Dragon's Lair is a video game franchise created by animator and film director Don Bluth. The series is famous for its western animation-style graphics and convoluted decades-long history of being ported to many platforms and being remade into television and comic book series; the first game in the series is titled Dragon's Lair released for the arcades in 1983 by Cinematronics. It uses laserdisc technology, offering superior graphics compared to other video games at the time; the game was ported to several other platforms, but as no home system technology of that era could accommodate the graphical quality of laserdisc, several abridged versions of the original game were released under different names. The first true sequel, Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp, would only appear in 1991. While its graphics were once again praised, the poor controls and limited interactivity kept it from reaching the popularity of the original; the two main games in the series are considered gaming classics and are re-released for each new generation of consoles.
In 2010, they were bundled alongside the unrelated 1984 Bluth Group game Space Ace in the Dragon's Lair Trilogy, made available across numerous platforms. The series' forays into other media include a short-lived cartoon series that aired on ABC in 1984 and a comic-book miniseries released in 2003. Plans for a feature-length film have existed since the 1980s and have resurfaced in 2015, when Bluth launched a crowd-funding campaign to secure funds for a Dragon's Lair movie pitch. After an unsuccessful bid on Kickstarter, a second Indiegogo campaign managed to reach its target in early 2016. Dragon's Lair is a laserdisc video game published by Cinematronics in 1983. In the game, the protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight attempting to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe who has locked the princess in the foul wizard Mordroc's castle, it featured animation by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth. Most other games of the era represented the character as a sprite, which consisted of a series of pixels displayed in succession.
Due to hardware limitations of the era, artists were restricted in the detail they could achieve using that technique. Dragon's Lair overcame those limitations by tapping into the vast storage potential of the LaserDisc but imposed other limitations on the actual gameplay, it was advertised as the first 3D video game and as the meeting point of video games and animated films. The success of the game sparked numerous home ports and related games. In the 21st century, it has been repackaged in a number of formats as historic game, it is one of only three video games in storage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. Escape from Singe's Castle known as Dragon's Lair Part II - Escape From Singe's Castle is a 1987 video game published by Software Projects for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum home computers. Readysoft made the Amiga, Atari ST, PC versions; the game is sometimes referred to as Dragon's Lair II but is not to be confused with the official arcade sequel Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp.
Dragon's Lair is a 1990 platform game developed by MotiveTime and published by CSG Imagesoft in North America, Elite Systems in Europe and Epic/Sony Records in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Its plot is identical to that of the original game. Dragon's Lair: The Legend is a 1991 platform game developed by Elite Systems and published by CSG Imagesoft in North America, Elite Software in Europe and Epic/Sony Records in Japan for the Game Boy; this is a port of Elite's 1985 ZX Spectrum game Roller Coaster. Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp is the first official sequel other than Escape from Singe's Castle. Released in 1991 by Leland Corporation, its story takes place years later. Dirk has married Daphne, the marriage has produced several children; when Daphne is kidnapped by the evil wizard Mordroc in order to be forced into marriage, Dirk's children are upset by the abduction of their mother, Dirk must once again save her. Home ports of the game were announced for the Philips CD-i, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Jaguar CD.
However, only the CD-i version was released, though non-playable demos of the 3DO and Jaguar CD versions appear on those consoles' respective versions of Brain Dead 13. The game was ported to the Wii as part of the compilation release Dragon's Lair Trilogy. Dragon's Lair III: The Curse of Mordread was made for Amiga, Atari ST, PC in 1993, mixing original footage with scenes from Time Warp that were not included in the original PC release due to memory constraints; the game included a newly produced "Blackbeard the Pirate" stage, intended to be in the arcade game but was never completed. Dragon's Lair is a 1993 platform game developed by MotiveTime and published by Data East in North America, Elite Systems in Europe and Konami in Japan for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, its plot is identical to that of the original game. Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair was developed in 2002, as a 3D interpretation of the game developed by Dragonstone Software and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, GameCube and the PlayStation 2.
It is based on the original Dragon's Lair and follows a similar story as Dirk must enter Mordroc's castle to rescue Princess Daphne from a dragon. Many of the characters and locations from the 1983 original make appearances in the game, along with new puzzles and enemies; the game uses cel shading to mimic the distinctive style of the original. Bluth produced two new animated sequences for the ending of the game, it received mixed review
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher. Founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems, by Ken and Roberta Williams, Sierra was known for their graphic adventure game series such as King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory. Sierra On-Line was acquired by CUC International in February 1996 and became part of CUC International's newly established CUC Software. In June 2004, after months of significant downsizing and restructuring at the company, Sierra Entertainment was disestablished as a company in August that year. Sierra continued to operate as a division of Vivendi Games through June 2008, when Vivendi Games merged with Activision and formed Activision Blizzard, with Sierra becoming part of Activision Blizzard's Activision subsidiary, though shut down that year; the "Sierra" brand name was revived by Activision in 2014 to re-release former Sierra titles as well as some independently-developed games. Sierra Entertainment was founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems in Simi Valley, California, by Ken and Roberta Williams.
Ken Williams, a programmer for IBM, bought an Apple II microcomputer which he planned to use to develop a Fortran compiler for the Apple II. At the time, his wife Roberta Williams was playing text adventure games on the Apple II. Dissatisfied with the text-only format, she realized that the graphics display capability of the Apple II could enhance the adventure gaming experience. After initial success, On-Line Systems was renamed Sierra On-Line in 1982, the company moved to Oakhurst, California. By early 1984 InfoWorld estimated that Sierra was the world's 12th-largest microcomputer-software company, with $12.5 million in 1983 sales. In 1980, On-Line Systems released their first game in Mystery House. Roberta Williams wrote the script for the adventure game in three weeks presented it to Ken Williams. At this point, Roberta Williams convinced Ken Williams to help her develop the game in the evenings after work, she worked on the text and the graphics, told Ken Williams how to put it all together to make it the game she wanted.
They worked on it for about three months and, on May 5, 1980, Mystery House was ready for shipment. Mystery House was an instant hit, it was the first computer adventure game to have graphics, although they were crude, static line drawings. It sold about 15,000 copies and earned $167,000; the Hi-Res Adventure series continued with Mission Asteroid, released as Hi-Res Adventure #0, despite being the second release. The next release and the Princess known as Adventure in Serenia, is considered a prelude to the King's Quest series in both story and concept. Through 1981 and 1982, more games were released in the series including Cranston Manor and the Golden Fleece, Time Zone, The Dark Crystal. A simplified version of The Dark Crystal, intended for a younger audience, was written by Al Lowe and released as Gelfling Adventure. Many of Sierra's most well known series began in the 1980s. In 1983, Sierra On-Line was contacted by IBM to create a game for its new PCjr. IBM would fund the entire development of the game, pay royalties for it, advertise for the game.
Ken and Roberta Williams started on the project. Roberta Williams created a story featuring classic fairy-tale elements, her game concept included animated color graphics, a pseudo 3D-perspective where the main character was visible on the screen, a more competent text parser that would understand advanced commands from the player, music playing in the background through the PCjr sound hardware. For the game, a complete development system called. In the summer of 1984, King's Quest: Quest for the Crown was released to much acclaim, beginning the King's Quest series. While working to finish The Black Cauldron, programmers Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy began to plan for an adventure game of their own. After a simple demonstration to Ken Williams, he allowed them to start working on the full game, named Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter; the game, released in October 1986, was an instant success and would spawn many sequels in the following years as part of the Space Quest series. Al Lowe, working at Sierra On-Line for many years, was asked by Ken Williams to write a modern version of Chuck Benton's Softporn Adventure from 1981, the only pure text adventure that the company had released.
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was a great hit and won the Software Publishers Association's Best Adventure Game award of 1987. A long series of Leisure Suit Larry games would follow in the coming years. Ken Williams befriended a retired highway patrol officer named Jim Walls, asked him to produce an adventure series based on a police theme. Walls proceeded to create Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, released in 1987. Several sequels followed, the series was touted for its adherence to police protocol, presenting some real-life situations encountered by Walls during his career as an officer. Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid adventure/role-playing video games designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole; the first game in the series, Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero, was released in 1989. The series combined humor, puzzle elements and characters borrowed from various legends and memorable characters, creating a five-part series of the Sierra stable. Altho
A video card is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display device. These are advertised as discrete or dedicated graphics cards, emphasizing the distinction between these and integrated graphics. At the core of both is the graphics processing unit, the main part that does the actual computations, but should not be confused as the video card as a whole, although "GPU" is used to refer to video cards. Most video cards are not limited to simple display output, their integrated graphics processor can perform additional processing, removing this task from the central processor of the computer. For example, Nvidia and AMD produced cards render the graphics pipeline OpenGL and DirectX on the hardware level. In the 2010s, there has been a tendency to use the computing capabilities of the graphics processor to solve non-graphic tasks; the graphics card is made in the form of a printed circuit board and inserted into an expansion slot, universal or specialized. Some have been made using dedicated enclosures, which are connected to the computer via a docking station or a cable.
Standards such as MDA, CGA, HGC, Tandy, PGC, EGA, VGA, MCGA, 8514 or XGA were introduced from 1982 to 1990 and supported by a variety of hardware manufacturers. 3dfx Interactive was one of the first companies to develop a GPU with 3D acceleration and the first to develop a graphical chipset dedicated to 3D, but without 2D support. Now the majority of modern video cards are built with either AMD-sourced or Nvidia-sourced graphics chips; until 2000, 3dfx Interactive was an important, groundbreaking, manufacturer. Most video cards offer various functions such as accelerated rendering of 3D scenes and 2D graphics, MPEG-2/MPEG-4 decoding, TV output, or the ability to connect multiple monitors. Video cards have sound card capabilities to output sound – along with the video for connected TVs or monitors with integrated speakers. Within the industry, video cards are sometimes called graphics add-in-boards, abbreviated as AIBs, with the word "graphics" omitted; as an alternative to the use of a video card, video hardware can be integrated into the motherboard, CPU, or a system-on-chip.
Both approaches can be called integrated graphics. Motherboard-based implementations are sometimes called "on-board video". All desktop computer motherboards with integrated graphics allow the disabling of the integrated graphics chip in BIOS, have a PCI, or PCI Express slot for adding a higher-performance graphics card in place of the integrated graphics; the ability to disable the integrated graphics sometimes allows the continued use of a motherboard on which the on-board video has failed. Sometimes both the integrated graphics and a dedicated graphics card can be used to feed separate displays; the main advantages of integrated graphics include cost, compactness and low energy consumption. The performance disadvantage of integrated graphics arises because the graphics processor shares system resources with the CPU. A dedicated graphics card has its own random access memory, its own cooling system, dedicated power regulators, with all components designed for processing video images. Upgrading to a dedicated graphics card offloads work from the CPU and system RAM, so not only will graphics processing be faster, but the computer's overall performance may improve.
Both AMD and Intel have introduced CPUs and motherboard chipsets which support the integration of a GPU into the same die as the CPU. AMD markets CPUs with integrated graphics under the trademark Accelerated Processing Unit, while Intel markets similar technology under the "Intel HD Graphics and Iris" brands. With the 8th Generation Processors, Intel announced the Intel UHD series of Integrated Graphics for better support of 4K Displays. Although they are still not equivalent to the performance of discrete solutions, Intel's HD Graphics platform provides performance approaching discrete mid-range graphics, AMD APU technology has been adopted by both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game consoles; as the processing power of video cards has increased, so has their demand for electrical power. Current high-performance video cards tend to consume a great deal of power. For example, the thermal design power for the GeForce GTX TITAN is 250 watts; when tested while gaming, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder's Edition averaged 227 watts of power consumption.
While CPU and power supply makers have moved toward higher efficiency, power demands of GPUs have continued to rise, so video cards may have the largest power consumption in a computer. Although power supplies are increasing their power too, the bottleneck is due to the PCI-Express connection, limited to supplying 75 watts. Modern video cards with a power consumption of over 75 watts include a combination of six-pin or eight-pin sockets that connect directly to the power supply. Providing adequate cooling becomes a challenge in such computers. Computers with multiple video cards may need power supplies in the 1000–1500 W range. Heat extraction becomes a major design consideration for computers with two or more high-end video cards. Video cards for desktop computers come in one of two size profiles, which can allow a graphics card to be added to small-sized PCs; some video cards are not of usual size, are thus categorized as being low profile. Video card profiles are based on height only, with low-profile cards taking up less than the height of a
The Horde (video game)
The Horde is a hybrid action-strategy video game, released on the 3DO platform, but was soon after ported to the Sega Saturn and MS-DOS. It was an unusual hybrid of strategy game for the time, it featured full-motion video sequences featuring a number of actors including Kirk Cameron as Chauncey and Michael Gregory as Kronus Maelor. Video sequences were reduced to slideshows in some versions; the game was bundled with the RealMagic MPEG playback card as a demonstration of the card's abilities to play back full motion MPEG video via the card's hardware decoder, at the time software MPEG decoding was not viable due to the lack of processing power in contemporary processors. The music was composed by Burke Trieschmann and won Computer Gaming World's Premiere Award for Best Musical Score in 1994; the player controls a servant boy, raised by a herd of wild cows. In a fortunate mishap, Chauncey prevents Winthrop the Good, King of Franzpowanki, from choking on his meal and is rewarded with a plot of land upon which he may build a self-sustaining town.
However, the land is under constant attack by "The Horde." The Horde consists of a number of destructive and hungry red monsters referred to individually as Hordlings. The Horde has elements of hack and slash, city building, real-time strategy, it is played in alternating timed phases. Each season begins with a "build" phase in which the player develops a town with the resources at Chauncey's disposal; this includes constructing walls, setting traps, chopping down trees, landscaping. Buildings, roads and residents are all added to the town automatically between seasons; the player is given. Comes the "action" phase, where the player must defend the town from an onslaught of Hordlings with a huge sword and various magical items; these items are powered by Chauncey's ATM card. Hordlings drop money when defeated, which may be retrieved and used. However, the main sources of income are cows and crops, which are sought by the Hordlings. If Chauncey runs out of hit points or all of the town's people are eaten by Hordlings, the game ends.
At the end of the action phase, the season has ended and the player receives a report on how well the town has been managed. The player turns a profit by protecting the town's resources. At the end of Summer seasons, the player may receive a message through a crystal ball from King Winthrop the Good, Kronus Maelor, or the FNN. With the exception of certain comic relief messages, these can have a direct influence on every aspect of the game. At the end of each year, Kronus Maelor requires Chauncey to pay taxes; the player has the opportunity to save the game and buy special items. At the end of a set number of years, the player character is given charge of a new region of the kingdom and must start a new village there; each new location features the challenges of different terrain and new breeds of Hordling, as well as hidden items and new special items at the store. The game is won by completing all five regions. Lead artist Michael Provenza recounted how he designed the hordlings: I got some concept drawings before I started, I was able to model them in a 3D software package.
To give each animation personality, I acted out what the hordlings would look like when they did something. For example, the shaman is an old dude. I decided. I walked around the office as I imagined that character would. To get the motion of the walk right, I tried to imagine what it would be like to walk with long arms, short legs, a big body, a big head. I started animating by hand with the 3D modeling software and claymation, it takes about four days to build a character from scratch, animate it, add texture mapping. Kirk Cameron plays the teenage hero Chauncey, Michael Gregory plays the Chancellor. All the live action footage for the game was filmed in two days; the initial 3DO version of the game had a "feature" where it deleted all other saved files to make room for The Horde's save file. The publisher recognized this behavior was disliked by players, offered to replace discs with a copy of the game that prompted before deleting other files; the Horde received positive reviews. In April 1994 Computer Gaming World said of the PC version that "Excellent acting and game play combined with twisted humor... should make this a winner".
The magazine in May 1994 said that "The Horde is a hybrid of the most editor-baffling kind, what's more aggravating, it's good. Good!". The reviewer praised its combination of resource management and action in varying settings, wonderful animation, "amazingly good" video clips, stating that Gregory's "show-stealing Evil Chancellor" made the game "a must see", he concluded that "The Horde is remarkably well rounded", "without question" would win awards in "whichever category that might be". GamePro's Game Over Man gave the 3DO version a perfect score in all four categories, citing the large number of stages, good controls, the overhead "satellite view", the outrageous hordling TV propaganda FMV clips, use of audio to alert the player to off-screen situations, he concluded, "This imaginative game tries to do something different, it works". Famicom Tsūshin scored the 3DO version of the game a 30 out of 40. Reviewing the Saturn version in GamePro, Johnny Ballgame called it "a clever and addicting game that should be eaten up by all Saturn owners".
He praised the challengin
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien; the story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels written, with over 150 million copies sold; the title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters, not only the hobbits Frodo Baggins, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, but the hobbits' chief allies and travelling companions: the Men, Aragorn, a Ranger of the North, Boromir, a Captain of Gondor.
The work was intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, the other to be The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher. For economic reasons, The Lord of the Rings was published in three volumes over the course of a year from 29 July 1954 to 20 October 1955; the three volumes were titled The Fellowship of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Structurally, the novel is divided internally into six books, two per volume, with several appendices of background material included at the end; some editions combine the entire work into a single volume. The Lord of the Rings has since been translated into 38 languages. Tolkien's work has been the subject of extensive analysis of its origins. Although a major work in itself, the story was only the last movement of a larger epic Tolkien had worked on since 1917, in a process he described as mythopoeia. Influences on this earlier work, on the story of The Lord of the Rings, include philology, mythology and the author's distaste for the effects of industrialization, as well as earlier fantasy works and Tolkien's experiences in World War I.
The Lord of the Rings in its turn is considered to have had a great effect on modern fantasy. The enduring popularity of The Lord of the Rings has led to numerous references in popular culture, the founding of many societies by fans of Tolkien's works, the publication of many books about Tolkien and his works; the Lord of the Rings has inspired, continues to inspire, music and television, video games, board games, subsequent literature. Award-winning adaptations of The Lord of the Rings have been made for radio and film. In 2003, it was named Britain's best novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read. Thousands of years before the events of the novel, the Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power and corrupt those who wore them: three for Elves, seven for Dwarves, nine for Men. Sauron was defeated by an alliance of Men led by Gil-galad and Elendil, respectively. In the final battle, son of Elendil, cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, causing Sauron to lose his physical form.
Isildur claimed the Ring as an heirloom for his line, but when he was ambushed and killed by the Orcs, the Ring was lost in the River Anduin. Over two thousand years the Ring was found by one of the river-folk called Déagol, his friend Sméagol fell under strangled Déagol to acquire it. Sméagol was hid under the Misty Mountains; the Ring gave him long life and changed him over hundreds of years into a twisted, corrupted creature called Gollum. Gollum lost the Ring, his "precious", as told in The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins found it. Meanwhile, Sauron took back his old realm of Mordor; when Gollum set out in search of the Ring, he was tortured by Sauron. Sauron learned from Gollum. Gollum was set loose. Sauron, who needed the Ring to regain his full power, sent forth his powerful servants, the Nazgûl, to seize it; the story begins in the Shire, where the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo Baggins, his cousin and guardian. Neither hobbit is aware of the Ring's nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and an old friend of Bilbo, suspects it to be Sauron's Ring.
Seventeen years after Gandalf confirms his guess, he tells Frodo the history of the Ring and counsels him to take it away from the Shire. Frodo sets out, accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, two cousins, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took, they are nearly caught by the Black Riders, but shake off their pursuers by cutting through the Old Forest. There they are aided by Tom Bombadil, a strange and merry fellow who lives with his wife Goldberry in the forest; the hobbits reach the town of Bree, where they encounter a Ranger named Strider, whom Gandalf had mentioned in a letter. Strider persuades the hobbits to take him on as their protector. Together, they leave Bree after another close escape from the Black Riders. On the hill of Weathertop, they are again attacked by the Black Riders, who wound Frodo with a cursed blade. Strider leads the hobbits towards the Elven refuge of Rivendell. Frodo falls deathly ill from the wound; the Black Riders nearly capture him at the Ford of Bruinen, but flood waters summoned by Elrond, master of Rivendell, rise up and overwhelm them.
Infocom was a software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone. Infocom was founded on June 22, 1979 by staff and students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lasted as an independent company until 1986, when it was bought by Activision. Activision shut down the Infocom division in 1989, although they released some titles in the 1990s under the Infocom Zork brand. Activision abandoned the Infocom trademark in 2002. Infocom games are text adventures where users direct the action by entering short strings of words to give commands when prompted; the program will respond by describing the results of the action the contents of a room if the player has moved within the virtual world. The user reads this information, decides what to do, enters another short series of words. Examples include "go west" or "take flashlight". Infocom games were written using a LISP-like programming language called ZIL that compiled into a byte code able to run on a standardized virtual machine called the Z-machine.
As the games were text based and used variants of the same Z-machine interpreter, the interpreter had to be ported to new computer architectures only once per architecture, rather than once per game. Each game file included a sophisticated parser which allowed the user to type complex instructions to the game. Unlike earlier works of interactive fiction which only understood commands of the form'verb noun', Infocom's parser could understand a wider variety of sentences. For instance one might type "open the large door go west", or "go to festeron". With the Z-machine, Infocom was able to release most of their games for most popular home computers of the day simultaneously—the Apple II family, Atari 800, IBM PC compatibles, Amstrad CPC/PCW, Commodore 64, Commodore Plus/4, Commodore 128, Kaypro CP/M, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, the Mac, Atari ST, the Commodore Amiga and the Radio Shack TRS-80; the company was known for shipping creative props, or "feelies", with its games. Inspired by Colossal Cave, Marc Blank and Dave Lebling created what was to become the first Infocom game, Zork, in 1977 at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science.
Despite the development of a revolutionary virtual memory system that allowed games to be much larger than the average personal computer's normal capacity, the enormous mainframe-developed game had to be split into three equal parts. Zork I was released for the TRS-80 in 1980. Infocom was founded on June 22, 1979. Lebling and Blank each authored several more games and additional game writers were hired, notably including Steve Meretzky. Other popular and inventive titles included a number of sequels and spinoff games in the Zork series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Mind Forever Voyaging. In its first few years of operation, text adventures proved to be a huge revenue stream for the company. Whereas most computer games of the era would achieve initial success and suffer a significant drop-off in sales, Infocom titles continued to sell for years and years. Employee Tim Anderson said of their situation, "It was phenomenal – we had a basement that just printed money." By 1983 Infocom was the most dominant computer-game company.
In late 1984, management declined an offer by publisher Simon & Schuster to acquire Infocom for $28 million, far more than the board of directors's valuation of $10–12 million. In 1993 Computer Gaming World described this era as the "Cambridge Camelot, where the Great Underground Empire was formed". Infocom games were popular, InfoWorld said, in part because "in offices all over America executives and managers are playing games on their computers". An estimated 25% had a computer game "hidden somewhere in their drawers", Inc. reported, they preferred Infocom adventures to arcade games. The company stated that year that 80 % were men. Most players enjoyed reading books. We sell to the minority that does read". A 1996 article in Next Generation said Infocom's "games were noted for having more depth than any other adventure games, before or since." Three components proved key to Infocom's success: marketing strategy, rich storytelling and feelies. Whereas most game developers sold their games in software stores, Infocom distributed their games via bookstores.
Infocom's products appealed more to those with expensive computers, such as the Apple Macintosh, IBM PC, Commodore Amiga. Berez stated that "there is no noticeable correlation between our penetration. There is a high correlation between the price of the machine and our sales... people who are putting more money into their machines tend to buy more of our software". Since their games were text-based, patrons of bookstores were drawn to the Infocom games as they were interested in reading. Unlike most computer software, Infocom titles were distributed under a no-returns policy, which allowed them to make money from a single game for a longer period of time