If you have an AOL Instant Messenger account, send an IM to InfocomBot, InfocomBot2, or InfocomBot3. I set up an automated bot to play classic Infocom text adventure games from your favorite IM client, T-Mobile Sidekick, or any other device that connects to AIM. It supports “save” and “restore” commands, so you don’t need to lose your place.
How’s it done? In short, it’s a Perl wrapper that glues the compiled game interpreter to the AIM network. I tweaked Tim’s excellent Zorkbot script to be a little friendlier, with better (and more secure) support for saving games and cleaner output. (If you want my changes, let me know.)
An example transcript is below. The bot may get overwhelmed, so check back in a couple hours if it gets kicked off AOL’s network.
Update: It was posted to Metafilter, so AOL is limiting the messages it responds with. I’m going to set up an additional couple bots you can use instead.
March 25, 2004: The bots are continually getting kicked offline because of the traffic from the Wired News article. I’m posting status updates in a new entry.
infocombot: Welcome back! To continue your saved game, choose your game and type ‘restore’ after it starts. For help and more info, go to http://waxy.org/projects/ifbot
Type a game to play:
deadline, hitchhikers_guide, leather_goddesses, lurking_horror,
planetfall, shade, wishbringer, zork1, zork2, zork3
infocombot: West of House Score: 0 Moves: 0
ZORK: The Great Underground Empire – Part I
Copyright (c) 1980 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
ZORK is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 15 / Serial number aaaaa
West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
username: open mailbox
infocombot: > West of House Score: 0 Moves: 1
Opening the mailbox reveals a leaflet.
username: read leaflet
infocombot: > West of House Score: 0 Moves: 2
WELCOME TO ZORK
ZORK is a game of adventure, danger, and low cunning. In it you will explore some of the most amazing territory ever seen by mortals.
No computer should be without one!
The original ZORK was created by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling. It was inspired by the ADVENTURE game of Crowther and Woods. This version was created by Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, Joel Berez, and Scott Cutler.
(c) Copyright 1979 & 1980 Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
infocombot: > Forest Score: 0 Moves: 3
This is a forest, with trees in all directions around you. To the east, there appears to be sunlight.
infocombot: > Clearing Score: 0 Moves: 4
You are in a clearing, with a forest surrounding you on all sides. A path leads south.
On the ground is a pile of leaves.
infocombot: > Forest Score: 0 Moves: 5
This is a dimly lit forest, with large trees all around.
infocombot: > Forest Path Score: 0 Moves: 6
This is a path winding through a dimly lit forest. The path heads north-south here. One particularly large tree with some low branches stands at the edge of the path.
username: climb tree
infocombot: > Up a Tree Score: 0 Moves: 7
Up a Tree
You are about 10 feet above the ground nestled among some large branches. The nearest branch above you is above your reach.
Beside you on the branch is a small bird’s nest.
In the bird’s nest is a large egg encrusted with precious jewels, apparently scavenged somewhere by a childless songbird. The egg is covered with fine gold inlay, and ornamented in lapis lazuli and mother-of-pearl. Unlike most eggs, this one is hinged and has a delicate looking clasp holding it closed. The egg appears extremely fragile.
username: take egg
infocombot: > Up a Tree Score: 5 Moves: 8
infocombot: Your game has been saved!
infocombot: Game over! Would you like to play another game?