You pass under the great portcullis of the legendary castle, its massive
steel form is suspended menacingly 8 feet above your head.
Taking a deep breath, you cross the courtyard towards the keep, pausing only
briefly to look up at the brilliant smattering of stars across the jet black
You enter the keep, and follow the only corridor illuminated by torchlight,
until you reach a great room, with a long wooden banquet table in the
Three figures sit at the far end of the table. The man sitting at the head
of the table beckons you over. You hesitate, but only momentarily, until
your eyes adjust to the more subdued lighting here.
The mysterious man speaks up.
"Greetings, scribe. I can only apologise for my cold welcome, and lack of
morsels and wine, but I am not well-prepared for your visit."
He shifts uneasily, almost squirming in his seat. He now addresses the
other two figures, who you can only guess are the other entrants into the
"I apologise also for my being so late; it has been some time since I
received your works, and I have studied them intensely."
The other entrants are glaring at him angrily, and you understand why - it
has been two months - make that three months - since you had the script
"It is with great pleasure that I can announce the winner of the
competition. Unfortunately, due to my lack of preperation, there is no
prize this year, but if the winner would like to request something, some
token of my homeland, I will see what I can do to supply it," he says,
"The winner of the HighlandComp this year is Lady Sophie Fruehling, for her
extremely well-written and imaginative work titled 'Roots - an Interactive
Bunch of Stereotypes'.
"The text makes for excellent reading, and is highly detailed.
"You have made excellent use of the Inform language, and have met all the
manditory requirements I had set out at the start of the contest."
You jump up with delight, feeling true excitement at the words of this
strange and non-punctual man - his decision has surely been the correct one.
Still, you're a little annoyed at there being no prize, but hey; you'll let
The man addresses one of the two gentlemen who sit across the table.
"You, Sir Adam Biltcliffe, claim second place with your brilliantly
well-crafted work 'Catch That Haggis', alternately (and I may add,
appropriately) named 'Working Around The Restrictions'.
"Although the work was written in Glulx, which in the strictest sense, isn't
Inform, which is one of the rules I laid down, my researchers inform me (no
pun intended) that the languages are extremely similar, or that one is based
on the other; that sort of nonsense.
"Due to this, I had to deduct some points from your final score, as it were.
"Nevertheless, the in-game requirements of haggis, turnip, having more than
one room, and having no Highlanders in a Highland setting, were all met, and
with distinctive style.
"The story has an interesting twist to it, and the biological design of the,
er, 'haggis' was ingenious.
Sir Biltcliffe smiles; after all, 2nd place is pretty good.
The stranger turns to face the final scribe, who by now has figured that his
entry has come in third.
"Sir Graeme Pletscher, your work 'Highland Chef - An Interactive Highland
Adventure', is of exceptional quality, especially for a 1st time writer.
"It is imaginative, and makes very good use of the Inform language.
"You included all the required objects, but the rule that was broken was to
include real Highland people in a Highland setting.
"While I know it seems a strange rule to include, I thought it would force
the imagination to stretch itself to think of ways to meet the criteria -
that's why the rule was made.
"It's probably also because I'm a mad bastard."
He looks at you all and winks with a toothy grin, before addressing Sir
"Hence why you were marked third place."
Once again, he addresses you all.
"It was difficult for me to judge this, but I believe I have been fair.
"Again, I can only apologise for the lack of organisation for this year's
competition - perhaps next time, I can persuade someone else to do the
Everyone nods in agreement, including you - at which you are surprised.
"Oh well, that's it for this year."
He stands, but suddenly remembers something.
"Except to say, of course, that there are copies of your works freely
available from the Archive, under the folder
ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/mini-comps/highland/ - ask the filing
clerk if you get a little lost."
And with that, he strolls out of the door.
And the last thing you see of him is a small, yellow piece of paper with the
words "Post-It" in the lower right corner, stuck to the back of his leather
tunic, just above the top of his kilt.
And on that yellow "Post-It" sticker, are scrawled the immortal words :
Yours humbly, pathetically, and apologetically,
P.S. Sorry for the long post.
Before you start throwing around terms like "nonsense," you should
probably know what you're talking about, which you don't seem to.
Nothing can be "written in Glulx," anymore than it can be "written in
Z-machine," for, like the Z-Machine, Glulx is not a language but a virtual
machine. Any number of languages can be compiled to the Z-Machine; Inform
is one, ZIL is another, and others could be invented. Similarly, any
number of languages can be compiled to Glulx, in theory; at present,
however, this is regularly done to only one language. That language is
Inform. Assembly calls and such are different between Z-Machine Inform
and Glulx Inform, but just as both British English and American English
are English, both Z-Machine Inform and Glulx Inform are Inform. If you
asked for Inform rather than for the Z-Machine, the submission of a Glulx
game in no way breaks that rule.
I would suggest you apologize to Adam Bitcliffe for deducting points from
his score based on your misunderstanding.
Adam Cadre, Brooklyn, NY
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
: "Although the work was written in Glulx, which in the strictest sense, isn't
: Inform, which is one of the rules I laid down, my researchers inform me (no
: pun intended) that the languages are extremely similar, or that one is based
: on the other; that sort of nonsense.
: "Due to this, I had to deduct some points from your final score, as it were.
Adam got somewhat defensive about this, because (presumably) he has
invested considerable Time and Effort into glulx and a glulx game, and he
doesn't want people to think of it as 'that sort of nonsense'. However,
as it turns out, this was simply yet another joke on Sir Biltcliffe's
part. The rule said it had to be 'written in Inform', and it was! But,
disregarding the spirit of the rule, he compiled it to the G-machine
instead of the Z-machine! Ha-ha!
At any rate, I thought this post was inventive, and a suitable apology for
events which, though pertaining to you, were evidently out of your
> as it turns out, this was simply yet another joke on Sir Biltcliffe's
> part. The rule said it had to be 'written in Inform', and it was!
> disregarding the spirit of the rule, he compiled it to the G-machine
> instead of the Z-machine! Ha-ha!
Well, not quite. There were actually parts of the code that were
Glulx-specific. To be precise:
Message fatalerror "This code can only be compiled for Glulx!";
! Now I can complain about having to modify my code if it turns out I'm
! not allowed to enter a Glulx game. Hee hee hee.
Is this one also going to appear on ftp.gmd.de? Thanks!
Its in "incoming".
remove _X_ from my address to send me email
1) I refer to neither Inform nor Glulx as "nonsense"
Look at the context of the post and its written style - I am not making
statements, accusations, or anything like that.
> Nothing can be "written in Glulx," anymore than it can be "written in
> Z-machine," for, like the Z-Machine, Glulx is not a language but a virtual
> machine. Any number of languages can be compiled to the Z-Machine; Inform
> is one, ZIL is another, and others could be invented. Similarly, any
> number of languages can be compiled to Glulx, in theory; at present,
> however, this is regularly done to only one language. That language is
> Inform. Assembly calls and such are different between Z-Machine Inform
> and Glulx Inform, but just as both British English and American English
> are English, both Z-Machine Inform and Glulx Inform are Inform. If you
> asked for Inform rather than for the Z-Machine, the submission of a Glulx
> game in no way breaks that rule.
2) You should probably note that this is by no means the 1st mistake I have
After all, I'm only human, albeit a misinformed, deranged, screwed up one.
So sue me.
> I would suggest you apologize to Adam Bitcliffe for deducting points from
> his score based on your misunderstanding.
Adam, I hereby declare that this an apology from me to you :-
Now, with all due respect to the wonderful Adam Cadre, whose work I value
greatly in my (now sadly rather small) collection of interactive fiction, I
would like to defend myself here :-
1) It's my competition, and my rules. Nya-nyah. (Only joking; don't flame
2) I stated as the reasoning behind the no non-Inform rule that I only had
space on my PC for one (count 'em, ONE (1)) interpreter and some games.
This afore-mentioned PC is now sitting under my feet, where it is acting as
My latest PC, which arrived on Friday night, is a newly-reconditioned
Fujitsu ErgoPro X series PC with Pentium II MMX processor, running at
233Mhz, with 4 GB hard disk and 64 MB of RAM.
It will be backed up.
It has sufficient space for a whole sh!t-load of games, IF or otherwise.
Next year's comp (should there be one) will be better organised, and will be
open to all languages.
Actually, Mr. Cadre, I was thinking of asking you to be one of 3 judges.
If you're interested, just let me know.
Gotta go now.
That's "Z-Machine nor Glulx".
Glulx *is* Inform. So there. :-)
Again, just for the record, this isn't correct. Glulx is a virtual
machine; Inform is a programming language. Inform can be compiled to
Glulx; Inform can also be compiled to other platforms, such as the
Z-Machine; and other languages can (in theory) be compiled to Glulx.