Comp97: Incoherent Blather (3/5)

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C.E. Forman

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
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[The Spoilers Are Out There...]













"Down"
------
-1 Making me think when trying to run it.
Had to download Hugo executable especially for this game. (Can we
package these things in the big zip file next year?)

-1 Reasonable solutions/actions not implemented.
The other passengers didn't seem very real. Just a few more actions
and replies (mostly they just generate blank responses) would have
made a world of difference.

-1 Bugs/crashes.
I'm not sure what happened, but at one point I began receiving
blank responses for every single command I typed. Exiting to DOS,
my COMMAND.COM perished shortly thereafter.

My score for "Down": 7 points out of 10.

Did I finish it?: Yes.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
Excellent short game. I honestly believe it deserves a higher rating
than I gave it, but I've come this far on my little by-the-book rating
system so now I have to stick with it.

Good "what's going on?" factor. At first I thought I'd become lost and
injured in the woods or something, but nothing prepared me for the
horror of realizing the crash. Nice shock. Nice, stark prose. I got
into this game. (Which, I suspect, is why I was disappointed with the
characters. I got into it a little too much, and felt a mite betrayed
when everyone else turned out to be a cardboard prop.) Fine use of
special verbs, particularly "comfort."

Very easily the best Hugo game to date (though there are what, four
total?)

BTW, did you notice yours is the first game to *not* lose a point for
"miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off"? Congratulations on not
pissing me off.

======================================================================

"Sylenius Mysterium"
--------------------
I know, it's my own. But it's only fair to subject it to the same
torment the other entries are forced to endure. Plus it'll give me a
chance to bitch some more, and I *can't* pass that up, now can I?

-1 Making me think when trying to run it.
Okay, not for me specifically. It ran flawlessly for me (aside from
the bugs in the Game Worlds, which I'll get to). But it certainly
seems to have made a lot of people, many of them Mac users, think.
(Personally, I find it amusing that MaxZip turned out to be not
quite as standard as it thought it was.)

-1 Bugs/crashes.
See my notes below.

-1 Poor design/construction.
The "Game Worlds" section is clunky and needs fine-tuning. Why
didn't I tack on a "to be continued"-style ending rather than rush
myself trying to finish the whole thing? That last week was hell.
Besides, the "Game Worlds" are boring. Nobody's gonna sit through
that. Why *did* I bother with the Game Worlds? I expected
everyone to see them, make a few moves, note the use of turn-based
and real-time I-F in the same story, say "nifty," then restart and
spend the rest of their time playing around with Ralph, Nolan and
Margot. That's what *I* did when I was writing it! And it's not
like you *had* to pound away futilely at them. You could easily
have restarted and tried to see the level of detail that went into
the first part. There's *tons* of stuff to do there, more than
enough to fill two hours of play-time. If you rushed through it,
you missed out on a *lot*. Go try again.

-1 Miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off.
I seem to have goofed with the "initial" text for Margot's New Age
music, since it's printing the "Game Worlds" text instead (the
"thumping backbeat" part). It's minor, the result of a last-minute
change, but I should've caught this. Same with the shades bug.
Damn classes.

My score for "Sylenius Mysterium": 6 points out of 10. (And yes, I do
think that's fair.)

Did I finish it?: Yes, but the Game Worlds don't work, as you probably
noticed. Gimme Release 2, and I'll get 'em. If I
decide it's worth the effort. You can help me
decide by sending commentary.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
Oooo-KAY. Lemme explain *why* it's an unplayable mess. [Deep breath.]

The year was 1997. It was summer. There were nine weeks before the
contest deadline. I was getting fed up with my current project and had
shoved it roughly aside for the time being. I'd just read Leonard
Herman's "Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Home Videogames," and J.C.
Herz's "Joystick Nation," and thought, hey, how about a game that pays
homage to the classic game systems? Well, unfortunately, I'd also been
screwing around with real-time, so I got this brainiac notion to tie
classic-game nostalgia in with a late-80s platform style game, under
the guise of a text adventure.

As you can see, it didn't work. Or rather, I ran out of time before I
could fix it so that it did. Or RATHER, I got so caught up in coding
realistic NPCs for the turn-based segment that I left myself with only
two weeks to write and debug the *entire* "Game Worlds" sequence.
*From* *scratch*. I wanted a realistic and cohesive "real world" to
contrast with the game. So I expanded the characters. I wrote entire
little backstories for each of them. I coded up every conceivable
response to every topic I could think of, then added more irrelevant
details and coded responses to *those*. Then I thought of funny things
that could happen if the player timed it just right, and I coded
*those*! By the time I was satisfied, there wasn't enough time to do
the Game Worlds convincingly.

I should have had it stop right before, or allowed a work-around so
players could see the ending without playing the real-time part, or
*something*. Anyway. Given the choice again I'd probably do it
the same way again. It was a diversion, something to take my mind
off "Shelton" for a little while, nothing more.

So why did I enter it this year, instead of waiting until next year?
Well, time takes its toll on a programmer's memory. I was afraid if I
waited a whole year I'd look at the code again and have no grasp of
what I was trying to do. Especially with something as complex as this.
(The fact it doesn't work does not change the fact it *is* complex.)
I suppose I could have kept at it instead of putting it aside, but I
was sick of it and just didn't feel like screwing with it any more.
Again, it was a diversion, not a serious attempt at an award-winning
entry.

Now for the most frequently-asked question: Why were the Game Worlds
rendered as textual I-F rather than character graphics? Answer: Yes,
this was intentional, believe it or not. We already have Tetris,
Robots and Z-Life. Character graphics have been *done*. This hadn't.
I never claimed it was a good idea, just a different one. (But then,
I should have remembered that the point of the competition is not to
experiment with new techniques, but to rehash concepts that have
already been seen before. My mistake.)

