Infocom, was a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software company that produced numerous interactive works of fiction.
Founded on June 22, 1979, by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and its students, led by David Lebling, Marc Blank, Albert Vezza and Joel Berez, lasting as an independent company until 1986, when it was bought by Activision, which closed the Infocom division in 1989 and abandoning the Infocom brand in 2002.
Known addresses of this company:
Founders of the company:
The company was made up of 10 partners who were originally going to dedicate themselves to programming and distribution of management software, but everything turned upside down and their first product was Zork, which became the first commercial conversational adventure in history that for their commercialization they had several problems. The first of them reduce the size to fit into the home computers of the time, the second devise some way to port the games to other systems without having to reprogram them for each system.
The first problem was solved by dividing the game into three parts, Zork I, Zork II and Zorl III. To solve the second problem, a very ingenious and elegant solution was chosen, creating a virtual computer called “Z-Machine” This computer would be capable of running Zork or part of it in a very compact “ZIL” (Zork Implementation Language).
Doing it this way, each system would have to have a Z-Machine interpreter to run Zork, which is called the Z-Machine Interpreter. Marc Blank programmed a two-step translator that would convert a ZIL program into assembly language and then into code for the Z-machine.
In November 1980 he sells the first copy of Zork, which was Infocom's leap into the entertainment software market, followed by Zork II in November 1981 and a year later Zork III in September 1982.
Between 1980 and 1981, Deadline appears, a mysterious detective game with a theme quite remote from Zork. Between 1982 and 1989 several adventure games would come out with great success, creating a group of fans.
By Infocom, great masters of adventure design such as: Stu Galley, Steve Meretzy, Douglas Adams and Brian Moriarty who also designed games for other companies. This design team ensured exceptional quality in their games and unprecedented success.
In 1986 Infocom risked too much in an ambitious project, something different from the games they had been developing since its inception. It was a database: Cornestone. They went from success to failure. Activision took control of Infocom and incorporated it into its structure. A few more games came out but without having as much success as they had previously. His latest adventures incorporated graphics, but lacked the allure of the golden age. Little by little Activision dismantles Infocom and ends up becoming a mere publisher of games. Some of the latest games came out on the Infocom label.
For Amstrad PCW released several games, among which we highlight: