Adventure Games Coalition

Welcome to XYZZYnews, the magazine for interactive fiction enthusiasts.

Posted Monday, July 20, 2009
IntroComp 2009 is underway
IntroComp is organized by Jacqueline Lott. Please visit the new IntroComp competition site for information about entering, juding, and prizes.

Posted Saturday, March 27, 2009
2008 XYZZY Awards winners!
Best game: Violet, by Jeremy Freese
Best writing: Violet, by Jeremy Freese
Best story: Nightfall, by Eric Eve
Best setting: Nightfall, by Eric Eve
Best puzzles: Gun Mute, by C. E. J. Pacian
Best NPCs (non-player characters): Everybody Dies, by Jim Munroe
Best individual puzzle: Disconnecting the Internet in Violet/Getting rid of the key in Violet, by Jeremy Freese
Best individual NPC: Violet, in Violet, by Jeremy Freese
Best individual PC (player character): Hardy the Bulldog in Snack Time!, by Hardy the Bulldog and Renee Choba
Best use of medium: The Moon Watch, by Paolo Maroncelli and Alessandro Peretti

(This is listed at

Congratulations to all the winners! You did it!

Huge thanks to Lucian Smith, Dan Shiovitz, and David Welbourn for organizing and hosting absolutely everything.


Posted Sunday, September 7, 2008
IntroComp 2008 Winners Announced
Read on for details!

Posted Saturday, July 12, 2008
Advent for the iPhone
Advent is one of the first applications available for the iPhone on Apple's App Store! (Thanks to Shawn Stanley for the head's-up..!)

Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008
Big hubbub by former Infocom guys about lost shared drive recently released
When I read this posted on [April] 18th...I IMMEDIATELY thought "I wonder if Eileen knows about this and might want to write about it on the site". It's pretty big news. And of course there is at least one former infocom member who is a little upset "Michael Bywater". But in the comments Dave Lebling, Steve Meretzky, Michael Bywater and Marc Blank all have something to say. Simply fascinating and priceless!


Posted Sunday, March 9, 2008
XYZZY Awards 2007: And the winners are...
as follows:

Best game: Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota as "Grunk"
Best writing: Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota as "Grunk"
Best story: A Fine Day for Reaping, by James Webb aka "revgiblet"
Best setting: Varkana, by Maryam Gousheh-Forgeot as "Farahnaaz"
Best puzzles: Suveh Nux, by David Fisher
Best NPCs: (non-player characters): Child's Play, by Stephen Granade
Best individual puzzle: Identifying the killer in An Act of Murder, by Christopher Huang as "Hugh Dunnett"
Best individual NPC: The gnome in Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota as "Grunk"
Best individual PC (player character): Grunk in Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota as "Grunk"
Best use of medium: Deadline Enchanter, by Alan DeNiro as "Anonymous"

(This is listed at

Congratulations to all the winners! You did it!

Huge thanks to Lucian Smith, Dan Shiovitz, and David Welbourn for organizing absolutely everything. I missed the ifMUD ceremony myself, so I owe even more thanks than usual..!


Posted Friday, February 8, 2008
Announcing Wherigo (Location-based adventures)

Being an Interactive Fiction fan I wanted to make you aware of our new platform that we announced at CES in January called Wherigo. The idea is to take the idea of adventure gaming and bring it to the real world. So instead of typing north in Zork you would actually walk north to interact with virtual characters and objects. We're hoping to take the simplicity of the original adventure games and bring them to a real world as a new medium of gameplay (with exercise!).

Everything on the site is free to download. The builder works on Windows and has an emulator where you can play the experiences without leaving your home (though we recommend you do play it in the real world). All of our cartridges and many of the ones shared by the community are also downloadable and open source. The Player currently works on the new Garmin Colorado GPS and on various flavors of Pocket PC devices (with GPS).

I continue to be a big fan of IF and hope your site visitors would be interested in exploring the real world with adventure games. If you have any questions about the platform, let me know!

Jeremy Irish

Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Announcing Dreampath

First I must thank you for the publicity on your site which boost my visitors count by quite a bit. It boosted my motivation too :). DreamPath 1.0 is available now and I will appreciate if you could add\update the news :) It's the same link:

Thanks a lot,
Ido Flaishon

Updated Sunday, August 26, 2007
IntroComp 2007 winners announced!
Read on to find out the winners of the IntroComp 2007 competition, which were announced live today on ifMUD.

Updated Sunday, August 19, 2007
Coffee Adventure Game
Hi Eileen / XYZZYnews,

I'm working on a coffee/barista themed interactive fiction game in Python. Do you know of any people or groups who would be interested in trying beta versions of it? I'm still tweaking code here and there, but mostly I am looking for storyline ideas and critiques of the writing style I am using. If you could steer me in the right direction I would be really greatful!


Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Adventurecon cancelled and a question to XYZZYnews readers
Perusing Malinche's website (as linked to in your April 4 posting) seems to suggest that Adventurecon will be held next year, not this year. Looks like he couldn't get enough sponsors to attend, although admittedly the specific words, "Adventurecon has been cancelled for this year." were not to be found.

And a question for you or your readship...

I've been wondering lately about international translations of Infocom games. In my searches I've come up pretty empty, with the exception of a reference to a German translation of Zork 1, various translations of Return to Zork and it's sequels, and the Japanese remake of Zork 1 for the Sega Saturn.

But what about games like "A Mind Forever Voyaging" or "Planetfall" and such. Is there even a Unicode parser available into which such projects could be translated? It seems to me that with a Unicode- compliant version of Zoom, an Infocom story file could be patched to replace the descriptions with alternate language translations. Then the software wouldn't have to be distributed, thereby neatly sidestepping the issue of copy-write infringement (I think).

Christopher Drum

Updated Sunday, June 3, 2007
IntroComp: An Interactive Fiction Competition
It's that time of year again! The requirements of the annual IntroComp competition are deceptively simple: All entrants must submit the beginning of a new, never before seen work of IF. This can be as short or as long as the author likes, so long as it is 1) a working, playable game and 2) interactive fiction.

Updated Saturday, April 14, 2007
Inside Interactive Fiction: An Interview with Emily Short
Interesting article: "Recently, Gamasutra sat down and spoke with Interactive Fiction writer and game designer Emily Short about pacing, design and what comes next for game writing."

Updated Thursday, April 12, 2007
Hi, XYZZYnews!

I've been an off-and-on reader of XYZZYnews for a while, and I thought you might want to bring up the story on Wired about Adventurecon, a convention for us interactive fiction types. Keep up the good work!

Alec Fleschner

Updated Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Adventure, redux
Hi, XYZZYnews!

I just got Mike Goetz' old B03 version of Adventure for CP/M running under YAZE emulation on Windows XP, if anyone is interested. It's a blast from the past, I know, and way too esoteric... But heck, it's 580 points maybe some people have never seen, unless they had Kaypro 10's or Osbornes, all those decades ago.


Oh, well. If anyone would like to see how I set it up, the instructions are on my blog.


Updated Sunday, March 4, 2007
And the winners are...
The online XYZZY Awards ceremony celebrating the best IF games of 2006 were held Sunday, March 4th at ifMUD. Read on to find out who won, or read the transcript from the online event.

Updated Sunday, August 6, 2006
IntroComp 2006 winners announced!
Find out who won this year's IntroComp, celebrating the best beginnings of new games...

Updated Thursday, July 27, 2006
Game announcement: Jack's Sofa

Jack's Sofa is a FREE online user-written infinite interactive fiction adventure. It uses a modified form of Jeff Weston's Extend-a-Story coding.

We would love as many people as possible to jump in and start coding their own adventures for other people to play!


