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Interactive Fiction Competition 2001

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the use-laser-on-floyd dept.

Games 88

Matchstick writes: "In the spirit of last year's article: The seventh annual Interactive Fiction competition is underway. This year there are 52 entries, each a bite-sized two hours long, and you only have to judge at least five for your votes to be counted. Winners from previous years are easily as high-quality as the classic Infocom games, and in many cases surpass them. Judging started October 1 and runs to November 15. The interpreters run on all major platforms (and many minor ones). It's late! Get started!"

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my name is omg (-1, Offtopic)

honold (152273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506125)

my name is omg!

Re:my name is omg (-1, Offtopic)

Object Relational (461869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506130)

So as mine.!!

Re:my name is omg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506138)

wtf

sampfag!

Re:my name is omg (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506252)

Babelfish ist mein Freund! Alle hageln das slashdot gestapo!

Tun Sie nicht Drogen. Bleiben Sie in der Schule.

Stop carpet bombing and the use of cluster bombs! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506251)

Dawson: B-52 Bomber
Who Refused to Fly

By Arthur Cohen
Originally published on March 21, 1974

The target area is bugged in advance of the raid. At night the electronic sensors make only a slight rustle in the trees as they drop and then begin transmitting immediately upon impact.

Now they reveal the sounds of the jungle night life and the guard pacing back and forth on the gravel path; in the morning they will record the routine sounds of an American B-52 bombing raid.

"I heard about 10 or 15 minutes of those sounds on the tape. We were dropping cluster bombs at the time. I could hear people screaming as the bombs hit."

"After I got home on March 1, I sat watching West Side Story on television. At the end when I saw Tony die, all I could think of was bombing missions. I couldn't talk for half an hour, not even to my wife."

Captain Donald Dawson was out of the Air Force just about a week when I talked with him. Although his tour of duty was scheduled to end in August of 1974, in June of 1973 he refused to fly any more combat missions over Cambodia and requested a discharge, claiming he was a Conscientious Objector. Instead he was confined to base and accused of refusing the lawful orders of a superior, for which he faced a court-martial.

Working through civilian lawyers in New York, he finally managed to have his C.O. application accepted in February, and formal charges were dropped shortly afterward.

He and his wife were still settling into a new apartment in Agawam, and ex-Capt. Dawson still looked very much the military man, mostly because of his regulation haircut; but there was the demeanor of a military man about him. He was polite, formal and eager to please. I could hardly think of him as a contemporary of mine although he was; his experience with Vietnam had been so different from my own.

He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1969 and then from pilot training in August of 1970. He began flying his first B-52 missions, mostly over Laos and Cambodia, in November of 1971. He stopped flying missions on June 19, 1973.

"I've always been sort of a dreamer. I wanted to fly and I wanted an education. I figured the Air Force could teach me both... . I planned on making the Air Force a career. It wasn't until my first tour of duty in Southeast Asia that I began to seriously consider getting out.

"I had begun to feel bad about the killing. I had studied some international law at the Air Force Academy and thought the rules should be followed, but I thought I could stay in the Air Force long enough to change things. I liked the Air Force and never minded following orders."

Dawson's Air Force career was a gradual coming to terms with himself and with the military. He realized that advancement within the Air Force to a position where he could affect things would be difficult if not impossible because he couldn't get behind the basic ideals of the organization.

"At first I thought that nuclear war was so unbelievable that I didn't think anyone could take it seriously. The SAC program appeared to be almost a flying club between the Russians and ourselves. But then I found out how serious the officers were. I didn't understand how anybody could be so "gung-ho" about nuclear war."

In October of 1972 while he was stationed at Westover Dawson began thinking about applying for C.O. status. It wasn't only the Bombing that was bothering him or the incompatibility he was beginning to find with Air Force ideals and his own, but he had also begin to notice the fundamental deceit about the war on the home front.

He described watching Melvin Laird on television before a Senate committee in March of 1972 while he was on leave: "Laird got mad and lost his temper. He told them the Nixon Administration didn't start the war, and the bombing was only designed to support U.S. troops in the field and get us out. But I knew some of the stuff we had been bombing had nothing to do with American troops. We had been bombing Pathet Lao troops and North Vietnamese in Laos."

Captain Dawson said he began to think about applying for C.O. status as early as October of 1972. He was stationed at Westover at that time and hadn't done any flying since his first tour which ended in February. After speaking with the chaplain at Westover he felt he didn't qualify as a C.O. He also requested a transfer to a transport plane instead of the B-52, but within a week found himself retraining for combat missions in Southeast Asia.

