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Endless, Nameless Review by Roody Yogurt
May 5th, 2012 by Roody Yogurt

Endless, Nameless by NamelessAdventurer (Adam Cadre)

Official Web Page
IFDB Link

This write-up doesn’t aim to be a proper review. The first bit is just some hints for people who have already begun the game but are a bit stuck. The second has some thoughts about the game but doesn’t try to cover it exhaustively. I’d only recommend the second block to someone who has played most- if not all- of the game.

Read the rest of this entry »

PODCASTING
May 4th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Flack and I did an episode of You Don’t Know Flack about text adventures, which you can listen to by going to this link.

When Cryptozookeeper came out, I sent a link to its page on the Internet Archive to bloggers, reviewers, journalists, my mother and others. A good number of people said, “That’s great, but can you send me the direct link?” So if you’d rather not see a whole bunch of tech and retro podcasts laid out for you… if that’s REALLY going to make the difference here, well, here is the direct link.

(The You Don’t Know Flack site is in a deep cyan though, so really, the colors between here and there won’t require you to restart your browsers so that your changes take effect next time.)

And look, here’s the thing. I just invoiced Ben Parrish for a new microphone. But even with a new microphone, there is some kind of interference on my side for this podcast. Flack did his best to overcome it, but… well, here’s how I would describe where I was when calling in:

– In Cleve Blakemore’s Fallout Survival Bunker
– On the surface of Mars
– Towards the gooey end of the ocean’s mysterious and inexplicable “Bloop”
– In the process of getting a full body scan from the TSA
– Fighting the X-Men
– Desperately trying to build a bomb that will blow up the breadbasket of the United States thanks to the treason and sedition I read from textfiles.com and boy FBI you’d better try to >use reason
– In a remote cabin in Belfair, Washington
– Looking for that icon that lets Atari 2600 E.T. go home
– Watching Panic Room
– In a world I never made

So, sorry for all that.

Flack had to sit on it for a while because he was waiting for technology to catch up to where it needed to be to fix the terrible sound from my point. That technology never came, but enough time passed to where Kate Upton got famous for doing the cat dance. So enjoy the future we have instead of the one we thought we wanted, Past-Me.

UPDATE: I have been told that there is a fair bit on The Bard’s Tale in this, for which I apologize. But in our defense, it’s because we were taking savage shots at The Bard’s Tale Construction Set, which has been quietly keeping to itself for 20 years, not hurting anybody. It got a job at a local library and helps under privileged kids study for their LSATs. It thought its time being a game everyone hated was well in its past, but revenge is a dish best served cold though, motherfuckers!

(I also did some segments on The Don Rogers Show, but maybe all that should be a separate post.)

The Last Game Left
Apr 20th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

“There’s going to be a point,” I thought, sniveling in a glass of Gatorade and white chaw, “where the rate that good things get made exceeds my ability to enjoy them.”

I thought it would be years from now, in a terrible, dark dystopia when people were forced to drink Gatorade. It happened on April 11th, 2012.

***

I was surprised by a gift from my girlfriend at the beginning of the month: scuba diving! Everything I know about scuba diving can be neatly summarized from the box to this Infocom game:

The following things, therefore, quite clearly happen in scuba diving:

1) Someone cuts your air line
2) Someone sinister comes up from behind you and cuts your air line (I know this shares a lot of the same qualities as #1, but I feel this can’t quite be overstressed)
3) There’s panicking
4) Look at that gentle blue and serene ocean! Quite beautiful, that

Implicit in the box artwork to eyes most deft is the fact that someone, both the “stunt throat” as they say in the biz, and the men who would cut it, can swim. I couldn’t swim. Couldn’t swim! And had scuba lessons in a week. To put a nice bow on all this, I’d probably rather get my throat cut in a two-star text adventure than disappoint my girl, so a week’s worth of swimming lessons were to begin. Which meant I’d miss a whole lot of freshly-released games.

