[Comp99] Some Reviews

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Dave Coleman-Reese

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Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
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Comp99 Reviews

First let me start, as others have, with a big thanks to Stephan
Granade for organizing this year's competition. And an even bigger
thanks to all of the authors who put in so much of their time and
effort just to try to win the can of Spray Cheez. Don't take the
criticism in these reviews too seriously - you've entertained a lot of
people here.

Let me also say that I'm really in favor of the all-anonymous policy
for this year's entries. I'm eager to see who the real authors are,
but I found it somewhat liberating to be able to judge each game
completely on its own merits, without comparisons to past works by the
same author. Of course, some authors' styles still come across
clearly. [Note: I wrote these reviews before the deadline. Now that
I've seen the actual author list, I must say I'm surprised. I'm still
having trouble believing that Graham Nelson was responsible for
"Palace of the Sex Kittens".]

Once again, I didn't have time to play all of the games, although I
hope to soon. My apologies to those authors whom I have neglected, but
there seem to be enough reviews around these days that I hope
everybody gets adequate feedback.


Big trends:

Thanks at least in part to the success of "Muse" last year (which I
thought was a terrific game, by the way), there were a slew of
past-tense IF games this year. (Is four games a slew?) Three of these
were set in historical settings, while the fourth was modern day. I
think this style of narrative is showing itself to not just be a
gimmick, but an effectively different form of IF.

Probably due to the release of the latest Star Wars film earlier this
year, we saw a handful of space opera / science fantasy genre games.
These were a mixed bag, ranging from parody to homage.

It looks like the new HTML-TADS environment is catching on in a big
way. Some people have objected to the intrusion of pictures in some of
the entries this year. But everyone seems to agree that the tools
given can be used for great effect, if applied subtly. No doubt we
have last year's "The Plant" and "The Arrival" to thank for showing us
the way here.

The quality of the games overall continues to go up, leading me to
believe that this annual competition is a Very Good Thing.


Reviews:

"The Whole Truth"

In this game, the player takes on multiple roles throughout the course
of the extremely engaging story. The setting is a courtroom, during a
murder trial. The player must take the part of numerous witnesses
called up on the stand, giving their own version of the events on the
night of the murder. The result is reminiscent of "Rashomon", and
numerous other movies playing off of the same dramatic structure.
There's also a hint of "Photopia" in here, last year's well-deserved
competition winner, with a dash of the interrogations from "Spider and
Web" as well.

This game really shines in the personalities of three courtroom NPC's:
the judge, the prosecuting attorney, and the defense attorney. I found
the courtroom scenes to be more entertaining and engaging than the
testimonial scenes, in general. The game itself is nearly puzzleless,
and there's not much choice involved during the testimonials, at least
until the very end. In fact, there's only one real puzzle in the game
- during the last testimonial, that of the accused, it becomes
necessary to put together details from each of the other witnesses in
order to act out the true events of the evening.

Multiple endings to the game add to the richness of the piece, and
give a sort of scoring system to a game which deliberately lacks most
of the standard Zorkian IF conventions - there are no objects to pick
up, no machines to manipulate, and no mazes to map.

Overall, this is a great piece of work which pushes the boundaries of
IF just a little bit further.

Rating: 8/10


"VILE 0 ERRORS FROM HELL"

Another in-joke ridden game. I'm afraid that I just can't get into
these very much. Maybe if I knew more about Inform. I did catch a
couple of the jokes, and they were pretty funny. But I'm convinced
that some of the errors that I ran into were actually errors, not
intentional. Or was this intentional as well? In any case, somebody
obviously put a lot of work into this.

Rating: 3/10


"Smoke"

You're a ninja. How cool is that? In retrospect, this seems like an
obvious application of IF, really playing to the medium's traditional
strengths. You're sneaking into a fortress, so there's lots of people
around but you're not supposed to talk with any of them. You've got a
wide array of neato ninja gadgets that you can play around with and
use to solve puzzles. The game even makes clear in the intro that this
castle is full of Really Bad Guys, so you can do the traditional IF
thing and kill them if they get in your way, without too much remorse.
Besides, you're a ninja!

