.
If the player manages to defeat him the planet will be saved and the game will end successfully. "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks on gamebooks.org". "Space Assassin on gamebooks.org". "Space Assassin on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on April 3, 2005. CS1 maint: Unfit url
The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research. Referred to during development as the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, it was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's colour display, compared with the black and white of its predecessor, the ZX81; the Spectrum was released as eight different models, ranging from the entry level with 16 KB RAM released in 1982 to the ZX Spectrum +3 with 128 KB RAM and built in floppy disk drive in 1987. The Spectrum was among the first mainstream-audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the US; the introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen. Some credit it as the machine. Licensing deals and clones followed, earned Clive Sinclair a knighthood for "services to British industry"; the Commodore 64, Dragon 32, Oric-1, Oric Atmos, BBC Micro and the Amstrad CPC range were rivals to the Spectrum in the UK market during the early 1980s.
While the machine was discontinued in 1992, new software titles continue to be released – over 40 so far in 2018. The Spectrum is based on a Zilog Z80 A CPU running at 3.5 MHz. The original model has 16 KB of ROM and either 16 KB or 48 KB of RAM. Hardware design was by Richard Altwasser of Sinclair Research, the outward appearance was designed by Sinclair's industrial designer Rick Dickinson. Video output is through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary television sets, for a simple colour graphic display. Text can be displayed using 32 columns × 24 rows of characters from the ZX Spectrum character set or from a set provided within an application, from a palette of 15 shades: seven colours at two levels of brightness each, plus black; the image resolution is 256×192 with the same colour limitations. To conserve memory, colour is stored separate from the pixel bitmap in a low resolution, 32×24 grid overlay, corresponding to the character cells. In practice, this means that all pixels of an 8x8 character block share one foreground colour and one background colour.
Altwasser received a patent for this design. An "attribute" consists of a foreground and a background colour, a brightness level and a flashing "flag" which, when set, causes the two colours to swap at regular intervals; this scheme leads to what was dubbed colour clash or attribute clash, where a desired colour of a specific pixel could not be selected. This became a distinctive feature of the Spectrum, meaning programs games, had to be designed around this limitation. Other machines available around the same time, for example the Amstrad CPC or the Commodore 64, did not suffer from this limitation; the Commodore 64 used colour attributes in a similar way, but a special multicolour mode, hardware sprites and hardware scrolling were used to avoid attribute clash. Sound output is through a beeper on the machine itself, capable of producing one channel with 10 octaves. Software was available that could play two channel sound; the machine includes an expansion bus edge connector and 3.5 mm audio in/out ports for the connection of a cassette recorder for loading and saving programs and data.
The "ear" port has a higher output than the "mic" and is recommended for headphones, with "mic" for attaching to other audio devices as line in. It was manufactured in Scotland, in the now closed Timex factory; the machine's Sinclair BASIC interpreter is stored in ROM and was written by Steve Vickers on contract from Nine Tiles Ltd. The Spectrum's chiclet keyboard is marked with BASIC keywords. For example, pressing "G" when in programming mode would insert the BASIC command GO TO; the BASIC interpreter was developed from that used on the ZX81 and a ZX81 BASIC program can be typed into a Spectrum unmodified, but Spectrum BASIC included many extra features making it easier to use. The ZX Spectrum character set was expanded from that of the ZX81, which did not feature lower-case letters. Spectrum BASIC included extra keywords for the more advanced display and sound, supported multi-statement lines; the cassette interface was much more advanced and loading around five times faster than the ZX81, unlike the ZX81, the Spectrum could maintain the TV display during tape storage and retrieval operations.
