18 April 2008

Blast from the Past

Frankly, I don't know anyone who would find this interesting except me, but isn't that the ideal thing to write about in this most-narcissistic of oeuvres?

So, once upon a time, there was a company called Infocom. Most of you over the age of 20 will probably heard of it. Most of you, period, will have at least heard of their most famous product, Zork.

Back when I was in my pre-to-mid-teens, $50 at the video game store got you white text on a blue screen, and, while that time has past, it was a hell of a way to play a game back then. The game developers didn't need fancy graphics, but they did need to know how to tell a story, and tell it well. Hence the gaming style called Interactive Fiction (IF). Infocom was the last word in IF until they extended themselves too far and developed a database program (Cornerstone) that ultimately sunk the company, whose assets were bought by Activision. In my humble opinion, their masterpiece was a story centered around the development of the atomic bomb called Trinity. I believe that game, more than anything else, stoked my still-burning interest in the Manhattan Project.

Infocom's second-best selling game, after Zork, was an interactive fiction version of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which was nearly impossible to win, but was a damned good game nonetheless.

Well, it turns out that Infocom tried to create a sequel to HHGTTG, entitled Milliways, and Andy Baio at waxy.org has the scoop. You can find my comment somewhere towards the bottom.


FrankG said...

Damn Babel Fish problem!!!

Stewart Bushman said...

You put it in your earrrrrrrr!