Zarf's Wunderland News Shack
Here's what's new among
my web pages.
Some of this stuff is related to other stuff done by
the Wunderland Toast Society;
some is related only and solely to me and my crazy habits.
You'll have to sort through it yourself.
nearly all of these links point to my own web site,
which is at www.eblong.com.
If you're exploring
you may wish to keep browsing around Wunderland, and check out my
web site later. Or maybe you want to explore my web site and come back
to Wunderland later. Or maybe you just wanna dance.
This list is chronological. If you want a topic index, go check out the
Redundant Site Map.
April 30, 2003
We have a winner of
the IF Logic Puzzle
The Traffic Light
by Eric Schmidt.
See also the
on Eric's work. (Judges' comments contain SPOILERS!)
April 21, 2003
the Periodic Table of Dessert.
Much more clever than other periodic tables you may have seen!
Well, I think so anyway. If you agree, you can
purchase the Table
as a poster,
thanks to Cafepress.
April 17, 2003
In January, a British magazine called PC Gamer ran an article on
text adventures. It included some quotes from me (and others) on the
art of IF authorship.
Actually, there was a whole batch of questions I answered, and
my answers (and those of Adam Cadre, Emily Short, and Stephen Granade)
are now posted at
(Thanks to Richard Cobbett for writing the article, and allowing
us to reprint the interviews.)
March 31, 2003
Left Foot Living Review
ceases of publication, at least for the present. I have enjoyed
writing it. Thank you for reading it.
March 9, 2003
Another review, this time a game published only for the Mac --
when was the last time that happened? (Answer: 1999.) Anyhow:
It wasn't bad, but it didn't stand out in any major way either.
February 26, 2003
To further advance the cause of the Million-Tongued Net, I now have an
RSS feed of this update page.
use whatever magic RSS tool you like to see What's New Around Here.
Of course, I won't be adding stuff any more frequently than before;
every couple of weeks if I'm industrious, every couple of months if not.
Nonetheless! RSS! It's good for what ails you!
Meanwhile, the second review of the year follows almost immediately
-- at least, a mini-review:
It's a PS2 action game which is, I think, more of an adventure than
February 21, 2003
Is it the first game review of 2003? I guess it is.
title. One guess what subject it's educational on.
February 12, 2003
I hereby announce
The IF Logic Puzzle
I have created a
sample text adventure
which demonstrates evaluation of
statements. You can enter a statement about the game world, like "The
red pyramid is on the table", and the game will determine whether it's
true or false.
Now it's your turn: do something interesting with it. Or on that theme.
I Had A Dream,
a little essay on constructing a logically consistent
statement-evaluator which can deal with paradoxes. Okay, my solution
is sort of a cop-out. It was fun, though.)
January 28, 2003
Oh, I've had this sitting around since July; I'll post it already.
The Martian Landscape Art Project.
I originally created these images for Origins 2002, but they didn't
get printed in time. Here are small versions -- hopefully, a preview
of future display. I also have some
explanation of the tools
and algorithms I used.
December 31, 2002
Last game review of the year:
The Longest Journey.
I wasn't too thrilled. But I talk a lot about why I wasn't too thrilled --
and why I haven't been thrilled with a bunch of other games,
from Grim Fandango back to Loom. Much ranting, maybe even
November 16, 2002
IF Competition '02 is over. Nope, I didn't enter this year. (Sorry -- I got
this great idea at the last minute, and then bogged down trying to implement
it...) Here are my reviews of the entries
October 10, 2002
Game review -- another self-published winner:
September 10, 2002
I apologize for having practically nothing, these past several months,
but game reviews. I haven't had much energy for projects other than
game-playing. Fortunately, I just played a good one:
August 7, 2002
Game review season continues to continue, with
The Cameron Files: Secret at Loch Ness.
Only I wasn't happy about this one.
August 6, 2002
Left Foot Living Review
enters the tenth week of its glorious revival, we also celebrate the addition
of its new
RSS headline feed.
