[announce] the IF Arcade

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Adam Cadre

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Jan 1, 2001, 4:39:30 PM1/1/01
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An arcade. Sixteen machines.

Asteroids.
Centipede.
Dig Dug.
Donkey Kong.
Galaxian.
Joust.
Lode Runner.
Marble Madness.
Night Driver.
Pac-Man.
Pong.
Space Invaders.
another Space Invaders.
Tapper.
an unlabeled coin-op video game.
and a pinball machine.

Temporary location: http://adamcadre.ac/arcade.zip
(I can't keep this in my own web space forever, so if GMD stays dead,
I'll have to find other accommodations for it. Stay tuned.)

The perpetrators:
Peter Berman
Adam Cadre
Stacy Cowley
Duncan Cross
Nate Cull
David Dyte
Jennifer Earl
Stephen Granade
Doug Jones
Mark Musante
Andrew Plotkin
L. Ross Raszewski
Emily Short
J. Robinson Wheeler
Mona Wuerz

Who did which? Guess. (As they say in Cattus Atrox, muha muha muha.)

-----
Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
novel: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060195584/adamcadreac

Hewitt Follis

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Jan 1, 2001, 6:03:10 PM1/1/01
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Hey, I can't get a single one of these to load in MAME!

Seriously though, kudos to everyone who was in on this one! I love it!

-HF

Adam Cadre

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Jan 2, 2001, 9:13:00 AM1/2/01
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Adam Cadre wrote:
> (I can't keep this in my own web space forever, so if GMD stays dead,
> I'll have to find other accommodations for it. Stay tuned.)

GMD was alive this morning, so I've uploaded it to /incoming/. I'll
also keep it in my own space for a short while, but will be taking it
down without notice before too long, so use GMD if you can get there.
Thanks.

Alexander Deubelbeiss

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Jan 3, 2001, 7:32:35 AM1/3/01
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Adam Cadre schrieb in Nachricht <3A51E1...@adamcadre.ac>...

>Adam Cadre wrote:
>> (I can't keep this in my own web space forever, so if GMD stays dead,
>> I'll have to find other accommodations for it. Stay tuned.)
>
>GMD was alive this morning, so I've uploaded it to /incoming/. I'll
>also keep it in my own space for a short while, but will be taking it
>down without notice before too long, so use GMD if you can get there.
>Thanks.
>
They look pretty cool. Pity I only know Asteroids and Night Driver
first-hand...

StarWeaver

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Jan 3, 2001, 8:08:00 AM1/3/01
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Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> wrote in <3A50F9...@adamcadre.ac>:

> [announcment stuff]

In an attemt to stave off doing gobs of filing or god forbid going to bed,
I started trying a few of these. Dindn't really do much in most that i
tried, but I did win marble madness and I would like to say that I thought
the writing in that to be just breathtaking. 'X me and X my will' were the
first two things I tried and I think that's what got me hooked (:), and the
encounters with Other... anyway, i only got 12000 points so i'll have to
play around a bit more later...

As for 'unlabled.gam' (which i started up mainly because i thought it was
an error or something...), am i just totaly missing something or is what i
see all that there is. I read the newspaper but all i can seem to do is run
around like a dead chiken and trg fubg ol n ovt s'a zvffyr naq QVR. Is that
all there is? Though when I saw the ending the first time I did laugh my
ass off... :)

That's all for now...
-Philip Sw; "Ronin Angel StarWeaver"
Neutral Good Level 19 Gamer Level 4 Creator :)
...

Sean T Barrett

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Jan 3, 2001, 9:49:28 PM1/3/01
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You really ought to just go play them before reading
any reviews, ok?

Administrative note: the zip file does not include any
release information, such as a list of authors (even
one without correlating authors with games); I'd recommend
changing that.

Despite what I've written below, pretty much all the games
were worth booting up and running, if not because they
offered hours and hours of fun, simply because it was
interesting to see how many different ways people could
tackle this idea.

=-=-=

(in the order I played them, which was basically the order they
unpacked, but all zcode games first, and pinball last)

DonkeyKong.z5

A curious reversal: this game is played from the point of view of the
title character, who was the antagonist of the original. Some very
short, crisp imagery, but not entirely faithful to the original game.
Not much fun to actually play, though, but that's true of a lot of
the games here. This one is unique because the property (license) is
still alive today (discounting dumb Foo 2000 or Foo 3D attempts on
Hasbro's part), and the author is well-aware of that.

