> run presen.exe
> run presen.exe

A Brief History of Text Adventures and MUDs
By Andre Odendaal date Dec 2011
Revision 3 / Serial 389756
P...
A Brief History of Text Adventures and MUDs
By Andre Odendaal date Dec 2011
Revision 3 / Serial 389756
Presentation Room

...
background to text adventures and MUDs and briefly discuss why they
should be explored by game designers.
The presentation...
> look at games
Colossal Cave Adventures was created by Will Crowther in 1975 and
updated by Don Woods in 1976. Written in...
“You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a
boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.”
Both ...
Online-Systems founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams. Released
first graphical adventure Mystery House which used a ...
Z-machine interpreters exist for myriad platforms.
* Zoom – Mac OS
* Frotz – Multiple platforms
* Frotz for iOS
* ZMachine...
as for newcomers. Prizes are dontated (examples include gift
certificates, software licenses, games and books) and entries...
In 1978 Roy Trubshaw wrote a multi-user adventure game called MUD
(Multi-User Dungeon, in tribute to Zork’s original name)...
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Text adventures & muds

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A Brief History of Text Adventures and MUDs

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Text adventures & muds

  1. 1. > run presen.exe
  2. 2. > run presen.exe A Brief History of Text Adventures and MUDs By Andre Odendaal date Dec 2011 Revision 3 / Serial 389756 Presentation Room You are in a smart looking presentation room watching a presentation about old text adventure games. The objective is to give some background to text adventures and MUDs and briefly discuss why they should be explored by game designers. The presentation has already started. >
  3. 3. A Brief History of Text Adventures and MUDs By Andre Odendaal date Dec 2011 Revision 3 / Serial 389756 Presentation Room You are in a smart looking presentation room watching a presentation about old text adventure games. The objective is to give some background to text adventures and MUDs and briefly discuss why they should be explored by game designers. The presentation has already started. > show agenda The agenda of the presentation is as follows: * Historical Context * Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork * Game Dev Companies and Z-machine * Essex MUD * Interactive Fiction >
  4. 4. background to text adventures and MUDs and briefly discuss why they should be explored by game designers. The presentation has already started. > show agenda The agenda of the presentation is as follows: * Historical Context * Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork * Game Dev Companies and Z-machine * Essex MUD * Interactive Fiction > show context The following events occurred in 1975 * Microsoft formed (spelt Micro-Soft) * Viking 1, first probe to Mars, launched * South Africa launched Operation Savannah in Angolan Civil War (Border War, Angolan Bush War) * Heavy metal band Iron Maiden formed * Atari releases home version of Pong * Altair 8800 build-it-yourself microcomputer sold (could run BASIC) >
  5. 5. > look at games Colossal Cave Adventures was created by Will Crowther in 1975 and updated by Don Woods in 1976. Written in FORTRAN for PDP-10 mainframe and used 300kB. Map a simulation of Bedquilt Cave in Kentucky “You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.” Zork was developed by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling in 1977 (originally called Dungeon). Infocom formed to sell game and many others. Written in MDL (MIT Design Language) for PDP-10. “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.” Both games focused on exploring a maze-like world and solving itembased puzzles to continue. No real combat, enemies were puzzles. Both games are currently available online and free to play. >
  6. 6. “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.” Both games focused on exploring a maze-like world and solving itembased puzzles to continue. No real combat, enemies were puzzles. Both games are currently available online and free to play. > identify companies Adventure International founded in 1978 by Scott and Alexis Adams. Released first commercial text adventure game, Adventureland. Defunct 1985. Infocom founded in 1979 by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank, Albert Vezza and Joel Berez to sell Zork and other interactive fiction. Name chosen so they would be taken seriously. Bought by Activision in 1986 and shut down in 1989. Online-Systems founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams. Released first graphical adventure Mystery House which used a static vectorbased graphic along with text. 1982 renamed Sierra On-Line. >
  7. 7. Online-Systems founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams. Released first graphical adventure Mystery House which used a static vectorbased graphic along with text. 1982 renamed Sierra On-Line. > pickup z-machine An important development was Z-machine virtual machine by Infocom. Games were released as Z-code files and could run on new machines with Z-machine implementation. Z-machine interpreters exist for myriad platforms. * Zoom – Mac OS * Frotz – Multiple platforms * Frotz for iOS * ZMachine.NET - .NET * Zax - Java Examples: In 1993 Graham Nelson developed Inform which generates Z-code files. Latest is Inform 7 http://inform7.com/ In 1997 Graham developed Z-machine standard based on detailed study of Infocom files >
  8. 8. Z-machine interpreters exist for myriad platforms. * Zoom – Mac OS * Frotz – Multiple platforms * Frotz for iOS * ZMachine.NET - .NET * Zax - Java Examples: In 1993 Graham Nelson developed Inform which generates Z-code files. Latest is Inform 7 http://inform7.com/ In 1997 Graham developed Z-machine standard based on detailed study of Infocom files > enter competition The Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.int-fiction run an annual interactive fiction competition (IFComp) for fans of the old Infocom games as well as for newcomers. Prizes are dontated (examples include gift certificates, software licenses, games and books) and entries must be released as freeware or public domain. http://ifcomp.org/ >
  9. 9. as for newcomers. Prizes are dontated (examples include gift certificates, software licenses, games and books) and entries must be released as freeware or public domain. http://ifcomp.org/ > play MUD In 1978 Roy Trubshaw wrote a multi-user adventure game called MUD (Multi-User Dungeon, in tribute to Zork’s original name), later known as Essex MUD or MUD1. Written in MACRO-10 for DEC PDP-10. In 1985 Neil Newell wrote SHADES because MUD1 would shutdown during university holidays. Indra Sinha’s book The Cybergypsies: a True Tale of Lust, War, and Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier describes early internet addiction, scams and scandals. (IRC would only be created in 1988, and World of Warcraft in the US in 2004). Lots of variant games were created focusing on different styles of play (Hack ‘n Slash, PvP, Roleplaying, Social) and branches were created of those to create different flavours of games. MUDs can still be played today (suggest Aardwolf and Discworld) >
  10. 10. In 1978 Roy Trubshaw wrote a multi-user adventure game called MUD (Multi-User Dungeon, in tribute to Zork’s original name), later known as Essex MUD or MUD1. Written in MACRO-10 for DEC PDP-10. In 1985 Neil Newell wrote SHADES because MUD1 would shutdown during university holidays. Indra Sinha’s book The Cybergypsies: a True Tale of Lust, War, and Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier describes early internet addiction, scams and scandals. (IRC would only be created in 1988, and World of Warcraft in the US in 2004). Lots of variant games were created focusing on different styles of play (Hack ‘n Slash, PvP, Roleplaying, Social) and branches were created of those to create different flavours of games. MUDs can still be played today (suggest Aardwolf and Discworld) > examine importance Guidelines for writing interactive fiction can be used by game designers for other, graphical games. Use unambiguous descriptions, share narrative constantly though: area descriptions, items and puzzles; create stories players are keen to repeat. > ask questions Enjoy your holidays!

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