8-bit machines due to memory restrictions tended to stream much
of the data from disc including words, descriptions, graphics
and even the Magnetic Scrolls-format code for the game itself.
Again, information on the Archimedes version is lacking but
with the greater memory of the 16-bit versions, it seems likely
that most of the Archimedes games stored much of the game in
the initial load and like Wonderland, for example, loaded location
graphics when appropriate.
Windows and the demise of the company
a specialised corner of a games market which had to compete
with the ever-increasing graphical sophistication of mainstream
games, it is probably inevitable that, like their contemporaries
Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls would eventually take the genre of
text adventures to its limit (or zenith if you like) beyond
which point it would metamorphose into something quite different.
In fact, Magnetic Scrolls had gone part of the way and Level
9 would release two point-and-click style game as their final
were becoming more expensive to make as a standalone release
and Wonderland had taken a huge amount of effort on the part
of a small company. Although, another Magnetic Scrolls collection
is rumoured to have been on the cards (and perhaps other so
far undocumented projects), it is hard not to reflect and think
anything other than the era of the text adventure as a full-price
games product had come to a close and with it the major British
company producing these games. As Stefan Meier describes it:
"Like almost all text oriented game developers Magnetic
Scrolls did not survive the start into the multimedia age."
management team and their staff went their separate ways except
for some who were retained by Microprose following their acquisition
of the company. Co-founder Ken Gordon registered the domain
magneticscrolls.com some years ago but nothing has appeared
apart from a logo, yet. I have been sadly unable to find information
on the whereabouts of Anita Sinclair and Hugh Steers although
the former features in brief comments to Computer and Video
Games magazine in 2001. Many programmers went into specialised
graphics professions. Others, given the unique nature of adventure
games, came from more diverse backgrounds and so eventually
entered different lines of work such as the long-time Magnetic
Scrolls story-writer and Philosophy-graduate Rob Steggles. Fish!
programmer Steve Lacey has a website
where he occasionally reminisces about his days at the company.
Perhaps there will be further interviews in the future online
or even in the retro-gamer magazine sector. It's certainly worth
keeping eyes peeled and search engines on standby for that.