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April « 2013 « Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories
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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Text-Based Game

Before there were video games with fancy 3D graphics, there were 2D games like Super Mario Brothers. Before those 2D games, there were text-based games. How do you play those? Basically, the computer describes the settings you are in (instead of showing you graphics) and you type in your actions (instead of using a joystick).

Today, I read in this article that emacs, a text editor (available via Terminal on the Mac), contains such an Easter egg. So I gave the game a try.

It was amusing. See this transcript: (The lines that start with ‘>’ is what I typed in. The rest was provided by the game.)

kelvinkao$ emacs -batch -l dunnet

Dead end
You are at a dead end of a dirt road. The road goes to the east.
In the distance you can see that it will eventually fork off. The
trees here are very tall royal palms, and they are spaced equidistant
from each other.
There is a shovel here.
>pick up shovel
I don’t understand that.
>take shovel
Taken.
>walk
I don’t understand that.
>walk around
I don’t understand that.
>walk forward
I don’t understand that.
>dig with shovel
Digging here reveals nothing.
>go on dirt road
You can’t go that way.
>go east
E/W Dirt road
You are on the continuation of a dirt road. There are more trees on
both sides of you. The road continues to the east and west.
There is a large boulder here.
>climb tree
You manage to get about two feet up the tree and fall back down. You
notice that the tree is very unsteady.
>climb tree again
You manage to get about two feet up the tree and fall back down. You
notice that the tree is very unsteady.
>climb boulder
You can’t climb that.
>push boulder
You can’t push that.
>kick boulder
I don’t understand that.
>bomb boulder
I don’t understand that.
>go west
Dead end
>go east
E/W Dirt road
There is a large boulder here.
>use shovel
I don’t understand that.
>dig
Digging here reveals nothing.
>play piano
I don’t understand that.
>play flute
I don’t understand that.
>walk north
I don’t understand that.
>go north
You can’t go that way.
>go east
Fork
You are at a fork of two passages, one to the northeast, and one to the
southeast. The ground here seems very soft. You can also go back west.
>dig
I think you found something.
>pick up
I don’t understand that.
>take
You must supply an object.
>take thing
I don’t know what that is.
>dig
Digging here reveals nothing.
>take what i found
I don’t know what that is.
>take thing
I don’t know what that is.
>inventory
You currently have:
A lamp
A shovel
>use lamp
I don’t understand that.
>go northeast
NE/SW road
You are on a northeast/southwest road.
>walk
I don’t understand that.
>run
I don’t understand that.
>go northeast
Building front
You are at the end of the road. There is a building in front of you
to the northeast, and the road leads back to the southwest.
>enter building
You don’t have a key that can open this door.
>find key
I don’t understand that.
>dig
Digging here reveals nothing.
>knock
I don’t understand that.
>knock on door
I don’t understand that.
>find key
I don’t understand that.
>climb
There is nothing here to climb.
>climb building
I don’t know what that object is.
>ring doorbell
I don’t understand that.
>open door
I don’t understand that.
>open window
I don’t understand that.
>go back
I don’t understand where you want me to go.
>go southwest
NE/SW road
>go southwest
Fork
There is a CPU card here.
>take cpu card
Taken.
>use cpu card
I don’t understand that.
>go southwest
You can’t go that way.
>go northeast
NE/SW road
>go north
You can’t go that way.
>go northeast
Building front
>enter building
You don’t have a key that can open this door.
>use lamp
I don’t understand that.
>go southwest
NE/SW road
>go west
You can’t go that way.
>go north
You can’t go that way.
>where can i go?
I don’t understand that.
>go east
You can’t go that way.
>go south
You can’t go that way.
>go north
You can’t go that way.
>go west
You can’t go that way.
>go northwest
You can’t go that way.
>go northeast
Building front
>go southwest
NE/SW road
>go southwest
Fork
>take fork
I don’t know what that is.
>go fork
I don’t understand where you want me to go.
>go southeast
SE/NW road
You are on a southeast/northwest road.
There is some food here.
>take food
Taken.
>inventory
You currently have:
A lamp
A shovel
A computer board
Some food
>eat some food
I don’t know what that is.
>eat food
That tasted horrible.
>puke
I don’t understand that.
>throw up
I don’t know what that is.
>go southwest
You can’t go that way.
>go northeast
You can’t go that way.
>go southeast
Bear hangout
You are standing at the end of a road. A passage leads back to the
northwest.
There is a ferocious bear here!
>fight bear
I don’t understand that.
>punch bear
I don’t understand that.
>dig
Digging here reveals nothing.
>use shovel
I don’t understand that.
>hit bear
I don’t understand that.
>shoot bear
I don’t understand that.
>touch bear
I don’t understand that.
>look at bear
It looks like a grizzly to me.
>say hi
I don’t understand that.
>say hello
I don’t understand that.
>fight bear
I don’t understand that.
>punch bear
I don’t understand that.
>run away
I don’t understand that.
>inventory
You currently have:
A lamp
A shovel
A computer board
>use shovel
I don’t understand that.
>use lamp
I don’t understand that.
>start fire
I don’t understand that.
>look at bear
It looks like a grizzly to me.
>eat bear
You don’t have that.
>fight bear
I don’t understand that.
>take bear
You cannot take that.
>kick bear
I don’t understand that.
>hit bear
I don’t understand that.
>hunt bear
I don’t understand that.
>go southeast
The bear is very annoyed that you would be so presumptuous as to try
and walk right by it. He tells you so by tearing your head off.

You are dead.
You have scored 0 out of a possible 90 points.

New music video: Exit

Remember that I mentioned puppeteering in a video last July? Of course you don’t. Anyway, here’s the finished product. Enjoy!


http://youtu.be/4EiKRJG4D28

The music is by Replaced With Robots. I played the orange guy in most of the shots, with the great Heiko Obermöller performing the blue puppet. (And we were still using the lyrics as inside jokes this past weekend.) Kevin Burnstein and Diana King directed the video.

More behind the scenes stuff to come!

Research Shows 63% of Puppeteers Double as Typewriter Salesmen in the 1870s

Let’s face it. There aren’t enough puppeteering jobs around, so most puppeteers cannot make a full time living doing puppeteering alone. These days, a puppeteer is usually also a puppet builder, an actor, an animator, or waiter on the side. Diversified, multiple streams of income is the way to go these days, but did you know that in the 1870s, the most popular side job for a puppeteer is typewriter salesman?

I was reading an article by Dr. Conroy Gibson, a professor of American Studies at Cambridge, and he had this fascinating find:

By going through census data from that period, we found a remarkable number of puppeteers selling typewriters door-to-door. They would show typewriters to housewives interested in getting a job doing secretarial work. And then they would encourage the potential clients not familiar with keyboard layout to first try typing words that can be spelled out using just the first row of keys of the typewriter with QWERTY layouts. A well-known one is TYPEWRITER, but there are also words like PUPPET and PUPPETEER that can be typed using only the first row. While the women tried out the new product, the salesman would keep the children occupied with puppets.

Try typing those words! Interesting, isn’t it?

I guess we are past the period of time where we sell typewriters door-to-door, and it’s quite a different world now. Imagine allowing someone into your home to sell you on something AND have them play with their kids today!

Interesting research nevertheless. To read the full text, go to their website by clicking here.

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