Version 7, the first publicly released version, have a compilation date of 930428, and that makes it 30 years today!
It's become a matter of pride now not to give up. That tourist map of Paris must be up here somewhere in all this clutter, even if it has been five years since your last trip. And it's your own fault. It looks as if your great-grandfather was the last person to tidy up these lofts... CURSES An Interactive Diversion Copyright (c) 1993 by Graham Nelson. New players should type "help". Release 7 / Serial number 930428 (Compiled by Inform v549) Attic The attics, full of low beams and awkward angles, begin here in a relatively tidy area which extends north, south and east. The wooden floorboards seem fairly sound, just as well considering how heavy all these teachests are. But the old wiring went years ago, and there's no electric light. A hinged trapdoor in the floor stands open, and light streams in from below.
It was announced a couple of day later in rec.games.int-fiction
Announcement: CURSES Announcing "Curses", a new Infocom-format game: ==================================================================== Your family have owned the house for generations, not that they ever amounted to anything. Well, now it's yours, but you haven't any great ambitions; all you want is to get away from the holiday packing, which is driving you mad, and hunt around in the ramshackle old attic of Meldrew House for that student map of Paris you know you left up there somewhere. You certainly have no idea why Aunt Jemima's keen interest in horticulture, your grandfather's early photography, how robot mice work, what Arthurian legends have to do with the motorway at the bottom of the garden, Tarot cards, the politics of George III, holiday snaps and Greek myths are all about to become suddenly important to you... could you possibly be suffering from a Curse? "Curses" is a new version-3 format story file which can be played, hopefully, on any Infocom interpreter capable of running general version 3 games. (Most games were version 3: but be warned that some interpreters are hacked only to work with one specific game.) The InfoTaskForce interpreter will run it, and since that's been ported to most machines now this means it should be easy to get going. "Curses" is a fully worked-out and tested game which pushes the format to its limits; it is about 115K long, larger than average, and has a comprehensive parser (capable of working out implicit commands, and of asking clarifying questions) with a vocabulary of about 700 words. The story file contains full instructions and needs no other accompanying material. It is public domain, though I retain the copyright. "Curses" was written under an Infocom-format compiler called "Inform", details of which are given in a similar announcement on rec.arts.int-fiction. It may be found in the if-archive at ftp.gmd.de: if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform contains all the Inform files, including a copy of "Curses". See the Index file there. There is also a copy in if-archive/games/infocom. Remember that it must be FTP'd in binary, not ASCII, mode. There are interpreters for Infocom-format adventures in if-archive/infocom/interpreters. My thanks go to Volker Blasius for maintaining the archive, and to many others (credited in the game) for helping with its creation. -- Graham Nelson Oxford University, UK
The first version of Inform was also announced simultaneously in rec.arts.int-fiction
Announcement: INFORM Announcing "Inform", an Infocom-format compiler: ===================================================================== Infocom game story files are as near to a universal format as we have for interactive fiction games, but until now it has been very difficult to construct them, and I am not aware that anyone has previously created them outside of Infocom itself. I have written such a compiler, called "Inform", the ANSI C source of which is public domain. It is not a marvellously well-written program, but it does work, and it is documented. Inform produces version-3 files from a fairly C-like source language. The documentation for it contains a description of Inform, and what I think is a complete specification of the version-3 Z-code format; although this information is mostly available on the nets, I don't think it has been collated into a single account before. It also contains a couple of short articles on game design, and particularly design subject to the version-3 limits. There are also two example games, one medium-sized, one tiny. Both the source files and the story files they compile to, are included. Inform is public domain, though I retain the copyright. I have no objection to anyone using its output for anything they wish. I have also written a fully-fleshed out new game called "Curses", for which the source is not available. Details are given in a similar announcement on rec.games.int-fiction. Inform may be found in the if-archive at ftp.gmd.de: if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform contains all the Inform files, including a copy of "Curses". See the Index file there. There is also a copy of "Curses" in if-archive/games/infocom. Remember that story files must be FTP'd in binary, not ASCII, mode. My thanks go to Volker Blasius for maintaining the archive, and to the InfoTaskForce and Mark Howell for their sterling work. -- Graham Nelson Oxford University, UK
The source to Curses! is unfortunately believed to be lost but Allen Garvin have made reverse engineered versions of the source code from the compiled files. I have made some bug fixes to his source of release 16 and that I believe plays pretty true to the original (with a few bugfixes to issues in the original release 16), here. Hopefully someone get inspiration and makes an anniversary version in Inform7.
I would like to see a “Let’s play” on Curses! but I’m maybe not the right person because I probably know the game too much…