📚 Alba - an Open World Adventure Book 📚

Created by Inside the Box

An innovative branching narrative gamebook, set in a desolate post-apocalyptic world. How will your journey end?

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Chapter 12...
8 months ago – Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 11:03:41 PM

Hello Explorers!

Another couple days, another couple amazing achievements for the Alba campaign!

We’ve now passed £140,000 and unlocked that sweet, sweet app soundscaping (I can hear the birds at the seaside already), and we’re on our way to getting those chapter illustrations animated in-app. As we’ve said before, the app is a separate experience from the book itself and they function independently - the app is just another way to enjoy the world of Alba!

In addition to that, we’ve passed 5000 backers! This is an absolutely massive milestone for any campaign, and we’re all so pleased that we’ve passed it. This is truly spectacular!

On top of those absolutely massive milestones, we’ve almost unlocked the first of the social media achievements! We’re tantalisingly close to the 6000 likes on the Inside the Box Facebook page, and we’re slowly creeping towards 500 likes/ follows on each of the Open World Adventure Books pages - not only will we be unlocking more art card packs (including the Fields of Alba art card pack, which has my personal favourite piece of chapter artwork), but it’s also a great way to keep engaging with Alba after this campaign ends, and keep updated on any other Open World Adventure Books we’ll be announcing soon 👀...

After the Fields of Alba, we’ll only have three more social media achievements to unlock - for the three sets of ending illustrations!

To avoid spoilers, we’ve just labelled them A, B, and C - can we unlock all the endings by the end of the campaign?

In addition to that, we’ve had some great responses for our second week of the writing competition - a massive thank you to everyone who’s participated so far, we are loving them! A quick reminder, if anyone would like to enter, they have until 11:59pm GMT TONIGHT to enter - we’ll be announcing winners and next week’s writing options tomorrow afternoon!

Thanks again to all of our wonderful supporters, we’re truly on Cloud 9 and can’t wait to see what the future of Open World Adventure Books holds! 

Team ITB x

Prologue Part 2
8 months ago – Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 03:54:42 PM

Hello Explorers!

First of all, a massive thank you and congratulations to everyone who entered the first week of this competition - there were some hearty debates within the team about which entries we should pick, and while we’re in agreement as to the current winners, there are definitely a few other entries we’re sad we couldn’t pick!

Without further ado, the winners (and their winning entries) are:

Speak to Vola - Andrew Robeson

You leave the stage and hesitate, not wanting to go to her, putting off the goodbye. But you look up and catch her eye. A proud smile deepens the wrinkles on her time-worn face, her eyes glossy but tears not yet flowing. Vola. Your indecision breaks and you shuffle through the crowd of well-wishers to where she stands.

“Well, Auntie,” you say, running your fingers through your hair, “looks as though our Deeps game will have to be on hold for a while.”

Vola reaches up and takes your face in her hands, giving you that intense look she has, as if trying to remember every blemish and pore, trying to read the thoughts behind your eyes.

“The board will be just the same when you return, dear heart.”

She lets go with a sigh.

“Come,” she says, “I have prepared tea.”

She turns and marches off, her long, grey plait bouncing off your elbow. A flash of a memory from when it used to clip you in the face.

“When did she get so small?” you wonder.

“Wait, Auntie,” you say, hurrying after her. “I have to get my things ready to leave.”

“There's always time for tea,” Vola says, neither turning nor slowing.

Within moments, you are in the doorway of Vola's quarters, taking in the cluttered space for what may be the last time. You smile when you realise your pack – filled with your meagre belongings – leans beside the door.

As the scent of too-sweet tea comes from the corner where Vola busies herself, you examine the Deeps game you've been playing. You're sure that, for once, you have the upper hand – your roaches control the bottom tiers, ready to swarm Vola's rat den. But you have no doubt that, within a few moves, she would reveal her strategy and turn the tide. Like always.

Vola shuffles over with two small cups of tea. As you go to take your usual chair, you notice a package on its seat. After a moment, you realise it's wrapped in your baby blanket – all you have of your parents. You look to Vola, who hands over the tea.

“A final present from them.”

You set the tea and gift on the table beside the board and sit down.

“Would they be proud of me?”

Vola sits across from you, sipping her drink.

“They were always proud of you, dear heart, and always will be. Now, drink up – the Old World waits for no-one.”

You sip the tea and are filled with the deep warmth no other drink has ever given you.

“Another gift before you go.”

Vola gestures at the old trunk under her bunk.

“Take anything you wish of your Uncle's. So he may walk with you through the Old World.”

She goes quiet, sipping her tea, staring at the photo of her partner on the wall over your head.

Go to the Library - Jim Kilpin

As was often the case throughout your life in the Vault, when facing uncertainty or needing reassurance, the lure of a visit to the library was tugging at your sleeve for one final time. The assembly hall gathering had yet to disperse, many of the Vault's citizens awash with anticipation at this latest presentation from the Mayor.

You suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of the need to be somewhere else .. somewhere quiet, somewhere alone.

The library was an extensive resource, but more than that it had offered you so much solace as you'd researched and planned your application to join the newest expedition team. It was the perfect place to get yourself away from the chattering voices, and to linger one last time, taking in the familiar smells and sights of this Old World throwback.. ancient leather bound books, maps, atlases, encyclopaedia's, it was all here in this dusty, dim lit corridor that ran for at least half the length of the Vault. Six shelves ran from floor to ceiling, but at the most comfortable height you allowed your hand to move along one of them, touching the spines of the book-covers one last time as you walked slowly past.

You turned a corner and couldn't help but notice that somebody had stuffed a remarkably well conditioned coat into one of the shelves, sticking out between the books.. You stopped to examine it, to find it was made from high grade material and extremely durable.. As you held it in your hands you were suddenly aware of somebody silently observing you ... you turned to find the Librarian, a volunteer who had spent his life ordering the collection of books you had so fondly cherished. He looked old and beaten down, and he spoke in slow, measured words ..

"Glad to see that coat has finally been reunited with its owner... Been parked there for nigh on 6 days".

"I.. it's not..", you hesitated, "I can't say its mine at all, I just found it here for the first time as i walked past".

"Means nowt to me young un". "You can take it for all I care...free's up more space for books see.."

"Mind you,", he continued, "I'll have my pocketknife back, thank you very much, you can't find knives like that for love nor money around here"

You looked down at what you were holding ...for certain there was the coat in your hands still, but also, you'd scooped up a pocketknife off the shelf along with the coat, a knife which, unlike the coat, seemed to have an owner !

Two items: One being given, the other..well.. let's just say there was no chance the old Librarian could outrun you if you decided to steal it from him, could he?

Go to the Commissary - Gina

Maybe it’s just nerves, but suddenly your mind darts to what you might have forgotten. You’re prepared – you know you are – but perhaps some more supplies couldn’t hurt. Some of your comrades would roll their eyes at this perhaps – what are you going to do if a horrible danger emerges in the wasteland – throw crackers and rice as it? All the same, there’s money in your pocket and it feels better to have too much than not enough.

Your heart sinks as you arrive at the commissary window. It’s Crawley. A wirey, gaunt man, young but balding, Crawley was also once your class tutor. That’s just the way of life in the Vault. It’s very seldom that a person holds only one position in the community. Your teacher might moonlight at the commissary, the mayor’s clerk might make medicines, and your dentist might paint children’s faces on special occasions. It keeps the society linked.

You approach the counter, hoping to keep the interaction short. Crawley regards you with a cocked eyebrow, and there’s a tiny – almost imperceptible – dent in the usual cold front he presents you with.

“Congratulations are in order, I hear?” he drawls.

“I suppose they are,” you reply.

He smirks, absent-mindedly scratching doodles into the wooden countertop with his penknife.

“You won’t mind me saying that I’m surprised.”

You nod politely. What exactly could you reply to that?

“I mean you never showed much potential in class, I can only assume you’ve pulled your socks up since you graduated. I mean they passed me over back when I in the running and I was in the top five percentile of my year…”

“I’d love to grab some extra rations, actually…” you say brightly, unwilling to let Crawley pop your triumphant bubble, “those premium ones…if there’s any left…”

Crawley continued without missing a beat, “I mean, my dad always told me it was about connections and such, but that doesn’t follow, since you don’t exactly have any…” his knife-doodling becomes a little more aggressive, “my wife reckons it’s just random which I never believed but… “he regards you disdainfully, “after today, now I think that would make a lot of sense…”

“The rations, Crawley?” you say, more forcefully this time, “only you see, I’ve somewhere quite important to be.”

He locks eyes with you and slam – thrusts his penknife into the counter so it stands upright on its point.

“I’ll see if we have those in,” he murmurs moodily as he slides of his stool and disappears behind the shelves out back.

You watch him go and try to shake yourself of any creeping doubts. His opinion doesn’t matter. He always underestimated you. But you did work hard and you have been chosen. You should pity him, not let him rile you.

The penknife sways a little where it has been jammed into the counter.

To all our winners, congratulations! We’ll be contacting you to make sure you know that you’ve won a free Dagger’s Dagger pledge!

In addition to this, we’re launching the next round of the writing competition! For this round, there are 4 options you can write - all of which lead from the last round’s entries!

Writing Options:

  • Given a gift - Vola’s necklace (must be able to lead to “Called to boat by Gaia” and “Realise you’ll be late and go to the boat”)
  • Find nice coat (must be able to lead to “Called to boat by Gaia” and “Viktor finds you”
  • Steal a pocketknife (must be able to lead to “Realise you’ll be late and go to the boat” and “Vola tells you to go to the boat”)
  • Buy nice rations (must be able to lead to “Viktor finds you” and “Vola tells you to go to the boat”)

How to enter:

Choose one of the writing directions, write what you think should come next, and post your entry as a comment on THIS UPDATE - we’ll keep it pinned throughout the week so it’s easy to find. Each entry should be between 200-500 words long.

We’ll choose at least one winner for each category, who will receive a FULL Dagger’s Dagger pledge free when we fulfill the campaign. We’re closing the competition at 11:59pm GMT this coming Thursday (28 January), so we have time to read through all the entries ahead of the 29th when we’ll announce our winners and start the final week!

Happy Writing!! Team Inside the Box x

Chapter 11...
8 months ago – Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 10:27:14 AM

Hello Explorers!

We’ve noticed some of you in the comments are a bit confused about the library app, so that’s what this update is mostly going to be about! Here's a Q&A to hopefully answer all the questions!

What is the OWAB Library App?

The App is a fully integrated implementation of Alba, bringing together the ereader experience, as well as automated character, item and location tracking all handled in-app. The App will be expandable, and allow for much, much more...

Is the OWAB Library App needed for the book version or eBook?

Nope, it's a standalone thing entirely. Enjoy the book with the sticker pack (included in every copy, or recharge with an extra pack), the eBook with the free downloadable PDF Character Sheet, or in the App on its own. Or any combo! If you want to use the App for the ereader experience and...other...features, but want the tactile experience of the stickers and map - that'll work fine! 

Do I need a recharge pack alongside the OWAB Library App?

Not at all, tracking is handled entirely in-app but there will be an option to use either the free downloadable PDF character sheet or the recharge pack(s).

What devices will the App work on?

The App will be built for Android and iOS devices (with as much support for older OS versions as possible). We will investigate other operation systems such as Windows mobile but these are not guaranteed due to additional development costs.

What features will the App have?

The App will function as a dedicated ereader for Alba, along with 'save' files for your different runthroughs, map/location tracking, character tracking and inventory, all automatically managed in-app. There's a lot more we want to do with the App, so make sure to check out the stretch goals we've got coming up! 

What will it look like?

It's very early days yet, as we've only got our visual concepts and the quotes from developers to establish the cost and timeline implications of the App on the entire project. Below is a screenshot of what the OWAB Library App may very roughly look like.

This is mockup is based on a landscape phone or tablet as an example - it will still work fine on smaller devices or in portrait orientation!

Does this mean there are going to be more Open World Adventure Books...?!

You may have guessed by now, we have some pretty ambitious plans for the Open World Adventure Books. As ever, launching Alba was a big risk, we had no idea if people would love it as much as we do, but you guys really have shown us that you like what we've made! We hoped that Alba would be successful enough to eventually publish another OWAB, and hopefully that would be enough to do another and so on. We thought this will be over several years, building up the community of OWAB readers, and slowly building  up enough resources to invest into each new project. Not only has this campaign already put us ina spectacular position to make Alba a resounding success, but it's given us more than what we need to invest in the development of more Open World Adventure Books. I'll keep the details close to my chest for now, but there's some EXCITING things coming...

Here's a clue...

The Shield, the Darkness and the Immaterial.

In addition to that, we’ve cruised past 4000 backers! This is ABSOLUTELY amazing, and means that we’ve unlocked “The City” art card pack! These will be included in all art card packs with the campaign :)

We’ve also put out information on some of our new stretch goals, which we’re already smashing! Thanks to all of you, each bookmark (which comes with any physical edition pledge) will now have a gorgeous tassel attached! We've also sailed right through the stretch goal after that too, meaning all special editions will have an even nicer ribbon with detail printing on it too!

The next stretch goal, which at this rate might be hit before we have breakfast, is a fantastic suggestion from a backer; a 'quickstart' guide printed in the back of the book, which will give you instructions and rules for going through Alba after a few playthroughs so you can get stuck into the action faster on subsequent readthroughs.