As well as being able to save programs, the Spectrum could save the contents of arrays, the contents of the screen memory, the contents of any defined range of memory addresses. Rick Dickinson came up with a number of designs for the "ZX82" project before the final ZX Spectrum design. A number of the keyboard legends changed during the design phase including ARC becoming CIRCLE, FORE becoming INK and BACK becoming PAPER; the Spectrum reused a number of design elements of the ZX81: The ROM code for things such as floating point calculations and expression parsing were similar. The simple keyboard decoding and cassette interfaces were nearly identical; the central ULA integrated circuit was somewhat similar although it implemented the major enhancement over the ZX81: A hardware based television raster generator that indirectly gave the new machine four times as much processing power as the ZX81 due to the Z80 now being released from this video generation task. A bug in the ULA as designed
Russ Nicholson is a British illustrator, best known for his black and white fantasy art. Russ studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland which became part of Dundee University, he moved to England in the 1970s where, save for a brief sojourn in Papua New Guinea, he's lived and worked since. Russ has contributed to many notable game-related titles, such as The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the illustrated series of Fighting Fantasy game books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, he illustrated many creatures in the original UK contribution to the first edition of the Fiend Folio Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game book, the six original published "episodes" of'The Fabled Lands' created by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, numerous Games Workshop products, including Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Warhammer 40,000 and in their magazine White Dwarf. For over forty years Russ has produced work for a wide range of companies and publishers, including Puffin, Collins and Stoughton, TSR, Games Workshop, Hoggshead Publishing, DC Thomson, Le Grimoire and Scriptarium.
His work has been reproduced in over twenty countries. He spent many years as college art lecturer. In addition, he drew the album cover for Blackbird Raum. Russ Nicholson's blog "Russ Nicholson:: Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on 1 January 2009.1
Iain McCaig is an artist and filmmaker. He was involved in the Star Wars franchise and many other iconic film and book projects, including an album cover for Jethro Tull's'Broadsword and the Beast'. McCaig was born in Santa Monica, but spent most of his younger years in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, he moved to Great Britain and attended the Glasgow School of Art. But returned one summer to California work at Korty Films, where he contributed to Sesame Street cartoons and a trailer for the 1983 animated film Twice Upon a Time. Returning to the UK, he began a career as a freelance illustrator. In 1990, he returned to California to work for Industrial Light and Magic and for Lucasfilm. During that time, he directed his first professional film, a 1998 short called The Face, which won multiple awards, including the Year 2000 Notable Video from the American Library Association. In film, McCaig is best known for designing the Star Wars characters Padmé Amidala and Darth Maul and has contributed key designs to many of the films in the Star Wars franchise, including Episodes I, II, III, VII.
At a 2016 speaking engagement at Academy of Art University, McCaig revealed that the original plan for Padmé's character was for her to kill Anakin Skywalker to start a galactic revolution. This part of the script was changed by George Lucas. Among his other credits are Terminator 2, Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Charlotte's Web, Peter Pan, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Spiderwick Chronicles, John Carter of Mars, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Jungle Book, he was Co-Producer and Concept Design Director on Outlander. In October 2008, a book of McCaig's work, Shadowline: The Art of Iain McCaig, was released; the book is a combination of mini-art classes, an allegorical novella on McCaig's creative process, a retrospective of 28 years of his film and personal work. McCaig has taught drawing and storytelling publicly and for most of his career, he is the author of Concept Design for the Gnomon Workshop. In 2014, McCaig received the Spectrum Award for Grand Master.
McCaig's daughter, Mishi is a film artist, having contributed to Iron Man and John Carter of Mars, as well as producing her own short film work. Iain and Mishi were both involved in the production of the Discovery Channel series Dinosaur Revolution, his son, Inigo, is an artist. McCaig lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with his wife, Leonor. Iain McCaig IMDB Page The Gnomon Workshop Artist Interview With Iain McCaig Iain McCaig: The Art Of Visual Storytelling The Art of Iain McCaig
Talisman of Death
Talisman of Death is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Jamie Thomson and Mark Smith, illustrated by Bob Harvey and published in 1984 by Puffin Books. It was republished by Wizard Books in 2006, it forms part of Steve Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 11th in 24th in the modern Wizard series. Talisman of Death is a fantasy scenario in which the hero must destroy the Talisman of Death before the dark lord's minions can use it to unleash Death upon the world of the Orb; the player is given a mission to protect the world of Orb from the "Evil One", by protecting the Talisman of Death. Unlike most other Fighting Fantasy books, the player is presented as an ordinary person from Earth, drawn into the world of Orb by the will of the gods. In this book the player is given the task of protecting the Talisman of Death; the player must find a way of returning to their own world with the Talisman, thus depriving the god Death of the Talisman forever. Talisman of Death is the only Fighting Fantasy gamebook set in the fantasy world of Orb, a creation of Thomson and Smith for their Way of the Tiger series of gamebooks.
