[SPAG] Issue #47 is here

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Jimmy Maher

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Jan 18, 2007, 8:43:07 AM1/18/07
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Hi, folks...

Issue #47 is here at last. Subscribers should already have their
copies. The rest of you can go to the usual place... i.e., see my sig.

ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE ----------------------------------------------------

Editorial
IF News
A Eulogy for Star Foster by Daniel Ravipinto
A Timeline of the French IF Community by Eriorg
An IF Competition 2006 Rant / Review Package by Valentine Kopteltsev

INTERVIEWS IN THIS ISSUE --------------------------------------------------

Adrien Saurat
JB
Eric Eve
Nolan Bonvouloir
Emily Short

REVIEWS IN THIS ISSUE -----------------------------------------------------

The Apocalypse Clock
Aunts and Butlers
Beam
Delightful Wallpaper
Ekphrasis
An Escape to Remember
Floatpoint
Game Producer!
Green Falls
The Journey of the King
Labyrinth
Last Resort
Pirate Adventure
The Reliques of Tolti-Aph
The Tower of the Elephant

SPECIFICS
=========
Damnatio Memoriae

Thank you to everyone who contributed! The review index pages will be
updated by this weekend, for those looking to link to individual reviews.

--
Jimmy Maher
Editor, SPAG Magazine -- http://www.sparkynet.com/spag
Thank you for helping to keep text adventures alive!

Eriorg

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Jan 19, 2007, 9:59:22 AM1/19/07
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Jimmy Maher a écrit :

> Issue #47 is here at last. Subscribers should already have their
> copies. The rest of you can go to the usual place... i.e., see my sig.

Thank you! I think it's a very good SPAG issue, but I might be slightly
biased, since I published articles in it...

I noticed a small mistake: in SPAG Specifics, there's a warning about
spoilers for "The Baron", but the game spoiled is actually "Damnatio
Memoriae".


You wrote:
> Also included is an introduction to the French IF community, hopefully first
> of an ongoing series of articles about the other IF communities.

Do you mean that you contacted members of other (maybe Italian,
Spanish, German, Russian, and so on) IF communities about this?

And maybe these articles could be the starting point for a new chapter
about non-English IF communities in your book about the history of IF
("Let's Tell a Story Together")?

Emily Short

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Jan 19, 2007, 4:35:36 PM1/19/07
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Eriorg wrote:
> Jimmy Maher a écrit :

> > Also included is an introduction to the French IF community, hopefully first
> > of an ongoing series of articles about the other IF communities.
>
> Do you mean that you contacted members of other (maybe Italian,
> Spanish, German, Russian, and so on) IF communities about this?

That would be excellent. I very much appreciated the introduction to
French IF and would enjoy reading similar articles about other groups.

Jimmy Maher

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Jan 19, 2007, 6:26:54 PM1/19/07
to
Eriorg wrote:
> Jimmy Maher a écrit :
>
>>Issue #47 is here at last. Subscribers should already have their
>>copies. The rest of you can go to the usual place... i.e., see my sig.
>
>
> Thank you! I think it's a very good SPAG issue, but I might be slightly
> biased, since I published articles in it...
>

Thank you!

> I noticed a small mistake: in SPAG Specifics, there's a warning about
> spoilers for "The Baron", but the game spoiled is actually "Damnatio
> Memoriae".

Damn! (Hee hee) Thanks, I have one other correction as well for the
issue. I'll revise it soon.

> You wrote:
>
>>Also included is an introduction to the French IF community, hopefully first
>>of an ongoing series of articles about the other IF communities.
>
>
> Do you mean that you contacted members of other (maybe Italian,
> Spanish, German, Russian, and so on) IF communities about this?

Well, I will be. :) I know WHO to contact, anyway, and do hope to turn
this into a regular series. Thanks for getting things started!

> And maybe these articles could be the starting point for a new chapter
> about non-English IF communities in your book about the history of IF
> ("Let's Tell a Story Together")?

Yes indeed, possibly. I'll do a fairly significant revision at some
point this year, and perhaps this can be a part of that.

DJ Hastings

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Jan 20, 2007, 9:37:55 PM1/20/07
to
Eriorg wrote:
> I noticed a small mistake: in SPAG Specifics, there's a warning about
> spoilers for "The Baron", but the game spoiled is actually "Damnatio
> Memoriae".

Another mistake: In my review of Delightful Wallpaper, I said:

First, there is a single right use for each intent, and you can tell
from your notes whether you've got it right or not.

Zarf contacted me and informed me that this is incorrect. There are
multiple uses for the intents that can lead to a winning ending; I just
didn't run into any of them on my playthrough. Sorry about that.

-DJ

Michael D. Hilborn

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Jan 21, 2007, 3:03:55 PM1/21/07
to
Jimmy Maher wrote:
> Hi, folks...
>
> Issue #47 is here at last. Subscribers should already have their
> copies. The rest of you can go to the usual place... i.e., see my sig.
>

Just wanted to say thanks for putting this issue together. The
interviews are great (I always enjoy reading what authors have to say
about their work and others), and I learned about a few new sites that
are out there.

--MDH

Mark Tilford

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Jan 22, 2007, 8:16:54 PM1/22/07
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Re one comment on DM / SF:

I was under the impression that linking to Pierre in particular would
have been a bad idea. (Remember the reason why Pierre could perform the
lavori d'Aracne.)

Emily Short

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Jan 22, 2007, 8:32:16 PM1/22/07
to

That's part of it, but I had other reasons as well. (I chatted with
Paul some by email about this, so I'll just reproduce what I told him:)

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

S
P
A
C
E

Paul wrote:
> However, the logic of linking in Damnatio
> Memoriae parts ways with S-F in several areas, so I found it a disadvantage to
> have S-F so fresh in my memory as I played DM.

Yeah, though this is entirely intentional. The idea is that the
underlying metaphysics of what happens with linking is quite
complicated, and people in different ages mastered different aspects of
it to different degrees. (The feelies for S-F go into more detail about
this, but they're hardly required reading.) Then, too, while Pierre is
decent at using links, it's clear even in S-F that he is not as fully
trained as the Count and Marie, and that there are all sorts of things
that he is unable to do. So the combination of different training and a
different set of cultural knowledge and taboos about the Lavori explain
the differences between S-F's system and the one in DM.

In particular, our hero in DM is considerably more reckless than Pierre
-- his life and his work are in immediate danger, after all. What's
more, he has learned his magic from the examples of people like
Augustus, Livia, and his mother Julia, who would probably have been as
daring and ruthless in employing the Lavori as they were in every other
aspect of their lives. The idea of using another person as a kind of
involuntary reverse-voodoo-doll, absorbing all the damage to your
system, is a fairly inhuman one and might have been abandoned under the
influence of the early church, or at the point where slavery as such
became less common; though there are still shadows of this idea in the
way the Count makes use of Pierre to save Marie from drowning. (On the
other hand, it's obvious that the Picture of Dorian Gray slipped
sideways into our universe from one where the Lavori operate...)

Second point of backstory: Agrippa Postumus is especially skilled in
using his art for textual manipulation in a precise and scholarly way.
In S-F we see related texts affecting one another when reverse-linked,
but Pierre lacks the skill to make any important use of this, and there
it's basically an easter egg. By contrast, Agrippa Postumus has spent
years and years on the (presumably delicate and arduous) task of
linking manuscripts together to remove errors in the text and to
produce translations. It may be a little self-indulgent of me to invent
a branch of magic whose purpose is to do classical scholarship, but we
all have our own strange daydreams.

In any case, what this means for the play of the game is that he's able
to link any written object with any other -- which is why he can link
up the letter, the painted vase, the real vase, etc.

It's possible that the game doesn't do a good enough job of getting
these points across, obviously. It wouldn't be particularly hard, I
imagine, to add some extra messages when the player first links things
together, if you feel that more explanation would make the game feel
more solidly thought-out or accessible to S-F players.

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