Digital Bridges, pioneers in WAP-based entertainment for the next generation of mobile phones, has signed a deal with role-playing veteran Steve Jackson to develop a fantasy game for the WAP format based on his 'Sorcery' adventure
Jackson, co-founder and Director of renowned games development outfit Lionhead Studios, has long held a highly-respected position within the world of interactive games, with a string of established successes such as the Games
Workshop, F.I.S.T, Battlecards and the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series already under his belt.
The Sorcery WAP project is based on Jackson's award-winning interactive gamebook series, originally published in the UK in 1983 by Penguin Books. Sorcery has since been licensed to publishers in 15 countries around the world and has sold over a million copies to date.
Sorcery distinguishes itself from other Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks by setting the hero (the reader) as a wizard, with an inventory of spells to learn. It was by far the most ambitious interactive gamebook series ever created, comprising
four individual books. As the reader completes one book, the scene is set for the next.
"I always felt that Sorcery was my best work within the Fighting Fantasy series," said Steve Jackson, "and I always hoped one day it would be the basis for a computer-based game. I'm very excited about this project, particularly the multi-player aspect. Sorcery was originally a solo game, but WAP technology offers new horizons that were never possible with books."
Steve Jackson is also an old hand at designing games played over telephone networks. In 1989 he wrote and directed the world's first telephone adventure game: F.I.S.T. (Fantasy Interactive Scenarios by Telephone). FIST played like an
interactive radio drama. It was a lavish production, using professional voice actors and hundreds of different sound effects. "FIST has done incredibly well," said Jackson, "But it had limitations, as it has only been available to callers within a single territory. WAP-enabled phones have much more potential and, in theory, anyone in the world can play Sorcery on-line. It's a scary thought."
The signing is yet another visionary move by Digital Bridges, which has already published a full suite of classic games for WAP and wireless devices, ready-made for the next leap in wireless technology. These have been created internally by Wireless Games, the content division of Digital Bridges, and are available at
"Developments within wireless technology are moving rapidly forward," commented Digital Bridges CEO Kevin Bradshaw. "Our goal has always been to keep apace with these developments, to ensure that as soon as new and better products are available to the public, we can provide stimulating and entertaining content to
enhance the user's enjoyment of them.
"Steve's experience, both in games design and the use of telephony as a medium for games playing, means that these titles will be of the highest quality. Combined with our knowledge of the growing wireless market, we can now produce fully immersive, multiplayer environments that will take full advantage of the latest technology and provide whole new experiences for the consumer."
The first Sorcery title will be launched later in 2000. Meanwhile,
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