The majority of the story is spent in the city of "Greyguilds-on-the-moor". Characters that appear in Talisman of Death, such as Tyutchev and Thaum appear in the Way of the Tiger series. Bob Harvey reprises his role as the illustrator of the series. Smith's Virtual Reality volume The Coils of Hate featured an appearance by Tyutchev the swordsman. "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks on gamebooks.org". "Talisman of Death on gamebooks.org". "Talisman of Death on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on November 27, 2005. Official sites: "Talisman of Death on the official Fighting Fantasy website". Archived from the original on 2007-04-11. "Talisman of Death on the Wizard Books website". Archived from the original on 2006-05-09. Magazines: "Open Box". White Dwarf: 6–7. June 1985
White Dwarf (magazine)
White Dwarf is a magazine published by British games manufacturer Games Workshop, which has long served as a promotions and advertising platform for Games Workshop and Citadel Miniatures products. During the first ten years of its publication, it covered a wide variety of fantasy and science-fiction role-playing games and board games the role playing games Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, RuneQuest and Traveller; these games were all distributed by Games Workshop stores. The magazine underwent a major change in content in the late 1980s, it is now dedicated to the miniature wargames produced by Games Workshop. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone produced a newsletter called Owl and Weasel, which ran for twenty-five issues from February 1975 before it evolved into White Dwarf. Scheduled for May/June 1977, White Dwarf was first published one month later; the magazine had a bimonthly schedule, with an initial print run of 4,000. White Dwarf continued the fantasy and science fiction role-playing and board-gaming theme developed in Owl and Weasel.
Due to the increase in available space, there was an opportunity to produce reviews and scenarios to a greater depth than had been possible in Owl and Weasel. During the early 1980s the magazine focused in the'big three' role playing games of the time: AD&D, RuneQuest and Traveller. In addition to this a generation of writers passed through its offices and onto other RPG projects in the next decade, such as Phil Masters and Marcus L. Rowland. One huge attraction of the magazine was its incorporation of mini-game scenarios, capable of completion in a single night's play, rather than the mega-marathon games typical of the off the shelf campaigns; this would be in the form of an attractive and interesting single task for either existing or new characters to resolve. These could either be slipped into existing campaign plots, or be used stand-alone, just for a fun evening, were grasped by those familiar with RPG rules. During this period the magazine included lots of features such as the satirical comic strip Thrud the Barbarian and Dave Langford's "Critical Mass" book review column, as well as a comical advertising series "The Androx Diaries", always had cameos and full scenarios for a broad selection of the most popular games of the time, as well as a more rough and informal editorial style.
In the mid-late 1980s, there was a repositioning from being a general periodical covering all aspects and publishers within the hobby niche to a focus exclusively on Games Workshop's own products and publications. The last Dungeons and Dragons article appeared in issue 93, with the changeover being complete by issue #102. In this respect it took over some of the aspects of the Citadel Journal, an intermittent publication that supported the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game; the magazine has always been a conduit for new rules and ideas for GW games as well as a means to showcase developments. It includes scenarios, hobby news, photos of released miniatures and tips on building terrain and constructing or converting miniatures. Grombrindal the White Dwarf is a special character for the Dwarf army, whose rules are published only in certain issues of White Dwarf, it is never stated who the White Dwarf is, but it is implied that he is the spirit of Snorri Whitebeard, the last king of the Dwarfs to receive respect from an Elf.
The image of the White Dwarf has graced the covers of many issues of the magazine. The image was used on the character sheet for the Dwarf character in HeroQuest. In December 2004, White Dwarf published its 300th issue. In the United Kingdom and North America; each issue contained many special "freebies" as well as articles on the history of the magazine and the founding of Games Workshop. The monthly battle reports are a regular feature. Battle reports detail a battle between two or more forces with their own specific victory conditions; the reports follow the gamers through their army selection and deployment, through the battle to their respective conclusions. The format varies - ranging from a simplified, generalized style to a more detailed and visual style; the page count of the US and UK publications was different with substantial differences in actual amount of content and each magazine had substantial overlap with the other as well as unique articles. In June 2010 Andrew Kenrick replaced Mark Latham as editor.
