[All systems] Genere: Depressing

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Ross Raszewski

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Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
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Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the
ambiance. There are at least two games like this in the competiton.
I'm not saying this isn't moving and signifigant, but I think I may have
actually ceased to exist at one point while playing these games. A game
that leaves me questioning the meaningfulness of life is deep, yeah, but
it's not exactly _fun_

Admiral Jota

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Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
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Ross Raszewski <rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> writes:

>Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
>adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
>all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
>with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the
>ambiance.

Woah... If you consider "A Change in the Weather" to be puzzle-less IF, I
don't think it would be possible to create a puzzle to satisfy you!

>There are at least two games like this in the competiton.
>I'm not saying this isn't moving and signifigant, but I think I may have
>actually ceased to exist at one point while playing these games. A game
>that leaves me questioning the meaningfulness of life is deep, yeah, but
>it's not exactly _fun_

Oh, I don't know, some of them are, some aren't. In this competition
alone, I've played several quest-ish games that were pretty boring, and
some deep, thoughtful games that were great. I think the only reason that
there are so many deep/thoughtful games right now is because it's kind of
a new thing (well, not completely *new*, but they're just starting to
become popular). In a while, the fad will die down, and they'll just be
another genre (IMHO), and something else will pop up to take its place.

--
/<-= -=-=- -= Admiral Jota =- -=-=- =->\
__/><-=- http://www.tiac.net/users/jota/ =-><\__
\><-= jo...@mv.mv.com -- Finger for PGP =-></
\<-=- -= -=- -= -==- =- -=- =- -=->/

Andrew Plotkin

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Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
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Ross Raszewski (rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org) wrote:
> Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
> adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
> all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
> with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the
> ambiance.

I give unto you a funny look. The central puzzle in "Weather" was rated
as damn near unsolvable by quite a few people. _So Far_ is, well, if
you'd been watching me design it, you'd have thought I was planning a
series of puzzles loosely strung together by some plot. (You'd have been
wrong, but for complicated reasons.)

> There are at least two games like this in the competiton.
> I'm not saying this isn't moving and signifigant, but I think I may have
> actually ceased to exist at one point while playing these games. A game
> that leaves me questioning the meaningfulness of life is deep, yeah, but
> it's not exactly _fun_

Well, I know your initial rhetorical question was rhetorical, but it was
a particularly bad way to phrase it. *Sure* some people are still
interested in classic quest games. I'm sure you can find some examples
among the entries.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
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Ross Raszewski <rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> writes:

>Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
>adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
>all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
>with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the

>ambiance. There are at least two games like this in the competiton.

>I'm not saying this isn't moving and signifigant, but I think I may have
>actually ceased to exist at one point while playing these games. A game
>that leaves me questioning the meaningfulness of life is deep, yeah, but
>it's not exactly _fun_

There has been a definite trend towards introspective games, it's true.
But I do not see these as "anti-games". It's just another way in which
the medium of IF can be used. If there are a lot of games like this
all of a sudden, it's because it's only recently been demonstrated to be
a viable possibility. If there's a lot of discussion about them here,
it's because there's more to discuss in a subgenre whose conventions are
not yet firmly established.

To answer your question, "Is anybody still interested in writing your
basic adventuring-type text adventure?": Yes. there are several such
games in the competition - they may even outnumber the introspective
ones, although I won't know for sure until I've played them all. The
day has not yet dawned when one cannot find a good dungeon crawl amidst
all the games about personal angst and the meaning of life.

If they aren't to your taste, that's well and fine. There's no reason
why a person has to like every genre.


--
Carl Muckenhoupt | Text Adventures are not dead!
b...@tiac.net | Read rec.[arts|games].int-fiction to see
http://www.tiac.net/users/baf | what you're missing!

Joe Barlow

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Oct 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/24/96
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Ross Raszewski <rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> wrote:

>Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
>adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
>all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
>with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the
>ambiance.

It's true that many of the I-F works I have played recently have been
more intellectual than previous efforts, but I'm not really sure that
this is a "new" trend. As a rule, I-F has always seemed (at least to
me) to progress intellectually from year to year. Even as far back as
Zork II (arguably), Infocom seemed determined to incorporate plots
(however trivial they may have been) into their games, expanding on
the typical "get all the treasure" storylines that were standard-fare
at the time.
Deadline was a major step forward, giving the player several
characters to interact with, in ways that had not been tried
previously. Planetfall upped the ante a bit more, by providing you
with a sidekick that many players (myself included) grew quite fond
of. And even now, over a decade later, the complexity of Suspended
still amazes me.
I remember when "A Mind Forever Voyaging" was first released (a
thousand years ago, it seems!) I was intrigued by all of the positive
reviews this game was receiving; I don't think I read a single bad
thing about it. It was universally heralded as a milestone for text
adventures and its prose was heavily praised as well.
After I purchased the game and played it for a while, I was shocked to
realise how little fun I was having with it. The game seemed dreary
and far too actionless for my taste. Though the prose *was* amazingly
well-written, it didn't seem to have the feel of a good adventure; it
was more like reading a well-written novel, with only minimal
interaction from the player required. (PORTAL was heavily criticized
for this, but I never played that one.)
Even though I later came to appreciate the game for the landmark it
was, I could never get as into it as a lot of people did. It just
wasn't my "style" of game. It remains one of the few Infocom games I
never finished. Does that make it a bad game? Certainly not. Just
as some people prefer jazz to rock & roll, there are different styles
of I-F for different people.
In my opinion, the best games are those that successfully incorporate
an intellectual, well-wriiten plot (even if it's not spectacularly
original) with classic puzzle-solving and exploration. (Jigsaw,
Trinity, etc.) There are some entries in this year's I-F competition
which move a little to one extreme or another for my liking (ie, they
are either all puzzles and a very little plot or vice versa), but they
can still be fun. And some of the games in this year's competition
are astoundingly good!
(Incidentally, I still haven't played "So Far" yet; it's been sitting
in my "Just Downloaded" directory for a few weeks now. After the
competition, though!)

This wasted bandwidth brought to you by....


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Joe Barlow (jba...@ipass.net)
"Zorkers do it under the rug..."


Gord Jeoffroy

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Oct 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/25/96
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On Wed, 23 Oct 1996 17:44:30 -0700, Ross Raszewski
<rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> wrote:

>Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
>adventure?

I think that as it becomes "easier" to write an IF game, we're going
to see IF lean more towards the F. Puzzles are easy to program but
hard to think up (at least, new ones are). Plot is tough to program
but easy to think up. When stuff like the Inform compiler comes along,
making the program easier to write, people are going to go for the
easy to think up, easy to program. And that means plot. And that means
fiction.

The game I'm working on right now is entirely ambience -- an
interactive tour of my apartment. Eventually, a plot might tie the
rooms and the characters together, but for now it's just a collection
of neat things to play with.

IF is evolving, whether we like it or not.

--Gord, also evolving, and hoping for gills...

Jim Crawford

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Oct 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/25/96
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Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
: I give unto you a funny look. The central puzzle in "Weather" was rated
: as damn near unsolvable by quite a few people.
I dont want to comment on the rest of this (I have a lot of thoughts on
this genre, but they aren't developed to the point that i can post them),
and i played weather for all of 20 minutes (there were other games entered
in the compo and i wanted to try them all.. this years compo is terrible
in this respect), but i didnt find much in the way of puzzles myself. It might
have seemed this way because the puzzle was difficult to find :)

Of course, i'm the type to give up on a game within minutes if there
doesnt i dont seem to be any apparent advancement.

pf / green grapes

Snaps

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Oct 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/26/96
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Ross Raszewski <rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> wrote an interesting
piece, here's my twopennyworth:

>Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
>adventure?

I'm surprised to see you ask this just after rgi-f exploded with posts
from people stuck on the many puzzles in TIME.

Tip to authors: If you want your game to get mucho mentions on Usenet,
fill it up with borderline unfair puzzles. If the game is good enough,
the players will forgive you (TIME is certainly good enough).


-- Si

Opinions expressed are those of every right thinking person.


chi...@fred.aurora.edu

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Oct 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/30/96
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> Ross Raszewski <rras...@skipjack.bluecrab.org> writes:
>
> >Is anyone still interested in writing your basic adventuring-type text
> >adventure? I mean, what with "A Change in the Weather", "So Far" and
> >all, people seem to be engrossed in the concept of making anti-games,
> >with no puzzles, where your purpose is to wander about and sample the
> >ambiance.


I agree and I disagree. I didnt really have a lot of fun with
So Far, and Of Forms Unknown, as I felt the lack of anything but
the most basic of plots was a hinderance. However, they certainly
had puzzles. Of Forms Unknown came across as pretty much "Wow,
I have a bunch of neat puzzles- so why waste time working them
into a game- lets just string em along one after another."
But yeah, a bunch of us are working on basic adventuring type
games. My game, SHOPPING, is slightly less than half designed.
Too bad I wont be able to program it for a while yet, till I upgrade
my computer.

Chidder


Nulldogma

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Oct 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/31/96
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> But yeah, a bunch of us are working on basic adventuring type
> games. My game, SHOPPING, is slightly less than half designed.
> Too bad I wont be able to program it for a while yet, till I upgrade
> my computer.

Wow, you must have a severely ancient computer. I programmed a good bit of
Lost New York on a Mac Portable, which (for those of you who aren't
familiar with it) is a 1989-vintage (read: slow) Mac laptop from the days
before Apple realized that most of us aren't blessed with two-foot-wide
laps.

It cost me $25. I'd be willing to bet you could pick up, say, a used 286
for the same price range.

Neil
---------------------------------------------------------
Neil deMause ne...@echonyc.com
http://www.echonyc.com/~wham/neild.html
---------------------------------------------------------

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