There were a couple of technical flaws, and I thought that that the
supernatural stuff at the end should have been foreshadowed better.
Until I entered the temple, I had no reason to think that this wasn't
a straight historical setting. The game was also fairly short, but it
could be that I just got through the (semi-random?) garden section
quickly by dumb luck - several other reviews seem to indicate that
there was a lot more there that I missed.

Rating: 7/10


"Night and Day"

In last year's competition we saw a number of very well-done one-room
puzzles ("Trapped in a One-Room Dilly" was my favorite). This game is
the first example I've seen of a two-room puzzle. The surrealistic
setting of "Night and Day" is a world divided into exactly two rooms,
the Night and Day of the title. Each object and NPC in the game (and
there are lots of them) has a nearly exact counterpart on the other
side of twilight. Changes to one object, or interactions with one NPC,
will affect the state of the counterpart in intriguing ways.

This technique could have been used to produce some clever puzzles,
but instead the author chose to focus on the NPCs. I think this was
the right choice. I especially liked "arguing" with Night-Rebecca
while "discussing" with Day-Rebecca, who in the end turns out to be
much more hostile, just hiding it better. There's a lot of depth here,
and again I'm sure I missed a great deal of it.

I did notice a few bugs. In particular, it is possible to pick up the
Sun and carry it over into Night. I almost suspected this was
intentionally surreal, but it quickly became clear that toting the Sun
around wasn't really supposed to be part of the game. Ultimately,
though, I think that this game could have done more with what it had;
I got the impression that the author ran out of time and threw
together the ending, which leaves a lot of things unresolved.

Rating: 6/10


"My Closet"

I just don't get it. A minimalist joke? A new author's sincere attempt
at a simple game? You're in a closet (presumably your own), and you
have to get out. You do so by - get this - opening the door. Once you
leave the closet, you win. That's it.

Note: I didn't read the walkthrough that was posted to the group after
the competition entry deadline, so I might be missing something here.
I did try playing around a little with the skeleton, but didn't get
anywhere.

Rating: 1/10


"Space Destroyer Alpha"

One of the many space opera / science fantasy games we've seen this
year. Obviously the new Star Wars film has made a big impact on the IF
community. This is one of the better ones, better because it takes
itself seriously instead of crossing the line into parody of the
genre.

The author did an especially good job of keeping the pace up,
providing lots of timed events that just don't give you a chance to
sit and tinker with objects. This is in keeping with the genre, a fast
action adventure, but can get a little annoying when all you want to
do is read the neat EXAMINE text for each object. The game races
through about eight different milieus, giving you the impression of
having watched a full science fiction movie in only about two hours.
Um, I guess in two hours you actually could watch a full movie. But
whatever.

My one gripe is with the "laser staff" duels. It quickly becomes
obvious that despite all of the fancy moves that you can perform (and
kudos for implementing these), the outcome of each duel is
preordained. It was kind of fun to go through them the first time, but
by the third restart it you realize that you can just do "STAB MOLOCH"
over and over until the scene completes. I guess this makes sense from
a no-random-elements-makes-a-walkthrough-possible standpoint, but it
takes the excitement out of it.

Rating: 7/10


"Y2K"

Given the timing of this competition, a Year 2000 game was inevitable.
In this one, you're a computer programmer desperately trying to get
your code to work before the clock strikes the end of 1999. If you
fail, nuclear missiles are launched, the stock market crashes, the
power grid goes down, and billing systems everywhere become horribly
confused. If you succeed, the missiles aren't launched.

The author is going for humor here, and succeeds in many cases. But
the main puzzle - the sifting through lines of what is apparently
COBOL source code looking for dates - is just unbelievably tedious.
I'm not sure why the author felt that this was a good subject for a
game. Perhaps it was personally cathartic to write. I can't help but
be impressed, however, by the fact that the author has apparently
implemented a COBOL interpreter in Inform.

Rating: 4/10

Unfortunately, those were the only games that I had time to review.
Again, congratulations and thanks to all of the authors.


Dave "Lurker From the Future" Coleman-Reese


Doeadeer3

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Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
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In article <36546788...@news.erols.com>, dcol...@thomtech.com (Dave
Coleman-Reese) writes:

>My Closet"
>
>I just don't get it. A minimalist joke? A new author's sincere attempt
>at a simple game? You're in a closet (presumably your own), and you
>have to get out. You do so by - get this - opening the door. Once you
>leave the closet, you win. That's it.
>
>Note: I didn't read the walkthrough that was posted to the group after
>the competition entry deadline, so I might be missing something here.
>I did try playing around a little with the skeleton, but didn't get
>anywhere.
>
>Rating: 1/10

That was one of the funniest parts of Informatory, wonder how many got it?