That was about the time Henry Kissinger was saying peace was near, but Capt. Dawson found himself back flying missions after the peace agreement was in fact signed in January, 1973.

"By April of '73 I was flying missions over Cambodia and each mission was getting harder and harder. I wrote letters to people like Pete McCloskey and George McGovern. Then I heard about a mass gravesite of 600 people in Cambodia resulting from B-52 raids and then I heard about a wedding party that had been hit by one of our bombs."

It was while writing to Congressman McCloskey about the immorality of using B-52s in Cambodia that Dawson realized the necessity of doing more than just writing a letter. He realized he had to stop flying missions he couldn't condone, taking personal responsibility and risking official sanctions.

What happened after that is an interesting story for which there is no room or time as my deadline approaches. Suffice it to say that on June 19, 1973 Captain Dawson refused to fly any more missions and applied for C.O. status.

We all have to reach an accommodation with war in our own way. Captain Dawson's action in refusing to fly further combat missions makes him a greater hero to me than anyone who ever risked his life in combat. He risked a lot more than he would have by continuing to fly B-52s, which except for the brief period during the bombing of Hanoi, were extremely routine flights.

He risked the condemnation of a society that has come to thrive on war, both economically and spiritually.

More carpet bombing. (-1, Offtopic)

motherhead (344331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506290)

Well friend, i do respect your views on this subject. Your little piece on cambodia was nice. Oh by the way, we are not bombing Cambodia anymore. So you can be happy now.

Now it's my opinion time: More Carpet Bombing.

I don't know how i feel about obliterating people because they are communists. but i do know a few other things.

1. when you hijack and slam four jumbo jets full of innocent americans into things. then we will kill you.

2. when two of those things are the tallest buildings in our largest city. we will kill you

3. when those buildings collapse and take a huge chunk of lower manhattan and 5000+ lives with them. we will kill you.

4. attacking the pentagon is fair game. but we are still going to kill you.

5 anthrax is flowing like cocaine in hollywood. we are going to kill everyone.

Americans are not that special. there are a lot of things we do not do well, but one of the things we do well is this: homocide. We are spledid slaughterers of human life. we rock at it. we like it. we look for reasons to engage in it.

do not ever play america in a game of "i bet you won't come over here and kill all of us!" because you will loose.

we are a country that dropped atomic bombs, twice... remember that. america had exactly two atomic bombs in our arsonal. so how many did we use? both.

it is a shame that people can't seem to understand how much we love the killing. we get high minded and swear to god we won't kill the same way an alchoholic swears off gin, and then some assholes give us a reason to attend a mardi gras bender.

so anyway the only problem with the current b-52 attack on afghanistan is this: not enough carpet bombing.

i thank you for your attention.

Re:More carpet bombing. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506324)

Americans are not that special. there are a lot of things we do not do well, but one of the things we do well is this: homocide.

Suddenly, all is revealed. Those pesky homos!

You are wrong. (-1)

(c) Penis (525494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506335)

The problem is that there's nothing left to bomb. You know, bombing desert rocks is just not as much fun...

Related fiction story (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506133)

National Novel Writing Month: nanowrimo.com [nanowrimo.com] .

Write a novel in November. You have one month. Write 50,000 words. You're not a writer? So? Do it. See what happens. Sure, it'll probably suck, but you don't learn by not doing. (See? If I was a good writer, I wouldn't have just used a double negative.)

And it'll be fun!

Too late for signing up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506164)

It's too late to sign up :( Not that it should prevent anyone from writing his novel, but not as a nanowrimo novel.

As stated above: TOO LATE FOR 2001 (1, Informative)

jgp (72888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506223)

Sign ups for 2001 are over.

Thanks to everyone who signed on! We expected 500, we got 5000. This is going to be the biggest, best NaNoWriMo ever.

At this point in time, the NaNoWriMo staff are busy planning their third-rate novels. Any emails recieved about sign ups after October 29 will be deleted automatically so as to give the staff more time to realize their own mediocre fiction visions.

Thank you kindly,

The NaNoWriMo Staff

[Emphasis added]

hi (-1, Offtopic)

honold (152273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506134)

how's it going?

Re:hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506156)

fine, and you?

