Cryptozookeeper: For Sale
August 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.

2 Responses  
  • Jon Blask writes:
    August 20th, 20119:41 pmat

    That ad is very cool. Great job, Aardvark!

  • george writes:
    August 22nd, 20117:07 pmat

    that coupon is possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

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