Friday, April 29, 2005

Adventure - Gaming for Old Folks


In A Valley
You are in a valley in the forest beside a stream tumbling along a rocky bed.


At End Of Road


At End Of Road
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.

Back in the good old days there were countless hours wasted as people typed in quaint text commands to their computer. In this way, they played a game. Really, they were living a story. Making their way through a hand-crafted, fictional game universe designed by gamers for gamers. Imagination was key to these games, and they were the precursor to the MUD games that rules the online world of the eighties and early nineties.

There was something magical about typing text at your computer and having it seemingly understand you. The mini-game of just figuring out exaclty how you could convince the game to let you perform the action you had in mind was often a joy in and of itself. When you finally figured out a way to tell the game to let you take a drink from the stream in Adventure there was trickle of excitement that ran up your spine. That small thrill that worked its way to your cerebral cortex and convinced you that, somehow, this was more than just a game. You were having a conversation with your computer -- no... you were having an adventure with it. :)

Ah, the good old days.

Now you can't seem to have any fun unless the graphics on your screen are so realistic that you are dazzled. Even the more retro-games still require a graphical representation to give us the visual feedback our over-stimulated and under-nourished minds have come to expect to derive maximum enjoyment from our "games".

All the text adventure fun you can shake a stick at.

Then I wondered just hwat that xyzzy referred to... so here ya go:

Everything you ever wanted to know about the magic word xyzzy... in the words of the author of the page.

its from the Adventure game... which I was referencing in an earlier blog.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Snowblind Studios and such

On Monday I started at Snowblind Studios, and I have to say that this company is a lot of fun to work for. Everyone here is very laid back, and I have not had this much fun coming in to work in a very long time.

The last few nights after most folks have gone home I have spent some time wandering around the halls of the small studio offices and examing the articles that have been framed and posted on the walls. I love reading the articles in national magazines that talk about Champions of Norrath or Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. I sit back and think about the people I have met since I started here and it sinks in with a kind of warm glow that I now know these people. I am in touch with the creators of these games that I have enjoyed playing from afar for many years now.

To be sure Snowblind is not Blizard (at least not yet). There is plenty of room for improvement and the studio is very small and spare. However, I am reminded to some degree of the relative success of Id Software which, while a mile away from the same feeling that we have here at Snowblind, did share one thing in common: A small staff and a reluctance to grow beyond a certain nuclear size.


Hello, and welcome to my first blog post. In this corner of the web I plan to explore the things that are currently catching my interest. This will often include things such as my girlfriend and software. I tend to love to expound upon the latest software packages and even more so the greatness that is my girlfriend Lynda.

So join me as I journey into the well-populated land of blogging. My little corner of cyberspace begins anew....