Infocom remakes


(Roger Wilco) #1

Infocom games:

How great would a remake of all of them be, a little expanded maybe, with graphics, and a remade, better parser? I would so totally like it !!!

But that’ll never come, will it? :cry:


(Hanon Ondricek) #2

Nope. Not legitimately with copyright issues.

However, there are numerous Zorkian-Universe inspired works, most recently Daniel Stelzer’s splendid SCROLL THIEF which is expansive and well-thought out enough that it could legitimately sit alongside any of Infocom’s entries.


(Andrew Plotkin) #3

A good time to re-link to versificator.net/year-of-adventure/ .

Go nuts.


(Peter Piers) #4

Well, there IS the BBC remake of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That count?

EDIT - And Return to Zork does have an IF demake.


(Hanon Ondricek) #5

Was that an actual “remake” or was it a “Let’s put this game on a webpage and dress it up with some clip art”?

(No shade, the BBC was really great to make it available.)


(Andrew Plotkin) #6

They didn’t alter the zcode, but I believe they put in a lot of work to instrument the interpreter to display artwork at appropriate points in the game. Nor, indeed, was the art “clip art”.


(Peter Piers) #7

The OP wanted pictures to go with the text, and I understand the BBC version also allows you to point-and-click basic commands. Sounds like what the OP wanted. Less of an actual remake, more like an accessory acquired separately and fitted in to make it look better. :slight_smile:


#8

Also there was an Inform6 remake of Deadline by Volker Lanz which was apparently created with permission of Activision.
ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=p976o7x5ies9ltdh

I am not positive, but I believe the rights to the Hitchhiker’s game reverted back to Douglas Adams at some point and I would assume that he or his estate gave permission to the BBC to reissue their online version.

Although it would probably be a violation of copyright to implement a new game that was a remake of an Infocom game, I am not sure how much Activision would care if there was a related game or a “re-interpretation” of an old game.


#9

HHG was re-implemented graphically using the Adventure Game Studio, with complete playable version for Windows users at adventuregamestudio.co.uk/si … game/1312/

I’ve always thought that the fan community, custodians of the torch of being the only people around who still care about this stuff, should re-implement “final” versions of classic text games, patching long-notorious lingering bugs and finally spackling over poorly-aged design problems (mazes, inventory limits, walking dead scenarios) and expanding floppy-constrained prose restrictions. I understand that the SCUMMVM developers have in some cases applied fixes to game problems, making graphical adventure games played in their environment actually more accurate and faithful-to-the-authors’-intentions than the versions that were sold in stores.

This would be, of course, a ton of work, but if Adventure is anything to go by, I doubt there would be any lack of takers. (And how stiff a feat would reimplementing Scott Adams games really be?)

(My personal unresolved HHG bug: teleporting into your own brain a second time puts you on a handful-of-moves death timer; the game can be arranged such that you can put yourself on death row in that way, then complete the game with a happy ending and no mention of how Arthur explodes two turns later. Infocom didn’t have the luxury of the years NetHack’s creators have had, but I still like these simulationistic scenarios to give players the impression that The DevTeam HAS thought of EVERYTHING.)


(Hanon Ondricek) #10

Daniel Stelzer’s Scroll Thief is a dizzyingly wonderful homage to Infocom’s Enchanter. I’d prefer new games like that over remakes, since it’s completely possible to play the original games as they are today.

I suppose it would be very interesting to see how someone would replicate an Infocom game in Inform with the source code available.


(Peter Piers) #11

That’s tricky. For one thing, accepted design of today may be the design problem of tomorrow, so going around fixing things that are a reflection of how things worked back then may come back to bite you in the posterior. For another, that prose restriction actually helped Infocom’s prose by keeping it straight and to the point, yet with some room for maneuvering in surprising ways, and some of us think that part of their games’ appeal is in that prose, which was kept from sprawling.

In the end, I don’t see what’s so bad about letting the past stay the way it is. It’d be tons more interesting to remake, say, Curses, whose author actually wrote a Bill of Player’s Rights that Curses violates all the time.

I mean, if we’re talking about, as a curiosity, a version of Zork that allowed you to “hit lamp” to extend its life or “map maze” to trasnform the maze into a series of linear rooms… I’ll be honest, I WOULD play it and enjoy it, but I wouldn’t presume to call it a remake or a redesign or even “what the authors intended”. It’s just a subtle nudge to make the game more accessible years after its release when the world has moved on. And I’d definitely NOT touch the prose.

I’d call it a cheat - but a happy cheat, one I’d happily play. Heck, I played Adventure that way! I used Aaron Reed’s I7 implementation, added a line to extend the lamp’s life whenever I wanted to, and suddenly exploring Colossal Cave became tons more enjoyable. But I didn’t play adventure, and I wouldn’t presume to say I remade or reimagined or even patched it. I merely scratched my own personal itch.


#12

I’ve been working on disassembling the Z-machine code and understanding how Infocom games are structured and run. The goal was to modify or augment them in some way to make them more playable (to me, at least). After looking at the structure, the easiest thing would prob be to add specific cheat codes to games. Since it is difficult to add new rooms and objects to a game, the cheats would be specific commands that could change specific values in a game.

I’m not sure if one Infocom game is esp tough and in need of such “augmentation”.


#13

You may be interested to know that the bocfel interpreter has some cheat functionality built in: https://bocfel.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Cheats


(Daniel Stelzer) #14

The Rezrov interpreter is also known for its game-specific cheats. For instance, “angiotensin” will lower your heart rate after every turn in Bureaucracy.