I've got something kind of cool for you. I think it might be of a
sort of historical interest to the newsgroup, as well as just being
A few months ago, I found an old strongbox at a garage sale. It was
part of the effects of a dead and long-forgotten relative of the folks
holding the sale. It was weird enough that I felt I had to buy it.
But I didn't expect what I found when I got it home and managed to
force it open.
The box was full of papers written by a woman named Laura Bryant.
Through some letters in the box, I was able to figure out that she was
born in the early 1940s. She worked as a middle-school English
teacher, enjoyed Elvis, and wrote poetry. The majority of the stuff
in the box, though, was a collection of what she called "story
These story worlds are akin to interactive fiction or roleplaying
games; they're designed for one player and one mediator who serves as
the parser or the game master. The earliest date on a story world in
the box is 1964, which means these works predate Crowther and Woods's
Adventure, Dungeons & Dragons, or Wesely's Braunstein. There's no
sign that Bryant ever got into computers, or was aware of her works'
similarities to interactive fiction, RPGs, and video games.
You can see an example of a page from one of these story worlds on my
web space: http://ludusnovus.net/images/bryant-paper-24a.png I
apologize for the quality of the scan; this page was stuffed into the
back of the box, and I've yet to find the rest of the pages for that
particular story world.
I would have posted about this find earlier, but I thought it'd be fun
to write up a few of these story worlds as pieces of IF, in a form
that modern IF players would be comfortable with. The task turned out
to be trickier than I thought, but I've finally finished
transliterating five of the story worlds into IF form. I've compiled
them into a game called The Bryant Collection. You can download it
from my website at http://ludusnovus.net/games/bryantcollection.zblorb
or from the IF Archive once it percolates through to the right place.
The Bryant Collection contains the five stories that I found the most
interesting and feasible to convert to IF:
"The End of the World" is a story about lunch.
"Morning in the Garden" is a story about dealing with annoying people.
"Tower of Hanoi" is a rather interesting little puzzle, but not what
you think. It came with a sort of feelie in the strongbox, which is
included as an IF object.
"Going Home Again" is a story about growing up.
"Undelivered Love Letter" is a story about airports.
I hope you find Ms. Bryant's work as cool as I did. If you have any
bug reports, you can send them to Gregor...@gmail.com .
"Instead of dismantling the fast food intercom, say '"...'"? The lady
must have been a visionary, if she foresaw Inform 7!
Wasn't this posted about 7 minutes too early?
Or maybe I'm being too paranoid; after all, David Welbourn's mapping
tool seems to actually be a real thing, and I know the Spring Thing
games really are up. Hmm.
I'm in the Eastern time zone, so I posted it at 12:53 AM.
Congratulations, you've added your own small stink to the glut of
unfunny overdone failures.
A _good_ April 1 joke makes the person fooled laugh about it. Your
attempt causes the reaction "oh, that's kinda cool", and then falls
utterly flat when when it turns out not to be true.
Next year, please don't try again.
(in the living room)
This is a standard envelope stuffed with fifteen sheets of triple-
folded lined paper. The pages are loose, and are covered in neat
writing in blue pen. In a few places, the ink has bled where drops of
moisture fell on the pages. The envelope is unaddressed and
unstamped, and the words "UNDELIVERED LOVE LETTER" are writted across
the front. Where the return address would be is the date "1975."
You have "writted" in the place of "written."
I just started, but it looks to be quite interesting.