Spatch's Own Text Adventures
For you and yours

Ever since the spring of 1996 I've been writing Interactive Fiction, or, as most people would call 'em, "text adventures". These games are a fun way to exercise one's knowledge of code and also the creative part of the body. My games are written in Inform, the language a very crafty Englishman derived from reverse-engineering the very same Z-Machine format that Infocom used when it made its great games of the 1980s. I like its structure and its portability and as a result have been able to create a few 'masterpieces' of the genre. As is my habit with rarely finishing major projects, my games are all short works. you should take no longer than, oh, a half hour to win each game. Especially not the first game I wrote, a self-proclaimed (and others-proclaimed) masterpiece of minimalism.

If you'd like, you can play each game online with a Java-enhanced browser. If Java's not your thang, I've also included the story files for quick and easy downloading. If you haven't got an interpreter yet, you can pick one up via this handy-dandy link. I recommend Frotz for most platforms.

Pick Up The Phone Booth and Die

The premise of this game is absurdly simple. you're in a single room with but one object: a phone booth. If you pick the phone booth up, you die. It's challenges like these that keep hardy gamers coming back for more. Oh, there is a way to win the game, all right, but it's a lot more fun trying to avoid picking up that damn phone booth.

Pick Up The Phone Booth and Die 2

Yet more phoneboothy fun awaits you with the almost-kinda sequel to PUTPBAD. It's actually a five-room demo, containing a glimpse of I'll undoubtedly include in the finished product. But don't hold your breath -- this demo came out four years ago, and I haven't finished the damn thing yet.

The Lesson Of The Chicken

This game was written as an entry into Adam Cadre's "chicken comp". It wasn't really a competition, just an open call for games, all of which had to feature somehow "a chicken crossing the road". My game is actually a parody of G. Kevin Wilson's wonderful "Lesson Of The Tortoise", but you don't have to know the original to appreciate the derivative. Chock-full of enough poultry puns to make you wince, with a meaningful message at the end. Yeah, right.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Firetruck

Another popular mini-competition in the IF circles is SpeedIF. Along the same lines as Adam's Chicken Comp, each game submitted to a SpeedIF comp must include certain abitrary features, chosen from a large pool of suggestions right before each comp starts. Oh, and each game must be written in a certain amount of time -- usually two hours or so. All your planning and coding must be done, done, done by that time or you die. Or something. Whatever. Anyway, it's a lot harder than it looks to get a decently working game out of all that, but sometimes it happens. I would like to think this entry (the name means nothing, by the way) had it happen. Popular among the fans was the endgame. HOORAY!

[SPAT] Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 spatula@innuendo.com.

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