IF-COMPETITION

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Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Here are my ratings and comments about some of the entries from the
1997 Interactive Fiction Competition. I have read only one other
review (the first one posted here, I believe) so I hope to be
unaffected by other peoples’ thoughts about these games. Please
remember that my ratings and comments are my opinion; I’m sure not
everyone will agree with what I say here. I don’t mind getting
comments on what I write here but I truly did attempt to be
fair-minded. I apologize that my comments don’t really do justice to
what went on in my mind when I was playing/rating these games; I
should have written more detailed notes.

Please note that I am only listing here those games I played, and
rated with a 7 or above. If you do not see your game here and would
like to know what I thought about it, please feel free to email me, or
ask me to post my comments here. I will try not to embarrass you. Do
not assume I didn’t like your game if you do not see it here; I may
not have had time to play it -- or it may have been unplayable for
some reason. I did complete (or attempted to complete) and rank 27
games. I attempted three others but could get nowhere with two of them
and never got the time to try again, and another was withdrawn from
the competition.

I rated each game based on several factors, including: 1) how much fun
the game was; 2) how playable it was ( I may have taken a point or
more away from games with extremely hard puzzles, esp. when no
walkthrough or hint system was available; also games with bad bugs and
similar problems of course lost points); 3) how well written the game
was (this includes spelling and grammatical errors, esp. very obvious
and distracting ones). I awarded extra points to those games I felt
were very clever and original. I have to admit that I like funny
games, but I did award high points to quite a few that were more
serious but well written.


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Here are my reviews for:

The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm and Drang
Friday Afternoon
Virtuatech
Madame L'Estrange and the Troubled Spirit
The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf


The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm and Drang, by Mischa Schweitzer (7)

This was an interesting -- and to me, new -- concept for an
interactive fiction game: superheroes attempting to stop a couple of
villains. I had problems with a few of the puzzles, especially
getting the keys to lock the door. I also wasn’t sure for most of the
game just what the other superheroes should be to be doing, and how to
maneuver them to do what was necessary. I wish the author had explored
the superheroes’ powers a bit more.

I saw some major problems with the ending; I'd appreciate being told
exactly what happened. I wasn’t sure what to do with the box the
villains were working on…and I wasn’t sure if the game actually ended.
I wish I understood the ending -- especially concerning the pellet
(how were we to know what it was when it was picked up?). If it
weren’t for the hints/walkthrough (I forget which this had) I would
never have known what to do at the end.

I noticed no obvious grammatical or spelling errors.


Friday Afternoon, by Mischa Schweitzer (7)

I thought this game was a little funny. I also think I could really
relate to it, having worked in a cubicle for 3 years. Some of the
puzzles were difficult (I could not figure out how to distract
William, and couldn’t find the two phone numbers until I looked at the
hints/walkthrough). I probably would have scored this game higher had
it been a little more involved, though I don’t mind short games on
principle. This game just didn’t "call" to me very much (didn’t keep
my interest and just wasn’t very exciting).


Virtuatech, by David S. Glaser (7)

This was another story with an innovative concept—this time I had to
go inside my computer to fix things in order to print out a report.
Unfortunately, I had to struggle to keep interested. The game was
sometimes difficult, though most of the puzzles weren’t too bad.
There weren’t really that many puzzles; in fact the action was rather
limited. Examples of more difficult puzzles are getting the door open,
and plugging in the scanner.

I noticed no spelling or grammatical errors. The hint system needs
improvement -- it is not very easy to use. (The author can write to me
for clarification.)


Madame L'Estrange and the Troubled Spirit, by Ian Ball (7)

I did not like the format of this game -- the way the player had very
little to do but read and visit places, and I never finished the game
because of a bug. The writer did suggest I try the zip version of the
game but I had no desire to start over again to see if this version
was bug-free. Perhaps as a result I should have rated this game lower
than I did, but I thought the writing style was good and the idea of
the clairvoyant as detective interesting. I wasn’t too happy with one
or two problems at Madame’s house -- in particular how Jones stayed in
the room even after he should have been gone. Also it might have been
more realistic if when Madame visited sites, time actually ran down. I
had problems knowing when to channel the spirits.

I think I found several spelling/grammatical errors, but I didn’t
write them down. There were also a few tense problems. These were very
distracting and cost a point or two.

The writer obviously put a lot of work into his characters and the
storyline, and the conversations between Madame and the others were
well written and helpful to the mystery. I only wish I could have
finished the game, because I really did get drawn into the story!


The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf, by Gary Roggin (7)

I had a very difficult time deciding whether to rank this 7 or 8.
This game was interesting, but not that much fun. I noticed some
errors that may have been from typing or writing the code. For
instance, Sheri’s desk had a problem with the drawer being closed – I
don’t recall the exact nature of this, but the author may want to look
it over. I noticed one spelling error ("potpurri" instead of
"potpourri," unless this is an alternate spelling of which I was
unaware). The action was fairly limited in this game. My notes also
indicate another mistake: no south door in Babblebard’s office. Since
my notes are limited, I don’t remember exactly what the problem is,
and I don't know if I spelled the name correctly -- sorry! (Again I
will look this over if requested.) There were a lot of very annoying
red herrings in this game (roof of Anthropology building, egg in tree,
etc.).

I don’t remember noticing any obvious spelling/grammatical errors.


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Here are my ratings for:

A Bear's Night Out
A New Day
Sins Against Mimesis
Babel


A Bear's Night Out, by David Dyte (8)

I can’t help it; this story made me smile. I thought the writing was
excellent –especially the descriptions which made me feel like I was a
cuddly little teddy bear. The game was lots of fun to play, with no
obvious errors. The puzzles were clever, but not too hard, though I
have to admit to cheating to get in the hole in the bathroom <g>. Lots
of fun!


A New Day, by Jonathan Fry (8)

This story was clever (interactive fiction character gone mad!), but
the ending sequence was very confusing. I also noticed one mistake in
the hint system, which wouldn’t have bothered me too much except had I
had very little idea what to do at this point! I really enjoyed the
concept of this game.

I noticed no obvious spelling/grammatical errors.


Sins Against Mimesis, by One of the Bruces (?) (8)

Committing the seven deadly sins against a plant? Geez who would have
thought of that! Not many, I’m sure. Very original, and mostly
enjoyable, once I figured what the heck I should do. The game seems to
have a few odd red herrings (the bathroom, the Chinese food) but they
didn’t detract too much from the game. Most of the puzzles weren’t too
hard. I did have a problem with a bug in the beginning of the game…if
the author wants more info. I can look for it (I think it was when I
first approached the plant).


Babel, by Ian Finley (8)

I really enjoyed playing this game. It was great to be out in the
middle of nowhere, having to figure out who I am and what happened to
me, and wondering about the state of my mind in the recent past. This
story had an excellent concept (esp. the bit about touching glowing
objects to find out what happened in the past). The writing was
terrific as well (I actually felt scared out in the cold, even though
I was just sitting at a keyboard playing a game). Unfortunately,
there were several times during the game where I just didn’t know what
to do. I had to play way over the two hour time limit to solve some
of the problems without using the hints. I especially had a hard time
getting the darn formula together and making it work…Still a very good
game, and pretty eerie!


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Here are my reviews of:

Glowgrass
The Lost Spellmaker
She's Got a Thing for a Spring
Zombie!


Glowgrass, by Nate Cull (9)

I felt this was a very good game, though it wasn’t especially
exciting. The most interesting concept was the images that were more
than holograms - especially those of the little girl. The story
involved the fascinating idea of an old civilization that had been
destroyed out of necessity. I don’t understand, however, why this
house was still intact, and in fact in very good condition after
presumably much time had elapsed (I presume we are to think the
radiation or disease has only now dropped to low enough levels to
allow exploration?). Most of the puzzles were challenging but not too
difficult.


The Lost Spellmaker, by Neil James Brown (9)

This game was funny, and enjoyable to play. I like a bit of a
challenge in a puzzle, but some were a bit obscure (such as knowing
what to do with Daisy), but the humor and occasional silliness helped
keep my interest piqued and the rating up. The author surprised me by
making the main character a lesbian - kinda added to the humor because
it was unexpected. Her lovestruck gazes at the librarian were great.


