What Was Previously New Among Zarf's Pages

Older entries. Here's what's currently new.

December 11, 2008

Short adventure game, short review, but a good one: Outcry (aka Sublustrum).

(What? It's a good game, so I gave it a good review. Syllepsis!)

December 10, 2008

I've had some short fanfic snippets in my Thoughts of Days for years now. I didn't call them out in "What's New" because they were small, and I felt dimly embarrassed about featuring fanfic alongside my "real" work.

Well, it's almost 2010 now, which is The Future, and the hell with dim embarrassment. Besides, now that I've written a 10-kiloword novelette which is (sort of) in the Stargate setting, there's no point in pretending it's not real work.

To the left, however, you may still be uninterested by this stuff. I do not claim that these stories make sense to people who don't know the original material. (Some fanfic does, but some fanfic writers are a hell of a lot better than me.) So, if you're not into Stargate (or Myst, or villanelles), take what they're worth.

The following are now linked from my writing page. The first three are from 2005; the rest are recent.

November 5, 2008

Not in time for Halloween, and nearly in time for the election, I present my short story for the season: Ghost Story. This was my contribution to ostrich_2008, a Livejournal story event for writers who wanted to not think about the US election for a while. (I wanted to have the story finished before the election started, but Dixville Notch got past me. Drat them!) You are welcome to leave comments on the original Livejournal post.

The story is a thematic followup (though not a sequel) to A Terror in Flesh, which I wrote for the 2004 election.

A personal note (rare, I know): I've lived in a lot of places in the Eastern US. Last night, I wondered if it was possible for all of them to tap Obama. New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts would for certain. Pennsylvania -- I worried in the last few days, but I shouldn't have. For Virginia I held my breath, and indeed it was the final nail in the Republican coffin. But North Carolina? It isn't officially declared as I write this. But the fact that it's close, and edging towards Obama: that's a sweet, sweet feeling.

September 20, 2008

And now it's still the same month, but I'm burning through the adventure back-stack before console-game season arrives. A review of Overclocked, a very interesting game from a German design house. I was impressed.

September 6, 2008

I guess it's still the same quarter, but here's Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis (aka Sherlock Holmes vs Arsène Lupin). With bonus comments about Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. Mixed feelings.

July 23, 2008

This quarter's game review: Agon: The Lost Sword of Toledo. Not as good as the original three Agon episodes.

July 6, 2008

I've decided to do this semiannually -- I got tired of forgetting details about half the books when I go to write December's review-glut. So, here's my list of books I bought in the first half of 2008. And what I thought of each one.

June 27, 2008

Been working on this one for a few weeks. GlkOte: a Javascript library for IF interfaces. This is the Javascript half of a web-application Glk/Glulx interpreter. The other half will be called RemGlk, but it doesn't exist yet. But this half still has uses. Check out the fake IF demo game! (Requires Javascript.)

May 11, 2008

We now have LOLGRUE t-shirts! (Eagerly awaited ever since the LOLGRUES first appeared.) "Hungry grue iz HUUNNGRY" is the slogan. The background shows the cutest grue we could find, illustrated in the oscuroscuro technique which is traditional in grue folk art. Courtesy of Cafepress.

(If these are popular enough, I'll pony up for a real Cafepress page and add more LOLGRUE slogans.)

May 7, 2008

Review of The Lost Crown, the latest ghost adventure from Jonathan Boakes.

April 29, 2008

I've finally gotten out a major update of Draco Concordans. Well, not major -- about twenty entries updated, out of over 900. But I added a couple of good bits.

Most of the new material was discovered or figured out by commenters. Thanks to my father, Esa Peuha, Rydra Wong, and the late Avram Davidson (whose Adventures in Unhistory is fifteen treasure troves of recherché wealth).

April 23, 2008

New essay on Game Genre and Game Interaction. I presented this as a talk at UVA on the 22nd.

April 3, 2008

It's the great new craze that's sweeping the Internet, and who am I to disagree? LOLGRUES!

(Don't miss my epic rendering of all of Zork 1 in LOLGRUE.)

March 25, 2008

My last Uru post brought up the idea of a completely fan-run game for the Uru community. Here is my design sketch for how to build it.

(Link is to my essay as posted on the Gameshelf Blog. It's also in my regular collection of Uru essays on this web site. But the Gameshelf is prettier and allows comments and stuff.)

March 23, 2008

New puzzle: Praser 12. This is not IF; it's not interactive at all, just a web page containing a puzzle. Read the document, you can solve the puzzle.

("Praser" is a label I've applied to a series of puzzles I've been creating since I was a kid. There's no connecting story or theme. Praser 5 is the only other one that's online; the rest weren't that great. 12 benefits from my experience playing the MIT Mystery Hunt, so expect that sort of thing if you're familiar with it.)

March 11, 2008

The iPhone SDK was announced last week, and I followed through on my self-promise and bought an iPhone. Behold my first iPhone application: Zarf's iPhone Note Recorder.

To be sure, I didn't make this with the SDK. (Apple won't start approving third-party apps until June.) It's a web toy. It's not even a web application; it's just a Javascript widget. You type in some text, and the widget turns it into a link. Bookmark the link, sync it to your iPhone (or iPod Touch), and you have your text on your mobile. Since the iPhone lacks a synchable note tool, I find this very handy. (I used it to transfer my book list.) At least it'll be handy until June, when fifteen third-party note apps will be released at once.

March 5, 2008

Gamasutra offered to reprint my Uru: Beyond Cancellation essay as an opinion piece. Go me!

February 23, 2008

Because I can't leave the dead alone, I have written up my ideas for a Better Instancing System for Uru Live. No, it will never be adopted. But if you're designing a new MMO adventure game, it might be a good starting point.

February 14, 2008

Next adventure review: Next Life. Annoying almost beyond words. But I found some words anyway.

February 10, 2008

A week ago we were told, after weeks of silence, that Myst Online: Uru Live was being cancelled. Again. I have now finished writing my thoughts beyond cancellation.

By the way, if you watch this page but want more Zarfy goodness, check out the new Gameshelf Blog. Regular commentary -- well, irregular commentary -- on games and gaming of all sorts, by Jmac (a Volity co-conspirator), myself, and others. The Uru essay above is crossposted there, but scroll down; there's more you haven't seen.

January 13, 2008

A short story, simultaneously Myst and Edward Whittemore fanfic: Restored Memoir (Lara Collection 003.001). If you recognize traces of other stories, that wouldn't be a coincidence.

January 6, 2008

My list of books I bought in 2007 (plus a few more) and what I thought of each one.

December 24, 2007

Been a while since I wrote a game review, so here's Ghost in the Sheet.

November 11, 2007

A couple of random Uru projects:

September 26, 2007

I whipped off a Python implementation of the Condorcet Ranked-Pairs election system. I used this algorithm a couple of years ago for the Ice Game Design Contest; but the implementation I used then was based on some really old Python libraries, and getting it running was painful. This is a simple Python script. Perhaps you will find it useful.

September 22, 2007

Short review: Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle.

September 16, 2007

And now, progress on Boodler!

Boodler version 1.6.0 is now up. This is functionally similar to the old 1.5.3 release; it's not the all-dancing all-new system. That's in progress. But I have made serious improvements in the distribution:

September 3, 2007

So I haven't been writing game reviews; I haven't been making much progress on Boodler; I haven't been writing IF. What, my loyal fans wonder, have I been working on?

Draco Concordans: a concordance for John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting.

This is a big chunk of work. I started in back in February, and I've been pounding on it steadily since then. My aim has been to cover all the allusions, in-jokes, historical references, indirections, and implications in Ford's novel. I also index the appearances of all the characters and historical figures. All cross-referenced and cross-linked for your edification.

I am under no illusion that I found everything. (In general, I don't know history from a hole in the ground -- although I did a lot of digging in this particular field.) Contributions are welcome. See the web site for my contact info. I will be updating it as information arrives.

July 11, 2007

Alexander v. Below has contributed a version of StonerView as a MacOSX screensaver. There was one of those already, but now it's a universal binary, and the source code is available as a modern-style Mac XCode project.

July 4, 2007

And a review of the second Uru episode, "A New Light". (Which is Episode 6, to reduce future confusion.)

May 31, 2007

My review of Uru's first monthly story episode, "Scars".

May 6, 2007

Hymn to a Mad Scientist, as would be performed by Gene Wilder if he'd ever heard of it or me. I wrote this almost a year ago, in honor of the Narbonic web-comic by Shaenon Garrity. Why post it now? Because Shaenon Garrity included it in the comments to today's Narbonic rerun strip. Thanks!

May 4, 2007

Over the past month or so, I have perpetrated a series of posts on the Uru web forums: Plum Lake. Plum Lake is an Age which I have imagined. I am trying a variety of ways to convey in, in the overall medium of a web forum. Consider: I also have a discussion of how the third (the interactive one) played out.

May 1, 2007

Mini-review: Safecracker 2 (more visibly titled Safecracker, but I already reviewed a game with that title).

April 23, 2007

Because it is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, I shall repost A Terror in Flesh. In case you missed it the first time. A short story. (See here for more of IP-STPD.)

April 3, 2007

I have set up a boodler-general mailing list. (Hosted at Sourceforge.) Remember Boodler? That's my nifty soundscape project. Boodler is over five years old, and it's time to wake it back up. If you're interested, subscribe and see what's going on.

March 23, 2007

Mini-review: Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern.

March 5, 2007

About me, for once... Delightful Wallpaper has won the 2006 XYZZY awards for Best Writing, Best Puzzles, Best Individual Puzzle, and Best PC.

February 27, 2007

And finally, my complete review of Uru Live. This is the one written for newcomers to Uru. If you've been following my occasional essays, you may also be interested in Role-Playing in the Cavern, which I posted a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, I have ongoing projects not related to Uru. Give me some time.)

January 31, 2007

More Uru hackery (yes, I'm wrapped up in it but good). I will be maintaining change notices for the game. That is, I'll be tracking new things and areas as they appear in the game. And more interestingly, I have RSS feeds for these changes, in three varieties: spoiler, no-spoiler (just tells you that something's new), and location-only (tells you something's new and in what Age). You can subscribe to these feeds with any RSS client, or add them as Livejournal friends, or whatever amuses you.

January 22, 2007

I have updated my Uru Live Ongoing Review page with some essays I have written about the game's current and (possible) future development. These were originally posted on the Uru Live web forums.

January 4, 2007

My list of books I bought in 2006 (plus a few more) and what I thought of each one.

December 3, 2006

I have revised my old Uru Newcomer's Guide and Answer Sheet. The Uru Live relaunch is coming closer... we hope... and they've started inviting players in for a new "Preview" testing phase. (See the Uru forums.) This edition of the game is even more of a "throw the player in and watch him sink" than the original -- no instruction manual at all -- so I have written up answers to common newbie questions.

November 30, 2006

About time I put up my reviews of the 2006 IFComp entries. At least, the 17 of them that I played. (But excluding the one that I wrote.)

November 17, 2006

A new IF game! Delightful Wallpaper has taken sixth place (and also Miss Congeniality) in the Twelfth Annual Interactive Fiction Competition. I entered it under the pseudonym "Edgar O. Weyrd", so perhaps you played it weeks ago but didn't guess it was me. Or perhaps you did guess.

November 4, 2006

I put up a page linking to my ideas on rule-based programming (for IF design). Most of these ideas exist as long posts on rec.arts.int-fiction. I haven't tried to collect them or turn them into a coherent presentation -- I'm just collecting links for future use. Also, some links to related research papers and textbooks.

October 25, 2006

Quick adventure review for the fall season: Keepsake. Some good puzzles, some serious UI problems.

August 22, 2006

I did not see Snakes on a Plane. I did, however, make a Snake Cake. I don't do a web page every time I bake a cake, but this does count as a cultural phenomenon.

August 13, 2006

After much procrastination: Glk spec 0.7.0 and Glulx spec 3.0.0. These updates bring full Unicode support to Glk/Glulx. This will eventually make Inform 7 much cooler.

July 23, 2006

Yet another Tarot project: Zarf's SVG Tarot. This is a preview (only Major Arcana yet) of a Tarot deck I'm doing for Volity Zarcana. No, the game doesn't exist yet. But when it does, this will be the default Tarot deck.

June 26, 2006

Volity Werewolf is on-line and playable. You need to download the Gamut client application, which is why this is a link to the whole Volity web site. I am pretty psyched about this. Volity works. People can play games.

June 5, 2006

Short review of Fahrenheit (a.k.a Indigo Prophecy). I know, everyone else played it months ago.

June 1, 2006

I've finished my first Inform 7 sample: A Handy Kit. It's not a game; it's a reimplementation of the toolcase from Spider And Web. (And therefore contains spoilers for the early part of that game.) I wanted to discover how comfortable Inform 7 is for complicated gadgets. Answer: pretty comfortable; I was able to do everything I wanted to do. I didn't have to compromise or uglify my code to work around weaknesses in the language. However, there are still compiler bugs which I did have to work around.

