Words Are Cheap

I am so looking forward to Jason Scott’s Get Lamp. (Family obligations are keeping me from attending the premiere at PAX East.)

Talking to Scott, his passion for the subject and for detail are
both formidable. Most of our interview was tangents, and I didn’t mind
any of them. Discussing Colossal Cave Adventure, he ran down
for me the history of every version and port of the first piece of
interactive fiction; and his research into Infocom is painstaking,
thanks in part to the designers who were there. He gathered 7,000 pages
of internal documents from ex-employees like Steve Meretzky – best
known as the designer of Planetfall and co-designer of Hitchiker’s Guide
– who kept “every scrap” of paper from his Infocom days. “He was in the
moment and out of the moment. His capacity for archiving was amazing. …
I could tell you who worked at the company any given month because he
kept every phone list he had. And you can see when people start to
quit. And I’ll have a montage there of people resigning, because he
kept all the resignation memos.”

Infocom went out of business in 1989, and the games have been in but
mostly out of print ever since. But as with many older game genres,
interactive fiction has survived. —edge-online

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