Patterns of play

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Stephen Granade

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Jan 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/3/98
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A question for r.g.i-f readers: how many of you played most of the
competition games on which you voted in September, barring perhaps a
spurt in late December? Were there many who played games more or less
constantly throughout the judging session?

I did as stated above: played many games throughout September, then
stopped until a last-minute resurgence of effort around Dec. 20th.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Check out
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com


Jonathan Fry

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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Stephen Granade (sgra...@phy.duke.edu) wrote:
: I did as stated above: played many games throughout September, then
: stopped until a last-minute resurgence of effort around Dec. 20th.

You lucky dog! Most of us had to wait until October! ;)
--Jon

+-------------------------------------------------+
| Historian, Theologian, Fool - jf...@skidmore.edu |
|-------------------------------------------------|
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David Glasser

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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In article
<Pine.SUN.3.91.980103...@bigbang.phy.duke.edu>, Stephen
Granade <sgra...@phy.duke.edu> wrote:

> A question for r.g.i-f readers: how many of you played most of the
> competition games on which you voted in September, barring perhaps a
> spurt in late December? Were there many who played games more or less
> constantly throughout the judging session?

<snip>

Well, I downloaded comp97, and then got the first five or so that it said
I should play. After playing and rating them, I got a few more a few at a
time.

Then I learned authors can't vote.

Silly me. As the author of Virtuatech, I couldn't vote. Because I had
other things in life, I didn't play any more. Today I got the ones I
haven't played and will play them soon.

Basic vague comments on the few I've played:

comp97.z5

Very useful. Thanks!

agt/emailbox E-Mailbox v0.3 (beta), a true story based on actual events
that occurred to a real individual, by Jay A. Goemmer

(First off, quick thanks to Zarf for a usable Mac AGT interpreter.)

Hmmm...I don't remember all my impressions on it...I didn't dislike it,
but the puzzles weren't really complex enough to be puzzles.
Pretty..interesting.

alan/leaves Leaves, a Short Interactive Journey by Mikko Vuorinen
release 3

Never got around to downloading the newest version of the ALAN
interpreter (I just did right now, though, so look later in this post).

hugo/down Down, by Kent Tessman
Release 1, 30sep97

<subliminal message> You SHALL make a Mac Hugo interpreter NOW!</sub>

Ok, I could have played these through gobblernet, but I was too busy.
And my net connection is terrible. Maybe if I ever get CodeWarrior
learned I'll port it.

inform/cask Cask, my first stab at Interactive Fiction,
by Harry M. Hardjono. Release 1 / Serial number 970917

Er...well, the help text says he wrote it quickly and it shows. I'm
not quite sure what the point was. I beat it, at least.

inform/congrats Congratulations! by Frederick J. Hirsch
Release 1 / Serial number 970929

Baby cries!

The writing could need more polishing, as does the coding, the design,
and just about everything but the premise.

inform/erden Travels in the Land of Erden: In Quest of the Adventure
by Laura A. Knauth. Release 1 / Serial number 970930

Hey, I liked it. Yes, it needed polishing. Yes, it was too long for a
competition game, but it was fun. I beat it, albeit with hints at my side
(as usual). One of the best games I played (though I didn't play Bear's
Night Out, Babel, or Savannah, which are getting a lot of acclaim).

inform/home Coming Home, A Simple Home Adventure by Andrew Katz
Release 1 / Serial number 970919

You don't want another review of this one. Seriously.

The good points are that, (a) with hints and the undo commmand, it is
finishable, and (b), well there is no (b). Nothing personal, Mr. Katz. I
guess it just goes to show that being named Andrew does not guarantee
excellent IF.

inform/lost The Lost Spellmaker, an Interactive Mission
by Neil James Brown. Release 1 / Serial number 970927

Good, very good. The third best one I played (behind GlowGlass and
Erden). I though it was weird that they were saying you were female and
so was your interest, until I realized it was just my chauvinistic mindset
that prevented me from realizing that the protagonist was a lesbian. Fun,
funny, weird, good writing. Cool randomized title screen.

inform/pintown Pintown, by Stefan Blixt
Release 1 / Serial number 970902

I didn't think it was as bad as many other people. I actually liked
most of the writing and plot (though it had bad points). Unfortunately, I
was unable to drive through a certain place due to a z-machine error, and
concluded that winning was impossible. Still, at least a 6.

inform/sylenius Sylenius Mysterium, an Interactive Transcendence
by whomever wrote it. Release 1 / Serial number 970928

I liked the first half. Parts were tough, and it was unclear when the
game was winnable and when not, but it was good.
I didn't like the second half. I'm not a particularly good video game
player even when the interface makes sense, and this one didn't. If it
was like the Mad Bomber, I'd adjust. Unfortunately, I couldn't get
anywhere.

inform/tempest The Tempest, an interactive performance by William Shakespeare
Release 3 / Serial number 970929

For one thing, I knew the author from the start, due to an error in
Whizzard's preliminary email to the authors (the CC header listed "William
Shakespeare"'s email as gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk). I hadn't read the
play, though I read part of it while trying to figure out what to do. And
I like Bill's version better than Graham's. Not only was the first puzzle
buggy, but after that you just walk around and sing until the play is
over. For a rating, I had mixed feelings (like it seems other reviewers
had; scores ranged from 1 to 9). In the end, I would have put a 6.

tads/almanac Poor Zefron's Almanac: an interactive cross-genre romp
by Carl W. Klutzke. Version 1.0, 30sep97

A bit buggy, a bit unclear, and a bit too many unwinnable states.
However, it is way more than a bit good.

tads/glow Glowgrass, an Interactive Short Story by Nate Cull
Release 1

Along with Erden, one of my 2 favorites that I played. What can you
find wrong with it?

tads/vtech VirtuaTech, by David Glasser
Release 1

The absolute best game in the competition.

Ok, maybe not. But, hey, look what it has been called:

"[if expanded it] could be enjoyable" -- Steven Howard

"[the computer and hardware] are well-done" , "I don't mean to imply I
disliked the game.", "[gizmo puzzles] just have to make sense, and in this
game they do*." -- Andrew Plotkin

"This is a cute, nicely polished game" , "VirtuaTech came close [to
being the funniest game in the competition]" -- Suzanne, in her favorites
list

Then again, there were a lot of negative comments too. The game had a
few more puzzles originally, some of which were gotten rid of for time
constraints or just because they weren't good. If it was due in December,
it would win the competition hands down :-)

Maybe. I think the two-month break from coding over the summer didn't
help (was at a summer camp, in which I got further sidetracked by learning
Inform, C, C++, and Windows 95 programming). But at least I finish it,
and it made one reviewer's favorites list. I hope this holds true for
many of the players:

"VirtuaTech [is] a pleasant way to spend 45 minutes or so" -- Paul O'Brian

If so, I have won my own competition.

Would be nice to win this one, but what the h#$%.

*Something gives me the feeling Zarf meant "don't". Did you, Andrew?

tads/zero Zero Sum Game, an Exercise in Fantastic Futility
by Cody Sandifer. Release 1.

I liked it. Probably because I'm too stupid to notice that it isn't
all fun and games. Good premise, OK puzzles, good writing, good coding
except for the dynamic objects which is nearly impossible in TADS.

tads/zombie Zombie! The Interactive Creepshow by Scott W. Starkey

I don't remember any specific comments, but I liked it a lot,
especially the preface.

(Since starting this post, I played Leaves, Mimesis, and Bear's Night Out.)

Bear's Night Out was really fun. A really great game, better than Erden,
though not Glowgrass. A bit annoying when you have to push things around,
but that's all.

Leaves is weird. If it wasn't for the leaf on the shirt and the man's
reaction to it, the message when you move in the cow place, and the
solution to the statue puzzle, it would have had a good atmosphere.
However, it is just weird. Not bad, but weird.

Mimesis is also weird. It's fun, though. I pride myself on recognizing
most of the references, but I don't get the Mimesis ref itself! I saw the
posts listed when you x the plant (Myst, of course), but I don't remember
what mimesis is, at least in conjunction with IF. Funny game. I assume
the sin thing *was* a ripoff of JFW on purpose, right?

Well, that about wraps things up. Any comments on VirtuaTech should be sent to:

dglasser (at) fcs . pvt . k12 . pa . us

The address in the game still works, but I don't check it as often.

May this competition be the third of many to come,
David Glasser, who actually finished a program! Woo-hoo!

Nice, nice, very nice-
So many different people
In the same device.
DGla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us
dsgl...@NOSPAMhotmail.com
gla...@NOSPAMgobblernet.dyndns.com
http://glasser.base.org | http://glasser.base.org
If my ideas were those of FCS, this line wouldn't exist.
You know the deal. Get rid of NOSPAM.

Stephen Granade

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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On 4 Jan 1998, David Glasser wrote:

> I guess it just goes to show that being named Andrew does not guarantee
> excellent IF.

I'd never thought of that. Hm.

"Andrew"

--
S. "Andrew" Granade | Interested in adventure games?

Steven Howard

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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In <dglasser-040...@207.106.158.30>, on 01/04/98
at 09:06 PM, dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us (David Glasser) said:


>Mimesis is also weird. It's fun, though. I pride myself on recognizing
>most of the references, but I don't get the Mimesis ref itself! I saw
>the posts listed when you x the plant (Myst, of course), but I don't
>remember what mimesis is, at least in conjunction with IF. Funny game.
>I assume the sin thing *was* a ripoff of JFW on purpose, right?

JFW?

========
Steven Howard
bl...@ibm.net

"Are you a COBOL programmer?" "No, but people tell me I look like one."


Stephen Granade

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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On Sun, 4 Jan 1998, Steven Howard wrote:

> In <dglasser-040...@207.106.158.30>, on 01/04/98
> at 09:06 PM, dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us (David Glasser) said:
>

> >I assume the sin thing *was* a ripoff of JFW on purpose, right?
>

> JFW?

"John's Fire Witch." And, yes, Adam mentions "JFW" in the credits.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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David Glasser (dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us) wrote:
> "[the computer and hardware] are well-done" , "I don't mean to imply I
> disliked the game.", "[gizmo puzzles] just have to make sense, and in this
> game they do*." -- Andrew Plotkin
>
> *Something gives me the feeling Zarf meant "don't". Did you, Andrew?

No, I meant "do". I'm explaining what I said two sentences earlier: "I
like gizmo puzzles, and these are well-done."

--Z

--

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

Graham Nelson

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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In article <dglasser-040...@207.106.158.30>, David Glasser

<URL:mailto:dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us> wrote:
>
> inform/tempest The Tempest, an interactive performance by William Shakespeare
> Release 3 / Serial number 970929
>
> For one thing, I knew the author from the start, due to an error in
> Whizzard's preliminary email to the authors (the CC header listed "William
> Shakespeare"'s email as gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk).

Yes, I was a bit annoyed by that -- there was no need even to
have a CC header. (But GKW was terribly busy and deserves thanks
for organising the whole shebang.)

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


David Glasser

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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Stephen Granade wrote in message ...

>On 4 Jan 1998, David Glasser wrote:
>
>> I guess it just goes to show that being named Andrew does not guarantee
>> excellent IF.
>
>I'd never thought of that. Hm.
>
>"Andrew"


Well, you remember the XYZZY awards, right?

Best Game: So Far
Best Writing: So Far
Best Puzzles: So Far
Best Indiv. Puzzle: Opening the gate in So Far

All by Andrew Plotkin

Best Setting: Small World
Best Indiv. NPC (tie): The Devil (Small World),

By Andrew Pontius.

Evan (Kissing the Buddha's Feet), and
the Burin (Frobozz Magic Support)
Best Story: Tapestry
Best NPCs: Kissing the Buddha's Feet

>--
> S. "Andrew" Granade | Interested in adventure games?


> sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Check out
> Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com
>

--Dandrewvid Glasser
remove NOSPAM

Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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I played most of the games in late October, all of November, with one
or two in the beginning of December. (I didn't find out about the
competition 'til October, since I never checked out this newsgroup
before then.)

CST

P.S. I did use the de-bugged version of A Good Breakfast, as that was
the only one I saw available on the ftp server. Some people have been
asking that...Worked fine, by the way.

Andrew Pontious

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
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In article <68rdld$7jd$1...@ha2.rdc1.pa.home.com>, "David Glasser"
<dgla...@NOSPAM.fcs.pvt.k12.pa.us> wrote:

>Best Setting: Small World
>Best Indiv. NPC (tie): The Devil (Small World),
>
>By Andrew Pontius.

Um, that's Andrew Pontious. ;-)
~

Someone recently asked me, when they knew I was one of the int-fiction
Andrews, "Which Andrew are you?"

I replied, "The famous one."

--Andrew Pontious

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