What's the longest IF game you have played\would play?

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Stuart Johnson

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Mar 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/31/96
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If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The
reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?

-----
A great many people think they are thinking when they are
merely rearranging their prejudices. - William James
-----


John Holder

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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Stuart Johnson (stj...@scsn.net) mentioned in rec.arts.int-fiction that::

> If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
> hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The
> reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
> Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
> loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
> happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?
>
Personally, it took me 1.5 years to finish Curses - with no hints. Obviously,
I did not play constantly, just on and off. It probably took me over 100 hours
of playing time, tho. And I enjoyed every minute once I found the !^@%!&%
batteries for the torch...

John
--
John Holder (jho...@nmsu.edu) http://speedracer.nmsu.edu/~jholder/
"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random
digits is, of course, in a state of sin." - John von Neumann

TEAddition

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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If a game could provide me with fresh new experiences, new rooms, and new
twists in plot for the duration, I wouldn't care if took me a year to
finish a piece of interactive fiction. The only barrier I see to my own
interest is when I spend thirty hours moving between four rooms. This is
actally the very reason I do not like Sierra On-Line games, where you
often can spend half an hour just clicking from the northeast corner where
you found the fishing hook to the southwest corner where the lake is. At
least with a text adventure I can just type "sw.sw.sw.sw.sw.sw.sw.sw.sw."
and be there in seconds.

-TEA-

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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stj...@scsn.net (Stuart Johnson) writes:
> If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
> hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it?

I had no doubt that Jigsaw was that large when I downloaded it. And,
in fact, it took me at least 20 hours. I don't remember exactly, but
it ate at least five days of my life, an entire evening every night,
and extra hours of weekends.

>The
> reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
> Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
> loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
> happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?

I find that most graphical adventures (both Sierra-style and
Myst-style) take a very long time to play, but I'm *bored* for a great
deal of that time. I'm waiting for disk loads, or for that little guy
to walk across the screen. It's all broken up into little tiny chunks
of boredom, of course.

Fans of those games haven't develoed a longer span of attention to
playing; they've developed a longer span of attention so that they can
wait for the machine to start *doing* something again.

Oh, and "universal verdict?" That'll come in the day one person is
left alive on Earth.

--Z

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

Perseid

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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stj...@scsn.net (Stuart Johnson) wrote:

>If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30

>hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The

>reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
>Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
>loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
>happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?

It would depend on wether the said author could make a good enough
game to make me play that long. If you can keep a person engrossed by
making the game continuously intriguing and exciting, I personally
don't see a limit at all.

But if you find yourself running out of ideas, and your game is
becoming less and less interesting and more convoluted, obviously it's
time to close it up.

Jason Dyer

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
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Andrew C. Plotkin (erky...@CMU.EDU) wrote:
: I find that most graphical adventures (both Sierra-style and

: Myst-style) take a very long time to play, but I'm *bored* for a great
: deal of that time. I'm waiting for disk loads, or for that little guy
: to walk across the screen. It's all broken up into little tiny chunks
: of boredom, of course.

: Fans of those games haven't develoed a longer span of attention to
: playing; they've developed a longer span of attention so that they can
: wait for the machine to start *doing* something again.

Nah, they just buy faster computers.

--
Jason Dyer - jd...@indirect.com

Virtuadept

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
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Stuart Johnson wrote:
>
> If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
> hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The
> reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
> Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
> loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
> happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?

I don't know about universal verdict, but my verdict is that if it keeps doing
something different, it can be very long and still hold my attention. I get bored when
things get repetitive, though. So, would I play a game where I had to spend 20 hours
trying to map mazes? No. Would I play a game with 20 hours of different kinds of
puzzles or lots of nifty character interaction? Sure.

--

-=* V i r t u A d e p t *=-
virtu...@earthlink.net

Cthulhu

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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In article <4jmj5q$2...@daryl.scsn.net>, stj...@scsn.net (Stuart Johnson) wrote:
>If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
>hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The
>reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
>Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
>loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
>happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?

