Comments on Arthur B's Kickstopper: Holy Crap Ferretbrain, This Book Is Already Awesome

Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be Kickstarter project is assessed.

Comments (go to latest)
Alice at 21:49 on 2013-08-26
Okay, this sounds ridiculously entertaining, and I'm slightly sorry I missed the Kickstarter while it was still going.

But it looks like the book's available on Amazon for non-backers, hooray!
Janne Kirjasniemi at 13:21 on 2013-08-27
This sounds wonderful and Ryan North has been consistently funny in almost everything he does, so now I will have to sacrifice my financial stability, because I was too foolish to back this thing when the kicking was still in progress. Oh well, I would've wasted the money anyways.

BTW I have to say that the Adventure Time comics are probably the best comic book that I've read in a while. The stories are awesome, but the comic keeps on using the whole comic form to do awesome meta stuff. For which North's work with the Dinosaur Comics is no doubt a big help.
Fin at 14:32 on 2013-08-27
I'm still waiting to receive my physical copies of the books (like you, I took the totally sweet tier), but I've been hugely enjoying the ebook versions while I wait. I also wanted to read the paper version first but its been a couple of weeks and I am weak-willed.

My first time playing I wound up killing terrorists in England as Ophelia. :D I went with the canonical version of events after that because North's writing style is so hilarious and I couldn't resist seeing how he handled the original play. I think my favourite scene is Ophelia's funeral: "Then you hop into the grave, joining Laertes there. Why not? Emotions are a competition, right? [...] And with that, you fight! That's right. You and Laertes fight, in a graveyard, during a funeral, in an OPEN GRAVE, with the coffin of Ophelia at your feet. This is how you choose to live your life."

Ferretbrain, do you have any ideas?


=D!

(Caveat: Ferretbrain, I will probably ignore your ideas unless they especially please me. Mine is not an open-source body.)


... D:

Ryan is just a funny guy and I love writing his stuff


To Be or Not to Be... ghost-written by Arthur B?! =O
Arthur B at 16:58 on 2013-08-27
... D:

Hey, I never said what pleases me. You might have a lucky guess.
Melanie at 08:00 on 2013-08-31
This... actually looks amazing enough that I ordered it, just now, on the strength of this review.

Also, you should put the "Whatever" sticker on your forehead, behind your hair. Then, when the time is right, you can flip your hair back to reveal Utahraptor.

T-Rex of course should be placed so that he's peeking out of somewhere, like the edge of a sleeve.
Arthur B at 16:12 on 2013-08-31
Also, you should put the "Whatever" sticker on your forehead, behind your hair. Then, when the time is right, you can flip your hair back to reveal Utahraptor.

That's a real possibility, and my front hair is actually long enough to cnceal it at the moment, though it'd also end up covering my eyes like that which I don't enjoy.

T-Rex of course should be placed so that he's peeking out of somewhere, like the edge of a sleeve.

That idea is viable and will go into consideration.
Melanie at 03:53 on 2013-09-07
Oh, this is fantastic!

...and I swear to God there will be a method to your madness if it kills me.


Yes, fourth wall snark, good. :)

I'm trying to stay on the Shakespeare path (Okay, after thoroughly exploring the "be a ghost" option!), but I keep getting sidetracked by all the fascinating alternate paths, which I think means it's a raging success as a choose-your-ow... "chooseable-path adventure", too.

what he calls the "five-fingered bookmark" - keeping a finger in the book at particular decision points as a sort of ersatz "saved game" so they can go back later on in they made the wrong choice.


I've always used a bunch of bits of paper for that, because I always want to see all the paths and all the outcomes--if the book's fun to read then why would I just not read the whole thing, right? I think what the format really calls for isn't regular bookmarks per se, but a pack of those narrow sticky notes, preferably a little transparent, so you can put one over each choice you've picke and have it sticking out a little and then just flip through and see where you've already been. You could even make a mark on it or tear it or something if you've exhausted all the paths leading from that choice!
Fin at 14:46 on 2013-09-08
Hey, I never said what pleases me. You might have a lucky guess.