It totally cracked me up.

Doe :-) (If you didn't, the player opens a closet and finds a skeleton -- the
player of a one-room game, i.e., the skeleton's owner never got out.) ROFL. I
still love it.


Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Doeadeer3

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Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
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Sorry, I shouldn't have done that, should have put in

Spoilers


or something, but I felt that was too good a joke not to share, for those who
didn't get it (probably everyone who saw it did, though), see it when they
played it and those who didn't play it at all.

I didn't think the author of Informatory would mind, it plugs his game.

Doe :-)

Roger Carbol

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Nov 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/19/98
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Doeadeer3 wrote:

> (If you didn't, the player opens a closet and finds a skeleton -- the
> player of a one-room game, i.e., the skeleton's owner never got out.) ROFL. I
> still love it.

That's not the only joke, though.

Did you look at the room/skeleton with the Codex?


.. Roger Carbol .. r...@shaw.wave.ca .. dem dry bones

Doeadeer3

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Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
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In article <365429...@shaw.wave.ca>, Roger Carbol <r...@shaw.wave.ca>
writes:

>Did you look at the room/skeleton with the Codex?

Aha! Forgot to.

Doe <---running off to view skeleton

Oliver B. Warzecha

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Nov 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/20/98
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Dave Coleman-Reese <dcol...@thomtech.com> wrote in
<36546788...@news.erols.com>:
> Comp99 Reviews

Okay, I'll save this article and if I ever notice a striking resemblance
between one of the *actual* comp99 entries and one of the games
discussed here I'll ... freak out? add 2 to the rating? run around in
circles laughing madly? I haven't decided yet.

(waiting for half a dozen ninja adventures called "Smoke" :)
--
OBW

JamesG

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
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<staying in the timewarp - please join in>

Dave Coleman-Reese wrote:

> Comp99 Reviews

> First let me start, as others have, with a big thanks to Stephan
> Granade for organizing this year's competition. And an even bigger
> thanks to all of the authors who put in so much of their time and
> effort just to try to win the can of Spray Cheez. Don't take the
> criticism in these reviews too seriously - you've entertained a lot of
> people here.

Thanks, it was my first IF-competition entry (shoot, it was my first
finished game! I just hope my supervisor doesn't realise that was why I
didn't turn up to the lab the week before the game was due ;) ) I was
really impressed by the other entries - I even managed to play a few
more before the deadline this year.



> Probably due to the release of the latest Star Wars film earlier this
> year, we saw a handful of space opera / science fantasy genre games.
> These were a mixed bag, ranging from parody to homage.

Having originally planned a space opera game I'm glad I change the
setting, I feel I would have got lost in a crowd almost, though there
were some real jewels, such as Space Destroyer Alpha and the parody
"Fandom Menace" which had me rolling with laughter several times - I've
already recommended it to friends on the SW newsgroup.



> It looks like the new HTML-TADS environment is catching on in a big
> way. Some people have objected to the intrusion of pictures in some of
> the entries this year. But everyone seems to agree that the tools
> given can be used for great effect, if applied subtly. No doubt we
> have last year's "The Plant" and "The Arrival" to thank for showing us
> the way here.

Having finally got hold of an hTADS run time for this years Comp I was
very impressed. I'm also jealous, the graphics on "Starburst" in
particular were really impressive. I wish I had that sort of artistic
talent. Even the graphics light "Countdown" was a very clever use of the
medium. My hat is off to all of you.



> The quality of the games overall continues to go up, leading me to
> believe that this annual competition is a Very Good Thing.

So true!

> Reviews:
>
> "The Whole Truth"

First off, I *loved* this game, it really drew me in right from the
beginning...



> In this game, the player takes on multiple roles throughout the course
> of the extremely engaging story. The setting is a courtroom, during a
> murder trial. The player must take the part of numerous witnesses
> called up on the stand, giving their own version of the events on the
> night of the murder. The result is reminiscent of "Rashomon", and
> numerous other movies playing off of the same dramatic structure.
> There's also a hint of "Photopia" in here, last year's well-deserved
> competition winner, with a dash of the interrogations from "Spider and
> Web" as well.