This is *not* an attempt at an excuse for entering shoddy work.
Everyone who took points off for its bugginess was right to do so.
I simply don't believe the entire game should be dismissed because of
the rotten Game Worlds sequence. The first part actually has a lot
going for it, trivial though it may be. I'm very pleased with coding
such realistic characters in such a short time. And the concept is
noteworthy, even if the execution sucked. (Although the "unwinnable"
aspect does tie in nicely with my thoughts on the "unwinnable" classic
games...)

Presently I doubt I'll ever fix it. Those of you who have any interest
in seeing the ending can TXD the game file and poke around. (Several
have already done so, it seems.) There's a nice suggested reading
list for anyone interested in videogame history (Sylenius provides only
a few of the niftier bits and pieces), as well as some really quite
surprising nuances of the game you probably won't pick up on otherwise.

======================================================================

"Aunt Nancy's House"
--------------------
-1 "Guess the word."
Guess the noun, primarily. It's never clear which objects are
implemented and which are not. Often I'd try to examine one object,
only to have three others which also corresponded to the noun I used
pop up, like the gophers in one of those arcade mallet games. Too
bad I couldn't whack stuff here, or I'd feel a lot better. Get a
load of this transcript:
>open cabinet
You open the cabinet, revealing some stuff.
>x stuff
Just some stuff- books, knicknacks, etc.
>x books
Which do you mean, the paperbacks, the programming books or the
Dilbert books?
>x dilbert
Which do you mean, the Dilbert books or the Dilbert doll?
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!
(Hey, look, I'm getting hysterical!)

-1 Reasonable solutions/actions not implemented.
Objects are barely there. Other than examining, I can't even
interact with at least half of 'em. And the rest have "nothing
special" descriptions. Laaaaaaame! I examine the toilet lid, and
its description reads, "The toilet lid." Gee, thanks, I could never
have figured that out without your help. I can't use the phone, the
computer, the toilet, the sink, etc. Containers and supporters
behave illogically.

-1 Bugs/crashes.
Not fatal, but reeeeeeaaaaally annoying. Pop "Star Wars" in the
VCR, and no matter where in the house you go, you're told it's
playing on every turn. Also, umm, I could be mistaken here, but I
don't think there's a way to win.

-1 Poor writing.
Lists of exits and lists of objects and descriptions of furniture
and really short object descriptions and nothing that's any fun at
all to read.

-1 Poor design/construction.
Wander around and look at crap. Grand idea. If I'd wanted that,
I'd fork out $50 for a commercial CD-ROM and at least have some cool
graphics to look at while I'm trudging aimlessly about.

-1 Cliched story/setting.
I'm sick of seeing people's houses. Everywhere I look there's
people's houses. Why, God, WHY?!

-1 Lacking "something really cool."
There is nothing even remotely cool about this game.

-1 Miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off.
I'll save myself a lot of typing here: Everything. Well, one thing
I did like: Waiting 50 turns for Windows 95 to boot up. I don't
care what anyone says, that was funny.

My score for "Aunt Nancy's House": 2 points out of 10.

Did I finish it?: I am *FINISHED* with this game. I am so *VERY*
finished with this game.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
Why did you bother to enter this? It obviously didn't have a
snowball's chance in hell of winning anything. It's a coding exercise,
for God's sake! It's bad enough to bog down a game with useless
scenery, but you don't even have a plot to bury under it!

The well-known I-F authors (Graham Nelson, Gareth Rees, Andrew Plotkin,
etc.) all have coding exercises, no doubt, but do you see them throwing
theirs to the public? No? Why not, do you suppose? Could it be that
no one cares about what you did to teach yourself Inform? Could it be
that most coding exercises are crap, an embarrassment to the author who
wrote them, and a waste of players' time?

Write a real game, and I'll treat it like one.

======================================================================

"Congratulations!"
------------------
-1 "Guess the word."
Trying to feed the baby while holding it gave me no clue that
sitting down would help. (Why, for that matter, can't I give the
baby its bottle while standing up? I've seen my sister do it
before. What if you're in public and there's no place to sit down?
Do you let the kid starve?) Given that this little puzzle is about
20% of the game, this verb-guess is a pretty major infraction.

-1 Typos.
A few I-F and general writing conventions, if you will:
* A blank line is preferred before each ">" prompt. It looks
better and it's easier to read.
* Room names are typically capitalized, with the exception of
articles and prepositions (unless they're the first word).
* Asterisk-bound game-terminating "You have..." text should be
constrained to a single line.
* Sentences typically end with periods. Not blanks. Not
commas. Not a period and a comma together. Just a
period.<--Like this.

-1 Poor writing.
"This is a room. These are the exits from the room." "You do this.
Baby responds this way." No attempt at creativity whatsoever.

-1 Poor design/construction.
Everything felt like it was slapped together really fast. Quickie
room text and object text, with most mentioned scenery unaccounted
for. Very amateurish.

-1 Cliched story/setting.
AGAIN with the people's houses! I'm gonna do one of these just to
make fun of the cliche, I swear.

-1 Lacking "something really cool."
Although putting the baby in the blender came close. (And gave me
the longest, most physically painful bellylaugh I've had in a long
time. No point though, sorry.)

-1 Miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off.
God, I can't leave that kid alone for a second without it committing
suicide. It makes the game feel less charming, more weird and
creepy and just plain not right. So parenting involves feeding the
kid, changing it, and putting it to bed, right? It only needs to be
done once, then the woman of the family is ready to crank out
another, eh? That's the message the winning text seems to send.
Why am I not told if it's a boy or a girl? Why doesn't the kid have
a name? Will it go through life being called Baby ("Hey, Baby,
what's happenin'?") Where's the other parent? Is this really a
devious commentary on the deterioration of the American nuclear
family? (If so, it was brilliant and wonderfully subtle, but I
suspect that isn't the case.)

My score for "Congratulations!": 3 points out of 10.

Did I finish it?: Yes, well within the time limit.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
No congratulations are in order here, I'm afraid. Your game banner has
the serial number 970929. Was this written the night before the
competition deadline? It shows. Oh man does it show. Taking care of
your real-life kid must've really worn you down. And for God's sake
put more effort into that than you did with this game. (Admit it, the
blender part is the only reason it even exists, am I right?)

======================================================================

"The Tempest"
-------------
-1 "Guess the word."
Got my copy of the play off the shelf, struggled with the
interactive version, got absolutely nowhere. Gave up, turned off
my computer, reread it instead. Probably won't try this version
again.

-1 Reasonable solutions/actions not implemented.
This is supposed to be *interactive* fiction. Can't do anything the
Bard didn't write, sheesh, gimme a break. If I can only follow the
play by the book, what's the point of doing a command-parser
adaption? I-F is about the player being in control (within
reasonable limits, of course). Far, *far* too rigid.

-1 Poor design/construction.
Exceptionally well-produced, but just not any fun as a game, so I'm
taking another point off here, and you can't stop me.

-1 Cliched story/setting.
Certainly not cliched, but nevertheless an exact copy of the
original work. I haven't kept up with the groups, but judging by
the number and topics of posts I've seen while trolling for Sylenius
feedback, I'm sure this has already been discussed to death, but...
The Competition rules clearly state: "completely original and your
own work." (But then, if we can't interpret what "two hours" means,
how are we supposed to understand this?) Graham Nelson (and I knew
immediately that it was he) is a very talented man with a wonderful
imagination, yet I remain steadfastly unconvinced that he wrote "The
Tempest" all by his lonesome without help from any 16th-century
dramatists. Although Shakespeare is technically in the public
domain, that doesn't give Graham or anyone else the right to copy it
verbatim, chop up the text into room- and event-sized pieces, throw
in a parser, a fancy title screen, a history of the play and a few
lines of new text and attempt to pass it off as an original work of
interactive fiction. "Completely original and your own work" means
"completely original and your own work." I did not see any
disclaimer in the rules about "Completely original and your own work
OR in the public domain." Why is it okay to steal Shakespeare's
genius but not Matt Barringer's, for God's sake? Kevin Wilson? You
there, bud? Why Shakespeare but not Arthur Conan Doyle? Show me
the line, please. I can't see it.

-1 Lacking "something really cool."
Plagiarism is not cool, even when it's interactive plagiarism.

-1 Miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off.
On top of all this, the game pretty much requires the original work
at hand to determine the appropriate actions. (And it *still*
didn't do me much good!) Nothing wrong with getting us to reread
(or read) the original, but if you need the print version to play
the interactive version, why not just curl up in your favorite chair
and *read* the print version, without all the stop-and-start
guesswork (which is what I ended up doing)? In this respect,
"Tempest" walks into the exact same hole as Infocom's "Shogun."
What's the *point* of an interactive version? (I've come to expect
better from you, Graham.)

My score for "The Tempest": 4 points out of 10.

Did I finish it?: Not even close. And I doubt I ever will.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
Walkthrough, Graham. Walkthrough. Or built-in hints. *SOMETHING!*

I'll admit it: I'm an idiot. I can't even figure out what to do with
the entire play right in front of me. So I end up feeling like an
idiot, and hating this game because of it. And now I'll probably get
bashed by the snooty "show-me-how-smart-you-are" intellectual snots
and brainwashed Graham-worshippers for giving it a low score, which'll
just make me hate it more.

I agree with Marnie Parker (with whom I corresponded through e-mail):
Too many intellectual games -- and these *are* still games at heart,
regardless of what else their content might make them -- will turn off
the masses and plunge the medium into a backwater subculture again.

At any rate, don't even bother to mail me about this one. It's already
received far more attention than it deserves, and I'm not discussing it
further.

Sighhhh... two rotten games and one unplayable adaption. C'mon,
COMP97, gimme somethin' I can enjoy!

======================================================================

"The Family Legacy"
-------------------
No rating given, as it was withdrawn. But I would like to commend
Marnie Parker for having the courage to stand up and say that she'd
released it far too prematurely. It takes courage to admit to
something like that, particularly on a group where one's status as an
author often seems to be measured solely by how many games one can
crank out. Admittedly, I've fallen into this mentality myself.

I promise to play this one in full when I'm done slogging through the
rest of the entries.

======================================================================

"Coming Home"
-------------
-1 Typos.
"Allison, mail me and point out the typos to me." WHAT!?! You
can't even dig out your own dictionary or activate your own spell-
checker? I can't recall how many typos there were (to be frank, I
barely paid attention to the text), but the inclusion of this
statement in your notes was enough to disgust me into taking off
a point.

-1 Reasonable solutions/actions not implemented.
I can't open the car or get in, but I can drive it. I can't-- Aww,
forget it! I'm not going through this whole game and listing every
action you didn't bother to implement. I'd be doing your work for
you. And what's more, I don't care.

-1 Poor writing.
"This is a room. This is where you can go. This is what's here.
Any questions?" Every description was sheer agony. ('Cept the ones
that were really short, and they weren't worth typing the commands
that made them appear.)

-1 Poor design/construction.
Why am I not informed when someone leaves the room? Why is there no
directional command for entering the garage? Why do the paths curve
around the house so much? Ordinarily I wouldn't complain with this
last one, but with everything else it was just really irritating.

-1 Cliched story/setting.
If I see one more house, I'll fill 50 lines with a big long ASCII
scream. And I'll do it, too, don't you think I won't.

-1 Lacking "something really cool."
What, no babies to put in blenders here? You make me sick.

-1 Miscellaneous stuff that pissed me off.
Another stupid starve-to-death-in-20-moves situation. Why doesn't
anyone let me inside? These puzzles are retarded. *WHY* can't I
open the fridge by myself? (I can drive a car, but I can't open a
fridge?!) *WHY* can't I clean things by myself? Am I a child? If
so, why can I drive a car? Mom doesn't open the fridge for me if I
drop dead right in front of her! Everybody ignores me unless I hit
upon the one topic they're good for. I hate this family. Where's
the shotgun?

My score for "Coming Home": 3 points out of 10. (And I am being *damn*
generous.)