Well, I didn't really have anything particular in mind. I just liked the idea of an open-source body. I don't think I can think of anything better than Melanie's suggestions. I may have to steal the Utahraptor one myself when I get my goods! Speaking of which, I just got an email saying my package has been shipped! =D
Arthur B at 15:09 on 2013-09-10
So, Ryan has announced that he's doing Romeo and Juliet for the sequel, which I think is a good call because it naturally lends itself to having a choice of playable protagonists and lots of viewpoint-switching. (I want to play Juliet's nurse and just be hella rude to people all the time.)
Janne Kirjasniemi at 17:45 on 2013-09-10
I don't know, wouldn't King Lear have even more concentrated craziness and weird choices for this sort of thing than even Hamlet? Romeo and Juliet always seemed to me to kind of straightforward as a story, even if it does of course have its peculiarities and possibilities. But it seems that adding some sort of questioning of motives for the characters just takes away the whole momentum of the plot, which is a sort of tragedy of errors and emotions. But on the other hand, it is the one other play by the dude that most people would know...
Melanie at 03:53 on 2013-09-11
I'd kind of like to see Henry IV (both parts, really) as one of these. Not going to lie, I find that scene kind of near the end where he's found trying on the crown and sitting on the throne before his father's actually dead and has to do damage control just... inappropriately hilarious. Not to mention all the shenanigans with his no-account friends and trolling and spying and so on! It just seems like there's a lot of potential for extra comedy there. And for murderous antics. And for taking a more straightforward route. And for running off and doing other things.

...Actually, what I really want to read now is a Macbeth one.

I mean, not that I'm not incredibly interested in the actual sequel he's doing--I just hope there are more after it.
Janne Kirjasniemi at 05:31 on 2013-09-11
Having to decide each time whether Falstaff was actually funny or whether there would be something more worthwhile to do would be funny. And imagine the play from Falstaff's point of view? He is a barely functional alcoholic trapped behind a clownish role and enabled in his self-destruction and subsequently abandoned by the prince of the realm himself! He just wants a friend and some respect, but everybody else just wants to see his alcoholic side, because he is much funnier that way.
Melanie at 07:40 on 2013-09-11
He is a barely functional alcoholic trapped behind a clownish role and enabled in his self-destruction and subsequently abandoned by the prince of the realm himself!


Ahhhh, but he might not have been so spectacularly "abandoned" if he hadn't been talking so insultingly about him behind his back (or at least, he intended it to be behind his back. You know what I mean, though). I mean, just wanting a friend is one thing, but if you have all this secret contempt for someone you can't expect them to still like you if and when they find out about it. (Not that his comments were entirely unfair, or that there wasn't also contempt on Henry's side, too--I'm just saying.)
Janne Kirjasniemi at 09:09 on 2013-09-11
Yes, Falstaff is a twisted, sad character, pushing people away to test whether they really like him, even as he loathes them on some level for hurting the innocence within that once was and can never be no more. This is his self-esteem has steadily eroded over the years and furthered his downward spiral. And of course his loathing, like that of many people in similar situations is equally fueled by his self loathing as well! I don't know how all of this connects with the Merry Wives of Windsor, but I remember little of that.

Also, I doubt whether I can base any of this on actual text, but... uh like Lacan pointed out the real meaning can be inferred from the connection between the signifier of desire and the signified, which allows us to construct a contextual re-territorialization of the narcissistic archetype immanent in the figure of Falstaff. Or not.
Arthur B at 10:12 on 2013-09-11
It'd be cool to have a Henry IV gamebook where if you play Falstaff and make the right choices you end up playing a Merry Wives of Windsor mini-adventure.
Alice at 20:01 on 2013-09-11
It'd be cool to have a Henry IV gamebook where if you play Falstaff and make the right choices you end up playing a Merry Wives of Windsor mini-adventure.

That would be awesome.
Melanie at 02:52 on 2016-05-06
So I decided to idly check today and see if he'd done another one, and HE HAS AND IT'S COMING OUT IN A MONTH. (To be honest, I'd kind of forgotten that we already knew he was doing a sequel and that it was going to be Romeo and Juliet, so it was a double surprise!)

Here's hoping it's as good as the first one, or even better!, and that he does more of them.
Arthur B at 14:53 on 2016-05-11
Ryan is running us through a preview playthrough in new backer updates on the original Kickstarter (a gift which keeps on giving!) First one is here, then this, and today's is here

I am quite proud of my iambic pentameter vote on the last one.
Melanie at 00:58 on 2016-05-12
I had no idea! Yeah, this already looks great.

ROOSTER SCIENCE.
Arthur B at 16:13 on 2017-07-15
Update: finally got around to playing my copy of Romeo and/or Juliet, it's just as good as this one. It even includes little minigames based on Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream and the play the actors are practising in Midsummer Night's Dream!
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