Ah Ha! The Results of the First Annual "Iffys".

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Gerry Kevin Wilson

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
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Here ya go, folks. The results are in.

-=-INFORM-=-

1st Place: A Change in the Weather, by Andrew Plotkins.
Andrew chose as his prize: The very first copy of Avalon,
autographed and donated by me.

2nd Place: The Mind Electric, by Jason Dyer.
Jason chose as his prize: $50.00 cash, donated by Martin Braun

3rd Place: The Magic Toyshop, by Gareth Rees.
Gareth chose as his prize: One free registration for "The Path to
Fortune", donated by Christopher E. Forman.

4th Place: MST3K1: Detective, by Christopher E. Forman "and Matt Barringer,"
Christopher chose as his prize: "Castles and Kingdoms: An
electrifying compendium of 15 BASIC adventures you can type into
your Commodore 64" by Bob Liddil, donated by Gareth Rees.

5th Place: All Quiet on the Library Front, by Michael S. Phillips.
Michael chose as his prize: An autographed copy of my first novel, if
and when it's published--for a winner who feels like taking a big
gamble, donated by Jacob Weinstein.

6th Place: Tube Trouble, by Richard Tucker.

-==-TADS-==-

1st Place: Uncle Zebulon's Will, by Magnus Olsson.
Magnus chose as his prize: $100.00 cash, donated by Eileen Mullin

2nd Place: Toonesia, by C. J. T. Spaulding aka Jacob Weinstein, the author
of Save Princeton.
Jacob chose as his prise: 1 year subscription to the printed version
of XYZZYnews, donated by Eileen Mullin

3rd Place: The One That Got Away, by 'The Author' aka Leon Lin
Leon chose as his prize: "Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur" for the
Mac, complete with box, etc., donated by Jacob Weinstein.

4th Place: "It appears to be a tie, ladies and gentlemen."
A Night at the Museum Forever, by Chris Angelini.
Chris chose as his prize: One free registration for Save Princeton,
donated by Jacob Weinstein.

Undertow, by Stephen Granade.
Stephen chose as his prize: A copy of "Leather Goddesses of Phobos"
on 5.25" disk for IBM compatibles, donated by Jon Uhler.

5th Place: Undo, by Null Dogmas aka Neil Demause


--
<~~TREV ERA~~~~~~~~~~~~~SIGHT~UNSEEN~~~~~~~~NO~RELEASE~DATE~YET~~~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< I W In the jungle of the big city, a predator stalks one | ~~\ >
< GO SOFT he considers easy prey, a blind student. Feel the fear | /~\ | >
<_______________________...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

russ...@wanda.pond.com

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
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In article <44tbuj$f...@agate.berkeley.edu>,

Gerry Kevin Wilson <whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu> wrote:

}Here ya go, folks. The results are in.
}
}-=-INFORM-=-
}
}1st Place: A Change in the Weather, by Andrew Plotkins.
} Andrew chose as his prize: The very first copy of Avalon,
} autographed and donated by me.

So Evil triumphs over good :-). I don't want to see any
complaining on this group about the nastiness of coming games =:-O

(I should talk.. I forgot to vote)


--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com russ...@his.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Stephen van Egmond

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
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I think that everyone who competed AND everyone who donated the prizes
all deserve a round of applause. Quite the art we have going here...

Hooray!

/Steve


John Baker

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Oct 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/5/95
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In <44tbuj$f...@agate.berkeley.edu> whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu (Gerry

Kevin Wilson) writes:
>5th Place: Undo, by Null Dogmas aka Neil Demause

I had thought for sure that Dave B. wrote this.
--
John Baker
"What the hell does that mean? Huh? 'China is here.'?
I don't even know what the hell that means!"
- Jack Burton

Mikey Kinyon

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Oct 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/5/95
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In article <19951005....@arnod.arnod.demon.co.uk>,
Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Wow, a few surprises here (for me anyway).

OK, I'll bite: what were they and why were you surprised?

The only surprise for me was in the Inform category: I was expecting Tube to
place 4th.

After this discussion and having taken psychic lessons from Jacob in the
"newsgroup of my dreams" thread, I think I'll change my first name to
Nostradamus. You can call me Nosy.

>How many people actually voted?
>How many in each category?

I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of
the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?


Julian Arnold

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Oct 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/5/95
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Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> Wow, a few surprises here (for me anyway).

Mikey Kinyon (mki...@natasha.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:

> OK, I'll bite: what were they and why were you surprised?
>
> The only surprise for me was in the Inform category: I was expecting Tube to
> place 4th.

I thought it would come 5th. OK, this is the order I expected:

INFORM
A Change in the Weather
Magic Toyshop
The Mind Electric


All Quiet on the Library Front

Tube Trouble
Detective

TADS
Uncle Zebulon's Will
Undertow
Toonesia } these two could
The One That Got Away } change places


A Night at the Museum Forever

Undo

This order does not necessarily reflect my voting behaviour!

The following comments are all IMO of course, so no-one should be offended.
After all, you all got it together to enter, while my entry didn't quite make
it, right Mikey. 8)

I was very surprised that UNDERTOW came joint 4th, although I suspect this
was due to the type of game (timed mystery) rather than the artistic and
technical standards of the game (which I thought were as good as any of the
entries, and a lot better than many). It got my vote anyway.

I thought MIND ELECTRIC would come 3rd. I personally did not vote for it for
the reason that I simply didn't know what was going on. There didn't seem to
be any reason to do the things I did (ie, saying the words on the paper to
open a door, asking the face about the boxes, touching the loop to go
un-wobbly or whatever). I can see how other people might like it, but it
just went right over my head and I found myself reading the hints, sometimes
*after* I'd solved the puzzle, trying to find out why things did what they
did! -- maybe I just read the wrong books.

MAGIC TOYSHOP was another one which I didn't vote for. For a start I think
Gareth forgot about the two-hour rule with that infernal chest. Also, the
game seemed more geared as a series unrelated logic puzzles, rather than as a
coherent piece of interactive fiction.

DETECTIVE was a real bugger. On the one hand you have an atrocious game and
I thought the voters would boycott it for that reason -- I nearly did. On
the other, there is the hilarious job Christopher Forman did in MiSTing it
(although MST 3000 is totally alien to me). As one of the few IF games to
make me laugh out loud all the way through, I was compelled to vote for it
(though I'm embarrassed to admit it).

TOONESIA and THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY I thought would be close, but a place
lower down. Both I thought were very well done, my only objection being that
both were walkthrough-city. I know the rule was "winnable in under two
hours", but I had rather expected authors to make the most of their time --
these two took about 30-40 minutes a piece. It's frightening to think that
when I find myself in an exitless room with a crayon, my very first instinct
is to draw a door and escape!

Although the placing was no surprise, I'm going to mention UNCLE ZEBULON'S
WILL anyway, as I thought it was brilliant. Nothing too original, maybe, but
this game just clicked with me and I was completely drawn into the story for
the entire 1 hour 58 minutes it took me to complete. Any game that can do
this deserves every vote it gets. Hooray for Magnus (write that sequel).

> I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of
> the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?

How many voters had an `r' in their name?

BTW Michael, you're quite pleased with your playtesting, aren't you? 8)
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Julian Arnold

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Oct 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/5/95
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Gerry Kevin Wilson (whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:

> Here ya go, folks. The results are in.

Wow, a few surprises here (for me anyway). How many people actually voted?

How many in each category?

--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Mark Green

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Oct 5, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/5/95
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In article <44vgh8$f...@wanda.pond.com> russ...@wanda.pond.com writes:

> In article <44tbuj$f...@agate.berkeley.edu>,


> Gerry Kevin Wilson <whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>
> }Here ya go, folks. The results are in.
> }

> }-=-INFORM-=-
> }
> }1st Place: A Change in the Weather, by Andrew Plotkins.
> } Andrew chose as his prize: The very first copy of Avalon,
> } autographed and donated by me.
>
> So Evil triumphs over good :-). I don't want to see any
> complaining on this group about the nastiness of coming games =:-O
>
> (I should talk.. I forgot to vote)
>

I'm not too surprised it won.. the quality of the writing in it is
amazing. The only problem I had with it was that it was too damn
frustrating to start playing - apart from being a tiny-turn-limit game,
the fact that directions weren't reversible meant I spent a lot of time
walking into walls... ;)

Mg
--

Dan Shiovitz

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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[Warning: The following message contains a few light spoilers, and also
some criticism. Take them both with a grain of salt]
>Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> Wow, a few surprises here (for me anyway).
>
>Mikey Kinyon (mki...@natasha.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:
>
>> OK, I'll bite: what were they and why were you surprised?
>>
>> The only surprise for me was in the Inform category: I was expecting Tube to
>> place 4th.
>
>I thought it would come 5th. OK, this is the order I expected:
I wasn't terribly surprised. I had expected Undo to do better, actually.
Apparently no one else shares my sense of humor :P

>INFORM
>A Change in the Weather
>Magic Toyshop
>The Mind Electric
>All Quiet on the Library Front
>Tube Trouble
>Detective

I didn't vote for either Tube Trouble or Detective, but it's unquestionable
that Detective was the better game (and that's saying something). I thought
Detective was extremely funny, but I couldn't bring myself to vote for what
was essentially a non-original game. Maybe in next year's competition, we'll
do it by category (humor, puzzles, "serious fiction") ...