Did I finish it?: Used the walkthrough as a command script, so yes.
But I really don't care.

Notes to the author:
--------------------
Just read the complaints for "Aunt Nancy's House," so I don't hafta
type it all again.

Okay, God, I swear on a stack of Bibles, if you make the next game a
good one, I will never ever ever do anything bad ever again, for as
long as I live, *ever*. Please?

======================================================================

--
C.E. Forman cefo...@worldnet.att.net
Author of "Delusions", the 3rd place winner in the 1996 I-F Competition!!
Release 4 is now at: ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/infocom/Delusns.z5
Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe http://netnow.micron.net/~jgoemmer/infoshop.html

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
to

Notes on C.E.Forman's notes:

--- BABEL

C.E. Forman (cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net) wrote:
> not sure. Other authors: how would you react if someone released a
> game similar to, but not inspired by, your own, without telling you,
> even though s/he was aware of the similarities? Would you write it off
> as great minds thinking alike, or would you feel the new author was
> saying "Hey, great ideas, but look! I thought of them too"? This is a
> touchy subject, and I'd like to know how other authors feel about it.

I certainly wouldn't think the other person was showing off. A great idea,
practically by definition, can be done an infinite number of different
ways.

> BTW, it
> amazes me how *few* people seem to have noticed the similarities. Is
> it that easy to forget all about a game you played last year, even
> though you liked it enough at the time to vote it into 3rd place? Or
> are you all just ignoring me again like you did with "PtF"?

I do recall noticing the similar gimmick (trying to find your lost memory
in a lab.) But a gimmick is only a gimmick, after all. They were
different stories.

I also recall noticing the similarity to the gimmick of "Who Goes There?"
(creepy, monsters, identity) but that didn't lose it any points either.

If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had elements
in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and take
over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")

> Cuz I'm not goin' away.

I hope not.

--- ERDEN

> "Erden" brought back plenty o' bad memories of doing rooms and scenery
> on "Path to Fortune." I'm giving you feedback here so you don't have
> to wait an entire year to learn the hard way like I did. I'm gonna be
> blunt, so brace yourself, okay? Ready? Big-budget fantasy quests like
> this one are not popular. Do not be surprised if you don't get much
> feedback. Do not be surprised if hardly anyone plays through to the
> end. Do not be surprised if the only mail you ever get is about how
> much someone hates fantasy games and how tired the setting is.

Well, Erden certainly did remind me of PTF (as well as Beyond Zork).

Your predictions... I recall that a lot of reviewers said they didn't
explore all of Erden (I certainly didn't.) It isn't as popular as the
popular entries. (The top 6 games in the ranking are all games that a lot
of people liked a lot. Wait, that's completely tautological... :-) Well,
you know what I mean.)

Not a lot of feedback? Well, competition games are guaranteed feedback.
No surprise there.

Lots of ranting about how tired the setting is? Several reviewers noted
that, usually in about one sentence. Interestingly, I didn't mention it at
all -- and you recall I was quite clear about saying that the setting of
PTF was tired and made me uninterested in the game.

Why this inconsistency on my part?

I'm not sure. It may be random mood; it's been, what, two years?
Different things set me off. Or maybe I take it as understood that the
generic fantasy setting is a weakness. I don't have to rant about it any
more.

It may also be context. Back when PTF was released, there weren't that
many games around. I can't remember if it was before the '95 competition
or not. But I remember an attitude, inherited from Infocom and the
earliest TADS/Inform games, that a game had to be worth $40.

This is interesting. I'm just realizing it now, really. All Infocom games
were supposed to give you your money's worth. And the Curses and the
Unnkulia games were aimed at the same scale. (Bar UU1/2, which was more
of a demo.) I remember the expectation that all games were intended to be
blockbusters.

This is a *big* change since 1995. We can now look at short games and
judge them as their own thing. We can look at games which are supposed to
do one thing (which, to me, is the hallmark of a short story as opposed
to a novel -- although I'm obviously not only talking about small IF
works here.)

When you have 20+ games in a competition, you certainly don't expect them
all to be blockbusters. So Erden didn't blow my expectations the way PTF
did. One case got "Wow, a big new IF release! Oh, it doesn't interest me.
What a disappointment." The other got "35 games, and I *know* they'll
range from great to awful. Hm, this one isn't really catching my interest.
Medium score."

I'm rambling somewhat. Sorry. I think the point is, if Erden had been
released in '95 instead of PTF, I probably would have sent the author
much the same kind of comments I sent you.

--- I FORGET WHERE YOU MADE THIS COMMENT

> The well-known I-F authors (Graham Nelson, Gareth Rees, Andrew Plotkin,
> etc.) all have coding exercises, no doubt,

Actually, I don't.

--- SINS AGAINST MIMESIS

> Oh, but just to set the record straight: Roger Giner-Sorolla's article
> was actually titled "*Crimes* Against Mimesis."

Er, yeah, deliberate title change, because of the "seven sins" tie-in,
you know...

--- SYLENIUS

> (Personally, I find it amusing that MaxZip turned out to be not
> quite as standard as it thought it was.)

Hey! Hey! What's this for? MaxZip *does not* claim to be Z-Spec 1.0
standard. It never even claimed to be Z-Spec 0.2 standard. There's a
*reason* for this.

I've never gone through the code and checked that it fulfilled the
standard; I deal with issues as they're reported to me. So I carefully
leave header bytes $32 and $33 alone.

The @set_color bug is a good example of this. When ZIP was written, valid
arguments were 1 to 9. The ZIP code (which is the core of MaxZip) checks
this and throws an error if the arguments are out of range. A recent
(post-Infocom) change to the spec makes 0 a legal argument. I didn't
notice it.

The @test_attr 0 and @get_prop 0 errors are yours. They did inspire me to
release XZip/MaxZip versions which display such errors, so that they're
easier to track down...

> Why *did* I bother with the Game Worlds? I expected
> everyone to see them, make a few moves, note the use of turn-based
> and real-time I-F in the same story, say "nifty," then restart and
> spend the rest of their time playing around with Ralph, Nolan and
> Margot.

This is something which didn't come across well. I felt like the first
part was an intro, even though you'd clearly put effort into it. (I
assume everybody puts effort into the details. :-) Ya wanna know how much
effort I put into the Scheme manual in "Lists"? That took much, much
longer than the interpreter itself.)

> I should have had it stop right before, or allowed a work-around so
> players could see the ending without playing the real-time part, or
> *something*.

Make it possible for Margot to play it for you?

> Now for the most frequently-asked question: Why were the Game Worlds
> rendered as textual I-F rather than character graphics? Answer: Yes,
> this was intentional, believe it or not. We already have Tetris,
> Robots and Z-Life. Character graphics have been *done*. This hadn't.
> I never claimed it was a good idea, just a different one.

One day I'll get permission, or not worry about permission, and upload
Icebreaker.z5. I'm afraid textual arcade games have been done too. :)
(Although I didn't use timed input, and I used more conventional IF text
style -- long room descriptions which describe what's visible in every
direction.)

> (But then,
> I should have remembered that the point of the competition is not to
> experiment with new techniques, but to rehash concepts that have
> already been seen before. My mistake.)

Troll.

--Z

--

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

Russell Glasser

unread,
Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
to

About The Tempest, C.E. Forman wrote:
>
> I did not see any
> disclaimer in the rules about "Completely original and your own work
> OR in the public domain." Why is it okay to steal Shakespeare's
> genius but not Matt Barringer's, for God's sake?

Congratulations, Chris, you've now managed to work in a reference in
your reviews to every piece of IF you ever wrote, and accused at least
one person of stealing from each. The crowd applauds wildly.
(Granted, I worked in a reference in my reviews to every game *I* ever
wrote, but that's not saying much since I only ever wrote one and have
two in progress. Didn't mention "Wronger of Rights", my incomplete
competition entry, at all! Oops, I just did. Anyway, I sure never
accused people of plagiarizing Reverberations, Guido forbid!)

--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Russell can be heckled at
http://www.willynet.com/rglasser

Andy Leighton

unread,
Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
to

On 10 Jan 1998 17:09:40 GMT, C.E. Forman <cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> "Down"
> ------
> -1 Making me think when trying to run it.
> Had to download Hugo executable especially for this game. (Can we
> package these things in the big zip file next year?)

So you want the Hugo executable packaged up. You complained about going
to get AGiliTy, and presumably JACL too.

You say you want to include the interpreters in a big ZIP file along with
the games. But for what platforms? DOS, Mac, Acorn, Amiga, various
versions of Unix. Oh hell why not include every possible platform and
make that zip file an extra 5 or 6 meg larger than it should.

IMO complaining about a IF system just because it is something you
don't already have an interpreter for is pretty lame. By all means
criticize the games for problems in the gameplay but leave the system
out of it.

Also I felt you feel that nothing of any value can be set in a fantasy
setting. Pretty jaundiced view if you ask me. Now I am no fan of
rehashed fantasy quests, but to remove a point from _Zero Sum Game_
for it being set in a fantasy environment is plain lunacy. ZSG is
clearly a reversal of a fantasy quest and so relies on the fantasy
setting for most of its humour.

--
Andy Leighton => an...@azaal.dircon.co.uk
"... January is your third most common month for madness" - _Sarah Canary_


Jonathan Fry

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
: If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had elements

: in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
: end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and take
: over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")

For what it's worth, I finally got around to playing "Delusions" in
depth while "A New Day" was already in playtesting... any
similiarities are completely coincidental.

While we're on this issue, though, the game that seemed like a real
rip-off to me was "The Edifice". Am I the only one to have seen the
opening to "2001"?
--Jon

+-------------------------------------------------+
| Historian, Theologian, Fool - jf...@skidmore.edu |
|-------------------------------------------------|
| Interactive Fiction * rec.music.christian * Van |
| Halen * Byzantium * Ken Tamplin * In Your Face! |
+-------------------------------------------------+

FemaleDeer

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

>From: jf...@saims.skidmore.edu (Jonathan Fry)
>Date: Sat, Jan 10, 1998 19:42 EST

>While we're on this issue, though, the game that seemed like a real
>rip-off to me was "The Edifice". Am I the only one to have seen the
>opening to "2001"?
> --Jon

No, I noticed it, of course. It IS derivative. But it didn't bother me at all.
I reacted, "Hey, this is what could happened with that big block, if they had
ever shown us what had happened with that big block! Neat!" In other words, it
STARTED where 2001 left off -- it showed us what could have happened... in more
detail, and to me that is derivative, not "copying". And very inventive and
imaginative, too.

FD :-)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Femal...@aol.com "Good breeding consists in
concealing how much we think of ourselves and how
little we think of the other person." Mark Twain

FemaleDeer

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

>I agree with Marnie Parker (with whom I corresponded through e-mail):
> Too many intellectual games -- and these *are* still games at heart,
> regardless of what else their content might make them -- will turn off
> the masses and plunge the medium into a backwater subculture again.
>

Since I am mentioned, I feel I must respond.

C.E. is a good e-mail iffy-bud of mine and he has been very supportive and
encouraging concerning me writing IF.

I think the detail of his reviews are going to be helpful to writers to assess
exact flaws and successes in their games, i.e. what works and what doesn't.
C.E. has an eye for detail and understands IF well. However, unfortunately, I
still personally think many are harsher than they needed to be.

But, specifically, as to the above, I have discussed with him and some others
that I was worried about IF going down a "deadend" road of very intellectual or
arty games -- games that become more and more obscure to "ordinary players" (if
they are tough for a lot of raifers, think how tough they may be to understand
for IF novices) and thus, becoming even more of a sub-culture and more easily
ignored by possible new players ("I can't understand that stuff and, besides it
isn't fun."). This still concerns me. But after having played more games this
year, I was reassured to see a lot of "regular" IF.

One thing I admit I do not understand, is why so many disliked Town Dragon JUST
FOR THE CONCEPT. Frankly, I haven't actually played that much fantasy IF that
actually has dragons in it, not that I can remember. I remember a lot of sugar
cubes and grues. For a first time writer, the programming was decent, often
fantasy has a set genre, so what? Does everything have to be new and different,
or can't some people attempt to write good games of old genres when maybe that
hasn't actually been that much IF in those genres that is really good? This is
not to say this particular author succeeded (I felt he came close and could
succeed next time), but I would hate to have games dismissed simply because
they are exploring genres that have already been done a lot in books, but, when
you stop to think about it, not necessarily in IF. Or even if they have been
done in IF, maybe not that many have been done WELL. I think there is always
room for more, myself.

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <19980111040...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

FemaleDeer <femal...@aol.com> wrote:
>>From: jf...@saims.skidmore.edu (Jonathan Fry)
>>Date: Sat, Jan 10, 1998 19:42 EST
>
>>While we're on this issue, though, the game that seemed like a real
>>rip-off to me was "The Edifice". Am I the only one to have seen the
>>opening to "2001"?
>> --Jon
>
>No, I noticed it, of course. It IS derivative. But it didn't bother me at all.
>I reacted, "Hey, this is what could happened with that big block, if they had
>ever shown us what had happened with that big block! Neat!" In other words, it
>STARTED where 2001 left off -- it showed us what could have happened... in more
>detail, and to me that is derivative, not "copying". And very inventive and
>imaginative, too.
>

Which makes a few very important points:

1) Derivative works of art are not necessarily bad, or unoriginal (well,
of ocurse, they're less than 100% original, but what isn't).

2) Creating a derivative work is *not* the same thing as plagiarism.

3) Derivative works can place well in the contest on their own merits
(this is, of course, a guess on my part. But I don't really think
anybody gave the game a higher score because it made them think of
"2001").


--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

Graham Nelson

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <698a0k$q...@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>, C.E. Forman
<URL:mailto:cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> "The Tempest"
> -------------

So let me say now that I'm not going to complain about 90% of the
reasons you adduce for "Tempest" being dreadful. Let me also say
that I found your reviews incisive and that I hope they'll be archived
somewhere.

> -1 Reasonable solutions/actions not implemented.
> This is supposed to be *interactive* fiction. Can't do anything the
> Bard didn't write, sheesh, gimme a break. If I can only follow the
> play by the book, what's the point of doing a command-parser
> adaption? I-F is about the player being in control (within
> reasonable limits, of course). Far, *far* too rigid.

There are some entirely IF puzzles, such as the dance of Ferdinand
and Miranda or the problem of the flowers, but I agree that it is
a very unusual way to present either the play or IF.

That was "the point".

> -1 Cliched story/setting.
> Certainly not cliched, but nevertheless an exact copy of the
> original work.

> ... yet I remain steadfastly unconvinced that he wrote "The


> Tempest" all by his lonesome without help from any 16th-century
> dramatists.

It depends what you call an exact copy. I wrote rather a lot of
iambic pentameters myself, as it happens ("Nicholas Moledrawer",
the 17th-century dramatist to whom I attributed the rubbishy bits,
is a further fictional member of the accursed Meldrew family).

> Although Shakespeare is technically in the public
> domain, that doesn't give Graham or anyone else the right to copy it
> verbatim, chop up the text into room- and event-sized pieces, throw
> in a parser, a fancy title screen, a history of the play and a few
> lines of new text and attempt to pass it off as an original work of
> interactive fiction. "Completely original and your own work" means
> "completely original and your own work."

I think your criticisms would be fair if either the organiser of
the contest had ruled the game out of bounds (but he ruled just the
opposite), or if I had sought in any way to conceal the imitation --
but I didn't; the by-line reads "William Shakespeare".

It is "an interactive performance". Its purpose is to perform the
text of the play, within the new dramatic form of IF. Since nothing
like this has ever been attempted in the history of IF, I think
it's reasonable to say that there's a dash of originality to the
resulting game, even if "completely original" would be an
over-statement.

And what does "the right" mean, I wonder? A play is not like a novel.
It is written to be interpreted, performed, adapted. Shakespeare's
contemporaries would not have been shocked by my making changes to it.

> And now I'll probably get
> bashed by the snooty "show-me-how-smart-you-are" intellectual snots
> and brainwashed Graham-worshippers for giving it a low score, which'll
> just make me hate it more.

Well, I'm not a brainwashed Graham-worshipper, and think that the
game deserves its low score (though perhaps not always for the same
reasons as you). Plainly it needs online hints and a much easier
prologue, as you point out. Your criticism is fair and useful; I
merely don't agree with all of it.

> I agree with Marnie Parker (with whom I corresponded through e-mail):
> Too many intellectual games -- and these *are* still games at heart,
> regardless of what else their content might make them -- will turn off
> the masses and plunge the medium into a backwater subculture again.

I reject this. "Intellectual" doesn't mean "turn-off" -- Tempest
is a turn-off because it's a third-rate game, not because it is
intellectual. (And I don't think Shakespeare is an "intellectual"
taste.) The medium was a backwater subculture when it consisted only
of games without ideas -- repetitious cave games, for instance,
or simulations of the author's high school, or house.

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Miron Schmidt

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
> One day I'll get permission, or not worry about permission, and upload
> Icebreaker.z5.

Please, please do! From all I've heard of it, it sounds like a fascinating
experiment.
As a non-Mac user I don't now about the original game it was based on
(Icebreaker? Wow, logic.) -- but it's there on its own right.

Why did you write that, by the way?


--
Miron Schmidt <mi...@comports.com> PGP key on request

WATCH TV... MARRY AND REPRODUCE... OBEY... PLAY INTERACTIVE FICTION...


Chris Marriott

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <ant111152bc8M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>, Graham Nelson
<gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> writes

>It is "an interactive performance". Its purpose is to perform the
>text of the play, within the new dramatic form of IF. Since nothing
>like this has ever been attempted in the history of IF, I think
>it's reasonable to say that there's a dash of originality to the
>resulting game, even if "completely original" would be an
>over-statement.

Graham,

I have to say that, whilst I didn't especially enjoy the game, I applaud
you for trying out such a radically new "variant" of a familiar work of
literature.

I've always felt that IF has the potential to be much, much more than
the conventional Colossal Cave/Zork type "adventure", and I'd like to
offer you my congratulations for your daring and innovative "pushing the
envelope" of IF!

Chris

----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.
SkyMap Software, U.K. e-mail: ch...@skymap.com
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com

Jonathan Fry

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
: If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had elements

: in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
: end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and take
: over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")

For the record, Winston never "tries to leave computer and take over
the world". In fact, I defy you to try to support that argument from
the text. He's an electronic serial killer, not a conqueror.

Stephen Robert Norris

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <698a0k$q...@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>,
"C.E. Forman" <cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> intoned:

> -1 Making me think when trying to run it.
> Had to download Hugo executable especially for this game. (Can we
> package these things in the big zip file next year?)

Please someone tell me that I'm not the only one who thinks this is a
rather strange thing to deduct marks for. I'd love to see C.E. Forman
manage to produce a Zip file that contains all the interpreters for all
the platforms. Should be interesting.

Stephen

Neil Brown

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

At 12:38:31 on Sun, 11 Jan 1998, Chris Marriott wrote:
>Graham,
>
>I have to say that, whilst I didn't especially enjoy the game, I applaud
>you for trying out such a radically new "variant" of a familiar work of
>literature.
>
>I've always felt that IF has the potential to be much, much more than
>the conventional Colossal Cave/Zork type "adventure", and I'd like to
>offer you my congratulations for your daring and innovative "pushing the
>envelope" of IF!

I second this. Even if The Tempest wasn't too successful, it was
certainly an idea worth trying. The same goes for the second half of
Sylenius Mysterium.

- NJB

Julian Arnold

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <698a0k$q...@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>, C.E. Forman
<URL:mailto:cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> "Down"
> ------

Alrighty, as everyone must know I'm a Hugo fan, so I just want to say
one thing:

> -1 Making me think when trying to run it.
> Had to download Hugo executable especially for this game.

This is ridiculous.

(Other than that I agree with your comments. I gave it 7 too, although I
experienced a different bug/crash, and my major gripes were with the
huge preponderance of default library messages and the bare-bonesiness
of it all, faults which I think are attributable to lack of time on the
author's part.)

Jools
--
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from
ever completing anything." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
to

Jonathan Fry (jf...@saims.skidmore.edu) wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
> : If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had elements

> : in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
> : end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and take
> : over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")

> For what it's worth, I finally got around to playing "Delusions" in


> depth while "A New Day" was already in playtesting... any
> similiarities are completely coincidental.

Well, the "computer program tries to leave computer" is obviously not
original with either of you. Not by twenty years. (I said "elements in
common", not "elements taken from.")

> While we're on this issue, though, the game that seemed like a real
> rip-off to me was "The Edifice". Am I the only one to have seen the
> opening to "2001"?

No, of course not. I took it as an obvious homage, not a rip-off. Once
you expand beyond the two words "prehumans, monument" they are completely
different ideas.

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
to

Jonathan Fry (jf...@saims.skidmore.edu) wrote:
> Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
> : If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had elements

> : in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
> : end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and take
> : over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")

> For the record, Winston never "tries to leave computer and take over


> the world". In fact, I defy you to try to support that argument from
> the text. He's an electronic serial killer, not a conqueror.

It's the same plot.

Ok, it's the same plot *gimmick*, but I'm still sick of it.

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
to

Miron Schmidt (s59...@tfh-berlin.de) wrote:

> Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
> > One day I'll get permission, or not worry about permission, and upload
> > Icebreaker.z5.

> Please, please do! From all I've heard of it, it sounds like a fascinating


> experiment.
> As a non-Mac user I don't now about the original game it was based on
> (Icebreaker? Wow, logic.) -- but it's there on its own right.

Icebreaker (the arcade game) was released for the 3DO first, and ported
to the Mac and PC. Remember the 3DO? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, I don't have one either.

> Why did you write that, by the way?

To get a laugh out of the other people on the Icebreaker team.

The Inform Icebreaker is on the Mac and PC versions of the arcade
Icebreaker game CD. So if you see a copy floating around in the bargain
bin, buy it.

Besides, I think it's a pretty good arcade game, too.

Unfortunately, although we never formally discussed it, icebreaker.z5 is
effectively work-for-hire, and therefore the rights are entirely owned by
Magnet Interactive Studios. Even though I bet nobody still employed there
even knows of its existence. But they are big and have lawyers, and so
I'm not going to upload it.

David J Wildstrom

unread,
Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
to

In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>The Inform Icebreaker is on the Mac and PC versions of the arcade
>Icebreaker game CD. So if you see a copy floating around in the bargain
>bin, buy it.

I was wondering when somebody would bring this up..... I have a copy of
Icebreaker, and flipping through the notes I saw a familiar name--Andrew
Plotkin. About 15 minutes of deliberation about who Andrew Plotkin was (I
wasn't a regular of RAIF and RGIF then) and finally I found the MaxZip
standalone and it all fell into place. BTW, is there a way to "unprogram"
MaxZip standalones into z-codes?

>Unfortunately, although we never formally discussed it, icebreaker.z5 is
>effectively work-for-hire, and therefore the rights are entirely owned by
>Magnet Interactive Studios. Even though I bet nobody still employed there
>even knows of its existence. But they are big and have lawyers, and so
>I'm not going to upload it.

I've on occasion thought of e-mailing you and asking if you planned to upload
Icebreaker, and I always decided, "Nah. He's probably forgotten about it."

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| David Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

Second April

unread,
Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
to

> > (But then,
> > I should have remembered that the point of the competition is not to
> > experiment with new techniques, but to rehash concepts that have
> > already been seen before. My mistake.)

Self-pity does not become you either. There were plenty of new ideas in
this year's competition, and I'd say, on the most part, they've been
recognized and applauded. Sunset Over Savannah's emotional-state status
line, Zero Sum Game's reverse scoring, Edifice's use of allegory--and even
Tempest, flawed though it was, has been criticized more for the problems
with its implementation than for its idea. I don't think the bulk of the
criticism of Sylenius has been for the idea either, but then again, people
aren't sending me reviews. I do think that, if you're actually committed
to the idea, you should take seriously the criticisms that are coming
in--like "it's boring in a text medium"--and think about them. Maybe
there's a way to make the idea _not_ boring. Vary the text that indicates
attacks, movement, etc.; I got tired of seeing the same "you move to the
left" messages. Make the deaths of the various creatures interesting;
different monsters don't have to die in the same way. I mean, people read
fantasy novels with long fighting sequences that aren't inherently any
more interesting than this; surely there's a way to spruce your text up.

("Already been seen before"? The grammar-critic pot calls the kettle
black.)

Duncan Stevens
d-st...@nwu.edu
312-654-0280

The room is as you left it; your last touch--
A thoughtless pressure, knowing not itself
As saintly--hallows now each simple thing,
Hallows and glorifies, and glows between
The dust's gray fingers, like a shielded light.

--from "Interim," by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Kent Tessman

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Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:
>Jonathan Fry (jf...@saims.skidmore.edu) wrote:
>> Andrew Plotkin (erky...@netcom.com) wrote:
>> : If it helps, I thought "A New Day" was the game that *really* had
elements
>> : in common with "Delusions". And I harshed upon it vigorously. ("At the
>> : end the plot turns into 'computer program tries to leave computer and
take
>> : over the world', which, I hate to say, I am thoroughly sick of.")
>
>> For the record, Winston never "tries to leave computer and take over
>> the world". In fact, I defy you to try to support that argument from
>> the text. He's an electronic serial killer, not a conqueror.
>
>It's the same plot.
>
>Ok, it's the same plot *gimmick*, but I'm still sick of it.
>
>--Z

Are you telling me this never happens to you? I remember back when my first
attempt at the expression evaluator slipped out the serial port and had me
pinned in the walk-in closet for close to three hours.

----------
Kent Tessman - The General Coffee Company Film Productions
tes...@interlog.com genera...@geocities.com
http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/academy/5976

Daryl McCullough

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Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

tes...@remove-to-reply.interlog.com says...

>Are you telling me this never happens to you? I remember back when my first
>attempt at the expression evaluator slipped out the serial port and had me
>pinned in the walk-in closet for close to three hours.

That's why the evil computer program running amock is such a
bore: that sort of thing happens all the time (but only on PC
compatibles, never Macs).

Daryl McCullough
CoGenTex, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

Philip Hawthorne

unread,
Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

In article <88455091...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au>, Stephen
Robert Norris <s...@flibble.psrg.cs.usyd.edu.au> writes
>In article <698a0k$q...@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>,
> "C.E. Forman" <cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> intoned:

>> -1 Making me think when trying to run it.
>> Had to download Hugo executable especially for this game. (Can we
>> package these things in the big zip file next year?)
>
>Please someone tell me that I'm not the only one who thinks this is a
>rather strange thing to deduct marks for. I'd love to see C.E. Forman
>manage to produce a Zip file that contains all the interpreters for all
>the platforms. Should be interesting.
>
> Stephen

I agree, and who would want to download umpteen megabytes of code that
won't run on our own systems?
--
Philip Hawthorne
/\
/ \/\
/ \ \
/ \ \
----------------
Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
'til you find your dream


C.E. Forman

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Alrighty, as everyone must know I'm a Hugo fan, so I just want to say
>one thing:
>This is ridiculous.

I notice no one's yet stepped forward to defend AGT.

Julian Arnold

unread,
Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

In article <69haf9$6...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>, C.E. Forman

<URL:mailto:cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> >Alrighty, as everyone must know I'm a Hugo fan, so I just want to say
> >one thing:
> >This is ridiculous.
>
> I notice no one's yet stepped forward to defend AGT.

Ah, but I only read a sample of your reviews. I didn't read the ones of
games I hadn't played. I haven't played the AGT game.

*However*, if you did say something similar about AGT (or AGiliTy), this
is ridiculous too.

After all, I had to port JACL to play the game (that is, in the least
sense of the word "port"). I didn't deduct a point for this extra
effort. Rather, I was quite thankful I'd made the effort, as the game
was quite good.

Den of Iniquity

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

On Tue, 13 Jan 1998, Kent Tessman wrote:
>Are you telling me this never happens to you? I remember back when my first
>attempt at the expression evaluator slipped out the serial port and had me
>pinned in the walk-in closet for close to three hours.

I suspect you exaggerate but I did know a chap who repeatedly found that
his washing machine vibrated across the floor in such a way as to block
his exit from his room. In a sinister fashion.

--
Den


Stephen Robert Norris

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
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In article <69haf9$6...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>,
"C.E. Forman" <cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net> intoned:

> Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>Alrighty, as everyone must know I'm a Hugo fan, so I just want to say
>>one thing:
>>This is ridiculous.
>
> I notice no one's yet stepped forward to defend AGT.

Well, I will. Not for any particularly good reason, just that if a
game is good, who cares - deducting marks for having to download the
interpreter is, hmm, odd.

Stephen (Don't make me get the mob again.)

HarryH

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <69haf9$6...@bgtnsc01.worldnet.att.net>,
cefo...@postoffice.worldnet.att.net says...

>
>Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>Alrighty, as everyone must know I'm a Hugo fan, so I just want to say
>I notice no one's yet stepped forward to defend AGT.

I kind of like AGT. Had I not chosen Inform as my main language, and had I
intend to only write story IF (instead of puzzle IF), I'd use AGT.

-------------------------------------------------------
Of course I'll work on weekends without pay!
- successful applicant


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