Andrew had been sub-editor, as well as sub-editing other Games Workshop material such as the most recent edition of Codex: Space Marines. As of the October 2012 issue, White Dwarf has been redesigned with a new 9 member production staff with Matthew Hutson, Kris Shield and Andrew Kenrick continuing from the previous version and 6 new members including Jes Bickham as the new editor. Jes has edited the Battle Games in Middle-earth magazine. On 1 February 2014, White Dwarf moved to a weekly release; the final monthly issue of White Dwarf was issue #409 released in January. Warhammer Visions, a new monthly title produced by the same team was launched at the same time, in a format favoring the imagery over the text. In 2016 however, White Dwarf returned to its original format, increasing in size to make up for the three fewer issues per month, the death of Warhammer Visions. In the early 1980s, mail-order subscriber copies of White Dwarf received a small companion magazine Black Sun edited by Steve Williams, with
Fighting Fantasy is a series of single-player role-playing gamebooks created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. The first volume in the series was published in paperback by Puffin in 1982; the series distinguished itself by mixing Choose Your Own Adventure-style storytelling with a dice-based role-playing element included within the books themselves. The caption on many of the covers claimed each title was an adventure "in which YOU are the hero!" The majority of the titles followed a fantasy theme, although science fiction, post-apocalyptic and modern horror gamebooks were published. The popularity of the series led to the creation of merchandise such as action figures, board games, role-playing game systems, magazines and video games. Puffin ended the series in 1995, but the rights to the series were purchased by Wizard Books in 2002. Wizard published new editions of the original books and commissioned six new books over two series, ending in 2012; the rights were acquired by Scholastic in 2017, which has since published two new titles and reissued ten of the original books with new artwork.
The main text of each gamebook does not progress in a linear fashion, but rather is divided into a series of numbered sections. Beginning at the first section, the reader must pick one of a series of options provided by the text, each option being detailed at a separate non-sequential numbered section which in turn provides an outcome for the option chosen; the book continues in this fashion until their character is killed in combat, is stopped by the story, or completes the story. “Fighting Fantasy gamebooks empower the reader, who felt the anxiety or joy of being fantasy heroes themselves – they lived or died by their decisions. And if at first you don’t succeed and try again,” said Ian Livingstone of the format; the typical Fighting Fantasy gamebook tasks players with completing a quest. A successful play ends with the player reaching the final numbered section of the book. In some cases this can only be achieved by obtaining various story items. All Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are illustrated, including full-page pieces and smaller, repeated images scattered throughout the book as breaks or space fillers between sections.
Regular contributors included Les Edwards, Terry Oakes, Russ Nicholson, Leo Hartas, Ian Miller, John Blanche, Martin McKenna, Iain McCaig. Each Fighting Fantasy gamebook requires the reader to create their character, randomly assigning scores to three statistics. These, in conjunction with rolling six-sided dice, are used to resolve skill challenges and the combat sections; some titles use conflict resolution mechanics. Most early Fighting Fantasy titles were set in locations revealed to be on the same continent called Allansia. On a whole world named Titan was developed with subsequent gamebooks set on three main continents - Allansia and the Old World. Other titles are set in unrelated fantasy, modern day, sci-fi environments. In 1980, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone attended a Games Day, after meeting with a Penguin Books editor Geraldine Cook decided to create a series of single-player gamebooks, their first submission, The Magic Quest, was a short adventure intended to demonstrate the style of game.
The Magic Quest was accepted by Penguin, although the authors devoted a further six months to expanding and improving upon their original concept. The end result was The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and, after several rewrites, the book was accepted and published in 1982 under Penguin's children's imprint, Puffin Books. Following the success of this title and Livingstone began writing individually to create additional Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. In 1983, The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom were published, by Jackson and Livingstone respectively. Four more titles followed: Starship Traveller, City of Thieves, Deathtrap Dungeon and Island of the Lizard King. In 1984, a decision was made to hire more writers to continue the series: Steve Jackson was the first, followed by others such as Andrew Chapman, Carl Sargent, Marc Gascoigne, Peter Darvill-Evans. Jackson and Livingstone, continued to be involved and approved all cover and internal illustrations within the UK. Jackson wrote a self-contained four-part series titled Steve Jackson's Sorcery!, which combined the use of combat and sorcery, introduced the continent known as the Old World.
These featured dice images at the bottom of each page, making it possible for the player to randomly flip through the pages for the equivalent of a dice roll. Andrew Chapman and Martin Allen wrote a two-book, two-player adventure titled Clash of the Princes. There were several supplemental books produced that provided more information about the Fighting Fantasy universe, including a comprehensive bestiary of monsters and a sample adventure. Although the Fighting Fantasy titles had successful sales the increasing dominance of video games in the 1990s caused a gradual decline; the series was scheduled to conclude with Return to Firetop Mountain, but due to strong sale