No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #98: nostalgia edition

It wasn't three weeks ago that I was linking to a very nice retrospective of the Gabriel Knight games. Well, here's an even more detailed five-part postmortem of the famous trilogy. Apart from the wealth of technical information in the articles, I can't help but notice two factors that I think were very important to the success and enduring fame of the franchise: the story came first — and it was a story the writer cared very much about, not just something written on order. Consider that when setting out to make a game.

Speaking of retrospectives, here's one of Fantasy World Dizzy, my favorite in the series. And while on the topic of adventure games, the incredible Jason Scott just made public a treasure trove of Infocom documents (see here and here). Beyond their value for historians and game designers, it's worth noting that they did write down all that stuff, and then someone went through the trouble of preserving it. Hooray for thinking of the future.

Last but not least, a moving story about somebody reviving an old Atari 800 and TV set from the same era for a gaming night in the family. Note that both antiques are still working perfectly, over 35 years later, and they're no less fun than a modern console. A pretty good return on investment, wouldn't you say?

In unrelated news, from a blogger I haven't quoted lately comes an article about the importance of software specifications. Which is most welcome seeing how the complexity of modern software is all too often underestimated — and games are some of the most complex apps out there.

Have a nice week.