May 5, 2006

Back to writing about me... we've felt for a while that Volity should have a developer blog. Now Andy Turner has finished adding some blog software to the web site. Behold the Volity Developer's Blog. It has a double handful of posts already -- I've been writing them for a couple of months, actually, so I just had to post and backdate. (Sorry about the enormous tooltips; we'll fix them soon.)

May 2, 2006

This page is usually reserved for Stuff Zarf Did. But I'm going to make an exception for Inform 7. Graham Nelson, after three-ish years of work, has released a completely new and brilliant text adventure development system. You've probably never used anything like it. If you have used something like it, you thought it was a cute toy and would never turn into a useable, useful system. Well, here is my first I7 test game:
"Testcase" by Andrew Plotkin
The Kitchen is a room. The wand is in the Kitchen.
Instead of waving the wand, say "Fizzy sparks."
Before waving the wand, if the wand is not held, instead say "You're not holding that."
That's the source code. Compile it and it runs. Now, consider this: the natural-style code is just one of the advances of Inform 7. There's also a kick-ass IDE (Mac and Windows currently, Linux coming), and a semantic, rule-based world model which I cannot feasibly explain in this margin. Mostly because I haven't wrapped my own head around it yet.

April 30, 2006

Mini-review of the new Tomb Raider game. Mostly I'm discussing the way it uses a physics engine to construct puzzles.

April 2, 2006

I haven't been posting about this, but there has been steady progress on Volity, and we are now ready to call the game-development framework a beta release. By which I mean, there are libraries, documentation and sample code. You can write a game, and people will be able to play it. (The game-playing part of the system has been in beta for a couple of months now.)

This represents a year's worth of work on my part and more than a year's worth from the other Volity conspirators. I can confidently say that it is a good system. If you have a multi-player, turn-based game -- card games, board games, anything like that -- and you want to put it on the Internet for people to play, check Volity out. Fast prototyping, playtesting, online promotion for a retail product, or because you want to play your favorite game.

March 4, 2006

The April issue of Computer Games magazine has an article on interactive fiction. As preparation for that article, the writer interviewed me (and also Emily Short) via email. We both wrote long interview replies, which were mostly cut from the article. For posterity: the complete interviews.

February 24, 2006

This will not be of huge general interest, but I have updated the Blorb spec to version 2.0. Blorb is a format for packaging resources (graphics and sound) for an IF game. The new spec adopts Ogg (for compressed sound files), adds a "frontispiece" chunk, and has some other sweet jaggery-pokery.

January 4, 2006

Slightly late (and sorry about the web server being down over the weekend): my list of all the books I read in 2005 and what I thought of them. It's not perfect, because I also read a large handful of library books, and I probably bought some books that I didn't get around to reading. But it's most of the stack.

December 24, 2005

I meant to write a one-paragraph review of Prince of Persia 3: The Two Thrones. It came out as seven paragraphs, which makes it a bit too long for the Quick Takes page where I reviewed Prince of Persia 2. So it gets its own page.

November 3, 2005

Okay, yes, I played Shadow of the Colossus. And okay, yes, I sat down to write a one-paragraph review and wound up with a pageful. And, er, I do intend to write up Myst 5 one of these days. But not yet.

September 20, 2005

Review of Voyage. Good work.

September 19, 2005

Would you believe, the gaming project I've been working on all summer actually hit an alpha release. Behold: Javolin 0.1.1. It's not very friendly, but you can play a game of Martian Go against someone. And we're working on the friendliness quotient.

August 28, 2005

My Werewolf/Mafia page has been up for many years now. But I got several bits of Werewolf-related email last week -- no conspiracy, I hope -- so I've done a bit of reorganization. The "History" section is organized chronologically now. New bit of info: apparently Mafia was a popular game show on Latvian television in the early 1990s!

July 30, 2005

Review of Rhem 2, which was large and really amazingly stuffed with puzzle.

July 14, 2005

An update to my System's Twilight page: I have learned that Executor, the Mac emulator for Linux/Windows, is available for free use until the end of 2006. (And hopefully it will be open-source after that.) Accordingly, I have put up a step-by-step guide to getting System's Twilight running on Windows. It takes some futzing around, and sound doesn't seem to work, but you can play the game. What? Oh, System's Twilight is the old puzzle game I wrote for the Mac in 1993. It's free now. Try it!

July 7, 2005

An update to Zymb, and I only mention it because I've cleaned up a license complication. (Zymb no longer depends on any Python modules beyond the standard library.) A few bugs were fixed, mind you. I also have some source code for Volity, the not-actually-secret project I mentioned. It's a game server, but don't get excited; it only plays Rock Paper Scissors, and there isn't even a nice client for it yet. But we're making progress.

June 25, 2005

I have been working on a semi- (not actually at all-) secret project involving Jabber, an open-source instant messaging system. My project is not yet ready for display -- give me a few days -- but I can show off Zymb, a Python asynchronous messaging framework I built to write it with. If you know what Twisted Python is, Zymb is that, only I didn't know about Twisted when I started it. Zymb may have better Jabber support than Twisted, too. I haven't checked. Anyway, I like it.

June 19, 2005

Some friends and I undertook an Exquisite Corpse Choose-Your-Own-Adventure comic, called The Carpet of Anaxagoras. You know, the thing where you write your sentence, having only seen the sentence immediately preceding? Except it's a page of a comic book, and each page has choices. I drew two pages for it (out of 190-odd).

June 18, 2005

I've had Journey to the Center of the Earth sitting on my dusty pile for a while now. I finally played it. Well, half of it.

June 13, 2005

The Fourth Ice Game Design Competition is over. Actually, a week ago. I forgot to mention it here. Whoops. The winner is Torpedo, by Jake Davenport! (If you're coming to Origins, we'll be running tournaments of all the IGDC winners.)

June 2, 2005

Out of print for thirty years... available here with the author's gracious permission... I present... the Rules of Moopsball by Gary Cohn. This short article/story/fantasia/whatever made a great impression on me in my youth. I won't say it made me what I am, but I have always remembered it, and I'm very pleased to make it available to the public once again.

May 3, 2005

Short review of a short free graphical adventure. Good stuff: Divided.

April 30, 2005

Remember Praser 5? Possibly you do. It was a logic-and-word puzzle that I wrote in 1989, then resurrected as a web game in 1994, then resurrected again in 1997... and now I've recreated it as a Z-code game file. Download Praser 5 or play as a Java applet.

April 23, 2005

The Fourth Ice Game Design Competition has begun, with seven games. Play some and vote on them. Look, there's even a web form to submit votes to!