Re:hi (-1, Offtopic)

honold (152273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506157)

i'm a little tired, but pretty good

thanks

Re:hi (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506191)

Do not give in to the vile temptations of Communism!

Temptation? (-1)

(c) Penis (525494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506196)

Is that sort of like crack cocaine -- you know you probably shouldn't (because you'll fry your brain if you do) but you really want to anyways?

Crack Cocaine == COMMUNISM

Re:Temptation? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506239)

No, Open Source == COMMUNISM.
But the use of Crack Cocaine is in there somewhere. You never know with those open source hippies...Always smokin' them branches n'stuff!

Re:Temptation? (-1)

(c) Penis (525494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506338)

So you are saying Taco & the gang are addicted to writing horrible Perl code?

Re:Temptation? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506443)

That's exactly what I'm saying. =)

Re:hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506229)

It's snowing like hell and it all falls almost horizontally because of the high north wind.

Anyway, I decided to wear my military boots and the NATO issue rain cloak over my normal clothing for the trip to work. A damn good choice.

I'm stuck in Zork 1 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506146)

I can't seem to find a way past the timber room. I can't take the lamp with me and I get eaten by a grue :(

Re:I'm stuck in Zork 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506176)

Have you found another light source? Where do you think the cage at the beginning of the coal mine leads?

Re:I'm stuck in Zork 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506387)

Bucket, not cage.

Re:I'm stuck in Zork 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507490)

I think there is a difference in terminology there between "dungeon" and "Zork I". Don't remember it being called a cage in either though...

Re:I'm stuck in Zork 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506195)

Thanks. You've given me a few ideas that I'll try today at the office :)

Hello, sailor (1)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2508163)

Adventurers...Yummmm.

Check out Erasmatazz (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506150)

I think the Chris Crawford (founder of the Video Game Developers conference-a very intellegent man) is the person making the biggest leaps in this genre, and perhaps "video games" in general.

I urge everybody to check out Erasmatazz http://www.erasmatazz.com/ because of its potential. This is pushing interactive fiction to beyond what people expect out of it. Its true interactice fiction rather than north, north, north, get key.

In video games somebody has set a path, if you go off it then nothing really happens. Chris Crawford is basically trying to make a game where instead of going to locations in order to advance the story, the events can come to you as you play. That'd give the gamer true freedom instead of end-level walls and barriors that exist, while at the same time making the game interesting even if (s)he tried to walk off in some random direction.

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (0, Interesting)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506204)

So, you're only trading one 'end level wall' for another.
Sure, you can go off on a tangent, but in the end, you still have to deal with the same problems and plot changes in the same order as before, only now they'll pop up in different locations.

How about a game where you don't need to save the fairy princess, but can rather run off with the prince! No, no. All kidding aside, does this man's games follow a truly random path? The kind of path where you don't need to befriend the annoying goblin you saved from the moat monster in order to progress through the castle?
Ack, it's almost 4 am and I'm making no sense. But I think you know what I'm getting at.

Another thing that always pisses me off about Stonekeep-esque games is that you always need the fricken' key. Why use a key when I have a perfectly good sword to chop the door down with? Now *that* would add some realism. And of course, to account for getting by easily, your weapon will be dealt damage and be less accurate. A fair trade imo.

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (1)

Destoo (530123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506870)

Check out Ultima Underworld.
Both 1 and 2.

Kill or befriend those goblins.. bash doors down with your warhammer..

But if you're allergic to DOS, I'd suggest looking into ARX. (not out yet, right?) It's the unofficial sequel to the UW games.

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (5, Informative)

zephiros (214088) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506292)

First off, obviously, Chris has done some amazing stuff with the Erasmatron. However, as a product, I don't think it has a viable future. It has some pretty significant shortcomings, and it would take an incredible amount of work to bring the engine up to modern standards. That said, Chris's documentation of his development is, quite simply, the best text out there in the field of interactive storytelling.

If you're interested in this sort of thing, you'd can get a good feel for the existing work in the field from:

  • InteractiveStory.net [netcom.com] - Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern's interactive drama/believable agent project, and obligatory huge page o'links.
  • Oz [cmu.edu] - The Oz project at CMU
  • Erasmatron@Robotwisdom [robotwisdom.com] - Jorn Barger's excellent thumbnail sketch of Crawford's writings. In most cases, Jorn's synopsis is hyperlinked to the related page on erazmatazz
I'd also recommend the following papers (try CiteSeer [nec.com] before heading down to the library):

Selmer Bringsjord and David Ferrucci, Artificial Intelligence and Literary Creativity: Inside the Mind of Brutus, A Storytelling Machine, August 30, 1999.

