Dave Lebling Hosting Zork Postmortem At GDC

Dave Lebling Hosting Zork Postmortem At GDC

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Infocom co-founder Dave Lebling will give a one-hour postmortem of the classic text adventure Zork at this year's Game Developers Conference.

You probably haven't played Zork but you've almost certainly heard of the Great Underground Empire, a dangerous ruin packed with grues who are likely to eat you. Originally released in 1977, Zork was a tremendously influential game and set Infocom on the path to becoming one of the big names of the early video game industry.

To celebrate that great 1977 subterranean adventure, co-creator Dave Lebling will provide a one-hour "Classic Game Postmortem" of Zork at the upcoming GDC. He'll talk about the development of both the mainframe and the microcomputer versions of the game, as well as the challenges of creating the advanced text parser it used and "the glory days of DIY publishing," when games were often sold in ziplock bags.

The 2014 Game Developers Conference runs from March 17 to 21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. And if you happen to want to give Zork a try (and you really should), you may do so for free at THC.net.


I played Zork I LONG after its release in the 90s. Already at that time I was interested in old games and I still am. It's not that long ago that I restarted Zork II and still could not finish it :D

This concept of a "Classic Game Postmortem" sounds really interesting. Is it already known, if there will be videos of this online?

Don't know yet, they're still at the "details to be announced" position, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see something surface.

Andy Chalk:
You probably haven't played Zork

Actually, I have. It was my very first computer game, bought for the Commodore 64, way back in the late 70s (or maybe early 80s? not sure now). I spent about a year trying to finish it (off and on, of course), mostly because of that damnable jeweled egg, which I had neither the skill nor experience to open.

Actually, as I was born in 1981, I am quite familiar with Zork, because I have two older brothers who liked games.

I also - strangely - had to play it as an assignment for one of my college classes...which was a Lit course.

Zork is survived by Riddick, who was NOT eaten by a Grue, which is what the creatures of Pitch Black essentially reference.


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