Centipede.z5

Wow. Gratuitously high-quality. Just go play it; some small liberties
but captures the high points and details in a great way, and doesn't
require any knowledge of the original to play; IMO the "Hunter, in
Darkness" of this collection.

Asteroids.z5

A cross between the old Star Trek text games and Asteroids, which
provides a bit of a motivation for the gameplay. The actual game
is an actually playable asteroids game, but I found it too hard
to track the asteroid trajectories (you have to compute deltas by
hand from turn to turn, missing the real experiential effect of
being able to immediately sense their trajectories) and it lacked
a way to tell how big each asteroid was, which is crucial for
winning. In other words, huge liberties with the actual gameplay,
and yet actually attempts to construct an interesting and playable
game (but fails for me--too complex and too hard); all in all
a neat try.

Driver.z5

Umm, ok. You get a couple different descriptions of how things
look, but then it stops changing for no apparent reason (because
the author didn't want to write more, presumably), but it also
never brings itself to a close, so you end up driving for a while
wondering if anything new is going to happen. Apparently not.
Yawn. Well, the original game was pretty "Yawn", but, well,
most of the other games here went one way or the other--either
bring the game to a close or being consistent in the repetitiveness.

Galaxian.z5

A bit mechanical an implementation; your controls have little
effect--the sequence is mostly on rails--but the story (the
sequence of events that follow) isn't interesting and detailed
(e.g. the way it is in Centipede.z5), just repetitive, so
it's just not very compelling.

Invaders1.z5

A nice intro story setup--one that you can imagine them adding to the
original game if it were released today and they thought it needed a
better fiction. Then a very descriptive telling of the gameplay;
seems like there might be a fairly complex representation of the
board internally, not sure, but it seemed unlikely you could clear
a board (I got 12900 points in 37 turns). Hmm, the saucer sounds
a bit more like the Invaders section of GORF than the original,
and the shields were omitted (bunkers in Invaders2.gam).

Joust.z5

A nice start--the use of separate locations is appropriate for
this game, but the choice of "clockwise" and "counterclockwise"
to mean "left" and "right" seems bizarre, unless the whole thing
is set in a circle--aha, it's a wraparound world, so I guess that's
the whole idea. Nice, puzzles enwrapping two basic Joust
strategies. Possibly my favorite of the bunch: a more detailed
setting than the original with lots of atmosphere, faithfulness
to the original, and some "puzzles". Cool.

Loderunner.z5

Hmm, Lode Runner retold as "Thief: The Dark Project". I'm not
sure why digging and letting someone fall in a hole works in
one place but not another, but maybe I'm forgetting something
about the game. A little too plain--with all the described stuff
for atmosphere (sounding a bit more like Prince of Persia than
Lode Runner, really), I wanted to be able to examine it, oh well.

Marble.z5

A nice retelling of the game, not providing any new information
or context, but with poetic telling of the abstract mysteries.
Fun.

Pac-man.z5

Wokka wokka wokka! A silly backstory. Hmm, third person, well,
all of these games were 3rd person in the first place. Umm,
ok, strange ending. Basically, this combines the gritty realism
of Centipede.z5 with the deepened context of Joust.z5 and the on
rails experience of Loderunner.z5. But I didn't really enjoy it.
Then again, a pretty neat idea for how to not just literally
adapt the game. [PS: See Zarf's page for how to suppress the
score without leaving a '.' behind.]

Digdug.gam

What a strange game. Although you can play and "win" naively,
once you play "correctly" you find that the focus of the game
is on certain connotations of the language of the "naive" game,
in a way that's rather, well, silly. Although it hints at
backstory, it reads more to me like a mishmash of ideas pretending
to be a backstory, not something that was actually thought out.

Invaders2.gam

Rather than just using "left" and "right" abstract controls as
in Galaxians.z5 and Invaders1.z5, Invaders2 has the player running
from room to room; this allows an accurate representation of the
shields ("bunkers"), which you can hide in. Unfortunately, you
can't seem to see the aliens, although you can shoot them. Then
there's this bit of backstory with a brooch, but then I die when
I return from it, and I'm not sure if you're supposed to be able
to get past that, but I can't, and it's not a very satisfying ending.

Pong.gam

Entertainingly wacky descriptions--"be where ball will be in the
hood of likeli"; basically impossible to play--you're given
guesses as to where the ball will go, but even on the turn previous
to its arrival that guess can be wrong. There aren't really enough
descriptions for it to be worth playing more than a couple points.
(But hey, that's more than zero!) Sometimes the ball wraps from
high to low instead of bouncing, what's up with that? And it seems
to go from 'middle' to 'lowish' without going through 'middle low'.
I quit with score 3 to 2. From the size of the game file I wonder
if I missed a bunch.

Tapper.gam

An investigation of the dark side of tapper; looking at the
consequences of the gameplay from an almost realistic perspective.
Seemed rather plain to me; it could have been more emotional
and less "just the facts", given the way it was being spun.

Unlabeled.gam

Heh heh.

Pinball.gam

I think one of the "Basic Computer Games" books that had
"Hunt the Wumpus" in it also had a text pinball game which
printed out the pinball board as ASCII graphics, rather than
in an IF-ish style. Instead, this games tries to capture
the abstract mental state of being a pinball machine's ball--
much like Marble.z5, with less poeticness and more zip. Kinda
fun, but dunno how much of it I saw, a little hard to get
out of the lower reaches.

I'm not going to guess who any of the authors were, but I'll
note that several of the games just spoke "quality" at me--the
writing, the attention to detail just made me trust the author.
[Those that didn't may not be the fault of the author so much
as the time investment they put into these semi-jokey games,
and I wouldn't hold any of these games against any future games
from their authors.]

The ones that made me feel this way were:

Centipede.z5
Joust.z5 (with some hesitation--a couple bugs)
Invaders1.z5
Marble.z5 (maybe)
Pong.gam
Unlabeled.gam (hard to be sure though)

and maybe even Pinball.gam.

SeanB

Adam Cadre

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Jan 3, 2001, 10:21:09 PM1/3/01
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Sean Barrett wrote:
> Pac-man.z5
> Wokka wokka wokka! A silly backstory. Hmm, third person, well,
> all of these games were 3rd person in the first place. Umm,
> ok, strange ending. Basically, this combines the gritty realism
> of Centipede.z5 with the deepened context of Joust.z5 and the on
> rails experience of Loderunner.z5. But I didn't really enjoy it.
> Then again, a pretty neat idea for how to not just literally
> adapt the game.

Well, this was the one that started it all -- I had an hour to kill
and a wacky idea, so I wrote this up. Then I decided it'd be fun to
have a bunch more like it, so I started up a channel on the MUD, posted
this as a sample, and let folks have at it. But I communicated the idea
poorly; people thought that cleverly porting arcade games to text was
the gimmick, whereas I was looking for colorful scenarios that fit the
games sort of by analogy. For Space Invaders, you might have a game
about Pat Buchanan patrolling the Mexican border. Or a game about
getting it on with a co-worker in a stuck elevator -- Elevator Action,
dontcha know. That sort of thing. Of the submissions, the unlabeled
one was the closest to what I had in mind.

> [PS: See Zarf's page for how to suppress the score without leaving a
> '.' behind.]

Yeah, I knew that already. Again, the other thing about these games
was that they were supposed to take like an hour or two to code, so I
did it the quick n' sloppy way. Then one of my cohorts shows up with
a 200K Centipede and makes me look bad. Sassafrassin' overachievers.

Joachim Froholt

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Jan 4, 2001, 7:39:30 AM1/4/01
to

StarWeaver wrote:

> Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> wrote in <3A50F9...@adamcadre.ac>:
>
> > [announcment stuff]
>
> In an attemt to stave off doing gobs of filing or god forbid going to bed,
> I started trying a few of these. Dindn't really do much in most that i
> tried, but I did win marble madness and I would like to say that I thought
> the writing in that to be just breathtaking. 'X me and X my will' were the
> first two things I tried and I think that's what got me hooked (:), and the
> encounters with Other... anyway, i only got 12000 points so i'll have to
> play around a bit more later...

The game I liked the most was probably Centipede. I think this one would be
very enjoyable, even for people who have no experience with the arcade game.
Having played all the games featured in this pack before (in their 'real'
incarnations), I have to say that it was excellent fun to see them as text
games. In my mind, I knew what everything looked like, and I recognized the
world my character was in, especially in Lode Runner and Dig Dug (which I
failed to complete, even though I blew up Pooka and Fygar). And Night Driver,
ofcourse (must really play that one again sometimes..).

>
> As for 'unlabled.gam' (which i started up mainly because i thought it was
> an error or something...), am i just totaly missing something or is what i
> see all that there is. I read the newspaper but all i can seem to do is run
> around like a dead chiken and trg fubg ol n ovt s'a zvffyr naq QVR. Is that
> all there is? Though when I saw the ending the first time I did laugh my
> ass off... :)

I have a feeling that this is all there is. I recognized the game quite early
on, so it was very fun to see that I was right when the ending came.

Anyway, this pack kept me occupied for quite a while. Lots of fun! Regards to
the authors, who did a great job! (now, I must check out that recently released
golf game..)

Joachim


Alexander Deubelbeiss

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Jan 4, 2001, 8:46:01 AM1/4/01
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Sean T Barrett schrieb in Nachricht ...

>You really ought to just go play them before reading
>any reviews, ok?

>
>Pong.gam


>
> From the size of the game file I wonder
> if I missed a bunch.
>

Did you read the FAQs?

night_...@my-deja.com

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Jan 4, 2001, 12:17:24 PM1/4/01
to
Well, now. A lesson learned- spend more than an hour, even on
silly arcade adaptations...

Sean Barrett wrote:

> Yawn. Well, the original game was pretty "Yawn"

And that's where I was aiming. But next to Centipede,
well, a few of us look just plain lazy, now.

and Adam Cadre wrote:

> But I communicated the idea poorly; people thought
> that cleverly porting arcade games to text was
> the gimmick

So, bearing all this in mind, what can I do? REWRITE! Expect a
new, improved, true-to-the-original-intent verson of Night Driver
some time on Saturday. At the same time, I'd like to invite any
authors who are annoyed they missed the chance to submit too.
Let's make a movement out of this...

- A. Tari, real name still hidden for a short time


Sent via Deja.com
http://www.deja.com/

Adam Conover

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Jan 4, 2001, 1:52:50 AM1/4/01
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i found this a bit confusing -- i was under the impression that it was
a faq for the game, then figured out it was for a newsgroup. (right?)
still, i loved the writing style.

- adam


(write e-mail address numerically to reply)

Nils Barth

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Jan 4, 2001, 5:05:54 PM1/4/01
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SPOILERS AHEAD (for Dig Dug)

Joachim Froholt <jfro...@c2i.net> wrote:
>StarWeaver wrote:
>> Adam Cadre <a...@adamcadre.ac> wrote in <3A50F9...@adamcadre.ac>:
>> > [announcment stuff]
>> In an attemt to stave off doing gobs of filing or god forbid going to bed,
>> I started trying a few of these. Dindn't really do much in most that i
>> tried, but I did win marble madness and I would like to say that I thought
>> the writing in that to be just breathtaking. 'X me and X my will' were the
>> first two things I tried and I think that's what got me hooked (:), and the
>> encounters with Other... anyway, i only got 12000 points so i'll have to
>> play around a bit more later...
>
>The game I liked the most was probably Centipede. I think this one would be
>very enjoyable, even for people who have no experience with the arcade game.
>Having played all the games featured in this pack before (in their 'real'
>incarnations), I have to say that it was excellent fun to see them as text
>games. In my mind, I knew what everything looked like, and I recognized the
>world my character was in, especially in Lode Runner and Dig Dug (which I
>failed to complete, even though I blew up Pooka and Fygar).

SPOILER SPACE


When you ended Dig Dug after killing the two creatures, didn't it
tell you to LISTEN?
At the beginning of the game, LISTEN.

--
-nils

Matt Fendahleen

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Jan 4, 2001, 6:41:40 PM1/4/01
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Pac Man. I have new respect for that game. Deep, unshakable respect. I
intend to take great delight in explaining to young, impressionable children
in the local PC centre what it's REALLY about...

-matF


Jdyer41

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Jan 4, 2001, 11:01:20 PM1/4/01
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Just wait and see their reaction when you start explaining
the 'shrooms in Super Mario Bros.

Jason Dyer
jdy...@aol.com

Adam J. Thornton

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Jan 4, 2001, 10:18:41 AM1/4/01
to
I adored Marble Madness.

Pong is a great concept but I don't want to play 15 points to see the
end. 5 points would have been plenty. Perhaps the game could have
"started" at 10-10?

Centipede is great, if mostly noninteractive. I really appreciate that
the Joust author knows his (her?) "unbeatable" pterodactyls, if you know
what I mean. Nudge nudge.

And finally, Dig Dug. Look, whoever wrote it, seek professional help.
Please. Or at least, get laid. I thought I would bust a gut.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Joachim Froholt

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Jan 6, 2001, 3:11:53 PM1/6/01
to

Nils Barth wrote:

At the beginning? Ok, I'll try that. Thanks :-)

Joachim


Nym

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Jan 7, 2001, 6:22:25 PM1/7/01
to
Is there anywhere that I can get a rundown on the storylines of these games.
I have never been really serious about arcade games, and although I have now
played a lot of their IF incarnation, some of the stories are confusing me
(esp centipede and the one with the quite street and bomb.) Can someone
give me a rundown on what the hell is happening?


Eternally grateful,

nym.

Nils Barth

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Jan 7, 2001, 8:46:51 PM1/7/01
to

Er, attributing `storyline' to these games is kinda risky.
The original arcade games generally had no story whatsoever.
Centipede, for instance, consisted of having a blob at the bottom of
the screen (which you could control with a track ball!) which could
move around and fire at mushrooms and a centipede that came from the
top of the screen and had a segmented body which you were supposed to
kill. Same basic idea as space invaders, say.

The best way to get a feel for these is to actually play them.
If you can't find an arcade in your area that has these `classics',
you can get MAME (an arcade emulator) at:
http://www.mame.net/
and you can get the ROMs at
http://www.mame.dk/

About a minute or two of playing should make the game idea clear.

But watch out, you might get addicted to one ;-)

--
-nils

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Jan 7, 2001, 9:12:36 PM1/7/01
to
Nils Barth wrote:
>
> Nym <n...@nym.com.au> wrote:
> >Is there anywhere that I can get a rundown on the storylines of
> >these games. I have never been really serious about arcade games,
> >and ... some of the stories are confusing me (esp centipede and

> >the one with the quite street and bomb.) Can someone give me a
> >rundown on what the hell is happening?
>
> Centipede ... consisted of having a blob at the bottom of

> the screen (which you could control with a track ball!) which could
> move around and fire at mushrooms and a centipede that came from the
> top of the screen and had a segmented body which you were supposed to
> kill.

Seems like a familiarity with Starship Troopers (the movie, not
so much the book, probably) might also have helped. But yeah, if
you're confused you're basically out of luck, because these games
are only skin deep. Any storyline they present is all the story
there is, since the original games didn't have stories.


--
J. Robinson Wheeler http://thekroneexperiment.com
whe...@jump.net

Nym

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Jan 8, 2001, 2:22:38 AM1/8/01
to
OK, maybe I wasn't that specific in my previous message. What I wanted to
know was the original sequence of events. Such as in Centipede, unless you
know that you should be shooting all the centipedes and mushrooms, you won't
have a clue how to play. I just wanted a run-down on how these games were
originally played, so I could get a feel for playing them IF-style.

Thanks for your help, I am off now to find MAME.

nym.


J. Robinson Wheeler wrote in message <3A592214...@jump.net>...

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Jan 8, 2001, 3:03:21 AM1/8/01
to

As has been pointed out, the original games didn't have "stories" per
se. However, I'll try to explain the ones you mention.

In Centipede, various arhtropods drift onto the screen and attack you.
You shoot back. The screen is strewn with mushrooms, which block your
shots until you destroy them - each mushroom can withstand several
hits before disappearing. Shooting an enemy turns it into a mushroom.
Explanation given in the original game for this scenario: none.

Missile Command is a little different. In the original game, you had
control over an anti-ballistic missile system. Missiles rain down
from the top of the screen, and you try to blow them up before they
reach the cities you were trying to protect. Inevitably, you fail to
do this perfectly, and the cities are destroyed one by one until
they're all gone, ending the game. The IF-Arcade version gives us a
man-on-the-street's perspective on this.

Actually, that's a fairly important thing to understand about early
arcade games: they were all unwinnable. You played under increasingly
difficult conditions until you failed. by contrast, pretty much all
arcade games made in the last ten years have some sort of ending
where you confront an ultimate foe.

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
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D. A. Thompson

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Jan 8, 2001, 11:33:47 AM1/8/01
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g...@goo.invalid (Nils Barth) wrote:

>Er, attributing `storyline' to these games is kinda risky.
>The original arcade games generally had no story whatsoever.
>Centipede, for instance, consisted of having a blob at the bottom of
>the screen (which you could control with a track ball!) which could
>move around and fire at mushrooms and a centipede that came from the
>top of the screen and had a segmented body which you were supposed to
>kill. Same basic idea as space invaders, say.

Millipede, however, did have a backstory. Unfortunately.

http://www.gamearchive.com/flyers/video/atarikee/millipede_4.jpg

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