Shades of Gray: An Adventure in Black and White

"Widely considered  to be the best AGT game ever written."

More Info...


History of Interactive Fiction Links:

 arrow Judith Pintar in The Inform Designer's Manual  by Graeme Nelson and Gareth Rees 

 arrow Judith Pintar in the History of Interactive Fiction by Jimmy Maher
 arrow Judith Pintar in Twisty Little Passages by Nick Montfort

 arrow Judith Pintar on ifwiki 

arrow Interview with Judith Pintar on XYZZY News

arrow Judith Pintar and gender in Interactive Fiction

CosmoServe Links: 

arrow CosmoServe Games Files Available Here

arrow CosmoServe in Fatal Distractions Compilation

 arrow XYZZY Review  

arrow Spag  Review  

 arrow Audessey: Computer Games Accessible to the Bline  Review  

 arrow Another Review 

 arrow Yet Another Review

 arrow One more  Review 

Shades of Gray  Links: 

arrow Shades of Gray Games Files Available Here

 arrow Spag Review  

 arrow BAF's Guide Review 

 arrow Shades on IfWiki 

  ill titleInteractive Fiction (Text Adventures)

Before the onslaught of Windows, DOS games ruled the world. Text Adventures, most widely recognized in Infocom's Zork Series were never the most popular games, but they had their following among players, and hobbyist authors and programmers. Judith Pintar wrote two games during the 1990s in AGT, an early game-writing system  by Mark Welch and David Malmberg. They sponsored a contest for games written in AGT, which her games, CosmoServe and Shades of Gray won, in 1991 and 1992.

She is often mentioned in histories of Interactive Fiction because she was one of the only women game-writers to gain recognition during that era, but also because of the contributions of the games themselves. CosmoServe was a parody of Compuserve, a slice of life view of the  pre-internet BBS-based online gaming world of the 1980s and 90s. Shades of Gray, often cited as the best AGT game of all time, was actually designed inside a real-life private CompuServe gaming forum. Pintar developed and organized the project online.

CosmoServe: An Adventure Game for the BBS-Enslaved
begins like this...

"It seemed like such a good idea at the time. As a self-employed computer consultant, working at home was the logical decision: no more long commutes, no expensive office to lease, no boss. Unfortunately you also have no secretary, no janitor and no weekends. Your living room has become a glorified break room and your only human contact is by Electronic Mail. Thank God for your computer... "ill_2
    From there the player enters a simulated computer   environment, navigating DOS and then dialing into CosmoServe, and playing the rest of the game "online." CosmoServe was included in David Gerrold's book and CD, Fatal Distractions, but it can be found in  interactive fiction archive sites. 

Shades of Gray: An Adventure in Black and White (1992)

by Mark Baker, Steve Bauman, Belisana, Mike Laskey, Judith Pintar, hercules/Assoc. SysOp, and Cindy Yans

Shades of Gray was conceived, written and coded by seven people who never never met each other, never spoke on the phone, nor even corresponded by mail. The entire project was managed from within a private CompuServe Gamer's Forum. Judith Pintar initiated the project, and had the job of turning the work of seven people into a single coherent story and game.

                                              Copyright © 2009 Judith Pintar. Original web design by kty for OSWD.