David Whyld wrote:
I've always considered The Hobbit to be a truly amazing game but I never played Zork at all when it was first released and when I tried it about 10 years ago, I wasn't that impressed with it.
Zork is a special case, I think. You can separate the question of whether it's massively influential (yes), an amazing technical achievement given the limitations of the day (yes), or introduced you to IF (true for many, including me), from whether it stands, objectively, as one of the 20 best IF games, but I'm not sure everyone does, and frankly nothing about the exercise requires them to. Many of the same things could likely be said of The Hobbit, which I never played; Jimmy Maher's writeup (http://www.filfre.net/2012/11/the-hobbit/
) suggests that I probably wouldn't put it on my own top 20, unless unintentional comedy were a major criterion. Lots of things go into the subjective "favorite" judgment; not much point in trying to dissect it.
Not of a fan of The Quill, eh?
TADS first came out 1988, although the games didn't start rolling until the early 90s.
Right--a few honorable exceptions (e.g., Shades of Grey, Cosmoserve) aside, no one other than the most hardcore of completists would rationally want to try anything written with The Quill, GAGS, AGT, etc. now. The TADS games are significantly better, but the volume was quite low.
I probably have a stronger claim to "trying the bulk of games from both eras" than most (I have played every Infocom and Magnetic Scrolls, most of Synapse, most of Phoenix, some Level 9, a whole bunch of other more obscure games) but I still feel like I'm lacking enough to really answer that. Not enough Quill and Eamon games for one thing-- speaking of amateur tools available at the time. Plus, I've yet to even touch Knight Orc (which is allegedly Level 9's masterpiece).
I'm impressed. You and Jimmy could have some fun conversations!
Peter Piers wrote:
Things that were a staple of the genre got dropped as times changed. That doesn't just have to do with context (it's what every game did so by golly we'll do it too! Besides, the gamer is paying for this and expects months of frustration!), it has to do with this artform developing (what, really, when you get down to it, is the point of walking deads, mazes, and random daemons? Let's just do away with them and focus on other things).
Right. There was a time when games were often conceived as a battle of wits, of sorts, between the author and the player, and a can-you-top-this escalating difficulty competition. It's certainly hard to understand, say, the Phoenix games any other way. That's not how authors approach games now--a good thing, to my mind. But it's hard to objectively compare something written in 1983 for one purpose to something written in 2015 for an entirely different purpose, and frankly I wouldn't expect anyone to try.
All of which is to say: no need to filter for nostalgia, IMO. If it worked for you then, it worked for you then; no need to apologize for it.
Peter Piers wrote:
I AM surprised that Trinity rated so low. And I am NOT surprised that Planetfall is not there at all - it's outworn its gimmick at last.
I'm surprised that Trinity is below AMFV, as the former seems to me clearly superior as a game and as a story, but de gustibus, etc. Agree on Planetfall not surviving the test of time, but I didn't play it until the hobbyist era, so my expectations weren't the same.