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About the Story
Based on the example transcript that came with Infocom's Stationfall, with extensions and improvements, of course.
19th Place - 4th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1998)
An implementation of the sample transcript included in Planetfall, with some modifications. Not exactly up to the quality of Balances; very little is implemented beyond the minimum necessary to reproduce the transcript. The author indicates that it is a work in progress.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
The second release of this one is fleshed out quite a bit more than the first one, so it's not just the Infocom sample transcript anymore. The additional content isn't especially revolutionary--standard sci-fi puzzles--but it's not bad either, and the implementation is reasonably solid. The ideas are still mostly Steve Meretzky's, but that's not a bad thing, and it works okay as an homage of sorts.
-- Duncan Stevens
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
This is a cautionary tale for anyone who decides to implement one of the Infocom transcripts. The transcripts themselves are generally excellent, as they should be from a professional company which had the important task of explaining interactive fiction to a novice public. They are well-written and entertaining, with good settings and clever puzzles. To implement one of these transcripts so that it becomes a good game in its own right, you need a few things. You need to be able to write so well that nobody will be able to tell where the transcript prose stops and yours starts. You need to be able to make your sections of the game as entertaining as the transcript section. You need to be able to extend the setting of the transcript rationally, without introducing a foreign tone or feel. You need to be able to come up with puzzles that are consistent with those in the transcript, and are done as logically as the pre-written ones. If you can do all that, then absolutely write a transcript-based game (assuming you can secure Activision's permission, of course). Then again, if you can do all that, why waste your talent on adapting transcripts?
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This game is a straightforward implementation of Planetfall's sample transcript. A few things are different, since the Inform and Infocom parsers have different responses.
The original transcript ends in a premature death. This game does not; however, the new ending sequence is barely there, a matter of a few moves.
It's well-done, but very small. The smallness is even smaller when the game informs you that portions are blocked off because its not finished by the author.