The Betsy Morrison Story

a Twitter novel
by Ryan Veeder
copyright Ryan Veeder MMXVII

The wind blew across the elementary school playground. It blew the orange leaves up against the wire fence. The leaves rustled.

Betsy Morrison wrote in her diary.

“I am a twelve-year-old girl,” she wrote, “the wisest creature upon Earth. I understand the languages of birds, the ebb and flow of the seasons, the past and the future and the space beyond time. Today is my birthday, and I am twelve years old.

“We went to Garbaggio’s Pizzeria for my birthday over the weekend because it was Uncle Boscoe’s birthday last week and we celebrated them at the same time but my REAL birthday is today,” Betsy continued to write, leaves swirling around her ankles, “and I am perfect among humans.”

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The Statue Got Me High: Annotated Source Code

I’ve annotated source text for several of my text adventures, to distribute to a certain tier of my Patreon supporters. One such Patreoneer told me that I should make some of the older annotations available publicly. Now, I’m not one to allow my Patreon supporters to boss me around—I’m an artist, and very passionate about my artistic integrity—but in this case the guy making the suggestion was Simon Carless, and him I do allow to boss me around.

So here is the annotated source code text of Simon’s favorite game, “The Statue Got Me High.” If you haven’t played this game, you should definitely give it a look before you wade into the source. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to play through.

“The Statue Got Me High,” written as part of a tribute to the They Might Be Giants album Apollo 18 in 2012, is I think the third game I ever released. The nuts and bolts of the implementation do not meet the high standards that I hold myself to as an Inform 7 developer in 2017. Some of the code is embarrassing. But if you’re interested in using Inform 7 to create text adventures, this should be a useful example to you—just, please, promise me you won’t learn too much.

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UNCOVERED: Crocodracula!

UPDATE OCTOBER 30: YOU CAN PLAY THIS GAME. But read below so you know what the deal is:

If you’re the right age then you definitely remember Crocodracula, the terrifying soap opera for kids from the early nineties. If you’re too old, or too young, or your parents (wisely???) prevented you from watching, the show was a lot like Land of the Lost, but in a kind of modern gothic horror mode instead of cavemen and dinosaurs. I’ve also heard it described as “Dark Shadows for tweens” but I don’t know how accurate that assessment is.

HOWEVER, even nineties kids don’t necessarily remember that there was at least one Crocodracula computer game, released by Taleframe in 1991. I say “at least one” because the title, “Crocodracula: What Happened to Calvin,” makes it sound like they were at least planning to release other games, possibly based on other episodes/story arcs from the show. It’s hard to tell. Crocodracula information is really hard to come by for some reason.

The point is, I now have a copy of this game.

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Halloween Zeen 2017

BEWARE: The new Halloween Zeen is out!

A lot of really cool people contributed a lot of really cool stuff to this year’s Zeen. Plus there is a board game that I didn’t do a very good job of designing. BUT THE OTHER STUFF IS RAD. CHECK IT OUT.

Luddites of Gich, Part 3

“It was those luddites,” Heldeb grumbled. “They’ve got themselves some new old-fashioned contraption. An impossibly loud one.”

These remarks were directed toward a nebrium-plated breakfast droid, which, detecting Heldeb’s frustration, extended two shiny pseudopods to rub his temples.

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Luddites of Gich, Part 2

By degrees the sunlight reached through an unprismed habi-dome window, illuminating an analog selenometer: Piv, waxing crescent; Hed, third quarter; Fewkalek, waxing gibbous. Then the sun shone on the edge of an old-fashioned bed, with old-fashioned Cadëxial silk sheets over an old-fashioned eidetic foam mattress. Tangled in the sheets were two old-fashioned data enthusiasts.

Radix awoke first.

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Luddites of Gich, Part 1

Vilt landed his ungraceful vessel with a veteran freighter’s careful hand, despite the relative worthlessness of his cargo. It was midnight on the planet Gich.

“Are we there yet?” squawked the cargo. It was a long-outmoded data entry robot, purchased on the interplanetary vintage robot exchange by a pair of Gichian luddite data enthusiasts. Its designation was ¶‡◊.

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Dungeons & Dragons: Alan Smith Returns to Ravenloft

It is not usually possible for our D&D group to play in person, because we all live in different places and one of us lives in Australia. But this weekend, the stars aligned, so to speak, and almost all of us were in the same place at the same time. I took the opportunity to run an adventure that had the same epic stakes as our epic meetup.

That’s me in the WINONA RYDER IN EDWARD SCISSOR-HANDS shirt.

Unfortunately, to tell you that story, I have to give you some background information.

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