>TADS
>Uncle Zebulon's Will
>Undertow
>Toonesia } these two could
>The One That Got Away } change places
>A Night at the Museum Forever
>Undo

Ok, I think everyone agrees that Zebulon was the best TADS game, and many would
say it was the best game overall (certainly in *my* top 2). I didn't care
at all for undertow. Like you say below, I don't like timed mysteries, and
I *really* don't like mysteries where character action is so necessary and yet
so limited ("show picture to XXX." "XXX is busy crying.") I voted for either
Toonesia or The One for third place ... I don't remember which. They were
both pretty-good-but-not-excellent. I thought the Night at the Museum had
a really cool concept, and a pretty spiffy title, but it didn't do nearly
enough with it, and the hose puzzle was pretty darn weird. I *liked* Undo.
I guess it was one of those solve it in ten minutes or never sort of games,
and I solved it, so I like it. Matter of taste, I suppose.

[..]


>The following comments are all IMO of course, so no-one should be offended.
>After all, you all got it together to enter, while my entry didn't quite make
>it, right Mikey. 8)

Ditto on both of those, actually :P Lethe almost made it to the contest, but
at the last minute I decided it was too long and pulled out.

[..]


>I thought MIND ELECTRIC would come 3rd. I personally did not vote for it for
>the reason that I simply didn't know what was going on. There didn't seem to
>be any reason to do the things I did (ie, saying the words on the paper to
>open a door, asking the face about the boxes, touching the loop to go
>un-wobbly or whatever). I can see how other people might like it, but it
>just went right over my head and I found myself reading the hints, sometimes
>*after* I'd solved the puzzle, trying to find out why things did what they
>did! -- maybe I just read the wrong books.

*shrug* Maybe. I put it as 1st. I liked the atmosphere, the prose, and the
puzzles were maybe the right level.

>MAGIC TOYSHOP was another one which I didn't vote for. For a start I think
>Gareth forgot about the two-hour rule with that infernal chest. Also, the
>game seemed more geared as a series unrelated logic puzzles, rather than as a
>coherent piece of interactive fiction.

Yeah. I gave it a vote, since I liked all the puzzles, but it wasn't really
i-f. More of a text adventure, you might say.

[..]


>TOONESIA and THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY I thought would be close, but a place
>lower down. Both I thought were very well done, my only objection being that
>both were walkthrough-city. I know the rule was "winnable in under two
>hours", but I had rather expected authors to make the most of their time --
>these two took about 30-40 minutes a piece. It's frightening to think that
>when I find myself in an exitless room with a crayon, my very first instinct
>is to draw a door and escape!

Well, when you're a 'toon, what can you expect, eh? Agreed for both, although
I did get stuck once, maybe, in Toonesia. Was it intended that you have to
enter the rabbit hole from the cliff ledge spot?

>Although the placing was no surprise, I'm going to mention UNCLE ZEBULON'S
>WILL anyway, as I thought it was brilliant. Nothing too original, maybe, but
>this game just clicked with me and I was completely drawn into the story for
>the entire 1 hour 58 minutes it took me to complete. Any game that can do
>this deserves every vote it gets. Hooray for Magnus (write that sequel).

Yeah. I would have liked to understand the surrounding world a little better
though ... someplace where magic was fairly usual, and yet no one thought to
check out the stuff you find?

>> I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of
>> the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?
>
>How many voters had an `r' in their name?

Yeah. I don't really see any difference in games from people with .uk
adddresses, except they all seem to spell funny :P

>Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk
--

-------------------------------------------------+
Dan Shiovitz /**/ scy...@u.washington.edu | "Thys ys a happi snakc.
The Grim Reaper /**/ sh...@cs.washington.edu | Happi snakc ys fun to eat.
-------------------------------------------------+ Uh-oh, yt's a ceiboard!"
http://weber.u.washington.edu/~scythe/ |
-------------------------------------------------+


Julian Arnold

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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Dan Shiovitz (scy...@u.washington.edu) wrote:

> I *liked* Undo. I guess it was one of those solve it in ten minutes or
> never sort of games, and I solved it, so I like it. Matter of taste, I
> suppose.

I solved this too, and yes, the humour was... umm... surreal. Also, the
ending was completely in line with the game as a whole. The frog and duck
were very funny. But, let's face it, it was surely never going to get many
votes. Perhaps Neil could comment on what's going on in that mind of his? 8)
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Julian Arnold

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk (Julian Arnold) writes:

> I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of
> the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?

How many voters had an `r' in their name?


Jonathan Badger (bad...@phylo.life.uiuc.edu) wrote:

> I don't think country of origin is quite as irrelevant as you seem to think
> it is ...

No no no. You've misinterpreted me. I don't think it's irrelevant at all.
I was just being silly. It's interesting to note that one of the winning
entries, UNCLE ZEBULON'S WILL, was written by (from his e-mail address) a
Swede who has said before that English is not his first language. I
generally agree with you that games from different countries do tend to have
a different feel about them, although that's to be expected really.
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Jacob Solomon Weinstein

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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ca...@fox.earthweb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) writes about Toonesia and The One:

>I'd put both of them in the category of "could have been written in AGT with
>no appreciable decline in quality".

Umm--what do you mean by that? It sounds like a pretty harsh criticism,
but I'm not familir with AGT. Did I not use the TADS parser effectively?

-Jacob Weinstein

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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(Note: I didn't note, being a competitor. Yeah, I could have voted for
the TADSers, but I didn't.)

Warning: blunt comments ahead.

A Change in the Weather: Whoo hoo.

The Mind Electric: I ranked this really low, to be honest. I didn't
like the puzzles at all. I solved almost none of them myself -- I kept
thinking "There's no way to do anything with that," looking at the
hints, and thinking "I was supposed to do *what*?" I felt like the
author was leading me blindfold. Then again, the cyberpunk atmosphere
didn't particularly do it for me -- that's a matter of taste - and
people seem to have ranked the game highly because of it.

The Magic Toyshop: Liked it a lot. People seem to have ragged on it
for not being a story-and-atmosphere piece, but that wasn't a
requirement of the contest. Technically very tight -- you'd almost
think the author had experience with writing a full-length IF game :-)
The puzzles absolutely did it for me. Took more than two hours -- more
than two days, in fact -- but my entry was at least as hard.

MST3K: I laughed a lot. A terrific idea. Was it a legitimate entry?
Sure. And yes, it was an "original piece of IF." The story of the
underlying game was not original, but the commentary *was* interactive
and was implemented with the same programming techniques as the rest
of us used. I hope more people stretch the boundaries like this (or
-- I should say -- differently, *not* like this) next year.

All Quiet on the Library Front: I wasn't able to solve it. Felt
vaguely skimpy.

Tube Trouble: Solved it, but again, it was small and thin. (Hush --
I'll address your comment at the end of this post.)

Uncle Zebulon's Will: Liked it. Although it owed perhaps a little too
much to the "classic" IF tropes of brightly-colored magical objects
arbitrarily scattered around the landscape. (Yeah, yeah, but you know
what I mean. Blue discs, black rods, violet pearls, green wires, red
gems -- sometime I think IF is trapped in a Lucky Charms commercial.)
(Uh, if you don't watch US TV, I'll explain later.) But that's too
harsh; Zebulon *did* have a plot, which I liked.

Toonesia: Liked this the best of the TADS entries. Great evocation of
a scenario -- you figure out what to do by understanding how the
universe works. Plus, it's funny.

The One That Got Away: Not much there; it didn't pull me in. (So to
speak. :-)

A Night at the Museum Forever: Nice idea, but like other people have
said, it didn't do much with it. Time travel puzzles are well-known
and this had nothing new.

Undertow: About even with Zebulon for second place in the TADS
entries. A lot of careful design, consideration of multiple paths of
action; this scores well with me. It didn't particularly advance the
standard of mystery IF (you go around, ask questions, show things to
people, and everyone's reactions are a little limited.) But it did a
good job with what we have.

Undo: Again, I laughed a lot. On the other hand, I wouldn't have
ranked it very high -- it was very small. This brings me back to what
you were complaining about earlier: I very much tend to like large
games and dislike small ones. Well, it's true. I liked Undo as much
as, say, any given scene in Toonesia -- but that meant there was more
I liked in Toonesia. So I rank it higher. Should I try to normalize
for that if I vote next year? Try to vote for quality per unit time,
or quality per kilobyte of game file? Dunno. Such options don't even
necessarily make sense for something like Detective.

Oh well. I'd hate to see entries like Undo being left out just because
they might not win. I played it with a big grin, which is worth much
to me. (Detective was the other one that did this.)

Whoo hoo. On to next year.

--Z

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

Julian Arnold

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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Carl Muckenhoupt (ca...@fox.earthweb.com) wrote:

> Toonesia or The One for third place ... I don't remember which. They were
> both pretty-good-but-not-excellent.
>

> I'd put both of them in the category of "could have been written in AGT with
> no appreciable decline in quality".

Hmm, I don't know about this... Surely the authoring system used to write a
game of this length (so size limitations are not an issue) is only really
apparent in the flexibility of the parser and the user interface? Both games
mentioned have, I think, the standard TADS parser and `look and feel'.

As I said before though, I did find both a bit *too* short and easy.
Reconsidering that assessment a bit I might say that THE ONE was necessarily
short. I'd agree with someone else who's name I can't remember (he's tucked
away in the `Hello?' thread) who ventured the opinion that THE ONE, out of
all the games in the competition, probably came closest to `sudden IF'. The
same person also pondered that, due to this nature of the game, if the author
had concentrated more on the focus of the game (the actual fishing) then the
game as a whole would have benefitted. I agree, for me this aspect was just
a little too "sudden", but on the whole this game captured and transmitted
the feel of going fishing, and I've never been fishing in my life! It made a
simple tale take on epic proportions.

TOONESIA, I thought (again, someone else mentioned this too) could have been
improved by making the characters more `in yer face' as they were in the
original cartoons -- the game needed to be more frantic, more active. It was
a shame names had to be changed, as this detracted from the atmosphere. One
aspect of this game that I think is a real achievement is the way that the
author has captured the very visual and visceral nature of cartoons in his
writing. This was only really let down by the characterisation problems, and
the appearance of Bugs's trail as he zoomed along underground, which I
couldn't visualize for a few minutes.
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Julian Arnold

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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Michael Kinyon (mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:

> In article <19951005....@arnod.arnod.demon.co.uk>,
> Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> [Very interesting comments about the games deleted.]

Thank you kindly.

> >> I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of
> >> the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?
> >
> >How many voters had an `r' in their name?
>

> How many voters typed their votes in all caps?

How many voters typed their votes in using only their index fingers?

(PS -- I think we ought to stop this before it gets out of hand, don't you
Nosy?)
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


ct

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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In some article Carl Muckenhoupt <ca...@fox.earthweb.com> wrote:
> All Quiet on the Library Front

This game annoyed me for being to 'in-house'; I didn't like the way it
was set in the world of interactive-fiction, pretty much to the exlcusion
of all else (and 'hunt-the-correct-action' with the techy was just hope-
lessly too strict! I ended up decoding the game file to make sure I was
trying the right thing!). Over all I didn't rate it.

> >Tube Trouble

This game was just too small. Some of the restrictions in action were too
forced ("You can't eat that, this is a tube platform..." Duh! I was hiding
it under my coat, wasn't I??), and when I thought it was going somewhere
interesting (I'd got on the train) I lost because I didn't make the
last move...
Too simple, again, I didn't rate it. Sorry!

[TADS stuff, didn't try it all]

Guess I've missed an attribution somewhere ... someone (sorry!) wrote this :


>>MAGIC TOYSHOP was another one which I didn't vote for. For a start I think
>>Gareth forgot about the two-hour rule with that infernal chest. Also, the
>>game seemed more geared as a series unrelated logic puzzles, rather than as a
> >coherent piece of interactive fiction.

I loved this one! I laughed all the way through it. The noughts and crosses
was hilarious, similarly the gnomon. Boxes was interesting for being totally
different to every other puzzle in the game, and tower of hanoi was just
downright cheating! The final puzzle was a little hard for the 2 hour limit,
though I made it with the help of a computer (I deduced the first character,
(and hence a considerable deal more) and did a brute force search on it! I
later deduced my original deduction was fucked beyond belief :-)
Unlike Library, I thought this had its IF-references in perspective.
I felt the puzzles fitted into the scene quite well, so I voted for this one.

I never did finish A Break In The Weather, have finally gotten bored reloading
old positions, but I loved the scenery (even if it seemed a little prettified
in places) so I voted for it. First if possible.

Well, that was my view on what was a slightly smaller entry field than I'd
expected. Might I reccomend that we open the contest earlier this year, that
more games be entered. At the very least, could we agree on the rules so
development can seriously begin?

regards, ct

Jacob Solomon Weinstein

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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It's interesting that folks that Toonesia was too easy. I can never
tell whether people are going to think the same way as me, and so I
was worried that it would be too hard, which is why I put in the
hints.

I think one thing that made it easy was that there just weren't that
many objects in the world, and so there weren't that many things you
could do at any given time, making the correct answers easier to
spot. I'll remember that, come next year.


WARNING: Spoilers for Toonesia


scy...@u.washington.edu (Dan Shiovitz) writes:
>I did get stuck once, maybe, in Toonesia. Was it intended that you have to
>enter the rabbit hole from the cliff ledge spot?

Yup, it was. You don't think Bud Bunny would leave an entrance to his
hole that was easily accesilbe to the Tazmanian Devil, do you?

-Jacob


Michael Kinyon

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
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In article <19951005....@arnod.arnod.demon.co.uk>,
Julian Arnold <jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk> wrote:
[Very interesting comments about the games deleted.]

>> I have another question that I think is just as critical to an analysis of


>> the outcome: how many voters came from each side of the Atlantic?
>
>How many voters had an `r' in their name?

How many voters typed their votes in all caps?

>BTW Michael, you're quite pleased with your playtesting, aren't you? 8)

Immodest? Moi?

--
Michael Kinyon | email: mki...@peabody.iusb.edu
Dept of Mathematics & Comp. Sci.| http://sun1.iusb.edu/faculty/mkinyon/
Indiana University South Bend | phone: (219)-237-4240
South Bend, IN 46634 USA | fax: (219)-237-4538

Michael Kinyon

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
to
OK, now for my (semi-serious) comments on the entries. As Andrew said
elsewhere, leaving my ego aside. And as I indicated in a different thread,
I didn't vote because some authors felt uncomfortable with the idea.
Possible minor spoilers ahead.

In article <okRJqOC00...@andrew.cmu.edu>,

Andrew C. Plotkin <erky...@CMU.EDU> wrote:

>A Change in the Weather: Whoo hoo.

Whoo hoo, indeed. By far my favorite over and above everything in both
categories. The enormous tree of possible moves appealed to the part of me
that likes to play games in order to experience all possible outcomes instead
of just winning. (Interactive fiction is a way of experiencing the
many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics first hand.) It is also
one of the best entries in terms of prose quality in my view.

>The Mind Electric: I ranked this really low, to be honest.

This is the one about which I feel the most ambivalent. It ended up being
my number 4 in the Inform category but more by default. I would be interested
in seeing the author develop this world further. I did not like the ending,
which I thought smacked of too much of an attempt to be profound. Like
Andrew, I solved almost none of the puzzles on my own, and the solutions did
seem unclear even once I knew what they were. There was a certain "feel"
that the game had that appealed to me, whence my ambivalence.

>...Then again, the cyberpunk atmosphere didn't particularly do it for me --

Cyberpunk is indeed passe, but I can't say that my feelings toward the game
were influenced by it.

>The Magic Toyshop: Liked it a lot.

I did too, though I had an advantage that none of the rest of you had:
I played an earlier version in which the chest puzzle was much easier.
(In particular, I solved it just by staring at the rules for a few minutes.)
This was my number 2.

>People seem to have ragged on it for not being a story-and-atmosphere piece

I thought there was plenty of atmosphere; I really felt like I was playing
with toys in a toyshop. Plus I fell in love with Catharine (or is it
Catherine?) Gareth's NPCs are very engaging.

>MST3K: I laughed a lot. A terrific idea.

I chuckled only once or twice and ended up not caring much for it at all; this
was my number six. It has been interesting to see that many on the other
side of the Atlantic liked it even though they have never seen the TV show.
I don't watch TV and had no idea what the opening (in the text file (and why
wasn't that just absorbed into the game?)) and the ending were all about.
That type of context-dependent humor just has no appeal for me. Also, I felt
sorry for the kid whose (admittedly very bad) game was being trashed; to me,
there seemed to be a streak of cruelty in the send-up that I just couldn't
forgive.

>All Quiet on the Library Front: I wasn't able to solve it.

I wasn't either, and ended up removing it from my hard disk after a couple
of weeks of getting nowhere. Also, I wasn't very engaged by the atmosphere
or story. This was my number 5. I realize that it was a first effort, and
I strongly encourage the author to keep it up. (Actually that remark applies
to everyone, whether I liked your game or not.)

>Tube Trouble: Solved it, but again, it was small and thin.

Having seen several negative comments about this game, I guess I'm going to
be the first to say that I liked it a lot. This was my number 3. I thought
it was very tight, very appealing, and very well-written. To my mind, this
game was the best one that actually satisfied the rules of the competition;
it seemed just the right size. Well done, Richard!

>Uncle Zebulon's Will: Liked it. Although it owed perhaps a little too
>much to the "classic" IF tropes of brightly-colored magical objects
>arbitrarily scattered around the landscape.

