What is the difference between a Graphic Adventure and Graphic IF?

1 view
Skip to first unread message

L. Ross Raszewski

unread,
Mar 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/30/98
to

In article <351fb...@d2o201.telia.com>,
"Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no> wrote:
> If this takes off, a seperate newsgroup for the technical aspects of
> graphic adventure designing may have to be created. However, in that
> case it would still be appropriate to post to rec.arts.int-fiction about
> the aspects that are valid for adventure game / IF authoring in general.
>

Well, I agree with this in theory. On the other hand, let's say that we do go
this way, and we get
rec.arts.int-fiction for general "adventure game" concerns nonspecific to
graphics or text,
rec.arts.text-adventures for specific concerns about text, and
rec.arts.graphic-adventure for specific concerns about graphics.

Now, this seems to be spreading things a bit thin. I doubt that I would read
anything except raif myself. Even if the traffic increased tenfold, I don't
see why it's so much trouble for people to simply NOT READ the posts that
don't interest them. I automagicaly ignore any post with the word "TADS" in
its header, ditto Hugo and Jacl. But if we're going to insist that there be a
separate forum for text adventures, why not separate them even further?

I've alread said that I believe text and graphics have a lot to learn from
each other. Judging by the sentiment of some of the "separatists", a lot of
the TA fans would only subscribe to rata in this new hierarchy. This is
tantamount to shutting one's ears and going "dadadadada" whenever something
graphical is mentioned (regards to Chris Klimas)The result? Text adventures
stagnate. Graphic adventures stagnate. raif dies.

We CAN NOT separate out graphics and text and expect to benefit either. raif
and rgif have always been, to me, a place where we can talk _freely_ about
interactive fiction. Try discussing a text adventure on one of the graphic
groups and see how far you get (Go ahead and do this; I've never actually
tried.) If we eschew graphical adventure, not only are we defeating what I see
as our own purpose, but we're making ourselves hypocrites, and playing that
same old kind of elitism that was best summed up when someone offered the
tongue-in-cheek example of the common sentiment here that "Graphics suck"

I have heard some people argue, passionately, that text is inherantly beter
than graphics, and heard the famous epithet, "I have never enjoyed any
graphical game" from this group. Now, maybe it's just because I have this
singular (well, not quite singular, juging by the followups to my last post on
the subject) condition of not generating mental imagery from text, but I have
never shared this condition. YES I have played some bad graphical games, but
I've also played some bad text games. For that matter, most of the bad text
games I've played were FAR worse than any graphical adventure game I've
attempted. But this is one of the most fundimental errors of attribution.
It's this same logic that leads people to think that AGT is a bad system: bad
games were produced with it. THere have been bad novels, therefore the novel
is a bad system. (in fact, given the sheer quantity of pulp fiction out there,
I'd wager that the MAJORITY of printed text is trash) It's not that Graphics
aren't as good as text, it's just that there have been a lot of bad graphic
games.

Now I _know_ the inevitable response, that it's "easier" to put "little
flourishes" in a text game, but that changes nothing. It's easier to put
special effects in a graphic game, so there. "Little flourishes", or "the
no-tea puzzle" ARE NOT what make text games good. They're GIMMICKS!

In a graphic game, a "little flourish" is something different. THe most
famous classical IF puzzles, ones involving spacial orientation and
visualization, all the classical sort of puzzle, are more effective
with graphics.

Okay, one can say, but you can have graphics and still use text as the primary
output. Fair enough, but why this infatuation with text?

Seriously, if you're going to pull some thing like print being better than
graphic/sound because novels are better than movies, then you might have the
weight of most scholarly philosophy on your side, but you still haven't
convinced me. A lot of people try to use the antiquity of the written word as
evidence of its superiority. I don't really suspect that had the greeks HAD
television, the Illiad woulnd't have been broadcast during sweeps week,
upsetting everyone's plans to tape "This old collossium"
Shakespeare, probably one of the greatest writers (though this too is
debateable, but _I_ like his work) of the western world wrote _plays_, a
_performance_ medium

And you lose antiquity pretty easily. Storytelling predates the written word
by centuries or more. All the oldest works of literature, THe Illiad, the
Odyssey, Beowulf, even the Bible are descended from oral traditions. The
performance meduim, a meduim which was VISUAL and AUDIOTORY but not in the
slightest TEXT BASED is where the art of the story CAME FROM. Text is a form
that was imposed later, I think it's wrong to esteem the form above the
spirit.

Now, I'm not saying that Graphic adventure is better than text, but the two
are DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT FORMS, based on a common "soul", which I normally
call the art of the story, but here will, I think, call simply "Fiction" Any
argument that one form is superior to another is not going to hold up under
scrutiny.

I'm not even sure I like the schizm between raif and rgif, but that's as
maybe. And I think I'm also getting close to my definition of "Interactive
Fiction", so I think I'll go there.

Now, for completely arbitrary reasons, I choose to limit "Interactive" to
computer-related. Perhaps it's not denotatively correct, but (a) neither is
my definition of fiction, and (b) it's a fair enough assumption in the modern
world
(Games aside for a moment. I'll come back to that if I don't forget.)
So, why is rec.arts.int-fiction a .arts group? because its purpose is the
study of thise ARTS which stem from the Artistic Motivation of FICTION, and
which are INTERACTIVE. THe arts group has become devoted to the artistic
PROCESS ,while the games group has become devoted to the PRODUCT of this
process. Personally, I don't see the sense in subscribing to one but not the
other.

So, maybe there _should_ be a specific "haven" for text adventures, as there
is for graphic ones, but for the love of God, don't take away the
rec.*.int-fiction for this purpose. THat's what raif and rgif are about; the
ART of FICTION, not the implementation of text adventure.

I don;t subscribe to comp.sys.games.adventure, or whatever it's called, and I
don't think that I'd subscribe to comp.sys.games.text-adventures either.

Well, I _think_ I've explained myself vacuously enough. I've certainly
rambled on for long enough. If I've been unclear by all means call me on it,
and I'll try to do better; anything to stop the groups from splitting. Also,
I've written more on the subject of the nature of the story, and if anyone's
interested, the full text can be made available.


L. Ross Raszewski

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

Message has been deleted

Edan Harel

unread,
Mar 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/30/98
to

L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> writes:

<Snip well writtewn stuff, go find the article and read it>

>We CAN NOT separate out graphics and text and expect to benefit either. raif
>and rgif have always been, to me, a place where we can talk _freely_ about
>interactive fiction. Try discussing a text adventure on one of the graphic
>groups and see how far you get (Go ahead and do this; I've never actually
>tried.) If we eschew graphical adventure, not only are we defeating what I see

Usually when TA are mentioned (usually be newbies to the group) others
direct them to rec.games.int-fiction, (usually refered to as the "text
adventure" newsgroup, sigh) although text adventures are occasionally
mentioned. For example, they're mentioned frequently when someone
asks a question like "What old games should be redone?" or some such
similar question. They're also refered to when someone asks "What is your
favorite game?". They're also used as rebuttals when someone states
"<Sierra/Lucasarts/Some other current company> is the <best company/the
first company to do such and such/has the best interface/etc>".

