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Nichols K. Front Matter Pages i-xiv. Allan F. Nichols, K. Ullas Karanth. Pages A History of Camera Trapping. Don E. Swann, Kae Kawanishi, Jonathan Palmer. Science, Conservation, and Camera Traps. Crowther's original version contains no vocabulary words to represent commands for saving a game, reporting the score, or taking inventory of possessions; all these elements were added by Woods.

Since the last prop in this list is , the numbering suggests Crowther added the bottle at a late stage in the game's development. This short table 24 items includes descriptions of game states that represent lasting changes to the environment. For example, if the player drops the keys in a room, then every time the player returns to the room, a message will indicate the presence of the keys.

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Some of these table entries describe obstacles, and others describe room features. Exclamation points emphasize the importance of valuable items, threats, and unexpected consequences. The numbering here is not sequential, because the hundreds digit is used to indicate an alternate state — e. Table 6 [Hints and Events] The final table in the data file, lines long, contains 80 numbered groups of lines that offer hints and descriptions of one-time game events rather than enduring state changes, such as Table 5 contains.

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Crowther's prose was lean and condensed, as we see in item 3. The compressed structure leads to an amusing ambiguity, suggesting that the axe not only missed, but also cursed and ran away. Notes on the Woods Expansion Woods carried that forward, but without the feel for being in an actual cave, and with a need to limit the use of the machine to off hours. Crowther supplied the original text-parser and established the basic principles of gameplay, leaving Woods free to concentrate on expansion, creative variation, and real-world resource management such as a system for resuming a suspended game and a password-protected method of restricting access to the game during working hours.

Woods retained the general structure of the code when he expanded the game, typically adding on to the end of the existing tables, and squeezing creative variations out of his own imagination and out of possibilities he found in Crowther's original material. While Crowther's bottle of water can only be emptied, Woods adds complexity by making it refillable and capable of carrying water or oil. Woods also supplied puzzles for Crowther's consumable items the food and the water.

In a variation on the crystal bridge that can appear, Woods adds a bridge that can collapse. Where Crowther was an efficient minimalist, Woods was comparatively lavish with scenery. Crowther did not create corpse objects for vanquished opponents; once defeated, the snake and the dwarves simply vanish. Woods, on the other hand, implements separate functional and destroyed objects for the dragon, the bear, and the troll bridge. He also created a plant that exists in three states — thirsty and small, thirsty and large, and sated and climbable. Because Woods added objects with complex behavior, his code had to deal with an even greater number of potential events.

For example, what happens when a wandering dwarf encounters the bear or the dragon? Woods edited for standard usage, and occasionally for clarity.

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Crowther, Woods retained the purely aesthetic portion of Crowther's instructions offering a motivation for the player's actions and introducing the fantasy element , but added details pertaining to the text parser, session mechanics, and authorship. When Nelson analyzes the tension between Crowther's austere fantasy vision and the often comical set pieces supplied by Woods, he finds the stylistic conflict an agreeable part of the game's charm. Notable tension is evident in changes to the cave environment that occur in the Woods expansion, such as 1 the underground volcano, 2 the battery-dispensing vending machine, and 3 announcements from a public address system warning that the cave is closing.

Lacking firsthand experience of caves, Woods had to rely upon his own imagination.

Yet even these details logically extend, respectively, Crowther's use of 1 intriguing geography, 2 treasure items, and 3 magic words. Some of Woods's additions, such as the Soft Room and the Oriental Room, seem completely out of place when considered separately; but once it becomes clear that objects found in these two locations work together to solve an inventory puzzle, these two incongruities make perfect sense as gaming elements.

Because it's exactly the kind of thing that computer programmers do.


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Woods's most striking diversions from Crowther's initial realism occur on the far side of the troll bridge, yet this region is only accessible after the player has encountered Crowther's earlier scenery, which involves capturing a strangely passive little bird, watching the improbable defeat of a fierce snake, conjuring up a magical crystal bridge, teleporting via magic words, and fighting with dwarves whose corpses vanish. Given this context, the fairy-tale elements that Woods supplied including a dragon, a troll, a beanstalk, more magic words, and a friendly bear seem perfectly in keeping with Crowther's fantasy premise.

Exploring Colossal Cave in Kentucky They may belong to the National Speleological Society, but they don't spelunk. They cave.

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Bedquilt Entrance, Colossal Cave. Crowther's Map and Game Crowther's frequent caving and mapping collaborator was his wife Pat, who in had distinguished herself in the caving community by making the final connection — that is, physically squeezing through a tiny hole — between two sprawling networks of caverns which had up to that point been considered separate entities. For years, using a compass and a measuring tape, survey teams from the Cave Research Foundation had recorded the coordinates of a sinewy array of 3D points.

The Crowthers used the raw data to form a computer model. According to a Feb 6 alt. Then generated plotting commands on huge rolls of paper tape, which we carried over and plotted using a salvaged Calcomp drum plotter attached to a Honeywell that was destined to become an ARPAnet IMP. Mapping the Bedquilt region of Colossal Cave involved using the line plots as the framework for hand-drawn details gleaned from sketches and notes taken during survey expeditions.

While the resulting map can be understood as a technical and creative embellishment that makes the stark 3D dataset more accessible and more aesthetically appealing, it is a mistake to conflate either the 3D dataset or the 2D hand-drawn map with Crowther's text-based game. Would you like instructions?

Magic is said to work in the cave. I will be your eyes and hands. Direct me with commands of 1 or 2 words.

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For information on how to end your adventure, etc. This program was originally developed by Will Crowther. Most of the features of the current program were added by Don Woods.


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You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully. There are some keys on the ground here. There is a shiny brass lamp nearby.


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  • There is food here. There is a bottle of water here. Italicized passages represent the player's contributions. Gillogly's phrasing may have contributed to the commonly-reported meme that Crowther's original version was a realistic map, and that all the game and fantasy elements are Woods's. You are in a foot depression floored with bare dirt.

    Set into the dirt is a strong steel grate mounted in concrete. A dry streambed leads into the depression. The grate is locked. A low crawl over cobbles leads inward to the west. The grate is open. There is a dim light at the east end of the passage. There is a small wicker cage discarded nearby. If you proceed you will likely fall into a pit. You are in a debris room filled with stuff washed in from the surface. A low wide passage with cobbles becomes plugged with mud and debris here, but an awkward canyon leads upward and west.

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    A three foot black rod with a rusty star on an end lies nearby. The walls are frozen rivers of orange stone. An awkward canyon and a good passage exit from east and west sides of the chamber. A cheerful little bird is sitting here singing. Illustration: Excerpt from the data file for Will Crowther's original cave-exploration game. These lines represent locations the player encounters near the Bedquilt entrance of Colossal Cave.