Yes, it's genre-bound, and no new ground is covered, but it is still a
very nice game indeed. This was my number 2 in the TADS category.
I especially enjoyed the reactions of the demon in various situations.

>Toonesia: Liked this the best of the TADS entries. Great evocation of
>a scenario -- you figure out what to do by understanding how the
>universe works. Plus, it's funny.

This was my number 3. It is pretty funny, and despite what I said above
about not watching TV nowadays, I did grow up quite familiar with a certain
group of cartoon characters upon whom the characters in Toonesia might be
based. The only minus for me was the static nature of it that Jacob has
acknowledged in another thread. Gareth has spoiled me on how NPCs should
behave.

>The One That Got Away: Not much there; it didn't pull me in. (So to
>speak. :-)

I was reeled in hook, line, and sinker. This was my number 1 in the TADS
category. I found the whole idea and framework very appealing, but what
vaulted this game over all the others in the TADS category were all the
extras. I enjoyed the storekeeper's descriptions of the photographs, the
extra junk that one fishes out of the lake (especially showing the VAX to the
storekeeper), and the one thing that made me laugh out loud: the Moby Dick
parody in the pamphlet. All in all a very nice game.

>A Night at the Museum Forever: Nice idea, but like other people have
>said, it didn't do much with it. Time travel puzzles are well-known
>and this had nothing new.

This was my number 6 in TADs, for essentially the same reasons.

>Undertow: About even with Zebulon for second place in the TADS entries.

This was my number 4, just barely eked out by Toonesia. I like the mystery
genre of IF quite a bit, though I agree with Andrew that there have been
no real advances in it. I have nothing against this game; I just liked
numbers 1 through 3 a bit better.

>Undo: Again, I laughed a lot.

My number 5. Mildy amusing. I chuckled a bit at the nothing-something
jokes. Neil deMause has been reading his Heidegger, it seems. Or based
on how the game seems to deconstruct, his Derrida.

>I very much tend to like large games and dislike small ones.

I can't say I have strong feelings either way. On the one hand side,
I appreciate the care and work that goes into large, well-constructed
games. On the other, small games appeal to me from a minimalist perspective.

>Should I try to normalize for that if I vote next year? Try to vote for
>quality per unit time, or quality per kilobyte of game file?

Nope, just go with your instincts.

>Whoo hoo. On to next year.

Whoo hoo, indeed.

Dan Shiovitz

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
In article <812927...@antelope.demon.co.uk>,
I'm not terribly surprised it won either, but *I* didn't vote for it. I
thought it went beyond the bounds of the contest, and beyond the bounds of
fairness in general, despite the warning. Although the prose was indeed
amazing, I couldn't bring myself to vote for a game with a puzzle like
(spoilers)

"push boulder" going the wrong direction, but "push boulder south" working
correctly. I consider this on par with the +=3 puzzle, or with the "pinch
me" puzzle in Curses. Plus, this game had time limits from hell, which
greatly annoyed me. (Ok, so I guess this means I'm a Puzzle Wimp (tm). So
sue me :P)

>Mg
>--

Palmer T. Davis

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to

>>All Quiet on the Library Front: I wasn't able to solve it.
>
>I wasn't either, and ended up removing it from my hard disk after a couple
>of weeks of getting nowhere.

Interesting. I thought that this was utter walkthrough city, surpassed
only by _Detective_, but got hopelessly stuck in _Tube_Trouble_, which
both of yunz solved easily. Anyone interested in swapping _Library_ for
_Tube_ solutions?

--
Palmer Davis ___
<p...@ptd.org> \X/ Vivo simpligxus se oni povus legi la fontan kodon....

Jason Dyer

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
Dan Shiovitz (scy...@u.washington.edu) wrote:
: [Warning: The following message contains a few light spoilers, and also
: some criticism. Take them both with a grain of salt]
:
: In article <19951005....@arnod.arnod.demon.co.uk>,
: >I thought MIND ELECTRIC would come 3rd. I personally did not vote for it for

: >the reason that I simply didn't know what was going on. There didn't seem to
: >be any reason to do the things I did (ie, saying the words on the paper to
: >open a door, asking the face about the boxes, touching the loop to go
: >un-wobbly or whatever). I can see how other people might like it, but it
: >just went right over my head and I found myself reading the hints, sometimes
: >*after* I'd solved the puzzle, trying to find out why things did what they
: >did! -- maybe I just read the wrong books.
: *shrug* Maybe. I put it as 1st. I liked the atmosphere, the prose, and the
: puzzles were maybe the right level.

I guessed it would get second because I knew there would be two types of
people: those that understood what was going on and those that didn't.
The ones who understood would probably put it at 1st, and the ones who
didn't would probably put it at 3rd. Therefore...that is what happened.

[warning: major serious spoilers ahead]

As for the paper puzzle, well, the paper was a gift from the tall man.
He had access to the passwords, but, was unable to send messages that
were too long without being detected. (and of course, the paper gets
detected later anyway) So he had simply put something that pointed
to the memory location of the door password and hoped you would
understand.

The loop puzzle was tricky, but if you can restore the cube's voice
before you decompose and ask the cube about the spider I figured the
word "maintenance" would be good enough a clue. And after touching the
rock (probably done by TAKE ROCK) I hoped players would work out that
controls in the virtualspace are activated by touching, and then try
touch various items of interest to see if anything useful happened.

Asking the cube about the boxes, well, I don't know how to give any
more explanation for that one. I figured someone would try
'ASK CUBE ABOUT BOXES' and get the response that indicated that there
was something special about them, and then think 'hey, why not try
asking it about a SPECIFIC box?'.

You should be thankful I was a little merciful; the original error
message of the spider barely indicated anything about a HELP command, and
one of my beta testers had suggested having the duplicator object w/o
instructions but I decided against it. (since logically speaking, knowledge
of how a duplicator operates is one thing not erased in loyalty transfers
since both Kaden and Souden use it)

But a suggestion to those who didn't understand: read _Snow Crash_ by
Neil Stephenson.

--
Jason Dyer - jd...@indirect.com

Christopher Angelini

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
Carl Muckenhoupt (ca...@fox.earthweb.com) wrote:
: [Warning: The following message contains a few light spoilers, and also
: some criticism. Take them both with a grain of salt]
:

Actually, this is very constructive criticism, compared to many lists.
And people shouldn't have to apologise for useful comments (IMHO).

: a really cool concept, and a pretty spiffy title, but it didn't do nearly


: enough with it, and the hose puzzle was pretty darn weird.

: Agreed. I like time travel games, but Museum was pretty insubstantial, even
: taking the two hour limit into account.

Looking back on it, I'd have to say that I focused too much on the
two-hour limit. No, let me put that another way. I obsessed on it, I
became fixated on the concept; if it were a television screen, my eyes
would be pressed up against it...
Hold on.
*WHACK!*
There, I'm better now. Anyhow, I agree with the above comments. I lost
focus as I wrote it, and probably tried to ride a little too much on the
concept.
Thanks again for the comments, and for providing a group where people
prize critique over flamage. I am going to put everyone's comments to
good use. Also, thanks to everyone who writes IF; I will shamelessly
rip-off...er...pay homage to...um...use it as inspiration (yeah, that's it)!

-Chris

(Chris pulls out his battered notebook, and writes in big letters PLOT!
PUZZLES! CONSISTANT LOCATION!)

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
scy...@u.washington.edu (Dan Shiovitz) writes:
> > I'm not too surprised it won.. the quality of the writing in it is
> >amazing. The only problem I had with it was that it was too damn
> >frustrating to start playing - apart from being a tiny-turn-limit game,
> >the fact that directions weren't reversible meant I spent a lot of time
> >walking into walls... ;)
> I'm not terribly surprised it won either, but *I* didn't vote for it. I
> thought it went beyond the bounds of the contest, and beyond the bounds of
> fairness in general, despite the warning. Although the prose was indeed
> amazing, I couldn't bring myself to vote for a game with a puzzle like
> (spoilers)

> "push boulder" going the wrong direction, but "push boulder south" working
> correctly. I consider this on par with the +=3 puzzle, or with the "pinch
> me" puzzle in Curses. Plus, this game had time limits from hell, which
> greatly annoyed me. (Ok, so I guess this means I'm a Puzzle Wimp (tm). So
> sue me :P)

I knew from the beginning that I was ignoring the two-hour rule.

The boulder seemed like an honest mistake. A mistake that the player's
character might make, that is. If you were at the top of a hill, and
you wanted to move a rock there, you'd get it moving in the easiest
possible direction, without thinking about it. That's what I was
trying to simulate here. (The fact that the mistake turns out to be
fatal, is incidental -- and it's even an immediate ending, so you can
undo.) If you think of blocking the water with the rock, and type
"push rock", you'll immediately see that your character rolled it the
wrong way, and go back and type what you really meant. But if you were
just experimenting, your character won't get the bright idea (of
directing the rock) for you.

Put another way -- the mechanics of the parser should never be a hint
in IF. That's just as bad, in terms of design, as when the mechanics
of the parser form a (guess-the-syntax) puzzle.

This occurs in another place in the game, which nobody has commented
on. If you try to get the spade while it's still stuck, you see:

>get spade
The broken spade is stuck in the dried mud. The shaft bends slightly;
perhaps you can pull it free.

And if you pull it, the shaft breaks. Of course! That's where it was
bending! It was a *stupid idea*. I'm causing your character to have
this stupid idea, sneaking it into your head because you believe
everything you read, and the puzzle is to catch me at it.

I was slightly hesitant to put this in. Eventually I figured that it
was nicer than putting no warning at all on "pull spade", and even
people who I gulled would realize that they should try to get it out
without breaking it, and would restore or undo.

I'd be very cautious about using this technique, but I think it's
valid. In normal fiction, the conflict is very often between the
protagonist and his own preconceptions or lack of vision. That's *got*
to be applicable to IF -- the entirety of the reader's interaction
consists of him *realizing* things!

Oh, speaking of the boulder: The contest results caused me to start
thinking about IF, so a couple of days ago I looked through my hard
drive to see what I hadn't solved yet. Hey, Unnkulia 1 -- I got stuck
ages ago. So I downloaded a walkthrough -- sigh -- and started
cheating. (I'd never found the glowing sword, it turns out.) And, lo
and behold, on top of the mountain is a boulder that you can push down
several ways...

Eep. My face was red. I honestly had no idea someone had done it
before.

Trevor Barrie

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
In article <DG1n1...@sun2.iusb.indiana.edu>, mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu
(Michael Kinyon) says, in response to Andrew C. Plotkin:

>>A Change in the Weather: Whoo hoo.
>
>Whoo hoo, indeed. By far my favorite over and above everything in both
>categories. The enormous tree of possible moves appealed to the part of me
>that likes to play games in order to experience all possible outcomes instead
>of just winning.

Errr... could you give me a hint what some of those possible moves are?
I dismissed it in part because of the amount of time I spent wandering
around trying to find something interesting to do. Plus, it had a time
limit, which is IMO is the one of the most unforgiveable flaws an IF
game can have.

The quality of the prose was certainly admirable, but as a game,
"Weather" just didn't cut it for me.

>>The Mind Electric: I ranked this really low, to be honest.

>Like Andrew, I solved almost none of the puzzles on my own, and the
>solutions did seem unclear even once I knew what they were.

Pretty much my experience as well. Another time-limit game, too.

>>The Magic Toyshop: Liked it a lot.

Me too, but I really couldn't decide if it was actualy IF at all.
Nevertheless, had I been able to solve it in 2 hours, I probably
would have given it a vote; since I couldn't come close to doing
so, I had to disqualify it.

>I thought there was plenty of atmosphere; I really felt like I was playing
>with toys in a toyshop. Plus I fell in love with Catharine (or is it
>Catherine?) Gareth's NPCs are very engaging.

Total agreement here.

>>MST3K: I laughed a lot. A terrific idea.

Tremendously entertaining, but not much of a game.

>>All Quiet on the Library Front: I wasn't able to solve it.
>
>I wasn't either, and ended up removing it from my hard disk after a couple
>of weeks of getting nowhere.

Weird, I found this way too easy...

>>Tube Trouble: Solved it, but again, it was small and thin.

...whereas I couldn't make any progress at all in this thing.
At any rate, both games were just to thin to get my votes.

>>Uncle Zebulon's Will: Liked it. Although it owed perhaps a little too
>>much to the "classic" IF tropes of brightly-colored magical objects
>>arbitrarily scattered around the landscape.

This was my number one; just an all-over well-executed game. I agree
with your comment about it being too "classic", though; from a
philosophical point of view I would have liked to have given my top
nod to something more experimental, but all of the more fanciful games
had serious flaws.

>>Toonesia: Liked this the best of the TADS entries. Great evocation of
>>a scenario -- you figure out what to do by understanding how the
>>universe works. Plus, it's funny.
>

>>The One That Got Away: Not much there; it didn't pull me in. (So to
>>speak. :-)

My second and third votes; just a couple of entertaining, well-written
games that fit well within the 2-hour limit.

>>A Night at the Museum Forever: Nice idea, but like other people have
>>said, it didn't do much with it. Time travel puzzles are well-known
>>and this had nothing new.

Yup. Same story as "Library" and "Tube".

>>Undertow: About even with Zebulon for second place in the TADS entries.

I liked the idea, but the game just seemed horribly flawed. First,
you had a time limit, which by itself kills any enjoyment I could
derive from this game. Secondly, there just didn't seem to be
anything to do. Trying to get response from the characters was
almost impossible in my experience, and it seems as though character
interaction should be the centrepoint of such a game.

>>Undo: Again, I laughed a lot.
>
>My number 5. Mildy amusing. I chuckled a bit at the nothing-something
>jokes. Neil deMause has been reading his Heidegger, it seems.

Err.. what? I thought I played all the games, but I don't recall any
"Undo"... was it a late entry, or did I just miss one of the files
in the contest directory? I sure hope not, especially since I've liked
what I've played of Neil's before...

**************************************************************************
Trevor Barrie tba...@upei.ca "It's a great big universe,
87 Kennedy Drive OR and we're all really puny;
West Royalty, PEI tba...@cycor.ca we're just tiny little specks
C1E 1X7 CANADA (902) 628-6845 about the size of Mickey Rooney."
**************************************************************************

Jason Dyer

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Oct 7, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/7/95
to
Michael Kinyon (mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:

: Cyberpunk is indeed passe, but I can't say that my feelings toward the game
: were influenced by it.

I don't think the press overusing the word "cyber" makes it passe. Even
with all the hype, there is very little cyberpunk fiction out there.

But what is odd is the word "cyberpunk" never even came into my mind
until you started mentioning it. I guess I felt that way because none of
the elements are standard cyberpunk. Nothing I have read (although I have
heard of a few) dealt with anything in the way of mind uploading.

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
In article <456mf5$b...@globe.indirect.com>,
Jason Dyer <jd...@indirect.com> wrote:
>Michael Kinyon (mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:
>
>: Cyberpunk is indeed passe, but I can't say that my feelings toward the game
>: were influenced by it.

As of course they shouldn't be.

>I don't think the press overusing the word "cyber" makes it passe. Even
>with all the hype, there is very little cyberpunk fiction out there.

Cyberpunk as an avant-garde literary, social and political movement
(if ever it was any of those things - sometimes it's hard to separate
the hype from the underlying reality) may be passe. Certainly, these
days when everybody with an AOL account fancies himself a console
cowboy and the media work hard to hype the very word "cyber" into
oblivion, the whole thing ha a different feel to it than it had in te
eighties. But all this doesn't mean that we shouldn't write cyberpunk
fiction (or cyberpunk IF). What matters is what an author has to say
and how he says it.

>But what is odd is the word "cyberpunk" never even came into my mind
>until you started mentioning it. I guess I felt that way because none of
>the elements are standard cyberpunk.

I agree: I wouldn't call "Mind" CP; it's SF with some CP elements.


>Nothing I have read (although I have
>heard of a few) dealt with anything in the way of mind uploading.

Really? It's an old idea, one very much older than CP; older indeed
than computers.

The theme of human minds being "incarnated" in a computer, either by
transferring it there from a living person, or by creating an AI that
simulates a real person, appears in quite a few SF works. To mention
just one example, the canonical CP novel, "Neuromancer", has both: Case
being trapped inside Neuromancer, and the construct of Flatline that
lives inside Case's deck.

And I suppose one could find countless examples from myths, fairy
tales and fantasy of wizards imprisoning the minds of their enemies
inside "virtual worlds", or of people entering other people's dreams
(thus, in effect, uploading their minds not into a computer but into
somebody else's brain).


All this doesn't detract from te value of your game, of course. Though
I must agree with the people complaining about the puzzles: how on
earth is one supposed to solve this game, except by reading the
on-line hints?

Magnus

Jason Dyer

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Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
: >Nothing I have read (although I have

: >heard of a few) dealt with anything in the way of mind uploading.

: Really? It's an old idea, one very much older than CP; older indeed
: than computers.

: And I suppose one could find countless examples from myths, fairy


: tales and fantasy of wizards imprisoning the minds of their enemies
: inside "virtual worlds", or of people entering other people's dreams
: (thus, in effect, uploading their minds not into a computer but into
: somebody else's brain).

Not quite the same. You are referring mostly to "ghostcomps" which are
different. Try duplicating yourself twice and you'll see part of the
difference.
I do know it is a very old idea, I just haven't read much with the
topic so there were no sources of convention I could draw on.

True, the fantasy and myth stories are actually alot closer to it than
the modern ones.

: All this doesn't detract from te value of your game, of course. Though


: I must agree with the people complaining about the puzzles: how on
: earth is one supposed to solve this game, except by reading the
: on-line hints?