>as our own purpose, but we're making ourselves hypocrites, and playing that
>same old kind of elitism that was best summed up when someone offered the
>tongue-in-cheek example of the common sentiment here that "Graphics suck"

And are merely mirroring those that say "Eww, I don't want to *type*. My
god, how booorrrriiiinnng! Who would want to play that kind of game."

>I have heard some people argue, passionately, that text is inherantly beter
>than graphics, and heard the famous epithet, "I have never enjoyed any
>graphical game" from this group. Now, maybe it's just because I have this
>singular (well, not quite singular, juging by the followups to my last post on
>the subject) condition of not generating mental imagery from text, but I have
>never shared this condition. YES I have played some bad graphical games, but
>I've also played some bad text games. For that matter, most of the bad text
>games I've played were FAR worse than any graphical adventure game I've
>attempted. But this is one of the most fundimental errors of attribution.
>It's this same logic that leads people to think that AGT is a bad system: bad
>games were produced with it. THere have been bad novels, therefore the novel
>is a bad system. (in fact, given the sheer quantity of pulp fiction out there,
>I'd wager that the MAJORITY of printed text is trash) It's not that Graphics
>aren't as good as text, it's just that there have been a lot of bad graphic
>games.

Well, someone has to enjoy that trash... But I do think that there are
some inherint benefits/losses in using either text or graphic interfaces
(which is why I think the best of interfaces would combine both).

>Now I _know_ the inevitable response, that it's "easier" to put "little
>flourishes" in a text game, but that changes nothing. It's easier to put
>special effects in a graphic game, so there. "Little flourishes", or "the
>no-tea puzzle" ARE NOT what make text games good. They're GIMMICKS!

Indeed. You could (easily) say that graphic adventures are more
dezscriptive because they show "everything", whereas text games dont
usually do so (for example, as someone on this newsgroup stated, they
won't list "electric outlets"), but this can be a curse as well as a blessing
(How many games *allow* you to interact with most of those objects?)

>In a graphic game, a "little flourish" is something different. THe most
>famous classical IF puzzles, ones involving spacial orientation and
>visualization, all the classical sort of puzzle, are more effective
>with graphics.

Umm, this I just don't see. They might be *easier* with graphics, but
I (would) find much more pleasure in solving such a puzzle without
graphics than with.

>Well, I _think_ I've explained myself vacuously enough. I've certainly
>rambled on for long enough. If I've been unclear by all means call me on it,
>and I'll try to do better; anything to stop the groups from splitting. Also,

Indeed. Splitting up the group would cause more problems than it solves.
(indeed, it wouldn't solve much). I know I wouldn't want to read *another*
newsgroup. On the other hand, if the newsgroup had another name, I
wouldn't end up in r.g.interplay whenever I search for "games.int" (lazy
me ;-))...

>I've written more on the subject of the nature of the story, and if anyone's
>interested, the full text can be made available.

Is this available on the web somewhere?


Edan Harel
--
Edan Harel edh...@remus.rutgers.edu McCormick 6201
Research Assistant edh...@eden.rutgers.edu Math and Comp Sci Major
USACS Member Math Club Secretary

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Mon, 30 Mar 1998 16:45:15 -0600, L. Ross Raszewski
<rras...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In article <351fb...@d2o201.telia.com>,
> "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no> wrote:
>> If this takes off, a seperate newsgroup for the technical aspects of
>> graphic adventure designing may have to be created. However, in that
>> case it would still be appropriate to post to rec.arts.int-fiction about
>> the aspects that are valid for adventure game / IF authoring in general.
>>
>
>Well, I agree with this in theory. On the other hand, let's say that we do go
>this way, and we get rec.arts.int-fiction for general "adventure game" concerns
>nonspecific to graphics or text, rec.arts.text-adventures for specific concerns
>about text, and rec.arts.graphic-adventure for specific concerns about graphics.

*If* there was going to be a split I'd probably prefer just to have a two
groups, one each for graphical and textual games. Any topics which related
to both could be crossposted.

>Now, this seems to be spreading things a bit thin.

I personally don't think so.

>I doubt that I would read anything except raif myself.

What about with the two group situation?

> Even if the traffic increased tenfold, I don't
>see why it's so much trouble for people to simply NOT READ the posts that
>don't interest them. I automagicaly ignore any post with the word "TADS" in
>its header, ditto Hugo and Jacl.

It's not always easy to determine the content of a post from its title. In
a lot of cases I have to read the post, if just the first couple of lines,
before I know if it is of interest to me. Even the authoring system names
in the title often aren't enought for me to tell, because I'm interested in
authoring issues in general, not just things related to a single system,
and I still don't want to read *every* post relating to IF languages.

>But if we're going to insist that there be a
>separate forum for text adventures, why not separate them even further?

I don't understand what you mean.

>I've alread said that I believe text and graphics have a lot to learn from
>each other.

But how much of this do you think would be output specific? What I'm
saying is that couldn't this stuff be crossposted without having to be
specific to either (or at least not to a large extent)?

>Judging by the sentiment of some of the "separatists", a lot of
>the TA fans would only subscribe to rata in this new hierarchy.

*If* there was this separation (I'm not saying I necessarily think it would
be a good idea), I would do this.

>This is tantamount to shutting one's ears and going "dadadadada" whenever something
>graphical is mentioned (regards to Chris Klimas)

I don't think so.

>The result? Text adventures stagnate. Graphic adventures stagnate. raif dies.

Books and movies seem to get along fine being separated.

>We CAN NOT separate out graphics and text and expect to benefit either. raif
>and rgif have always been, to me, a place where we can talk _freely_ about
>interactive fiction. Try discussing a text adventure on one of the graphic
>groups and see how far you get (Go ahead and do this; I've never actually
>tried.)

I've seen them being discussed. There seem to be a reasonable amount of TA
fans on those groups.

>If we eschew graphical adventure, not only are we defeating what I see
>as our own purpose, but we're making ourselves hypocrites, and playing that
>same old kind of elitism that was best summed up when someone offered the
>tongue-in-cheek example of the common sentiment here that "Graphics suck"

I should point out that I *like* graphical games. I like the LucasArts
games much more than the Infocom ones. Particularly Monkey Island.

>I have heard some people argue, passionately, that text is inherantly beter
>than graphics, and heard the famous epithet, "I have never enjoyed any
>graphical game" from this group.

Yes, I dislike this "graphic games are stupid. They can't be as
interactive or intellegent as text games" view.

>Now, maybe it's just because I have this singular (well, not quite singular,
>juging by the followups to my last post on
>the subject) condition of not generating mental imagery from text, but I have
>never shared this condition. YES I have played some bad graphical games, but
>I've also played some bad text games. For that matter, most of the bad text
>games I've played were FAR worse than any graphical adventure game I've
>attempted. But this is one of the most fundimental errors of attribution.
>It's this same logic that leads people to think that AGT is a bad system: bad
>games were produced with it. THere have been bad novels, therefore the novel
>is a bad system. (in fact, given the sheer quantity of pulp fiction out there,
>I'd wager that the MAJORITY of printed text is trash) It's not that Graphics
>aren't as good as text, it's just that there have been a lot of bad graphic
>games.

>Now I _know_ the inevitable response, that it's "easier" to put "little
>flourishes" in a text game, but that changes nothing. It's easier to put
>special effects in a graphic game, so there. "Little flourishes", or "the
>no-tea puzzle" ARE NOT what make text games good. They're GIMMICKS!