***

First up was Lone Survivor. It is, as far as I can tell, a horror-themed side-scrolling graphical adventure. Rock Paper Shotgun did an article on it, and I purchased it after I had read the article, but before I had descended into the typically abhorrent RPS comments.

I would love to play and solve this game.

Next up was Wasteland — the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter became funded to the tune of two million (and later three million) dollars. I played Wasteland in the 90s, well after its initial release, but I wanted to solve it. I wanted to make sure I would get every reference that might be in Wasteland 2.

It wasn’t made by an 11-year old girl or anything, but I would love to play and complete this classic game.

I was sent Blur, the racing game that reminds me of Road Rash, except that it existed in the 2000s and didn’t suck pole. I’ve tried to not mentally refer to it as “Shut up, Blur.”

I would love to play Blur long enough until I got the Subaru WRX that I assume is in there.

Legend of Grimrock was released. Naval War: Arctic Circle. The contents of the new Humble Bundle. You know, I wouldn’t be totally against trying frigging Cutthroats, too, by the way, number of stars be damned. There’s A Colder Light, Muggle Studies and this year’s crop of Spring Things. It’s not a computer game, but the new BBC show “Sherlock”? I don’t want to say it’s brilliant, but I would say that I like it quite a bit and each episode is an hour and a half. It’s the sort of programme you have to pay attention to. All that, and I’m working on a new text game, I’m testing a friend’s text game and I also enjoyed swimming so much that I joined a gym.

I wish I had time for this (waves hands) ALL of this.

***

There’s one game left. It’s the only game that I have been able to play, because it’s the only game I have time for. It goes like this:

Remember bulletin boards? It was even more primitive tech than games that gave you cyan and magenta color schemes. There are quite a few aspects of bulletin boards that I miss, but one in particular was the whispered asynchronous communication: I called the telephone of someone in Rochester that I didn’t know… I accessed his or her phone line, the modem, the computer, and read messages. I scoured the file bases hoping that someone accidentally uploaded warez. I might have even hoped that they would read my posts and call my BBS.

And the only thing I seem to have time for is to do the same over Twitter. I logon to my @Cryptozookeeper account, where I follow everyone back. I try to find people who are also trying to make their fortune on Twitter by posting fun timelines and following others who haven’t taken off in meteoric fame yet either. Most of the time nothing happens, but sometimes… ah, sometimes two people do make that asynchronous connection and follow each other. When this happens, I consider that we both “won” this little, horrible, stupid game and gained a point. Or level? OK, a point. I know it’s not a great game. It’s not a good game, in fact, it’s a terrible game! But at the moment, it’s the only one I have the time to play.

JET LAMP Q&A Audio, Thornton, CO
Feb 21st, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

A couple years ago, Jason Scott flew around the US to promote his movie, GET LAMP. Paul O’Brian and I rented out a Cinebarre theater in Thornton, CO. (We actually arranged two showings – one was at the Nonesuch Theater in Fort Collins, Colorado, where I believe there were six people in attendance.)

The show in Thornton had something between 20 and 30 people, including some I already didn’t know! (That was my own criteria for success: people I didn’t already know showing up.)

Mike Maginnis, at 6502lane.net was at the show in Thornton! Even better, he recorded the Q&A that evening. This wasn’t linked on Planet-IF, so let me do that with this post.

Check out JET LAMP – The Lost Audio Files here. Thanks for recording this, Mike!

The Games Are Here! Announcing The 2012 HugoComp
Jan 4th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Welcome! The games are released! Here is everything you need to know for getting the 2012 Hugo MiniComp games.

UPDATE! What the %!$# is this but more games? See below for the two other additions!

Hugo is a language you can use to make text adventures. Hugo games work on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You just need to get the right interpreter. We are recommending the interpreter Hugor to play Hugo games. If you don’t have a Hugo interpreter, just click that link to download one for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X!

Here are the games for the Hugo MiniComp. Click each title to download the games individually.

