5 votes

New Tricks For An Old Z-Machine, Part 3: A Renaissance Is Nigh

From the article:

For all that Curses entranced me, however, I never came close to completing it. At some point I’d get bogged down by its combinatorial explosion of puzzles and places, by its long chains of dependencies where a single missed or misplaced link would lock me out of victory without my realizing it, and I’d drift away to something else. Eventually, I just stopped coming back altogether.

I was therefore curious and maybe even slightly trepiditious to revisit Curses for this article some two decades after I last attempted to play it. How would it hold up? The answer is, better than I feared but somewhat worse than I might have hoped.

[...]

[Curses] was designed, like his beloved Crowther and Woods Adventure, to be a place which you came back to again and again, exploring new nooks and crannies as the fancy took you. If you actually wanted to solve the thing… well, you’d probably need to get yourself a group for that.

[...]

All of which is to say that, even as it heralded a new era in interactive fiction which would prove every bit as exciting as what had come before, Curses became the last great public world implemented as a single-player text adventure.

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4 comments

  1. [4]
    skybrian
    Link
    (As an experiment I tried posting this without using the link box.)

    (As an experiment I tried posting this without using the link box.)

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      What were you aiming to learn / observe with the experiment? Something I noticed with this approach is that the word count is for the part you quoted, not the actual article. Tildes says this is a...

      What were you aiming to learn / observe with the experiment?

      Something I noticed with this approach is that the word count is for the part you quoted, not the actual article. Tildes says this is a 209 word read, but BSD wc on my Mac clocks it at over 7000. When reading articles here, one of the things I look at before getting invested is the word count: a few hundred to a thousand I can get through reasonably quickly, but something longer like this (and highly technical besides) will take significantly more effort.

      4 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Just seeing how it looks. You do lose some things compared to a link post. It seems like an option to do both (maybe with the link at the bottom) would be nice.

        Just seeing how it looks.

        You do lose some things compared to a link post. It seems like an option to do both (maybe with the link at the bottom) would be nice.

    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      I think for this content it is good to do it like this. It simplifies what is going on. For other content that is more open to interpretation (such as news or reporting) it is better to use the...

      I think for this content it is good to do it like this. It simplifies what is going on. For other content that is more open to interpretation (such as news or reporting) it is better to use the link as the primary info, since then people's opinions aren't influenced from the start. (This is something I see on Reddit where people just post a screencap of a portion of the article and get outraged, when the source isn't really that bad.)

      1 vote