ADRIFT Forum


The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

The place to chat about ideas, writing, this forum, or anything related to Interactive Fiction that isn't specific to ADRIFT.

Please also visit the Interactive Fiction Community Forum for further discussions.

What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Back in the golden days of gaming, the Apple // computer was born. Yes, I realize that the Commodore 64 and 128 was also around but I couldn't stand the machine - my friend had one, but I never wanted to make games on it. Being 10 years of age, I got to see a very large plethora of machines come and go. Along with the passing of many of these magnificent machines, numerous classic games also blew away into the breeze never to return or once again grace the IBM PC.

But, over the years I remembered hundreds of games from the Apple //. Not just IF, but arcade, wargames, puzzles and just about everything else I ever had the chance to play. I must have played over 1000 games on my Apple // system. But it was the "text adventures" or the "graphic adventures" that grabbed me by the throat and had me play them till the extinction of a mighty computer system called the Apple //e.

There are a few games I played that really made me change my outlook on life when it came to fantasy and reality and that game was called "Crystal Caverns" by Hayden Book Company. What made this game so unique? Apart from the size of it (around 135 locations) the game was well made for it's time - it didn't have an "infocom" type of parser but it did the job and it did it well. The descriptions were sparse but it was the travel from location to location just to see what else was in the world. Crystal Caverns was completely text based with no graphics. To this day, this game still stands the test of time and does it rather well.

The other game I had (actually I bought this one in California as a kid) was called "Death In The Caribbean" which was released by MicroFun. The box cover of a skull and treasure chest along with the backside showing some impressive graphic screens. If you were patient enough to get through to the end, it was a real blast to play. The puzzles in this game were not only tough, but you had to deal with a "pain in the rear end" ghost that would show up out of nowhere and take some of your items and hide them in his grave. At first it was aggravating but over time you got used to the fact that it was just plain silly. The graphics at the time were miles ahead of most of the games back then too.

One game that hooked me right from the start was called "Transylvania" by Penguin/Polarware software. This one has actually made it all the way to the IBM PC and for a good reason. If you haven't played this game, I suggest you find it. Yes, it's that good. Nothing in the game is perfect but that's it's charm. Some of the instances you will face are quite annoying but the usage of the items and the graphic locations make this game a total winner. Maybe it was the werewolf that chased you around or the fact that you had to actually come face to face with dracula himself that made the game worth playing. As a kid though, these things were a far step from reality and it was this that made the game so worthwhile. There are three Transylvania games. The first one is self titled, the second one called "The Crimson Crown" is another piece of art and a classic well worth the gameplay and a much updated parser to allow you to to talk with your companions. Transyvania III: Vanquish The Night was the third installment of the series and the final title but the graphics were totally updated to eye candy. Everything was practically the same but the storyline. I have not gotten far in this game at all even after 30 years but I will admit to this day if you're looking for EXCELLENT graphic adventures then look no further than ANYTHING by Penguin/Polarware Software.

Other commercial games that deserve some recognition are: Crypt Of Medea, Destiny, The Lion's Share, Kukulcan, Mask Of The Sun, Serpent's Star, Breakers, Holy Grail (Hayden), Escape From Rungistan, Critical Mass, G.F.S. Sorceress, Madventure, Adventure In Time, Sherwood Forest, Gruds in Space, The institute, Lucifer's Realm, The Philistine Ploy, Kabul Spy, Secret Agent: Mission One, Birth Of The Phoenix, Queen Of Phobos, Robots Of Dawn, The Usurper: Mines Of Qyntarr, Blade Of Blackpoole, Lantern Of DGamma, Masquerade, Crime Stopper, Jewels Of Darkness, Silicon Dreams, Scapeghost, Fish!, Guild Of Thieves, Knight Orc, Corruption, Dark Lord, Gunslinger (by Datasoft), ANY Infocom game and many others.

There are three games that literally hooked me into IF. Over the years I have played some IF games that just didn't have the luster these old classics had. Maybe as I've gotten older I've come to realize you just can't update perfection. Why you ask? Well, the folks who wrote these old If games created a vision they had and made it reality in computer form. Back then, games were made by folks like you and me. They weren't made by loser corporations or a group of people vying for a "big bucks" single title which took 3 to 10 years to make. Games have changed for the worse and it shows. A generally good idea implemented with a dream to create it is all you needed in the REAL computer age.

