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 Infocom, Inc.

Logo Infocom was a software company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They also produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone. Infocom was founded on June 22, 1979 by MIT staff and students led by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank, Albert Vezza, and Joel Berez and lasted as an independent company until 1986 when it was bought by Activision. Activision finally shut down the Infocom division in 1989, although they released some titles in the 1990s under the Infocom Zork brand.

Overview
Infocom was well-known among game-players for the parser which allowed the user to type complex instructions to the game. Unlike earlier works of interactive fiction, which only understood commands of the form 'verb noun' (e.g. "get apple"), Infocom's parser could understand commands like "get all apples except the green apple from the barrel." Infocom games were written using a roughly LISP-like programming language called ZIL (Zork Implementation Language or Zork Interactive Language--it was referred to as both) that compiled into a byte code able to run on a standardized virtual machine called the Z-machine. As the games were text based and used variants of the same Z-machine interpreter, the interpreter had to be ported to new computer architectures only once per architecture, rather than once per game. Thus, Infocom was able to release most of their games for most popular home computers of the day simultaneously—the Apple II family, Atari 800, IBM PC compatibles, Amstrad CPC/PCW (one disc worked on both machines), Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Kaypro CP/M, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, the Mac, Atari ST, the Commodore Amiga and the Radio Shack TRS-80. The company was also known for shipping creative props, or "feelies" (and even "smellies"), with its games.

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last modification: 13.08.2008, 19:45 (dj)

Games list of Infocom, Inc.

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