Introducing Ourselves

Greetings Wumpus-Hunters,

My name is Mark and I hail from the US. I guess a bit of background is in order…

My first computer was a C64, in the early 80’s. I was 15. I think it cost my parents something like $600. At the time, 64K surpassed the piddly 48K apple 2’s and trash-80s, and positively dwarfed Commodore’s own Vic 20. It came with the tape deck, but not the floppy-drive, which was a few hundred more.

I learned BASIC in a week, and was POKEing and PEEKing game designs shortly thereafter. My first computer adventure game was Temple of Apshai, by Epyx IIRC. It was basically a roguelike that came with a physical book (along with the tape-cassette) in which we looked up entries to describe the rooms and creatures we fought. To say the game was crude would be an understatement. Think gold-box D&D, but without the great :wink: graphics. But my buddy and I waited a half-hour for that damn cassette to load, and ended up playing most of the night. That and Jumpman.

So that’s some context. That’s about when I discovered Infocom. Zork 2 was my first text adventure, but I bought and played several later, including Starcross, Deadline, Enchanter, Planetfall, Infidel, Hitchhiker’s, and more Zorks, although some of them might of been on later machines (I got an Amiga after the C64 then eventually switched to IBM).

Sometime in the early to mid nineties I read an article in Computer Gaming World (I think it was called) about text adventures and TADS. A dedicated language just for text adventures? It was cool enough to set off my nerd-lust - I had to have it! So I ordered everything I could get from Mike Robert’s company (High-Energy?) - TADS 2.2 (with the hot-off-the-presses comb-bound Book of the Parser), Perdition’s Flames and Deep Space Drifter with hintbooks and feelies, and of course the TADS manual. Shortly thereafter I discovered the IF community on the internet, and have been lurking off and on ever since.

In 2008 I finally finished a game. It was an old-school puzzle-fest called Berrost’s Challenge that finished 10th and “won” the Golden Banana of Dischord award in the 2008 comp, a distinction of which I am proud for no rational reason.

That’s my background with IF, and way more than I intended to write, so I’ll shut up now and just say see ya round the campus.

1 Like

I have fond memories of Jumpman. I remember watching the guy climb the ladder in super-slo-mo as the tape loaded. I keep hearing about remakes, but I can’t imagine that any of them could be as good as the original.

Berrost’s Challenge was one of the first IF games I played, and my first time through a puzzle-rich game involving a wizard’s apprentice. As a result I have a lot of fond nostalgia for it, despite the fact that it’s only been around for two years. I suspect it holds the same place in my heart that Zork does for others.

Thanks for making it!

1 Like

Wow, that is quite a compliment! I’m really very gratified that someone remembers my game so fondly. And you are very welcome!

Regarding Jumpman - Google Jumpman Under Construction if you are running windows - it is an extremely faithful windows clone of both Jumpman and Jumpman Junior. Retro-geeky overload! I installed it and ran it under windows 7 with no problems (just run as admin) and no need for dosbox or emulators.

Awesome, Mike! I’m going to try this Berrost’s Challenge, I’ve just put it on my list. 8)


Hi, I’m Sean, a UNIX admin in the Twin Cities. I’ve been playing IF off and on for almost 30 years, but didn’t even know this community existed until last fall. Since then, I’ve been doing my best to catch up for all the lost time, but I still have a long list of must-play games ahead of me.

I’ve written a few reviews at IFDB, but mostly I just lurk. I bought Aaron Reed’s book a couple of months ago, and was inspired to try my hand at writing my own game, and it’s now in a testable state. If anyone is willing to test it, please drop me a line. ( – apologies for the plug).

Thanks, and nice to meet all of you.

1 Like

I’m Raynie Jordan but most people just call me RJ. I have three children, I work semi-full time, I run and I write… Oh and I’m a pretty serious gamer. cough my children think I brought the new playstation for them… :laughing:
Being an author already and a gamer, both elements of this medium attract me and I’m enjoying playing through all the amazing games that I’ve found so far.

So now I’ve just downloaded Inform 7 and have completed the Stateroom tutorial (FYI: I secretly get a thrill out of programming) and really enjoyed playing with what I’ve learned so far and adding new bits and pieces as I learn how. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m hooked so I guess I’m here to stay :smiley:

waves :sunglasses:

Howdy all!
Seeing how this topic exists … my RL name is Vaughn, I live in SW Wisconsin, and in general I’m an artist in several media. I haven’t FINISHED a whole lot of IF games, but have played on and off since the 80s. It’s awesome that IF is still alive, and since I discovered Inform, I’ve been playing more over the last decade. In 2003, I decided to try my hand at writing IF, and TRIED to start small (using Inform 6) but the game kept growing and growing until I just dropped it. Picked it up again in 07, fleshed out the plot and puzzles a bit more, and dropped a lot of the over-expansive ideas I had … but still, being my first project it got dropped again, even though the code currently sits around 1200 lines. I still hope to finish that game, but am thinking I should step back and code something considerably smaller just as a learning device and to actually COMPLETE something LOLz. I’ll be sure to announce it on the beta-test forums when I finally get something done.

also, I gotta say, actually getting my account activated was somewhat like solving an IF puzzle. :wink: The original registration activation e-mail never came, and never came … until I sent an e-mail about it, and got no response … then looked under the ‘Forum Announcements’ topic and learned that this was a known issue … and finally today noticed the ‘Resend Activation E-mail’ option on the login page. heh. solved. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi everyone,

I am a music teacher by trade, and go by Lanz on these forums.

I attribute my interest in IF to “Get Lamp”, so let that be a testament to Jason Scott’s contribution to spreading the word. Although I am new to this community, I am not entirely new to IF in general. As a 12 year old, I had Infocom’s Infidel on my commodore 64, but didn’t get very far. Around the same time I also played King’s Quest III, but my favorite games were the Monkey Island graphic adventures (with 2 being my fav).

I am currently playing Anchorhead, and you could say that it’s my first step back into IF. I am also trying to learn Inform 7 with the help of Jim Aikin’s handbook. To make the learning process more fun and to practice learning the basics, I am creating tiny little games for my close friends that contain a bunch of inside jokes and references (mapping a friend’s house for example). At this point, that is the extend of my IF authoring, but we shall see where it goes from here as I learn more.

Thanks for the support so far on these forums.


Hello fellow IF fans,

My name is Erin and I’m a 29-year-old editor/print designer in Sacramento, Calif. I’ve been playing text adventure games since I was 9 years old, when my dad introduced me to the classic Zork series on our monochrome Apple IIe. Gaming has always been a part of my life, and I love how IF can be so easily adapted to new technology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a trip down memory lane with a little bit of Planetfall on my phone in the checkout line at the grocery store.

I’m starting to learn Inform to create my own stories. Eventually I wan to create whole worlds for my fan fiction group to explore, but right now my first project is a basic simulation of my morning (get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.) in my one-bedroom apartment. It’s amazing how complex some facets of life can be to model! The manual and the cookbook have been great, but I sure could benefit from the advice of some experienced authors.

I’ll try real hard to lurk more often than I beg for advice :wink:

Welcome Erin! Aside from various blogs and forums like this one, I’d recommend three sources that might provide further information on I7 writing:

  • The Inform 7 Handbook by Jim Aikin. This is an alternative to the I7 manual geared toward teaching I7 in the classroom. The book is distributed for free; just follow the link.
  • Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 by Aaron Reed. A ‘learning by doing’ style course that walks you step by step through the creation of a game called Sand-Dancer. The book is published and available at and (I think) elsewhere.
  • Inform 7 for Programmers by Ron Newcomb. As the name indicates, this is a guide on Inform 7 geared toward people with previous programming experience. If you’re uncertain of why Inform 7 is behaving in a certain way or need a broad overview of what it can do in a particular area, this manual may hold the answer. It is a free download; again, just follow the link.

Good luck and once again, welcome.

Awesome! Thanks so much!

Hi. Bob Reeves here. Philosophy instructor & poet, pushing 60. Albuquerque NM. For some reason, back in '99 when I started posting on the Usenet groups, I picked an obscure Firesign Theatre character from their album “Not Insane” as my alias. Although I’ve just returned from a 10-year hiatus from IF, I didn’t want to confuse people.

A girlfriend had Hitchhiker & Zork I for her Apple II in 1986. I ripped through those, & in the next two years played the rest of the Infocom catalogue without TOO many hints. It wasn’t till 1996 or so that I discovered the IF archive & the rec-arts groups. I wrote 5 games in ALAN which I called “Painless Little Stupid Games,” mostly to see if I could force ALAN to do things it shouldn’t have been able to do. (These games are hard to play with recent computers: I’m in the process of porting them to Inform 7 even as we speak.) My Z-code game “RANS” had the misfortune of coming out the same week as “Varicella” (and of being an inferior game!), so it was largely ignored, though a few people have said nice things about it.

Now I’m busy discovering all the great games written in my absence, like “Violet” and “Lost Pig”–plus I finally finished “Once and Future,” which I actually paid for, way back when.

Welcome, Bob! Hope you enjoy things here.


I was a hobbyist a decade or so ago, and I’m looking to get involved again - shake the rust off my keyboard, that sort of thing. Other than this forum and the newsgroup, what are the other manifestations of the IF community?

Thanks in advance,

I’d say the two most important other websites are . (The latter does tend to show a fair amount of non-IF posts as well, but it is a good way to keepn up with the IF blogosphere.)

Browsing back through would give you a fairly complete picture of what IF has been up to for the last year as well.

Hello, everyone.

My name is Collin; I’m 21 years old, I have passionately, constantly created stories in my head for as long as I can remember. I have always wanted to tell stories for a living, despite having many, many different interests; and feeling highly curious towards other artistic pursuits, such as music, visual art, and poetry (I’m not very experienced with either playing musical instruments or drawing accurate lines, but I’ve been told by many, many different people that my prose has a very poetic flair.)

I have a very deep appreciation for interactive storytelling mediums, one that I find uncommon in most people. However, I have very little appreciation for most interactive stories themselves; I believe most game designers just aren’t cut out to be good writers. That being said, I do share an opinion that story isn’t everything in video games, that “left-brain investment” is just essential as “right-brain investment.” I enjoy good puzzles that are cohesive with in-game narratives and make perfect sense, and do not stand out as puzzles within the exposition of the game itself. Apparently these kinds of puzzles don’t come very naturally to many IF writers, but feel free to correct me if you disagree; I have very little experience playing IF as is, and have only played some of the most very old stories.

Aside from IF, I do play video games very voraciously; I watch videos of “Let’s Plays” (you can look that up if you don’t know what that is) even more voraciously on youtube. Watching instead of playing it never detracts from the experience for me, I think; apparently atmosphere and content is what matters to me most in this and almost every other creative medium, not challenge really. And aside from video games, I also do a lot of reading, when my mood is right :slight_smile: I used to read fantasy literature chiefly, but have since strayed to classic literature and occasionally some science-fiction. I still read a little bit of fantasy every now and then, however. I also read a lot of non-fiction, especially subjects on ancient history (particularly India) and Western philosophy and comparative religion. I am particularly interested in Hinduism, but I don’t wish to discuss that very much on these forums.

I’m currently aspiring to become a “professional IF writer”, and if not then at least I can write IF in my spare time as a recreational hobby and work a job that teaches me some meaningful life lessons. I won’t allow myself to do anything routine or noneducational for a living under almost any circumstances, really; most of the careers I have in mind either have something to do with Philosophy, History, or computer programming. I have considered writing prose since elementary school, but have decided only recently that my real passion is writing interactive stories, not linear ones. I would rather spend my creative energy writing in the medium I care most about, even if my priorities seem foolish.

Apparently I’ve taken enough of your time. I would like to express my deep appreciation for this community; I admire the way that not only this forum, but the entire IF community itself is so thriving and industrious, even when the general public generally doesn’t understand why people would like playing text-based video games in the first place. Currently I have a youtube channel set up to portray IF games; but I feel reluctant to upload any videos just yet, do to my lack of expertise and freshness in experience. I intend on providing the playthroughs with invoice commentary and music (I particularly like Jazz fusion :slight_smile:) If you have any suggestions about this, or simply think this is a good or bad idea, please feel free to express your thoughts.

I’ve taken enough of all your time; hopefully I find more opportunities to get more active within this community in the future. Thank you, everybody, for listening to me ramble :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum Collin, and on the contrary, I think that your newness to IF would be a plus in any LPs that you create, so just go for it :slight_smile:.

:sunglasses: (There’s some Weather Report in my speakers right now. (And eels in my hovercraft, but never mind that.))