Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure is now complete! It took 25 months to write and is comprised of 1023 passages of text totalling 181,029 words (107 of which are “nuts” and 62 of which are “balls”). At least 1,024 of those words are simply “The End,” which should give you some idea of the range of alternate endings available. If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll know that it was always planned to have 512 of the things.
I’ll be attempting to screenshot the entire flowchart at some point to give some idea of the scale, but don’t currently have the necessary hardware attached to my computer. The full thing – even at the minimum level of magnification that Twine allows – spreads across eight monitors, so the only way I can actually capture it is to spread it across two and use those to grab the four corners of the chart, which I later stitch together. Here’s what it looked like when I did this for the first 75% (you may need to click for the full size version to get a proper look at the detail):
This project is so ludicrously, bafflingly, mind-bogglingly huge that if I’d realised how massive it was going to be to begin with, I probably wouldn’t have started. I think that writing it may actually have changed the way my brain works. Looking back, I’m not certain that I was in a position to manage this many parallel storylines when I first started, and the only reason I managed to keep up as the project expanded was that it took a tremendously long time to get anywhere and I was learning as I went.
Exponential Adventure has actually been in the works so long that I managed to gain and lose a publisher before I finished the thing. Unfortunately, Aperture Editions ran into difficulties earlier this year and has now closed down entirely. This is a shame because I think their basic idea – illustrated digital (and potentially paperback) gamebooks in both English and Spanish – was absolutely wonderful, and as far as I’m aware there isn’t currently anybody out there filling quite the same niche. However, Exponential Adventure itself has only become more popular as it’s grown more complete (especially at events and with live audiences), and I promise not to give up until there’s a polished, published version available to you.
Right now, if you’d like to read the full thing, you’ve already got one option: support Ten Little Astronauts on Unbound. If you’ve put in a pledge, feel free to contact me using this form and ask to have an early look at Exponential Adventure. You don’t have to proofread it or anything, just read through as much or as little as you like and pass on any thoughts you have. I’m willing to send out copies of Exponential Adventure up until Christmas, at which point the crowdfunding campaign for Ten Little Astronauts will end and you’ll have to wait for it just like everybody else.
As well as currently being the only way to get hold of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure, a pledge for Ten Little Astronauts is pretty much the single biggest thing you can do to help my career as an author just now. Astronauts is already by far the most successful thing I’ve ever written, recently being featured in multiple news articles, and if it reaches its funding target by Christmas it’ll be distributed into bookshops by Penguin Random House. That’s a huge opportunity, so naturally I’m keen to reward anybody who helps me make it happen.
And if that’s not enough to get you behind Exponential Adventure, check out this trailer. It’s pretty boss.