I think really long IF is great. But to me, the original Zork counts as really
long IF. :)

I worry whenever I see ads that advertise "n hours play time". I fell for this
when I bought Elvira 2, and then discovered that the "120-hours play time" was
mostly repetitive hack n' slash to raise your level high enough to solve a
puzzle. Hmm... my level is not high enough to lift the picture and reveal the
steal safe. So I go to the catacombs, kill monsters for seven hours, and lift
the picture...

russell wallace

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Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
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In <4jmj5q$2...@daryl.scsn.net> stj...@scsn.net (Stuart Johnson) writes:

>If someone made a game that they said had taken testers upwards of 20-30
>hours to win, would you even bother downloading it or playing it? The
>reason I ask is I'm wondering if people have a longer attention span for
>Sierra\Lucasarts\etc graphical advantures, which definitely take me a
>loooong time to play, mainly because I like to poke stuff and see what
>happens. Anyway, what's the universal verdict on really long IF?
>

I personally amn't willing to spend more than a few hours on an
adventure game, either text or graphical, which is why these days I
never play an adventure game unless I've first downloaded a walkthru
file, so if my first couple of attempts to solve a puzzle don't succeed
I can just look up the answer rather than getting bogged down.
(Personal bias disclaimer: I'm not particularly fond of puzzles :))
Jigsaw for example I enjoyed a great deal, but I'd never have played it
without the walkthru.

OTOH, I know lots of people who enjoy puzzles and who've spent dozens of
hours on particular games.

--
"To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem"
Russell Wallace, Trinity College, Dublin
rwal...@vax1.tcd.ie

Brian C. Lane

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
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On 27 Apr 1996 20:25:38 GMT, rwal...@tcd.ie (russell wallace) wrote:

>I personally amn't willing to spend more than a few hours on an
>adventure game, either text or graphical, which is why these days I
>never play an adventure game unless I've first downloaded a walkthru
>file, so if my first couple of attempts to solve a puzzle don't succeed
>I can just look up the answer rather than getting bogged down.
>(Personal bias disclaimer: I'm not particularly fond of puzzles :))
>Jigsaw for example I enjoyed a great deal, but I'd never have played it
>without the walkthru.

I would submit that this isn't really plying IF. If you need a walkthru
so that you can complete the game in a couple of hours then there is no
difference between that and reading a short novel.

I have spent MONTHS on games (AMFV is one. I never have gotten the ending
to work right for me). I enjoy examining everything in the universe, seeing
how different things interact, etc.

The point of playing an IF game isn't to get to the end of the tunnel,
its the experiences you have getting there. I've been bogged down for weeks
on a puzzle. I have to walk away, and then it will hit me while thinking of
something totally different. The most annoying case was the safe puzzle in
Hollywood Hijinx. (We played a beta of it as part of a contest sponsored by
Eggead and Infocom). My team won, but we would have finished sooner if we
hadn't been stuck on that one puzzle for 6 hours!

I know puzzled and puzzleless IF had been debated here before, but my
feelings are that without puzzles (as in a movie or story without conflict)
you don't have anything worth playing. There is no sense of accomplishment
when you figure out how to get the Babel fish if you have to use
Invisiclues or a walkthru.

Brian


------- <bl...@aa.net> -------------------- <http://www.aa.net/~blane> -------
Embedded Systems Programmer, EET Student, Interactive Fiction author (RSN!)
============== 11 99 3D DB 63 4D 0B 22 15 DC 5A 12 71 DE EE 36 ============
SPAMMERs Beware! I do not tolerate unsolicited email

David Baggett

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Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
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In article <31830c7...@news.aa.net>, Brian C. Lane <bl...@aa.net> wrote:

> I would submit that this isn't really plying IF. If you need a walkthru
>so that you can complete the game in a couple of hours then there is no
>difference between that and reading a short novel.