March 26, 2005

Not a full review, but some comments on The Egyptian Prophecy: The Fate of Ramses.

March 20, 2005

The Dreamhold has won the 2004 XYZZY awards for Best Puzzles and Best Use of Medium. You can see a transcript of the award ceremony.

March 10, 2005

The Third Ice Game Design Competition has ended. The winner is Hextris, by David J. Bush. Now taking entries for the fourth....

February 25, 2005

Review of Agon, or rather its first three episodes. A serial graphical adventure with a theme of board games. Pretty good.

February 7, 2005

The Dreamhold has been out for two months now, but I just wrote up a new web page for it, with lots of attractive text. Well, text. And a screenshot. I live in hope this shall attract a new generation of text adventure players to the realm. If you are not a text adventure player, try it -- you might become one.

February 4, 2005

Yet another review, of Sentinel: Descendants in Time. What? I've been on vacation, been playing a lot of games.

January 31, 2005

The Third Ice Game Design Competition has begun, with eleven games. Play some and vote on them. C'mon, it's cool. (Actually began a week ago, but I keep going out of town.)

January 18, 2005

Another: Return to Mysterious Island. That's more like it.

January 6, 2005

New review: Forever Worlds. I was not amused.

January 1, 2005

Happy New Year. I sat down and wrote comments about every book I bought in 2004. I've also put up my comments about every book I bought in 2003, which I posted last year to Usenet but never got on the web site.

December 19, 2004

Continuing my exploration of long-forgotten adventure games that start with the letters BADM: Bad Milk. Short review, short game.

December 17, 2004

The Third Ice Game Design Competition is now accepting entries. Design a game with pyramids! You have a month. Go ahead, it's easier than it sounds.

December 10, 2004

New review of an old game, just re-released: Bad Mojo. It's the one where you're a cockroach. This review appeared first on Brass Lantern, because they angled a free review copy my way.

December 7, 2004

Introducing The Dreamhold, my interactive fiction tutorial game. It's designed for people who have never played IF before. It introduces the common commands and mindset of text adventures, one step at a time. There's an extensive help system describing standard IF commands, as well as dynamic hints which pop up whenever you seem to be stuck.

Of course, you can turn off the hints and the tutorials, and play The Dreamhold as a real game. The puzzles are not extremely difficult, but they should offer some challenge to both experienced players and newcomers. (If the challenge is insufficient, there's an "expert" mode which makes some of the puzzles harder.) There are also many optional bits to explore beyond the main storyline.

December 5, 2004

This is not hugely interesting, but I added a bunch of one-paragraph (down to one-sentence) game reviews, as a new Quick Takes review page. It's just to get down an opinion about some games that I never wrote real reviews of.

December 4, 2004

I forgot to post about the Second Ice Game Design Competition when voting began, so I'll post about the winner: Undercut by Joseph Kisenwether. Yay! I'll be running a third competition soon, so if you want to design an Icehouse pyramid game, watch the contest page.

November 24, 2004

Just in time for American Food Day: Flavor Wheels of the World. I found flavor charts people had constructed for analyzing wine, beer, chocolate, and several other foodstuffs. Interestingly, they're all circular. Is there a good reason for this? We investigate.

November 16, 2004

My reviews of the entrants in the 2004 IF Competition, which just finished.

November 3, 2004

A Terror in Flesh: a short story. It's about zombies! I know, I never write prose fiction. I made an exception -- as part of la_la_la_2004, a story-writing event hosted for the purpose of getting our minds off the damn election for a while. (Now I want something to get my mind off the election result. This won't do that. But, I'm still happy with the story.)

October 11, 2004

Myst 4 is out. Yes I played it, yes it was great, yes I talk about it for a very long time.

September 29, 2004

Review of Dark Fall 2: Lights Out. Followup to the excellent indie adventure Dark Fall. Still excellent, although I go on at great length about how the pacing wasn't right.

August 19, 2004

Review of Aura: Fate of the Ages, which I did enjoy. Very old-school, and I was in the mood for that.

August 14, 2004

To my very great surprise, Cyan has released its Uru server binaries, so that Uru fans can run their own servers and play on-line again. It's a very minimally supported system -- but it's up and running. Here are my comments and speculations on Untìl Uru.

August 14, 2004

The entries in the First Ice Game Design Competition are now available. Anybody can vote. Play as many as you can, and email a ballot by September 10th. See contest page for details.

July 26, 2004

Another review, of The Black Mirror, which I didn't enjoy.

July 17, 2004

The Landscape Aquarius Art Project is an offshoot of the Martian Landscape Art Project: a complete Aquarius deck generated by my algorithmic art tool.

July 16, 2004

I am running the first Ice Game Design Competition -- a contest to design board-games which use Icehouse pyramids. (Thanks to Looney Labs for letting me run with this.) Entries will be accepted until August 14th. See contest page for details.

July 16, 2004

The last chapter: Uru: The Path of the Shell. I've also written an overview of Uru: Complete Chronicles. If you've never played any of the Uru games, start with that.

April 28, 2004

My review of Crystal Key 2 -- or rather, my abortive list of things I didn't like about it. Not much of a review, sorry. It wasn't much of a game.

March 25, 2004

The first Uru expansion pack is out, and I have played it. Uru: To D'ni. It's a free download, by the way.

March 24, 2004

It seems that someone has set up a Livejournal echo of this very page. Neat! (It's user zarf. It runs off my RSS feed, which I've had going for a while now. The URLs were slightly broken, but I think I've fixed them.)

I actually have a personal Livejournal page, as user radiotelescope, but I never post to it. I only use it for posting comments.

March 8, 2004

Short review of Syberia -- the original, not the new sequel.

February 18, 2004

It's about time for a new web-site index. (And also about time for a project which isn't related to Uru.) So, greet the all-new, quite attractive, entirely impractical Excellently Spiral Site Map.

February 7, 2004

As you may know, Cyan has cancelled the Uru Live (online multiplayer) part of Uru. That pretty much shoots down my ongoing Uru Live review. Nonetheless, my final observation about the game is up. I wrote it just hours before I learned of the cancellation. Any irony is intended strictly by the universe, not by myself.

Cyan has promised to release the remaining Uru material in single-player form; I will continue my review/essay series when they do. In the meantime, I've also added some answers to my Uru Live FAQ, describing what we know about the cancellation.

January 7, 2004

There aren't enough Uru FAQs... okay, there are enough, but they're not all in one place and neatly organized. Here's my attempt at an Uru Live FAQ.

December 25, 2003

I haven't written a full review of the multi-player part of Uru. (Because it hasn't started up yet.) But I've decided to write occasional essays on stuff I've seen on the Uru Prologue. The first two essays are now posted.

