Periodic posting: intro/invite to rec.games.int-fiction

Periodic posting: intro/invite to rec.games.int-fiction

Post by Stephen van Egmo » Fri, 15 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Shouts of confusion.  Bewildering announcements in a mysterious language.  
TADS this and Frotz the other.  Hugo?  Alan?  Who?

"Can somebody give me a hint?"

                                 = = =

Contents
        What is int-fiction?
        Where can I find a FAQ?
        Where can I find some games?

                                 = = =

Welcome, new reader, to rec.games.int-fiction.

A long time ago, somebody typed on a computer:

Quote:> WHAT IS INT-FICTION?

"It is fiction and it's interactive and it may be art, but then again it
may not be. Or, more accurately, it can be art but it doesn't have to be
because it can still be a game, although it doesn't have to be a game
since there's nothing to prevent it having a serious purpose or even just
being a book. Well, not a book really, since it's not on paper, but you
could print it out and then it would be a book -- but it wouldn't be
interactive then, would it? On the other hand, it could be both a game and
serious and still fall short of being art, but not necessarily, just as
not every artful book is a game and likewise the other way around."

                                                   --Jim Newland

People not familiar with interactive fiction would look at it and say,
"oh, that's a text adventure".  A work of interactive fiction is a story
which you step into: you are the plot driver, and very often the main
character.  These are strongly influenced by the games made by Infocom
during the 1980s: Zork, Trinity, Starcross, Sorcerer; there is also the
Scott Adams adventures, or those by Level 9.

There is graphical I-F (e.g. Gadget, Myst, and so on) produced by
companies, and there is textual I-F hand-crafted by individuals or small
collaborative teams.  This newsgroup's focus is the latter, though the
former is not excluded.  Compared to graphical games, textual I-F tends to
have a higher degree of interactivity, better-developed plots (with
puzzles integrated and relevant), and a much more interesting sense of
humour (most graphical games reduce "You can't do that" sort of responses
to a hostile beep).

                                 = = =

Quote:> KICK COMPUTER

A FAQ with more information is available, which discusses
        - history of I-F and Infocom
        - where to find Infocom's games (short answer: from Activision)
        - where to find recent games (short answer: ftp.gmd.de/if-archive)
        ... as well as the usual assortment of trivia, interesting and
            otherwise, that FAQs are good at collecting.

ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/rec.games.int-fiction/FAQ

                                 = = =

Quote:> TURN OFF BLOATED GRAPHICS

If you would like to just play some of the games we're talking about, here
are some instructions.  Game files are interpreted: to play them, you need
an "interpreter".  Authors need only write one game file and it may be
played on any computer that has an interpreter.  Most recent games are
offered in one of three formats: TADS, Inform, or Hugo.

NOTE: Most directories at the ftp site have an "Index" file.  Read them!

TADS
==============

Interpreters:
     ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/programming/tads/

     All platforms can be found in this directory, except Unixish ones which
     are in "unsupported" under "tads".

Games:
     ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/tads/

     Recommended: fetch the file "tads-gamelist2.txt" and pick one that
                  sounds like fun.

Inform
=======================

Interpreters:
      ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/infocom/interpreters/

      Recommended:
      For Windows, DOS, Amiga and OS/2: "frotz" is recommended.
      For Macintosh: "MaxZip" is recommended (in the 'zip' subdirectory of
                                              interpreters)
      For Unix and relatives: Both frotz and zip work, and there is an xzip.

Games:
      ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/infocom/

      Recommended: There is the file "inform-gamelist.txt", which contains
                   excerpts and blurbs from the authors.  It hasn't been
                   updated in a while, and some major, and hard, games have
                   been added, perhaps not good choices for new players:
                   Jigsaw, So Far, Spiritwrak, and Time.

Hugo
==============

Interpreters:
      ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/programming/hugo/

Games:
      ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/games/hugo/

Quote:> TURN OFF COMPUTER

Ok.