I am so happy you guys are doing this, I remember it was at least four years ago and you guys were still going strong. A BIG shout to Matt W. and Viaviano, you guys have been a big help with my Inform 7 efforts and otherwise (especially Viaviano)!
Let me introduce myself, my name is Jeremy H. I live in a remote town in Maine two hours north of Bangor, called Houlton. I lived here on my own for 6 years. I was originally from Louisiana, growing up there, I discovered interactive fiction. It was an Infocom title called Moonmist. That was my first time to cut my teeth in ever in IF gaming, and let me tell you, of all the 36 years of my living, there is no other experience then a text adventure, nor a quality IF game made by Infocom at that time!
Growing up, I remember seeing stacks and stacks of my mum and dad’s Compute! collection (damn! I wish I had those still to this day) and saw one of the awesome and most legendary looking Infocom advert ever! It was mysterious, it was fantastic… I had fantasies of how that game would play… It was the first commercial game ever made by Infocom, yes you know it, ZORK (aka Dungeon to the purist). I was eight at the time (1988, when Infocom was still at its height), and only go to play Zork when I was 18 and a Senior in High School still in Louisiana. I had a lack knowledge of using FTP archive sites, which I think might be Andrew Plotkin’s doing of making the first site that is now since been removed, due to the ifarchive.org being the more convenient repository of all things IF. Therefore, I still didn’t know about that time’s inform or other IF programming language, hell, I didn’t even know about AGT at the time as well!
As a result, I had to stick to my guns when it came a yearn to make text adventures, BASIC. In fact, I was pretty grounded most of my High School "career, and my dad was a Platoon Sergeant at Fort Polk, therefore was a strict disciplinarian to my siblings, and especially me… Whelp, what do I expect? Give the old man a hard time, he gives me one back! It was still was still fun giving him hell though!
Well, time flew, I learned about specialty languages, had my first with AGT, then wanted a bit more then what it can offer. Tried TADS 2, it was a bit more then I can chew at the time… So was Inform. I had a lack of knowledge of Object Oriented programming, so it was a bit discouraging (that and BASIC taught me bad programming habits).
However, that changed, funny enough, with ALAN 2… It was pseudo-OO enough that I could handle the basics of any OO language, including C if my mind was put to it. However, by the time it was getting more and more later in the 21st century, OO fundamentals were a standard, including certain kinds of Open Sourced and proprietary BASIC, which abandoned its foundations of routine structure on procedures and used functions more heavily and library calls (to be fair, most BASIC programs today are nothing more then a mere IDE shell with a BASIC-style macro that translates to C++ when compiled anywho). But when Inform 7 came out, I thought it was laziness that peeps got into it, but it is actually a godsend.
Although it is amazing what people do with Inform and IF now adays, like Andrew Plotkin (a big mentor to me) and Aaron A. Reed (a BIG inspiration), who tow the line to make IF even more advanced today. However, I am a purist at heart, as much as I admire the tenacity and courageousness of those two and everyone who pushes the IF envelope, I have to admit; I won’t enjoy it as much as the newbie IF player. That is due to my purism of playing IF since the 80’s. The closest thing to Skyrim then was Zork (I would aptly compare it to a more risky and perilous Myst if you ask me), and Survival Horror like Resident Evil (Biohazard) and Silent Hill, was Lurking Horror (AWESOME title, raaawr!)… I am used to GO NORTH, ENTER THE WHITE HOUSE, KILL TROLL WITH AXE and HELLO SAILOR, which is contra to how these younger IF writers are somewhat resenting today, due to “if you can do it better, then make it big…”
I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and to quote my recently lamented old man, “The government loves to fix it until it is broken, however, son, I ain’t the government… If it ain’t broken, I ain’t thinking about getting my tools or touching it!”
In memory of my dad, Jackie H. (1948-2015), even when he grounded me, and I couldn’t play SNES when I was in High School, let alone Warcraft 2… He encouraged me to create my own games! Thank you dad… Rest well, old soldier… Rest in peace…