from XYZZYnews #20

Scott Adams: Storytelling in Computer Games -- Past, Present, and Future
Scott Adams, creator of the classic computer game "Adventureland," visited the University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire on May 3, 2001 for a panel on "Storytelling and Computer Games: Past, Present and Future." Dennis G. Jerz and Matt Hoy compiled full-text transcripts and audio downloads of a two-hour panel.

Listen to the online audio!

  • Play "Adventureland" with Scott
    MP3 audio (1.4 MB)
      WAV audio (8 MB)  Transcript
  • Parser fun with the "Adventureland" bear
    MP3 audio (1.5 MB)  WAV audio (8 MB)  Transcript
  • Scott's first night on EverQuest
    MP3 audio (1.5 MB)
      WAV audio 2 MB  Transcript
  • Scott on violence in computer games
    MP3 audio (1 MB)  WAV audio (11 MB)  Transcript
  • Scott is "100% against Napster"
    MP3 audio (0.4 MB)  WAV audio (4.5 MB)  Transcript

The complete transcripts can be found -- and will continue to be updated as necessary -- at Browse the table of contents below for highlights... Table of Contents

  1. Brief History of Interactive Fiction  Transcript  .mp3 (8MB)
    Dennis G. Jerz offers a brief history of narrative gaming, and discusses how game development affects electronic storytelling.  
  2. Scott Adams Speaks    MP3 audio (2.5 MB)
    Scott plays "Adventureland" with the audience, describes the technical restrictions on computers in the late 70s, and explains the value of user-testing interactive works.
  3. Panelists; Audience Q and A    MP3 audio (12 MB)
    Scott discusses "Half-Life," "Deus Ex," "EverQuest," and "Ultima Online."
    • Panelist Jake Okun on commercial first-person shooters
    • Parser fun with the "Adventureland" bear
    • Panelist Amanda Fullan on being a newbie IF author
    • Panelist David Shih on "Pyramids of Doom" (1981 or 1982)
    • Scott gives his take on violence in games; Napster and copyright
  4. Audience Q and A (Cont'd.)    MP3 audio (12 MB)
    The social element of gaming, vs. the story-and-puzzle elements. Scott predicts that, within 5 years, game-creation utilities will simplify designing. Jake on game mods. More on non-linear storytelling. Character development in "Daggerfall." The assassination of Lord British on "Ultima." The mid-1990s IF renaissance. "The Longest Journey." Selling game items for real money.

XYZZYnews #20 Contents