Pleasantville

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Steven Marsh

unread,
Oct 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/27/98
to

Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one
that starts to fall apart the more you think about it). And its use
of black & white/color was really quite interesting (and visually
engaging to look at).
My question to the IF community is, has there been any attempt
at a piece of IF where the medium -was- part of the message? Where
the fonts, text colors, or the like changed according to some momentum
of the plot? The closest I can think is Bureaucracy, where you get to
use "on-line" forms and the like... but that's not really the same
thing.
I can envision a piece where people's emotions were denoted by
what font they spoke in, or the color of their text, or the like.
Unfortunately, the biggest limitation to this is the fact
that, until recently (HTML-TADS), the tools weren't really available
to the programmer to do anything like that.
Comments?

Steven Marsh
ma...@nettally.com


M. Wesley Osam

unread,
Oct 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/27/98
to
In article <3635993...@news2.nettally.com>, ma...@nettally.com
(Steven Marsh) wrote:

> My question to the IF community is, has there been any attempt
> at a piece of IF where the medium -was- part of the message? Where
> the fonts, text colors, or the like changed according to some momentum
> of the plot?

A competition spoiler is below.


"Photopia" sounds like exactly what you're describing. I was
surprised how much the color changes added to the mood of
the game; the author got a lot of milage out of a fairly simple
trick. (Probably not so simple to code, though.)

--
Wesley Osam "I'm sorry. I thought you were all timeless
wo...@avalon.net beings of unlimited evil, and I'd come here
to defeat you."
http://www.avalon.net/~wosam --Lawrence Miles, _Alien Bodies_

Neil K.

unread,
Oct 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/27/98
to
mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:

> As an aside, programming specifically for HTML-TADS can be dangerous
> to one's market acceptance (i.e. the HTML tag-ups are not widely
> supported).

*Dangerous*? Not really. You can write a game that's equally playable on
both graphical and text-only TADS interpreters. You lose most of the
special effects you get through HTML TADS, but it's not otherwise a big
deal.

As long as there's a TADS runtime of 2.2.5 or better available for your
platform of choice you're fine. There are currently 2.2.5 or 2.2.6
interpreters available for the Amiga, Linux, MacOS, MS-DOS, Windows
95/98/NT and Sun. Hopefully someone will update the Acorn and other UNIX
variant ports at some point soon.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Oct 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/27/98
to
In article <3635993...@news2.nettally.com>,

Steven Marsh <ma...@nettally.com> wrote:
> Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one
>that starts to fall apart the more you think about it). And its use
>of black & white/color was really quite interesting (and visually
>engaging to look at).
> My question to the IF community is, has there been any attempt
>at a piece of IF where the medium -was- part of the message? Where
>the fonts, text colors, or the like changed according to some momentum
>of the plot? The closest I can think is Bureaucracy, where you get to
>use "on-line" forms and the like... but that's not really the same
>thing.

Photopia.

To some degree, _Spider and Web_.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"There's a border to somewhere waiting, and a tank full of time." - J. Steinman

David Gasior

unread,
Oct 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/28/98
to
In article <3635993...@news2.nettally.com>, ma...@nettally.com says
...

> Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one
>that starts to fall apart the more you think about it).

I think the best thing about the movie is how people can interpret it so
many different ways and apply it to so many different situations. It's no
Oscar candidate, but it was intriguing.

--
David A Gasior
dga...@home.com
/
Fight spam - remove the word
"nospam" from my email address


TenthStone

unread,
Oct 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/28/98
to
ma...@nettally.com (Steven Marsh) caused this to appear in our collective
minds on Tue, 27 Oct 1998 10:08:58 GMT:

>
> Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one

>that starts to fall apart the more you think about it). And its use
>of black & white/color was really quite interesting (and visually
>engaging to look at).

I'd like to see that some day. Right after watching Apocalypse Now,
The World According to Garp, and A Clockwork Orange.

(No subtle point here: just madness)

> My question to the IF community is, has there been any attempt
>at a piece of IF where the medium -was- part of the message? Where
>the fonts, text colors, or the like changed according to some momentum
>of the plot? The closest I can think is Bureaucracy, where you get to
>use "on-line" forms and the like... but that's not really the same
>thing.

Well, Spider and Web had this to a limited degree, but beyond stress it
might be rather confusing. Something like this would be better
implemented in voice, which changes the entire situation.

> I can envision a piece where people's emotions were denoted by
>what font they spoke in, or the color of their text, or the like.

The problem being that some enterprising young author would develop
an incredibly complex system of font-faces (green Times New Roman in
boldface italic = strong feeling of angst), only to discover that Neil
David Smith in last year's IFComp already used a green, boldface, italic
font to denote anger with a subtle note of jealousy.

