Archive for June, 2006

Snipshot for online image editing

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Well Photoshop it aint’, but Snipshot doesn’t intend to be. It’s just a site that provides “Basic editing tools like crop, rotate, resize”.

screen image of Snipshot in action

Keep this one in the toolbox.

[via templatedata]

Old adventures never die…

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Well it looks like I was right: old adventure games never die - they just get a facelift and come back as freeware.

screen image of the Kings Quest II remake

A mob calling themselves Infamous Adventures has just released a remake of the classic Kings Quest III graphical adventure game with the following new features:

  • All 16 color backgrounds remade into stunning VGA graphics
  • Enhanced Close up cut-scenes and dialogue pictures help immerse you into what is known as the first plot driven chapter of the King’s Quest series.
  • Original music by professional music composer(s)
  • Re-experience the adventure with a stunning new interface (no more typing) And if you never played well, you’ll probably enjoy it anyway.

Personally I don’t see that “no more typing” is necessarily an improvement, but I’m sure they’ve come up with a good interface that will still allow for a rich player experience. The screen images are certainly pretty lavish:

screen image of the Kings Quest III remake

Infamous Adventures claims to be

a game development group focused on bringing adventure games back into the mainstream by updating classic adventure games as well as creating new masterworks of our own.

Their site also points to a group called Anonymous Game Developers Interactive, a “team of dedicated members … devoted to bringing adventure games back into style”, who have a couple of older projects I hadn’t heard about previously: remakes of Kings Quest I and Kings Quest II.

screen image of the Kings Quest I remake


If you’ve never played the Kings Quest games before, here’s you chance to have a bash at some genuine gaming history, as the AGD Interactive folks explain:

King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown, a revolutionary game designed by Roberta Williams and released in 1984, epitomizes the adventure gaming experience. This game was the first of its kind that allowed the player to interact in an entirely original 2.5D world, and can be credited as the game that started graphic adventure gaming on the PC altogether. King’s Quest was not only groundbreaking, but also history in the making, and was followed by seven more games bearing the King’s Quest title.

So download ‘em and have a go – they’re tons of fun.

Hmm, I think I can see another wasted weekend (or three) coming up…

Put a bullet through it

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

When it comes to security of your personal information, don’t trust it to anyone else: put a bullet through an old hard drive before you dispose of it. That’s what Henry and Roma Gerbus should have done before they had a hard drive replaced at “Best Buy”. According to Yahoo! News, some time later Herb…

got a phone call from a man in Chicago. “He said, ‘My name is Ed. I just bought your hard drive for $25 at a flea market in Chicago,’” said Gerbus … A total stranger had access to the couple’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, bank statements and investment records.

That’s a pretty amazing feat given that “Best Buy” had assured Herb that they drill holes in old hard drives to make them useless.

Don’t outsource this job

Personally, I’d have done the replacement - and destruction of the old drive - myself. It’s really not that hard. But if I had to pay someone to do the job, I’d be demanding the old drive back as well. With all the best intentions in the world, you can’t rely on some bloody chain store to always do the right thing.

“I’m not leaving myself open to identity theft,” said Gerbus.

Sure, Herb, sure.

“Wrong Guy” is alright

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

For the sake of completeness…

Well, the inevitable has happened: famous “Wrong Guy”, Guy Goma is now a celebrity, with his own web site and several other onscreen appearances to his credit.

His fans even have an online petition to the BBC to have him employed there. Personally, I reckon they ought to make him a technology reporter - he’s got great screen presence and he knows stuff.

What’s new in Inform 7?

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Inform 7 was released on 30 April 2006, ten years to the day since the last major upgrade of the Interactive Fiction authoring system. And it’s an exciting leap forward (more…)

Could you hack IF?

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

These days a commercial computer or video game requires a battalion of programmers, graphic artists, animators, writers, actors, and miscellaneous other contributors - probably about as many people as a modest movie production. But thanks to tools like Inform and TADS Interactive Fiction is still within the scope of a single author, hence the enduring attraction of IF for “after-hours” programmers. A programmer with a creative bent or a writer willing to learn to program can turn out a decent Interactive Fiction story while holding down a “real” job or full time study (more…)

Interactive Fiction: Time to play

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

There’s very little required to start playing with Interactive Fiction: install an interpreter and download some game files then you’re ready to roll (more…)

There’s nothing “retro” about Interactive Fiction

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Sometime back in the early 1980s I booted the family computer (a TRS-80 Model I, if memory serves) and loaded a new program we had just acquired. In flickering green letters a strip of text appeared across the top of the screen:

I’m in a forest
Visible items: Trees

Then below that:

A voice BOOOOMS out: Welcome to Adventure International’s Mini-Adventure Sampler! This is a small but complete Adventure. You must find the 3 hidden Treasures and store them away! Say: score to see how well you’re doing! Remember you can always say HELP

This was a free sample of “Adventureland”, the first in a series of about a dozen text adventure games by Scott Adams and his company Adventure International (more…)