>In a graphic game, a "little flourish" is something different. THe most
>famous classical IF puzzles, ones involving spacial orientation and
>visualization, all the classical sort of puzzle, are more effective
>with graphics.

I agree.

Text adventures aren't the only form of textual IF. There is also
hypertext fiction, which fits your definition above. I'd personally like
to see more HT fiction discussed here.

>I don;t subscribe to comp.sys.games.adventure, or whatever it's called, and I
>don't think that I'd subscribe to comp.sys.games.text-adventures either.

>Well, I _think_ I've explained myself vacuously enough. I've certainly
>rambled on for long enough. If I've been unclear by all means call me on it,
>and I'll try to do better; anything to stop the groups from splitting. Also,
>I've written more on the subject of the nature of the story, and if anyone's
>interested, the full text can be made available.

Well, as you can see, I don't have so much of a problem with a split, but
it's not because of any dislike of graphical games. I see the distinction
between graphical and textual games as being like that between books and
movies. It is from this that my opinion follows from.

';';James';';

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Tue, 31 Mar 1998 08:47:21 GMT, jrc...@netspace.net.au (JC) wrote:

Whoops, I just realised that the people on r.a.i-f might know the context
here. The following paragraph is from the r.a.i-f (or r.g.i-f?) FAQ:
>[...]
>>"Interactive fiction" is also used to refer to (Web-based) hyperfiction,
>>where the reader selects links to progress though the story;
>
>What about hypertext, like Michael Joyce's "Afternoon", which are written
>in a system such as Storyspace? Also on the matter of ht fiction, the
>links don't necessarily _progress_ through the story; at least not in the
>normal sense.

';';James';';

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Mon, 30 Mar 1998 22:41:08 +0200, "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no>
wrote:
[...]

>Besides, you've always got the undefinable stuff like 'The Space Under
>the Window', which is certainly as close to hyperfiction as it is to
>text adventures; I don't think it would lose much depth, if any,
>translated to HTML. [...]

I've just finished reading Landow's book "Hypertext: the convergence of
contemporary critical theory and technology" and I think that TSUTW *is*
hypertext. Remember that HTML/WWW is really only quasi-hypertext. I think
the only reason it gets related to text adventures is because it was
written with a text adventure authoring system by a text adventure author.

';';James';';

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Tue, 31 Mar 1998 08:40:30 GMT, jrc...@netspace.net.au (JC) wrote:

[...] I think that TSUTW *is*


>hypertext. Remember that HTML/WWW is really only quasi-hypertext. I think

>the only reason =it= gets related to text adventures is because it was


>written with a text adventure authoring system by a text adventure author.

oops. =it= being TSUTW, of course.


';';James';';

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Mon, 30 Mar 1998 17:47:38 +0200, "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no>
wrote:

[...]

JC

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

On Tue, 31 Mar 1998 12:11:06 GMT, fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.)
wrote:

> I wrote:
>
>> This newsgroups was set up in 1986, I believe, by a person interested in
>> hypertext fiction. [...]

When I posted this message I meant to do so in rec.arts.int-fiction, not
rec.games.i-f, as r.a.i-f is the one he said he started.

>TidBITS editor Adam Engst, wasn't it? <a...@tidbits.com> I think I remember
>reading a TidBITS piece in which he mentioned starting the newsgroup, but
>was disappointed that people kept talking about Infocom games rather than
>more experimental projects.

Yes, that's him. I just e-mailed him then. I'll let everone know what he
says, as long as he doesn't mind answering my questions and me posting his
reply to here and r.a.i-f.

';';James';';

L. Ross Raszewski

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

In article <3520a095...@news.netspace.net.au>,

jrc...@netspace.net.au (JC) wrote:
>
>
> Well, as you can see, I don't have so much of a problem with a split, but
> it's not because of any dislike of graphical games. I see the distinction
> between graphical and textual games as being like that between books and
> movies. It is from this that my opinion follows from.
>
> ';';James';';
>
(whittled that whole big thing down to nearly nothing. whew.)
You know, the more I discuss thing with reasonable, rational people, the more
I realize that most "radically differing" views, are rally just other
perspectives on the same view. I _do_ see the distinction between book and
movie, to exptend your metaphor, but I don't seriously think that there's
anyone who writesa a movie wihtout being influence in some way by books _NOR_
do I believe that there are any modern writers who don't watch movies adn have
their work influenced by them.
The main reason I oppose the split is not because I don; think that there
should be a separation between graphic and text formats, but becasue if we do
that, then we will almost certainly lose the overlap. You yourself said (in
the biut I snipped) that you would only subscribe to the text-adventure
newsgroup. I supect that a large percentage of the regualrs here would
abandon raif and rgif for rata (or csgta, I think), and we would _lose_ the
overlap, because raif and rgif would become a wasteland. I personally would
stick with raif and rgif and not bother with the TA newsgroup, (just as I
don't now bother with the graphic newsgroup), and the result would be that I
would lose the influence of developments in the text world, because there
_wouldn't_ be an overlap. THe t/a enthusiasts would consider themselves above
this dingy little hybred group, and the graphic enthusiasts would... probably
do the same thing. raif dies. text and graphics aren't just separated now,
thewy're irreconcilable.

So no, I don;t think we need a new group, not until there are more people on
my side of the line.

L. Ross Raszewski

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

In article <6fpjo2$c96$1...@remus.rutgers.edu>,
edh...@remus.rutgers.edu (Edan Harel) wrote:
>

> And are merely mirroring those that say "Eww, I don't want to *type*. My
> god, how booorrrriiiinnng! Who would want to play that kind of game."
>

Mm hm. Flat hippocracy if we do that, which is one of the places I meant to
start out with.


> Well, someone has to enjoy that trash... But I do think that there are
> some inherint benefits/losses in using either text or graphic interfaces
> (which is why I think the best of interfaces would combine both).

And why I think we shouldn't let the best of both worlds slink off to their
own groups. I'd just as soon have some more csgpa people here.

>
> >In a graphic game, a "little flourish" is something different. THe most
> >famous classical IF puzzles, ones involving spacial orientation and
> >visualization, all the classical sort of puzzle, are more effective
> >with graphics.
>

> Umm, this I just don't see. They might be *easier* with graphics, but
> I (would) find much more pleasure in solving such a puzzle without
> graphics than with.

And solving a rubic cube or a jigsaw (forgive me, Graham) puzzle in text is,
sadly, pushing my abilities.


>
> Indeed. Splitting up the group would cause more problems than it solves.
> (indeed, it wouldn't solve much). I know I wouldn't want to read *another*
> newsgroup. On the other hand, if the newsgroup had another name, I
> wouldn't end up in r.g.interplay whenever I search for "games.int" (lazy
> me ;-))...

Bookmark it or something :-)

>
> >I've written more on the subject of the nature of the story, and if
anyone's
> >interested, the full text can be made available.
>

> Is this available on the web somewhere?
>

It will be at some point in the future, when I get around to HTMLizing more of
my work. I'll make announcements in the appropos places.

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Mar 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/31/98
to

In article <3520ab54...@news.netspace.net.au>,
JC <jrc...@netspace.net.au> wrote:
>On Mon, 30 Mar 1998 22:41:08 +0200, "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no>
>wrote:
>[...]

