So Far

Discuss text adventures here! The classics like those from Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls, Adventure International and Level 9 and the ones we're making today.

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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So Far

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:23 pm

This is not a review or anything.

One of the great divisions in my life was the switch from the dial-up BBS, where I basically treated it like a diary/blog and this forum, which I basically treat like a diary/blog. There were two events right at the end that really stick out to me.

1) Someone uploaded a really weirdly made GIF of the logo to the TV show Red Dwarf. And it blows my mind that they have been making that show for so long (not continuously by a long stretch or anything) that it was popular and I had people upload images of it to my bulletin board before it went down in 1999.

2) I remember somehow finding the game So Far and writing about it with a joyous newbie optimism on the dial up BBS. I should find the post, I have a copy of the BBS somewhere. Hey guys! I think I said. People are still making text adventures! Or, people are able to make text adventures in this day and age, wow!

And of course, playing So Far somehow had me look for other for other games. I found I-0 because of So Far, I-0 made me think I could make a game and helped me find Pinback, and a host of other things. I dunno if it was inevitable that I would find all of this without that game. Maybe.

.

...

... So Far had a Wikipedia page that some assholes deleted last year.

They are going to be assholes, that's only a little of what this post is about. But it's amazing that I have lived long enough to live in a world where some games get made by a company in the 1980s, some games get made by people in that style in the 1990s, an online encyclopedia comes into creation with information on the game and millions of other things and then lived long enough to see people, people that do nothing that contribute nothing and are worth nothing start coming in to destroy all those good things.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Flack
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Re: So Far

Post by Flack » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:24 pm

In the late 80s, my "cracking group" (OKK -- the OK Krackers) was going hot and heavy. There were two founding members of OKK, me and my friend Paladin, and then several other people we added to the group because they were friends of ours. Unfortunately, we were a cracking group full of people who didn't know how to crack software. Instead, we used every trick in the book to make it look like we did. We downloaded games from out of state BBSes and changed the intros or added our own cracking screen in front of whatever was already there. In the original Battle Chess, the copy protection required players to look up the winning move in a chess game and enter it (A2A4). We used a hex editor to change every one of them to OKK!. Stuff like that.

Eventually we found these cheap "demo maker" programs that would allow us to make demos without knowing how to program at all. We kept those programs close to the chest. We would type in long scrolling messages, greeting real and imaginary people, add music we didn't make, steal someone's picture and add it as a background... I was a pretty shifty kid. But it made it look like we knew what we were doing.

Anyway, Paladin was maybe 30 years older than me with more disposable income than I (as a teenager) had and he ended up buying DigiView (I think), which was a video digitizer for the Commodore 64. I don't remember much about it but I remember that at the highest resolution (320x200) it only did 4 colors (black and 3 shades of gray). So pictures of people didn't always look great but line artwork worked really well, and eventually we hit on the idea of scanning in pictures from old D&D manuals. We could scan in a black and white drawing and then build a "demo" around it. And these things would be like 200 blocks or whatever -- a third of a floppy disk, and then we would upload them everywhere and get credits and people thought we were programming geniuses. Later I found this public domain program that allowed you to capture audio from a datasette and play it back as digitized speech, and we were able to tack that on as well.

A couple of years after that, my friend Justin sold his C64 and got an Amiga. He was the first person I knew who actually had one. He would call BBSes and download disk after disk of digiized pictures and then I would drive over to his house after work and we would just sit there and click on every one and be amazed. "THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE A SAILBOAT!" "THAT ONE LOOKS JUST LIKE THE MOON!" "THAT IS AN AMAZING PICTURE OF A CORVETTE!" We didn't give a shit what the pictures were of. It was just so amazing to see digital pictures on a computer screen in more than 4 colors that we would look at them forever.

My PC BBS, The Gas Chamber, went online in 1994. I added as many hard drives as I could afford. I even added a six-disc CD changer, and burned six CD-R discs full of "warez" (at $10/blank) so that I could have all that storage online. When I told people I had "GIGS" of storage, they called me a liar!

I had callers from all over Oklahoma and lots of long distance ones, too, but the lure of the internet was too great. To keep people from abandoning my BBS, I started downloading anything I could find on the internet and adding it to my BBS. I'm not just talking about warez like games and stuff -- I'm talking about midi/mod/wav files, text files, and yeah, graphic files. I did not have the Red Dwarf logo, but I had plenty of other things. I had one area for Awesome 80s pictures, one for Star Wars stuff, and one for cartoon related pix. It didn't quite have the "WOW" factor it did on the Amiga, but it was still amazing how many would scroll through my file areas and download random pictures of Scooby Doo or a TIE Fighter. It didn't keep people from abandoning BBSes forever, but it kept them around for a little while.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Sorry about your game. Wikipedia sucks.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Tdarcos
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Re: So Far

Post by Tdarcos » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:48 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: ... I have lived long enough... and then lived long enough to see people, people that do nothing that contribute nothing and are worth nothing start coming in to destroy all those good things.
"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
— Wm. Shakespeare, Macbeth

"Your actions here remind me of the claims of some of the people involved in Vietnam: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Your own comments indicate you have no interest in being a useful part of this newsgroup, only in assisting in its destruction."
- Me to Ray Gordon, newsgroup alt.seduction.fast, Mar 13 2003

"You have nothing to say. You will add nothing to the conversation, you will simply destroy it... You are not influential. You are disruptive. In a destructive fashion. You do not add to the conversation in any way, you detract from it. You destroy the conversation because you cannot provide conversation."
- Me to Ray Gordon, newsgroup alt.seduction.fast, Oct 31 2003

"You have no interest in a real conversation except to destroy it. This is why nobody wants you around, because you add nothing to the dialog, you degrade and ruin it."
- Me to Ray Gordon, newsgroup alt.seduction.fast, Dec 8 2004
"He starts to shake and cough, just like the old man in, that book by Nabakov."
- The Police

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pinback
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Re: So Far

Post by pinback » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:00 am

I never finished So Far. I tried twice and got stuck at the same place both times, so rather than look up answers, I just quit. BUT, until that point, it was probably the best text adventure I'd played up until that point. And maybe after.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: So Far

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:44 am

Flack wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:24 pm
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Sorry about your game. Wikipedia sucks.
Oh. Just to confirm, So Far was not one of mine. I've got more to say about CRACKEN, but I wanted to get that in there before I left for work.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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