November 18, 2003

And the review you've been waiting for, for the game I've been waiting for: Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. But only of the single-player part. I'm still waiting for them to let me into the multi-player game.

November 11, 2003

I've been out of the game reviewing thing for a while. (Should have written something about Silent Hill 3, but I didn't -- sorry!) Many good things will soon be sucking at my brain, and I'm sure I'll have much to say about them. But for today: a mini-review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

October 1, 2003

Need play-money for a game you're playing? Print out some of these bills. I came up with them several years ago, and then they sat around on a hard drive doing nothing. How dull! Now they can be useful.

September 15, 2003

Speaking of science fiction fandom, I found a fanzine in a basement. Turns out to be a zine I'd picked up at a con in 1986. I may be little late, but I wrote a letter to the editor, looking back on everything in the zine from the vantage of The Future. Interesting comparison.

September 3, 2003

Had a good time at Worldcon. It's traditional to write up a convention report, but I didn't do that. Instead, I wrote up my notes and pictures.

August 19, 2003

First corn maze of the year! I went to Orion Farm in western New York. (Yes, the weekend of the blackout.) I started to write a review of the maze, but it turned into a discussion of rules and rule-breaking in maze and adventure puzzles. (Plus a couple of photos.)

In the interest of historical completeness, I also posted my notes on corn mazes in 2002, even though I didn't have much to say, and even though those mazes are long since mulched and fed to cows.

July 22, 2003

I have joined the ranks of the photobloggers... well, at least, I carry a tiny digital camera sometimes. I may therefore add photo entries to the Thoughts of Days ad-hoccery. Look! There's one now!

July 7, 2003

I know, not much being updated these days. I'm working on stuff but it's not finished. In the meantime, the annual update: cornfield mazes around the US for 2003.

April 30, 2003

We have a winner of the IF Logic Puzzle Mini-Competition. It is The Traffic Light by Eric Schmidt. See also the judges' comments on Eric's work. (Judges' comments contain SPOILERS!)

April 21, 2003

Now complete: the Periodic Table of Dessert. Much more clever than other periodic tables you may have seen! Well, I think so anyway. If you agree, you can purchase the Table as a poster, thanks to Cafepress.

April 17, 2003

In January, a British magazine called PC Gamer ran an article on text adventures. It included some quotes from me (and others) on the art of IF authorship. Actually, there was a whole batch of questions I answered, and all my answers (and those of Adam Cadre, Emily Short, and Stephen Granade) are now posted at Brass Lantern. (Thanks to Richard Cobbett for writing the article, and allowing us to reprint the interviews.)

March 31, 2003

With volume 50, the Left Foot Living Review ceases of publication, at least for the present. I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you for reading it.

March 9, 2003

Another review, this time a game published only for the Mac -- when was the last time that happened? (Answer: 1999.) Anyhow: Alida. It wasn't bad, but it didn't stand out in any major way either.

February 26, 2003

To further advance the cause of the Million-Tongued Net, I now have an RSS feed of this update page. You can use whatever magic RSS tool you like to see What's New Around Here. Of course, I won't be adding stuff any more frequently than before; every couple of weeks if I'm industrious, every couple of months if not. Nonetheless! RSS! It's good for what ails you!

Meanwhile, the second review of the year follows almost immediately -- at least, a mini-review: Disaster Report. It's a PS2 action game which is, I think, more of an adventure than action.

February 21, 2003

Is it the first game review of 2003? I guess it is. Chemicus, an education/adventure title. One guess what subject it's educational on.

February 12, 2003

I hereby announce The IF Logic Puzzle Mini-Competition. I have created a sample text adventure which demonstrates evaluation of statements. You can enter a statement about the game world, like "The red pyramid is on the table", and the game will determine whether it's true or false. Now it's your turn: do something interesting with it. Or on that theme.

(See also I Had A Dream, a little essay on constructing a logically consistent statement-evaluator which can deal with paradoxes. Okay, my solution is sort of a cop-out. It was fun, though.)

January 28, 2003

Oh, I've had this sitting around since July; I'll post it already. The Martian Landscape Art Project. I originally created these images for Origins 2002, but they didn't get printed in time. Here are small versions -- hopefully, a preview of future display. I also have some explanation of the tools and algorithms I used.

December 31, 2002

Last game review of the year: The Longest Journey. I wasn't too thrilled. But I talk a lot about why I wasn't too thrilled -- and why I haven't been thrilled with a bunch of other games, from Grim Fandango back to Loom. Much ranting, maybe even insightful.

November 16, 2002

IF Competition '02 is over. Nope, I didn't enter this year. (Sorry -- I got this great idea at the last minute, and then bogged down trying to implement it...) Here are my reviews of the entries I played.

October 10, 2002

Game review -- another self-published winner: Rhem.

September 10, 2002

I apologize for having practically nothing, these past several months, but game reviews. I haven't had much energy for projects other than game-playing. Fortunately, I just played a good one: Dark Fall.

August 7, 2002

Game review season continues to continue, with The Cameron Files: Secret at Loch Ness. Only I wasn't happy about this one.

August 6, 2002

As the Left Foot Living Review enters the tenth week of its glorious revival, we also celebrate the addition of its new RSS headline feed. Everybody's doing it, so I figured I should too. (I'm also pinging updates to weblogs.com. Such a joiner.)

July 25, 2002

Review season continues: Necronomicon.

July 17, 2002

A few weeks late, or a year late, or eight years late, depending on how you count: my review of RealMyst. (Which is also a review of Myst, the original.)

July 10, 2002

Time for the annual update: cornfield mazes around the US for 2002.

July 8, 2002

A few weeks ago, I got into a discussion on rec.arts.int-fiction about what IF really is. (Cue the reverb.) Well, definitions are often a trap and a folly, but nonetheless here is my characterization of IF (somewhat extended from the original Usenet posts).

July 7, 2002

Just got back from Origins 2002. Among the gaming-related news: Looney Labs has printed my game Branches and Twigs and Thorns in their annual newsletter Hypothermia 15. If BTT looks familiar, it's because it's an updated version of Martian Go, which I've had up for several years now. But! BTT is an improved, all-singing, all-dancing, no-longer-so-frequently-tying version of the game. I decided it was so much closer to perfection that it merited a new name and a new web page.

Hypothermia 15 also contains Cracked Ice. And, before I forget, Looney Labs is also now publishing a nice little set of cards for playing Werewolf. Plus, the Boodler sound system was running in the Looney Labs Big Experiment room for much of Origins!