> Unfortunately, the biggest limitation to this is the fact
>that, until recently (HTML-TADS), the tools weren't really available
>to the programmer to do anything like that.

As an aside, programming specifically for HTML-TADS can be dangerous


to one's market acceptance (i.e. the HTML tag-ups are not widely
supported).

> Comments?

Liquid Spam was a poor idea to begin with, but they should never have used
it as industrial lubricant.

-----------

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

J. Robinson Wheeler

unread,
Oct 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/28/98
to
David Gasior wrote:
>
> In article <3635993...@news2.nettally.com>, ma...@nettally.com says
> ...
>
> > Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one
> >that starts to fall apart the more you think about it).
>
> I think the best thing about the movie is how people can interpret it so
> many different ways and apply it to so many different situations. It's no
> Oscar candidate, but it was intriguing.

On the contrary, look for it to make a big showing next Academy Award
time. Likely nominations: Best Actress (Joan Allen -- or supporting?),
Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects,
Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Daniels, perhaps William H. Macy too).

It's got Oscar-candidate written all over it. Note that this says
nothing about what I, personally, thought of the movie. I'll keep that
to myself.


IF? Topic? Whazza?

--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

David Glasser

unread,
Oct 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/28/98
to
Steven Marsh <ma...@nettally.com> wrote:

> Has anyone seen Pleasantville? A darn fine flick (though one

> that starts to fall apart the more you think about it). And its use
> of black & white/color was really quite interesting (and visually
> engaging to look at).

> My question to the IF community is, has there been any attempt
> at a piece of IF where the medium -was- part of the message? Where
> the fonts, text colors, or the like changed according to some momentum
> of the plot? The closest I can think is Bureaucracy, where you get to
> use "on-line" forms and the like... but that's not really the same
> thing.

> I can envision a piece where people's emotions were denoted by
> what font they spoke in, or the color of their text, or the like.

> Unfortunately, the biggest limitation to this is the fact
> that, until recently (HTML-TADS), the tools weren't really available
> to the programmer to do anything like that.

> Comments?

Play the competition games. Specifically, the one that has been
mentioned much.

Also, An Exploration of Colour (TextFire) does something like that.

One thing that I wouldn't like about this would be the tendancy to
cheesiness. I mean, is it really that artistic to render Crazy Bob's
speech in some nearly illegible silly font?

--David Glasser
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com | http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Sadie Hawkins, official band of David Glasser: http://sadie.retina.net
"We take our icons very seriously in this class."

Steven Marsh

unread,
Oct 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/28/98
to
On Wed, 28 Oct 1998 16:08:10 -0500, gla...@DELETEuscom.com (David
Glasser) wrote:
<snip>

>One thing that I wouldn't like about this would be the tendancy to
>cheesiness. I mean, is it really that artistic to render Crazy Bob's
>speech in some nearly illegible silly font?
>

Oh, I agree whole-heartedly. It needs to be done for a specific,
hopefully artistic, reason (like most choices in designing IF... or
anything else creative).

As an example from the world of comic books, all the Endless in
Sandman have distinctive fonts, which adds to the charm and
distinctiveness (Todd Klein, the letterer for that series, is
incredible).

The counterexample is from the X-Men & Uncanny X-Men a few years ago
(don't know about more recently), which used to letter their word
balloons dramatically, giving big colored text to things that seemed
important. For example:

"You're trying to decide who *LIVES* [big red letters] and who should
*DIE* [big blue letters]."

Treis cheesy. And not in a good way.

Steven Marsh
ma...@nettally.com
Who still thinks Stan Lee's run on Ravage 2099 is the most
amazingly bad writing ever. It's an absolute delight, like Ed Wood.

TenthStone

unread,
Oct 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/29/98
to
fake...@nospam.ca (Neil K.) caused this to appear in our collective
minds on Tue, 27 Oct 1998 18:16:55 -0800:

> mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:
>
>> As an aside, programming specifically for HTML-TADS can be dangerous
>> to one's market acceptance (i.e. the HTML tag-ups are not widely
>> supported).
>

> *Dangerous*? Not really. You can write a game that's equally playable on
>both graphical and text-only TADS interpreters. You lose most of the
>special effects you get through HTML TADS, but it's not otherwise a big
>deal.

I see what you're saying. I'd thought "programming specifically for
HTML-TADS" conveyed the idea of writing a game which would be difficult to
implement in text mode, such as the use of emotional accenting, but I
should have been more explicit. Apologies.

> As long as there's a TADS runtime of 2.2.5 or better available for your
>platform of choice you're fine. There are currently 2.2.5 or 2.2.6
>interpreters available for the Amiga, Linux, MacOS, MS-DOS, Windows
>95/98/NT and Sun. Hopefully someone will update the Acorn and other UNIX
>variant ports at some point soon.

