Exploring Zork, Part 2: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/exploring-zork-part-2/
Exploring Zork, Part 3: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/exploring-zork-part-3/
The Roots of Infocom: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/the-roots-of-infocom/
The Birth of Infocom: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/the-birth-of-infocom/
ZIL and the Z-Machine: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/zil-and-the-z-machine/
Selling Zork: https://www.filfre.net/2012/01/selling-zork/
* includes enchanter, spell breaker, and all the infocom games
The reason other mystery decision games didn't is mainly because of the lack of consequence, DBH fills the gap by revealing the existence of other choices and how many world wide players made a particular choice. But it still fails on having many meaningful consequences, it tries pretty well though
I tried getting into IF several times and never really managed to get very far - both the frustration of trying to get the parser to understand me & the "gameplay" (puzzles I guess) just not being very interesting.
Maybe it's one of those things where "you had to be there at the time".
Back in the day, they seemed powerful. The lack of graphics was a clear trade for what seemed a lot of text and fairly sophisticated input.
I loved them. Have only finished a couple though.
I still really like IF. One gem today is lost pig. Hilarious!
Later, as my understanding had improved, I appreciate the art. Harsh limits back then. Despite that, for those people for whom words light up fun parts of the brain, the result is compelling.
I have wanted to do one with all sound. Maybe text to read, maybe those words just spoken. Dunno.
For what it is worth, Dungeons and Dragons invokes a similar mindset, given a good DM and group of players.
Maybe give that a go should you encounter an opportunity.
For me, we had lots of different games. Various systems to game on too. The text adventure stood out, but not for everyone.
No worries. I also think when it stands out, is compelling, it is super compelling! You maybe need the right triggers, or maybe just are not the type.
Triggers for me were actually teachers endorsements. They wanted us to play those text games. I know that had an influence on me.
Nope, not really. I didn't get into IF until 2002, and I suspect that it's just a matter of taste. If you'd been around in the early days, maybe you'd be more into pinball or reading or bowling or something.
> Maybe it's one of those things where "you had to be there at the time".
Zork 1 is pretty hard/frustrating, so you shouldn't necessarily give up on IF in general based on that. You could try Zork 0, Beyond Zork, or the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (only the beginning is really hard) which are basically different genres from Zork 1.
^yes. this, and access to technology. there was a pretty significant time where low-end PC tech could support little of the more "advanced" gaming trends. i played many text-adventure, MUDs and 2d platforming games (PoP, chopper commando, etc) because that was what would run on the machine i had access to. my neighbor had a pentium with a cd-rom...which is where i learned of myst ;)
i have a deep love of text gaming (online and off) because of this...and i can 100% see why it may not resonate so well with others
It's funny how my first passing thought was "pushed-to-clients", but no, they had to batch bug fixes, QA, regression test (probably manual play?), see if it all fit back on floppies, create a master image, mail to factory, update printed literature and box design with version numbers, have retail boxed product delivered to Babbages (or whatever), possibly with instructions for removal of old inventory.
Hard to fathom just how much easier it is to iterate in this age.
Even if some games came with maps, some versions didn't. For example, the Commodore-distributed Infocom games were just floppy disks in large cardboard sleeves. You figured it all out on your own.
When I started messing with UE4 about 4 years ago, the very first project I wanted to try was recreating Zork I, as I pictured it in my mind.
I was still learning the ropes in terms of creating good assets for UE4 (and still am to a lesser degree), and formulating my own art style, but there are some examples (Living Room and Entrance to Hades) as well as a sample treasure (Platinum Bar) here:
Other than that, I had a large part of the overground/underground map done in greybox form, and were starting to add interactive components like the rug, trapdoor, and lamp.
From time to time, I feel like going back and starting over, it's still something I would like to do one day. The conceptual problems I faced were:
1) whether to limit the game to "on rails" style game play when moving between locations, or to allow the player to freely roam in normal first-person fashion; and
2) the original game relies so heavily on the players imagination to flesh out the environment on their mind. If you take that away from them by providing a visual interpretation, would the game be as fun or interesting?
I never answered those questions, so I gave up on it and moved onto another equally as ridiculous concept (and then another, and another...)