June 3, 2002

The Left Foot Living Review, so long neglected in the back corner of my web site, has been given new life! Attend to it weekly; every Tuesday, a fresh selection of life's choices may be found in the LLR's current edition. Or, peruse the back issues.

May 27, 2002

Elliott Evans, Dan Efran, and I have come up with a new Icehouse piece game: Cracked Ice. It's very simple. We showed it off at the Pop Tart Cafe at Balticon, and it seems to be a hit.

April 30, 2002

Boodler 1.5.2, now featuring MacOSX support. I don't have a compiled version up yet, so to run Boodler under OSX you'll need the OSX developer toolkit installed, as well as Python.

April 25, 2002

Goob has put up (on his web site) three recordings of our joint experiment in harmonic singing. You can hear each of us -- sometimes together, sometimes not -- and you can hear the overtones each of us is producing. Sort of. (MP3 files, recorded just about a year ago.)

April 19, 2002

Several months ago I posted a review of Soul Reaver 2, the third of the (now) four-game Legacy of Kain series. SR2 had an astonishing convoluted plot, involving a millenia-long war between vampires, demons, and gods, all manipulated -- I think -- by a scheming time-traveller. It was really quite hard to keep it all sorted out. So I spent some time producing this History of the Soul Reaver. It's a chart showing both Raziel and the Reaver as they flit up and down the timeline... (Spoilers for all four Kain games.) Also some comments and questions about the story so far.

April 15, 2002

I have won Runner-Up status in Adam Cadre's second Lyttle Lytton Contest! (The challenge being to write the worst possible opening sentence of a novel -- like the Bulwer-Lytton Contest -- but in 25 words or less.) I am embarrassingly proud. You need not hit a link to read my treasure of prose -- no point dedicating an entire web page to 25 words -- so here it is -- enjoy --
"I raped your sister," cruelly he sneered, "and now she is no problem," and my friends that is the day my heart tore a sunder.

March 31, 2002

A few comments about Faust (published in the US as Seven Games of the Soul).

March 2, 2002

Added some entries to My Very Secret MacOSX Diary. I wouldn't bother to mention this... but the page has made Slashdot, and people are actually looking at it. Wacky!

February 19, 2002

Third day in a row... Meet version 1.5.0 of Boodler. Many new sounds, many new soundscapes, a couple of new features, and a terminal-based front-end interface (donated by Goob).

February 18, 2002

I've been playing with a new Mac, which came with a new MacOS. You may eavesdrop on My Very Secret MacOSX Diary. It's about the UI, the OS design... anything that impacts my attempt to get stuff done. (I tried to work in the line "Sam will kill him if he tries anything," but couldn't manage it. Sigh.)

February 17, 2002

Been a few months -- sorry about that. We begin the newish year with a non-review of Schizm, a PC adventure game.

December 4, 2001

Updated Boodler to version 1.2.0. It's a small update -- it's compatible with more sound interfaces now, including a file interface (which allowed me to put up some audio sample clips). But the interesting bit is, I've added an Boodler accessories page, which starts off with an X10 connectivity script. I can now control Boodler (or any other Linux program) with a universal remote control from the X10 company... and it should interoperate with all their other wireless tools, including motion detectors.

November 22, 2001

After many months of (slow, lazy) development: behold Boodler, a programmable soundscape tool. Boodler is a system for playing continuous, infinitely varying streams of sound. Comes with many soundscapes, and it's easy to create more if you're willing to write some scraps of Python code. (Requires Unix/Linux.)

November 18, 2001

It's been a rare treat, these past few years, to play a graphical adventure game that runs on the Macintosh (without emulation). I have just played The Messenger (also published as Louvre: The Final Curse). It was not a treat.

November 16, 2001

The votes for the 2001 Interactive Fiction Competition are all in. (No, I didn't enter this year.) The official tallies haven't been posted yet (it's only 39 minutes after midnight) but here are my brief comments on the games I played.

November 5, 2001

After three years: Soul Reaver 2, the sequel to my favorite Playstation game. (Yes, I have a favorite Playstation game. Sad to admit, but true.)

October 19, 2001

And now, Ico -- another PS2 game. Deeply impressive.

October 16, 2001

Finally got my hands on Silent Hill 2.

October 14, 2001

Now I've been to a bunch of those corn mazes, and I've written some notes about them.

August 9, 2001

I've added links to cornfield mazes around the US for 2001.

August 8, 2001

I should have put this up back in May, but now I've gotten around to it: my first experiments with polymer clay. I made a stash of Zendo stones, plus a huge pile of extras. Canework is addictive.

July 10, 2001

Just back from Origins, where I ran six hardy souls through my newly-designed Chrononauts role-playing scenario, The Emperor's Star. I won't be posting the full game to this web site -- at least not right now -- but you can read the Prologue.

June 13, 2001

I've had the list of books I own up for a year. I now add the list of books I've acquired in the past year -- a subset of the first list, but ordered by date of purchase. In case you're curious what I'm reading now.

May 25, 2001

I've put up the transcript of Lighan ses Lion, my entry in Emily Short's Walkthrough Competition. (No, there is no game; only a transcript.)

May 15, 2001

Okay, okay, the Myst 3 review.

May 10, 2001

I played Timescape: Journey to Pompeii, but it wasn't much of a game, so I didn't write much of a review.

April 27, 2001

This is certainly the smallest update I've ever posted: I changed three characters on one web page. You see, Google finally got the DejaNews archives on-line and searchable. So I was able to find out when I posted that review of Alice... and it turns out to have been five years ago tomorrow. Yay! So I can finally replace the "??" date notation on the game review page. That's been bugging me for years.

April 18, 2001

Review of Shadow of Destiny, a game I just played on my shiny new Playstation 2.

April 3, 2001

I had a few cave experiences last week, albeit on a small and unadventurous scale. Since caves are such a popular IF setting, I've written some notes about what caves look like.

March 12, 2001

Behold yet another whimsical way to navigate around my web site: the Pictorial Site Map. (No, it won't do you much good if you use Lynx.)

March 11, 2001

Shade has won the 2000 XYZZY award for Best Setting. You can see a transcript of the award ceremony.

March 6, 2001

The Uncarrot Tarot is now on-line in its entirety.

February 1, 2001

I have begun posting the cards of the Uncarrot Tarot, a deck I drew (by hand!) when I was in junior high school. Fifteen more cards will be posted every Tuesday.

January 24, 2001

Longish review of Riddle of the Sphinx. First review of the new year... is this impressive? I dunno.

December 26, 2000

Shortish review of Beyond Atlantis (previously released in Europe as Atlantis 2).

December 19, 2000

I like to cook. I have now posted some of my favorite recipes, as well as recipes from people I know. These lists will grow over time.

November 27, 2000

Shade updated to release 3 -- thanks to everyone who sent in bug reports after the competition. I've also built a Mac version.

November 23, 2000

Behold That Flashy-Light Thing Under the Main Viewscreen of the Enterprise. Another electroluminescent construction, debuted at the Pop-Tart Cafe at Philcon 2000.

November 16, 2000

The 2000 Interactive Fiction Competition is over, and my entry, Shade, placed tenth. (This is the competition release; I'll probably update it in a few weeks after bug reports and reviews trickle in.) You can also read my reviews of the Competition games -- it was a heck of a good comp year.

November 15, 2000

Geez, I wrote these pages two weeks ago and forgot to announce it. Handy Inform Tricks is a collection of ideas I thought to write down while programming text adventures in Inform. Library hacks, programming ideas, and some frequently-made errors that Inform authors should watch out for.

October 22, 2000

I made another cloak, and debuted it at Trinoc-Con. No, it doesn't light up. It's pretty intricate, though.

August 28, 2000

I just got back from a Cornfield Maze Road Trip -- three in three days, in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Here are quickie reviews.

August 9, 2000

The current game offering: Temüjin.

August 2, 2000

July 23, 2000

Finally wrote the review of Traitors Gate, after putting it off for most of a week.

July 8, 2000

I finally built the little maze of arrows, as a wall design in my apartment. The arrows are no longer all alike; I used colored thumbtacks.

June 14, 2000

I painted some wooden cubes, to serve as general gaming tokens for games which normally use a hat and a wheelbarrow.

May 31, 2000

After only, what is it, three years of this web site -- I have finally written the About page. Heh. I've also cleaned up the home page a little bit.

May 29, 2000

After some fair hacking and a strenuous weekend of work, I have scanned in my entire book collection. Whew! The bar-code scanner was a hundred bucks, but I think it was worth it. I've transferred the atabase to my Palm 3, which required another hack, jtrans.

May 23, 2000

A review of, if you can believe this, Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned For Danger. (Gad, what a title!)

May 11, 2000

The bi-platform Inform compiler is done! A single program which compiles an Inform game for either Z-code or Glulx, at the flip of a switch.

May 8, 2000

Still on the reviews of old games: Shivers 2: Harvest of Souls. (All the new adventure games I'm waiting for seem to be stuck in Not Yet.)

May 5, 2000

Hsi: an epic poem in five kilobytes. My entry in the 5k Web Page Contest. I didn't win anything; but I did write a brief essay on the difference between my own goals and those of most of the entrants.

April 18, 2000

Review of Safecracker, an old-ish puzzle romp.

April 12, 2000

I drew a little maze of arrows, all alike.

March 16, 2000

Well, my copy of Zork Grand Inquisitor finally arrived. Later than I'd hoped; but at least I got the Mac version.

March 10, 2000

Breaking with tradition, I've written some comments about a Playstation game: Silent Hill.

March 9, 2000

I've done a quick port of StonerView for Unix, using GL for the 3D display.

February 29, 2000

Happy first day of the 21st Century! (As far as I'm concerned. And I don't want to argue about it any more, thanks.) As a minor celebration, I've recreated my two-column presentation of the 1998 XYZZYnews Award Ceremony, and put up the 1999 Ceremony in the same format. Did I mention that Hunter, In Darkness won two XYZZYs in 1999? (Best Setting, and Best Individual Puzzle.)

February 23, 2000

Review of The Legend of Lotus Spring.

February 15, 2000

I've updated the Glulx spec. Not a huge change, but I haven't touched the web site much recently, so this becomes the de facto Thing What's New. Heh.

February 2, 2000

Behold; a Martian Chessboard.

January 19, 2000

I've finished painting two sets of the new plastic Icehouse pieces. The Gallery of Icehouse Pieces has the pictures, and you can also read my notes on painting them.

January 13, 2000

I wrote a non-review of Inherent Evil: The Haunted Hotel. And, after some Dejanews research, I've recovered a review of Jewels of the Oracle which I wrote way back in 1995.

January 10, 2000

January 7, 2000

System's Twilight is now freeware. Yay! Playmaker Software, who kindly handled the shareware registration for years, has decided to focus solely on their football software. System's Twilight is nearly five years old now, and I think it's paid off its share of the rent. So you can now play it for free. I will soon release a version with the shareware screen removed; until then, you can print out the code sheet (or plain-text version of the sheet) and play old copies of the game freely.

January 3, 2000

Zarf has been declassified. Yes, I know I announced this a year ago. I lost the scanned image. Now it's back.

December 30, 1999

(Not a game review!) My Winterfair gift to all is this fine PostScript Martian Chessboard. Print it out; enjoy.

December 19, 1999

And yet again: a review of The Forgotten.

December 14, 1999

And again: a review of Amerzone.

December 7, 1999

Thick and fast, now that the game-release season is upon us. A review of The Crystal Key.

December 2, 1999

Lots of stuff today (I'm even farther off my ass...)

December 1, 1999

I finally got off my ass and released the source code to Z'Catalog. The source code is licensed under the GPL. So if you want to update or extend it, the way lies clear.

November 24, 1999

I didn't write a review of Lightbringer (previously released as "Cydonia"). But I wrote something.

November 20, 1999

Hunter, In Darkness.

November 17, 1999

The 1999 Interactive Fiction Competition is over, and I placed eighth. I'll have my entry Hunter, In Darkness up in a few days. (I have to fix the bugs and flaws that turned up during judging.) In the meantime, you can read my reviews of the Competition games.

November 11, 1999

The nifty luminescent Icehouse presentation stand.

November 9, 1999

The digital camera is working again, so I've put up pictures of the old Zarcana pieces and the newer Origami Icehouse pieces.

October 10, 1999

I now have Virtual PC (a PC emulator for the Mac.) So I can now play and review some PC-only games, such as Reah.

September 28, 1999

New issue of Lemmings, as usual for Tuesdays. (I won't be announcing this every week, but you get this one reminder.) Also, as long as I'm typing here, I'll note that MaxTADS has been updated.

September 21, 1999

In 1991, I started publishing a comic strip: The Lemmings of Norstrilia. Well, it was published in my college newspaper, but that counts. I'm putting the series on-line here, one strip a week, on Tuesdays.

September 16, 1999

I've joined the Wunderland Toast Society. This may be a somewhat obscure move, since I've said on my home page that I've been a member for about two years. Why is this? Don't ask. Duelling is still illegal.

September 13, 1999

Reviewed Ambrosia's new Mac RPG, Cythera.

September 8, 1999

I finally put up a page about my Cloak of Light. It's got electroluminescent piping, and runs off a battery pack at the belt. Tremendously cool, although the pictures on the web page don't really do it justice.

August 19, 1999

Lo, it has arrived. The Glulx Inform compiler.

August 17, 1999

The rules for a strategy game I invented: Martian Go (or, "Branches and Twigs and Thorns".) It's played with a chessboard and a set of Icehouse pieces.

August 7, 1999

New essay, inspired by (or possibly reviewing) an Umberto Eco book: "Who Is This Model Reader, Anyway?"

July 16, 1999

I've added a note to System's Twilight page, on playing the game under Linux or Windows. The newest version of Executor, a Macintosh emulator, should be able to handle it.

July 9, 1999

A page about the medallions I designed for the Tenth Annual International Icehouse Tournament.

June 30, 1999

Updated the Blorb specification to include JPEG images as well as PNG. Also rewrote the spec so that it's no longer Z-machine specific; the Glk and Glulx specs use Blorb, and that fact is now recognized.

June 19, 1999

Reviews of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and Timelapse. (Okay, the Titanic review has been up for a few days.)

June 1, 1999

I posted something to rec.arts.int-fiction which I decided was interesting enough to put in the Essays section. It's a Small Rant About Modern Art.

May 18, 1999

Well, the roof fell in and there's gunk and leaves all over the floor. What a mess. More literally, the disk drives melted down. The backup tape didn't back up. Everyone was very grumpy. Many files posted between December 1998 and May 1999 were lost. I've recovered most of them, but there are still some placeholders scattered around the web site.

April 1, 1999

Announcing Glulx -- a new IF virtual machine, which will support the Inform language. Glk I/O and 32-bit addressing. Whoo hoo!

February 9, 1999

Spider And Web has won a pile of XYZZY awards -- Best IF Game of 1998, and also Best Use of Medium, Best Individual NPC, Best Puzzles, and Best Individual Puzzle. You can see a transcript of the award ceremony.

January 30, 1999

Added a review of Nightfall.

January 12, 1999

StonerSound is now up to version 1.2. I added a volume menu, that's all. (Well, and changed all the URLs to point to this web site. :-)

January 9, 1999

Added a review of The Last Express to my reviews of commercial games.

January 1, 1999

December 23, 1998

Zarf has been declassified. A friend pointed this out, and I put it up because it's funny -- but it led me to the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy in Government Project, which is fascinating.

December 21, 1998

Added a new and particularly evil customized Rubik's Cube.

December 14, 1998

To make it easier to play around with Glk, I've created a simple scripting language called Floo. It's not actually ready for release yet, but some reference material is there, and I have a Macintosh binary up as a preview.

November 21, 1998

All my reviews of the Annual Interactive Fiction Competition entrants are up, slightly indexed and formatted.

November 18, 1998

I've released an alpha version of XGlk, a Glk library for X windows (on Unix machines.)

November 17, 1998

New essay, even more incoherent than usual: Mind Mind Game Game.

October 29, 1998

Added a review of Jewels of the Oracle 2 to my reviews of commercial games.

October 17, 1998

Added a review of Morpheus to my reviews of commercial games.

October 14, 1998

Just finished a new C port of Dungeon (original Zork), for Glk. This version has previously only been available as Fortran source code. I have the source code up, ready to be linked with any Glk library, and also a Mac executable.

September 26, 1998

I've dug caves and tunnels under all my web pages. I'm hoping it will be an interesting supplementary way to get around -- although certainly it shouldn't be the only way. The Redundant Site Map will remain.

September 24, 1998

New Random Walk, this time about programming and divine possession: Pan as Mighty as the Three-Handed Sword

September 14, 1998

I've started two new subsections: Random Walks, which are grab-bag ramblings about whatever subject interests me, and Thoughts of Days, which are grab-bag scribblings about whatever subject interests me but is too short to really ramble about. New Random Walk essays will generally be announced here. New Thoughts of Days will just appear in the list, as they come out of my head; check there every so often if you so desire.

September 10, 1998

StonerSound, a Mac audio toy. Strangely hypnotic stream of rippling chimes -- not music, but you can listen to it anyway. I'm happy with it, not least because the inspiration was a visual pretty-toy, and I think I translated it to sound effectively.

September 3, 1998

A Koan of My Own. Actually, it's pronounced "ko-ahn". I've read quite a bit about Zen, and it somehow always seems to boil down to a single paradox which my brain gets stuck in and just spins. I decided that this must be own personal koan, handed to me by my inner Zen master.

July 12, 1998

Z'Catalog is a PalmPilot tool which catalogs, sorts, and filters the the list of databases in your Pilot's memory.

July 11, 1998

XZip has (finally) been updated to version 1.8. This includes arrow keys, Quetzal save files, and extended save/load opcodes.

July 1, 1998

Big day of stuff.
A look at an old attempt to invent a card game with exactly two kinds of cards.
A silly visual toy for the PalmPilot. Dots ripple when you touch the screen.
Two-Player Aquarius
How to play Aquarius with just two players -- a couple of variations.
Not a new program, but I finally put the web page up. A TADS text adventure interpreter for the Mac.

June 17, 1998

A new project page, for a very old project: Markov Chain Texts. This is where my weird .sig file came from, long long ago.

The Glk libraries (CheapGlk and GlkTerm) have been updated to match the API spec, 0.4.

May 21, 1998

Added a review of Legacy of Time to my reviews of commercial games.

April 25, 1998

Yet another cube -- the Colossal Cube -- but, more importantly, the first release of GlkTerm, the terminal-window (curses.h) port of Glk.

April 22, 1998

More custom Rubik's Cubes.

March 4, 1998

Spider And Web -- my new text adventure. "Like a cross between Rocky's Boots and Mission: Impossible," said one player. (But he hadn't gotten very far, so what does he know?)

February 27, 1998

Custom Rubik's Cubes. Ok, I actually put this up last week, but I forgot to update this page. There are now three different patterns on display. More soon.

February 7, 1998

Glk and Blorb updates. These are tools for text adventure development -- not game creation tools, but things which are useful for supporting or porting those tools. It's complicated. Read the specifications.

January 12, 1998

New page describing three certificates and declarations which I printed on business cards and handed out on Activity Fair Day at college.

January 1, 1998

Added a page about my Arcana pieces, although I don't have pictures of them yet. I do describe the standard to which I made them, and how you might go about making some yourself.

December 28, 1997

The great reorganization of the site. Added the Redundant Site Map and this What's New page.

Zarfhome (map) (down)