Robin Johnson
www.rdouglasjohnson.com - robindouglasjohnson@gmail.com
Playwright, leftie and maker of text adventures
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Clearly the best type of computer game ever devised was the text adventure, honed to perfection in the 1980s by a company called Infocom. Some people call this type of thing 'interactive fiction', which I can't help finding a little pretentious when one side of the interaction is still usually sentences like 'EAT DOORMAN', although the art form is certainly a valid, fun and underappreciated one. A text adventure, from its author's perspective, is a long programming project multiplied by a short novel, and therefore a lot of fun to make for a nerdy writer. Years ago, I wrote a text adventure engine in Javascript, to see if I could do it. This is probably my greatest technical achievement as a programmer. So far I've written two games.

Hamlet

You're the prince of Denmark, and boy, are you in a sucky mood! You've been grounded again, your friends don't understand you, and your evil uncle has murdered your father to usurp the throne. A collaboration with William Shakespeare. (Play)

Superb – Guardian

While the idea is good, the execution lacks some of Shakespeare's poetry – Scotsman

In just five minutes' playing I was hooked. – Neil Gaiman

Oh my goodness – Ryan North

Well-executed, extremely funny – Cory Doctorow

Mildly amusing – Channel 4

A fun, silly adventure... The humor was engaging, and the easy puzzles you start out with make you feel triumphant, hooking you in and making you want to finish. It's well worth playing. – SPAG

This may very well be the way the Elizabethans themselves experienced The Immortal Bard, on their primitive 386-based PCs. – b3ta


Aunts and Butlers

It's 1920, you're a minor aristocrat fallen on hard times, and your wretched Aunt Cedilla is on the warpath. A Wodehousean comedy of manners, manors, mysterious butlers and unfriendly poodles. (Play)

Aunts and Butlers features a Wodehousian plot involving miserly aunts, invaluable valets, and delightfully loopy ways to die [...] Losing a game has never been more charming.slate.com

I can establish my credentials to review this game merely by mentioning that I own a pair of spats. So when I say this is pretty funny, you can take my word for it. Assuming you think spats are funny, anyway.Dan Shiovitz

This is the same problem I had with Hitchhiker's and Bureaucracy – amusing games, but not particularly *fair*.Emily Short

16th place (of 42) in the 2006 Interactive Fiction Competition
Finalist for Best NPCs and Best Individual NPC at the XYZZY Awards 2006