Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Mythical Game-Hour

Wired has a fun article about the time it takes to get through interactive fiction. I have to say I've sometimes wondered about the 40-hour game notion.

Does one need to have the cheat sheet in order to manage that sort of time? I think it took me about 2 years overall, and about 3 months in particular of pretty intense evenings and nights to get through Zork I. Of course, I didn't cheat at all, which is one reason I loved Zork (it was really hard to crack it and read the data files as plain text). I was probably literally stuck for many months just guessing my way to saying "Echo" in the Echo Room, or, in Zork II, using the right syntax to say "well" (quotes required). Even Lucas Arts, who pride themselves in creating games that don't get you stuck had some quirks that required me to ask a friend and cheat, such as in the puzzle about the cannibals who wanted a brochure about "getting ahead in business."


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