Varicella Review

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Varicella Review Avrom Faderman 8/23/99 12:00 AM
You are Primo Varicella, Palace Minister, fop, Machiavellian.  The King is
dead, and you have two hours to gain ascendancy over five rivals for the
Regency of Piedmont.

With that, you are plunged into a breakneck and cutthroat chase through a
beautiful, terrifying, and incredibly complex (though geographically and
temporally tiny) game world.  The feel of “Varicella” is very much like the
climactic chapter of a well-written spy novel: enemies at every turn, vast
amounts of information, events crowding one upon another.

The game is apparently set in the present day (or at any rate in the recent
past or near future) but takes place in a bizarre alternate history. The
branching event seems to have been that Louis the Pious, rather than
dividing the Holy Roman Empire among his three sons (eventually to be
reunited under Lothair), set up a league (the “Carolingian League”) of
sub-nations under a central authority.  The League eventually devolved into
a confederation of intermittently warring city-states.

The upshot:  The technology of Europe is modern, but the politics and are a
convoluted mishmash of the centuries—the papacy is in Avignon, North America
is primarily uncolonized, women are treated as chattel, China is the world’s
sole superpower, and Italy, Germany, and France are divided into tiny
kingdoms, ruled by monarchs limited by court intrigues rather than
constitutions or parliaments.

But brilliant as all this is, it’s not what makes “Varicella” so gripping or
entertaining.  The complicated political background, in fact, seems
primarily a clever trick to allow the author to combine high-espionage
technology (and even a bit of science fiction) with palace intrigue.  An
original and enjoyable mix, to be sure, but not by itself anything dramatic.

Nor is the game’s strength in its puzzles.  This is certainly not a
Photopia-style puzzleless story or even a low-puzzle work like I-0;  the
obstacles come fast and furiously.  The puzzles are well-executed, and the
solutions are logical, but there’s nothing really unique or amazing here.

No, what really, and I mean really, sets “Varicella” apart is the writing.
In terms of pure writing style—abstracted from symbolism, plot, or
characterization—“Varicella” is easily the best piece of Interactive Fiction
I have ever experienced.  The wit, the sparkle of the prose would fit into
eminently worthwhile static fiction.  This is a game that would be fun to
read aloud.

A close second to the prose quality is the characterization.  There are some
lapses here.  For example, some of the characters (most notably the late
King’s brother Louis) are caricatures and clichés, which might be
intentional but doesn’t seem desirable here—this is a (very black) comedy,
but a high comedy and not a farce.  And your own character’s “hostile” mode
(yes, you can set the tone of your conversations) seems a bit
out-of-character:  relying not enough on subtle threat and thinly veiled
viciousness and too heavily on the sort of name-calling he would surely
consider (to use his own term) “unseemly.”  But such small lapses compared
to the enormity of the skill!  Rico, Bonfleche, the little prince, the
Queen, and most especially the late King’s mistress Sierra…complete,
lifelike, at times even subtle.

And as for your own character, Varicella himself—This, it’s probably
obvious, is a game where the PC is not a cipher for the player but a
well-developed character of its own.  That’s hard to do well—the character
has to be well-communicated without the player feeling railroaded.  I’ve
seen it pulled off a few times—but with the possible exception of Leon Lin’s
“Kissing the Buddha’s Feet” (with a simpler but also very-well communicated
protagonist who was, actually, oddly similar in a few subtle ways), I’ve
never seen it pulled off quite as well as this.  Varicella is prissy,
ruthless, arrogant, virtually sexless, very clever and very aware of it—and
all this is communicated without a trace of ham in the fist.

There’s one design decision that strikes me as a bit of a flaw, though a
minor one.  There is, as I mentioned above, a two-hour time limit which,
combined with the sheer vastness of the information you’re presented and the
set of tasks you must accomplish, does much to contribute to the fast-paced
cloak-and-dagger feel.  But it also creates a bit of a “save-and-restore”
puzzle along the lines of keeping the lamp from burning out in the original
“Colossal Cave Adventure”: Even assuming no foolish mistakes, the game
requires several passes to complete successfully—first you have to solve the
puzzles, and then you have to figure out how to solve them in an efficient
order.  A wrong move (or a few, the limit isn’t completely unforgiving) can
lead to an unwinnable game not because it seals off passages or destroys
needed items but because it simply wastes too much time.  I’m not quite sure
this is a worthwhile tradeoff.  I’m inclined to think the answer is
 “no”—increasing the time limit by one extra hour would still do a pretty
good job of maintaining a sense of urgency without turning the game into
quite such an efficiency puzzle.

There are a few minor bugs, as is to be expected in an early release.  I’ve
emailed my reports to Adam.

Finally, a word of warning about content.  This is not a game for the faint
of heart.  The violence is frequent, remorseless, and occasionally graphic
(although the game’s ending contains a moral that ameliorates this
somewhat).  Unlike Cadre’s previous work, “I-0,” there’s no “onscreen” sex,
but sex is very present and very unambiguously alluded to.  In most cases,
this is general innuendo for comic effect, but there are exceptions.  Two of
these exceptions in particular are very deeply disturbing, part of the dark
undercurrent that runs through the work.  They’re handled and integrated
well, but some people nevertheless may not wish to read them, and those
people are advised to steer clear of “Varicella.”

Varicella Review JerIversen 8/25/99 12:00 AM

An excellent game. Am I alone in thinking it might -- oddly enough -- make a
damn good movie?

ji

Varicella Review Jason Melancon 8/25/99 12:00 AM
On Mon, 23 Aug 1999 20:15:49 -0700, "Avrom Faderman"
<Avrom_F...@email.msn.com> wrote:


> The game is apparently set in the present day (or at any rate in the recent
> past or near future) but takes place in a bizarre alternate history. The
> branching event seems to have been that Louis the Pious, rather than
> dividing the Holy Roman Empire among his three sons (eventually to be
> reunited under Lothair), set up a league (the “Carolingian League”) of
> sub-nations under a central authority.  The League eventually devolved into
> a confederation of intermittently warring city-states.

Does anyone know why this arrangement, differing however it does from
actual history, would be likely to prevent (or turn back) the French
Revolution? Or is turning back the Revolution another major branch? It
feels like I'm missing the big picture, some kinda way.

> This is a game that would be fun to read aloud.

I'm having loads of fun thinking the words in a super-snotty English
accent -- like the one Marlon Brando is famous for -- with some of
Rowan Atkinson's comical pacing. (French is inappropriate, somehow.)
 
> And your own character’s “hostile” mode seems a bit


> out-of-character:  relying not enough on subtle threat and thinly veiled
> viciousness and too heavily on the sort of name-calling he would surely
> consider (to use his own term) “unseemly.”  

The name-calling does get just a little old, even for a comedy.
However, it wouldn't have been unseemly to treat "a -- a *commoner!*"
this way, in this world.  It's just that sometimes it's expedient to
come on a bit strong.  Thing is, the subtle threats and thinly veiled
viciousness are going on all the time -- especially in *servile* mode,
I might add.  

--
Jason Melancon

Varicella Review Avrom Faderman 8/25/99 12:00 AM

Jason Melancon wrote in message <37c3b876...@news.gte.net>...

>On Mon, 23 Aug 1999 20:15:49 -0700, "Avrom Faderman"
><Avrom_F...@email.msn.com> wrote:
>
>
>> The game is apparently set in the present day (or at any rate in the
recent
>> past or near future) but takes place in a bizarre alternate history. The
>> branching event seems to have been that Louis the Pious, rather than
>> dividing the Holy Roman Empire among his three sons (eventually to be
>> reunited under Lothair), set up a league (the “Carolingian League”) of
>> sub-nations under a central authority.  The League eventually devolved
into
>> a confederation of intermittently warring city-states.
>
>Does anyone know why this arrangement, differing however it does from
>actual history, would be likely to prevent (or turn back) the French
>Revolution? Or is turning back the Revolution another major branch? It
>feels like I'm missing the big picture, some kinda way.


I'd assumed it was because it broke up *France*.  I mean, there isn't really
a France in the game, is there?  There's a Paris, and a Provence, and I
assume various other little city-states, just like Italy.

So if there wasn't a France of appreciable size, there wouldn't be royals
with the resources (and therefore quite the levels of extravagance) of Louis
"apres moi..." XV and Louis XVI, and so no revolution.  Just speculation, of
course.

>> This is a game that would be fun to read aloud.
>
>I'm having loads of fun thinking the words in a super-snotty English
>accent -- like the one Marlon Brando is famous for -- with some of
>Rowan Atkinson's comical pacing. (French is inappropriate, somehow.)


There was an old BBC series called "House of Cards."  I don't know who the
lead actor was...he looked and sounded a little like Ian McKellan, but not
really.  That, with a little more supercilliousness, was how I imagined
Varicella's voice.

Piedmont is actually part of Italy, IIRC.  In the northwest.  Borders on
France (and Spain), though.

>> And your own character’s “hostile” mode seems a bit
>> out-of-character:  relying not enough on subtle threat and thinly veiled
>> viciousness and too heavily on the sort of name-calling he would surely
>> consider (to use his own term) “unseemly.”
>
>The name-calling does get just a little old, even for a comedy.
>However, it wouldn't have been unseemly to treat "a -- a *commoner!*"


Mmm...but try talking to the Queen is hostile mode.  Surely *that* isn't
seemly.

>this way, in this world.  It's just that sometimes it's expedient to
>come on a bit strong.  Thing is, the subtle threats and thinly veiled
>viciousness are going on all the time -- especially in *servile* mode,
>I might add.


Do they?  He clearly *is* vicious even when he's being servile, but does he
only put a thin veil on it?  And does he actually (verbally) threaten
anybody, even subtly?

Best,
Avrom

Varicella Review Stephen Granade 8/26/99 12:00 AM
"Avrom Faderman" <Avrom_F...@email.msn.com> writes:

> Piedmont is actually part of Italy, IIRC.  In the northwest.  Borders on
> France (and Spain), though.

Piedmont is a term referring to a region of foothills near the base of
a mountain and does get its name from such a region of Italy, but I
doubt that's the only reference Adam was aiming for. Here in North
Carolina (where Adam went to school for a while) there is a region
known as the Piedmont. Since the opening of Varicella refers to
Piedmont as "the laughingstock of the Carolingian league" I'm betting
on the NC Piedmont as the major influence.

It's a shame that the Piedmont Boll Weevils aren't really part of the
Carolina league.

Stephen

--
  Stephen Granade                | Interested in adventure games?
  sgra...@phy.duke.edu          | Visit About.com's IF Page
  Duke University, Physics Dept  |   http://interactfiction.about.com

Varicella Review Adam Cadre 8/26/99 12:00 AM
Stephen Granade wrote:
> I'm betting on the NC Piedmont as the major influence.

Nope, never even occurred to me.

  -----
 Adam Cadre, Issaquah, WA
 http://adamcadre.ac

Varicella Review Adam J. Thornton 8/26/99 12:00 AM
In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.990826131424.27594A-100000@godzilla2.acpub.duke.edu>,

Adam Cadre  <ad...@duke.edu> wrote:
>Stephen Granade wrote:
>> I'm betting on the NC Piedmont as the major influence.
>Nope, never even occurred to me.

Authorial intent?

Pfah!

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell."  -- Tom Waits

Varicella Review Stephen Granade 8/26/99 12:00 AM
Adam Cadre <ad...@duke.edu> writes:

> Stephen Granade wrote:
> > I'm betting on the NC Piedmont as the major influence.
>
> Nope, never even occurred to me.

Pity. It's such a good theory.

I see I should change my thesis topic to "Wrapped in Tobacco Leaves:
North Carolina's Unintended Effect on the Writings of Adam Cadre."

Stephen

--
  Stephen Granade                | Interested in adventure games?
  sgra...@phy.duke.edu          | Visit About.com's IF Page
  Duke University, Physics Dept  |   http://interactfiction.about.com

Varicella Review Curt Siffert 8/26/99 12:00 AM
>"Avrom Faderman" <Avrom_F...@email.msn.com> writes:
>
>> Piedmont is actually part of Italy, IIRC.  In the northwest.  Borders on
>> France (and Spain), though.

    Okay, I give up.  What on earth is IIRC?  I thought I was an
    expert at this stuff, but I can't get my head around this one.
    I know I'm going to have a palmprint on my forehead when
    someone finally tells me, but I just can't figure it out.

    Curt


Varicella Review SJG 8/26/99 12:00 AM
In article <7q41oh$9ai$1...@shell16.ba.best.com>,

   IIRC, it means If I Recall Correctly ;)

SJG

Varicella Review Al 8/26/99 12:00 AM
Stephen Granade wrote:

> "Avrom Faderman" <Avrom_F...@email.msn.com> writes:
>
> > Piedmont is actually part of Italy, IIRC.  In the northwest.  Borders on
> > France (and Spain), though.
>
> Piedmont is a term referring to a region of foothills near the base of
> a mountain and does get its name from such a region of Italy, but I
> doubt that's the only reference Adam was aiming for. Here in North
> Carolina (where Adam went to school for a while) there is a region
> known as the Piedmont. Since the opening of Varicella refers to
> Piedmont as "the laughingstock of the Carolingian league" I'm betting

> on the NC Piedmont as the major influence.
>
> It's a shame that the Piedmont Boll Weevils aren't really part of the
> Carolina league.
>

There also used to be a Piedmont Airlines as well


Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) Philip W. Darnowsky 8/27/99 12:00 AM
Avrom Faderman (fade...@pacbell.net) wrote:

: (Carolingean is apparently an adjective used to describe Charlemange and his
: descendents...no idea why).

It's after Carolingus, the Latin rendition of Charlemagne.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Darnowsky pdar...@spameggsbaconandspam.qis.net
Remove spam, eggs, bacon, spam, and dot to reply.

LUTHER!

Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) Graham Nelson 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <3hrx3.5215$W5.4...@typhoon-sf.snfc21.pbi.net>, Avrom Faderman
<URL:mailto:fade...@pacbell.net> wrote:
> Approximately, Piedmont is the portion of the Italian dark green area that
> lies west of Milan.
> Provence (of which Avignon is the capital) is just across the border to the
> west in the light green area, the part of France that bulges southwards into
> the sea.

Piedmont is one of those pocket-states which was pawned back and
forth by the Great Powers fairly regularly: quite often it
belonged to the neighbouring pocket-state of Savoy, which is now
part of France.  Turin, the major city of Piedmont, used to be
called "the Queen of Savoy's drawing-room".

