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ANN: Cottage - A new English translation of a 31 year old game

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Fredrik Ramsberg

Jul 26, 2009, 1:59:26 PM7/26/09
Hi all,

Johan Ottosson has translated the game Stuga from Swedish to English,
and the title of the translated game is Cottage. Stuga was, as far as
we know, the first text adventure written in Swedish, and quite
possibly the first one to be written in any other language than
English. This translation is based on the Inform version which Johan
Berntsson and I created in 2007, which in turn was based on the latest
known version of Stuga, from 1982. The English translation which is
now available should be nearly identical to the 1982 mainframe version
of Stuga, except for:

* The language. Those of you who find English easier to understand
than Swedish may consider this an advantage. Johan has tried to keep
the prose as true to the original as possible.

* The UNDO command. What a luxury, especially for a game that makes
you look for a rating worse than Cruel on the Zarfian cruelty scale.

* The HINT command. This gives enough hints to overcome any obstacle
in the game.

There's a command called HELP, which was also in the original. It can
give a location-specific hint in a few locations, but always at the
price of some points.

Without hints, it seems highly unlikely that anyone has ever completed
the game, so be prepared to resort to hints when you're totally stuck.

You can now download Cottage.zblorb or Cottage.z5 from .The
zblorb version has Babel metadata, and the illustration and blurb from
the commercial version of the game as cover art and game description.
The game should soon be available through if-archive and IFDB as well.

Type ABOUT in the game to get more information about the game and the
translation. I've added an excerpt regarding the history of the game
at the end of this post.

Best regards,


------------- BEGIN History of Stuga
The first version of Stuga was written in 1977-78 by the brothers
Kimmo and Viggo Eriksson (Viggo's last name is now Kann) and their
friend Olle Johansson. When the project started in the summer of -77
the authors were 10, 12 and 14 years old.

The game was written in DEC Basic on the mainframe computer Oden at
the Stockholm Computer Central for Research and Higher Education, QZ.
Through QZ the young authors had come into contact with the mainframe
game Adventure by Crowther and Woods, which was released in 1975 and
practically invented the text adventure genre. All three of them
already had some experience making games: Kimmo had written a gaming
machine simulator, Viggo a Hangman-like guess-the-word game, and Olle
a Mastermind game where you played against a character called

They started talking about combining all three games into one -- a
kind of virtual gaming arcade where you would choose which of the
games to play. Inspired by Adventure they added some surroundings to
walk around in, and the idea of making a Swedish counterpart to
Adventure started to take shape. At one point Kimmo's father commented
on the project: "That's impossible -- you can't write large programs
in Basic!" The gauntlet had been thrown: they decided to make the
game, and to make it big.

After a month the gaming arcade and the games were already removed, as
they no longer fit in; instead the surroundings were embellished, with
animals, objects, authorities and shady characters. A remnant of
Kimmo's gaming machine was left in the game though, and so was Olle's
character Thorvald.

By the end of 1978 the game was released in the public part of QZ,
where people could discuss various topics in the discussion forum KOM.
In the discussion forum was a conference called Thorvald's Cottage
Council, where the developers could meet the players to exchange
opinions and bug reports. With the help of this feedback the young men
continued to improve the game up until 1980. About ten percent of the
rooms were added during this period.

From 1980 the code was more or less unaltered until 1982, when Viggo
started studying engineering at KTH (The Royal Institute of
Technology). At this time he modified the game in order for it to run
on the institution Nada's computer Nadja. This was the last mainframe
version of the game.
------------- END History of Stuga


Jul 30, 2009, 3:09:00 PM7/30/09
On Jul 26, 10:59 am, Fredrik Ramsberg <>

Thanks for the translated version! Now we can try the game.

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