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23. November 2015

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Today over 4000 documents from Infocom were released on archive.org as the Infocom cabinet.  This collection of documents contains reams of design information from many classic text adventures including:

  • Planetfall
  • Sorcerer
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • A Mind Forever Voyaging
  • Leather Goddesses of Phobos
  • Stationfall
  • Zork Zero

 

From the blog post announcing the release:

During the production of GET LAMP, I spent a lot of time digitizing or photographing all sorts of artifacts and documents related to Interactive Fiction and text adventures. This included books, advertisements, printouts, and various ephemera that various players or programmers had lying around from that era. This would usually involve one or two ads, maybe a map or two that someone had drawn, and one or two photos snapped at a convention.

But not in the case of Steve Meretzky.

If you’re coming into this relatively new, or even if you need a little brush-up, let me state: Steve Meretzky has earned the title of “Game God” several times over, having been at the center of the early nadir of computer games in the 1980s and persisting, even thriving, in the years since. He continues to work in the industry, still doing game design, 35 years since he started out as a tester at what would become Infocom.

But more than that – besides writing a large amount of game classics in the Interactive Fiction realm, he also was an incredibly good historian and archivist, saving everything.

EVERYTHING.

When we finally connected during production (as it turned out, we lived within 10 miles of each other), Steve showed me his collection of items he had from the days of Infocom (which spanned from roughly 1981 through to the company’s eventual closing and absorption by Activision in the early 1990s). And it was a hell of a collection

It’s of questionable use today, game design has changed a great deal, but the huge volume of information is nothing if not interesting!

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