Gold Machine: Trinity (updated February 28)

In all the excitement of the day, I forgot to make a thread about Trinity’s series at Gold Machine. The first post is up now. Those who have followed Gold Machine closely know that I have other favorites, but I respect that many of you (and others elsewhere) consider it Infocom’s best game. So: I will be critical at times, but, ultimately, I recognize its place in history.

I did name it in my top 50 of all time nomination list, after all.

I’m not sure how long this will go. It will receive more attention than nearly every game I’ve covered, though probably not more than Spellbreaker or A Mind Forever Voyaging (that was a lot).


More: living in the shadow of nuclear annihilation.


I haven’t read these posts yet, so I don’t have any feedback per se, but I always enjoy reading your writing! I realized the other day that I really missed Gold Microphone, will there ever be a new episode?


re: gold microphone

At the risk of derailing my own thread: Callie’s post-grad school life is very busy, and the prep time for doing an episode is just a lot for her. We could have cut that prep time down with play transcripts, curated review digest, etc. All certainly doable, but she felt that skipping play would compromise the content.

Since she is still my collaborator on new IF projects (she illustrated Repeat the Ending and is illustrating the WIP, too) we are focusing our shared work time on IF development. Hopefully, people enjoy the results!

Still, my attitude as a person who makes IF and IF-related content is that if there’s an audience for something, I want to do it. There’s an audience for the podcast. Frankly, that audience is usually larger than the one for my written content. What to do? A new cohost? I’m probably hard to work with. Even getting past that, I think the ideal dynamic would be a person who isn’t into/familiar with Infocom stuff but would be willing to play them and meet their texts where they are. Callie met both of those criteria (she plays choice games in her own time), which led to a good vibe.

While I haven’t tried to search for a person, I feel like it would be hard to get the mix right.

I could do it alone, but I just don’t see that having the same appeal.

I could stream Infocom games, just like critical commentary on prestige DVD content. I can see an archive of that content having value, possibly. It would also lend itself well to podcast content (not a lot to look at).

These are all things I have thought about.


after a long hiatus:


There are probably sophisticated ways to get at the rating data using the IFDB API, but it’s pretty easy to just copy and paste the relevant text headers and extract the rating and year. I did that in the attached tab-delimited text file (NB there are 100 ratings, not 99, since it includes the one editorial review with a rating). There are different ways to subdivide the data; I took averages over three date ranges that had roughly similar numbers of ratings (2007-09, 2010-15, and 2016 to present) and didn’t see much of interest (the averages are 4.42, 4.7, and 4.51 respectively) but maybe there’s something of note others can extract!

trinity reviews.txt (6.0 KB)


Nice. Thanks for that! I’ll talk about it in the next article. I’m surprised that average has largely remained static. In terms of the poll, it’s hard not to think about the influence of Maher’s essays, though that doesn’t seem to have moved IFDB votes.


I had the exact same thought! Anyway looking forward to part 2.


I’ve had a hard time getting back to this! With R4 of Repeat the Ending and my “story mode” extension finally in the rear view mirror, hopefully I can get more of these posts out the door.

Today’s post completes my survey of critical responses. I would have liked to have considered print reviews from 1986, but I couldn’t dig any up. If you’re aware of any, let me know.


I think a lot of you already know it’s been hard for me to get work out lately, but hopefully this is the first of a handful of updates.