Party Arty, Man of La Munchies by Jonathan Blask
World Builder by Paul Lee
The Hugo Clock by Jason McWright
Spinning by Rob O’Hara
Tales of a Clockwork Boy by Marius Müller
Retro-Nemesis by Robb Sherwin

And a game called Teleporter Test by Paul Robinson that introduces teleportation to Hugo players everywhere! Screw you, Cardinal Directions!

Perhaps you are on Windows and would like the Hugor interpreter and all the games packaged together? Download this.

If you’d like to make your own games in Hugo, there is a forum on Jolt Country where Hugonauts will be happy to answer questions and provide help. There is also a wiki called Hugo by Example that has lots of examples of Hugo code.

If you enjoyed these Hugo games and would like to play more, the Interactive Fiction Database is a great place to look. Click here for all listed Hugo games.

Thanks for playing the games!

The Hugo MiniComp
Dec 22nd, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Welcome to the upcoming Hugo MiniComp! What is Hugo? Hugo is a language by Kent Tessman for creating text-based video games.

Roody Yogurt had this to say in the original announcement of the comp:

2011 saw the Hugo release of Robb Sherwin’s Cryptozookeeper, one of the largest multimedia-enhanced IF games ever. That alone makes it a good year for Hugo, as we Hugo users are few. A handful of us thought we’d end the year on a good note and challenge ourselves to a SpeedIF. Schedule-fitting and unexpected interest from some non-Hugo-savvy authors have turned that idea into an altogether different thing, though.

Now, we christen that thing, “The Hugo ‘Open House’ Competition.” The rules:

– Games can be any size and can even be a work already in progress.
– Games are due the morning of December 31st. The entrant is then free to (and somewhat expected to) celebrate the transition into the new year heartily.
– Waiting until the last week (or day) even and writing a classic-SpeedIF-sized game is viable (we made the coding-time intentionally vague so newcomers can as much time as they want acquainting themselves).
– Links to games can either be posted here or at the joltcountry forum. If you don’t have any place to upload your game, e-mail your entry to roodyyogurt at gmail.

Games will not be ranked. There will not be prizes other than acceptance into a small yet tightknit group of IF enthusiasts.

People new to Hugo may want to look at Hugo by Example’s “Getting Started” page.

Questions about Hugo coding can, of course, be answered on this forum in the “Other Development Systems” base or at the Hugo base at joltcountry.com.

Good luck!

I know one game is finished and I am going to try to finish mine tomorrow. We’re going to have the games available by December 31st. Won’t you join us?

Interview at FWONK*
Nov 15th, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

There’s an interview with me over at FWONK*, the Creative Commons-based music site that helped me get the majority of music for Cryptozookeeper in place.

You can download lots of free ambient and electronica tracks from FWONK*. For instance, I recommend:

Imploded View: An Exploded View
I Have a Box: Bunnies
Bachelor Machines: Fatal Error
Per: Ettertid

Should be another interview coming shortly, and I’ll update the site when that happens. A few other things:

Kickstarter, more like KICK ASS STARTER! Jason Scott hit $118,000 to fund three future documentaries. I assume they will be documentaries. I’m trying to elbow my way in to make TAPE a movie about one man’s timeless tale of courage and self-sacrifice as he discusses life with a giant tapeworm. I picture our protagonist grabbing a random on-looker and shouting the tale at him, Rime of the Ancient Mariner-style. The entire special effects budget will be used for when the tapeworm switches hosts at the end. Gross!

Jimmy Maher ported The King of Shreds and Patches to the Amazon Kindle. It plays pretty nicely. It’s a little slow to update the screen after you type a command, and the Kindle’s keyboard is pants, but having a small tablet play IF is sooooooo nice.

zarf and Jason Shiga just released Meanwhile for iOS devices. I read a little of this at Boston PAX, and as a hard copy, it captured the attention of everyone who picked it up. My iPhone has a splintered, slightly shattered screen, so everything I play on it comes off looking like the tortured software of a spurned lover. That won’t stop me from making Meanwhile the fairest of them all, as soon as I can remember which PC I left iTunes on.

