Please phrase your interview in the form of a text adventure.
December 22, 2012 12:36 AM   Subscribe


Two men sit in this room, spinning non-linear yarns about the creation of interactive fiction. One sits at a small table. Another stands by a shelf along the wall, which is filled with many grey, rectangular objects that you can't quite make out from here.

You can see a small door, a small table, a shelf, Dave and Steve here.
posted by Malor (15 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
My girlfriend and I are on different continents. Last night we were chatting in google and I explained the whole interactive fiction thing to her. Then I sent her a link to a Parchment copy of 'Spider and Web,' which we then spent a few hours working through together. (It's one of the classics I never quite managed to get to!) A really enjoyable night!

So thanks, creators of a strange format of game, compelling enough to generate a really brilliant generation of hobbyist-authors years after the fact. (And thanks Andrew Plotkin!)
posted by kaibutsu at 12:44 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Years ago, we were discussing text adventures, and I put a copy of a really great title into my webspace, one of my favorites: Christminster.

I put the files up sometime in 2007, and haven't touched them since. The game and solution are still fine, but those interpreters are very old. You probably want something newer. And, well, safer. As I pointed out, I'm just J. Random Internet Guy. Even if I'm not malicious myself, maybe my server was hacked in the last five years. It's generally better to source programs from archives that lots of people are using.

But the adventure file should be safe. It was kind of hard to find, back then, which is why I'm hosting it.
posted by Malor at 12:57 AM on December 22, 2012

(Christminster at IFDB, with a 'play it now' link.)
posted by kaibutsu at 1:34 AM on December 22, 2012

NOTE: If you enter a command with a trailing period, it sometimes causes it to not work. I discovered this when I tried "Ask Dave about Zork." and was told "There is no response." Leave off the period and it works.

Your inventory contains "no tea". You can drop it, but it doesn't then mean that you have "tea". You can't give it to Steve. You also can't ask him about Douglas Adams, unfortunately. You also can't ask Dave about Infocom.

The game's parser does recognize the old magic word "xyzzy".
posted by JHarris at 2:45 AM on December 22, 2012

(You also can't examine the games on the shelf, which is a shame because Starcross is a favorite of mine.)
posted by JHarris at 2:45 AM on December 22, 2012

You attempt to invoke your magical transportation ability to better navigate your way through this game's maze of twisty little passages, but soon realize two things: 1) you have no magical transportation ability, 2) this game has a whopping two rooms in it. Pound the pavement.

>pound the pavement
That's not a verb I recognise.

I'm more than a little disappointed by this obvious creative oversight.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:31 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

>fuck you
I only understood you as far as wanting to fuck.

I am not sure if this says worse things about the stock Inform verbs or about me :)

If only more computers understood me this well.
posted by gregglind at 5:45 AM on December 22, 2012

This is awesome! I learned to type by playing Infocom games. Also I learned that I'm not remotely creative and I have no spatial/directional awareness in text-space. Or problem solving ability. Or attention to detail. But I learned the shit out of typing 'examine', and I learned the word 'verbose', and I learned some really neat Vogon poetry.
posted by you must supply a verb at 6:35 AM on December 22, 2012

Although - Dave says the pill in the Deadline packaging was a SweeTart, but I remember it as a Smartie (US version). Hm.
posted by you must supply a verb at 6:40 AM on December 22, 2012

"Plugh" works too.
posted by JHarris at 6:40 AM on December 22, 2012

Well-deserved, overdue. The Infocom games were a fun challenge, and I'd think they would still be today. Like radio (vs TV) there's more room for imagination there ... and you drive the pace (rather than being driven).
posted by Twang at 8:05 AM on December 22, 2012

Move rug.
posted by ErikaB at 2:35 PM on December 22, 2012

posted by Faint of Butt at 6:32 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

A neat tidbit; the text adventure is written using playfic, a project by mefi's own waxpancake
posted by churl at 6:51 PM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

It took me 31 turns to finish - I forgot how several commands worked and wasted some turns. But what a great way to explain their work!
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:37 PM on December 22, 2012

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