Author of 80s classic The Hobbit didn’t know game was a hit

The Hobbit stood out from the adventure games of the day in three ways, the first of which was its use of graphics. Many scenes in the game included a colour image that may have drawn at painfully slow speed but still offered a far richer experience than the text-only adventures of the day.

The second key innovation was ‘Inglish’, a parsing system that went far beyond the verb/noun syntax most games at the time allowed. Inglish lets players enter whole sentences of text as they sought to complete a quest that paralleled the plot of Tolkien’s famous novel.

A third and less obvious innovation was the game engine Megler created.

“I wrote the game to be very general and to not restrict people from doing things,” Megler recalls. “Everything was an object. If you killed a dwarf you could use it as a weapon – it was no different to other large heavy objects. That was something you could not do with other games of the time, they had fixed possibilities.” Those limited possibilities meant that if gamers could not find the right verb/noun combination, further progress would become impossible. By making it possible to try lots of verbs on lots of nouns, The Hobbit offered a better experience. –via The Register.