Pinback's IF Projects
This page is to let you keep up with any projects I'm currently involved
in with regard to interactive fiction, and might include other stuff just
And now, our special feature...
An Interview With Interactive Fiction Designer Ben
Q: Hello! Readers of your webpage, Pinback's Web
Central, were excited to hear about your upcoming project, "Evil
Space Aliens From Space". Why don't you tell us how it's going?
I think that pretty much sums it up, don't you?
A: Well, Q, so far, Space Aliens is just coming along
great. It's going smoother than I could have ever anticipated, and each
day I become more and more excited about it. It's a story which I believe
has the power to touch the hearts and souls of every reader with its
uplifting, yet cautionary moral statements. And besides that, I believe
I've created some puzzles which may in fact rival some of the more famous
puzzles in the history of the interactive fiction business. In short, I
believe it will live up to everything that's been said about it, and more.
I just hope people enjoy playing it as much as I'm enjoying creating it.
Q: You haven't started it, have you?
Q: Why not?
A: Because it's too hard.
Q: Well what are you going to do about the competition?
A: I'll get something ready for it. I mean, hell, F209
only took me about a week, and I've already received several
complimentary, reassuring emails telling me how much people enjoyed
Q: But it was stupid, and there wasn't anything to do in
A: Stop bothering me! Get away from me! SECURITY!?!!?!!
Q: You see no security here. HAHAHAHA!! GET IT?!!?!
A: If it weren't for you, I'd have had the game done
Q: Say, are we the same "Q" and "A" from the now-infamous Pong FAQ?
A: No, I'm fairly certain that we're far less entertaining than
F209 - Latest version, 8/7/97
(Note: Z-code files like f209.z5 must be downloaded in binary format.
Many web browsers make this difficult. If you get an error immediately
when you try to start an Inform game, you probably downloaded it in ASCII
format. If your web browser refuses to cooperate, you can just FTP the
file manually from ftp.access.digex.net/pub/access/pinback, and
remember to type "binary" before getting the file.)
- 8/7/97 - Hopefully this will be the final version. Not too much new
since last time, but there are now win/lose endings. (Actually, there's only
one "win" ending, and about four "lose" endings, which finding all four in
itself can be a challenge.) It's really not a good game. There are a few
parser annoyances left (e.g., the cat/cat food/cat food can/cat food bowl
problem, and now the new car/car keys problem), but it's good enough to
leave. If you find any major bugs, might as well let me know, just so I
can fix them for completeness. F209 served its purpose, though. I can now
put "Inform 6" on
- 7/21/97 - Major breakthroughs. The cat now moves by himself, eats
the food, and does other things. Made some verbs do new things.
Added a dark closet with a "find the lightswitch" puzzle. Added a
parking lot, with a car in it which doesn't do anything yet. Note:
This version has no win/lose endings. Just wander around.
As is the case with any Inform game (or any Infocom game,
for that matter), in order to play, you will need some sort of Z-code
interpreter. Z-code is the compiled version of Inform games, but it
requires an interpreter to make it run. The current standard seems to be
which comes in various flavors on various platforms, and supports all
formats of Z-code.
Once you're done exploring F209, you may have an appetite for
some real quality work. The reigning champion of new-generation IF is
an exceptional (and very difficult) piece titled "So Far", written by
Andrew Plotkin, master of the mind-melting puzzle. But the prose is so
effective and polished, you hardly notice how frustrated you're
Just to see what can be accomplished with IF, I'd suggest you try So
Pinback's Web Central
This page and the contents therein (except where otherwise attributed) are
(c) 1997, 1998, by Ben
That was in case any of you devious types were thinking of stealing all my cool stuff. So there.
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