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Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary

Science|12 Sep, 2012|36 Comments |
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Rating: 3.0/5 (11 votes cast)

The early years of microcomputers were characterized by restricted sound, uncomplicated graphics and tiny amounts of computing power; quite unlike the loud, fast, life-like action that are the trademarks of the modern games on our computers. We have really come of age with Quake, Half-life and Halo!

An entire industry grew manifolds over telling fantastic stories, solving mind-boggling puzzles and weaving magic out of words in the early years of 1980. Quite similar to the worlds that books create, these games fire the user’s vivid imagination and involve them in a surrealistic quest. The most powerful graphics were used to ignite the human mind to get them hooked onto these ‘Computer Adventure games’.

Universities and engineering companies would describe a place and ask what had to be done next as a side project and challenged young brains to solve puzzles and bypass tricks and traps. These challenges have whetted the appetite of players and a whole new generation of authors as they struggled with negotiating obstacles to find the pure joy of achievement and adventure in a world which tickled their senses with suspense, humor and sadness and have escalated their minds with hunger for exploration and new discoveries. ‘Get Lamp’ tells the story of evolution of these incredible games straight from the horse’s mouth, i.e., people who created them!

Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary, 3.0 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
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  1. Joe Barnes says:

    Gotta pick this up at the website. I LOVED Infocom and had a huge crush on Amy from a picture of here in The New Zork Times….may have been The Status Line. Can’t remember if it was before or after the lawsuit.

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  3. Jason Scott says:

    Yeah, that’s true – incredibly limiting. Well, unless you bought the DVD from GETLAMP.COM – then you’d have seen the 40-minute Infocom-only Featurette, the 30+ short films and features explaining all manner of text games, and the introduction to text games it has for people new to the genre.

  4. Not a good film. Not even a good documentary. 3/10. It’s mostly useless chatter used as filler; “what a work of art text games are” etc, etc. Well, what about the games themselves? For example, what the heck was Leather Goddesses of Phobos? What about the companies that made the games? Like, what eventually happened to Infocom? No fun facts, like did you know the company that published Duke Nukem series started out with text games (Beyond the Titanic & Supernova)?

  5. treahblade says:

    Intresting video and I liked the interviews with the people that created the games. However there are alot of interviews with “long time gamers” that I think were added to have more content and was not very usefull. I mean some of them guys, like the guy who had books of maps and stuff, were downright creepy hell. Does he have a well in his basement and a little white dog? I just think that their contrebutions to the video was limited and subjective.

  6. Lil Lolster says:

    wheres paulsoaresjr i dont see him on my quick search???


  8. I love Paulsoaresjr!!!

  9. I agree with Ebadulla Khan. Thumbs up if u agree to!

  10. :o how can he talk for 2 hours imposible

  11. This inspired me to find and play Tele-Arena

  12. BognarRegis says:

    Thank you for allowing it to be viewed here. This brings back memories of my early college days in the late eighties. When I played a handful of Broderbund tittles (all of which escape me in the haze of trendy chemical amusement) but I remember the fun of the puzzles and mazes and the richness of some of the text. Again, Thank you.

  13. lachek says:

    Three, there’s an excellent tutorial built-in that’ll take you through making your first game, and four, there are lots of plugins and libraries that handle things like “locks and keys”, non-player character behaviour, etc.If you’re learning mostly to learn a general-purpose language, these days you’d be better off with Python than BASIC.

  14. lachek says:

    DaveyGB, you’ll definitely want to check out Inform instead of BASIC (Google ‘Inform 7′). It’s not as general-purpose as BASIC, but it’s much more suitable to creating text adventure games… for one, you don’t have to do any low-level parser engine development (you just have to teach the parser about specific words and terms your game uses), which makes it much faster to get a working game together; two, your game will play on any Z-Machine compatible IF player (eg Frotz, Parchment…)

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  16. MangoooGames says:

    Deutschsprachige Textadventures!Testet unsere neue Batch Textadventure Demo “Magic Forest”. Wie ihr das Spiel spielen könnt erfahrt ihr auf unserer Facebook Seite. Einfach unter Facebook den Suchbegriff:MANGOO GAMES eingeben.Dort findet ihr ein Link, von wo aus ihr das Spiel kostenlols herunterladen könnt.

  17. apboulton says:

    A-plus. I’m really happy that this vid exists. I started playing text adventures a few years after their prime but they sure captivated me for a couple of years. Getting the Adventure Game Toolkit from a shareware 5 1/2-inch diskette at the library, printing out its manual and learning how to make my own text adventures… it really takes me back.

  18. I just want to say how much I admire this video. I’ve just recently been introduced into IF games for a class I’m in, and this video, with its intensive background information and perspective from the players, really makes me excited about them! Thanks for creating this movie, and giving people a chance to view it on here!

  19. CrushProject says:

    good stuff, altho im shocked that theres no references to pen and paper role playing games which is basically the same thing just through another medium. These were certainly the games that led us (me and my buddies) to try those rpgs as a kid to begin with.

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