It IS a very hard game, but all the puzzles have been reached through
logical reasoning and everything has been carefully planned. The problem
most people have with it is that it is very unconventional; nobody has
ever seen puzzles of this kind before. So, the effect was that as if
you were playing IF for the first time. If you had started off
trying to play "Spellbreaker", for example, would you think it was
impossible without hints?
I hardly expected most people to be able to step into a totally
unconventional world and be able to get through the first time without
hints. I certainly won't write anything of this nature anymore (it's
a very hard strain coming up with something in which all the puzzles
are unconventional) but if future authors decide to have some parts
work like this people shouldn't have nearly as much difficulty playing.
One thing I noticed is some people were apparently playing release 1
because they had problems with the door at the very beginning. A bug
caused the examing command on the door to give the response 'you are
contained' rather than the one mentioning that it is opened by a password.
The effect of this is to disorient the player for the entire game; but,
as usual, nobody reported the problem to me (yet another problem with
unconventional games; nobody is sure what is a bug and what is not).

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
jd...@indirect.com (Jason Dyer) writes:
> : All this doesn't detract from te value of your game, of course. Though
> : I must agree with the people complaining about the puzzles: how on
> : earth is one supposed to solve this game, except by reading the
> : on-line hints?
>
> It IS a very hard game, but all the puzzles have been reached through
> logical reasoning and everything has been carefully planned. The problem
> most people have with it is that it is very unconventional; nobody has
> ever seen puzzles of this kind before. So, the effect was that as if
> you were playing IF for the first time. If you had started off
> trying to play "Spellbreaker", for example, would you think it was
> impossible without hints?

Mmm, I think I'm going to argue this. It's not so much that you've
come up with new kinds of puzzles; it's that you're creating a
situation where the laws of "physics" aren't based on the laws of
physics. This is a fine old tradition; all the magical-artifact
puzzles of the classic games use this schtick. But you have to have
some sort of connection for the user to pick up on. The player needs
room to experiment, and maybe cues for the first few experiments.

Zebulon had a good example of this. There is a pair of teleportation
bottles. Fine; I'm likely to try putting something in a bottle.

You seem to have been working for totally unconventional uses of
objects, which rules out that kind of approach. Maybe, then, you see
other beings using the objects (touching the loop, speaking to the
spider, etc.) My attitude is that I find myself performing brute-force
experiments in a game (every verb on every object), and I'm
*surprised* when I get a result, it's not logical enough.

(Side note: logical is a tricky word. Toonesia was very logical, in
this sense. The laws of the world can be visible in the game, or known
to the player from outside sources, but I shouldn't have to figure
them out by reading the hints.)

You seem to be saying "Oh, I don't expect you to figure this out --
maybe you'll do better with the sequel." This loses me.

Other things that set me off: I'm supposed to ask the face about
*what*? Why? Did I have a reason to think it cared? And knowing what
it means for the paper to flash, and how to destroy it, and knowing
how to make that noise louder, and... basically everything.

I contrast the final duplicator puzzle, which I *did* like. I probably
would have figured it out (except that I was short of patience by then
and cheated as soon as my first guess failed.) It was behaving like a
computer program (and saying so), and I know how those work.

Similarly, I got stuck at one point because I assumed that because the
head couldn't speak, I couldn't communicate with it. That was my own
stupidity, and I was annoyed at myself when I read the clue.

> I hardly expected most people to be able to step into a totally
> unconventional world and be able to get through the first time without
> hints. I certainly won't write anything of this nature anymore (it's
> a very hard strain coming up with something in which all the puzzles
> are unconventional) but if future authors decide to have some parts
> work like this people shouldn't have nearly as much difficulty playing.

If a future author writes a *sequel* (taking place in the same world)
then yes, I won't have nearly as much difficulty. But I've already
said what I think of that attitude.

If a future author writes another game with a totally new set of
world-laws, which I have no clue what they are, I won't like it any
better than I liked this one.

> One thing I noticed is some people were apparently playing release 1
> because they had problems with the door at the very beginning. A bug
> caused the examing command on the door to give the response 'you are
> contained' rather than the one mentioning that it is opened by a password.
> The effect of this is to disorient the player for the entire game; but,
> as usual, nobody reported the problem to me (yet another problem with
> unconventional games; nobody is sure what is a bug and what is not).

That's certainly true. I was annoyed at the puzzle in release 1, and
I'm not annoyed at the fixed version. (Although, peculiarly, I rather
liked the effect of examining the door and seeing "You are contained."
That message somehow set the atmosphere of the game for me, and I kind
of regret that it's a bug :-)

Whew. Anyway. If you think I'm being harsh, recall what people were
saying of my entry. :-)

Damien Neil

unread,
Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
In article <458kb5$k...@nic.lth.se>, Magnus Olsson <m...@marvin.df.lth.se> wrote:

>Cyberpunk as an avant-garde literary, social and political movement
>(if ever it was any of those things - sometimes it's hard to separate
>the hype from the underlying reality) may be passe.

The problem with cyberpunk is that the people who defined the genre
never actually described themselves as writing cyberpunk. Take
Gibson; despite writing _Cyberpunk_, the book which gave the genre
its name, he never felt he was starting a literary or social
movement, as far as I can tell. The elements of his stories which
were taken for use by authors of cyberpunk were among the least
important; technology has never been as central to Gibson's work
as many people believe.

Pat Cadigan and Bruce Sterling come to mind as other cyberpunk authors
who never seem to have thought of themselves as such. Only when the
(rather pathetic) Gibson imitators began appearing were they described
as writing in the genre.

None of this means that people shouldn't write cyberpunk. Any genre
which contains authors like Gibson, Cadigan, and Sterling certainly
deserves to persist! The trick, however, is to avoid falling into the
trap of becoming a slavish Gibson imitator. Writing in the genre does
not, as many seem to feel, mean accepting a certain specified background.
One should take inspiration from Gibson and company, not be defined by
them.

>All this doesn't detract from te value of your game, of course. Though
>I must agree with the people complaining about the puzzles: how on
>earth is one supposed to solve this game, except by reading the
>on-line hints?

_The Mind Electric_ certainly suffered here. As others have pointed
out, the internal logic of most of the puzzles was far from obvious.

The one thing I really didn't like about _tME_ is the sudden appearance
of plot at the end. The final revelation had no real impact for me, as
I had never been given any reason to empathize with the main character.
To borrow Graham's terminology (don't worry -- I'll give it back when I'm
done with it), the crossword had won out over the narrative. The plot
only became noticable at the beginning and end.

I think this game showed promise, however. I look forward to Jason's
next work.

Stephen Granade

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Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
Hihi,

This may be a bit disjointed, as I managed to delete the original post I'm
replying to (my apologies to that post's author). Anyway, I'm commenting
on someone commenting that he didn't like Undertow because [paraphrasing]
a) the game was timed, and b) interaction with characters was so poor.

I can understand your aversion to timed games, and that is a personal
dislike that I can't really fault. However, in my defense, I couldn't
come up with a way to realistically make the game untimed. The game
begins after 10 am, and the Coast Guard is called at about noonish. If
the game wasn't timed, then a player could wait through the afternoon,
into the night, into the next day, etc. etc. without 1) the Coast Guard
showing up, or 2) the murderer getting frantic and doing something stupid
(like blowing up the *Bellerophon*). Realistically, this situation
wouldn't occur--SOMETHING would happen. I had to end the game at a
certain time in order to make the story I was telling even remotely
realistic. I make no apologies for that fact; in my mind the only
debatable choice I made was having the boat explode instead of having the
Coast Guard show up, deus ex machina, and solving everything.

I believe that the second charge leveled at Undertow is the serious flaw
in the game. As I was writing the game, I quickly realized that I
wouldn't be able to handle a huge amount of possible reactions among the
NPCs and the players. I *did* try to add some independent reactions (try
annoying a character by asking them about something repeatedly, or even
pouring a drink over their heads), but I was hampered by the time in which
I had to write the game. At one point I considered having the characters
randomly fight or argue, but that seemed too...well, random. I'm open to
any suggestions as to how to improve this flaw.

On a slightly unrelated tangent, I noticed that several people mentioned
that Zebulon's Will and Undertow both broke no new ground. My question
is, how much new ground do you expect IF authors to break when given three
months to write a game playable in two hours? It's like holding a gun to
Faulkner's head and saying, "Ok, we want you to write a five-page short
story in which you revolutionize fiction. Oh, and do it in six days." I
got into the contest late--I had one week for research, five weeks to
program, and one week to playtest/debug and rewrite, all while working at
a full-time job. Give these restrictions, I can't imagine making bold new
strides in IF. I was just happy enough to come up with a mildly-diverting
game.

Look at the games which were original (or different, if you want to be
nit-picky). For example, Undo and the MST3K game. People complained that
the MST3K game wasn't really IF at all, and said that Undo was too strange
for its own good. In my mind, both of those were games that ventured into
uncharted waters, and got torpedoed for the effort.

Ok, enough soap-boxing. Hopefully this will start some good threads on
r.a.i-f.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade sgra...@phy.duke.edu
Duke University, Dept. of Physics 1-919-660-2549
Box 90305, Durham N.C. 27708-0305, USA

Christopher E. Forman

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Oct 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/8/95
to
Michael Kinyon (mki...@peabody.iusb.indiana.edu) wrote:
: I chuckled only once or twice and ended up not caring much for it at all; this

: was my number six. It has been interesting to see that many on the other
: side of the Atlantic liked it even though they have never seen the TV show.
: I don't watch TV and had no idea what the opening (in the text file (and why
: wasn't that just absorbed into the game?)) and the ending were all about.
: That type of context-dependent humor just has no appeal for me. Also, I felt
: sorry for the kid whose (admittedly very bad) game was being trashed; to me,
: there seemed to be a streak of cruelty in the send-up that I just couldn't
: forgive.

While I agree that my MST3K entry wasn't for all tastes (familiarity with
both I-F and the show itself is necessary for maximum enjoyment), I simply
have to comment on your last sentence regarding the cruelty involved.

Yes, I'll be the first to admit I was quite mean in my send-up, but this
sticks with the premise of the show -- the movies watched by Mike and the
'bots are so bad they deserve to be made fun of, and the characters show no
mercy. In attempting to mimic the show as closely as possible, this was my
strategy as well.

The way I see it, Matt Barringer decided to whip up a make-money-fast
scheme. He got ahold of a copy of AGT and managed to learn the bare
essentials necessary to scrape together what he could pass off as a game.
However, just by playing through the game, it's blatantly obvious how
poorly done it is. This leads me to one of two possible conclusions:
Either 1) Matt uploaded his game without playtesting it at all,
which is bad,
Or 2) He playtested it, but didn't care enough to expend any more
energy to improve it, which is worse.
In any event, he didn't simply stop with a bad game -- he willfully chose
to upload it for all the world to see. IMHO, this game didn't just ask to
be made fun of -- it got down on its knees and begged for it.

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. Everyone who sent me feedback thought it
was hysterical.
--
C.E. Forman cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu
Read the I-F e-zine XYZZYnews, at ftp.gmd.de:/if-archive/magazines/xyzzynews!
* Interactive Fiction * Beavis and Butt-Head * The X-Files * MST3K * C/C++ *

Darin Johnson

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
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scy...@u.washington.edu (Dan Shiovitz) writes:
> I agree with your reasoning here. I still don't like timed games, but I
> don't have a way to write this sort of game without a timer either.

Don't have time. If the status line didn't say "10:32", no one would
know there was a time. Of course, the NPC's have to move around at
certain points in the game (which is bad enough in my book, since it
practically *requires* restoring the game multiple times).
But, does it really take 1 whole minute to move from one room to the
next? All the action that took place could have been done in a couple
of hours in real life.
--
Darin Johnson
djoh...@ucsd.edu
Gravity is a harsh mistress - The Tick

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
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In article <453s8s$f...@alcor.usc.edu> jwei...@alcor.usc.edu (Jacob Solomon Weinstein) writes:

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ca...@fox.earthweb.com (Carl Muckenhoupt) writes about Toonesia and The One:

>I'd put both of them in the category of "could have been written in AGT with


>no appreciable decline in quality".

Umm--what do you mean by that? It sounds like a pretty harsh criticism,

but I'm not familir with AGT. Did I not use the TADS parser effectively?

It's not the parser. (AGT's parser is inferior to that of TADS, but that
isn't what I meant.) It's the way the world is built. I like detail. I
like background objects that are fully fleshed-out. I like doodads with
lots of parts that can be poked at individually. I like characters that do
more that just stand there, waiting to respond to your actions. These are all
things that AGT handles clumsily, if at all. Neither Toonesia nor The One
gave us much beyond Rooms containing Objects.

(NB: I have never tried writing in AGT, so I may be judging it harshly. My
observations are based on playing numerous AGT games. Since AGT is reputed
to be a system that's easy for non-programmers to use, it may be that it's
used primarily by people who don't want to take advantage of its more
advanced features. Assuming it has any.)

By the way, I'm reconsidering my judgement on The One. Based on reading
other peoples' comments, I think I missed most of the game by winning it
too quickly. Basically, I hooked the Big One on my first attempt at
fishing, then started over and tried with suboptimal gear to see if
anything special would happen. I only got two results: my bait would
disappear or I would catch a scrawny little fish. I certainly didn't
reel in any junk. How is it done?


Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
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In article <4594uq$1...@globe.indirect.com> jd...@indirect.com (Jason Dyer) writes:

It IS a very hard game, but all the puzzles have been reached through
logical reasoning and everything has been carefully planned. The problem
most people have with it is that it is very unconventional; nobody has

^^^^^^^^^^


ever seen puzzles of this kind before. So, the effect was that as if

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


you were playing IF for the first time. If you had started off
trying to play "Spellbreaker", for example, would you think it was
impossible without hints?

Now that is a big claim.
I can't for the life of me figure out what you mean. What is the new,
unique element? We've certainly seen "virtual world" puzzles before. We've
seen abstract, symbolic environments. We've seen lots of stuff where you
have to figure out the rules by experimenting with objects. We've seen
puzzles where you have to break things by using them incorrectly. We've
seen puzzles where you have to think about what you're ultimately trying to
accomplish. What is the new part?

By the way, have you played "Enhanced"?

Carl Muckenhoupt

Jason Dyer

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
to
Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
: >Not quite the same. You are referring mostly to "ghostcomps" which are

: >different. Try duplicating yourself twice and you'll see part of the
: >difference.
: I'm not sure I follow you there. Could you please explain?

If your mind was merely made into a computer program, have duplicates
of yourself wouldn't affect anything. But as it was, since this was
your consciousness in the machine, duplicating again caused a split
concsciousness.
Probably still confusing, but don't worry yourself about it. It's
only minor.

: >I do know it is a very old idea, I just haven't read much with the


: >topic so there were no sources of convention I could draw on.

: Still, playing your game gave me some sort of deja vu feelings. I'm of
: course not accusing you of plagiarism or even of not being original;
: it's just that I had the feeling that I had been there before, as it
: were.

I didn't want to be TOTALLY disorienting...

: I've never doubted that for a second. My complaint is not about the
: puzzles not bing logical, but about the player's not being able to
: understand that logic before actually solving the puzzles.

: >The problem


: >most people have with it is that it is very unconventional; nobody has

: >ever seen puzzles of this kind before. So, the effect was that as if
: >you were playing IF for the first time. If you had started off


: >trying to play "Spellbreaker", for example, would you think it was
: >impossible without hints?

: Possibly, but the point is that you're not supposed to play
: "Spellbreaker" as your first game; you're supposed to play "Enchanter"
: and "Sorcerer" first.

This WAS the easy version. You should have seen some of the puzzles
I tossed out. :)

: >I hardly expected most people to be able to step into a totally


: >unconventional world and be able to get through the first time without
: >hints.

: Agreed. However, the hints in "Mind Electric" are extraneous to the
: story. By forcing people to use the hints, you're forcing them to
: step out of the story, thus breaking the enchantment. You could, without
: changing the storyline, have introduced the hints into your story universe.

: In general, the way people solve IF puzzles are

: 1. By deduction (drawing logical conclusions from known facts).
: 2. By induction (loosely speaking, generalizing from special cases).
: 3. By analogy.

: 4. By trial and error.
: 5. By reading the hints.

: Of these methods, 1-3 require some prior facts. These can be internal
: to the game (clues presented while you're playing), or external
: (experience from real life or games you've played before). However,
: for most of your puzzles the internal information is insuifficient to
: solve the problem, and by your choice of setting you've totally ruled
: out using external information.

Number 3 helps a lot. If the spider had been a computer terminal, and
the cube had been HAL 9000, you would probably have a much easier time
with some of the puzzles. Most of us have probably had experience
with both.
But in essence, most of the behavior of the objects in the game
are analagous to some real life object. But apparently people were
not able to make the connections.
[SPIDER, ERASE SPIDER actually comes from a real life problem I had
while using a program...it was erasing itself, causing a very
serious crash. For the noise, the harder a virus tries to kill its
target, the easier it is to spot. The cube is analagous to any
superaicomputer in anything sci-fi.]

: Trial and error is generally considered unsatisfactory, either because
: you have to spend too much time trying out senseless actions, or
: because you just stumble on the solution without
: getting the satisfaction of actually achieving anything (that's how
: I "solved" the loop puzzle: I just touched it to see what would happen).

I added to the description here for version 3 to make the puzzle easier;
I had simply assumed people would solve the cube puzzle first and the
ask the cube for help with your problem with the body disappearing.
'Course, then I realize people don't even think to talk to the cube
even with the message 'It looks like it is trying to say something, but
no words come out.' <WHAP> I should have known.

Anyway, there's no law that says I can't revise anything,

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
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In article <4549ir$n...@news.ox.ac.uk> c...@ecs.ox.ac.uk (ct) writes:

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[about Magic Toyshop]

I loved this one! I laughed all the way through it. The noughts and crosses
was hilarious, similarly the gnomon. Boxes was interesting for being totally
different to every other puzzle in the game, and tower of hanoi was just
downright cheating! The final puzzle was a little hard for the 2 hour limit,
though I made it with the help of a computer (I deduced the first character,
(and hence a considerable deal more) and did a brute force search on it! I
later deduced my original deduction was fucked beyond belief :-)

People seem to be interpreting the 2-hour limit in different ways. Some saw
it as a serious flaw in the game if it caused you to exceed the limit.
Others saw it as a practical limit on the judges, and nothing more. For my
part, I was content to give A Change in the Weather my seal of approval,
despite failing to finish it. I think I saw almost all of the game, and
what I saw was good. Likewise, I suspect that most people didn't get the
chest open in 2 hours, but reaching that point in the game means seeing
everything else. If you got stuck on the chest, you were in a good position
to judge the game.

Unlike Library, I thought this had its IF-references in perspective.
I felt the puzzles fitted into the scene quite well, so I voted for this one.

Significantly, the Trinity/Curses material is a purely optional puzzle. You
didn't need to catch the references to win.

(By the way, if anyone out there is familiar with Gnus, how can I set it to
put a '>' in front of quoted lines instead of indenting them?)

Carl Muckenhoupt

Sam Hulick

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
to
"Andrew C. Plotkin" <erky...@CMU.EDU> writes:
>The Mind Electric: I ranked this really low, to be honest. I didn't
>like the puzzles at all. I solved almost none of them myself -- I kept
>thinking "There's no way to do anything with that," looking at the
>hints, and thinking "I was supposed to do *what*?" I felt like the
>author was leading me blindfold. Then again, the cyberpunk atmosphere
>didn't particularly do it for me -- that's a matter of taste - and
>people seem to have ranked the game highly because of it.

I have to agree.. I tried it today, and the puzzles were IMPOSSIBLE. Of
course, the first was easy, but...

spoilers..

The cubeface one was impossible. How are we supposed to know (without
the on-line hints) that blinking/nodding/double-blinking/etc. meant all
those things? An I-F game that is too hard, is no fun..

--
--- Sam Hulick ------------- shu...@indiana.edu ---------------------
Systems Consultant | Homepage:
Indiana College Placement | http://copper.ucs.indiana.edu/~shulick/
and Assessment Center | PGP public key available on request

Dan Shiovitz

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
to
In article <qqburq8...@tartarus.ucsd.edu>,

Darin Johnson <djoh...@tartarus.ucsd.edu> wrote:
>scy...@u.washington.edu (Dan Shiovitz) writes:
>> I agree with your reasoning here. I still don't like timed games, but I
>> don't have a way to write this sort of game without a timer either.
>
>Don't have time. If the status line didn't say "10:32", no one would
>know there was a time. Of course, the NPC's have to move around at
>certain points in the game (which is bad enough in my book, since it
>practically *requires* restoring the game multiple times).
Well, wait. I was talking about games with a time limit, ie ("Bob will try
and assassinate the king five turns after the player gets to the castle").
You're talking about using time instead of turns, apparently.

>But, does it really take 1 whole minute to move from one room to the
>next? All the action that took place could have been done in a couple
>of hours in real life.

This is true. Arguably, someone who wants to use time as a measurement here
should take the time to modify verbs so they have a time to complete them.
(Look would take a few seconds, Take would be various amounts of time, etc.)

>Darin Johnson
>djoh...@ucsd.edu

Hans Persson

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
to
> never actually described themselves as writing cyberpunk. Take
> Gibson; despite writing _Cyberpunk_, the book which gave the genre
> its name, he never felt he was starting a literary or social

*sigh* William Gibson has never written a book called
_Cyberpunk_. Neither has he (as is commonly thought) invented the
term. The first time the word "cyberpunk" was used was by editor
Gardner Dozois to describe a story by Bruce Bethke. The term
immediately got popular and stuck to a number of works and writers,
Gibson being the most known of them. Bruce Sterling was, as far as I
know, the first one to adopt the term to use it on himself.

(The is a book called _Cyberpunk_, but it is a non-fiction book about
crackers.)

/ Hans
--


+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Hans Persson http://www.lysator.liu.se/~unicorn/ |
| uni...@lysator.liu.se Play Enhanced from SophistiChaos Game Design! |
| This message may not be transmitted by Microsoft Corporation. |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Magnus Olsson

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
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In article <45cape$f...@globe.indirect.com>,

Jason Dyer <jd...@indirect.com> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
>: >Not quite the same. You are referring mostly to "ghostcomps" which are
>: >different. Try duplicating yourself twice and you'll see part of the
>: >difference.
>: I'm not sure I follow you there. Could you please explain?
>
>If your mind was merely made into a computer program, have duplicates
>of yourself wouldn't affect anything. But as it was, since this was
>your consciousness in the machine, duplicating again caused a split
>concsciousness.

OK, I see. This is quite a deep philosophical issue, and many SF
stories that deal with duplication of people (or of their minds)
either try to address it, or are unsatisfactory because they fail to
address it. For example, such a common (in SF) concept as teleportation
devices that work by disassembling an object at one end and building a perfect
copy at the other raise the question if the person travelling through
really has travelled, or if he died when he was disassembled and the copy
is really a different person.

But it would take us too far from the subject to continue this
discussion here.

>Number 3 helps a lot. If the spider had been a computer terminal, and
>the cube had been HAL 9000, you would probably have a much easier time
>with some of the puzzles. Most of us have probably had experience
>with both.

Well, not exaclty with HAL 9000 :-), but I think you're right. The
problem with the cube was to understand that you could communicate
with it. Had it been a broken traditional-style terminal, I would
immediately have started looking for spare parts.

>But in essence, most of the behavior of the objects in the game
>are analagous to some real life object. But apparently people were
>not able to make the connections.

Quite so. THat was exactly my trouble with several of the puzzles.

>[SPIDER, ERASE SPIDER actually comes from a real life problem I had
>while using a program...it was erasing itself, causing a very
>serious crash.

That puzzle was quite neat (and one of the few I was able to solve without
the hints). I felt quite satisfied when the spider deleted itself :-).

BTW, what's the point of the doll?

Magnus

Thorsten Franz

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
to
Hello,

1.Shogun Amiga -> DOS

I hope you can help me make these days of cold and flue a little more
enjoyable by helping me to play SHOGUN on my DOS Computer.

Since the Amiga for which I had bought Shogun years ago is long broken,
I had to find someone to transfer all the files to a DOS disk; now I need
a suitable interpreter because Shogun is obviously beyond version 5.

Is there anything else I need to do once I have the appropriate interpreter?
Does it handle the Amigagraphics files, and if not, can I play without the
graphics?

2. Beyond Zork Atari ST -> DOS

I have transferred my ST storyfile of Beyond ZORK to my DOS computer, and
got it to work with the ZIP interpreter. Unfortunately the borders of the
text window as well as the on-screen-map look rather nasty, so I hope
someone can help me to make it look a little nicer.

Strangely, there is no Beyond Zork storyfile on my LTOI disks.

Greetings,


Thorsten Franz
--
uzs...@uni-bonn.de

Julian Arnold

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
to
"Sam Hulick" (shu...@raisin.ucs.indiana.edu) wrote (about MIND ELECTRIC):

> spoilers..
>
>
>
> The cubeface one was impossible. How are we supposed to know (without
> the on-line hints) that blinking/nodding/double-blinking/etc. meant all
> those things? An I-F game that is too hard, is no fun..

I didn't find this bit of the puzzle too confusing -- it's just like that old
game Mastermind or whatever it was called with the coloured pegs.

I just couldn't see why I should ask cubeface about the boxes in the first
place! (except there wasn't much else I could do either).
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Damien Neil

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Oct 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/10/95
to
In article <UNICORN.95...@pozzo.lysator.liu.se>,
Hans Persson <uni...@pozzo.lysator.liu.se> wrote:

>*sigh* William Gibson has never written a book called
>_Cyberpunk_. Neither has he (as is commonly thought) invented the
>term.

Ack! You are absolutely right, of course. I must have crossed some
wires in my brain. Mea culpa.

- Damien

ErsatzPogo

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Oct 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/11/95
to
>What about people who sign with their first and middle initials,
>followed by their last names?

No fair! I don't have a middle initial! I think we should divide the
voting into one category for people with middle initials, and one
without...

Julian Arnold

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Oct 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/11/95
to
ErsatzPogo (ersat...@aol.com) wrote:

That's OK. I have two so you can borrow one if you like. Which would you
like, "A" or "D"?
--
Jools Arnold jo...@arnod.demon.co.uk


Christopher E. Forman

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Oct 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/11/95
to
Damien Neil (dam...@lugnut.stu.rpi.edu) wrote:
: >*sigh* William Gibson has never written a book called
: >_Cyberpunk_. Neither has he (as is commonly thought) invented the
: >term.

: Ack! You are absolutely right, of course. I must have crossed some
: wires in my brain. Mea culpa.

But he did coin _Cyberspace_, if I remember correctly.

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