At the beginning of April 2016 Peter Verdi's Magnetic Scrolls Chronicles website went offline. So far all my attempts to contact Peter failed. His site carried some invaluable interviews with former Magnetic Scrolls people. To preserve the work I temporarily uploaded a dump of his site taken in summer of 2015. All you can see below is 100% Peter's work! Hopefully his site will reappear soon! Peter, if you read this, can you contact me?

Remember how it's like to ride on a cloud? How it feels to be squashed by a bus, or how to get that damned gold disc from Micky? Well, here's your chance to relive all these situations.

Have a chat with the devil in THE PAWN, ransack an entire island in THE GUILD OF THIEVES, restore luck itself to a whole country in JINXTER, uncover a conspiracy in CORRUPTION, become an inter-dimensional secret agent in FISH!, an ancient god in MYTH, walk in the footsteps of Alice in WONDERLAND and inherit a haunted mansion in THE LEGACY.
Become a part of the fantasy of Magnetic Scrolls - you certainly won't regret it . . .


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    - The Guild Of Thieves
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    - Corruption
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    - Myth
    - Wonderland
    - The Magnetic Scrolls
       Collection Vol. One
    - The Legacy - Realm
       Of Terror
   Magnetic Interpreter
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Fish!'n (Micro)Chips - an Interview with Peter Kemp (page 6)


Did you follow the fate of Magnetic Scrolls after you completed work on 'Fish!'?
I don't believe any of the subsequent games were released for the Apple ][. That being the case, I didn't have a machine on which to play them, so I can't really comment. I did subsequently sketch out a preliminary design for another adventure game, in which Anita expressed an interest, but nothing ever came of it. My fault - I just didn't put enough time into developing the idea.


Really? What was that game about?
The game I was discussing with Anita came about for two reasons:

(a) I believed very strongly that the game's boundaries should be believable and

(b) on the Tube (the London Underground transit system) there are quite a few 'secret' stations, no longer used for a variety of reasons.

Briefly, I don't like games with arbitrary geographical boundaries. I understand why they're there for *programming* reasons, but if you're in a field and want to go west 47 times, why can't you? I would sometimes get irritated by the message "You can't go that way" when there was no legitimate reason why not. It struck me that a city's metro system was an ideal candidate for a closed, defined "linear" map where available directions were pretty much self-explanatory. Added to that were the opportunities presented by tube stations no longer used. Doubtless they're closed for very boring reasons, but it wouldn't be difficult to come up with much more sinister "explanations". Since most of them are in darkness and probably infested with rats *grin*, there are numerous opportunities to weave a tale of interactive fiction.

I do remember coming up with two or three (quite clever) puzzles, but that wasn't nearly enough to fill out a game. As I think I said earlier, I didn't really discipline myself to put in the necessary time and effort to get this off the drawing board and into a project worth developing on a professional basis. (And no, I can't remember what those puzzles were. At best, I have a vague memory of several different ways to keep the tunnels illuminated as an alternative to being in the darkness with lots and lots and *lots* of hungry rats...)


'The Bard's Tale - Tales of the Unknown' developed by
Interplay Productions and distributed by Electronic Arts in 1985


You did mention earlier that you're still playing games these days?
What else is a computer for? *grin*
That's a 'yes', by the way.

I've never had good hand/eye co-ordination, or good reflexes, so I don't play arcade games. Curiously enough, I've been playing ...adventure games. A Bard's Tale, Heroes of Might and Magic, Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights come to mind. I then played Everquest (Sony *eventually* ported it to the Macintosh) for about 18 months. For the past two and a half years, I've been playing World of Warcraft, which I can't praise highly enough.


Peter, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It was an absolute pleasure talking to you.
My pleasure.


Any final words (before we close this interview, that is)?
One observation: I've been using a personal computer for 30 years now, pretty much from the absolute beginning. Even today, I still sometimes have to stop to shake my head in astonishment at how far we've come in such a short time. I'm pretty lucky, eh?


This article © Peter Verdi and may not be used in full or in parts without the written permission from the author.
Photo of the Ohio Superboard donated by Mark Spankus of
Photo of the Sinclair QL © Boris Jakubaschk of and used with kind permission
'Oo-Topos' cover scan taken from MobyGames; 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Zork I' © Activision Blizzard;
'The Bard's Tale - Tales of the Unknown' © Electronic Arts


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