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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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The Infocom Project

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Well, this may be of no interest to anyone, and certainly has little to do with my indie game development, but it's my blog, so there! A project I've been working on for decades has been to win all of the old text adventures by Infocom. These classic games were released during (and just before) my teenage years, and thus hold a special place of nostalgia for me. Wikipedia tells more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infocom, you can find a list of the games here: http://pdd.if-legends.org/infocom/fact-sheet.txt, and all the documentation here: http://infodoc.plover.net/.


My copy of the games came from the "Lost Treasures of Infocom", volumes 1 and 2. I think I still have the floppy disks around somewhere. The official list of games has 35 canonical Infocom games. Right away I'm going to rule out three of the late games, Journey, Arthur, and Shogun, for a variety of semi-lame excuses:

  • They featured heavy illustration, rather than strictly text based (especially Journey, which apparently can be played without keyboard at all).
  • They aren't part of my Lost Treasures collections.
  • They are reviewed quite poorly (except for Journey).
  • I already have enough of these games to play!

    I'm also going to rule out Sherlock, based on the "developed by Challenge Inc" tagline; Infocom was just the publisher.

    So, that leaves me with 31 games. Prior to today, I had completed 13 of them. Let's make a list, in order of best to worst. I should note that this is a bit speculative (and very subjective!) as it has been decades since I played some of these, but based on memory:

    Played Games, Best to Worst:

    1. Enchanter
    2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    3. Sorceror
    4. Zork III
    5. Zork II
    6. Zork I
    7. Planetfall
    8. Wishbringer
    9. Stationfall
    10. Plundered Hearts
    11. The Leather Goddesses of Phobos
    12. Starcross
    13. Seastalker

    Games to Play:

    1. Spellbreaker
    2. Trinity
    3. Beyond Zork
    4. Zork Zero
    5. Suspended
    6. A Mind Forever Voyaging
    7. Deadline
    8. The Witness
    9. Suspect
    10. Ballyhoo
    11. Moonmist
    12. Infidel
    13. Cutthroats
    14. Hollywood Hijinx
    15. Bureaucracy
    16. Nord and Bert
    17. The Lurking Horror
    18. Border Zone

    Next up, Infidel!

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy the Text adventure is a great game. I still have an original box copy of the game!


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Good to see someone doing this.  I played some of the Infocom games back in the day, and had a blast.  I believe I got stuck somewhere in "Leather Goddess of Phobos" and never finished it, but, it was great to talk amongst friends to discuss possibly strategies to get around obstacles.


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