Barring a lot of international Congresses, post-war settlements
and the like, the history of Piedmont is essentially governed
by two men: Augustus Caesar, who first had built the trading
route via the Great St Bernard Pass into the Valais region
of Switzerland and thus, by the Rhone valley, into France and
the north; and Napoleon, for whom Piedmont was the essential
bridgehead into Italy.

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Luca Melchionna 8/27/99 12:00 AM
Being a historian, and an italian one, I have more than one reason to
appreciate this game. I will not go into the details of its merits. We
didn't expect anything less from Cadre's genius.
I'd rather point out the only two things I found not-so-fascinating.

1) I would like to know if there are any symbolic or less-symbolic reasons
behind the choice of characters names, or if it's just the work of
imagination, an italian-english dictionary, and a late-hour gin tonic.
"Primo" does exist as a name in Italy, although it is not a common one. Its
literal meaning is "first". You immediately perceive the smell of extended
families, where the first-born child has a distinct advantage over the
others. What a pity that he should develop such a modest virile attitude in
a society where showing off textosterone (or whatever you spell that) levels
is a must.
"Varicella", however, as a surname, departs from the realm of possibility.
Imagine someone called "Woodrow Smallpox" in the US.
There are other surreal names you find - the best of them being Marco
Pulisci, the Ambassador. "Pulisci" means "clean up!", second person.
"Argento Rico" is funny because it makes sense both in spanish and italian
(if you change "Rico" into "Ricco", "rich").
But what really puzzles me is "Variola Modo". Variola is not a name at all,
and if it did exist, it would sound a female name. By phonetic association,
it reminds one of "Vaiolo", again a horrible disease, which is said to have
been wiped off the earth's surface (but I always wondered how they can be so
sure).
"Modo" is an incredibly multi-meaning word. I would translate the Interior
Minister's name as Leporys Mode.
What about Wehrkeit? It would have sounded more teutonic if spelt Werkheit.
Did I like those names? How unseemly!
There is a farcical quality about them which does not go well with the
overall atmosphere. And, unlike Sierra's curtain, it doesn't seem to
"somehow work".

2) The other thing I didn't quite like is the Machiavellian stereotypes
underlying the whole storyline structure. True, Adam's witty writing
outweighs that constantly, but somehow I often felt the stereotype hanging
over the characters as an oppression. I usually don't like the commonly
accepted perception of Machiavelli's works in the anglo-saxon world. It is
too much polluted wiht the (admirable) concern for all that is not "fair".
This reminds me of how convinced the americans are that the telephone was
invented by Graham Bell.

But these are really a few wrong flaws in an otherwise excellent game, and
no doubt they strike unfavourably only the italian mother-tongue player.
Waiting for "Pantheon",

Poliolyetimis Tone -er, I mean
Luca Melchionna.

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Magnus Olsson 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <7q60rs$e01$1...@serv1.iunet.it>,

Luca Melchionna <lmelc...@iname.com> wrote:
>1) I would like to know if there are any symbolic or less-symbolic reasons
>behind the choice of characters names, or if it's just the work of
>imagination, an italian-english dictionary, and a late-hour gin tonic.


Well, you'll have to ask Adam about that. But according to him, it's
no accident that his protagonist is called "Chickenpox".

>"Primo" does exist as a name in Italy, although it is not a common one. Its
>literal meaning is "first". You immediately perceive the smell of extended
>families, where the first-born child has a distinct advantage over the
>others.

It's possible to find out from the game that his brothers are called
Segundo and Terzio. Apparently his parents weren't very imaginative.

>But what really puzzles me is "Variola Modo". Variola is not a name at all,
>and if it did exist, it would sound a female name. By phonetic association,
>it reminds one of "Vaiolo", again a horrible disease, which is said to have
>been wiped off the earth's surface (but I always wondered how they can be so
>sure).
>"Modo" is an incredibly multi-meaning word. I would translate the Interior
>Minister's name as Leporys Mode.

Surely you mean "Leprosy"? But I think variola is the Latin name for
smallpox (not leprosy) and that Italian "vaiolo" may be derived from
that.

>What about Wehrkeit? It would have sounded more teutonic if spelt Werkheit.

To you, perhaps, but "Wehrkeit" is more in keeping with his occupation:
"wehr" is the first part of "Wehrmacht" ("armed forces") and "keit" is
a common German suffix.

>Did I like those names? How unseemly!
>There is a farcical quality about them which does not go well with the
>overall atmosphere.

I didn't find them *too* farcical. The overall atmosphere is that of a
black comedy and the people are stereotypes (Sierra excepted, of
course).  It's only fitting that they have names that fit their
stereotypes.

>2) The other thing I didn't quite like is the Machiavellian stereotypes
>underlying the whole storyline structure. True, Adam's witty writing
>outweighs that constantly, but somehow I often felt the stereotype hanging
>over the characters as an oppression. I usually don't like the commonly
>accepted perception of Machiavelli's works in the anglo-saxon world.

Quite frankly, I don't think Adam intended "Varicella" as a serious
comment on Machiavelli.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------    http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon   ------

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Adam Cadre 8/27/99 12:00 AM
If you haven't played the game, don't read this post.

Avrom Faderman wrote:
> Oh, and one other completely unrelated question.  Babelfish says that
> "Varicella" means "Chicken Pox."  Anyone care to speculate on the
> significance of that?  Or does Adam care to just tell us?

Sure.

When I first came up with the idea for this game, the working title was
"Sickest IF Game Ever Written".  I was planning to set it in the
modern-day corporate world, chiefly influenced by one of my favorite
television shows ever, "Profit" (which appeared for all of four episodes
in the US.  Sigh.)  And initially, you were intended to play the nastiest
character in the game -- in order to "win," you would have to brutalize
any number of more or less innocent people in increasingly sadistic
ways.  It was going to be something of an experiment to see when various
people would finally throw up their hands and say, "Enough -- I don't
*want* to win this thing anymore."

But while that might have been an interesting experiment a la Stanley
Milgram, I decided that it wouldn't make for anything resembling a fun
game.  So I decided to take a different tack: your character would still
be a complete bastard, but the folks you were trying to knock off would
be even worse.  That way, more players (but not all, of course) would be
willing to step into Primo's side-latcheted shoes and gleefully set to
the task of murdering several people.

Once I'd decided that, the name came immediately.  Chicken pox is a
disease, but it's a relatively mild one as diseases go.  Just as the
player character's soul is rather a diseased one, but not quite so much
so as those of his rivals.

  -----
 Adam Cadre, Issaquah, WA
 http://adamcadre.ac

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Adam Cadre 8/27/99 12:00 AM
Luca Melchionna wrote:
> There are other surreal names you find - the best of them being Marco
> Pulisci, the Ambassador. "Pulisci" means "clean up!", second person.

Does it?  Hee hee.  As it happens, Marco Pulisci is one of two characters
in the game whose names were directly copied from real people.  (The
other is Miss Sierra.)

Hmmm... maybe I should write a short piece about this sort of thing.  If
I do, it'll appear over in rec.arts.int-fiction, though.

  -----
 Adam Cadre, Issaquah, WA
 http://adamcadre.ac

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Adam J. Thornton 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.990827111527.19240A-100000@godzilla2.acpub.duke.edu>,

Adam Cadre  <ad...@duke.edu> wrote:
>If you haven't played the game, don't read this post.

Thus, spoiler space.


>When I first came up with the idea for this game, the working title was
>"Sickest IF Game Ever Written".  I was planning to set it in the
>modern-day corporate world, chiefly influenced by one of my favorite
>television shows ever, "Profit" (which appeared for all of four episodes
>in the US.  Sigh.)  And initially, you were intended to play the nastiest
>character in the game -- in order to "win," you would have to brutalize
>any number of more or less innocent people in increasingly sadistic
>ways.  It was going to be something of an experiment to see when various
>people would finally throw up their hands and say, "Enough -- I don't
>*want* to win this thing anymore."

So, anyone working on the IFization of _American Psycho_ ?

And oddly, even if Varicella isn't quite SIGEW, I'm pretty close to the
"Ugh.  *Everyone* in this game is horrid.  I don't really want to play it,"
point.  Very well written.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell."  -- Tom Waits

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Adam J. Thornton 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.990827114251.19240B-100000@godzilla2.acpub.duke.edu>,

Adam Cadre  <ad...@duke.edu> wrote:
>Does it?  Hee hee.  As it happens, Marco Pulisci is one of two characters
>in the game whose names were directly copied from real people.  (The
>other is Miss Sierra.)

One presumes that the latter is, ah, a working name.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell."  -- Tom Waits

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Dan Schmidt 8/27/99 12:00 AM
"Luca Melchionna" <lmelc...@iname.com> writes:

| "Varicella", however, as a surname, departs from the realm of
| possibility.  Imagine someone called "Woodrow Smallpox" in the US.

I would find that just as implausible, and just as funny, as the name
Varicella.

When I see the name Woodrow Smallpox, I think would actually fit right
in in Thomas Pynchon's GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, alongside such characters as
Lyle Bland, Teddy Bloat, Emil Bummer, Ronald Cherrycoke, and Sammy
Hilbert-Spaess.  Then of course there's the law firm of Salitieri,
Poore, Nash, De Brutus and Short...

--
                 Dan Schmidt -> df...@harmonixmusic.com, df...@alum.mit.edu
Honest Bob & the                http://www2.thecia.net/users/dfan/
Factory-to-Dealer
Incentives -> http://www2.thecia.net/users/dfan/hbob/
          Gamelan Galak Tika -> http://web.mit.edu/galak-tika/www/

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism SLaM 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <wkhfllm...@turangalila.harmonixmusic.com>,
df...@harmonixmusic.com says...

> "Luca Melchionna" <lmelc...@iname.com> writes:
>
> | "Varicella", however, as a surname, departs from the realm of
> | possibility.  Imagine someone called "Woodrow Smallpox" in the US.
>
 Or someone named Variola Modo. Variola is the Latin word for
smallpox. I guess this translates to Smallpox Style? Anyway, Modo
certainly is a pox upon Piedmont.

Laurie

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Adam J. Thornton 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <wkhfllm...@turangalila.harmonixmusic.com>,

Dan Schmidt  <df...@harmonixmusic.com> wrote:
>When I see the name Woodrow Smallpox, I think would actually fit right
>in in Thomas Pynchon's GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, alongside such characters as
>Lyle Bland, Teddy Bloat, Emil Bummer, Ronald Cherrycoke, and Sammy
>Hilbert-Spaess.  Then of course there's the law firm of Salitieri,
>Poore, Nash, De Brutus and Short...

Emil "Saure" Bummer, of course.  Which is funnier.

Not to mention Ned Pointsman and Nora Dodson-Truck.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell."  -- Tom Waits

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Adam J. Thornton 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <MPG.1230da031...@nntp.hip.cam.org>,

SLaM <lau...@cam.org> wrote:
> Or someone named Variola Modo. Variola is the Latin word for
>smallpox. I guess this translates to Smallpox Style? Anyway, Modo
>certainly is a pox upon Piedmont.

And isn't it odd that Varicella's name is the diminutive of Variola?  Are
we meant to suspect that, perhaps, there's a familial relationship?

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell."  -- Tom Waits

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Mark Stevens 8/27/99 12:00 AM
On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 19:00:00 GMT, l...@nu-world.com (Lelah Conrad)
wrote:

>Say what you want, Adam C., but I think you just really wanted to
>finally write a chicken game!

If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and cluck
interface?


--
Mark Stevens

http://www.headspin.clara.net/

Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism Graham Nelson 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <wkhfllm...@turangalila.harmonixmusic.com>, Dan Schmidt
<URL:mailto:df...@harmonixmusic.com> wrote:
> When I see the name Woodrow Smallpox, I think would actually fit right
> in in Thomas Pynchon's GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, alongside such characters as
> Lyle Bland, Teddy Bloat, Emil Bummer, Ronald Cherrycoke, and Sammy
> Hilbert-Spaess.  Then of course there's the law firm of Salitieri,
> Poore, Nash, De Brutus and Short...

Or Mr Ian Fleming's highly realistic spy novels, featuring
Hugo Drax, Dr No, Pussy Galore, ...

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Graham Nelson 8/27/99 12:00 AM
In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.990827111527.19240A-100000@godzilla2.acpub.duke.edu>,
Adam Cadre <URL:mailto:ad...@duke.edu> wrote:
> When I first came up with the idea for this game, the working title was
> "Sickest IF Game Ever Written".

There are a few... gratuitous side-swipes, yes.  Not everyone
thought the joke about King Charles the Pedophile belonged
in any category of humour.

> I was planning to set it in the
> modern-day corporate world, chiefly influenced by one of my favorite
> television shows ever, "Profit" (which appeared for all of four episodes
> in the US.  Sigh.)

Was that the one about the man whose secret life consists of
being naked in a foetal position in front of his aquarium,
while by day he goes about being really mean to his business
associates?  I'm sure it was meant to be a psycho-sexual twist
on those technicolor 1950s musicals about life in Madison
Avenue advertising agencies, but it didn't look as if it had
_all_ that much potential as a hypothesis.

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Adam Cadre 8/28/99 12:00 AM
Graham Nelson wrote:
> Not everyone thought the joke about King Charles the Pedophile belonged
> in any category of humour.

Well, the source of comedy there was supposed to be the back-and-forth
over the existence of Piedmont's constitution.  But of course not every
joke is going to work for every player.  I do hope that the rest of the
game made it clear that I wasn't making light of the subject, though.

> Was [Profit] the one about the man whose secret life consists of


> being naked in a foetal position in front of his aquarium,
> while by day he goes about being really mean to his business
> associates?

Well, first he'd sit at his computer and dig through his rivals' hard
drives, looking for incriminating information and tampering with the
occasional file.  Then he'd curl up in his cardboard box, look at the
viewer, say "good night" and go to sleep.

  -----
 Adam Cadre, Issaquah, WA
 http://adamcadre.ac

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Gene Wirchenko 8/28/99 12:00 AM
ma...@headspin.clara.net (Mark Stevens) wrote:

>On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 19:00:00 GMT, l...@nu-world.com (Lelah Conrad)
>wrote:
>
>>Say what you want, Adam C., but I think you just really wanted to
>>finally write a chicken game!
>
>If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and cluck
>interface?

     Point and click could still be appropriate.

From My Sig Collection:

<Smith and Wesson...the original point and click interface>

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
     I have preferences.
     You have biases.
     He/She has prejudices.

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Adam Atkinson 8/28/99 12:00 AM
On 27-Aug-99 21:24:44, Graham Nelson said:

[re "Profit"]

>Was that the one about the man whose secret life consists of


>being naked in a foetal position in front of his aquarium,
>while by day he goes about being really mean to his business
>associates?

Yes. NB he slept in a the same cardboard box he'd been kept in as a
child.

>I'm sure it was meant to be a psycho-sexual twist
>on those technicolor 1950s musicals about life in Madison
>Avenue advertising agencies, but it didn't look as if it had
>_all_ that much potential as a hypothesis.

I don't think it had much long-term potential, but the 8 or 9 episodes
that were made were quite entertaining. He was quite loathsome. I'm
not sure whether I thought he was more or less vile than Lucas Buck
from "American Gothic". They were both horrid.

I preferred "Profit" to A.G. A.G. started off pretty badly - the
"Lucas tempts Caleb. Merlyn tells Caleb to resist" plotlines early on
got very repetitive. Some of the later episodes about other things
were sort of ok.

--
Adam Atkinson (gh...@mistral.co.uk)
Quicksand or no, Carstairs, I've half a mind to struggle.


why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Zimri 8/30/99 12:00 AM
Mark Stevens <ma...@headspin.clara.net> wrote in message
news:37c9182a.24829817@news.clara.net...

> On Fri, 27 Aug 1999 19:00:00 GMT, l...@nu-world.com (Lelah Conrad)
> wrote:
>
> >Say what you want, Adam C., but I think you just really wanted to
> >finally write a chicken game!
>
> If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
cluck
> interface?

I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.

-- Z(imri)


Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) Zimri 8/30/99 12:00 AM
Avrom Faderman (fade...@pacbell.net) wrote:
>
> : (Carolingean is apparently an adjective used to describe
Charlemange and his
> : descendents...no idea why).

Philip:
> It's after Carolingus, the Latin rendition of Charlemagne.

No, the Latin rendition of Charlemagne is Carolus Magnus ("Charles the
Great"). I don't know what "Caroling" means, so I'm cross-posting this
to soc.history.medieval. My guess is that it's a Germannic way of
expressing "dynasty of Karol". (France was still very Frankish - that
is, Germannic - in the 800's CE.)

-- Z


OT: Bell WAS:Re: Names, Machiavelli and a mild criticism R. Alan Monroe 8/31/99 12:00 AM
In article <7q60rs$e01$1...@serv1.iunet.it>, "Luca Melchionna" <lmelc...@iname.com> wrote:
>This reminds me of how convinced the americans are that the telephone was
>invented by Graham Bell.

It's because of the great movie version of the story - the one with
Don Ameche!

:^)

Have fun
Alan

Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) TenthStone 8/31/99 12:00 AM
On Mon, 30 Aug 1999 17:32:50 -0500, "Zimri" <zim...@earthlink.net>
wrote:

Dictionary:

From Carolingi, plural of Carolingus, from Carolus plus "ing",
the Germanic patronymic.

In other words, exactly what Zarf said except with "descendants"
instead of "dynasty".

----------------
The Imperturbable TenthStone
mcc...@erols.com  tenth...@hotmail.com  mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) TenthStone 8/31/99 12:00 AM
On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 09:30:15 GMT, mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:
>In other words, exactly what Zarf said except with "descendants"
>instead of "dynasty".

Except, of course, that Zimri said that.

Ahem.

----------------
The Imperturbable TenthStone
mcc...@erols.com  tenth...@hotmail.com  mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Paul O'Brian 8/31/99 12:00 AM

What a poultry attempt at humor.

--
Paul O'Brian  obr...@colorado.edu  http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian
"Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears."
                                               -- Paul Simon


why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) BrenBarn 8/31/99 12:00 AM
>> > >Say what you want, Adam C., but I think you just really wanted to
>> > >finally write a chicken game!
>> >
>> > If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
>> cluck
>> > interface?
>>
>> I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.
>
>What a poultry attempt at humor.
     Would you say the game is one of your top pecks?

From,
Brendan B. B. (Bren...@aol.com)
(Name in header has spam-blocker, use the address above instead.)

"Do not follow where the path may lead;
go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail."
   --Author Unknown

Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) Philip W. Darnowsky 8/31/99 12:00 AM
Zimri (zim...@earthlink.net) wrote:
: Avrom Faderman (fade...@pacbell.net) wrote:
: >
: > : (Carolingean is apparently an adjective used to describe
: Charlemange and his
: > : descendents...no idea why).

: Philip:
: > It's after Carolingus, the Latin rendition of Charlemagne.

: No, the Latin rendition of Charlemagne is Carolus Magnus ("Charles the
: Great"). I don't know what "Caroling" means, so I'm cross-posting this
: to soc.history.medieval. My guess is that it's a Germannic way of
: expressing "dynasty of Karol". (France was still very Frankish - that
: is, Germannic - in the 800's CE.)

That'll learn me to smoke crack just before I post.  I stand corrected.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Darnowsky pdar...@spameggsbaconandspam.qis.net
Remove spam, eggs, bacon, spam, and dot to reply.

LUTHER!

