Sunday, April 21, 2019
The creativity in designing the original ZORK on MDP main frame computer can be almost directly seen in the microprocessor version of all Infocom games. The structuring of rooms and objects, storing grammatical information, and the innovative parser led to a surprisingly complex and interactive game that could fit on a floppy disk. The use of a virtual Z-machine was the first known use of a virtualization in a home computer as well. A present day interactive fiction creator can now design their own games without having to start from scratch. But an ambitious programmer today can now use these essential data structures and routines to create their own fairly complex IF system if they want. While better game engines with more powerful parser and complex games already exist, the sophistication of these early text adventure games in just about 60K of memory is a testament to all of the programmers’ skill with ZIL and the efficiency of Z-code. Hopefully, the information here has helped cracked the inner workings of these legendary games and made them more enjoyable and appreciated decades later.
Posted by Michael Ko at 6:55 PM