Adam Cadre (born February 5, 1974) is a writer who's worked in several spectra of fiction throughout his life, from books to webcomics to MST-ings, but he is perhaps best known and beloved for his work with Interactive Fiction. He's won 11 XYZZY Awards for his various text adventures and stole the 1998 Interactive Fiction Competition with his seminal work Photopia, in addition to starting his own annual IF competition called Spring Thing.
His conventional fiction output consists of several short stories and one novel, the dark high school comedy Ready, Okay!. His Web Comics (hosted on his website) are Academy X, a deconstruction of the Science Hero set at an academy for Omnidisciplinary Scientists, and Evil Creatures, a continuation of the plot from Academy X. Additionally, he has also been part of two amateur rock bands, paints, blogs, and runs the annual Lyttle Lytton Contest (which challenges readers to submit horrible made-up novel opening lines). He's something of a modern Renaissance Man.
You can find his website here.
Cadre's Interactive Fiction Games:
- I-0 (1997)
- Photopia (1998)
- Varicella (1999)
- 9:05 (2000)
- Shrapnel (2000)
- Textfire Golf (2001)
- Lock & Key (2002)
- Narcolepsy (2003)
- Endless, Nameless (2012)
- Discovering Your Own Dead Body: In Shrapnel, the player can die repeatedly and find the resulting corpses. This is because you're stuck in a Time Crash caused by the accidental destruction of a time machine. Those bodies are technically from deaths that occurred in alternate timelines.
- Hitchhiker's Leg: In I-0, a sketchy guy will pull over and offer you a lift if you actively try to hitchhike but he'll also do so automatically at random intervals if you're not wearing a shirt (or not wearing pants).
- Info Dump: There's a big (optional) one at the end of Shrapnel.
- The Many Deaths of You: Deconstructed in Shrapnel.
- Metafiction: Endless, Nameless is simultaneously an old-fashioned '80s-style adventure romp and a commentary on the evolution of Interactive Fiction itself.
- No Communities Were Harmed: The state of Dorado (the setting for I-0 and Narcolepsy) is meant to be a stand-in for southern California, while Turtalia (the setting for Photopia) is based on southwestern Canada.
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: The biggest complaint about Photopia.
- Retraux: Endless, Nameless is a deliberate throwback to the BBS "Door Games" of the 1980s. Then you die and discover that's not all there is...
- Same Face, Different Name: Adam Cadre submitted Photopia to the 1998 Interactive Fiction Competition under the name "Opal O'Donnell", out of fear that people would associate Photopia with his earlier sex farce game I-0.
- Step One: Escape: Played with in Lock & Key: You start in a prison cell, and can't continue until you've figured out how to escape. When you do, it turns out you're a security expert who's been hired to test the prison's security, and the rest of the game is about making it properly escape-proof.
- Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: His games fall all over the spectrum, from almost all story (Photopia) to almost all gameplay (Lock and Key). They do tend to lie toward the "story" end of the spectrum, though.
- Take That!: In Lock and Key, after the "hero" leaves his companion to be eaten by piranhas.Tyrak: I see Boldo's an Objectivist.
- Time Crash: Shrapnel provided the page quote, and with good reason.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Varicella and Lock and Key. Since both require engineering a specific set of interlocking circumstances to achieve the desired goal (eliminating all your rivals in the former, assembling an inescapable deathtrap in the latter), winning on the first playthrough (or the second, or the third, etc.) is next to impossible: you need to figure out how the different moving parts (literal or figurative) interact before you can hope to win. Varicella lampshades this in one of the endings, where a villain points out that not everyone has had the chance to try things over and over again until they find what works.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The ending of 9:05
- Villain Protagonist: Primo Varicella of Varicella, the unnamed player character of 9:05.
- Lock and Key is a mild example; while the protagonist is purely mercenary, the entire point of the game is to construct an inescapable deathtrap for a Conan the Barbarian-type adventurer at the behest of a tyrannical king.
- Wham Line: In 9:05, "Who the hell are you?"