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Archive for the ‘text adventure’ tag

Free Games I Like: Virtua School

Posted on 11th Dec 2010 at 12:24 by Joe Martin with 5 comments

Joe Martin
Ah, Virtua School. Another game I played far too much of as a teenager and which I’ve bought back to life on my iPod Touch courtesy of the ill-fated iDOS. I truly love this game.

Virtua School is a text-based game which casts you as a kid starting his first day of school, forced to deal with the usual array of problems – girls, bullies, exams and extra-curricular activities. Using multiple choice options you weave your way through these scenarios, with a single playthrough lasting around ten minutes.

What I like most about Virtua School though is the random events which are woven into each game to help make things a bit different. The changes range from big things, like bomb scares or after-school parties, to smaller alterations, like characters changing their opinions or reactions. Popular girl Liz might like you one day and hate you another.

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Free Games I Like: Aisle

Posted on 7th Nov 2010 at 13:35 by Joe Martin with 38 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve been back on the interactive fiction games lately, mainly because it’s a great way to cleanse the gaming palette after a parade of samey shooters with identical names. The best text adventure games can easily trump a modern title and perfectly illustrates what games are capable of when they aren’t too busy chasing the latest graphics.

If you think that sounds hyperbolic then I suggest you go and play Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging, then reassess things.

Alternatively, if you haven’t got the time to manage either of those then you can play Aisle instead.

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Games I have made

Posted on 9th Jul 2009 at 11:31 by Joe Martin with 7 comments

Joe Martin
I once heard that most music journalists are generally people who got into the business because they lacked the drive or ability to actually be a musician themselves. Likewise, I’ve heard it said that games journalists are probably people who lack the drive to actually make their own games.

For me, that’s pretty true and it’s bred within me a massive respect for game developers, because making computer games is damned difficult. Not only are there the technical issues of knowing how to code and how to actually make the game, there’s the management issues too. You have to know what makes a game good and, if you’re working as part of a team, you have to be able to keep a group of people focused on a single cohesive vision. You need a logical mind that knows how systems should function and what redundancies need to be built in for every eventuality.

Over the years I’ve tried my hand at making a number of different games, starting when I got a copy of AMOS for the Amiga 500+ we had at home and I started tweaking the example games that came with it. I didn’t get far, but I got a basic understanding.

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