Nicolas Szilas, Interactive Drama on Computer: Beyond Linear Narrative, 1999.

Antonio Furtado, Angelo Ciarlini, Plots of Narratives Over Temporal Databases, 1997.

Barbara Hayes-Roth, Robert van Gent, Story-marking with improvisational puppets, 1997.

W. Scott Neal Reilly, A methodology for building believable social agents, 1997.

IMHO, interactive storytelling is one of the most interesting cross-discipline computational problems out there.

Interactive fiction bibliography; Erasmatron (1)

Dennis G. Jerz (473507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507215)

Interactive Fiction Scholarship
I've compiled an annotated bibliography of interactive fiction scholarship and amateur theory and criticism. It's specifically focused on text-adventure games, and it's due for an update (some URLs have changed).

See the recent copy
http://www.uwec.edu/jerzdg/orr/articles/IF/bibliog raphy/index.html [uwec.edu]
...or the copy published by the journal Text Technology:
http://texttechnology.mcmaster.ca/jerzbib/index.ht ml [mcmaster.ca] .

Erasmataron
The Erasmatron comes up periodically on rec.arts.int-fiction and related groups. For those who're interested, here's how Crawford's claims and accomplishments were received [google.com] the last time they came up on that particular newsgroup.

In that discussion, Neil K. posted thus:
  • Last time this came up here I believe the firm consensus was that the

  • Erasmatron is not particularly interesting and the demonstration games are
    terribly embarrassing. Crawford is about 15 years too late, for a start.

    For more interesting and worthwhile work related to IF and personality
    I'd look at Emily Short's Galatea or Adam Cadre's Varicella.

Dennis G. Jerz

Wow! Information! (1)

dpf (29171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2511830)

Since I don't have an mod points today, this is as close as I can get to saying, "Great job!" This post was very informative. I wish I could give this guy a 6.

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506313)

What shall my "custom mood" be today? Decisions, decisions...

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (3, Informative)

drekmonger (251210) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506333)

As hinted at by other replys to this message, erasmatazz is considered a joke by the regular rec.arts.int-fiction community.

BTW, mid-November you can check out rec.games.int-fiction and rec.arts.int-fiction for the results of comp2001. It's considered extermely impolite to discuss particular games on open forums until the votes have been counted and released (mid-November).

Patents. Bleeeech. (4, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506427)

The documentation he provides is interesting. However, one thing really irritated me as I browsed the site, and that was the following paragraph from his overview [erasmatazz.com] under "Why is the Erasmatron better?":

Better than what? There simply isn't anything out there that lets you create interactive storytelling. (And if there were, they'd have to
work around my comprehensive patent.)

My emphasis.

I have no problem with defensive patents, but he's basically saying that he wants to make sure no one else can use similar technology to write even better games (which would benefit players/human kind).

At the risk of drawing hasty conclusions on how he will use his patent(s); I just cannot respect that.

(I actually considered buying his book, but that will not happen now).

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507881)

I`ll never forget the day i read his ridiculous tirade against Doom. He was some guy, with a magazine with a circulation of 27, filled with pleas for articles (strangely it wasnt a magnet for cutting edge ideas and designs), telling everyone that the most popular game ever wasnt really very good, and instead they should model their new games on NamelessAtari400Game#102142 or whatever the hell nonsense he write (in 1984 or something).
I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Good to see he`s been keeping himself busy. Hey, maybe he`ll get Jeff Minter in to code it?

Re:Check out Erasmatazz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2509913)

Good christ.

At least _play_ an Erasmatron game, sure. And marvel at the googly-eyed cartoons, the badly-drawn facial expressions, and the mysterious iterative greeting behavior of Cat and Poot, all in the name of interactive storytelling.

Sorry, but Chris Crawford sunk a lot of time (and other people's funding) into a project that has failed, and will continue to fail because it misses the point.

>NORTH, >EAST, >GET KEY isn't interactive? I suggest you play the latest and best games. Who cares what the _commands_ are? The storytelling and writing are incredible, and fashioned by excellent authors with clear intentions, rather than some simulationist modelling that so far fails to tell anything resembling an interesting story.

It was a dark and stormy night.... (-1, Offtopic)

billstewart (78916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506159)

CowboyNeal was walking into the laboratory,
when suddenly a shot rang out!......

What a cliffhanger! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506231)

I shot C.N.!

And now some scary poetry...

Lady bugs, Lady bugs,
Crawling on the floor.
Lady bugs, Lady bugs,
Scratching at the door.
Lady bugs, Lady bugs,
Crawling on your ring.
Lady bugs, Lady bugs,
Are a special thing.

handheld (4, Insightful)

staeci (85394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506178)

I don't know about anyone else but I find reading (particularly fiction) to be very tiresome on a desktop computer.

I have played several IF games 6 months ago (I like lovecraftian horror) but would be more likely to continue to do so and move into genres if I owned a laptop or such which I could play them on. I like to snuggle up on the lounge or sit in a park and read not at a desk.

Re:handheld (5, Informative)

blancolioni (147353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506199)

You can download a Z-machine interpreter for PalmOS from here [ifarchive.org] , and play all the Infocom and newer fiction, including more than half of the 2001 competition entries, anywhere. It's a treat.

Re:handheld (evil blancolioni) (1)

JWhitlock (201845) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506866)

You can download a Z-machine interpreter for PalmOS from here [ifarchive.org], and play all the Infocom and newer fiction, including more than half of the 2001 competition entries, anywhere. It's a treat.

You, sir, are pure evil. How am I going to get any work done today if I can play all the classics of my youth on my Visor until the batteries run out?

What's next, an Atari emulator?

Re:handheld (evil blancolioni) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2512378)

http://www.classicgaming.com/pcae/

Re:handheld (1)

Dudio (529949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506237)

If you're into Lovecraft, you definitely should check out Infocom's Lurking Horror. I don't have a link though; sorry :(

Re:handheld (5, Informative)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506261)

I do:
ftp://ftp.monkey.org/pub/users/thom/infocom/

Re:handheld (1)

sh00z (206503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506543)

For "Lurking Horror," warez won't do you any good. You'll need a login/password from the documentation just to get out of the first room. I recommend BUYING a copy. Sources have been compiled here. [fortunecity.com]

Re:handheld (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506664)

login: 872325412
password: uhlersoth

(does the DMCA cover text adventures?)

Re:handheld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2509327)

thnx m8 ;)

Re:handheld (2, Insightful)

Dudio (529949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507425)

I knew I'd seen this before - you can play all the classic Infocom games via telnet; see http://infocom.elsewhere.org/ [elsewhere.org] for details.

Sh00z is correct though - Lurking Horror, like many other Infocom games, requires information provided on trinkets included in the retail box. However, the Zorks don't require external information to complete, IIRC; incidentally, the original series has been released to the public domain: http://www.csd.uwo.ca/Infocom/download.html [csd.uwo.ca]

Re:handheld (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506320)

Snuggle?
What are you, gay or something?

Then again, judging by those shots of you and Ken together, I'd say my question was already answered.

Re:handheld (2)

Morbid Curiosity (156888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2508837)

I don't know about anyone else but I find reading (particularly fiction) to be very tiresome on a desktop computer.

I tend to agree. However, I'd also contend that IF isn't straight-out fiction. The interactive nature of it means that you're getting sections of text piecemeal anyway, rather than just starting at the front of the book and working your way down. That interactivity makes it a lot easier for me. Then again, when you consider that Zork was one of the games that started me down the dark path to typing for the rest of my life, back in the early '80s, perhaps I'm just used to it.

I have played several IF games 6 months ago (I like lovecraftian horror) but would be more likely to continue to do so and move into genres if I owned a laptop or such which I could play them on. I like to snuggle up on the lounge or sit in a park and read not at a desk.

Played "Theatre" then, I assume? Great game, except that I was playing it while sleep-depped and missed the popcorn the first time around. After I'd been floundering for about half an hour, it was kinda nice when one of the other postgrads wandered over, watched for a bit and asked what I was stuck on - turns out that I shared an office with the guy who wrote the game. Truly a serendipitous moment :-)

Interactive fiction (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506220)

can lick my balls.

Where do you enter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506235)

I have one I'd like to submit.

Why Read the Novels?? (1)

Newt-dog (528340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506243)

Why would I want to sit at my desk and read five novels or 10 hours worth of reading?
Why, that would just about kill a weeks worth of /. reading at work!!
(BTW, I hope the boss dosn't read this!) ;-)

Newt-dog

The ban is lifted! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506245)

I can troll again.
Sweet glory!

