Zork on a pen (plus kudos from Scott Cutler of Infocom). Here
is an archive which presently has 2,048 adventure titles. Edit: 2,030 (they must have removed some!) No, back up to 2,217... And that doesn't include arcade adventures, etc.
The Clone Wars
In Russia the ZX Spectrum was cracked, and the 128k clones war began.
With 640k DD drives this was a remarkable improvement on the capacity of the original Spectrums, meaning that games were created which would stun and startle any owners of the 48k and 128k to see. Because of data compression, the 640k of one disk could be boosted all the way up to a jaw-dropping 800k. This was the time of the 16-bit machines in the UK, but with $300-1000 (US) for an Amiga or PC as compared with $20-100 for the vamped-up Spectrums, Pentagon or Scorpion, it is easy to see why it took off. This in 1991, when the ZX Spectrum was already a UK museum piece. Evidently the Russian Spectrum had gained a lot of complexity since the days of the Hobbit 64k, even culminating in titles on cd-rom such as Time Gal.
Time Gal (first cd-rom Spectrum game in Russia) Anime Story (Russian Spectrum Adventure)
Colin Woodcock has written an excellent book called ZX Spectrum on Your PC informing you how to get the most out of Spectrum emulation.
Undoubtedly one of the best ways to play an Amiga adventure game is to buy an XBOX for around £20 from your local Cash Converters, "softmod" it, using for instance, Ndure's installer, a memory card and copy of Splinter Cell, and install WINUAEX. Instantly you have an Amiga in your front room with 1000s of games, including Beneath A Steel Sky, Universe, etc.
But if getting those materials is troublesome or you prefer your PC, use the emulator Amiga Forever. If you're not going to buy it, well you might find it on Demonoid... This should avoid the headaches which are associated with configuring the emulator WinUAE on your PC.
One resource for games is http://www.thegamearchives.com/ not only for Commodore Amiga but for other platforms.
The link below—Zophar's Domain—has many C64 emulators.
http://www.gb64.com/ is an online resource for C64 games, an offline version is also downloadable as a Torrent currently at http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1599210/1319739/ (11 May 2009).
Douglas Harter, creator of WinPAW, interviewed by Colin Woodcock in magazine ZXF 10, Spring 2005. Colin himself also wrote a couple of text
adventures for Gilsoft.
PAW obviously made an impression on you when it came out. Were you a Spectrum user at the time? If so, were you previously a Quill devotee?
Actually I was a Timex/Sinclair user.
Before starting work on WinPAW, had you writtten any PAW or Quill games yourself?
I have one game which I have been working on for years, but have never completed it.
When did you come up with the idea for WinPAW; what inspired it?
February 2001. It was inspired by a program out at the time called WinQuill, a Windows version of Quill. WinQuill stopped being supported about a year after I started working on WinPAW. He even lost the source.
Was the ability to import a Spectrum snapshot (of a PAWed/Quilled game) always a planned feature or has the main function of WinPAW always been to encourage the development of new Interactive Fiction?
The main function was to encourage the development of new Interactive Fiction. However, I added imports early in the development because I needed working games to test the program.
WinPAW communicates with UnPAWS and UnQuill to achieve the import facility; did you have to work with any of the authors responsible for these tools in order to manage this?
Yes, I worked with both John Elliott (UnQuill) and Alexander Katz (UnPaws) when testing. I found several bugs in both programs which they corrected for me. Both have been very helpful.
Have you ever met or communicated with either of the original PAW authors (Tim Gilbert and Graeme Yeandle) during the development of WinPAW?
Never talked to Tim. I couldn't find a way to get in touch with him. I have talked to Graeme several times. He has helped me with several code sections. I live in the USA and have never gone to the UK, so never met any one of my UK users or contacts.
What has been the response to WinPAW been? Is it being used within the IF community?
I really have no idea. I only know that I have 70 registered users. I have never heard of WinPAW games. None of my users has indicated that they have written any. I do have one user who was working on one, but he now has gotten away from text adventuring. He did a good bit of testing for me on WinPaw.
The current version of WinPAW being worked on is version 6; how has the program evolved over six versions?
Version 1 was the PAW up thru Version A16. Version 2 added some exports in UnPAWS and PC PAW formats. Version 3 added a couple new Actions and HTML-like tags. Version 4 added PAW character set and graphics. I have to give Alexander Katz credit for helping me with this change. He provided me with a lot of info on how the machine code in PAW handled them. Version 5 added being able to play Quill games. Also added was being able to use use character set and graphics or not. The main feature in Version 6 is being able to use duplicate words (use watr as both a verb and noun). This was a feature of a non-Spectrum version of PAW and was reqested by a user. This required support for the Adventure Creation Environment (ACE), another version of PAW which was based upon that non-Spectrum version.
Within the modern IF community which are the main 'rivals' to WinPAW for developing Interactive Fiction and how do they differ from WinPAW?
Well, ACE will be a rival to PAW as soon as it is released, which should be shortly. It uses strictly text input, similar to PC PAW, another rival. There are several other major IF Development packages. They are all text based (text is entered using an editor, the package compiles it using the compiler and it is then run using the engine). The major ones are TADS, Hugo, Inform, and AGT. There are quite a few more, some still active, but most not updated in years on the ftp://ftp.ifarchive.org/if-archive/programming/directory.
What are your future plans for WinPAW and how do you see these fitting in with the directions IF is taking as a genre?
Currently the next version will add Export capabilitie in ACE format and being able to import database changes from a text file. Sometimes when you have a multitude of changes it is easier to type them into a text file than to go through all the screens in Windows. I really don't know how these fit in with the directions IF is taking as a genre. My main idea is to make WinPaw as easy to use and versatile as possible. One aside, this is not the first time I wrote a version of PAW. Back when PAW & Quill were originally out, I wrote a version, strictly to see if I could do it, which actually looked like PAW & QUILL in ALGOL, the main programming language on the Burroughs mainframe (Burroughs is now Univac).
Actually, I have never been too good a solver of text adventures. I have actually completed 4, one the original Colossal Cave adventure by plodding thru it for months and months. The others I had to get some hints from the internet. I did write a TADS version of the Very Big Cave Adventure once. And, as already mentioned, I have been working for years on an adventure based upon Philip Jose Farmer's 'World of the Tiers' series. I have now started it in AGT, TADS, & WinPaw. My main thrust after I am done with 6.0 is completing the WinPaw version of the 350 point Colossal Cave Adventure. It is maybe 25% completed, but I know I can do the stuff to complete it.
This emulator runs in a Java-installed Browser. It's called Mocha, and several primitive text adventures can be played within. Hit the Setup button, then click on the BIN and Disk tabs. Games can be saved and loaded at any time using F8 (save) and F9 (load), and you can select save games in the snapshots tab. Surprisingly Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is amongst them.
Bob Withers, who created several of the games with Steve O'Dea has a web page here: