[SPAG] Make your voice heard!

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Paul O'Brian

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Aug 20, 2004, 4:34:32 PM8/20/04
to
You're not just a faceless nobody. You're not just a spinning gear in
somebody else's heartless clockwork. No! You have a mind and a soul, a
self that is authentic and unique. Your perspective is a gift that you
can bestow on the world, something nobody else can give.

Celebrate the power of your inimitable point of view and make your voice
heard by writing a review for SPAG. Burgeoning bevies of IF games are
waiting for you to articulate your reactions, and SPAG's readers are
anticipating, hoping, waiting to know what you think about that game you
just played. Don't deny them your gift!

The deadline for issue #38 is September 5th.

--
Paul O'Brian obr...@colorado.edu http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian
Make your voice heard by contributing a review to issue #38 of SPAG!
The deadline for this issue is September 5th, 2004.

James Bond

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Aug 20, 2004, 5:37:29 PM8/20/04
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I'm lazy and forgetful, what's the Dave Letterman (TM)-style top ten list of
games that need to be reviewed? I've been meaning to do this for a while
now.

--

_____

Why settle for the lesser evil? Cthulhu for president!
"Paul O'Brian" <obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.58.04...@ucsu.colorado.edu...

David Whyld

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Aug 20, 2004, 6:03:50 PM8/20/04
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"James Bond" <wildbli...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:10icros...@corp.supernews.com...

> I'm lazy and forgetful, what's the Dave Letterman (TM)-style top ten list
of
> games that need to be reviewed? I've been meaning to do this for a while
> now.
>

1. Curse of the Dragon Shrine
2. Dead Reckoning
3. 1893: A World's Fair Mystery
4. Heist
5. IF Art Show 2004 games (any, some, or all!)
6. Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus
7. Narcolepsy
8. Necrotic Drift
9. Return To Ditch Day
10. Unease


Bob_Woodward

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Aug 21, 2004, 2:23:44 PM8/21/04
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"David Whyld" <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41267548$0$93476$ed2e...@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...

Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
serious review of the full version someday.

Jess Knoch

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Aug 21, 2004, 3:05:12 PM8/21/04
to
Bob_Woodward <soen...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> "James Bond" <wildbli...@hotmail.com> wrote...

>>> I'm lazy and forgetful, what's the Dave Letterman (TM)-style top
>>> ten list of
>>> games that need to be reviewed? I've been meaning to do this for a
>>> while now.
>>>
[snip list]

>
> Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
> serious review of the full version someday.

I'm not sure where the games on the list come from, but if it were open to
debate, I would disagree that P:FL "should" be on the list. Some reviews:

http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/Pentari/Pentari.shtm gives it an A.
http://www.pcgameworld.com/game.php/id/1590/Pentari:_First_Light/ uses two
exclamation points.

My serious review of the Demo version is written more for today's IF
community, unlike the above reviews:
http://www.strangebreezes.com/if/reviews/pentaridemo.html

The 16 people who voted on it at www.ifratings.com give it an average of
1.5:
http://www.carouselchain.com/if/index.php?searchtitle=pentari
The comments on that site might be worth reading as a review.

Jess


Woodfish

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Aug 21, 2004, 5:30:35 PM8/21/04
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"David Whyld" <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote in message news:<41267548$0$93476$ed2e...@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>...

Does anyone know who the author of Dead Reckoning (no. 2) is?

David Kinder

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Aug 21, 2004, 6:57:37 PM8/21/04
to
Woodfish wrote:
> Does anyone know who the author of Dead Reckoning (no. 2) is?

It's by Nick Montfort (the English translation) and Andres
Viedma Pelaez (the Spanish original).

David


Mark J. Tilford

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Aug 21, 2004, 8:21:06 PM8/21/04
to
["Followup-To:" header set to rec.arts.int-fiction.]

There are two games by that name; one is a different translation of Olvido
Mortal (first translation Shattered Memory was disqualified from an IF
Comp); the other was an EOY game by David Whyld.

--
------------------------
Mark Jeffrey Tilford
til...@ugcs.caltech.edu

Howard Sherman

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Aug 21, 2004, 11:27:04 PM8/21/04
to
Jessica,

When you said "My serious review of the Demo version is written more
for today's IF community, unlike the above reviews" what, exactly, did
you mean?

Why does YOUR amateurish review (amateurish by your own admission on
your own website) nullify the reviews of TWO professional sources?

What's more sad is how you trumpet your review of a FIRST RELEASE DEMO
and say it is more authoritative than reviews made by people who
actually played the entire game right to the end. What were you
thinking, sweetheart?

Who appointed YOU the official spokesperson for the Interactive
Fiction community, anyway?

How can YOU speak for today's IF community for that matter?

My dear Jessica, I am the one who sets the tone and standards for
today's IF community.