The role switching was a great touch - particuarly the subtle changes in
descriprions and responses from each veiw point. I'm sure there are
dozens of them that I missed and I'm looking forward to seeing which
ones other reviewers caught.



> This game really shines in the personalities of three courtroom NPC's:
> the judge, the prosecuting attorney, and the defense attorney. I found
> the courtroom scenes to be more entertaining and engaging than the
> testimonial scenes, in general. The game itself is nearly puzzleless,
> and there's not much choice involved during the testimonials, at least
> until the very end. In fact, there's only one real puzzle in the game
> - during the last testimonial, that of the accused, it becomes
> necessary to put together details from each of the other witnesses in
> order to act out the true events of the evening.

I loved the response to XYZZY - "I won't be having that sort of language
in my courtroom!" The judge was definately one of my favourite NPCs from
the entire competition, and the other NPCs in the game were all
implemented well. The end puzzle was a masterful piece of work.



> Multiple endings to the game add to the richness of the piece, and
> give a sort of scoring system to a game which deliberately lacks most
> of the standard Zorkian IF conventions - there are no objects to pick
> up, no machines to manipulate, and no mazes to map.

I loved this (I'm sure I've told you all enough times how I prefer
non-Zorkian IF), though I don't think I caught all the endings, I
managed to get convicted once, and executed for trying a worst-case. I
resorted to the hints for an acquittal though I think I would have
solved it on my own if I hadn't been running out of time.



> Overall, this is a great piece of work which pushes the boundaries of
> IF just a little bit further.

Agreed, and one of the reasons I gave it my "Miss Congeniallity" vote.



> "VILE 0 ERRORS FROM HELL"

Didn't play this one, I'm not an Inform author and I know I'd have
missed much of the point. Ah well.

> "Smoke"

I'll put in the standard authory bit here, yes the game was rushed - up
until about two months before the deadline it was going to be Sci-fi! I
must have spent ages trying to fit a plot to the neat space station
setting I had but never pulled it off. GURPS Martial Arts came to the
rescue as one of the inspirations for this ninja game.



> You're a ninja. How cool is that? In retrospect, this seems like an
> obvious application of IF, really playing to the medium's traditional
> strengths.

Given how much I've been talking about moving away from traditional IF
in the past year that probably makes me a hypocrite. But now I'm a
hypocrite with a finished game :)

> You're sneaking into a fortress, so there's lots of people
> around but you're not supposed to talk with any of them. You've got a
> wide array of neato ninja gadgets that you can play around with and
> use to solve puzzles. The game even makes clear in the intro that this
> castle is full of Really Bad Guys, so you can do the traditional IF
> thing and kill them if they get in your way, without too much remorse.
> Besides, you're a ninja!

<g> There are a couple of characters you can talk to, of course. And
*not* killing some of the bad guys also has interesting effects (where
do you get your rep as unstoppable if you don't leave some witnesses ;)
) The gadgets, particuarly nagettepo were good fun, but I almost tore my
hair out when my playertesters started saying "I should be able to..."

> There were a couple of technical flaws, and I thought that that the
> supernatural stuff at the end should have been foreshadowed better.
> Until I entered the temple, I had no reason to think that this wasn't
> a straight historical setting. The game was also fairly short, but it
> could be that I just got through the (semi-random?) garden section
> quickly by dumb luck - several other reviews seem to indicate that
> there was a lot more there that I missed.

Yeah, from the response I've been getting it seems my subtle
foreshadowing was a bit too subtle, but I feel that the supernatural
elements are part of the cinematic Ninja genre, I just needed to add a
few more clues. I think part of it was me overusing random triggers,
such as the wandering gaurds in the garden (a bad habit really, but I
like it), and it does sound like you missed a couple of points. Ah well
- things for me to fix in the next version I suppose :)



> "Night and Day"
>
> In last year's competition we saw a number of very well-done one-room
> puzzles ("Trapped in a One-Room Dilly" was my favorite). This game is
> the first example I've seen of a two-room puzzle. The surrealistic
> setting of "Night and Day" is a world divided into exactly two rooms,
> the Night and Day of the title. Each object and NPC in the game (and
> there are lots of them) has a nearly exact counterpart on the other
> side of twilight. Changes to one object, or interactions with one NPC,
> will affect the state of the counterpart in intriguing ways.

This was a very clever game and I'm sure I missed a lot of it - I hope
the author releases the source because I really want to see how this one
ticks.



> "My Closet"
>
> I just don't get it. A minimalist joke? A new author's sincere attempt
> at a simple game? You're in a closet (presumably your own), and you
> have to get out. You do so by - get this - opening the door. Once you
> leave the closet, you win. That's it.

I *think* this was supposed to be another mood peice, like last year's
"Cattus", but this one didn't work for me. Either that or it was a
devestatingly subtle indictment of one room games...



> Note: I didn't read the walkthrough that was posted to the group after
> the competition entry deadline, so I might be missing something here.
> I did try playing around a little with the skeleton, but didn't get
> anywhere.

I read the walkthrough, but even then it wasn't really satisfying. Did I
miss the point?



> "Space Destroyer Alpha"
>
> One of the many space opera / science fantasy games we've seen this
> year. Obviously the new Star Wars film has made a big impact on the IF
> community. This is one of the better ones, better because it takes
> itself seriously instead of crossing the line into parody of the
> genre.

Agreed, as a SW fan I was thrilled by the fun stuff in this Comp.

> The author did an especially good job of keeping the pace up,
> providing lots of timed events that just don't give you a chance to
> sit and tinker with objects. This is in keeping with the genre, a fast
> action adventure, but can get a little annoying when all you want to
> do is read the neat EXAMINE text for each object. The game races
> through about eight different milieus, giving you the impression of
> having watched a full science fiction movie in only about two hours.
> Um, I guess in two hours you actually could watch a full movie. But
> whatever.

I was very impressed, the game kept you on your toes, you'd keep moving
and there didn't seem to be anywhere that would cause a major "stuck"
moment. The cut scenes and shifts were fun and fitting with the feel of
a space opera movie. I also liked the NPCs, which, if not the best
implemented did tend to have fun personalities - the Starport droid was
a hoot.



> "Y2K"
>
> Given the timing of this competition, a Year 2000 game was inevitable.
> In this one, you're a computer programmer desperately trying to get
> your code to work before the clock strikes the end of 1999. If you
> fail, nuclear missiles are launched, the stock market crashes, the
> power grid goes down, and billing systems everywhere become horribly
> confused. If you succeed, the missiles aren't launched.

The concept was a nice one, but I hated the implementation. Debugging
code isn't my idea of fun.



> Unfortunately, those were the only games that I had time to review.
> Again, congratulations and thanks to all of the authors.

I'll quickly take the time to review one of the other space opera games;

"Fandom Menace"

This is probably the best spoof of the space opera genre since
Spaceballs, there were lots of little points, objects, things characters
would say, even throwaway lines in room descriptions with references to
all sorts of Sci-Fi. As well as the fairly obvious Star Wars and Trek
take offs there were homages to the Alien and Predator movies, the
Thing, the Blob, Forbidden Planet and a host others. The XYZZY response
was fun, and did anyone try "KLATOO BARADU NIKTO"?

The NPCs were naturally sterotypes, but they were fun to deal with, and
the player character's responses to certain actions, while breaking the
fourth wall were very funny. For example, in the "Dirty Starship
Corridor" trying to go down gives, "Into the garbage chute? You have got
to be kidding. You wouldn't want to go in there if you could smell it."

It was a fun game, particuarly for an SF fan, and I'm trying to get my
SW buddies to all try it.



> Dave "Lurker From the Future" Coleman-Reese

JamesG,
let's do the time warp again
************************************************************************
* Official RASSM Organiser. Will design starships for food. *
* Another original SF short story uploaded *
* (-o-) http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Corridor/2843 <*> *
* "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not *
* be called research, would it?" Albert Einstein *
************************************************************************


Joe Mason

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
to
Dave Coleman-Reese <dcol...@thomtech.com> wrote (not insribed, ok? wrote):
>Comp99 Reviews

Tachyon thread! Yay!

Also I really want to play Night and Day.