Jonathan Nolan

Updated Saturday, June 10, 2006
Infocom Infidel Bug
Dear Eileen,

I remember playing Infidel on my friend's C64 20 years ago and encountering a bug that isn't listed on your page at

If I remember correctly, you could remove the mast from the ship, leaving a hole. If you jumped in the hole, you would be forever stuck and unable to get out.

I'll have to dig out my copy of Lost Treasures and see if I can duplicate it.

—William Krick

Updated Friday, June 9, 2006
Query: Where to find walkthrough for Train by Sly Dog
David Ragsdale asks, "Are there any walkthroughs for this game?"

I haven't turned up a walkthrough for Train by Sly Dog in my not-at-all-extensive search — I got as far as browsing David Welbourn's excellent and extensive, if not exhaustive Key & Compass - IF Games Index. If anyone can share such info, I'll be glad to promote it here!

Updated Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Play Zork by phone!
Zasterisk is the old text-adventure game Zork, implemented as a voice-based game that you play over the phone using the open source phone-switcher Asterisk. The game reads you the Zork prompts alound ("You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike") and you speak your navigation to it ("Go north") and it plays the game out for you, turn and turn again. It's open source under the Perl artistic license.

Updated Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Dear Eileen,

I was cleaning through my garage, a fine father's day tradition. Well, to cut a long story short I discovered my old Osborne Z80 luggable and a few 5.25" disk. Thinking, "no hard disk, no mouse, no usb ports, not even a sound card - this will never work!", I ran out the power cord, popped in the disk and glowing green in front of me were some magic words from many lost days/nights many years ago.

"You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building." I even remembered how to get into the building.

Thought I'd better send a thank you for all the advent (ures).


Best Regards,

Ian B

Updated Saturday, March 18, 2006
XYZZY Award transcript update
Many thanks to Cirk R. Bejnar, who writes: "I cleaned up Inky's transcript for people who might like a shorter read with the [peanut-gallery] comments cut out. It is attached as a .txt file since it is still 100K. Looks like you put together another great ceremony this year.

Updated Monday, March 13, 2006
Missed the XYZZY Awards? Here's the complete transcript...
Read on for the play-by-play, speech-by-speech, award-by-award action on ifMUD, in our complete coverage of the 2005 XYZZY Awards. It's the next best thing to having been there! (Many thanks to Dan Shiovitz for providing the transcript!)

Updated Sunday, March 12, 2006
Find out who won the 2005 XYZZY Awards!
Big, big congratulations to all the winners!

Updated Thursday, November 15, 2005
Keeping The Genre Alive
An article about the IF Comp 2005 in the Wall Street Journal! Computer classes for NYC parents and kids

Current Top 10
IF Links

1. Storytelling in Computer Games Past, Present and Future (UWEC Panel featuring Scott Adams)
2. BBC - Radio 4 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adventure Game page
3. Interfable
4. IFML (interactive Fiction Markup Language)
5. Infocom Documentation Project
6. Are Hybrid Games the Future of the Adventure Genre?"
7. Running HTML TADS Games in Linux
8. Infocom icons for Windows and OS X
9. Z-Machine Standard 1.1 Proposal
10. Creating Adventure Games On Your Computer

Brass Lantern
The interactive Fiction Archive
ifMUD: A MUD Forever Voyaging
The r.a.i.f. newsgroup (Usenet)
The r.g.i.f. newsgroup (Usenet)
interactive Fiction Hall of Shame: The Denizens of ifMUD and r.a.i-f Adventure Game Coalition

XYZZY Awards
Best of 2007 winners
Best of 2006 winners (and transcript)
Best of 2005 winners (and transcript)
Best of 2004 winners (and transcript
Best of 2003 winners (and transcript
Best of 2002 winners (and transcript
Best of 2001 winners
Best of 2000 winners
Best of 1999 winners
Best of 1998 winners
Best of 1997 winners