After that, at £140k is full soundscaping of the library app, meaning you'll have an even more immersive experience of Alba - either in the background while you're getting the best experience with your book, map and stickers or on the go as part of the integrated app implementation!

Peter & the Inside the Box Team x

Chapter 10...
8 months ago – Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 11:28:50 AM

Hello explorers!

What an absolutely amazing weekend we had on this campaign, and an even better Monday!

For those of you who aren’t constantly refreshing the campaign page, we’ve passed £100,000 and are currently sitting at around 3,500 backers. This is absolutely unprecedented - when we were making the campaign initially, we drafted out stretch goals to £100k just in case, wanting to make sure we were prepared - and we’ve hit that goal halfway through the campaign. This is truly spectacular, and we can’t thank you enough!!

£75K Stretch Goal
£80K Stretch Goal
£85K Stretch Goal
£90k Stretch Goal
£100K Stretch Goal

Thanks to all of you, we’re now going to be making an interactive Open World Adventure Book app to use as you journey through Alba - and each of you wonderful backers will get early access! A lot of our future stretch goals will be related to this app, since every backer will be able to use it - if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see, we’d love to hear from you! We’re in talks with the developers at the moment trying to figure out where along funding they should go, so keep your eyes on this space!

Additionally, we’ve unlocked another set of art cards through the number of backers we have on the campaign! We now have Alba’s Landmarks unlocked, and are climbing steadily towards unlocking “The City” pack at 4000 backers! We’re also feverishly checking our social media channels to see when we unlock those, so if you haven’t given us a like or a follow, please do so!

New Add-ons and New Pledge Levels

A number of you have been requesting having the e-books as an add-on option, since the special edition comes with extra content. We heard you, so we’ve added them in! Regardless of your pledge level, if you’d like to add an ebook to your pledge, you can do so through Kickstarter!

**Please remember - anyone who has pledged for a physical copy of the book has that ebook included in their pledge. Morag’s Raft comes with a standard ebook, and Gaia’s Radio and Dagger’s Dagger come with the special edition ebook**

In addition, we’re finally adding the map print as an add on! It took a bit longer than expected to confirm with the manufacturer, but we promise it is well worth the wait!

The map print will be approximately 400x600mm (16”x24”), or roughly A2 size, printed on high end poster paper with special print effects. It’ll be delivered to you rolled in a tube for safety, and comes at the cost of £25 each! It’s available now as an add on and will be available as an add on in Backer Kit after the campaign has ended.

In addition to all those add-ons, we’ve also sold out of the Dagger’s Dagger pledge - AGAIN! We’ve added a third set of Dagger’s Dagger, which will be for numbers 201-300.

*Please note - the 90k stretch goal was for all special editions to be numbered. Dagger’s Dagger pledges will receive the same number as their numbered bookplate, and all other numbers will be randomly distributed to our fulfilment partners prior to being sent out, and we’ll be asking them to further randomise during fulfilment.

Call for Q&A Questions

Do you have any questions for our writer H L Truslove? We’ll be doing a livestream with them this coming Friday, 29th January at 4PM GMT. We’ve come up with a few questions we’d like the answer to, but if you have any you’d like to ask our esteemed author, pop them in a comment here and we’ll ask them on the stream!

That's all from us for now, until next time backers!! Team Inside the Box x

Chapter 9...
8 months ago – Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 03:15:26 PM

Good evening explorers!

As we head into the weekend, we’ve managed to close our first writing competition (which was a resounding success), launch our second one (check that pinned update for details on entry), and absolutely smashed yet another stretch goal!

£70K Stretch Goal

As we said in the Prologue update, a big congratulations to our competition winners: Andrew Robeson, Jim Kiplin, and Gina! If you’d like to participate in the next section of our writing competition, check out our pinned update - Prologue part 2

£80K Stretch Goal
£85K Stretch Goal
£90K Stretch Goal

We’re also now able to announce what the 80k stretch goal is related to the prologue competition - when we smash that goal (which looks like it’ll be soon!), we’ll be printing the prologue as a special, Kickstarter-exclusive booklet to go with your pledge! A digital copy will be included in the digital fan pack, and all physical pledges will have a copy of it included - for free! The prologue lets you access additional items and stats (as we’re pretty sure you’ve noticed) which you can use as you play the main game!

On the topic of stretch goals, thanks to our most recent one being absolutely smashed, both the special edition and the paperback edition will have some beautiful endpapers - get excited! We’re also well on our way to our next stretch goal, which will have the art prints come in a premium envelope, so keep your eyes on this space!

Until next time, Explorers! Team Inside the Box x