The Adventure Continues
I read your review of my adventure book in the May issue of ST-Log and wish to personally thank you for the kind words. With reference to some of the statements in the review, I thought that a few words of clarification are in order.
First of all, the reference to the previous Arrays adventure books was done strictly as a matter of courtesy. For many years, I myself was an active reviewer of entertainment and educational software for Arrays, Inc., since at that time it was also publishing The Apple Book of Software, a series of softcover books dedicated to Apple II software reviews. During that period of time, I made personal acquaintance with Kim Schutte, the author of The Book of Adventure Games, Vol. I & II, and, in fact, was acknowledged in Volume II for my help thereof. The reason I speak in the past rather than present tense of my relations with Arrays is that it is no longer in the book publishing business. Thus, the reference to a volume III of The Book of Adventure Games is not a reality. The fact is that I have maintained my relations with Kim and thus know of his activities. At times, he has entertained the notion of another adventure game book but, to the best of my knowledge, has not gone forth with the venture. If he does indeed decide to do so, it certainly won't be with Arrays. Thus, in summary, there is no one at Arrays "jumping out of a window with volume III" although, if it had any smarts, it would have continued to put out such books. For a long time, that was the only profit-making venture it had and what kept it solvent for so long.
Although my book resembles the Arrays books in format, it differs in some significant ways. The idea of scrambling the clues in the simple-to-use and efficient way in which it is handled is something I am very proud of. Indeed, the review in the January issue of A + Magazine gave credit to this feature. Also, the inclusion of "walk thrus" is a new feature which I have personally received many compliments for. At the least, it saves on a lot of fan mail coming from people asking for more clues than those I have provided.
With regard to the production of the book itself, you are correct in assuming that it was done on an Apple II. The book was produced by a friend of mine, Jerry Jones (see the acknowledgments), on a Macintosh Plus using a combination of MacDraw, MacWrite and PageMaker. I myself prepared (and typed) the rough draft on an Apple II but the final camera-ready copy was done as described above.
Finally, if you liked Book I of Keys to Solving Computer Adventure Games you will surely like Book II, which was released early this year and is doing quite well thus far. Although the format is the same, the games contained in the second book are, of course, different and much more current (most are of 1987 vintage). Also, the overall appearance of the production is much more elegant (just look at the title pages, and the clue sheets, and you will immediately see the difference).
By the way, Book III is in the works. I have played, finished and prepared the material for 14 new games (e.g., Dondra, Beyond Zork, Sherlock Holmes in Riddle of the Jewels, King's Quest III, Plundered Hearts, etc) thus far and essentially am at the point of waiting for more adventure games to be issued.
—Marvin K. Simon, Author
Keys to Solving Computer Adventure Games
Thank you for the extra information and clarifications, Marvin. We wish you the best of success with your future projects and can assure you that reviews of your new books will grace the pages of ST-Log. There's only one question left unanswered: How the devil do you fit enough hours in the day to finish all those games?