Our very own Jon Blask has been reviewing interactive fiction in the JC forum. He revived it from a few years ago, and the thread starts to get hopping on page 2.

Lastly, Rob O’Hara released HANGAR 22 a little while ago, and I don’t think it got the attention it deserves. It is a fun little romp, maybe an hour’s worth of gameplay. Rob is a great, witty writer. Play it on-line here.

My 20 Favorite Text Games
Sep 21st, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Note: Victor is holding a thread on intfiction.org for a list of everyone’s favorite text games here. There is still time to submit yours!

I enjoy voting. But like most Americans, I hate leaving the house, so I just use an absentee ballot. I have accepted the fact that my votes will just be thrown into a garbage heap of tires and inexplicably bruised organic bananas because 99% of absentee voters are in the military and vote the opposite of how I do. But when I figured out I didn’t have to drive to vote for Victor’s experiment and that Mike Snyder spambans anyone from registering on intfiction.org with a .mil address, it became extremely appealing.

I have been out of the loop as a player for a few years, so this list will look like it was written in mid-2006. (For instance, George Bush invades someone between picks 13 and 14.) I wasn’t going to post it because it’s unfair to all the authors making great games in the current day. The world probably doesn’t need another multi-Zork list. I’m currently playing Savoir-Faire, so I am so far behind the times, I might as well be playing games from the actual 18th French Century. I don’t want to discourage anyone doing new things, but this happens anytime there’s an IF list — the last few years of text games are almost completely ignored. But while players are behind, word does eventually get out.

1. Zork I: The Great Underground Empire by Infocom. The first truly great video game that was ever created.

2. Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz by Infocom. To this day there’s, what, fewer than a dozen video game sequels that were legitimately as good as the first one?

3. Knight Orc by Level 9. They ended up making a MMORPG with characters taking the place of logged-in users. Virtually everyone is reprehensible, there’s a ton of emergent gameplay and it really does feel like you got dumped into an unfriendly world, left with only your wits. This sense of community should be what on-line roleplaying games are trying to achieve, instead of bitcoin-based libertarianism and goblin-slobbing.

4. I-0 by Adam Cadre. Laugh-out-loud funny, with that sense of being able to go anywhere and do anything that I really love in IF.

5. Jinxter by Magnetic Scrolls. I only played this game after Michael Bywater made in appearance in the comments of that forum post where Andy Baio published internal Infocom e-mails without asking anyone if that was OK. This really is one of the funniest games ever made. The author’s challenge in Jinxter seemed to be to give a payoff for every single response the parser gave the player. (I’ve never written a proper review, so excuse me going into depth here.) When I was mid-way through the last game I made, I’ll confess that having to come up with so much text for mundane items was starting to become a chore. How many ways can a man describe a desk? Then I played Jinxter. Jinxter was like one of those personal trainers who yell at you. It made me realize what a gift it is to have the attention of a player. What an *opportunity*. It made me comprehend the rare series of events that need to occur for someone to even begin playing one’s text game in this age and if I didn’t respect that, and attempt to make every line of text as good as I could, I should just give up. Bywater doesn’t give up anywhere in Jinxter. He’s a force of nature here.

(But it’s below I-0 because no hawt chix go topless.)

6. Narcolepsy by Adam Cadre. Full review here.

7. Spider and Web by Andrew Plotkin. Loved how smart I felt when I got inside the building, and the jarring shift that happens next. I never got tired of having the interrogator tell me that I couldn’t have possibly done what I did, seeing how what I did resulted in me squicking out. That — along with V.A.T.S. in Fallout 3 and take-downs in Deus Ex: Human Revolution — is one of those unique mechanics that I never ended up getting tired of.

8. Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls by Legend. A wise man once pointed out to me that after A Mind Forever Voyaging, an artistic triumph that fared poorly financially, Steve Mertezky did "sex game, then sequel." Sure, but after those two games he came up with what I believe is the most entertaining game of his career. S101 was meticulously plotted with a master of his craft leveraging his years of experience for a great story as well as game. There is a certain pleasure to someone experienced kicking ass in their creative years with such confidence. But at the same time, there was a lot of room for exploration within the game’s college campus. You could chose whether or not you went to class or not, and it was better to actually go! Amazing. S101 also holds the distinction of being the only game whose walkthrough of commands has ever made me laugh.

9. Fail-Safe by Jon Ingold. I’ve read some other reviews that indicate that other players had a difficult time navigating things, but this didn’t happen in my case. I’m awful at seeing the trick in movies, books and games, so my brain was perfectly pudgy and ululating to be so magnificently tricked by a game like Fail-Safe.

10. The Circuit’s Edge by Westwood Associates. I used to say this was my favorite book done by my favorite video game company. Then I got older and understood that the Infocom label was being used, though nobody at Infocom proper worked on it. The chief gameplay mechanic of this is just so amazingly brilliant: you can add microchips to your brain and instantly have a new personality or new abilities. This is dead-set sexy for video games. Like, argh, THIS should have been the genre that took over the world, and shooting people in the face with WWII weapons while having the word "of" in the title should have been marginalized. Fantastic soundtrack, graphics that don’t look too dated, random combat you can control to some degree via the microchip thing and the writing of (or in the style of) George Alec Effinger.

NOTE: One of the worst moments of my life was when I was carrying a lot more weight than I am now, and I went into Circuit’s Edge and accidentally had the player character eat too much food in one of the shoppes. This game flat-out tells you that you feel "grossly full" and, Christ – it was one of those "self" moments where you feel sick. Both Marid Audran and me made some lifestyle changes, although his involved a lot more bareback prostitute-fucking.

11. Photopia by Adam Cadre. I don’t have anything special to add, but here’s the reason why Adam is my favorite IF author: he has this way of either anticipating what players are going to type, thus making the parser seemless, like how Richard Bartle describes YOUR dragon in Get Lamp, or else he hypnotizes me by writing so well that I don’t try to get cute and awkwardly type stuff, struggling to make things work. I’ll play in a single setting any IF that manages to make the parser something I barely have to pay attention to.

12. Savoir-Faire by Emily Short. I am still playing this, but the humor and magic system really compliment each other. I feel the same way about most games with magic as people today feel about zombie games: there’s too many, and they suck right in their very reason for being. SF is an exception, like, say, Left 4 Dead 2. But really, the whole illusion with text games is that you can type anything into that prompt. So I like how Savoir-Faire, through the linking of objects, now has everything in play as a possible object that can pay off later. That, to me, is better world-building than a magic system where you find spell books or gain them via levels.

13. Suspended by Infocom. More for the amazing interface and unique way of looking at Interactive Fiction. Truly set up like a game more than anything else, and I think there was even points, in the form of human lives lost, in the game? I don’t remember exactly, but in my defense, I figured the bots were remembering everything for me. Features one of the few player characters I feel I could beat up.

14. Stiffy Makane: The Undiscovered Country by One of the Bruces. My appreciation of this one is similar to Mentula Macanus, but I got more of the references in this one. I think I reviewed it on Trotting Krips back in the day. I think the only video game designer in the world whose games I’ve completely finished is Bruce. The moral of the story is: to be a successful author, develop an atmosphere where people feel that if they don’t finish your work, they’ll wind up with a mishmash of weird genitals sent through the post.

15. A Mind Forever Voyaging by Infocom. There is one thing I really like about this game: Mertezky wanted to write a game because he hated Reagan, and that’s great. More text games need to tell me who they’re pissed off at. Another guy at Infocom, and I want to say it was Lebling, was like, "That’s fine, as long as there’s nobody stopping me from doing a pro-Republican game in the future." (Paraphrased.) I mention this only because in our current political climate, everyone involved in such an exchange at almost any place of employment would be dead via the in-fighting, and that re-includes Reagan.

16. Guilty Bastards by Kent Tessman. I liked this when I originally played it, because I was trapped in the mind of Kent Tessman, who is wry, clever, witty and fun. I then savaged this game’s source as I tried to make things work in my Hugo games, and gained a greater appreciation for it and all the stuff I missed. It was very inspirational – I learned it was OK if you have stuff in a game that all players don’t see. Some people will, and those people will appreciate it.

17. Guild of Thieves by Magnetic Scrolls. I like to think this is what Zork IV would have been like, if Zork IV didn’t become Enchanter and was instead developed 15 years later. Funny, hates the player, gives you an entire world to solve puzzles in and has stunning graphics. Flack and I showed this one on the Amiga during the Oklahoma Video Game Expo, and some frigging reprobate had the unmitigated audacity to write, ">this game sucks" when we weren’t looking. Whoever that person was: YOU suck.

18. At Wit’s End by Mike Sousa. I used to like that, with everything that happens in this game, the Red Sox winning the World Series was still the least believable. Then they won twice and took to scoring like 25 runs a game against the Blue Jays. Therefore this is downgraded to #18 to signify the 18 years since the Jays have last been to the playoffs.

19. Rameses by Stephen Bond. Having a text game that basically doesn’t let you change anything is such a good idea — but it also didn’t occur to me what was going on until I finished playing it and went "HEY, WHAT THE." This is because I am very stupid. But this game takes an enormous chance by giving us a charismatic player character that we have no real reason to care for. It’s that level of guts that made me adore the game so much.

20. Annoyotron by Ben Parrish. Because, well. OK. It’s here because I can type several thousand words about the best genre in the world and it doesn’t change that, to the rest of the populace, they imagine these games we love so much to be exactly like this one.

Cryptozookeeper: For Sale
Aug 20th, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Please buy my wares.

I know that many people who get the Planet IF feed are probably already aware that I am selling the two-disc Cryptozookeeper pack on my webpage. You can buy it by clicking here, then clicking the “Buy Now” button and letting the magic happen from there. (If you want it, but find Paypal to be an invention of the devil, just send me an e-mail and we’ll get you set up for a check. My experiences with Paypal have been pleasant and professional. Not an invention of the devil at all.) So I am just going to make this announcement and then stop cramming my greasy, palm-open nattering into the Planet IF feed.

What can I tell you about the packs? Well, I shot a promotional picture of them with an okapi. The okapi was the symbol of the now-defunct International Society of Cryptozoology. I suspect it was picked because it’s an enormous, “Ha ha!” to the doubters, to the haters. People thought the descriptions of the okapi was BS, but then the proper people found it.

(A lot of people have expressed interest in the plush okapi. Someone is going to make a lot of money if they can figure out a way to get a stuffed okapi to bleat Zork at you. “A large platinum baaaaahr baaaaaahr” — wait, that’s a goat.)

With that in mind, Clint Hoagland is the mastermind behind the electronica band Bachelor Machines. I met him through the web forum Caltrops. Clint posts music tracks every few months that just blow me away. Caltrops is pretty tame these days, but it used to be a place where we would routinely say awful things to each other. Clint would then post songs that — to me — became the beautiful soundtrack to a nasty virtual world.

(Bachelor Machines released an album called A House Is A Machine For Living, and you can buy it in digital or physical form here.)

I spent a lot of time listening to hundreds of hours of Creative Commons-licensed music in order to get a soundtrack I was happy with for the game. Due to the logistics involved, the CD is just the work of Clint, with a remix of a Bachelor Machines song from DJ Beatloaf.

The main character of the game, William Vest, was played by actor Gerrit Hamilton. There’s no way to know what Gerrit sounds like just by playing the game, but I can link you to some shorts he’s been involved with that are on Youtube. All of them are funny, and none of them more than a few minutes in length. The first is The Pillow Case, which was made for the 48 Hour Film Project in 2007. He was also part of FREE BAT DAY with many of the same cast and crew.

Jon Blask played Grimloft, and he is a text adventure author himself. Here is a page that acts as a portal to discovering and experiencing his work.

Back to the DVD release, the art is included in a separate .rar file as well. I ended up taking two trips into New Mexico. The second time, I realized I had no photographs of adobes. With my +3 boots of trespassing, I got some shots of people’s homes in adobe form all right. Where I was previously using my friend’s haunted house for locales, I was able to go into a bit more depth thanks to being kidnapped by my girlfriend Melissa and taken to Taos without advance knowledge by my girlfriend. She is amazingly supportive.

(However, I don’t use the term “interactive fiction” or “IF” around her. I’d just been calling them text games. Fast-forward to earlier this week: Melissa and I had dinner with Paul O’Brian, Adam Cadre and Elizabeth Sweeney — Elizabeth is doing her dissertation on interactive fiction, a fact I did not know. When the subject came up, she said something to the effect of, “Well, this is one group that I don’t need to define IF for!” A term Mel has never heard, natch. I got Melissa on the same page as everyone, although after dinner she told me that before I cut in and explained it, the only thing she could think those initials could have stood for was in-vitro fertilization.

There is one more person I gotta thank. My good friend Steve (“Aardvark” on the JC forum) made the sea monkey coupon up top. I opened my mail yesterday, found the personal check he sent and was greeted by that thing. He took the time to scan in and Photoshop what I think we can all agree was the greatest comic book ad ever (sorry x-ray specs; it was a loaded century) into a really hilarious piece of mail. Vark plays a character you see halfway through the game and while I tried to make his fate funny, I’m gonna be honest here. It’s not going to be on the level of a surprise reworked sea monkeys ad.

I still think the pack is a lot of fun, and please feel free to purchase one from the site at any time.

This Post Does Nothing But Get You An Icon File.
Aug 2nd, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Jon Blask, who was wonderful playing the part of Grimloft in Cryptozookeeper, very nicely provided me with an icon file for the game. You can download it here, (please right-click and download) and then use your favorite Internet Search Engine to figure out how to make it appear as an icon to Crypto instead of whatever the default icon is. I will now tell a story.

There are things that are recognized on the Internet as being cryptids of note, and there’s trash like the hand spider. I can say with complete confidence that I wasn’t aware of any particular example of them when I decided to put one in my game. I just… I knew there was gonna be human DNA, and I knew there was gonna be spider DNA. When you combine the two, you really get a licensed Marvel Comics character with more than 40 years of backstory, storylines and history, all of which they tossed in the shitter to make the execrable third film. I felt that putting such a character in my game might be a bit “off-limits” in the current entertainment climate. Thus a hand spider. I see now that there are a few other examples through Google Image Search of people riffing on the same idea.

I think the biggest fake creature involving spiders that people can just use without getting their ass in a sling of litigation is that of the camel spider. The camel spider is supposed to be inspired by a real thing, Solifugae, and the Solifugae has a website — http://www.solpugid.com/. You’ll note that the opening page says Welcome to our website. This is because spiders of all forms are sentient, evil little pits that should never be trusted. Even if their websites look like they are either from the late 1990s or a typical state-of-the-art FM radio station.

The thing is, you don’t need much source material to fake a spider story. They all look like they’ve just arrived fresh from galactic slaving schooners, so they don’t become any more terrifying if you introduce the “giant” spider or whatever. You can’t multiply great evil by great evil and get something useful, which is why Lewis Carroll was such a poor suspect for Jack the Ripper.

I have an update coming soon about a limited-edition hard copy pack. It’s not limited edition because I am trying to play games with people, it’s limited edition because I am afraid I’ll lose my ass, financially, and I want to minimize the damage. More on that by the end of the week.

OK, I guess this post did something else than get you an icon file, but the ico file is the real star here, and I think you will agree. Here’s the link to Cryptozookeeper, hosted on archive.org if you’d like the entire game.

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