Right now I am exhibiting Malinche titles at GenCon in Indianapolis.
Because of my efforts and my efforts alone, I am putting Interactive
Fiction in front of over 25,000 people.

I'm doing it again at DragonCon in Atlanta in two weeks where I will
present Interactive Fiction to another 25,000 people.

In October I am presenting Interactive Fiction to about 250,000 people
at the New York City Book Festival.

All in all, I will have put Interactive Fiction in front of over
400,000 people at the venues I attend this year alone.

I won't even bother to explore all the exposure I've generated through
front-page newspaper articles, radio interviews, my website, etc. etc.

What do YOU do for the IF community apart from being obnoxious and
manipulative?

With all of the people I've met out there, some startling observations
have been made.

When everybody OUTSIDE of these two newsgroups played BOFH it earned
rave reviews and has become a cult classic. In stark contrast, BOFH
rated somewhere towards the bottom of the list in IF Comp 2002. Isn't
it funny that THOUSANDS of people enjoy BOFH despite its low ranking
by just a few people? I think it's hysterical. I was signing
autographs today for people who thought it was so cool to meet the guy
who wrote BOFH.

I've come to the conclusion quite some time ago that these two
newsgroups and the websites that extend from them are some sort of
Bizarro world of inverse operations. (e.g. good is bad, evil is good,
dark is light, etc. etc.) No other theory explains how thousands upon
thousands of people OUTSIDE of the Bizarro world of these newsgroups
and related websites love my work and bless all things Malinche while
the very small population of Bizarro world holds the majority view
that my work is garbage.

Poor Mr. Panks has almost gone into seizures trying to convince all of
you his work is good. OUTSIDE of Bizaro world his works are quite
good. In the twisted little universe in here, his work is trash. The
poor man must be on the verge of a breakdown. I hope this message
reaches him in time.

A very elite club with a tiny membership can co-exist both in Bizarro
world and the real world and retain their sense of equilibrium. I
think they know who they are. <wink>

Here's a glimpse of the real world outside of the twisted, bizarre
world you and many others choose to live in.

When attendees sat down at my booth at GenCon and tried First Light,
the uninitiated were curious at trying something new. They walked
away converted with their new Malinche games in hand. They obviously
thought my games were good enough to pay for, especially when they can
spend their money at dozens of different booths offering every kind of
game imaginable.

When Infocom fans froze in front of my booth and saw that brand new
commercial IF is back on the market they were dumbfounded. A couple
of die-hard fans were looking for prayer mats to place in front of my
booth. No prayer mats could be found in the convention hall so they
proceeded to try out my games. A number of people clearly enjoyed
themselves as they made their way through First Light, Greystone and
Endgame. Seeing the packaged software, complete with feelies, sparked
them anew. Everyone was happy to have me autograph their games. They
left happy and content. Only good products can do that, darling.

Pentari: First Light was the biggest seller at the show. Greystone was
a very close second.

Obviously, First Light must be good if people played the full version
and then made a decision to purchase the game to take home away with
them.

I'm not going to operate in PanksMode and attempt to persuade you or
anyone else here that my work is good. I know my work is good. The
masses outside Bizarro world know this also. Like usual, my purpose
here is to present the facts and correct the horrendous inaccuracies.
Facts and truth are too powerful for the forces of chaos in Bizarro
World. You and the others of your kind are rendered powerless against
them.

Also as usual, I am not going to bother to check for responses. The
posts tend to be one sided and more than occasionally border on the
hysterical. I expect that to be doubly-true of anything you have to
say.

If Mister Woodward would care to make up his own mind about things, I
invite him to my website at http://www.malinche.net and let him judge
for himself. I extend that invitation to anyone with an open,
non-negative mind.

Everyone is invitied to visit http://www.malinche.net and take a look
around. Read all the testimonials and game reviews. Look at
everything. Try out the demos. And then decide for yourselves. Don't
let the forces of this Bizarro world hold sway over you.

Howard Sherman
Implementor
http://www.malinche.net
Live on location in Indianapolis

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jess Knoch" <jessic...@mindspring.com>
Newsgroups: rec.arts.int-fiction,rec.games.int-fiction
Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2004 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: [SPAG] Make your voice heard!


> Bob_Woodward <soen...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> "James Bond" <wildbli...@hotmail.com> wrote...

> >>> I'm lazy and forgetful, what's the Dave Letterman (TM)-style top
> >>> ten list of
> >>> games that need to be reviewed? I've been meaning to do this for a
> >>> while now.
> >>>

> [snip list]


> >
> > Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
> > serious review of the full version someday.
>

> I'm not sure where the games on the list come from, but if it were open to
> debate, I would disagree that P:FL "should" be on the list. Some reviews:
>
> http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/Pentari/Pentari.shtm gives it an A.
> http://www.pcgameworld.com/game.php/id/1590/Pentari:_First_Light/ uses two
> exclamation points.
>
> My serious review of the Demo version is written more for today's IF
> community, unlike the above reviews:
> http://www.strangebreezes.com/if/reviews/pentaridemo.html
>
> The 16 people who voted on it at www.ifratings.com give it an average of
> 1.5:
> http://www.carouselchain.com/if/index.php?searchtitle=pentari
> The comments on that site might be worth reading as a review.
>
> Jess
>
>

>

John

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Aug 22, 2004, 2:38:00 AM8/22/04
to
I remember you... I was a beta tester for BOFH. I submitted several
pages of reports on that game. Not all of the typos I reported were
corrected, but hey, it's your game, right?

I see you use Inform to write your games. What I don't see is any
mention of Inform or Graham Nelson on your web site. Might be nice to
at least give a nod to the person who created the language you use for
your games. Credit where credit is due and all that, especially since
you're selling these things for money.

I also noticed you're offering downloads of various interpreters from
your web site. Why not make mention if the IF Archive and its mirrors,
so people will know where to go to get the latest versions of these
interpreters and many, many free games. This might give your customers
a glimpse of the quality games available from "Bizarro World".

Oh, and your link to WinFrotz actually downloads Windows Frotz 2002 -
two entirely different programs. Might want to correct that...


Bob_Woodward

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Aug 22, 2004, 3:12:42 AM8/22/04
to
> I'm not sure where the games on the list come from, but if it were open to
> debate, I would disagree that P:FL "should" be on the list. Some reviews:
>
> http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/Pentari/Pentari.shtm gives it an A.
> http://www.pcgameworld.com/game.php/id/1590/Pentari:_First_Light/ uses two
> exclamation points.

I didn't know of the pcgameworld article, but I knew the justadventure
review and I somehow mistrust it.

> My serious review of the Demo version is written more for today's IF
> community, unlike the above reviews:
> http://www.strangebreezes.com/if/reviews/pentaridemo.html

Yes, I did read this review. And to quote it: "The full game might,
just *might,* overcome all the difficulties this version faces, but I
sincerely doubt it at this time." That's exactly why I would like to
see the full version reviewed by someone of the IF community.

> The 16 people who voted on it at www.ifratings.com give it an average of
> 1.5:
> http://www.carouselchain.com/if/index.php?searchtitle=pentari
> The comments on that site might be worth reading as a review.

As I understand it, these are votes concerning the demo version.
Exactly because of the discrepancy between the glowing review in
justadventure and the devastating votes at ifratings, I think the full
version should be reviewed.

Bob

Steve Evans

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Aug 22, 2004, 4:25:03 AM8/22/04
to
On 21 Aug 2004 20:27:04 -0700, How...@malinche.net (Howard Sherman)
wrote:

Ok. I'll bite.

>Jessica,

[Snipped lots of Howard Sherman defensiveness and self-promotion]


>
>What do YOU do for the IF community apart from being obnoxious and
>manipulative?

Jessica has done quite a bit as it happens (and unlike the originator
of this thread, without being in any way obnoxious or manipulative).

You on the other hand have gone so far as to deny the existence of (or
at least label as Bizarro) the scene that has allowed you to breathe
what passes for life into your commercial creations. You have taken a
programming language, library extensions and interpreters created by
the hard work of others, then without credit or acknowledgement have
added a thin veneer of hackneyed writing and slipshod coding to
produce a vehicle for self-promotion.

[Snipped some more Howard Sherman self-aggrandising]

>With all of the people I've met out there, some startling observations
>have been made.
>
>When everybody OUTSIDE of these two newsgroups played BOFH it earned
>rave reviews and has become a cult classic. In stark contrast, BOFH
>rated somewhere towards the bottom of the list in IF Comp 2002. Isn't
>it funny that THOUSANDS of people enjoy BOFH despite its low ranking
>by just a few people? I think it's hysterical. I was signing
>autographs today for people who thought it was so cool to meet the guy
>who wrote BOFH.

Yes, riotous. It's just so steeped in irony it makes my head spin.

[Snipped some colourful imagery of Howard Sherman riding on a white
horse gallantly, but belatedly, to the rescue of a mentally tormented
Paul Panks & of dumbstruck Infocom fans looking for prayer mats to
avoid having to play a Malinche title.]

>A number of people clearly enjoyed
>themselves as they made their way through First Light, Greystone and
>Endgame. Seeing the packaged software, complete with feelies, sparked
>them anew. Everyone was happy to have me autograph their games.

You mean no one fought to have their brand new Malinche game box left
unmolested?

>I'm not going to operate in PanksMode and attempt to persuade you or
>anyone else here that my work is good. I know my work is good. The
>masses outside Bizarro world know this also. Like usual, my purpose
>here is to present the facts and correct the horrendous inaccuracies.
>Facts and truth are too powerful for the forces of chaos in Bizarro
>World. You and the others of your kind are rendered powerless against
>them.

Gosh. I've been rendered powerless again! That's the second time this
week.


>
>Also as usual, I am not going to bother to check for responses.

Yeah, right.

> The
>posts tend to be one sided and more than occasionally border on the
>hysterical. I expect that to be doubly-true of anything you have to
>say.
>
>If Mister Woodward would care to make up his own mind about things, I
>invite him to my website at http://www.malinche.net and let him judge
>for himself. I extend that invitation to anyone with an open,
>non-negative mind.

By "non-negative" you mean "positive" right? Therein lies your
problem, Howard. Ackowledging constructive criticism does not seem to
be your forte.

>Everyone is invitied to visit http://www.malinche.net and take a look
>around. Read all the testimonials and game reviews. Look at
>everything.

Feel free to put up my comments when you get your Malinche
full-disclosure testimonial and review page up.

Steve

ems...@mindspring.com

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Aug 22, 2004, 4:27:16 AM8/22/04
to
"Jess Knoch" <jessic...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<2opkndF...@uni-berlin.de>...

> Bob_Woodward <soen...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> "James Bond" <wildbli...@hotmail.com> wrote...
> >>> I'm lazy and forgetful, what's the Dave Letterman (TM)-style top
> >>> ten list of
> >>> games that need to be reviewed? I've been meaning to do this for a
> >>> while now.
> >>>
> [snip list]
> >
> > Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
> > serious review of the full version someday.
>
> I'm not sure where the games on the list come from, but if it were open to
> debate, I would disagree that P:FL "should" be on the list. Some reviews:
>
> http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/Pentari/Pentari.shtm gives it an A.
> http://www.pcgameworld.com/game.php/id/1590/Pentari:_First_Light/ uses two
> exclamation points.

I think the second of these is not strictly speaking a review (at
least, if you click on the "reviews" list in the left column, you get
an index that does not contain P:FL). It might be game information
based on a press release from Malinche, or someone's precis of the
game, or something, but I am not sure it was meant to be considered a
full review. I would also say that JA (*or* pcgameworld) having
reviewed something doesn't necessarily mean that that something should
not also be reviewed in SPAG: the two have different contributors and
only partly-overlapping readership. For that matter, a game having
received an IF-Review doesn't make it ineligible for SPAG's most
wanted list. The more reviews the better, really, and it doesn't hurt
to have them come from multiple perspectives on gaming, either.

There may, of course, be other reasons, and I suppose the fact that
the author of the review would have to spend $20-$30 first in order to
contribute to a nonpaying review zine is a legitimate concern.

David Whyld

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Aug 22, 2004, 4:46:22 AM8/22/04
to

"David Kinder" <d.ki...@btinternetspamnothankyou.com> wrote in message
news:cg8k10$in5$1...@titan.btinternet.com...

Pity. I wrote a game called Dead Reckoning and I was kind of hoping it was
my version.

It might be a good idea in future to list the author's name alongside the
game so as to avoid confusion.


Thief of Bad Gags

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Aug 22, 2004, 4:55:04 AM8/22/04
to
Howard Sherman wrote:
> Why does YOUR amateurish review (amateurish by your own admission on
> your own website) nullify the reviews of TWO professional sources?

Howard, darling, you're ranting. Stop it.

Stephen Bond

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Aug 22, 2004, 5:11:10 AM8/22/04
to
Howard wrote:

> I am the one who sets the tone and standards for today's IF community.

> I was signing autographs today for people who thought it was so cool

> to meet the guy who wrote BOFH.

> I've come to the conclusion quite some time ago that these two

> newsgroups... are some sort of Bizarro world

> OUTSIDE of Bizaro world [Panks's] works are quite good.

> A couple of die-hard fans were looking for prayer mats to place in
> front of my booth.

> A number of people clearly enjoyed themselves as they made their way
> through First Light

> I know my work is good.

By the look of things, Greystone is one of those "implement your house"
games.

Stephen.

David Kinder

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Aug 22, 2004, 6:21:38 AM8/22/04
to
Ah, a post from Howard! I always look forward to these. Though I've
never understood while the wonderful writing he demonstrates in posts,
brilliantly pretending to be a pompous fool, is not reflected in his
games. Odd that ...

> My dear Jessica, I am the one who sets the tone and standards for
> today's IF community.

We're doomed! Doomed!

> Howard Sherman
> Implementor

This *always* cracks me up.

More seriously, what is it with people and critism? Why can some people
never cope with any negative reviews, and resort to assuming that it's
a conspiracy? Sheesh ...

David


Carolyn Magruder

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Aug 22, 2004, 10:00:40 AM8/22/04
to
How...@malinche.net (Howard Sherman) wrote in message news:<48c1f12f.04082...@posting.google.com>...

> Jessica,
>
> When you said "My serious review of the Demo version is written more
> for today's IF community, unlike the above reviews" what, exactly, did
> you mean?

I must be missing something. (It's been a long week at work, it's
bound to happen.) I'm not seeing anything in the newsgroup. Where
was this (apparently unfavorable) review posted?

Carolyn

Mark J. Tilford

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Aug 22, 2004, 11:21:09 AM8/22/04
to

It was written some time ago and was on a website; Jessica recently posted
a link to it.

Mark J. Tilford

unread,
Aug 22, 2004, 11:21:09 AM8/22/04
to
On 21 Aug 2004 20:27:04 -0700, Howard Sherman <How...@malinche.net> wrote:
>
> When everybody OUTSIDE of these two newsgroups played BOFH it earned
> rave reviews and has become a cult classic. In stark contrast, BOFH
> rated somewhere towards the bottom of the list in IF Comp 2002. Isn't
> it funny that THOUSANDS of people enjoy BOFH despite its low ranking
> by just a few people? I think it's hysterical. I was signing
> autographs today for people who thought it was so cool to meet the guy
> who wrote BOFH.

I believe that, the more diverse a person's experiences, the harder that
person will be to impress.

For example, a person who has read twenty different fantasy series will
probably have a more critical response to a new series than a person for
whom that is his/her first series. The former will, knowingly or not, be
judging the new series against the other twenty; the latter won't have any
sort of baseline.

The people on rec*int-fiction have played a LOT of IF games, so of course
they will grade BOFH or Pentari very differently from a person who is
experiencing IF for the first time, or who has not been playing IF for 10
years.

Have there been any people who were introduced to IF through BOFH or
Pentari, found the IF archive, and looked back at BOFH / Pentari? I
think that such a person's opinions would be instructive.

Mark J. Tilford

unread,
Aug 22, 2004, 12:21:07 PM8/22/04
to
["Followup-To:" header set to rec.arts.int-fiction.]
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 15:05:12 -0400, Jess Knoch <jessic...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> The 16 people who voted on it at www.ifratings.com give it an average of
> 1.5:
> http://www.carouselchain.com/if/index.php?searchtitle=pentari
> The comments on that site might be worth reading as a review.

The game reviewed on this link is a small prequel, not PFL.

David Welbourn

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Aug 22, 2004, 3:14:00 PM8/22/04
to
After reading Howard's message, I have this suggestion for the rest of
us.

I have an idea. I'd like to suggest that if anyone's going to any sf/f
or comics con, to simply write up a 1-page flyer with prominent and
respected IF URLs, boldly use the words "INTERACTIVE FICTION", "TEXT
ADVENTURE GAMES", and "FREE", print off 200 copies, and leave them on
the flyer table.

-- David Welbourn

Thompp

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Aug 22, 2004, 3:58:06 PM8/22/04
to
Wow! what ranting!

8)

Thompp

jk

unread,
Aug 22, 2004, 5:16:24 PM8/22/04
to
How...@malinche.net (Howard Sherman) wrote in message news:<48c1f12f.04082...@posting.google.com>...
> Jessica,
>
> My dear Jessica, I am the one who sets the tone and standards for
> today's IF community.
>
Hey, everybody, it's Mr. IF himself!

Actually, posts by this guy are a nice entertainment break from the
[Inform] problem with parser etc....posts.

Jess Knoch

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 7:22:40 AM8/23/04
to
ems...@mindspring.com wrote:
> "I would also say that JA (*or* pcgameworld) having
> reviewed something doesn't necessarily mean that that something should
> not also be reviewed in SPAG: the two have different contributors and
> only partly-overlapping readership. For that matter, a game having
> received an IF-Review doesn't make it ineligible for SPAG's most
> wanted list. The more reviews the better, really, and it doesn't hurt
> to have them come from multiple perspectives on gaming, either.

You're right, of course -- I didn't mean to imply that just because it had
been reviewed by someone else (*anyone* else) it doesn't need to be reviewed
in SPAG. On the contrary, I know that lots of games get reviewed in SPAG as
well as other places, and I think that's great. I had two separate ideas in
my post: first, I didn't think P:FL should be on the top ten most wanted
list for SPAG, and second, if the poster wanted to read reviews of P:FL
there are a few places on the web to look.

> There may, of course, be other reasons, and I suppose the fact that
> the author of the review would have to spend $20-$30 first in order to
> contribute to a nonpaying review zine is a legitimate concern.

Aye. I don't have a good way around that, which is why I haven't reviewed
the full version :-).

Jess


Jess Knoch

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 8:04:59 AM8/23/04
to
Howard Sherman wrote:
>
> When you said "My serious review of the Demo version is written more
> for today's IF community, unlike the above reviews" what, exactly, did
> you mean?

Serious, adjective: not trifling or jesting. Carried out in earnest. Of
considerable size or scope (it was over 1500 words, which is pretty large
for an IF review). I used the word because the post I was replying to was
looking for a serious review of the game.

> What's more sad is how you trumpet your review of a FIRST RELEASE DEMO

Why, is the full version better (as opposed to just longer)? The Demo
version was all I had to go on. Wasn't it intended to demonstrate the full
version?

> and say it is more authoritative than reviews made by people who
> actually played the entire game right to the end.

I did not claim my review was more authoritative. I just picked the stuff I
found by doing a quick Google: "pentari first light" reviews.

> Who appointed YOU the official spokesperson for the Interactive
> Fiction community, anyway?

This is USENET, where everyone speaks for themselves.

> I won't even bother to explore all the exposure I've generated through
> front-page newspaper articles, radio interviews, my website, etc. etc.

It's too bad you couldn't have gotten in that GAMES magazine article,
because that's the one people I know asked me about. That's the one I point
out to people who want to know more about IF.

> What do YOU do for the IF community apart from being obnoxious and
> manipulative?

Reviews, mostly. A little beta-testing. I guess the obnoxious part is just a
bonus.

> I'm not going to operate in PanksMode and attempt to persuade you or
> anyone else here that my work is good. I know my work is good. The
> masses outside Bizarro world know this also. Like usual, my purpose
> here is to present the facts and correct the horrendous inaccuracies.

I am intrigued. Where are the horrendous inaccuracies? Please let me know
where I have made a false statement and I will do everything I can to amend.
I'm honestly glad that people like your games. I have seen room for
improvement in the bits that I have played. Please, for the sake of Truth
and Honesty, let me know where I can set the record straight. Feel free to
email me directly if you'd rather not post on the newsgroups for any reason.
[Drat, I just realized that this whole thread has been cross-posted to both
raif and rgif. My apologies, folks. This will be my last post on the
cross-posted thread. Follow-ups set to rec.arts.int-fiction.]

> Facts and truth are too powerful for the forces of chaos in Bizarro
> World. You and the others of your kind are rendered powerless against
> them.

There are others of my kind? I think this is, on balance, good news.

> Also as usual, I am not going to bother to check for responses. The
> posts tend to be one sided and more than occasionally border on the
> hysterical. I expect that to be doubly-true of anything you have to
> say.

If you're not going to check for responses, why did you ask me specific
questions?

Who is being one-sided, the person who refuses to check for responses to
their post or the person who reads, considers, and responds thoughtfully?

--
Jess, who is wondering what it means to be "doubly-true" one-sided. Would
that make me two-sided? Or what?


Quintin Stone

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 10:12:16 AM8/23/04
to
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004, Howard Sherman wrote:

> What's more sad is how you trumpet your review of a FIRST RELEASE DEMO
> and say it is more authoritative than reviews made by people who
> actually played the entire game right to the end. What were you
> thinking, sweetheart?

Maybe, jackass, she was thinking she wasn't going to waste $20 on a game
after playing the demo and finding it substandard for modern IF.

> Who appointed YOU the official spokesperson for the Interactive
> Fiction community, anyway?
>
> How can YOU speak for today's IF community for that matter?
>
> My dear Jessica, I am the one who sets the tone and standards for
> today's IF community.

And who appointed YOU? What? No one? You mean it's a ridiculous
assertion based on your own delusional hallucination? Sure seems that way
to me.

> When everybody OUTSIDE of these two newsgroups played BOFH it earned
> rave reviews and has become a cult classic. In stark contrast, BOFH
> rated somewhere towards the bottom of the list in IF Comp 2002. Isn't
> it funny that THOUSANDS of people enjoy BOFH despite its low ranking by
> just a few people? I think it's hysterical. I was signing autographs
> today for people who thought it was so cool to meet the guy who wrote
> BOFH.

"People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand
because they don't know the difference." BOFH rated near the bottom
because it just wasn't that good. And I say this as one of the people who
beta-tested it. To be honest, I'm now embarrassed to have my name listed
as one of the testers in the game, and not because of any malice I hold
towards you; it's because BOFH was a buggy and poorly designed game. In
my defense, it was the first IF game I'd ever helped test and I wasn't
really familiar with good and proper testing techniques. Several of my
recommendations were brushed aside and I never did get to test the full
version of the game. The only versions I got to try ended at the hotel
lobby.

Howard, if all of this compels you to take my name out of the credits,
then feel free. I only hope that the rest of the community decides not to
hold my shameful past against me. (I was young, I needed the money.)

Last year you'd asked me if you were on my bad side and how it happened.
You weren't then, but you are now. And how it happened is simple: you're
a pompous ass with a much higher opinion of your work than it deserves.
Your IF is selling? That's great. It doesn't, even if true, have much of
a bearing on how good it actually is.

> Also as usual, I am not going to bother to check for responses.

None of us truly believes this. If you didn't read R*IF so closely, you
wouldn't pop up so readily every time someone mentions your games.

> The posts tend to be one sided and more than occasionally border on the
> hysterical.

I think this is the new definition of irony.

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/QS/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Quintin Stone

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 10:25:17 AM8/23/04
to

Or, if you're feeling bold, burn some copies of David A. Cornelson's
"Summer IF Promotional CD" and leave them out for people to take. Though
this might get pricey unless you can get blanks for cheap or free. (Got
to love those 'free after rebate' deals that occasionally pop up.)

Paul O'Brian

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 10:25:27 AM8/23/04
to
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004, Bob_Woodward wrote:

> Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
> serious review of the full version someday.

Actually, at one point a review of P:FL was in process, but Howard was so
unhappy with (what he expected to be) its content that he vaguely
threatened to sue both me and the review's author. After that, I pledged
to Howard that SPAG would never again mention him or Malinche, and he
indicated his satisfaction with this outcome.

So if anyone is considering reviewing any of his works for SPAG, please
don't, because I won't print it.

--
Paul O'Brian obr...@colorado.edu http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian
Make your voice heard by contributing a review to issue #38 of SPAG!
The deadline for this issue is September 5th, 2004.


Paul O'Brian

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 10:30:29 AM8/23/04
to
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004, Woodfish wrote:

> Does anyone know who the author of Dead Reckoning (no. 2) is?

David Kinder is correct in his assumption that I intended this request for
Nick Montfort's translation of "Olvido Mortal." I didn't realize at the
time that David Whyld wrote an ADRIFT game of the same name -- I don't
recall seeing that game announced in the newsgroups. Anyway, I've actually
received a review of Whyld's game for SPAG 38, so that's a bonus, and I
haven't yet gotten a review of the Pelaez translation, so if anyone would
like to write one, I'd still love to have it!

Cases where there are two separate games with the exact same title are
rare, and unless I indicate otherwise, I'm happy to get a review of either
one.

Michael

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 11:46:15 AM8/23/04
to
John <meni...@cox.net> wrote in message news:<3iegi0ht991ql75df...@4ax.com>...

> I see you use Inform to write your games. What I don't see is any
> mention of Inform or Graham Nelson on your web site. Might be nice to
> at least give a nod to the person who created the language you use for
> your games. Credit where credit is due and all that, especially since
> you're selling these things for money.
>

He does, actually, calling him the father of the modern-day Z machine.
I don't know if Graham is actually in the credits of the game, though.
I seem to recall Howard mentioning Graham, Inform, etc. in an
interview too.

> I also noticed you're offering downloads of various interpreters from
> your web site. Why not make mention if the IF Archive and its mirrors,
> so people will know where to go to get the latest versions of these
> interpreters and many, many free games. This might give your customers
> a glimpse of the quality games available from "Bizarro World".
>

He's got a link to Emily's page, but that's about it. I think, better
than a link to the archive itself, would be a link to Baf's or the IF
Ratings site, though that's like asking Jesus to pay homage to Satan.
Or maybe not; BAF's got info on alot of older commercial titles too.

Michael

David Whyld

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 1:30:18 PM8/23/04
to

"Paul O'Brian" <obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.58.04...@ucsu.colorado.edu...

> On Sat, 21 Aug 2004, Woodfish wrote:
>
> David Kinder is correct in his assumption that I intended this request for
> Nick Montfort's translation of "Olvido Mortal." I didn't realize at the
> time that David Whyld wrote an ADRIFT game of the same name -- I don't
> recall seeing that game announced in the newsgroups.
>

Probably because I *didn't* announce it. In hindsight, it might have been a
good idea if I had...

>
> Anyway, I've actually
> received a review of Whyld's game for SPAG 38,
>

Yay!


Carl Knoch

unread,
Aug 23, 2004, 11:40:55 PM8/23/04
to
I'll preface this message with an intro. I'm Jess Knoch's husband
Carl. I don't do IF game writing. I work as a tech support
consultant.

After I heard that there was a funny windbag on the IF Usenet group, I
just had to go look for myself. I find it humorous that Mr. IF, also
known as Howard Sherman, didn't really back up any of his ranting with
real facts. He assaulted an opinion with... his opinions. Facts
would have been great to hear, like how many copies of his game he's
sold, when he became the Savior of IF, and what in Jess' review was
misinformation.

With that in mind I decided not to take her word for it, that the game
was rife with problems, and I went to test out the demo version that's
currently on the web site of Mr. IF. There were several things about
it that would keep me from purchasing the full version. Misspelled
words, grammar problems, being told that things like manilla folders
can't have anything in them and thus can't be opened, as well as basic
problems with the logic behind the game showed me that the game wasn't
very polished nor ready for commercial consumption. What do I mean by
logic problems you ask? Well you enter a warehouse from the west by
typing "east". When you are in the warehouse you have the choice to
go west to a Bar, east to some bathrooms (that you can't enter, but
that's another problem), north to a stage area, and south to the exit.
South.... to the exit.... Didn't I just come in from the west? How
did that bar get in front of the door? No wait, how did the door get
on the south wall? I must have broken my internal compass upon entry.

I will admit that I don't play IF games normally. I'm more of a paper
and pencil role-player. The only two IF's I've tried were Tookies
Song, and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Neither had such
glaring grammar, spelling, and basic logic errors that this demo
showed. If the author hadn't already told me he was IF God, I would
have helped him out by getting a full copy of the game and testing it,
so he could fix the bugs that are inherent in it and thus avoid
embarrassment when people play it. Maybe a review of the full game
needs to be done and posted on Gamespot.

This demo reminded me of a time when I played D&D with a new DM who
was more fond of telling a story and not allowing us to explore the
world we were in instead. "No you can't go in that bathroom because I
don't know what's in there and don't want to take the time to flesh it
out!"

I looked on E-Bay for copies of the game and found none. If I had
found one cheap (I can't imagine that anyone would pay much for the
game used) I would have purchased it and reviewed it. Apparently it
doesn't need to be reviewed though as the discs are selling like
hotcakes at a Con near you!

I think it would be a great idea to get that Summer IF Promotional CD
produced. The one that was talked about in an earlier post. We could
take it to the next GenCon to distribute it for free. If there were
better IF games out there, the real IF community might continue to
grow. Maybe we can start a movement. A Bizzaro IF world movement!
We would of course need a new name for the movement as that one was
taken by SNL.

Boluc Papuccuoglu

unread,
Aug 24, 2004, 3:19:40 AM8/24/04
to
On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 08:25:27 -0600, Paul O'Brian
<obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote:

>On Sat, 21 Aug 2004, Bob_Woodward wrote:
>
>> Shoudn't Pentari: First light be on the list? I'd really like to see a
>> serious review of the full version someday.
>
>Actually, at one point a review of P:FL was in process, but Howard was so
>unhappy with (what he expected to be) its content that he vaguely
>threatened to sue both me and the review's author. After that, I pledged
>to Howard that SPAG would never again mention him or Malinche, and he
>indicated his satisfaction with this outcome.
>
>So if anyone is considering reviewing any of his works for SPAG, please
>don't, because I won't print it.

So, he forbids you to review his game(s), then flames Jess Knoch
because she suggests that reviewing P:FL on SPAG should not be a
priority... Hmm... Not all that surprised, I am sorry to admit.

David Whyld

unread,
Aug 24, 2004, 3:48:29 AM8/24/04
to
Paul O'Brian <obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu> wrote in message news:<Pine.GSO.4.58.04...@ucsu.colorado.edu>...

>
> Actually, at one point a review of P:FL was in process, but Howard was so
> unhappy with (what he expected to be) its content that he vaguely
> threatened to sue both me and the review's author. After that, I pledged
> to Howard that SPAG would never again mention him or Malinche, and he
> indicated his satisfaction with this outcome.
>

Had to laugh when I read that.

I guess deep down Howard knows the true "quality" of his work and
realises how badly he would come off from a genuine honest review of
one of his games.

Gene Wirchenko

unread,
Aug 24, 2004, 6:31:21 PM8/24/04
to
carl...@mindspring.com (Carl Knoch) wrote:

>I'll preface this message with an intro. I'm Jess Knoch's husband
>Carl. I don't do IF game writing. I work as a tech support
>consultant.
>
>After I heard that there was a funny windbag on the IF Usenet group, I
>just had to go look for myself. I find it humorous that Mr. IF, also
>known as Howard Sherman, didn't really back up any of his ranting with
>real facts. He assaulted an opinion with... his opinions. Facts
>would have been great to hear, like how many copies of his game he's
>sold, when he became the Savior of IF, and what in Jess' review was
>misinformation.
>
>With that in mind I decided not to take her word for it, that the game
>was rife with problems, and I went to test out the demo version that's
>currently on the web site of Mr. IF. There were several things about

Thank you for your review. <BEG>

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

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

Nikos Chantziaras

unread,
Aug 26, 2004, 3:57:46 PM8/26/04
to
Carl Knoch wrote:
> [...]

> I find it humorous that Mr. IF, also known as Howard
> Sherman, didn't really back up any of his ranting with real
> facts. He assaulted an opinion with... his opinions. [...]

That's how a successful troll looks like; it contains a lot of BS, and its
author never bothers to reply to anyone.

Troll-O-Meter 11 out of 10.


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