Joe
--
I think OO is great... It's no coincidence that "woohoo" contains "oo" twice.
-- GLYPH

Doeadeer3

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
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In article <36560D4C...@ukc.ac.uk>, JamesG <ja...@ukc.ac.uk> writes:

>From: JamesG <ja...@ukc.ac.uk>
>Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 00:46:06 +0000
>
><staying in the timewarp - please join in>
>Dave Coleman-Reese wrote:
>
>> Comp99 Reviews

You know the games in this year's contest sound like there were very
interesting I am sorry I was abducted by aliens before I could play them.

Though I am glad they are taking me with them before New Year's and The End of
The World As We Know It.

I only beamed back down to load up on Twinkies before we leave.

I wish you all Happy (although extremely short) Holidays.

Doe :-)

Andrew Plotkin

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
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Joe Mason (jcm...@uwaterloo.ca) wrote:
> Dave Coleman-Reese <dcol...@thomtech.com> wrote (not insribed, ok? wrote):
> >Comp99 Reviews

> Tachyon thread! Yay!

I'm told that someone posted exactly this kind of joke as a
letter-to-the-editor in Analog Science Fiction magazine, in the Sixties.
(Unless it was Analog's predecessor magazine, in the Fifties. Or unless I
have the dates complete mixed up.) A description of the issue one year in
the future -- titles and authors included.

The editor, deadpan, quietly asked all the named authors to write the
appropriate stories. Got nearly all of them, too. And these were familiar
authors, including Heinlein. (The Heinlein story was "Gulf".)

--Z (warning: contents of this post not checked. May settle in shipping.)

--

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

Stacy the Procrastinating

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Nov 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/21/98
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On Sat, 21 Nov 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

> I'm told that someone posted exactly this kind of joke as a
> letter-to-the-editor in Analog Science Fiction magazine, in the Sixties.
> (Unless it was Analog's predecessor magazine, in the Fifties. Or unless I
> have the dates complete mixed up.) A description of the issue one year in
> the future -- titles and authors included.
>
> The editor, deadpan, quietly asked all the named authors to write the
> appropriate stories. Got nearly all of them, too. And these were familiar
> authors, including Heinlein. (The Heinlein story was "Gulf".)
>


IIRC, this was mentioned in the intro to the unabridged "Stranger in a
Strange Land." Though since "Gulf" ended up having nothing to do with
SIASL, I don't recall what prompted the ancedote.

-stacy


Den of Iniquity

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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On Sat, 21 Nov 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

>Joe Mason (jcm...@uwaterloo.ca) wrote:
>> Tachyon thread! Yay!
>> Also I really want to play Night and Day

>I'm told that someone posted exactly this kind of joke as a

>letter-to-the-editor [...] The editor, deadpan, quietly asked all the


>named authors to write the appropriate stories. Got nearly all of them

So. April Fool Joke 1999 then?

--
Den


Michael Straight

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
to

I really appreciated having this year's judging extended to the beginning
of April.

On Thu, 19 Nov 1998, Dave Coleman-Reese wrote:

> [Note: I wrote these reviews before the deadline. Now that
> I've seen the actual author list, I must say I'm surprised. I'm still
> having trouble believing that Graham Nelson was responsible for
> "Palace of the Sex Kittens".]

You'd be a little less surprised if you'd actually played kittens.z9, I
won't spoil it, but it's not at all what the title implies.

> "My Closet"
>
> I just don't get it. A minimalist joke? A new author's sincere attempt
> at a simple game? You're in a closet (presumably your own), and you
> have to get out. You do so by - get this - opening the door. Once you
> leave the closet, you win. That's it.
>
> Note: I didn't read the walkthrough that was posted to the group after
> the competition entry deadline, so I might be missing something here.
> I did try playing around a little with the skeleton, but didn't get
> anywhere.

Things become a little more clear(?) if you type "xyzzy", which brings up
about 15 screen-lengths of the author's entire life story as a lesbian and
how coming out of the closet was well-received by her friends but meant a
complete break with her parents. I suppose that's supposed to inform your
decision whether or not to "come out of the closet", but if so, it
would've made more sense to not hide it as an easter egg.

Also, typing "harryh" gets an interesting response.

Also, apologies to Stanislaw Lem are in order.

SMTIRCAHIAGEHLT


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