Out today at bundle-in-a-box.com is a very reasonably-priced bundle of adventure games, both graphical and text, including new work by Jonas Kyratzes (screenshot above). Konstantinos Dimopoulos explains:
We will exclusively debut the whimsical The Sea Will Claim Everything by Jonas Kyratzes and offer six more games: Gemini Rue, Metal Dead, The Shivah, Ben There, Dan That!, Time Gentlemen, Please! and – for the first time ever – the downloadable version of 1893: A World’s Fair Mystery text-adventure (previously only available as a physical product). Yes, we are indeed hoping to further fuel the current Adventure Game Renaissance!
While I haven’t played the graphical games in this collection, I’ve heard great things about The Shivah and Time Gentlemen, Please!. 1893 remains one of the most extensive settings ever offered in text adventure form, a meticulous historical recreation that is engaging to explore whether or not you choose to engage with the plot and puzzles.
Pricing for the Bundle In a Box follows the pay-what-you-want model with a low minimum; proceeds go to establishing an indie dev grant fund and to charity.
13 thoughts on “Bundle In A Box – Adventure Bundle”
Is this cross-platform? I would buy the heck out of it if I could play these games, but it kind of looks like one of those indie game things where they’re so thoroughly unaware of non-Windows platforms that they don’t even bother to specify system requirements.
If you click on any of the games, it brings up a panel that has a “system requirements” tab you can check out. But yeah, they’re all Windows-only as far as I can tell. (I agree this is sad.)
I guess I figured that that was probably what “I haven’t played the graphical games in this collection,” but oh well. I keep hearing WINE sort of works on the Mac now, maybe I should check it out.
Ah, the problem was that I was clicking on the names rather than the illustrations. Looks like I fail at point-and-click anyway.
I don’t know about any of the other games, but 1893 runs fine on qtads.
Not in the version you get from this bundle. apparently, but Jimmy Maher has a workaround for that.
A Mac port of the latest AGS Engine is being worked on: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/yabb/index.php?topic=45708.0 (also, Android and ios ports). I can’t try it out, but there’s a screenshot of Gemini Rue running in it. Still very much a WIP, though.
Guys, I don’t mean to state the obvious but we’re talking indie developers vs. gaming on a Mac… I worked on Jonas’ game (music) and I can assure you that it was made practically no-budget. Same goes for most other games on the bundle. Supporting it now, will make mac/linux ports feasable in future games. All devs would love to port their games to most platforms but unfortunately it’s just not that easy… In the meantime, if you are a gamer there are ways to play. Bootcamp is the best one I guess, but there’s a lot of sandboxed-OS software like Parallels, VMware etc. that can help. I know it’s not optimal…
In any case, thanks for the interest and I hope you (find a way to) enjoy the games! ;)
I understand that finding the wherewithal to port to a Mac is a problem for the amount of reward you get, especially (if I understand this at all) given the tools that get used. I probably wouldn’t have posted if I’d been able to find the system requirements sooner.
I do think that the indie games community could be more aware of platforms; if they stated up front that these were Windows games it wouldn’t be an issue, and there are really a lot of downloads out there that don’t say, anywhere, what platform they’re available for. Which makes me less likely to investigate downloads at all, except the bundles that I know are Mac-friendly. But those tend to have a lot more capital behind them, I think.
+1 for wishing it were Mac-friendly.
Dear Emily, my comment will not be related to this post, I apologize in advance for not finding a better public spot.
I recently enjoyed immensely discovering and playing Galatea and Glass, and an hour ago had to live-chat with a phone company as my wife’s phone was lost.
Many thoughts came to me, some funny (what if the clerk had your literary style !), some business-y (I wonder if you or the IF community has been involved in the development of customer support scripts or automated chat interaction softwares).
I have not explored the conceptual sides of IF (and by doing so have retained a childish joy of playing, and admiration for the game’s creation), but the similarities between those 2 types of interactions make me wonder. I would like to read a purely abstract description of the history of IF, and am going to search in your website.
I have no questions, your honor, and only thanks for your work.
Beyond a little consulting a long time ago, I haven’t done much work with commercial chat programs, though I do know at least one person in the IF world who has. But Galatea doesn’t really work on the same terms as a automated chat software — it’s got a lot of world state but relatively little flexibility about phrasing, whereas your average chatbot tries to match the widest variety of inputs and then match those to preexisting responses with relatively little concern to maintain an ongoing sense of relationship with the person asking.
As to “purely abstract” descriptions of IF, I’m not sure exactly what you have in mind, but possibly you’ll be interested in Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction or the IF Theory Reader. (The former is commercial, the latter a free PDF download or a print-on-demand book.)
Thank you for your answer, I am quite thrilled of being lucky enough to communicate with such an author. I cannot underline enough the amazingness of your writing style and the importance of it in the attractiveness of your games. It is the inner mysteries within each of, for instance, Galatea’s expressions and paragraphs that makes the game more intriguing than any other:
e.g: “you approach a castle. The large iron doors are closed.” (flat, non-formal, non-symbolic, degree 0, 99% of all games) versus “He used to sing at night the praises of Zeus. I was not dreaming, yet my hearing was young.” (I’m not quoting, just imagining from memory)
A game is not just about playing with a constructed world but also about having a one-sided and asynchronous conversation with the game’s author, and that’s where the fuzziness and mysteries of the writing comes into play: “why is cinderella described as having a small chin? It looks like she’s not that great, and the prince isn’t either, maybe the author doesn’t want me to have them married…etc” (inner thoughts that came from playing Glass).
About chatbots vs. IF, I understand your point on world state, a.k.a dimensions of a conversation tree, versus the capacity to interpret a wide variety of inputs, a.k.a the completeness of a lexical/syntaxical/grammatical interpreter.
A few thoughts on this:
– an automated phone company’s customer service bot (to take the experience I had) would still require a limited conversation tree: 1) caller identification by account number & password, then 2) phone stolen ? -> 2.1. has insurance? or 2.2 has no insurance? then 2.2.1 want to cancel contract ? …etc. But yes, that tree wouldn’t be much deep.
– Even though the tree wouldn’t be deep, it is much easier to forgive a lack of input understanding (not understanding what the user said, because of a lack of lexicon for instance) than forgiving a lack of precision in the tree logic: if I tell the bot (or human) than I lost my phone, and then I say that I want to know the various ways to get a replacement, I would be quite upset to hear the bot/human ask “did you lose your phone?” or “what is your phone’s model?” or “here is your latest bill statement” after I gave all my information in the previous step.
In other words, if the conversation goes beyond one level (one question), the fluidity of the conversation (the logic and the way it appears natural) is more critical than the capacity of comprehension, simply because we are more familiar and forgiving to foreigners who only understand a few words than we are to crazy people for whom commen sense is broken.
– that is why the problem of Galatea’s “little flexibility about phrasing”, as you put it, is not a problem at all, on the contrary, as it allowed you better control on the logic. I don’t think it is possible to create a good game that has more than a few inputs.
e.g I was playing Savoir-Faire, which has all the old-style possible inputs (movement, action, senses,..etc) and hit 2 typical issues:
1) in the kitchen, one needs to STAND ON TABLE, yet any variation of GO/GET/CLIMB [ON/UP] TABLE leads to nothing. There is no fun in seeking the exact right term “STAND” when the others are more generic and expected to work in that situation!
2) inside the fireplace, one needs to TOUCH BRICK (singular), yet TOUCH BRICKS or X BRICKS (plural) reveals nothing of that one particular brick that the user is supposed to already be aware enough to touch !
Those 2 examples show how a transition between 2 states can be too limited, one by one verb, the other be one noun. (I can imagine ways to have solved this, including asking the player what he meant: “do you mean: stand on table ?” )
One more thing about the input problem: It is crucial to give the user a full overview of the input capacity, those are the rules of the game, and I don’t think the game includes having to guess those rules, unless they are clearly part of that game…. I am thinking here of one example, where I was surprised when reading one of Galatea’s walkthrough to read about the input “GALATEA, GET DOWN” since “SAY GET DOWN” doesn’t work, and the “GALATEA, ” input form was not documented in the HELP command !
Anyway, thank you for the links to the books, I eat theory like chocolate, and I have just started with IF :)