She's Got a Thing for a Spring, by Brent VanFossen (9)

I really liked the concept of this game -- especially that it took
place on a camping trip. The writing was clever, funny, and well done.
I must confess to enjoying conversing with Bob so much that I stayed
for what was probably way past my welcome. I did have some difficulty
with a few of the puzzles: namely, getting the stick out of the bush,
getting rid of the wasps (or were they bees?), and taking the darn
bath correctly (boy was that frustrating!)... otherwise I really
enjoyed the story! Thanks for the helpful hints! I was a little too
dense to figure out a few things on my own. I would have been happier
if one or two of the puzzles weren’t quite so obscure. If I hadn’t
used hints a few times, this game would definitely have taken much
longer than the two hour time limit (not that that matters to me too
much). Otherwise, an excellent, fun game!

Zombie!, by Scott W. Starkey (9)

I had a lot of fun with this game. I enjoyed the storyline, the
characters, the writing, the humor -- well, everything! I did find two
errors: a small bug, and a problem with the walkthrough. Some of the
puzzles were a little tough for me without the walkthrough (e.g.,
knowing to get dryer lint, and getting the key from the zombie room).
This game came very close to a 10 in my book.


Sunset Over Savannah, by Ivan Cockrum (9)

As with "Spring," above, I felt this game was fun, clever, etc. I
enjoyed the storyline and the interaction with the characters (OK, so
I liked undressing in front of the old man <g>). The writing was
excellent -- no obvious spelling/grammatical errors. I did have
problems with a few of the puzzles. For instance, I never would have
thought of jumping off the pier with a brick without the hint system,
and I still don’t understand about the shingle on the roof -- I just
did not see a shingle up there (I only knew to "get" it because of the
hints). Without the hints, this game definitely would have taken me
more than 2 hours to complete, but I don’t think that detracted from
it too much. This game really made me want to go explore the beach,
and appreciate life a little more!


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Here are my comments on:

Poor Zefron's Almanac
Zero Sum Game


Poor Zefron’s Almanac, by Carl W. Klutzke (10)

I’m relying on memory here as I can’t find my notes for this one!
Anyway, I liked this game a lot -- very funny and clever. Some of the
puzzles were a bit difficult, but once I got the hang of turning into
a fly, it wasn’t too bad. Learning what to do in the dragon was the
most difficult puzzle for me. Also I have to tell you I was getting a
little sick of watching the alien repeat the same actions over and
over again (looking at the picture of the loved one, etc.) -- but that
might be a function of the game system so I didn’t deduct for it.

I don’t recall any obvious spelling or grammatical errors. . An all
around good game!


Zero Sum Game, by Cody Sandifer (10)

Probably my favorite (it’s hard to choose). This game was very, very
clever, and loads of fun. The author has already received most of my
comments but I’ll include them here anyway. I enjoyed all the humor he
must have spent a lot of effort including here --especially little
things such as hugging Chippy as a dragon, watching Darlene go on a
rampage (I played the girl part), and looking through the keyhole at
my mother. I liked the fact that I got to play a woman in a game, but
it was especially clever to write the game for women or men! Some of
the puzzles were a bit difficult -- such as getting the scroll, and
getting on the boat, resurrecting the dragon, and getting rid of
Chippy at the end. However, the game was so good that even these
problems could not ruin my enjoyment! Please write another game soon!


Well that’s it! Please send questions, comments, or requests for other
reviews to me via email or post them here.

Christine Simoes Tilden


Mark Stevens

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On Mon, 05 Jan 1998 21:39:26 GMT, CSTi...@REMOVEerols.com (Christine
Simoes Tilden) wrote:

>Babel, by Ian Finley (8)

>I really enjoyed playing this game.

Same here, but I would have probably enjoyed it more if I wasn't
expecting Mulder and Scully to walk round the corner at any moment.

IF

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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Mark Stevens wrote:

Yet oddly enough, I've never seen the X-Files. Wierd coincidence. I
wonder if there's a government conspiracy behind--

Ian Finley


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On Tue, 06 Jan 1998 12:46:27 GMT, ma...@sonance.demon.co.uk (Mark
Stevens) wrote:

(about enjoying Babel)


>
>Same here, but I would have probably enjoyed it more if I wasn't
>expecting Mulder and Scully to walk round the corner at any moment.
>

Ah I see where you're going...you're thinking of the episode "Ice"
where Scully and Mulder are trapped in the middle of some incredilbly
snowy spot with one or more homicidal maniacs? I did think of that
briefly when reviewing the game later...odd that it didn't occur to me
while I was playing the game. My husband said that "Ice" concept had
been done in a movie before but I can't remember which one...

X-files characters would make a great IF game, but that would be
breaking one too many copywright laws...

CST

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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Christine Simoes Tilden (CSTi...@REMOVEerols.com) wrote:
> On Tue, 06 Jan 1998 12:46:27 GMT, ma...@sonance.demon.co.uk (Mark
> Stevens) wrote:

> (about enjoying Babel)
> >
> >Same here, but I would have probably enjoyed it more if I wasn't
> >expecting Mulder and Scully to walk round the corner at any moment.
> >
> Ah I see where you're going...you're thinking of the episode "Ice"
> where Scully and Mulder are trapped in the middle of some incredilbly
> snowy spot with one or more homicidal maniacs? I did think of that
> briefly when reviewing the game later...odd that it didn't occur to me
> while I was playing the game. My husband said that "Ice" concept had
> been done in a movie before but I can't remember which one...

Good grief.

"Who Goes There?", short story by John W. Campbell Jr, published 1948.
Known in film as "The Thing" or "The Thing from Outer Space". *The*
original creepy-alien-doppelganger story. Mined for ideas ever since it
appeared.

The XFiles episode in question is a direct homage.

--Z


--

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

Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On Tue, 6 Jan 1998 19:58:06 GMT, erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
wrote:

>Good grief.
>
>"Who Goes There?", short story by John W. Campbell Jr, published 1948.
>Known in film as "The Thing" or "The Thing from Outer Space". *The*
>original creepy-alien-doppelganger story. Mined for ideas ever since it
>appeared.
>
>The XFiles episode in question is a direct homage.
>
>--Z
>

"Good Grief", you say? I suppose you can imagine how my utter
ignorance of science fiction, not to mention pop culture, drives my
Heinlein fan husband nuts.

Thanks for the information; I bow to your superior knowledge.

CST

Mark Stevens

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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On Tue, 06 Jan 1998 14:37:10 GMT, CSTi...@REMOVEerols.com (Christine
Simoes Tilden) wrote:

>Ah I see where you're going...you're thinking of the episode "Ice"
>where Scully and Mulder are trapped in the middle of some incredilbly
>snowy spot with one or more homicidal maniacs?

Amongst others. It just seemed to have an X-Files style vibe to it.
(Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I've gone off the show myself.
Loved the first series, liked the second, got a bit bored during the
third and fell asleep throughout the fourth. Much prefer Millennium at
the moment.)

>X-files characters would make a great IF game, but that would be
>breaking one too many copywright laws...

Well, if you don't tell anyone...

Joe Mason

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>"Who Goes There?", short story by John W. Campbell Jr, published 1948.
>Known in film as "The Thing" or "The Thing from Outer Space". *The*
>original creepy-alien-doppelganger story. Mined for ideas ever since it
>appeared.

The scene where the scientists link arms around the patch of ice and suddenly
realize they're forming a perfect circle gave me chills. It's little touches
like that that make a really creepy atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the movie degenerated into standard "chased around by the
monster" stuff after that.

Strangely enough, I KNOW I've read "Who Goes There?" because I remember some
of the comments about "The Thing" from the introduction in the anthology -
but I can't remember any details at all.

Joe

Philip Hawthorne

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <34b240b4...@news.erols.com>, Christine Simoes Tilden
<CSTi...@REMOVEerols.com> writes

>>
>Ah I see where you're going...you're thinking of the episode "Ice"
>where Scully and Mulder are trapped in the middle of some incredilbly
>snowy spot with one or more homicidal maniacs? I did think of that
>briefly when reviewing the game later...odd that it didn't occur to me
>while I was playing the game. My husband said that "Ice" concept had
>been done in a movie before but I can't remember which one...
>
I also enjoyed Babel a lot though it took me longer than 2 hours to
solve it but I'm a bit thick at times!

I think that movie that you are thinking of was called "The Thing (From
Another World)". The original was made in 1951 and starred James Arness
as the monster. It was a very atmospheric movie and I felt a similar
sort of atmosphere in Babel. (Arness later became famous as Marshall
Dillon in the TV series "Gunsmoke").

John Carpenter remade the movie, as "The Thing", in 1982, switching the
action from the original's Artic location to the Antartic and adding a
lot of gruesome special effects. It would be an ideal situation for a
piece of IF: limited number of characters fighting for their lives in a
relatively small number of locations.

BTW, I'm just wondering if Infocom got the grue name from 'gruesome' ???

>X-files characters would make a great IF game, but that would be
>breaking one too many copywright laws...
>

>CST
Does anyone know how long copyright lasts on, say a movie or a novel?

Would it be legal to 'change the names to protect the innocent (author)"
of IF characters based on current fictional characters like our friends
from X-files?

--
Philip Hawthorne

Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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On Fri, 9 Jan 1998 00:01:48 +0000, Philip Hawthorne
<ph...@alpine-software.deSPAMdemon.co.uk> wrote:


>John Carpenter remade the movie, as "The Thing", in 1982, switching the
>action from the original's Artic location to the Antartic and adding a
>lot of gruesome special effects. It would be an ideal situation for a
>piece of IF: limited number of characters fighting for their lives in a
>relatively small number of locations.

Yes, my husband was thinking of "The Thing." He hadn't realized it was
a remake, though...

Christine Simoes Tilden

(SPAM-block in effect; you will need to REMOVE a portion of my email address to reply)

Torbj|rn Andersson

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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Philip Hawthorne <ph...@alpine-software.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> BTW, I'm just wondering if Infocom got the grue name from 'gruesome' ???

There was an interview with Dave Lebling in Your Computer, May 1987,
where he was quoted as saying:

"Yes, I must admit I invented the grues," he said. "The word comes
from a creature in a series of stories by a fellow named Jack
Vance, who to my mind is one of the best fantasy writers around and
grues come from a series of stories about a far future of the earth
when the sun is about to go out and magic has revived and there are
strange creatures all over, and one of them is the grue. Now the
grue that he invented is nothing like the grue in _Zork,_ but the
name is so nice, evoking, as it does, buckets of blood and things
like that, that I sort of stole it from him."

I haven't read any of those stories myself, though.

Torbjörn

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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Philip Hawthorne <ph...@alpine-software.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> BTW, I'm just wondering if Infocom got the grue name from 'gruesome' ???

I believe in the Zork universe it happens the other way around, i.e.
'gruesome' comes from 'like a grue'. It seems, however, Torbj|rn has posted
the "real' answer to your q already though. :\

That's the impression I got reading a desc of them in a game once somewhere.

>>BKNambo

--
http://come.to/brocks.place | World Domination Through Trivia!
oah123 (in chatquiz, 12/27/97): "did you guys know during the SPIN cycle the
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Roger Burton West

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <uc9pvm2...@Rama.DoCS.UU.SE>

d91...@rama.docs.uu.se "Torbj|rn Andersson" wrote:

>Philip Hawthorne <ph...@alpine-software.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> BTW, I'm just wondering if Infocom got the grue name from 'gruesome' ???

>There was an interview with Dave Lebling in Your Computer, May 1987,
>where he was quoted as saying:
>
> "Yes, I must admit I invented the grues," he said. "The word comes
> from a creature in a series of stories by a fellow named Jack
> Vance,

Remarkable! That's the "Dying Earth" series, which are also known as the
inspiration behind the magic system for AD&D, which itself inspired
Colossal Cave...

Eerie, huh?

:)

Roger

--
/~~\_/~\ BEWARE ,,, |~) _ _ _ _ |~) __|_ _ _ \ / _ __|_
| #=#======of==# | |~\(_)(_|(/_| |_)|_|| | (_)| | \/\/ (/__\ |
\__/~\_/ FILKER ``` _| ro...@firedrake.demon.co.uk
Vote Chris Bell for TAFF in 1998 http://www.firedrake.demon.co.uk/


Daryl McCullough

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <uc9pvm2...@Rama.DoCS.UU.SE>, Torbj|rn says...

>There was an interview with Dave Lebling in Your Computer, May 1987,
>where he was quoted as saying:
>
> "Yes, I must admit I invented the grues," he said. "The word comes
> from a creature in a series of stories by a fellow named Jack

> Vance, who to my mind is one of the best fantasy writers around and
> grues come from a series of stories about a far future of the earth
> when the sun is about to go out and magic has revived and there are
> strange creatures all over, and one of them is the grue. Now the
> grue that he invented is nothing like the grue in _Zork,_ but the
> name is so nice, evoking, as it does, buckets of blood and things
> like that, that I sort of stole it from him."

The way I understand, the system of magic used by role-playing games
such as Dungeons and Dragons, and also that used by Infocom in Enchanter
were loosely based on the Jack Vance stories. In particular, the idea
that you had to "memorize" magic spells, and once you cast the spell,
you suddenly forgot it, is due to Jack Vance, I think. Of course, Vance
may have taken the idea from somewhere else, for all I know.

Daryl McCullough
CoGenTex, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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More significantly, I think, Vance's stories had the florid style of
spell-names which D&D adopted -- Thraal's Violent Effervescence, and so
on.

And (in case you don't know) "gruesome" does come from a real word "grue":

> grue: to shiver, from Middle English gruen, probably from Middle Dutch
> gruwen; akin to Old High German ingruEn to shiver

And Vance certainly chose the word because of that.

--Z

Roger Burton West

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>
erky...@netcom.com "Andrew Plotkin" wrote:

>More significantly, I think, Vance's stories had the florid style of
>spell-names which D&D adopted -- Thraal's Violent Effervescence, and so
>on.

Er, what? "Florid" names like Fireball, Sleep, and Magic Missile? OK,
there were a few interesting names - Otiluke's Freezing Sphere, and the
various Bigby's Hand spells, for example, and those are the ones most
people remember, but there were a lot of workaday ones as well; I
suspect that may also have been an influence on the Infocom games, with
the one-word spell names.

Cheers,

Jay Goemmer

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
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IF <mord...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>
>Mark Stevens wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 05 Jan 1998 21:39:26 GMT, CSTi...@REMOVEerols.com (Christine
>> Simoes Tilden) wrote:
>>
>> >Babel, by Ian Finley (8)
>>
>> >I really enjoyed playing this game.
>>
>> Same here, but I would have probably enjoyed it more if I wasn't
>> expecting Mulder and Scully to walk round the corner at any moment.
>
> Yet oddly enough, I've never seen the X-Files. Wierd coincidence. I
>wonder if there's a government conspiracy behind--

Omigod, Ian just disappeared into thin air! You don't suppose . . .
Nah, that would be _too_ wierd. <abduction sound effects>


--Jay Goemmer


M. Wesley Osam

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
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In article <qNVJmHAs...@alpine-software.demon.co.uk>, Philip Hawthorne
<ph...@alpine-software.deSPAMdemon.co.uk> wrote:

> Does anyone know how long copyright lasts on, say a movie or a novel?

It depends on the country. I think there are some FAQs on the subject,
somewhere.

> Would it be legal to 'change the names to protect the innocent (author)"
> of IF characters based on current fictional characters like our friends
> from X-files?

I'm certain that parody is a legally protected form of expression, as
long as the parody is distinguishable from the original. If it wasn't, Mad
magazine would be out of business. I myself have spent part of the past
year on a game in which an "Agent Moulder" shows up to annoy the player.

--
"Why do you look so skeptical?" M. Wesley Osam
"Because I've seen too much." wo...@iastate.edu
"Then why do you keep looking?
"Too much is never enough." -- Bill Griffith, "Zippy the Pinhead"

Chris Marriott

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
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In article <wosamSPAMBLOCK-ya0240...@news.iastate.edu>
, "M. Wesley Osam" <wosamSP...@iastate.edu> writes

>> Does anyone know how long copyright lasts on, say a movie or a novel?
>
> It depends on the country. I think there are some FAQs on the subject,
>somewhere.

The "standard" period is the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years,
although there are "moves afoot" to extend this to life + 70 years. It's
pretty safe to assume that any novel whose author died before 1927 is
now in the public domain.

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

Roger Burton West

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Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
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In article <5D5X8HAc...@chrism.demon.co.uk>
ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk "Chris Marriott" wrote:

>The "standard" period is the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years,
>although there are "moves afoot" to extend this to life + 70 years. It's
>pretty safe to assume that any novel whose author died before 1927 is
>now in the public domain.

No, sorry; the EU recently (a year ago?) extended all European copyright
to 75 years after the author's death, to match the Germans' standard.

Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/12/98
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On Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:06:45 -0600, wosamSP...@iastate.edu (M.
Wesley Osam) wrote:

>> Does anyone know how long copyright lasts on, say a movie or a novel?
>
> It depends on the country. I think there are some FAQs on the subject,
>somewhere.
>

>> Would it be legal to 'change the names to protect the innocent (author)"
>> of IF characters based on current fictional characters like our friends
>> from X-files?
>
> I'm certain that parody is a legally protected form of expression, as
>long as the parody is distinguishable from the original. If it wasn't, Mad
>magazine would be out of business. I myself have spent part of the past
>year on a game in which an "Agent Moulder" shows up to annoy the player.
>

OOh can't wait for that game...Did you see the Mad TV with a Mulder &
Scully parody? (It was kinda dumb, but the actors did a pretty good
job on picking up how Duchovny & Anderson talk and act on the show.)


Christine Simoes Tilden


SPAM-block in effect; you will need to REMOVE a portion of my email address to reply to me.

Heiko Nock

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

In article <Snews.980111.22...@firedrake.demon.co.uk>,

Roger Burton West <ro...@firedrake.avertspam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>No, sorry; the EU recently (a year ago?) extended all European copyright
>to 75 years after the author's death, to match the Germans' standard.

Nope. §64 UrhG says that it's 70 years after the author's death.

--
Ciao/2, Heiko.....

Roger Burton West

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Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
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In article <4Onu0sRO...@rhein-neckar.netsurf.de>
zif...@rhein-neckar.netsurf.de "Heiko Nock" wrote:

>>No, sorry; the EU recently (a year ago?) extended all European copyright
>>to 75 years after the author's death, to match the Germans' standard.
>Nope. 64 UrhG says that it's 70 years after the author's death.

Fascinating. It was definitely announced as 75 over here. I take it your
reference is to the German law - does anyone have more current
information on the EU version?

Graham Nelson

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

In article <Snews.980113.10...@firedrake.demon.co.uk>,

Roger Burton West <URL:mailto:ro...@firedrake.avertspam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <4Onu0sRO...@rhein-neckar.netsurf.de>
> zif...@rhein-neckar.netsurf.de "Heiko Nock" wrote:
>
> >>No, sorry; the EU recently (a year ago?) extended all European copyright
> >>to 75 years after the author's death, to match the Germans' standard.
> >Nope. 64 UrhG says that it's 70 years after the author's death.
>
> Fascinating. It was definitely announced as 75 over here. I take it your
> reference is to the German law - does anyone have more current
> information on the EU version?

My understanding was that the European Union draft directive called
for 70, but perhaps the draft was amended. The rules covering
typography and illustrations were altered slightly as well, I think.

Either way, it leads to the bizarre spectacle (something which had
never previously happened in UK law) of works which had been in
the public domain, re-entering copyright. Where this leaves half-
made films, editions not yet sold out and so forth, only a lot of
money to lawyers will determine.

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


Heiko Nock

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

In article <Snews.980113.10...@firedrake.demon.co.uk>,

Roger Burton West <ro...@firedrake.avertspam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>>No, sorry; the EU recently (a year ago?) extended all European copyright
>>>to 75 years after the author's death, to match the Germans' standard.
>>Nope. 64 UrhG says that it's 70 years after the author's death.
>Fascinating. It was definitely announced as 75 over here. I take it your
>reference is to the German law

Exactly.

--
Ciao/2, Heiko.....

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