[idea/proposal] Transcript Bank?

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Paul O'Brian

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May 8, 2002, 3:11:31 PM5/8/02
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So I'm gathering research materials for my IF Theory article, and
realizing that there's a very handy resource for this sort of thing. Only
it doesn't exist just yet.

What I'm thinking of is a sort of transcript bank -- an IF archive of game
transcripts. You upload your transcript (or group of them), and it gets
filed under a directory created for that game. I think a resource like
this would serve several purposes:

* It would provide easy access to specific passages or moments of various
IF games, without requiring the seeker to actually load up the game, play
through it, maybe grab a walkthrough (if available), and script it
himself. This is the purpose that gave me the idea -- I want to quote
particular scenes in my article, and it will be a pain in the neck for me
to play through each game referenced until I get to the scene I want.
Eliminating this important difference between IF games and books (easy
accessibility to the text at random points in the narrative) can only help
scholarship, it seems to me.

* It would allow players who don't like walkthroughs to download *other*
players' attempts at the same game, possibly providing a gentler nudge
than walkthroughs or even hints could.

* In that same spirit, players could see elements of the game they might
have missed on their own play-through. For instance, based on his review,
I'd bet that Aris' transcript for Worlds Apart would reveal a lot of depth
that other players might have missed.

* Authors could look at the transcripts to see how people are reacting to
the game, and perhaps to gather ideas for future bugfix/enhancement
releases.

Now, sadly, although I love my idea, I don't have the disk space or
connectivity to pull it off. But maybe there's somebody who does, and
would be willing to Make It So. Anyone?

--
Paul O'Brian obr...@colorado.edu http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian
The SPAG bunny is here, with a basket full of text adventure news,
articles and reviews! Check out SPAG #28 at http://sparkynet.com/spag

Neil Cerutti

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May 8, 2002, 4:03:11 PM5/8/02
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Paul O'Brian posted:

>So I'm gathering research materials for my IF Theory article,
>and realizing that there's a very handy resource for this sort
>of thing. Only it doesn't exist just yet.

I'm almost sure that somebody did something like this after the
1999 competition. I think that the transcripts archived there
were humorous, though. I think it was somebody calling themselves
something like "Spif".

Lucian Smith has saved several transcripts of his gaming sessions
here:

URL:http://www-bioc.rice.edu/~lpsmith/IF/transcripts/

So that's a start at least.

--
Neil Cerutti <cer...@trans-video.net>

J. Robinson Wheeler

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May 9, 2002, 2:06:43 AM5/9/02
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Paul O'Brian wrote:

> So I'm gathering research materials for my IF Theory article, and
> realizing that there's a very handy resource for this sort of thing.
> Only it doesn't exist just yet.
>
> What I'm thinking of is a sort of transcript bank -- an IF archive
> of game transcripts. You upload your transcript (or group of them),
> and it gets filed under a directory created for that game. I think
> a resource like this would serve several purposes:
>

> Now, sadly, although I love my idea, I don't have the disk space
> or connectivity to pull it off. But maybe there's somebody who does,
> and would be willing to Make It So. Anyone?

I don't know whether I'm equipped to host it, but I have quite a
number of transcripts sitting on my hard drive for various games,
from past Comp games to, most recently, a nearly complete document
of my playing through The Mulldoon Legacy.

Not to mention the transcripts I was going through the trouble to
create so that I could quote examples from them to use in my IF
Theory article, just like you. Sigh.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler http://jrwdigitalmedia.com/ftf/
j...@jrwdigitalmedia.com http://thekroneexperiment.com/

David A. Cornelson

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May 9, 2002, 3:08:46 AM5/9/02
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"Paul O'Brian" <obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.40.020508...@ucsu.colorado.edu...

> So I'm gathering research materials for my IF Theory article, and
> realizing that there's a very handy resource for this sort of thing. Only
> it doesn't exist just yet.
>

I'll add it to the list of features in the IFLibrary.Com website. Sounds
like a good idea. Only I would implement it slightly differently. I plan to
allow use of attached meta-data in my website. So in this particular case,
Paul could create a structure (on IFLibrary.Com) to house scripts or scenes
of scripts and then people could add there data. Each structure is related
to either a specific file or can be set to attach to a selected file and or
person within my website.

I know. Crazy talk. But it's in the works and I think it will be pretty
cool. The idea is that I no longer plan to determine the type of data
attached to IF related things. You, the user will. So if someone feels like
adding <favorite_monkey/> somewhere in the IFLibrary system, and people add
their choice, so be it. That's the whole idea.

Jarb


Dennis G. Jerz

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May 9, 2002, 10:40:33 AM5/9/02
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> "Paul O'Brian" <obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote in message
> news:Pine.GSO.4.40.020508...@ucsu.colorado.edu...
> > So I'm gathering research materials for my IF Theory article, and
> > realizing that there's a very handy resource for this sort of thing.
Only
> > it doesn't exist just yet.
> >
>
> I'll add it to the list of features in the IFLibrary.Com website. Sounds
> like a good idea. Only I would implement it slightly differently. I plan
to
> allow use of attached meta-data in my website. So in this particular case,
> Paul could create a structure (on IFLibrary.Com) to house scripts or
scenes
> of scripts and then people could add there data. Each structure is related
> to either a specific file or can be set to attach to a selected file and
or
> person within my website.

Add to that the ability to download a saved file from that point in the
game, or a link to the HTML Z-machine that somebody put together and you'd
have the ability to contextualize and compare "great moments in IF" without
forcing people to slog through the whole game from the start.

Yes, this defeats the purpose of a game... yes, it's kind of like
cheating... but analyzing IF is not the same thing as playing it.

If we can present, in a relatively controlled space, the "great moments"
that make IF what it is, then it would be much easier to make the case that
computer games of the IF variety (at least) are artistic and literary
creations that deal with issues more complex than hacking away at monsters
or jumping over obstacles. (I'm alluding to the issues covered by the "free
speech" thread.)


Mark Musante - Sun Microsystems

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May 9, 2002, 11:59:39 AM5/9/02
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Paul O'Brian (obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu) wrote:
> What I'm thinking of is a sort of transcript bank -- an IF archive of game
> transcripts. You upload your transcript (or group of them), and it gets
> filed under a directory created for that game.

This is an excellent idea. When I played and reviewed the games from
comp98 and comp99 so the authors could see for themselves what I was
talking about.

http://www.ministryofpeace.com/if/comp1998/transcripts/
http://www.ministryofpeace.com/if/comp1999/transcripts/

Sadly, I didn't review games from '00 or '01. Wonder if I'll
have time for '02.


-markm

Paul O'Brian

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May 9, 2002, 5:58:25 PM5/9/02
to
On Thu, 9 May 2002, it was written:

> I plan to
> allow use of attached meta-data in my website. So in this particular case,
> Paul could create a structure (on IFLibrary.Com) to house scripts or scenes
> of scripts and then people could add there data. Each structure is related
> to either a specific file or can be set to attach to a selected file and or
> person within my website.

Ummm... okay!

Actually, I didn't get most of that, but as long as there's a transcript
resource that provides easy upload and download capability, and that can
hold an indefinite number of contributions for any one game, I think that
would fit the bill.

Jonathan Blask

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May 9, 2002, 9:19:49 PM5/9/02
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I've thought that this would be a useful thing in the past,
especially when I think of all the prose in forgotten AGT games that I'll
never be able to get back to.
Of course, the only thing I might be concerned about is that some
authors may not want such a transcript so readily available. Should that
be considered?
- jon
"If I got stranded on a desert island (with electricity)/
And I could bring one record and my hi-fi/
I'd bring that ocean surf cd (Relaxing Sound of Ocean Surf)/
So I could enjoy the irony." - Dylan Hicks

Ross Presser

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May 10, 2002, 12:26:08 PM5/10/02
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Jonathan Blask <ell...@zork.plover.net> wrote in
news:Pine.LNX.4.44.020509...@zork.plover.net:

> Of course, the only thing I might be concerned about is that some
> authors may not want such a transcript so readily available. Should that
> be considered?

A related issue -- mostly for commercial games, but in the abstract
applying to all games -- is that a transcript is in a sense a kind of copy.
(At the very least it's a derivative work.) Therefore the right to make
and distribute transcripts is probably one that *can* be reserved under
copyright law. At the very least then, think twice before publishing
transcripts of Infocom games.


--
Ross "feeling paranoid today" Presser * rpre...@imtek.com

Jeff Pack

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May 10, 2002, 1:58:10 PM5/10/02
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> I've thought that this would be a useful thing in the past,


> especially when I think of all the prose in forgotten AGT games that I'll
> never be able to get back to.
> Of course, the only thing I might be concerned about is that some
> authors may not want such a transcript so readily available. Should that
> be considered?
> - jon

I'd think you'd have to get the author's permission, as a transcript is
probably going to be a derivative work of the original, and very few
authors have put their IF in the public domain.

Jeff

Alex Watson

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May 12, 2002, 6:21:38 AM5/12/02
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I was just about to got out and buy some food for the Salmon of Doubt,
when Jeff Pack kindly supplied me with the following text for them to
eat...

><> > I've thought that this would be a useful thing in the past,
><> > especially when I think of all the prose in forgotten AGT games that I'll
><> > never be able to get back to.
><> > Of course, the only thing I might be concerned about is that some
><> > authors may not want such a transcript so readily available. Should that
><> > be considered?
><> > - jon
><>
><> I'd think you'd have to get the author's permission, as a transcript is
><> probably going to be a derivative work of the original, and very few
><> authors have put their IF in the public domain.

Thinking on this, didn't someone GPL their games a while back? If that's
the case, transcripts of that game would have the be GPLed as well...

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