First of all, this is certainly a non sequitur! The experience of
walking through a work of interactive fiction playing the role
of the protagonist is obviously different, technically speaking,
from the experience of reading a novel.

As a practical matter, you may feel that you've gotten the same
thing out of such a work of IF that you would have out of a novel.
However, there are simple things an interactive walkthrough could
do that a novel couldn't --- the basic example is having things
occur randomly. When you're interactivng with a work of IF, you
can see the work, well, *working*. Actors wander by, turtles flap
across the sun :), and so on, and even if you're not solving puzzles,
you're watching this stuff happen. (Compare reading a novel to
scrutinizing the insides of a watch.)

The experience can be very different. Is this so hard to imagine?
The claim that "no puzzles = static fiction" is a fairly common
one that frankly baffles me.

> I have spent MONTHS on games (AMFV is one. I never have gotten the ending
>to work right for me). I enjoy examining everything in the universe, seeing
>how different things interact, etc.

An odd example; AMFV is one of the least puzzle-oriented games around.
Using a walkthrough to get past the puzzles doesn't mean you can't take
your time with the work. And most IF works are not worthy of months of
qscrutiny, from a literary standpoint (IMHO). Really; how many works of
static fiction are? Not many; this is why we call the ones that are
"classics."

>The point of playing an IF game isn't to get to the end of the tunnel,
>its the experiences you have getting there.

This statement works equally well in an argument against puzzles! In my
opinion, the point shouldn't be to scratch your head overcoming silly
artifical obstacles; it should be to explore a work of fiction that
actually interacts with you meaningfully. Static fiction does not respond
to the reader; it just *is*. Interactive fiction, whether puzzle-based or
not, can adapt to the reader. This is fundamentally different.

>There is no sense of accomplishment when you figure out how to get the
>Babel fish if you have to use Invisiclues or a walkthru.

All the more reason to build works around exploring themes, settings, and
characters rather than brain-teasers...

Dave Baggett
__
d...@ai.mit.edu
"Mr. Price: Please don't try to make things nice! The wrong notes are *right*."
--- Charles Ives (note to copyist on the autograph score of The Fourth of July)

Phil Goetz

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Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
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In article <31830c7...@news.aa.net>, Brian C. Lane <bl...@aa.net> wrote:
>On 27 Apr 1996 20:25:38 GMT, rwal...@tcd.ie (russell wallace) wrote:
>
>>I personally amn't willing to spend more than a few hours on an
>>adventure game, either text or graphical, which is why these days I
>>never play an adventure game unless I've first downloaded a walkthru
>>file, so if my first couple of attempts to solve a puzzle don't succeed
>>I can just look up the answer rather than getting bogged down.
>>(Personal bias disclaimer: I'm not particularly fond of puzzles :))
>>Jigsaw for example I enjoyed a great deal, but I'd never have played it
>>without the walkthru.
>
> I would submit that this isn't really plying IF. If you need a walkthru
>so that you can complete the game in a couple of hours then there is no
>difference between that and reading a short novel.
>
> I have spent MONTHS on games (AMFV is one. I never have gotten the ending
>to work right for me). I enjoy examining everything in the universe, seeing
>how different things interact, etc.

I would submit that this isn't really literature. This is puzzle-solving,
plain and simple. I further submit that hard, stop-em-in-their-tracks
puzzles kill any sort of emotional contact the reader has with the story.

> I know puzzled and puzzleless IF had been debated here before, but my
>feelings are that without puzzles (as in a movie or story without conflict)

>you don't have anything worth playing. There is no sense of accomplishment


>when you figure out how to get the Babel fish if you have to use
>Invisiclues or a walkthru.

I disagree wholly and completely. You may be right, but if you are,
then interactive fiction isn't very interesting. There's got to be
more than puzzles.

Phil Go...@cs.buffalo.edu

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