Lance R. Vick

What If?

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So I got a chance to play with Galatea by Emily Short, and was quickly reminded how much I love interactive fiction games. (Thanks to David Pflug for pointing me to it)

I decided to share with the class.

Interactive fiction games are like books or stories that you control. Think of them as text-based role playing games. They have lost popularity in recent years because people have flocked to games that do not require reading... and thinking. As a starter for those who want to dive in I present here the IF game that started it all. Zork.

It went something like this:

ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire
Copyright (c) 1981, 1982, 1983 Infocom, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ZORK is a registered trademark of Infocom,
Inc. Revision 88 / Serial number 840726

West of House You are standing in an open field
west of a white house, with a boarded front door.

There is a small mailbox here.

>Go East

Zork is a fantasy, a sci-fi, an adventure, a whatever you want it to be. This as the first real IF game and one of the best games of all time that I may spend the next year trying to complete. Source code has been released by infocom, and they have since disregarded copyrights, so I took the liberty of converting them into zblorb files playable in modern z-machine emulators.

Download -> Zork 1 | Zork 2 | Zork 3

The game that got me hooked on IF again is Galatea by Emily Short, which is a full representation of a work of art that is alive, that you can converse with and end up with one of dozens of endings depending on how you treat her/it.

Download -> Galatea

For *nix/mac users these can be played with nfrotz or gargoyle (a graphical player that runs on top of nfrotz) You can easily grab these with most Linux package managers.

For windows users... you might try Windows Nfrotz which is a windows compile of nfrotz, however I have not tested it and do not plan to.