Monthly Archives: January 2009


Aaron Reed has written some pretty fine IF. Gourmet was one of my favorites from the 2003 IF Comp, just a lot of fun to play. It even has its own theme song (judge for yourself). And of course there’s Whom The Telling Changed, which received much well-deserved recognition and was a finalist in 2006 at the now-defunct Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition. I also see that Aaron was interviewed back then for Get Lamp, Jason Scott’s (hopefully) upcoming documentary on text adventures.

He also lives about ten minutes away from my house. We met a couple of times at the quarterly Utah Indie Gamers Night, and he’s a pretty fascinating guy.

Aaron is about to launch his epic new work of [More...] Read the rest

Posted in games as art, indie games, interactive fiction | 2 Responses

Curse My Expensive Font Tastes

Without question, some of the best advice I’ve been given on the business of indie game development has come from Tom Buscaglia, the Game Attorney — probably one of the best attorneys representing game developers. Much of this advice comes from his Game Dev Kit, a set of information and forms for start-up game developers, which in my opinion is an excellent resource for any small start-up indie. Above all, the best advice is:

“Quite simply, you can not sell what you do not own.”

So basically, any and all assets put into a game must be owned by the legal entity (company or individual) that owns the game, or they must have an appropriate license from the actual owner of the asset. Once [More...] Read the rest

Posted in game design, indie game business, text in games, Vespers | 8 Responses

Write from the Start

So pretty much one of the most challenging parts of making games for the small indie or hobbyist developer is getting the extra help you need. The developer who can do it all on his or her own — programming, artwork, writing, modeling, animation, web design, yada yada — is a rare breed with far too much talent and disposable time. When I made Missions of the Reliant way back when, in (gulp) 1994, I could handle most of it myself because things were just…simpler. I didn’t have to worry about modeling or animation, and web design meant little more than plain text and a few animated GIFs (mostly I just focused on BBS’s and AOL — and, sadly enough, eWorld). Life, as they [More...] Read the rest

Posted in 3D/if, game design, interactive fiction, story in games | 6 Responses

Text Adventuring, MMO-Style

Coyote and Scorpia beat me to it, but apparently a group is interested in bringing the Zork universe into the MMO realm, as reported on Ars Technica. It’s to be called Legends of Zork and published by Jolt Online Gaming, a group headquartered in Dublin. There isn’t a whole lot of information available yet, though.

From the press release:

“ will provide online gamers with a persistent online adventure, playable from any Internet browser. Players take up the role of a recently laid-off salesman and part-time loot-gatherer, as he explores the Great Underground Empire. Designed to provide gamers with a casual MMO game they can play on their laptop, desktop or Apple iPhone (in school, work or on the bus), there’s nothing to download,

[More...] Read the rest
Posted in adventure games, interactive fiction | 3 Responses

2008’s Top (Mostly Windows-Only) Games

As many folks in the blogosphere have duly pointed out, the end of one year and the start of another is usually accompanied by a proliferation of lists. Best of this, Top Ten of that, and so on. A couple of these that have particular interest to me are Game Tunnel’s Top Ten Indie Games of 2008 and GameSetWatch’s 20 Best Freeware Adventure Games of 2008.

Throughout the year I generally try to keep track of which games are making news in the indie gaming world, but it’s still interesting to see GameTunnel’s list to find out just how closely I’ve been paying attention. As it turns out, I’ve only even heard of 7 of their top 10 — I hadn’t seen or read [More...] Read the rest

Posted in adventure games, indie game business, indie games | Leave a comment