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Davidw
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/08 10:36 Compare a game with the complexity of, say, The Hobbit or Sherlock (both text adventures from the mid-80's) to the majority of games out today if you're going to talk technical. In The Hobbit, I could order NPCs around, have them fight one another, open and close doors, carry items around for me, speak to other NPCs and so so on. You could also have incredibly complex commands like GO EAST AND PICK UP THE AXE THEN OPEN THE DOOR WITH THE SILVER KEY THEN PUT THE AXE UNDER THE STOVE AND SAY TO GANDALF "GIVE ME THE MAP" if you wanted. I doubt there are many modern games that could handle that kind of thing.
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Purple Dragon
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/10 04:17 The Hobbit (and I assume Sherlock as well) was a game written and distributed by a software company by someone who was getting paid to do so, and probably had much better resources than the average computer user at the time. I would be extremely surprised if any game in any genre written by someone getting paid for it were NOT better than those being written by someone in their spare time just for the hell of it. That’s just the nature of the beast. If you’re getting paid for something, then it damn well better be good, otherwise you don’t get paid.

So did you actually miss my point, or are you just playing devil’s advocate here like usual? If you’re going to make comparisons, then at least compare apples and apples.
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Davidw
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/10 07:08 Okay, let's compare a game written by a professional (i.e. someone who's being paid to do it) and a game written by someone in his spare time (i.e. someone who's writing for a bit of fun).

In the professional corner, we have... anything by Malinche. If you haven't heard of Malinche, do a Google search for it. It's a company run by Howard Sherman, the "last implementator of interactive fiction", an airbag who claims to have moved 150,000 copies of his games. If you haven't played anything by Malinche, and I'd advise you not to because they're bleeding awful, feel free to check out the opinions of him over on RAIF.

In the doing it for a bit of fun corner, we have... well, lots of people. Check out most of what Emily Short has written, check out the many, many entries to the yearly IFComp. Adam Cadre's Photopia is widely regarded as the best IF game ever written and this was done by a guy on his own. For a bit of fun.

If you want commercial examples by commercial companies of games that stink, yes I can provide them as well. Lots of them. A good deal of what was written back in the golden age of IF (i.e. the 80's) was crud.

And yes, I am playing the devil's advocate a little. But your comment that we shouldn't compare games written a while ago with games written today, and further that commercial works are superior to non-commercial ones, was just wrong. Heck, you've written better games than some of the commercial ones yourself, Purple Dragon.

Post edited by: Davidw, at: 2009/02/10 01:09
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Miscreant
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/10 16:26 I agree with PD here. When comparing games of different genres, the most important thing to look at is the prose.

The case of Sherlock and The Hobbit is certainly an exception to the rule. These games were developed by Melbourne House, a game development studio. Still in existence by the way - they must know something about making games to be around for close to 30 years. Plus, for the games mentioned above, they hired a linguistics expert to design their parser, Inglish. The majority of today's authors simply don't have these resources at their fingertips. I'm sure that many amateur developers of today's IF would be much better with a game company and a linguist supporting them.

The case of Sherman vs. Cadre and Short is equally disparate. From what I can find, Sherman is an amateur writer, while Cadre is a published author and Short is (or was) a PhD student in Classics. Certainly the writing of Cadre and Short are likely to be much better than just about any IF game out there, either then or now.

The examples you cited are atypical. By and large, the prose in today's IF games are consistent with games from the 80's. Perhaps a bit better, as the trend in IF becomes less puzzle-oriented. The technology available for today's authors easily outstrips the technology available for "the golden age" of IF.

There will always be exceptions to the rule.

When comparing works of different eras, or comparing between amateur/professional - the writing is the thing that we should focus on. There is a place for discussing technical implementation, but it should be constrained to the body of work that was contemporary to it.
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Davidw
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/10 23:06 Weird. You say you agree with Purple Dragon's comments then go on to pretty much repeat what I said above, namely: that games should be judged on their own merits and not when they were written and who they were written by.

Yes, Adam Cadre is a published author but (I think) he wrote IF before he wrote commercial literature. And yes, Short has a PhD. So what? Go check out the winning entries from the IFComp for the past five years (I bet not many of them are published authors or have PhDs), yet they're still capable of writing very, very good games.

Leading me back to the point I was making above, and why I replied to this thread in the first place: that whether a game is commercial or not is irrelevant; whether it's written by a professional or an amateur is irrelevant; when it was written is irrelevant; what the game is like the only thing that should matter here.
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Miscreant
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/11 03:58 I guess I agree with you too, DavidW! Good games are good games!

I agree with PD in that games of every era can be fairly judged against one another based on the writing. I also think that when comparing technical implementation, that there need to be some caveats. The primary thing (for me) is to look at the "body of work" that surrounded that game.

This isn't to say that the best game of 1988 is as good as the best game from 2008, an assumption that can easily be made from my claims. However, saying that the best game of 2008 is better just because of the available technology to create IF games seems a bit unfair.

I prefer to look at games against the whole field of games that surround it. This is perhaps my main issue with what you've said, DavidW, and you'll let me know if I'm wrong. You mention Cadre and Short, arguably two of the best IF writers as basis for comparison. Also, you mention games made by a professional publishing house with an on-board linguist. Now, you bring up the winners from the past five IF comps. I get the feeling that you would like every game to live up to these standards, or at least you feel that "average" games are bad in comparison. I could be wrong, and I hope you correct me if I am. If I were comparing games, then I would not stop at comparing them to the best of the best, but perhaps also against the 157 entries that didn't win the IFComp in those years. This is what I mean by "body of work" or "contemporaries" for a piece of IF.

Jumping to the topic of the removed game, it appears that the reviewer of WUZ just plain didn't like the game. It did get panned, but I've seen worse. The reviewer gave it low scores for writing and implementation, so I don't really think that he judged it too unfairly, based on my criteria. Now, if he's way off base with his comments, then perhaps - but anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. Full disclosure: I haven't played the game.
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Miscreant
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/02/11 03:58 {double post]

Post edited by: Miscreant, at: 2009/02/10 21:59
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javartis
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2009/06/21 10:30 am i the only one who finds it funny that a 40 year old man is bithcing at what was probley a 13 or 14 yeat old kid for giving his game a bad review
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Kastier
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Re:Wuz game removed - 2011/06/13 18:49 This is an old thread, but I have to chime in here since apparently I created the whole mess in the first place.

When I wrote my review (years ago), I was by no means trying to be cruel. Granted, I possibly was hard on it given its grandaddy age (already 17 years old at the time), though I did state that I didn't feel it was at the level of other games made in the same era. (Passion Pit among others). Wus is a bad game. I'm sure a lot of people who played it would agree.

Now as far as the author getting upset at me for my bad review, three years after I wrote it and 20 years after he wrote the game... well, I find that amusing. Seriously?

It's just my opinion. If he didn't agree, or if others didn't agree, well, they're entitled to theirs as well. Still, people ought to have thicker skins.

Calling me mean spirited is not fair though. I'm not that type of guy.
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