Say what you will. Commercial games have lost their life. They are bogged down by over the top graphics (which DO NOT make a game) and less than original ideas. It's this that has caused the decline of the commercial game and you can see this at any store. There is nothing left to call "a break from reality".

if you require a "break" from reality, try a text adventure with no graphics. Infocom said it best; "we give you the world, it's up to you to paint the picture in your mind". You can't get much better than that. Not everyone paints the same picture of a world in their minds. Individuality is what makes the IF world so unique - it's worlds like this that will NEVER DIE and will continue far into the future. As for everything else, well, once a game is finished, is it really worth playing again? If you say no, you have not played any If game. Time to step back into the past and take a look. Oh yes, there are plenty of If game with graphics that also stood the test of time. Take a few moments to grab a cup of coffee, sit down and fire a title up. You may just shock yourself and get a dose of much needed "non-reality".

Peace out;
billy7720

Amazingly, since you have found ADRIFT and all it's authors, take a chance to play ALL the games you can get your hands on. I have not had time to really look at all the games here, but there are gems that are waiting to be discovered. All it takes is a moment of your time to grab the game along with the ADRIFT runner and voila; another world.

My utmost respect to an amazing man named Campbell Wild who has brought the visions of non-reality to so many people. My hat is off to you sir (so to speak) and I salute the work you have created for all to enjoy. Thank you for all the time you have spent creating such an amazing piece of software. It's truly appreciated by this If player. Thank you once again! :)
:bravo:
Last edited by billy7720 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby David Whyld » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:31 pm

I don't think I ever played Crystal Caverns; like the original Zork, it's one of those games I've only heard about since the advent of the internet. At the time it was out, I think it must have passed me by completely. The same goes for most of the games on your list.

For me, the commercial IF game which had the biggest impact was The Hobbit, a game I played to death, then played some more, and carried on playing it long after I'd finished it just to see what else I could find to do with it. I was never sure whether half the stuff I managed was down to bugginess, poor testing or simply the game designers wanting people to think outside the box. Whatever the reason, I didn't care. It's still the best IF game I've ever played and the one that got me into the genre and made me want to write one myself.

I agree with the point about commercial games having lost their life. The same game is remade over and over again with the only improvements over the original being better graphics. I got hooked on MMOs about five years ago when I started playing World of Warcraft and checked out loads of others to see what else the market had to offer. What did I find? WoW under another name with Rift; WoW with the grind turned up to the max with Aion; WoW with blood and guts but precious little in the way of gameplay with Age of Conan; WoW in a PVP setting with Warhammer; soon we'll have WoW in space with Star Wars: The Old Republic... Yawn. The same game under a dozen different names with nothing really original or innovative to show for it. (Not that I'm say WoW is original in itself, but it's the defining game of its genre and it's kind of sad how pretty much every other MMO nowadays sets itself up as a copy of it.)
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6772
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 25

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:48 pm

David Whyld wrote:I don't think I ever played Crystal Caverns; like the original Zork, it's one of those games I've only heard about since the advent of the internet. At the time it was out, I think it must have passed me by completely. The same goes for most of the games on your list.

For me, the commercial IF game which had the biggest impact was The Hobbit, a game I played to death, then played some more, and carried on playing it long after I'd finished it just to see what else I could find to do with it. I was never sure whether half the stuff I managed was down to bugginess, poor testing or simply the game designers wanting people to think outside the box. Whatever the reason, I didn't care. It's still the best IF game I've ever played and the one that got me into the genre and made me want to write one myself.

I agree with the point about commercial games having lost their life. The same game is remade over and over again with the only improvements over the original being better graphics. I got hooked on MMOs about five years ago when I started playing World of Warcraft and checked out loads of others to see what else the market had to offer. What did I find? WoW under another name with Rift; WoW with the grind turned up to the max with Aion; WoW with blood and guts but precious little in the way of gameplay with Age of Conan; WoW in a PVP setting with Warhammer; soon we'll have WoW in space with Star Wars: The Old Republic... Yawn. The same game under a dozen different names with nothing really original or innovative to show for it. (Not that I'm say WoW is original in itself, but it's the defining game of its genre and it's kind of sad how pretty much every other MMO nowadays sets itself up as a copy of it.)


The Hobbit was an outstanding game for it's time. Great choice. Of course there was also "Fellowship of the Ring" and "Crack of Doom" both made by the same company who made "The Hobbit". If you liked the "hobbit" games make sure you check out "Jewels Of Darkness" by Firebird; it was an EXACT DUPLICATE of the series. I own this in the hard black clamshell case for the IBM PC and it's a great game. If you can find it, do not hesitate to grab it. It's out there, you just have to look for it.

As for MMO's, I have never ever gotten into them.

Peace;
billy7720
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby Duncan_B » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:46 pm

I was too young to play commercial IF while it was still commercial. Probably some of the ones that had the biggest impact on me were "The Hitchhiker's Guide" and "A Mind Forever Voyaging." Biggest impact of any IF on me personally, though, goes to "Colossal Cave Adventure." I always wanted to make video games. Playing it made me realize I could do it if I just found the right tool.

You can guess what tool I found.
User avatar
Duncan_B
 
Posts: 1212
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:26 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Points: 11

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:17 am

Duncan_B wrote:I was too young to play commercial IF while it was still commercial. Probably some of the ones that had the biggest impact on me were "The Hitchhiker's Guide" and "A Mind Forever Voyaging." Biggest impact of any IF on me personally, though, goes to "Colossal Cave Adventure." I always wanted to make video games. Playing it made me realize I could do it if I just found the right tool.

You can guess what tool I found.


Any of the Infocom games are amazing, but the there were two that got me hooked. One was called Wishbringer and the other was Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head Or Tail Of It. Both of these games grabbed me and were my favs.

Hittchiker's Guide was really good, but I preferred Douglas Adams' second title called Bureaucracy which was absolutely hilarious. I never got into A Mind Forever Voyaging as it seemed too strange to me - but i did play Suspended and Starcross by Infocom. Both were great sci-fi titles to say the least.

Great posts guys! Keep em' coming! LOVE to read what games influenced folks :)

billy7720
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby rotter » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:06 am

To try and answer this I dug out what is left of my old Spectrum stuff and found some old notes and scribbled maps made from what seems a lifetime ago.

Like David I would put The Hobbit near the top of any list of games from the great Adventure game era but I also liked playing Sherlock by the same company (I could never get anywhere with it though). The paraody The Boggit playing Bimbo Faggins was pretty good. It actually had a game under the comedy.

But, for me it is any of the games produced by Level 9. So, I get all glassy eyed thinking about games like Snowball, Lords of Time, Return to Eden, Emerald Isle and The Worm in Paradise. Every now and again I dig the Speccy emulator out and play these, especiallly Lords of Time.

Worthy of discussion are games such as Valkyrie 17 which had great phrases in it like "the Red Kipper flies at midnight" and some sort of Nazi plot. I also liked playing Denis Through the Drinking Glass. From memory you had to try and get Denis Thatcher out of Downing Street and down to the pub, avoiding Maggie at every turn. Then dear old Subsunk which for me was the classic Spectrum Adventure game, even had simple graphics.

But I could mention loads more Circus, Greedy Gulch, Hampstead, Kentilla........

All brilliant (by the standards of the day!).
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
Delron, the home of Otter Interactive Fiction.
User avatar
rotter
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 12:12 am
Location: UK
Points: 10

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:43 am

The Hobbit is a classic. It was the first IF I ever played and it got me totally hooked on IF. It’s quite surprising that no one has ever made a remake of it. Can you imagine what it would be like to play it again? :yeah:
Another was “Mountains of Ket” It came as a trilogy and I remember being high as a kite when I managed to solve it. “Valhalla” was another game I remember having a lot of fun playing.
After some years on the text IF, I turned to Sierra Online’s games. Kings Quest, Larry, Space Quest, Police Quest. They were great fun to play and I spent countless hours. I didn’t like it when they made the remake with enhanced graphic and the point and click feature.
D-Day V.5 in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 31Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4244
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 58

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby dannychabino » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:19 pm

Zork originally got me interested, but for some reason, I only ever played Zork 1. For some reason, Planetfall is the one I remember the most. I enjoyed the funny responses it would give me when I attempted outlandish things.
dannychabino
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:26 pm

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby David Whyld » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:26 pm

I remember Sherlock as well. Damn good game, though horribly unfair and nightmarishly difficult. I'm sure I read somewhere that, due to the real time (sort of) way the game plays, it's possible to end up with an unwinnable game through no fault of your own. Something about Lestrade not turning up at a certain location at a certain time and the game being impossible to complete afterwards. I guess it says a lot for a game that even when you discover something like that about it, you still want to keep playing it anyway. These days, if I came across a scenario like that in a game, I'd probably delete it off my hard drive right there and then and write a scathing review of it to boot.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6772
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 25

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:11 am

rotter wrote:To try and answer this I dug out what is left of my old Spectrum stuff and found some old notes and scribbled maps made from what seems a lifetime ago.

Like David I would put The Hobbit near the top of any list of games from the great Adventure game era but I also liked playing Sherlock by the same company (I could never get anywhere with it though). The paraody The Boggit playing Bimbo Faggins was pretty good. It actually had a game under the comedy.

But, for me it is any of the games produced by Level 9. So, I get all glassy eyed thinking about games like Snowball, Lords of Time, Return to Eden, Emerald Isle and The Worm in Paradise. Every now and again I dig the Speccy emulator out and play these, especiallly Lords of Time.

