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Get Lamp August 19, 2010 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Update: MeFi's Jason Scott completed his Get Lamp project. Previously.

It comes with a cool gift.
posted by SpacemanStix to MetaFilter-Related at 11:46 AM (38 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Feelies! Well done!
posted by Iridic at 11:52 AM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coin # 1199 here.

I had it waiting for me in the mail when I returned from vacation. I haven't yet watched all of it but what I've seen so far I really enjoyed. He's obviously a talented interviewer. Every minute of it brought back so many great memories of playing Pyramid or HHGttG on my CoCo all those years ago, or staying up all night at an Infocom-sponsored event playing Trinity at the Museum of Science in Boston.

Bonus: I was explaining IF to my son and he said he'd like to try some out. Expect an upcoming "Best IF for an eight year old" question on Ask Me.

Though no fault of the filmmaker, I was really disappointed there was no interview (or even a decent picture) of Will Crowther because I'm about 89% sure he was one of the instructors when I took a rock climbing course back in the early 90s. I really need some way to verify my "the guy who wrote adventure taught me how to rappel using nothing but a carabiner and a piton" story.

I also very much enjoyed the caving connection, which got me looking into joining a local caving group.
posted by bondcliff at 12:09 PM on August 19, 2010


I've started watching my copy, and so far it's great. LOVE the special extra documentary on Infocom.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:10 PM on August 19, 2010


Oh, and I've got coin #478, so there!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:11 PM on August 19, 2010


Oh, and I've got coin #478, so there!

Yeah, sure, you win, Metafilter user # 47018.

*snicker*
posted by bondcliff at 12:15 PM on August 19, 2010


How cool that he's using the JetBlue travel pass to put together a promotional tour for himself. Talk about excellent timing!
posted by hippybear at 12:26 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm about 89% sure he was one of the instructors when I took a rock climbing course back in the early 90s.

Yes, you should assume that was him. He was living in the Boston area and was a rock climbing enthusiast before moving out of the state a few years ago.
posted by jscott at 12:27 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looks cool. I used to love IF before I discovered MUDs and MUSHes. Wonder if there are any of those with active user bases still online (or better yet, new ones)... the single-player adventures get all the press these days but I never hear too much about the text that birthed World of Warcraft.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:28 PM on August 19, 2010


Yeah, sure, you win, Metafilter user # 47018.

Oh yeah, well....um....um....poopyhead
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, you should assume that was him. He was living in the Boston area and was a rock climbing enthusiast before moving out of the state a few years ago.

Sweet.

Did I ever tell you guys the story about how the guy who wrote adventure taught me how to rappel using nothing but a carabiner and a piton?
posted by bondcliff at 12:34 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did I ever tell you guys the story about how the guy who wrote adventure taught me how to rappel using nothing but a carabiner and a piton?

Well, assuming that you are not either still clipped to the cliff, or dead at the bottom of the canyon, some rope must have been involved too.

Oh. bond(ed to the)cliff. Nevermind.

Also enjoying my copy, and the coin is beautiful. And I've got Frontalot's 'You are likely to be eaten by a grue' stuck in my head.
posted by bitmage at 12:44 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


> INVENTORY

You have a Netflix. In the Netflix are lots of movies.

> LOOK IN NETFLIX FOR "GET LAMP"

I'm sorry, there doesn't seem to be a "GET LAMP" in your Netflix.
posted by RogerB at 1:15 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I found it enjoyable, but not brilliant. I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so scrupulous about avoiding spoilers, because there could have been more discussion about the particulars of certain games.

The extra Infocom mini-documentary was terrific. It benefited from being more focused.
posted by ecurtz at 1:21 PM on August 19, 2010


I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so scrupulous about avoiding spoilers, because there could have been more discussion about the particulars of certain games.

On the second disc there's a features menu of nothing but spoiler-filled discussions of Planetfall, Photopia, the Z-Machine parser, Atari Adventure and other materials.

You're in a minority about spoilers.
posted by jscott at 1:27 PM on August 19, 2010


Also, just for the record, there will never be a GET LAMP on Amazon (they take 55% off what you pay and then pass the rest to me) or Netflix/iTunes (they require you to go through a middleman, who takes a huge chunk, and require Error & Omission Insurance, which runs into the thousands).
posted by jscott at 1:28 PM on August 19, 2010


I would love to Get Get Lamp, but sadly, I can't do that here. (I'm traveling for now, and then in the UK.)

Are there any buy 'n download options?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2010


spoiler-filled discussions of Planetfall

I cried the first time, damnit, don't make me cry again...
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2010


The GET LAMP film is Spoiler Free - watch with no worries (Bonus features with spoilers will be clearly marked)

Well done.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on August 19, 2010


Bonus: I was explaining IF to my son and he said he'd like to try some out.

Bonus: I watched "Get Lamp" with my wife, and when we were done, she said "So you have all of these [Infocom games]?"

"Yeah."

"Let's go play Deadline."

jscott, I salute you, sir!
posted by Zed at 1:54 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


On the second disc there's a features menu of nothing but spoiler-filled discussions of Planetfall, Photopia, the Z-Machine parser, Atari Adventure and other materials.

Yeah, I watched those (where appropriate). The perfect version for me would have probably required you writing the entire DVD branching logic in Z-Code, so I could pick the whole list of games I had played at the front and allowed spoilers for those. I understand why it couldn't be done, I just would have loved something along the lines of "puzzle X in Zork is really the same as puzzle Y in Colossal Caves and they are both based on this classic logic puzzle."

I didn't want my comments to sound like a negative review. As I said, I enjoyed the film and am happy to have purchased it.

You're in a minority about spoilers.

I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to go back and finish a certain portion of the IF canon.
posted by ecurtz at 1:56 PM on August 19, 2010


Congrats, Jason. Keep that damn thing lit.
posted by not_on_display at 2:05 PM on August 19, 2010


Oh, I'm so excited. jscott, at one time I tried to get my dad in touch with you, and I think he was going to send you some of his hand-drawn maps. Not sure if anything ever came of that.(I do love that almost all of the men pictured on the interview page are of the same genre of man as my dad.)

This was my first game and I can't imagine ever recapturing the magic of exploring this immaterial world.

As the soundtrack to this thread, here's the YouTube neighbor of the trailer, IT Is Pitch Black... from MC Frontalot.
posted by Miko at 2:25 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're in a twisty tiny minority about spoilers, all alike.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, just for the record, there will never be a GET LAMP on Amazon (they take 55% off what you pay and then pass the rest to me)

Hi, jscott, first-time caller (and former maxxer) here to ask about this statement. I'm just making sure that I'm understanding what you're saying - you don't want to distribute through Amazon because of the huge cut of the profits that they take, right? Are you worried that if you did distribute on Amazon that more people would buy it from there than from you and you'd end up losing money in the end (compared to if you sold them all yourself through your current preferred distribution method)?
posted by komara at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just making sure that I'm understanding what you're saying - you don't want to distribute through Amazon because of the huge cut of the profits that they take, right? Are you worried that if you did distribute on Amazon that more people would buy it from there than from you and you'd end up losing money in the end (compared to if you sold them all yourself through your current preferred distribution method)?

I'll try and avoid huge rants because that doesn't help anyone.

When I was working on the BBS Documentary, GET LAMP's predecessor, I was quick to work to get onto Amazon's distribution system because a lot of people had no idea who the hell I was, $50 was a lot of money for an unknown quantity, and Amazon's policies of return, shipping and tracking ensured some level of safety for those folks. So I held my nose, and went for it.

Amazon's 55% off the top, which shocks a lot of people to begin with, is also accompanied by the fact that they keep only as much stock as their stolen-Wal-Mart-algorhithm-laden computers tell them to. What this translates to is you will get an order, for, say, five copies of your movie. So now you have to package, secure, and mail (paying for postage) to the center Amazon asks you to. If you're slow, they punish you. If you package incorrectly, they punish you. Then, after you've eaten into your margins by not only getting 45% of what you expected to get and paying for postage that can eat more percentages, Amazon will eventually cut you a check, charging you a fee for cutting a check. (You can also do direct deposit, but there's a different fee for that.) And, of course, there's a fee for the privilege of being listed by Amazon. And that fee is annual, last I checked.

So no, it is not a good deal for me.

Nowadays, I have a reputation and a brand, and people know that buying GET LAMP from me will result in it being shipped to them. I also have direct records of who bought the copies. Also, I would have to come up with some way to attach these valuable, individually numbered coins to the packages so they could stay secure at Amazon. Oh, and I also have something I call the "Upgrade Guarantee" which says that when you buy from me, any further versions of GET LAMP I made, be they digital download, Blu-Ray or whatever, will be available to previous purchasers at cost or free.

All this adds up to No Amazon.

Now ask about NetFlix and iTunes again.
posted by jscott at 2:52 PM on August 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh Hi; I totally didn't see this thread before posting to the blue. I hope that was ok.
posted by honest knave at 3:14 PM on August 19, 2010


jscott: I hope you didn't mistake my question for me saying, "You're dumb for not using Amazon" because I really was curious about why you wouldn't want to. You gave a good answer.

Now ask about NetFlix and iTunes again.

No thanks, those I understand already.
posted by komara at 3:33 PM on August 19, 2010


Oh Hi; I totally didn't see this thread before posting to the blue. I hope that was ok.

I think it provides good back story for the history of the project. Thanks for your post.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:51 PM on August 19, 2010


This looks great. I ordered it last night.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:09 AM on August 20, 2010


I also very much enjoyed the caving connection, which got me looking into joining a local caving group.

I've never been a gamer, but this piqued my curiosity as well. The hand-drawn game maps are very similar in form to actual sketch-maps from cave surveys.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:08 AM on August 20, 2010


Coin #1063!

The packaging is top-notch too.
posted by bitterpants at 6:36 AM on August 20, 2010


I'm really disappointed that this isn't a site that makes it easy to get a Linux Apache PHP MYSQL stack.
posted by melissam at 7:19 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to love IF before I discovered MUDs and MUSHes. Wonder if there are any of those with active user bases still online (or better yet, new ones)... the single-player adventures get all the press these days but I never hear too much about the text that birthed World of Warcraft.

You can start looking here more specifically about the first MUD, and there's lots more stuff about it if you dig down into Richard Bartle's page (plus).

I never played it, but I think the Essex MUD is pretty fascinating. It was still very close to a text adventure, and pretty imaginative. (I really like this map.) There was readily available permadeath, and you could kill other players or cause them to be killed. Items were important and unique; if I had the X and you needed it you had to get it from me, kill me for it, or wait until I quit and dropped it. It was about exploring and figuring out puzzles much more than about fighting.

My favorite story from those pages is about the very early PVP/griefing: apparently the way to earn levels in the game was to find items and drop them into the Swamp—but if you carried a lit flame into the swamp, then the swamp gas would ignite and you would die in the explosion. So apparently someone amused themselves by standing outside the swamp carrying a lit torch, and as people marched by to cash in on their hard work, this person would type GIVE TORCH TO SO-AND-SO.

You can play the Essex MUD online though no one is on. If you're looking for a living MUD, there's about 140 people on Discworld at the moment, but it's not new.
posted by fleacircus at 7:34 AM on August 20, 2010


I also really took to the early MUDs because the navigation, commands, puzzles, and general environment were so similar to Zork - but they were social, which was an enchanting addition.
posted by Miko at 7:40 AM on August 20, 2010


Also, the last one I ran across with a still-active community was Valhalla.
posted by Miko at 7:42 AM on August 20, 2010


I'm really disappointed that this isn't a site that makes it easy to get a Linux Apache PHP MYSQL stack.

Ha ha ha, you say, I have made my little joke on Metafilter, but I have gotten actual complaints it's not about that.

I've occasionally wondered what that film would be like.
posted by jscott at 7:43 AM on August 20, 2010


I've occasionally wondered what that film would be like.

Hosted by Stallman and completely insufferable.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:31 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm really disappointed that this isn't a site that makes it easy to get a Linux Apache PHP MYSQL stack

In contrast, I'm really excited that this isn't a site that makes it easy to get a Linux Apache PHP MYSQL stack.

Dirty filthy stinkin lamps.

Bravo, jscott! Fine stuff.
posted by cavalier at 7:38 AM on August 21, 2010


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