Re:The ban is lifted! (-1)

DivineOb (256115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506248)

tell me about it... fuck these fascist assholes...

Re:The ban is lifted! (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506256)

whassup il mio neeeeegah!

I get my interactive fiction ... (0, Troll)

King Of Chat (469438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506258)

... from MSDN. The plot only changes every few months, but there have been some great fantasy storylines:

DCOM is easy

Windows 2000 is a stable, "enterprise class" operating system

Anyone can produce professional quality applications with VB

Re:I get my interactive fiction ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2508093)

Windows 2000 is a stable, "enterprise class" operating system

But it really is!! Windows 2000 is exactly what Scotty installed on the Enterprise at the beginning of Star Trek 3, in order to handle the system's automation.

Fiction dump (-1, Offtopic)

jfonseca (203760) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506278)

Fiction Dump [hotelnetservice.com]

fp about a nipple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506284)

(_*_) you like mah ass?

shoot floyd with laser (3, Funny)

DarklordJonnyDigital (522978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506293)

Never mind your new-fangled games of yours, I'm still stuck on Planetfall!

I've gone to sleep in the spartan beds which at least provide a modicum of privacy, woken up, picked up all the stuff I could find, and now I've got this darn robot following me around and wanting to play hider-seeker. The laser won't even work because all I've got is a battery that doesn't work.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,
jD

Re:shoot floyd with laser (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506336)

First hint on the battery. You need to combine an acid and an alkali ("base" is the term used in the game).

Re:shoot floyd with laser (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506393)

Floyd is awesome.
Maybe he hasn't had enough time to grow on you. See what you think by th eend of stationfall.

I wish he were here now; I'd really like to play hucka-bucka-beanstalk right now...

Planetfall? For shame! (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507341)

You gotta be kidding. I enjoy IF games, but suck at them. Planetfall is the only game I ever got through without help, hints, or cheating. It's not so much about puzzle solving as about not being misdirected.

Re:Planetfall? For shame! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507655)

Anyone else really miss floyd after he is gone? I felt really bad about sending the little spud in there, even if he WAS a pain in the but at other times.

Re:Planetfall? For shame! (2)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2508559)

Are you kidding? Losing Floyd was probably the most emotional moment I'll ever have playing computer games. (Of course, it helps that I was 10 at the time.)

The Ballad of the Starcrossed Miner [latz.org] still tugs at my heartstrings.

Poor Floyd (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2510592)

Uh you did finish the game? For robots, death is merely an upgrade issue.

Re:Poor Floyd (2)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2510625)

At the end of Planetfall, Floyd was dead and gone. I understand he was resurrected in Stationfall, but that came a bit later.

Re:Poor Floyd (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2512722)

Not in the version I played. At the end of the game, when you've saved the planet, its inhabitants show their gratitude by rebuilding Floyd.

Re:shoot floyd with laser (1)

monksp (447675) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507756)

Drop all of your access cards, take the U shaped bar, hold it over the crevice in Admin Corridor South. Use the key to unlock the padlock in the kitchen area, take the ladder, extend it, and put it across the rift. Walk across the ladder, and utter a joyous cry of "Foo!" as you find the plethora of new access cards in the desks.

And don't shoot Floyd. He gets his ass kicked enough in this game. ;)

Windows interpreter (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506301)

I installed the Windows program necessary to play the games, (which was not particularly easy to find, as in it wasn't blazingly obvious), and I saw the installer overwrote a few files in my SYSTEM folders. Be warned!

Re:Windows interpreter (5, Informative)

drekmonger (251210) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506356)

This is not score 3: Informative, it's score -5: Clueless newbie giving bad information. The moderaters suck.

Most modern IF runs on a virtual machine. The z-machine is the most commonly used, TADS a close second, and Glulx is designed as a replacement for the z-machine. The games in the comp are written using a variety of virtual machines (including one Java entry and a couple VB entries), but half the games this year are written using the z-machine.

For windows, the best interpreters I've found are WinFrotz (for z-machine games), HTML-TADS (for TADs games), and the Windows version of Glulx (for Glulx games). None of these programs will screw up your system folder, or indeed, even write anything at all to your system folder.

You can find these programs using Google or by following links from the IF comp page.

I'm almost sorry to see this story posted here. If you are new to IF or a casual player, the best thing to do is wait for mid-November when the results are posted and only play the the top 5 games.

I've already played through all the games, and can assure everyone that the top five will be worth your time--incredible experiences!

In the meantime, you might want to try playing some of the winners from previous years. You will probably be amazed by the quality of these homespun games. Interactive Fiction has become one of the best, most vibrant Do-It-Yourself communities on the net.

The best of modern IF doesn't feel at all like Dungeons and Dragons (ie, Zork). These are quality, mature short stories that just happen to also be games.

Re:Windows interpreter (1)

Matchstick (94940) | more than 12 years ago | (#2509342)

I'm almost sorry to see this story posted here. If you are new to IF or a casual player, the best thing to do is wait for mid-November when the results are posted and only play the the top 5 games.
This may make for a better experience as a player, but the voice of a newbie or casual player is important to the IF community; or at least, it should be. If someone waits until November 15, we lose their votes. The IF community tends to be insular and could use their perspective. I mean, look at how well Being Andrew Plotkin did last year. It's a well-done, clever in-joke, but it's still an in-joke.

I'd argue/agree that if you're new to IF or a casual player and lazy — which, in this context, is not a sin — the best thing to do is to troll through archives from past years [igs.net] and play the top few. Then, if you're inspired, vote on a few of this year's games!

Re:Windows interpreter (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 12 years ago | (#2509810)

None of these programs will screw up your system folder, or indeed, even write anything at all to your system folder.

Wrong, flat wrong. Files were indeed overwritten in my SYSTEM folder. Just because I wanted to play a few games doesn't mean I hallucinate watching an installer write to /WINDOWS/SYSTEM.

Typical slashdot sheep moderators did what you told them...hope you're happy. Facts defeated, bad knowledge successfully spread...a good day's work.

Re:Windows interpreter (2)

tomknight (190939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506364)

Well, I guess you won't want to install the product that I write an installshield for then, it overwrites a whole load of stuff in windows\system || winnt\system32. C'mon, it's hardly uncommon for an installation package to do this, get a brain you clueless half-wit!

The same soes for moderator who gave the parent post the informative mod. Sheesh.

Tom.

Re:Windows interpreter (1)

staeci (85394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506399)

Well you used windows... I guess at least one person here warned you about that.

Just kidding.

Will e-books ever take off? (-1, Offtopic)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506345)

The lack of participation in this thread seems to answer that question.

Manuals, tech books, websites, and much other info I can handle (although I still regularly print out long tech docs), but novels? I dont think I could ever get used to it. Perhaps the next generation will like 'em.

Re:Will e-books ever take off? (2)

tomknight (190939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506382)

The lack of participation in this thread seems to answer that question.

A bit of a sweeping generalisation there! Really, if that holds true, then all men play with Lego and wet themselves over LoTR.... Admittedly, I am one of them, but that doesn't mean that all men are like me ;-)

Tom.

Re:Will e-books ever take off? (2)

jht (5006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506456)

Good point, but if a target market like us isn't adopting them (geeks, with a generally higher than average income, a proclivity towards new, "cool" technologies, and lots of voracious readers), then what hope do e-books have for The Rest Of Us (tm).

I'd agree strongly that we're not necessarily the best example of a target audience for a lot of things, but I think the typical /. reader is right in the e-book bullseye. I know I have a handful of texts on my Palm, but except for the complete H2G2, they're all reference material of some sort or another. When I want to read fiction, I generally go out into the big room with the blue ceiling and visit places where I can look at chunks of dead trees and then bring one or more home with me. Sometimes I don't even have to keep them (when I go to this one place I've heard people call a "library"), which is good when I run out of firewood storage.

Re:Will e-books ever take off? (1)

(nil) (140773) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507165)

I know I have a handful of texts on my Palm, but except for the complete H2G2, they're all reference material of some sort or another.


I don't know where you're from, but on my planet, H2G2 is a reference material.



-(())

A Rundown of the Judging (5, Informative)

Sargent1 (124354) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506389)

Hi. I'm the competition organizer for this year. I suspect the competition web server is going to get hammered, so I'll give a rundown of what's going on and what you can do to enter.

Zeroth, your source for most everything I'm going to talk about is the IF Archive. Reach it at http://ifarchive.org [ifarchive.org] , or at the mirror http://mirror.ifarchive.org [ifarchive.org] .

First, you'll need interpreters, since most of the games are written for specific interactive fiction virtual machines. I'm guessing plenty of you have Linux boxes; I'll try to get my old article on Linux interpreters up at my personal IF site, Bras Lantern [brasslantern.org] , later today. It should have more bandwidth than the competition site.

Second, the games. This directory [ifarchive.org] on the IF Archive has all of the games, either unpacked or in a big .zip file.

Third, choosing which games to play. You only have to play five of them to judge. If you think you'll only be able to play a handful of games, I ask that you play a random selection. There's a front-end to the competition, Comp01.z5 [ifarchive.org] , which is structured like a text adventure. It will randomize the list of games, sorted by which ones you can play, and even give you a nice voting form to fill out if you're so inclined.

Fourth, judge. You can play games for a maximum of two hours before giving it a rating. Note that you don't have to play for two hours. We only set a maximum play time, not a minimum one. To rate a game, give it a score from 1 to 10. 10 is good. 1 is not good. Use whatever criteria you wish.

Fifth, vote. You can mail your votes to the competition vote-counter or visit the web site to record your votes there.

Sixth, and optional, we've got competition t-shirts [ifcomp.org] for your wearing pleasure.

All of this is detailed in the README which comes with the competition games packages. Enjoy.

Re:A Rundown of the Judging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506515)

Fourth, judge. You can play games for a maximum of two hours before giving it a rating. Note that you don't have to play for two hours. We only set a maximum play time, not a minimum one. To rate a game, give it a score from 1 to 10. 10 is good. 1 is not good. Use whatever criteria you wish.

So in other words games will probably only be awarded a six or higher, anyone found playing a game for longer than twenty minutes which generates emotions equivalent to beating yourself with rancid haddocks are quite sick and disturbed. Skewed ratings here we come.

Re:Skewed ratings? Maybe, maybe not (1)

Yekrats (116068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507626)

Fourth, judge. You can play games for a maximum of two hours before giving it a rating. Note that you don't have to play for two hours. We only set a maximum play time, not a minimum one. To rate a game, give it a score from 1 to 10. 10 is good. 1 is not good. Use whatever criteria you wish.

So in other words games will probably only be awarded a six or higher, anyone found playing a game for longer than twenty minutes which generates emotions equivalent to beating yourself with rancid haddocks are quite sick and disturbed. Skewed ratings here we come.

Au contraire! If you take a look at last year's results [ifcomp.org] you'll find that the votes are pretty much spread across the spectrum, with most of the voting looking pretty normalized (non-skewed) to my statistical eye. (Ooh, pretty charts!) In fact, considering the relatively small sample size, it seems to be a very normal distribution! (That link for the paranoid: http://www.ifcomp.org/comp00/detailed-results.html )

Speaking as one of the authors of the competition, I do not mind the voting system. If you enter the contest, you are subject to the whims of both geniuses and trolls. However, enough people vote, that I think it balances things out. No, it may not be completely fair... (Name a voting system that is.) But I think it's fair enough that it just doesn't matter.


This argument has been rehashed on rec.*.int-fiction several times in the past few years, yet we always come back to the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Re:A Rundown of the Judging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2510979)

Fucking arse bundle - what a boring lot of cock. Cunt you be a bit more interesting? Where did you buy your personality? I can tell you just want to roger some woman - well you're just going the wrong way about it, simple person. Witless goose. 5 points my arse. Don't you laugh at me, beast face - it's you who's funny.

Scott Adams Interpreter on the web (4, Interesting)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506522)

I built one some time back to run the database-driven Scott Adams text adventures using only Javascript and PHP- since even the best Java tended to break my browser.

It works well on older versions of Netscape as well as IE 5. Opera users have reported some trouble.

Here's the link:
http://www.ridiculopathy.com/adv_sa.php [ridiculopathy.com]

Additional mirror at ftp.guetech.org (3, Informative)

libertynews (304820) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506896)

I have an if-archive mirror available at ftp.guetech.org [guetech.org] , and my small IF website at www.guetech.org [guetech.org] . The archive is updated nightly and the contest directory is at ftp.guetech.org/if-archive/games/competition2001 [guetech.org]

IF Competition Games available via Telnet (2, Informative)

Yekrats (116068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2508288)

Hey there, for those of us too lazy or modem-impaired to download the games, they are available via Telnet at telnet://chungkuo.org . (BBS account setup required, but worth it.)
They've not only got this year's competition playable (at least the ones playable sans graphics) but appear to have all past years' games, as well as many other Interactive Fiction goodies.

Cheerio,

Yekrats
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