Worthy of discussion are games such as Valkyrie 17 which had great phrases in it like "the Red Kipper flies at midnight" and some sort of Nazi plot. I also liked playing Denis Through the Drinking Glass. From memory you had to try and get Denis Thatcher out of Downing Street and down to the pub, avoiding Maggie at every turn. Then dear old Subsunk which for me was the classic Spectrum Adventure game, even had simple graphics.

But I could mention loads more Circus, Greedy Gulch, Hampstead, Kentilla........

All brilliant (by the standards of the day!).


AHHHHH! Good ole LEVEL 9 games! I LOVE Silicon Dreams! I have it for the Apple // :) GREAT GAME!
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:12 am

For anyone looking for a VERY TOUGH game to complete, look no further than "I, Damiano" by Bantam. It's a hellish nightmare. I've NEVER made it to the end in over 20 years!
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby rotter » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:01 am

David Whyld wrote:I remember Sherlock as well. Damn good game, though horribly unfair and nightmarishly difficult. I'm sure I read somewhere that, due to the real time (sort of) way the game plays, it's possible to end up with an unwinnable game through no fault of your own. Something about Lestrade not turning up at a certain location at a certain time and the game being impossible to complete afterwards. I guess it says a lot for a game that even when you discover something like that about it, you still want to keep playing it anyway. These days, if I came across a scenario like that in a game, I'd probably delete it off my hard drive right there and then and write a scathing review of it to boot.


This is so true, we put up with a lot in those days - mazes, timed puzzles, putting a game in an unwinnable state, mazes....
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
Delron, the home of Otter Interactive Fiction.
User avatar
rotter
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 12:12 am
Location: UK
Points: 10

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:06 am

This is so true, we put up with a lot in those days - mazes, timed puzzles, putting a game in an unwinnable state, mazes....

True, but I think that people had a different approach to the games back then. (in the 80's) IF was relatively new and we all admired what was possible. Today, we are more or less spoiled by the development parsers has gone through and people are expecting more.
D-Day V.5 in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 31Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4244
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 58

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby billy7720 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:41 am

Po. Prune wrote:
This is so true, we put up with a lot in those days - mazes, timed puzzles, putting a game in an unwinnable state, mazes....

True, but I think that people had a different approach to the games back then. (in the 80's) IF was relatively new and we all admired what was possible. Today, we are more or less spoiled by the development parsers has gone through and people are expecting more.


Yes! We were happy with games we had! It was nice to go from just plain old text over to graphical games too, but the text "at the bottom" was still there :)

I think folks from 1979 to about 1986 were happy with the text/graphical adventures that were made available as we weren't picky like MANY of today's folks are. Graphics DO NOT make a game but a decent storyline, a little bit of background and a dream to create a world out of nothing.

The last games I ever bought that were "newer" were Thief: The Dark Project, Thief II: The Metal Age, Deus Ex, Wizaardry 8, System Shock 2 and Wizards and Warriors. That is it. Everything else was simplistic "dribble" that just had no right to even grace my computers. I'm sorry, I don't find that a $5000 machine is needed to play the best games in the world: IF. I would KILL to have my Apple //e returned to me with all the titles I had. Even though the PC did get to see some text and/or graphical adventures, they were NOTHING like what came from the machines before 1985.
The games above that I mentioned did extremely well for one particular reason: they didn't have the high end graphics but a wicked storyline. Play any of the above games and it shows.

I have to admit ADRIFT has made me a big kid again :)

Peace;
billy7720
DONE (for ADRIFT 5.0.21)
- Jabberwocky: The Untold Story!
- Birth Of The Phoenix, 1981 by Phoenix. Ver3.
- Palace In Thunderland, 1981 by Micro Lab
- Fraktured Faebles, 1985 by American Eagle (graphic IF)
COMING:
- Pillage Village, 1984
User avatar
billy7720
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:32 am
Location: Registered User!

Re: What "commercial" IF game had a BIG impact on your life?

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:01 am

I tried to go "back there" with "Ghost Town" :wink:
In the past there has been some "talk" whether IF should have craphics or not. Some have claimed that it's not a "real" text adventure if there's pictures. But that aside, I like the chance of being able to add graphic to my games.
What I like about the graphic IF is that the author can use the graphic to create an atmosphere and also hide clues within the picture.
The biggest problem is to find someone who can and will help you make the pictures needed.
D-Day V.5 in progress 86Kb (Slowly drifting)
Just a Fairy Tale: 31Kb
User avatar
P/o Prune
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4244
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark
Points: 58

Next

Return to General IF

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron