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
    - Jinxter
    - Corruption
    - Fish!
    - Myth
    - Wonderland
    - The Magnetic Scrolls
       Collection Vol. One
    - The Legacy - Realm
       Of Terror
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> What IF..._ - A Conversation with Robert Steggles

It certainly doesn't happen every day that one gets the chance to chat with an author of one of the great classics of Interactive Fiction history - therefore you can imagine how excited I was when the opportunity arose to interview a man who has actually written 3 (in words: three) classics of the genre.

Three in a row, that is. One of them basically in a single afternoon. The games I am talking about are Magnetic Scrolls' much beloved 'The Pawn', 'The Guild of Thieves' and 'Corruption', and the author is, of course, Robert Steggles.

While waiting for a train to take him out of France (probably on the run with a swag bag full of loot, no doubt) Rob kindly agreed to share a few memories of his time working for one of the most successful and influental european developers of interactive fiction games. During the course of the interview Rob not only reminisces about the writing of Pawn, Guild, Corruption, and his work as a co-author on Fish!, but also reveals a few exclusive tidbits of information about Magnetic Scrolls titles that could have been, but unfortunately never were ...


Rob, first of all let me thank you for taking the time to do this. To start things off, here’s an easy warm-up question for you. How are you today?
I’m fine thanks - a little bruised and battered after 44 years on the planet but still spritely enough to put the occasional whoopee cushion on someone’s chair just to get a reaction.


Ah yes. Whoopee cushions. We did exactly that at last year's Christmas Dinner ... and we're all aged 35+ ...
Ahem.. “metaphorical” whoopee cushions, not real ones ;-)


No doubt the devoted Interactive Fiction lover knows what you did during your time at Magnetic Scrolls, but what are you up to now?
Right now I’m waiting to get on Eurostar for the umpteenth time, going to London (the city I was born in) from Paris (the city where I have lived for the past 10 years). Getting up at 5:30 does not agree with me so this interview may be a little grumpy and memories a little foggy – my apologies in advance.


I'm not a morning person myself, so I know exactly how you feel ... anyway, as far as I understand you already knew Ken Gordon and Hugh Steers from school?
That’s right, we were at school together in Woolwich, SE London. Actually, someone told me our old school has been closed down due to bad results and poor standards – read into that what you will.


So, how did the idea of developing text adventure games for a living actually take shape?
Computer games were the fun thing to do at that time, the personal computer boom was just starting and we were all into it. Career advice on how to be a game writer was somewhat lacking so we just had a go and followed our noses. Ken and Anita took care of the money and fed Hugh computers to play with then they called me to help write the scenario: it was mainly a way to try to make some cash to pay for the MUD habit.

Rob Steggles - writer of Magnetic Scrolls' most successful games

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