The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And this seems more engrossing than those old Choose Your Own Adventure books …

To explain what I mean by “Feelies” in this context: Infocom packaging (and really, a bunch of other software packages of the 1980s era) came with additional knick-knacks wrapped in, accompanying the disk or cassette and the manual. Sometimes these knick-knacks were simply copy protection items, like a code wheel or a map with information you'd need to refer to to go far enough in the game. Other times, they were neat stuff that provided you with an additional dimension to the game. I've interviewed a lot of people who have said this was what set an Infocom game ahead of other similar products for them; you opened the box, and stuff fell out, and even before you played the game you were part of the game, if that makes sense.

And what else I found out was that nearly everyone I talked to who had something to do with Infocom's feelies had owned or knew of this interesting property, Murder Off Miami, which had originally been published in … 1936.

The Feelies

Very interesting. As I read up on Murder Off Miami, I began to feel that, because of the non-linear nature of the story (it's presented as a case file of a murder in Miami, and it's up to the reader to solve the mystery given the information presented) this may very well be a type of hypertext fiction, or even, a form of non-interactive interactive fiction, if you will.

A more readable Garfield

The first major improvement in Garfield was the removal of Garfield's dialog and the results improved the strip quite a bit, making it more surreal (as well as showing just how disturbed Jon Arbuckle really is).

Now, however, the process has been taken one step further—removing Garfield altogether!

[Jon: Get Back!][Jon:  My hand is ever alert][Nothing sadder than a grown man playing with a sock puppet by himself]

I think this makes Garfield not only funnier, but more surreal as the apparent schizophrenia takes hold on Jon Arbuckle.

Obligatory Picture

[“I am NOT a number, I am … a Q-CODE!”]

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