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 Post subject: Re: Infocom remakes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:56 am 
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Posts: 1658
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I've always thought that the fan community, custodians of the torch of being the only people around who still care about this stuff, should re-implement "final" versions of classic text games, patching long-notorious lingering bugs and finally spackling over poorly-aged design problems (mazes, inventory limits, walking dead scenarios) and expanding floppy-constrained prose restrictions.


That's tricky. For one thing, accepted design of today may be the design problem of tomorrow, so going around fixing things that are a reflection of how things worked back then may come back to bite you in the posterior. For another, that prose restriction actually helped Infocom's prose by keeping it straight and to the point, yet with some room for maneuvering in surprising ways, and some of us think that part of their games' appeal is in that prose, which was kept from sprawling.

In the end, I don't see what's so bad about letting the past stay the way it is. It'd be tons more interesting to remake, say, Curses, whose author actually wrote a Bill of Player's Rights that Curses violates all the time.

I mean, if we're talking about, as a curiosity, a version of Zork that allowed you to "hit lamp" to extend its life or "map maze" to trasnform the maze into a series of linear rooms... I'll be honest, I WOULD play it and enjoy it, but I wouldn't presume to call it a remake or a redesign or even "what the authors intended". It's just a subtle nudge to make the game more accessible years after its release when the world has moved on. And I'd definitely NOT touch the prose.

I'd call it a cheat - but a happy cheat, one I'd happily play. Heck, I played Adventure that way! I used Aaron Reed's I7 implementation, added a line to extend the lamp's life whenever I wanted to, and suddenly exploring Colossal Cave became tons more enjoyable. But I didn't play adventure, and I wouldn't presume to say I remade or reimagined or even patched it. I merely scratched my own personal itch.


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 Post subject: Re: Infocom remakes
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:57 am
Posts: 7
Peter Piers wrote:
Quote:
I've always thought that the fan community, custodians of the torch of being the only people around who still care about this stuff, should re-implement "final" versions of classic text games, patching long-notorious lingering bugs and finally spackling over poorly-aged design problems (mazes, inventory limits, walking dead scenarios) and expanding floppy-constrained prose restrictions.


That's tricky. For one thing, accepted design of today may be the design problem of tomorrow, so going around fixing things that are a reflection of how things worked back then may come back to bite you in the posterior. For another, that prose restriction actually helped Infocom's prose by keeping it straight and to the point, yet with some room for maneuvering in surprising ways, and some of us think that part of their games' appeal is in that prose, which was kept from sprawling.

In the end, I don't see what's so bad about letting the past stay the way it is. It'd be tons more interesting to remake, say, Curses, whose author actually wrote a Bill of Player's Rights that Curses violates all the time.

I mean, if we're talking about, as a curiosity, a version of Zork that allowed you to "hit lamp" to extend its life or "map maze" to trasnform the maze into a series of linear rooms... I'll be honest, I WOULD play it and enjoy it, but I wouldn't presume to call it a remake or a redesign or even "what the authors intended". It's just a subtle nudge to make the game more accessible years after its release when the world has moved on. And I'd definitely NOT touch the prose.

I'd call it a cheat - but a happy cheat, one I'd happily play. Heck, I played Adventure that way! I used Aaron Reed's I7 implementation, added a line to extend the lamp's life whenever I wanted to, and suddenly exploring Colossal Cave became tons more enjoyable. But I didn't play adventure, and I wouldn't presume to say I remade or reimagined or even patched it. I merely scratched my own personal itch.


I've been working on disassembling the Z-machine code and understanding how Infocom games are structured and run. The goal was to modify or augment them in some way to make them more playable (to me, at least). After looking at the structure, the easiest thing would prob be to add specific cheat codes to games. Since it is difficult to add new rooms and objects to a game, the cheats would be specific commands that could change specific values in a game.

I'm not sure if one Infocom game is esp tough and in need of such "augmentation".


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 Post subject: Re: Infocom remakes
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 8:19 pm
Posts: 139
You may be interested to know that the bocfel interpreter has some cheat functionality built in: https://bocfel.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Cheats


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 Post subject: Re: Infocom remakes
PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:13 am
Posts: 2341
Location: The Midwest
The Rezrov interpreter is also known for its game-specific cheats. For instance, "angiotensin" will lower your heart rate after every turn in Bureaucracy.

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