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 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.