>>Besides, you've always got the undefinable stuff like 'The Space Under
>>the Window', which is certainly as close to hyperfiction as it is to
>>text adventures; I don't think it would lose much depth, if any,
>>translated to HTML. [...]

>I've just finished reading Landow's book "Hypertext: the convergence of

>contemporary critical theory and technology" and I think that TSUTW *is*


>hypertext. Remember that HTML/WWW is really only quasi-hypertext.

OK, what the hell does this mean?

For starters, please define "hypertext" as you're using it here.

Then explain to me what it is I'm supposed to remember to make me
understand that HTML/WWW is "really" (help me out on this one too; I
suppose a definition of hypertext would let me understand who gets to say
what "really" is or "really" isn't included), and especially tell me what
"only quasi-hypertext" means. How can something be "quasi-hypertext"?

And how is it that anything produced in HTML is "only" quasi-hypertext?
Does the form of an HTML document somehow consign a work of art to the
shadow realms of quasi-quality?

Are these all Landow's terms?

If so, is Landow trying to do anything other than associate his name with
relatively content-free buzzwords to raise the number of citations he gets?

>I think
>the only reason it gets related to text adventures is because it was


>written with a text adventure authoring system by a text adventure author.

Or, in other words, because, if you insist on drawing a distinction--a
silly one, if you ask me, which you didn't--between "hypertext" (as
nebulously defined) and "text adventure," then _SutW_ is a text adventure
because it exists only as an Infocom format story file.

One could call _SutW_ "hypertext" pretty easily, I think. One could also
call it a "verb-free text adventure" and be no more wrong. Or one could
call it "an interactive hellishly painful breakup" and also be right.

Adam


--
ad...@princeton.edu Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe

Ola Sverre Bauge

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

[Maintained crossposting even though this would perhaps be most
appropriate in raif alone, but chopping up the thread would only confuse
matters even further]

JC wrote...


>"Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no> wrote:

[quoth raif FAQ]


>[...]
>>"Interactive fiction" is also used to refer to (Web-based)
>>hyperfiction, where the reader selects links to progress
>>though the story;
>
>What about hypertext, like Michael Joyce's "Afternoon", which are
>written in a system such as Storyspace?

Well, I don't know what Storyspace is, nor have I read/played/whatever
that story, but allright. I certainly can imagine other forms than HTML
for hyperfiction.

>Also on the matter of ht fiction, the links don't necessarily
>_progress_ through the story; at least not in the normal sense.

For an example of a piece of graphic hyperfiction which illustrates this
point perfectly, check out 'The Simulation', within http://www.anart.no
(Select 'Web-based projects', then 'The Simulation' ~ I forget the URL
linking directly to it.)

It's fun in an artsy sort of way, and illustrates that hyperfiction can
be graphic as well as that hyperfiction doesen't need to 'progress' ~
'The Simulation', as I see it, never ends, it merely cycles for as long
as the viewer/player bothers to interact with it, in a wonderfully
metaironic way much the same as the lives it seeks to simulate. I would
say this is interactive fiction, yet it doesen't have a parser.

I'd also say that the FAQ contradicts itself on this point, as it later
states:

[quote raif FAQ]
[...] It is widely considered that the most important, if not the
defining, element of interactive fiction is the text-based user
interface and the parser [...]
[end quote]

...and it established earlier that hyperfiction (which needs not have a
text-based interface or parser, especially when it's Web-based) would
not be off-topic for raif, even if there may not be a lot of that
particular audience present in the group.

This is part of what I've been rambling excessively about all along,
that it really is damn hard to tell exactly where text IF ends and
graphic IF begins, and that whether or not it has a parser does not
necessarily decide which one a particular piece of IF is.

Ola Sverre Bauge
o...@bu.telia.no
http://w1.2327.telia.com/~u232700165

b_fe...@yahoo.com

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

In article <6fp741$834$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> In article <351fb...@d2o201.telia.com>,
> "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no> wrote:
> > If this takes off, a seperate newsgroup for the technical aspects of
> > graphic adventure designing may have to be created. However, in that
> > case it would still be appropriate to post to rec.arts.int-fiction about
> > the aspects that are valid for adventure game / IF authoring in general.
> >
>
> Well, I agree with this in theory. On the other hand, let's say that we do
go
> this way, and we get
> rec.arts.int-fiction for general "adventure game" concerns nonspecific to
> graphics or text,
> rec.arts.text-adventures for specific concerns about text, and
> rec.arts.graphic-adventure for specific concerns about graphics.

This is still too vague. Do you have any idea how long it took me to find
this 'group'? I mean, arts.int-fiction? Huh? If you want anyone to come
here, you better change the name to something logical, like
rec.writing.text.games Then if you wanted a group where you could talk about
*playing* them, you could logically use rec.playing.text.games The 'rec.arts'
hierarchy is the wrong place for this group, IMNSHO. You also wouldn't need a
rec.writing.graphic.games because the only people that do that are members of
real design teams who have no time to read news anyway.

Later,
Barb

---
Barbara Fernald
Computer Science Department
Harvey Mudd College

Edan Harel

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> writes:

Minor spoilers for Hollywood Hijinx

>Mm hm. Flat hippocracy if we do that, which is one of the places I meant to
>start out with.

It's ironic, but I just read an article on c.s.i.p.g.a by someone who
described Text Adventures (although he only named zork and CC Saloon)
as Myst-like adventures. Aparently, they found Sierra games (Gabriel
Knight, QFG, Police Quest) had much more involving storylines and
characters... Mind you, I did (and still do) have a similar opinion
about the zork games, which I never got really involved in.

>> >In a graphic game, a "little flourish" is something different. THe most
>> >famous classical IF puzzles, ones involving spacial orientation and
>> >visualization, all the classical sort of puzzle, are more effective
>> >with graphics.

>> Umm, this I just don't see. They might be *easier* with graphics, but


>> I (would) find much more pleasure in solving such a puzzle without
>> graphics than with.

>And solving a rubic cube or a jigsaw (forgive me, Graham) puzzle in text is,
>sadly, pushing my abilities.

Oh. I wasn't talking about those kinds of puzzles, but certainly those,
or crossword puzzles, or whatever, I would rather do with pen and newspaper,
or with a rubic cube or jigsaw or GAMES magazine. I thought you were
talking about visualization within the game (not a particular puzzle). Like
(as someone once mentioned) the elevator puzzle in Hollywood Hijinx. I
enjoyed that more because I used the laws and properties of the game world
along with my own (visual and spacial) interpretation to come up with
the solution. In the end, it was probably harder and more satisfying
than had it been a graphic adventure (not saying it wouldn't have been
very satisfying in a graphic adventure..)

For example, suppose there's a secret room behind a bookcase, causing
the bookcase to be slightly tilted, and the room below the secret room
to have a lower ceiling. In a graphic adventure, the tilted bookcase,
the fact that if you "measure it" theres room for a room, or that the
you can see a lower ceiling in the room below. Otherwise, if
the bookcase wasn't tilted, and there wasn't room for a secret room, you
would probably assume there couldn't be one.

While I personally enjoy description more than a lack of description,
a text-parser-adventure-interactive-fiction author-type-person (:))
might not state those things so directly, but rather indirectly. If you
look at the bookcase, he might respond with "something is odd about it"
or something. If you place something on the bookcase, it might slide
down. If you look at the room below, you might find a message
that the room is darker (smaller window, less light), or that the
shadow is different somehow (I really haven't thought about this puzzle
long enough to know... Yes, I know it's not a great puzzle, but I
think it shows some of the benefits that text adventures have over
graphic adventures).

Joe Mason

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

In article <6fri1j$7kg$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Indeed. Splitting up the group would cause more problems than it solves.
>> (indeed, it wouldn't solve much). I know I wouldn't want to read *another*
>> newsgroup. On the other hand, if the newsgroup had another name, I
>> wouldn't end up in r.g.interplay whenever I search for "games.int" (lazy
>> me ;-))...
>
>Bookmark it or something :-)

Or search for "games.int-" which has no annoying overlaps.

Joe


Paul O'Brian

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

On Wed, 1 Apr 1998 b_fe...@yahoo.com wrote:

> Do you have any idea how long it took me to find
> this 'group'? I mean, arts.int-fiction? Huh? If you want anyone to come
> here, you better change the name to something logical, like

> rec.writing.text.games.

To provide a contrasting point of view, I found this group the very first
time I searched the net (via Gopher... yes, it was a while ago) for
IF-related information. I had just bought LTOI, and was writing a paper
for a literary theory class on how IF constructs a text compared to
regular novel -- I used the term "interactive fiction" because it was the
first one that came to my mind, which was reared on Infocom. The search
brought up the raif FAQ, which sent me here. The "int-fiction" name always
seemed quite logical to me, considering that "interactive" is such a long,
unwieldy word and "IF" would be too unclear an abbreviation for a
newsgroup name.

> The 'rec.arts' hierarchy is the wrong place for this group, IMNSHO.

I'm not sure I agree with this. It seems to me that there is just as much
an art to creating IF as to any of the other pursuits which have rec.arts
groups dedicated to them. Diverting to a rec.writing sub-branch (is there
even such a major branch extant?) would be an overspecification -- writing
isn't the only skill involved in creating IF.

Paul O'Brian
obr...@colorado.edu
http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~obrian


Edan Harel

unread,
Apr 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/1/98
to

jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) writes:

Well, that's what I do now, but after 3 years of getting used to searching
for "games.int", it takes a while to get used to.

JC

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

On 31 Mar 1998 15:37:20 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:

>>On Mon, 30 Mar 1998 22:41:08 +0200, "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no>
>>wrote:


>>[...]
>>>Besides, you've always got the undefinable stuff like 'The Space Under
>>>the Window', which is certainly as close to hyperfiction as it is to
>>>text adventures; I don't think it would lose much depth, if any,
>>>translated to HTML. [...]
>
>>I've just finished reading Landow's book "Hypertext: the convergence of
>>contemporary critical theory and technology" and I think that TSUTW *is*
>>hypertext. Remember that HTML/WWW is really only quasi-hypertext.
>
>OK, what the hell does this mean?

People don't seem to consider TSUTW as HT because, I think, they are so
used to the WWW/HTML model of Hypertext. I mentioned this because people
*on this group* have said TSUTW couldn't be HT because it (TSUTW) is
dynamic and hypertext, as they understood it from the Web, was static.
Most people think that HTML/WWW is the only form of HT, which is wrong. I
didn't want to cause confusion.

As for "what the hell this means", Landow, a very well respected figure in
hypertext, considers (or at least did, back in '92) certain traits
hypertext systems should have; criteria which the WWW does *not* meet.
However, other ht people consider WWW as a proper hypertext system, but
just of a specific type.

Lets see, from what I remember there was:
- bi-directional links,
- the ability to link to *any* part of another document (including those
written by other people)
- being able to link to a *part* of a document (in HTML you can only link
to a point).

Then there are other things, which you can probably achieve with
Javascript, or perhaps DHTML (which I don't know anything about):
- capability of being dynamic.

There are things which, whilst posssible to do with the WWW, are awkward or
impossible with current tools:
- Another thing Landow considered critical was that the reader of hypertext
becoming a writer-reader. This means that the user can *easily* add and
link to information *as they browse it*.

Then, of course, hypertext *doesn't* even have to have links.

And it's possible there are others which I can't think of at the moment.


>For starters, please define "hypertext" as you're using it here.

I've never come across any definitions of hypertext. None of the authors
I've read have tried to give a straight out definition. The important
thing is that WWW/HTML is not the only type of hypertext.

>Then explain to me what it is I'm supposed to remember to make me
>understand that HTML/WWW is "really" (help me out on this one too; I
>suppose a definition of hypertext would let me understand who gets to say
>what "really" is or "really" isn't included), and especially tell me what
>"only quasi-hypertext" means. How can something be "quasi-hypertext"?

Easy. "quasi" means "half, almost". As it doesn't have the capabilities
of a "full" hypertext system, as many people consider one, it is a
quasi-hypertext system.

>And how is it that anything produced in HTML is "only" quasi-hypertext?
>Does the form of an HTML document somehow consign a work of art to the
>shadow realms of quasi-quality?

I said nothing of the sort. What are you talking about?

>Are these all Landow's terms?

No. His Hypertext book pre-dates the widespread popularity of the web,
which doesn't even get a mention. However, I've heard WWW referred to as
quasi-hypertext by others.

>If so, is Landow trying to do anything other than associate his name with
>relatively content-free buzzwords to raise the number of citations he gets?

No.

>>I think the only reason it gets related to text adventures is because it was
>>written with a text adventure authoring system by a text adventure author.

>Or, in other words, because, if you insist on drawing a distinction--a
>silly one, if you ask me, which you didn't--between "hypertext" (as
>nebulously defined) and "text adventure," then _SutW_ is a text adventure
>because it exists only as an Infocom format story file.

I think TSUTW is hypertext. I don't think it is a text adventure. Why do
you think it is a text adventure? What if I implemented TSUTW on something
like Hypercard or Storyspace. Would people be as likely to consider it a
text adventure then?

Have you seen much hypertext, like the hypertext fiction and poetry created
with Storyspace? If not, I think you'd find them much closer to TSUTW than
you probably think. I imagine it'd be possible to implement them in
Inform, like Andrew did with TSUTW. Do they become text adventures then?

>One could call _SutW_ "hypertext" pretty easily, I think. One could also
>call it a "verb-free text adventure" and be no more wrong. Or one could
>call it "an interactive hellishly painful breakup" and also be right.

Ok then, why? What makes TSUTW a "verb-free text adventure"?

';';James';';

JC

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

On Wed, 1 Apr 1998 18:59:18 +0200, "Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no>
wrote:

>JC wrote...


>>"Ola Sverre Bauge" <o...@bu.telia.no> wrote:

>[quoth raif FAQ]
>>[...]
>>>"Interactive fiction" is also used to refer to (Web-based)
>>>hyperfiction, where the reader selects links to progress
>>>though the story;
>>
>>What about hypertext, like Michael Joyce's "Afternoon", which are
>>written in a system such as Storyspace?

>Well, I don't know what Storyspace is, nor have I read/played/whatever
>that story, but allright.

have a look at http://www.eastgate.com

>I certainly can imagine other forms than HTML for hyperfiction.

HTML is really just a specific type of hypertext.

[...]