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Kathleen M. Fischer 8/31/99 12:00 AM
BrenBarn wrote:
>
> >> > >Say what you want, Adam C., but I think you just really wanted to
> >> > >finally write a chicken game!
> >> >
> >> > If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
> >> cluck
> >> > interface?
> >>
> >> I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.
> >
> >What a poultry attempt at humor.
>      Would you say the game is one of your top pecks?
>
  I'd say it's something to crow about.

Kathleen

--
*******************************************************************
*  Kathleen M. Fischer                                            *
*  kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov  (nospam = l l n l)             *
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Mark Stevens 8/31/99 12:00 AM
On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:56:36 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
<kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:

>> >> > If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
>> >> > cluck interface?

>> >> I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.

>> >What a poultry attempt at humor.

>> Would you say the game is one of your top pecks?

>  I'd say it's something to crow about.

Definitely one for the family albumen.


--
Mark Stevens

http://www.headspin.clara.net/

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) tv's Spatch 8/31/99 12:00 AM
What would ma...@headspin.clara.net (Mark Stevens) do?

>On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:56:36 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
><kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>
>>> >> > If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
>>> >> > cluck interface?
>
>>> >> I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.
>
>>> >What a poultry attempt at humor.
>
>>> Would you say the game is one of your top pecks?
>
>>  I'd say it's something to crow about.
>
>Definitely one for the family albumen.

Fowl puns in rgif?!  Wattle the neighbors think?

--
der Spatchel                                                     R. Noyes
Reading, MA                                                         01867
http://spatch.ne.mediaone.net/          

"Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg" - Robert Goulet

bad puns (was chicken pox) Adam Cadre 8/31/99 12:00 AM
Gene Wirchenko wrote:
>      That it's time for an end to the yolks?

I don't care if you people keep making bad puns for the next several
weeks, but c'mon, could you CHANGE THE FREAKING SUBJECT LINE?  If the
post is not about the reason Varicella is named Varicella, then the
subject line shouldn't say it is.  I'm interested in discussion of my
game.  I'm not interested in lame-ass chicken jokes.  Subject lines
are supposed to help readers distinguish between these sorts of things.

</bitch>

  -----
 Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
 http://adamcadre.ac

why chicken pox? (was geography and history in Vc) Gene Wirchenko 9/1/99 12:00 AM
spatula@!nnuendo.com (tv's Spatch) wrote:

>What would ma...@headspin.clara.net (Mark Stevens) do?
>>On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:56:36 -0700, "Kathleen M. Fischer"
>><kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>>
>>>> >> > If Varicella were a graphic adventure, would it use a point and
>>>> >> > cluck interface?
>>
>>>> >> I'm not sure it needs such eggstra features.
>>
>>>> >What a poultry attempt at humor.
>>
>>>> Would you say the game is one of your top pecks?
>>
>>>  I'd say it's something to crow about.
>>
>>Definitely one for the family albumen.
>
>Fowl puns in rgif?!  Wattle the neighbors think?

     That it's time for an end to the yolks?

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
     I have preferences.
     You have biases.
     He/She has prejudices.

bad puns (was chicken pox) Mark Stevens 9/1/99 12:00 AM
On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:40:45 -0700, Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac>
wrote:

>I'm not interested in lame-ass chicken jokes.  Subject lines
>are supposed to help readers distinguish between these sorts of things.

Now, now. There's no need to be un-pheasant.


--
Mark Stevens

http://www.headspin.clara.net/

Geography and history in Varicella (mildly OT) David Brain 9/1/99 12:00 AM
In article <7qf0lk$kal$1...@oak.prod.itd.earthlink.net>, zim...@earthlink.net (Zimri)
wrote:

> I don't know what "Caroling" means, so I'm cross-posting this
> to soc.history.medieval.

It means singing Christmas songs with people who can't spell.

(still playing Shingles, so can't comment on the game properly except to remind people
to include spoiler warnings.  Not that I take any notice of them...)

--
David Brain
London, UK

bad puns (was chicken pox) Dave G 9/2/99 12:00 AM
Mark Stevens wrote:
>
> On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:40:45 -0700, Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac>
> wrote:
>
> >I'm not interested in lame-ass chicken jokes.  Subject lines
> >are supposed to help readers distinguish between these sorts of things.
>
> Now, now. There's no need to be un-pheasant.

Enough already!  Isn't this thread ova yet?

bad puns (was chicken pox) Joe Mason 9/15/99 12:00 AM

Hah!  We've still just barely cracked the shell!  I'm sure people are still sitting on some great ones out there.  (Although some of the recent puns were really nothing to crow about.)

Oh, BTW - Hi all, I'm back, I'm in Ottawa now (working on Corel's new Linux distro), what'd I miss in the past few weeks, what's this about a new Adam Cadre game?

(Oh, and about Opera - great web browser, lousy newsreader.  I may just be silent for a while longer, until I get my Linux setup fixed and I can run slrn again.  I broke it - my bad.)

Joe

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