Everybody's doing it, so I figured I should too.
(I'm also pinging updates to weblogs.com. Such a joiner.)
July 25, 2002
Review season continues:
July 17, 2002
A few weeks late, or a year late, or eight years late, depending on how
you count: my review of
RealMyst. (Which is also a review
of Myst, the original.)
July 10, 2002
Time for the annual update:
cornfield mazes around the US for 2002.
July 8, 2002
A few weeks ago, I got into a discussion on rec.arts.int-fiction about
what IF really is. (Cue the reverb.) Well, definitions are
often a trap and a folly, but nonetheless here is
my characterization of IF
(somewhat extended from the original Usenet posts).
July 7, 2002
Just got back from Origins 2002. Among the gaming-related news: Looney
Labs has printed my game
Branches and Twigs and Thorns
in their annual newsletter Hypothermia 15.
If BTT looks familiar, it's because it's an updated version of
which I've had up for several years now. But! BTT is an improved,
all-singing, all-dancing, no-longer-so-frequently-tying
version of the game. I decided it was so much closer to perfection that
it merited a new name and a new web page.
Hypothermia 15 also contains
And, before I forget, Looney Labs is also
now publishing a nice little set of cards for playing
Werewolf. Plus, the
sound system was running in the Looney Labs
Big Experiment room for much of Origins!
June 3, 2002
Left Foot Living Review,
so long neglected in the back corner of my web site, has been
given new life! Attend to it weekly; every Tuesday, a fresh
selection of life's choices may be found in the LLR's
Or, peruse the
May 27, 2002
Elliott Evans, Dan Efran, and I have come up with a new Icehouse piece
It's very simple. We showed it off at the Pop Tart Cafe at Balticon,
and it seems to be a hit.
April 30, 2002
now featuring MacOSX support. I don't have a compiled version up
yet, so to run Boodler under OSX you'll need the OSX developer toolkit
installed, as well as Python.
April 25, 2002
Goob has put up
(on his web site)
three recordings of our
experiment in harmonic singing.
You can hear each of us -- sometimes together, sometimes not --
and you can hear the overtones each of us is producing. Sort of.
(MP3 files, recorded just about a year ago.)
April 19, 2002
Several months ago I posted a review of
Soul Reaver 2,
the third of the (now) four-game Legacy of Kain series.
SR2 had an astonishing convoluted plot, involving a millenia-long
war between vampires, demons, and gods, all manipulated -- I think --
by a scheming time-traveller. It was really quite hard to keep it all
sorted out. So I spent some time producing this
History of the Soul Reaver.
It's a chart showing both Raziel and the Reaver as they flit up and down
(Spoilers for all four Kain games.)
Also some comments and questions
about the story so far.
April 15, 2002
I have won Runner-Up status in Adam Cadre's second
Lyttle Lytton Contest!
(The challenge being to write the worst possible opening sentence of
a novel -- like the
Bulwer-Lytton Contest --
but in 25 words or less.)
I am embarrassingly proud.
You need not hit a link to read my treasure of prose
-- no point dedicating an entire web page to 25 words
-- so here it is -- enjoy --
"I raped your sister," cruelly he sneered, "and now she is no
problem," and my friends that is the day my heart tore a sunder.
March 31, 2002
A few comments about
Faust (published in the US as
Seven Games of the Soul).
March 2, 2002
Added some entries to
My Very Secret MacOSX Diary.
I wouldn't bother to mention this... but the page has made Slashdot,
and people are actually looking at it. Wacky!
February 19, 2002
Third day in a row... Meet version 1.5.0 of
Many new sounds, many new soundscapes, a couple of new features, and
a terminal-based front-end interface (donated by Goob).
February 18, 2002
I've been playing with a new Mac, which came with a new MacOS.
You may eavesdrop on
My Very Secret MacOSX Diary.
It's about the UI, the OS design... anything that impacts my attempt
to get stuff done.