I think several of this platforms could support an HTML-enabled version of
TADS 2.2.6; if my C skills were any better than pathetic, I'd undertake a
DOS port, which could serve Windows 3 as well.

It strikes me that for HTML-TADS to catch on (as opposed to TADS 2.2.6)
it will be necessary for its enhanced features to appear on platforms
besides Windows 95; this is especially pertinent in a community such as
we are, wherein the great part uses systems elsewhere considered strongly
in the minority.

Stephen Granade

unread,
Oct 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/29/98
to
On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, TenthStone wrote:

> I think several of this platforms could support an HTML-enabled version of
> TADS 2.2.6; if my C skills were any better than pathetic, I'd undertake a
> DOS port, which could serve Windows 3 as well.

There already is a DOS 2.2.6 port, maintained by Mike Roberts.

> It strikes me that for HTML-TADS to catch on (as opposed to TADS 2.2.6)
> it will be necessary for its enhanced features to appear on platforms
> besides Windows 95; this is especially pertinent in a community such as
> we are, wherein the great part uses systems elsewhere considered strongly
> in the minority.

It's happening, albeit slowly. Thanks to the efforts of Iain and Andrew,
HyperTADS for the Mac is coming along nicely.

Stephen

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


Iain Merrick

unread,
Oct 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/29/98
to
Stephen Granade wrote:

> On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, TenthStone wrote:
>
> > I think several of this platforms could support an HTML-enabled version of
> > TADS 2.2.6; if my C skills were any better than pathetic, I'd undertake a
> > DOS port, which could serve Windows 3 as well.
>
> There already is a DOS 2.2.6 port, maintained by Mike Roberts.

[...]

If anyone else _is_ thinking of doing a port, an X-Windows version would
be nice. Hint hint.

--
Iain Merrick

Erik Max Francis

unread,
Oct 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/29/98
to
Angel "Muke" Rivera wrote:

> If you've ever played the Super Nintendo game "EarthBound", you find a
> weird race of people all called "Mr. Saturn"... They speak in a very
> wiggly/curly font that IMO does a very fair job of conveying their
> personality. (If you can figure it out. Took me a while to discover
> that it wasn't "DOING!" but rather "BOING!"...)

Sounds kind of like the representation of the fish-like aliens in Star
Control 2 and 3; in Star Control 2 it was represented with kind of a
silly looking font, and it was interjected with all kinds of silly
nonsense words. (Star Control 3, as I recall, had the same font for
each alien.)

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@sade.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\
/ The believer is happy; the doubter is wise.
/ (an Hungarian proverb)

Angel "Muke" Rivera

unread,
Oct 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/30/98
to
David Glasser wrote:
> One thing that I wouldn't like about this would be the tendancy to
> cheesiness. I mean, is it really that artistic to render Crazy Bob's
> speech in some nearly illegible silly font?

If you've ever played the Super Nintendo game "EarthBound", you find a


weird race of people all called "Mr. Saturn"... They speak in a very
wiggly/curly font that IMO does a very fair job of conveying their
personality. (If you can figure it out. Took me a while to discover
that it wasn't "DOING!" but rather "BOING!"...)

Of course, if Crazy Bob was really such a dingbat, then he'd have to be
in Wingdings. Lock him away, now.

--Muke!
(whose typeface is under construction)
--
Lorum ipsum dolor sit amet. Con minimim venami quis nostrud laboris
nisi ut aliquip ex ea com dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate nonumi...

ICQ:1936556
http://welcome.to/alt.binaries.games.creatures -Visit the abgc archive!

Angel "Muke" Rivera

unread,
Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/2/98
to
Erik Max Francis wrote:

>
> Angel "Muke" Rivera wrote:
>
> > If you've ever played the Super Nintendo game "EarthBound", you
> > find a weird race of people all called "Mr. Saturn"... They speak
> > in a very wiggly/curly font that IMO does a very fair job of
> > conveying their personality. (If you can figure it out. Took me a
> > while to discover that it wasn't "DOING!" but rather "BOING!"...)
>
> Sounds kind of like the representation of the fish-like aliens in
> Star Control 2 and 3; in Star Control 2 it was represented with kind
> of a silly looking font, and it was interjected with all kinds of
> silly nonsense words. (Star Control 3, as I recall, had the same
> font for each alien.)

Yep, that's almost exactly it. Mr. Saturns have a habit of saying
"BOING!" "DING!" and "ZOOM!".

--Muke!
--
The geek shall inherit the earth. [SO THERE!]

ICQ:1936556 http://mc11a.southern.edu/ -Personal [non-C1/C2] homepage

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages