Joystiq Vs The Adventurers

During GDC, gaming uber-blog Joystiq had the rather splendid idea of asking adventure game developers to solve their own “obnoxious” adventure-style puzzle. The victims were Ron Gilbert, Steve Purcell, Mike Stemmle, Eric Wolpaw, and Ragnar Tørnquist. Each solves the challenge – getting past a robot bear to enter a cave – in their own distinct style, and they’re all worth a read. And then along comes Tim Schafer.

Taking the challenge a little more… not seriously, but intensely than anyone else, Schafer’s approach is to treat the challenge as a text adventure, emailing Joystiq his commands as they find themselves having to work very hard to keep up. The results are excellent. Here’s a taste:

>get tiny guards

You scoop up the tiny guards in one motion and deposit them safely into your pocket.

>get tiny me

Are you sure you want to do that? You may want to save first.

>give rubber chicken to tiny me

You clumsily try to hand over the rubber chicken, but only end up crushing your tiny self beneath a mountain of artificial poultry. Whoops.


  1. Alex says:

    This looks like fun.

    Eric Wolpaw’s is a bit disappointing.

    Actually, most of them are disappointing. Except Schafer. The Schafe FTW!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. drunkymonkey says:


    I love how he didn’t explain that he was playing it as a text adventure.

    And Rob Gilbert’s grumpiness was thankfully present.

  3. Phil says:

    Surely Ludwig Kietzmann FTW? Tim was more a tourist wandering through the writer’s frontal cortex.

  4. Justin says:

    Steve Purcell dressing the interviewer down for using the word “meta-puzzle” is pretty fun.

  5. Willem says:

    <3 Tim Schafer

  6. Optimaximal says:

    **obsure claim to fame**
    Ludwig Kietzmann is on my MSN list!
    **/obscure claim to fame**

    Good ol’ Mr Genuchi!

  7. Niall Sheffield says:

    All the others did nothing, while treating the puzzle as a game, then beating it. But I think it was a partnership, in that they both bounced off each other.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Am I the only one slightly alarmed by how young Ragnar is? He must have been seven when he wrote The Longest Journey.

    Also its good to see lots of Schafer love among the other developers.

  9. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Tim Schafer’s cuisine reigns supreme.

  10. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @Johnathon: 38 is young?

  11. Tunips says:

    My mental image of Tornquist had always been more Viking-y. It always amused me to imagine a man who’s name clearly belongs in Valhalla writing games about a young woman’s journey into emotional maturity.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Puffins

    I mean he looks so young. Also, writing a genre classic by the age of 30 is an impressive age in any medium.

  13. sigma83 says:

    I must agree about Ragnar. The games are not perfect but come close enough as to be mentioned in the same breath as Grim Fandango.

  14. Seth Tipps says:

    I let myself read through all of these in order. When I got to Schafer’s, I just about hit the floor laughing at “North”. There simply isn’t a better answer.