(I tried to work in the line "Sam will kill him if he tries anything,"
but couldn't manage it. Sigh.)
February 17, 2002
Been a few months -- sorry about that. We begin the newish year with a
Schizm, a PC adventure game.
December 4, 2001
Updated Boodler to version 1.2.0.
It's a small update -- it's compatible with more sound interfaces now,
including a file interface (which allowed me to put up some audio
But the interesting bit is, I've added an
Boodler accessories page, which
starts off with an X10 connectivity script. I can now control Boodler
(or any other Linux program) with a universal remote control from the
X10 company... and it should interoperate with all their other wireless
tools, including motion detectors.
November 22, 2001
After many months of (slow, lazy) development: behold
a programmable soundscape tool.
Boodler is a system for playing continuous, infinitely varying streams of
sound. Comes with many soundscapes, and it's easy to create more if
you're willing to write some scraps of Python code.
November 18, 2001
It's been a rare treat, these past few years, to play a graphical adventure
game that runs on the Macintosh (without emulation). I have just played
(also published as Louvre: The Final Curse).
It was not a treat.
November 16, 2001
The votes for the 2001 Interactive Fiction Competition are all in.
(No, I didn't enter this year.)
The official tallies haven't been posted yet (it's only 39 minutes
after midnight) but
here are my brief comments
on the games I played.
November 5, 2001
After three years:
Soul Reaver 2,
the sequel to my favorite Playstation game. (Yes, I have a favorite
Playstation game. Sad to admit, but true.)
October 19, 2001
-- another PS2 game. Deeply impressive.
October 16, 2001
Finally got my hands on
Silent Hill 2.
October 14, 2001
Now I've been to a bunch of those corn mazes, and I've written
some notes about them.
August 9, 2001
I've added links to
cornfield mazes around the US for 2001.
August 8, 2001
I should have put this up back in May, but now I've gotten around to
it: my first experiments with polymer clay. I made a stash of
Zendo stones, plus a huge pile of
extras. Canework is addictive.
July 10, 2001
Just back from Origins, where I ran six hardy souls through my
newly-designed Chrononauts role-playing scenario,
The Emperor's Star.
I won't be posting the full game to this web site -- at least not
right now -- but you can read the
June 13, 2001
I've had the
list of books I own
up for a year. I now add the
list of books I've acquired in the past
year -- a subset of the first list, but ordered by date of purchase.
In case you're curious what I'm reading now.
May 25, 2001
I've put up the transcript of
Lighan ses Lion,
my entry in Emily Short's
(No, there is no game; only a transcript.)
May 15, 2001
Okay, okay, the
Myst 3 review.
May 10, 2001
Timescape: Journey to Pompeii,
but it wasn't much of a game, so I didn't write much of a review.
April 27, 2001
This is certainly the smallest update I've ever posted: I changed
three characters on one web page.
finally got the DejaNews archives on-line and searchable. So I was
able to find out when I posted that review of
Alice... and it turns out to have been
five years ago tomorrow. Yay! So I can finally replace the "??" date
notation on the
game review page.
That's been bugging me for years.
April 18, 2001
Shadow of Destiny,
a game I just played on my shiny new Playstation 2.
April 3, 2001
I had a few cave experiences last week, albeit on a small and unadventurous
scale. Since caves are such a popular IF setting, I've written
some notes about what caves look like.
March 12, 2001
Behold yet another whimsical way to navigate around my web site: the
Pictorial Site Map.
(No, it won't do you much good if you use Lynx.)
March 11, 2001
Shade has won the
2000 XYZZY award for Best Setting.
You can see a
transcript of the award ceremony.
March 6, 2001
is now on-line in its entirety.
February 1, 2001
I have begun posting the cards of the
a deck I drew (by hand!) when I was in junior high school.
Fifteen more cards will be posted every Tuesday.
January 24, 2001
Longish review of
Riddle of the Sphinx.
First review of the new year... is this impressive? I dunno.
1997 - 2000
was new in previous years.
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