>I'd also say that the FAQ contradicts itself on this point, as it later
>states:

>[quote raif FAQ]
>[...] It is widely considered that the most important, if not the
>defining, element of interactive fiction is the text-based user
>interface and the parser [...]
>[end quote]

>...and it established earlier that hyperfiction (which needs not have a
>text-based interface or parser, especially when it's Web-based) would

>not be off-topic for raif, [...]

[...]

I think these two entries in the FAQ should be changed. Jools?

';';James';';

Simon Tufty Stapleton

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

b_fe...@yahoo.com writes:

> This is still too vague. Do you have any idea how long it took me to find


> this 'group'? I mean, arts.int-fiction? Huh? If you want anyone to come
> here, you better change the name to something logical, like

> rec.writing.text.games Then if you wanted a group where you could talk about
> *playing* them, you could logically use rec.playing.text.games The 'rec.arts'
> hierarchy is the wrong place for this group, IMNSHO. You also wouldn't need a
> rec.writing.graphic.games because the only people that do that are members of
> real design teams who have no time to read news anyway.

<grumpy mode>

Hey! Chill out! For someone who's only just popped up on the group
(and indeed usenet, according to dejanews) you do seem to be slinging a
whole lot of mud around. First off it was "You're doing it all wrong,
OO is rubbish, do it my way" and now it's "You're in the wrong place,
move to somewhere else and lots of people will come and join in".

Now forgive me for being grouchy, but if moving means being flooded with
"clueless newbies" (I'm still a bit of a a newbie, but try not to be
*too* clueless) I'd be quite happy to stay here.

It's *not* difficult to find the rec.*.int-fiction groups.

</grumpy mode>

rec.arts.int-fiction in particular tends to be literate, friendly
and almost entirely free of spam. I'd quite like it to stay that way.
Having a group which covers both text and graphic I-F suits me
just fine. Why change it?

I'd also like the newsgroups to stay where they are so I don't have to
go begging to my administrators to get the new ones added.

Just my reasons for wanting to stay where I am.

Happy Thursday

Simon
--
_______
| ----- | Biased output from the demented brain of
||MacOS|| Simon Stapleton.
|| NOW ||
| ----- | sstaple AT liffe DoT com
| -+-.| (if you can't figure it out...)
|洵洵洵洱
-------

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

In article <3522cb3...@news.netspace.net.au>,

JC <jrc...@netspace.net.au> wrote:
>On 31 Mar 1998 15:37:20 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:
>- Another thing Landow considered critical was that the reader of hypertext
>becoming a writer-reader. This means that the user can *easily* add and
>link to information *as they browse it*.

Mmmm.

Does he mean this in the pomo sense that a reader is as much a creater as
the writer, or does he mean that the reader should be able to easily
annotate?

I myself am firmly of the opinion that authors write, and readers should be
free to annotate in their personal space but not in the general case to
contribute to the "published" (loosely defined) document. I
philosophically still believe in the author/consumer divide, I guess.

>Then, of course, hypertext *doesn't* even have to have links.

Then, isn't it just "text"?

>And it's possible there are others which I can't think of at the moment.

>>For starters, please define "hypertext" as you're using it here.
>I've never come across any definitions of hypertext. None of the authors
>I've read have tried to give a straight out definition. The important
>thing is that WWW/HTML is not the only type of hypertext.

Granted, certainly. And probably by some definitions it's not hypertext at
all. But it sure would be handy to have more than an ostensive definition
of hypertext.

>Easy. "quasi" means "half, almost". As it doesn't have the capabilities
>of a "full" hypertext system, as many people consider one, it is a
>quasi-hypertext system.

Or is it *not* a hypertext system, or is it a *poor* hypertext system?
Should it be seen as a deficient hypertext system, a system that shares
some characteristics with hypertext systems, or something categoricall
different?

>I think TSUTW is hypertext. I don't think it is a text adventure. Why do
>you think it is a text adventure? What if I implemented TSUTW on something
>like Hypercard or Storyspace. Would people be as likely to consider it a
>text adventure then?

I think it's a text adventure because it comes packaged as a .z5 story
file, and I have to break out XZip or Frotz or WinFrotz or somesuch to read
it. Were it in Hypercard, no, it wouldn't be a text adventure.

Not that _everything_ that requires a Z-machine interpreter is a text
adventure. _Freefall_ isn't. That Z-code editor isn't. Crow's
non-interactive story in the MST3K1 intro isn't. But anything that
requires an IF interpreter and requires me to type words at it to
advance the story is, I think, a text adventure.

>Have you seen much hypertext, like the hypertext fiction and poetry created
>with Storyspace? If not, I think you'd find them much closer to TSUTW than
>you probably think. I imagine it'd be possible to implement them in
>Inform, like Andrew did with TSUTW. Do they become text adventures then?

Yes, I think they do, in a formal sense.

I've seen a fair bit of hyperfiction. My major problem with it is that
most of it, at least as currently written, seems to get caught up in the
mechanics of "hey, look at all these branching paths" (not to get Borgesian
here), and forget that it should be telling a compelling story too.

>>One could call _SutW_ "hypertext" pretty easily, I think. One could also
>>call it a "verb-free text adventure" and be no more wrong. Or one could
>>call it "an interactive hellishly painful breakup" and also be right.
>
>Ok then, why? What makes TSUTW a "verb-free text adventure"?

There's a protagonist whose point of view the player gets. There's
conflict. There's resolution. And text input to an Infocom Z-machine
interpreter is the way the dramatics of the story progress.

One of the reasons I like _SUtW_ is that it's got a very clear dramatic
structure. The window *will* shatter. The choice of outcomes is very
constrained. And it *still* feels important to find a path to ameliorate
the pain that the shattering causes.

Now, granted, maybe I feel this because I came upon the game bare weeks
after a really, really horrible breakup of my own. But _SUtW_ was one of
very few games that really *got* to me, even if it was in a
broken-glass-on-nerves kinda way. This is due less to its structure as
hyperfiction, I think, than to Zarf's prose. But check out the possible
responses when you're picking flowers--the combinations are fantastic.

Joe Mason

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

In article <6fu5v1$h0i$1...@remus.rutgers.edu>,

Edan Harel <edh...@remus.rutgers.edu> wrote:
>
>It's ironic, but I just read an article on c.s.i.p.g.a by someone who
>described Text Adventures (although he only named zork and CC Saloon)
>as Myst-like adventures. Aparently, they found Sierra games (Gabriel
>Knight, QFG, Police Quest) had much more involving storylines and
>characters... Mind you, I did (and still do) have a similar opinion
>about the zork games, which I never got really involved in.

I have a similar opinion, but from another direction - I always saw Myst as
being "Zork-like". It really didn't have much of a plot (at least, the plot
was only grafted on), but it had a sumptuously rendered game world (and in its
time, Zork was sumptuous), and a focus on mechanical problems. I always
figured that was what set it apart from other graphic adventures, and why it
was so popular - graphic adventures had been evolving towards being story-based
and Myst was a return to the roots of the genre. That's why it seemed so...
what's the word... "fundamental" in comparison.

Joe

Edan Harel

unread,
Apr 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/2/98
to

jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) writes:

>I have a similar opinion, but from another direction - I always saw Myst as
>being "Zork-like". It really didn't have much of a plot (at least, the plot
>was only grafted on), but it had a sumptuously rendered game world (and in its
>time, Zork was sumptuous), and a focus on mechanical problems. I always
>figured that was what set it apart from other graphic adventures, and why it
>was so popular - graphic adventures had been evolving towards being story-based
>and Myst was a return to the roots of the genre. That's why it seemed so...
>what's the word... "fundamental" in comparison.

Perhaps, but certainly some of Infocom's works (like it's early Deadline,
Witness, AMFV, BorderZone, etc) are more "story-based" than some of todays
works (or indead, much of them). Thanks for pinpointing the thing that
bugged me about Zork.

Edan Harel

--
Edan Harel edh...@remus.rutgers.edu McCormick 6201
Research Assistant edh...@eden.rutgers.edu Math and Comp Sci Major

USACS Member Office: Core 423 Math Club Secretary

JC

unread,
Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
to

On 2 Apr 1998 04:53:17 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:

>In article <3522cb3...@news.netspace.net.au>,


>JC <jrc...@netspace.net.au> wrote:
>>On 31 Mar 1998 15:37:20 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:
>>- Another thing Landow considered critical was that the reader of hypertext
>>becoming a writer-reader. This means that the user can *easily* add and
>>link to information *as they browse it*.
>

>Mmmm.
>
>Does he mean this in the pomo sense that a reader is as much a creater as
>the writer, or does he mean that the reader should be able to easily
>annotate?

I'm not sure what pomo means (I tried looking it up in the dictionary and
the closest I could find was "pomology n. science of fruit-growing")...

Both actually. The reader becomes creator by creating associations with
links, finding paths through information: creating and adding to the
meaning in the information of all the "texts" available. The reader
doesn't become as much as creator as the writer, but comes a lot closer.
I'm not sure how well I've gotten this across: this concept can be hard to
appreciate, which is probably made worse by the limited explanation I've
given. I think one of the books on hypertext would get this across a lot
better. If anyone reading this is interested, I'd recommend the following:

Landow G. P. (1992) "Hypertext: the convergence of contemporary critical
theory and technology", Johns Hopkins University Press.

which is gives a good description of hypertext and its (possible)
implications. However, it has a literary/philosophical slant, which can
make it hard to read at times, if you don't know much about those fields.
Don't let that put you off though: I don't know that much about either of
them and I still understood things pretty well.

Landow wrote a revised version in 1996, called Hypertext 2.0, which
includes coverage of the Web.

Snyder I. (1996) "Hypertext: the electronic labyrinth", Melbourne
University Press.

Like Landow's book, this one is written by a person with a primarily arts
background. However, it is smaller, and probably a bit easier for a
non-arts person to read.

These are only a small selection of the hypertext books out there. I'm
sure there are other good books out there, and perhaps there might be some
good information on the web; I don't know. I should also say that I don't,
at the moment, have anything near an extensive knowledge of hypertext. If
you're just counting books, these are the only two I've read on the topic.

Anyway, back to the question: The user should be able to easily annotate,
by linking their annotation to the information. Note that the lack of
bi-directional links, lack of links to anywhere on (someone-elses) page,
lack of links to part of another document, having to view separate pages
separately in different windows, rather than being able to dynamically
create the page so the annotation can be viewed easily with the text, and
having to edit HTML documents in a separate editor to the browser (although
W3C's broswer, Amaya, can edit and browser pages), then bugger around with
doing uploading your file to a server (if you intended to do this) makes
such annotation awkward and hard to do.

>I myself am firmly of the opinion that authors write, and readers should be
>free to annotate in their personal space but not in the general case to
>contribute to the "published" (loosely defined) document. I
>philosophically still believe in the author/consumer divide, I guess.
>

>>Then, of course, hypertext *doesn't* even have to have links.
>

>Then, isn't it just "text"?

Not necessarily. What if the reader had to answer some questions to the
system, which then determined what the next page shown is based upon the
answers. Along those sorts of lines, in the sense that there are no links
that the user explicitly chooses or follows. Or at least, that's how I
understand it; I could be wrong. I just looked this up in the
alt.hypertext FAQ but all it said was "Neither hypertext nor hypermedia
require the use of links."; it didn't explain why.

>>And it's possible there are others which I can't think of at the moment.
>
>>>For starters, please define "hypertext" as you're using it here.
>>I've never come across any definitions of hypertext. None of the authors
>>I've read have tried to give a straight out definition. The important
>>thing is that WWW/HTML is not the only type of hypertext.
>

>Granted, certainly. And probably by some definitions it's not hypertext at
>all. But it sure would be handy to have more than an ostensive definition
>of hypertext.
>

>>Easy. "quasi" means "half, almost". As it doesn't have the capabilities
>>of a "full" hypertext system, as many people consider one, it is a
>>quasi-hypertext system.
>

>Or is it *not* a hypertext system, or is it a *poor* hypertext system?

Neither. Quasi is the only word I can think of to describe it. Quasi
doesn't necessarily imply either of these.

>Should it be seen as a 1) deficient hypertext system, 2) a system that shares
>some characteristics with hypertext systems, 3) or something categoricall
>different?

The problem with number 2) and 3) is that they imply that HTML is not
hypertext. This is plainly incorrect. You could certainly argue that HTML
is deficient (1), simply because it is missing certain features, but to
what extent and to what effect?

>>I think TSUTW is hypertext. I don't think it is a text adventure. Why do
>>you think it is a text adventure? What if I implemented TSUTW on something
>>like Hypercard or Storyspace. Would people be as likely to consider it a
>>text adventure then?
>

>I think it's a text adventure because it comes packaged as a .z5 story
>file, and I have to break out XZip or Frotz or WinFrotz or somesuch to read
>it. Were it in Hypercard, no, it wouldn't be a text adventure.
>
>Not that _everything_ that requires a Z-machine interpreter is a text
>adventure. _Freefall_ isn't. That Z-code editor isn't. Crow's
>non-interactive story in the MST3K1 intro isn't. But anything that
>requires an IF interpreter and requires me to type words at it to
>advance the story is, I think, a text adventure.

Obviously, this hinges on your conception of a text adventure. I don't see
how a hypertext story like Afternoon, which no one would consider as a text
adventure, suddenly becomes one if you play it with an Infocom interpreter.


>>Have you seen much hypertext, like the hypertext fiction and poetry created
>>with Storyspace? If not, I think you'd find them much closer to TSUTW than
>>you probably think. I imagine it'd be possible to implement them in
>>Inform, like Andrew did with TSUTW. Do they become text adventures then?
>

>Yes, I think they do, in a formal sense.

(Obviously) I just don't understand this line of thinking.

>I've seen a fair bit of hyperfiction. My major problem with it is that
>most of it, at least as currently written, seems to get caught up in the
>mechanics of "hey, look at all these branching paths" (not to get Borgesian
>here), and forget that it should be telling a compelling story too.
>

>>>One could call _SutW_ "hypertext" pretty easily, I think. One could also
>>>call it a "verb-free text adventure" and be no more wrong. Or one could
>>>call it "an interactive hellishly painful breakup" and also be right.
>>
>>Ok then, why? What makes TSUTW a "verb-free text adventure"?
>

>There's a protagonist whose point of view the player gets. There's
>conflict. There's resolution. And text input to an Infocom Z-machine
>interpreter is the way the dramatics of the story progress.

To me, none of these things by themselves make it a text adventure.

>One of the reasons I like _SUtW_ is that it's got a very clear dramatic
>structure. The window *will* shatter. The choice of outcomes is very
>constrained. And it *still* feels important to find a path to ameliorate
>the pain that the shattering causes.

I didn't think we were discussing the merits of TSUTW.

>Now, granted, maybe I feel this because I came upon the game bare weeks
>after a really, really horrible breakup of my own. But _SUtW_ was one of
>very few games that really *got* to me, even if it was in a
>broken-glass-on-nerves kinda way. This is due less to its structure as
>hyperfiction, I think, than to Zarf's prose.

Huh? What does this have to do with things? What if I write "This is due
less to its structure as a text adventure, I think, than to Zarf's prose"
-- does this lessen your case?

> But check out the possible
>responses when you're picking flowers--the combinations are fantastic.

';';James';';

Darin Johnson

unread,
Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
to

ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) writes:

> Does he mean this in the pomo sense that a reader is as much a creater as
> the writer, or does he mean that the reader should be able to easily
> annotate?

Yes, but not just that. I think being able to add your own links is
another big thing that was meant. That is, you can turn some of the
author's text into a link, even if it wasn't already a link, or was
linked somewhere else. But adding your own links is just a
specialized form of annotation. But those links and annotations are
private, and don't get merged back into the original work.

It's like having a printed book. Many people scribble all over it,
and include lines from a word unto the margin where a note is made,
and that note might be a cross reference ("see page 12"), or a
clarification ("sic"). That sort of ability would be great in
hypertext.

> >Then, of course, hypertext *doesn't* even have to have links.
>

> Then, isn't it just "text"?

"Links" has many meanings. In hypertext before WWW, there weren't
really what the WWW would really consider links. The word "link"
implies you are linking to a new document, or moving to a point
location. But a different concept might be that a hyper-word is
really compressed text, or text that hides other text, not just a
bookmark to somewhere else. In other words, the text is hierarchical.

Ie, clicking on a word (or activating it somehow) might bring up a
dictionary definition in a popup window, but not move you to a new
document or new position. Activating a "link" could even insert that
a chunk of text inline (ie, click on a footnote marker, and the
footnote expands in a smaller font placed just under that line).
Given the clunkiness of most WWW browsers, such things could be very
convenient (ie, having to go backwards and forwards on the history
list, with the resulting reload times, is less convenient that a quick
popup or inserting the text inline).

--
Darin Johnson
da...@usa.net.delete_me

Joe Mason

unread,
Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
to

In article <6g1cmk$r2m$1...@remus.rutgers.edu>,

Edan Harel <edh...@remus.rutgers.edu> wrote:
>jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) writes:
>
>>I have a similar opinion, but from another direction - I always saw Myst as
>>being "Zork-like". It really didn't have much of a plot (at least, the plot

<snip>

>Perhaps, but certainly some of Infocom's works (like it's early Deadline,
>Witness, AMFV, BorderZone, etc) are more "story-based" than some of todays
>works (or indead, much of them). Thanks for pinpointing the thing that
>bugged me about Zork.

That's why I said "Zork-like" instead of "Infocom-like".

Joe

Edan Harel

unread,
Apr 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/4/98
to

jcm...@undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) writes:

<snip>

I wrote:

>>Perhaps, but certainly some of Infocom's works (like it's early Deadline,
>>Witness, AMFV, BorderZone, etc) are more "story-based" than some of todays
>>works (or indead, much of them). Thanks for pinpointing the thing that
>>bugged me about Zork.


>That's why I said "Zork-like" instead of "Infocom-like".


Yes, but you also wrote that graphic adventures had begun evolving into
more story-based games. My misunderstanding.

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Apr 5, 1998, 4:00:00 AM4/5/98
to

Couple of notes before this expires.

A) "pomo" equals "postmodern." I'm surprised to hear this is not a common
usage. Myself, I find Derrida intensely irritating and suspect that too
many of the crit-theory people working on hypertext take him way, way too
seriously.

B) Nobody, on either the lit-theoretical side or the geeky side, has much
of a historical sense. Do you want to see a really, really dense
hypertext, with multiple layers of criticism, interpretation, and links
pointing all over the place both within and between layers? All done on
paper (or, if it survives, more likely parchment?) Look at a 14th-century
Biblical gloss sometime. For a similar, though slightly less dizzying,
experience, even a printed 19th-century Talmud will do the trick. You have
a commentary (and sometimes a gloss) wrapped around an earlier commentary,
wrapped around an even earlier commentary, wrappped around canonical
interpretation, wrapped around the text, often, depending on the volume's
production values, color-coded and almost always keyed with useful
cross-references.

Intertextuality is not a new thing. Criticism that works like layers of an
onion is not a new thing. And what's amazing is how these early hypertexts
manage to be both extremely functional and devastatingly attractive.

Rec.games.int-fiction deleted, since this no longer has anything to do with
specific IF works.

jnic...@cub.kcnet.org

unread,
Apr 5, 1998, 4:00:00 AM4/5/98
to

In article <6fpa96$fvm$1...@news.interlog.com>,
tes...@remove-to-reply.interlog.com (Kent Tessman) wrote:
>
> In article <6fp741$834$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

> L. Ross Raszewski <rras...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >I automagicaly ignore any post with the word "TADS" in
> >its header, ditto Hugo and Jacl.
>
> Wh...whuh? What? What the hell? That does it. I'm changing the name.
>
> ----------
> Kent Tessman - The General Coffee Company Film Productions
> tes...@interlog.com genera...@geocities.com
> http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/academy/5976
>

Frankly Kent I never cared for the NAME "Hugo" eather.
Think we should change it to "Iggy".

------------------------------------------------------------
Visit Iguana Games.
http://cub.kcnet.org/~jnichols/hugo/
-- Jerry and The Ig

Kathy I. Morgan

unread,
Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
to

<b_fe...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Do you have any idea how long it took me to find
> this 'group'? I mean, arts.int-fiction?

Just for future reference, you might try searching at Deja News
<http://www.dejanews.com/> for finding groups by subject. (Or maybe
that's how you did find it, but if not, that's the easiest way I know to
find where a particular subject actually is discussed.)

I stumbled across r*if almost by accident; it hadn't occurred to me to
look for such a group, but I subscribe to news.groups.reviews and
someone (wish I'd paid more attention so I could give proper credit
here) had submitted a really great review for these groups. As soon as I
read the review I knew I had to subscribe. :-)

kathy

Phil Goetz

unread,
Apr 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/9/98
to

>On 2 Apr 1998 04:53:17 GMT, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J. Thornton) wrote:

>>I've seen a fair bit of hyperfiction. My major problem with it is that
>>most of it, at least as currently written, seems to get caught up in the
>>mechanics of "hey, look at all these branching paths" (not to get Borgesian
>>here), and forget that it should be telling a compelling story too.

I think the problem is, hypertext attracts postmodernists like honey does flies.

Phil Goetz

Phil Goetz

unread,
Apr 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/10/98
to

In article <6gjm3d$r7b$1...@prometheus.acsu.buffalo.edu>,

Phil Goetz <go...@cs.buffalo.edu> wrote:
>I think the problem is, hypertext attracts postmodernists like honey does flies.

I hope my analogy wasn't too harsh. I don't mean to insult flies.

Phil

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages