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 . . .


   News Archive
   The Games
    - The Pawn
    - The Guild Of Thieves
    - Jinxter
    - Corruption
    - Fish!
    - Myth
    - Wonderland
    - The Magnetic Scrolls
       Collection Vol. One
    - The Legacy - Realm
       Of Terror
   Magnetic Interpreter
   The Message Board
   About The Website

> What IF..._ - A Conversation with Robert Steggles (page 5)


As far as I know you didn’t leave Magnetic Scrolls on friendly terms. Looking back now - did you ever regret your decision?
The best times in my work career have all come when you have a bunch of people that are on the same wavelength and pulling together in the same direction. It never lasts long because things change, but while it is there it’s a good thing. Though I would have liked a different ending, I just consider myself lucky enough to have been part of the Magnetic Scrolls story when it was like that.


Were there at any point in your career as a writer any job offers from other IF-developers, like Infocom, Level 9 or the likes?
Not that I’m aware of. And, back then, I probably wouldn’t have considered them if they did. I had honestly never even thought about it until you posed the question.


Do you know of any Magnetic Scrolls titles that never saw the light of day?
Anita was working on one called Upon Westminster Bridge. It was a shame that one never got off the ground.


It's completely understandable if you don't feel like talking about someone else's brainchild, but I simply have to ask: what was Upon Westminster Bridge about?
You’d need to ask Anita that one. Actually, now I think about, we were also considering doing a version of Journey to the Centre of the Earth (it had just come out of copyright). I even read the book, but that’s as far as it got (for me, anyway).


Back then one of the potential future projects for Magnetic Scrolls
that never saw the light of day - Jules Verne's "A Journey to the
Centre of the Earth"


Magnetic 2.3 (Mac OS X version ported by Jan-Sebastian Schliemann)


From your perspective, what do you think were the long-term strategies for Magnetic Scrolls and where did they want to go as a game developer?
The obvious step was to move into graphic adventures but it was never going to happen, even though some people went on into that field after Magnetic Scrolls finished. Magnetic Scrolls was text adventures with added artwork, not graphical adventures, so it stopped producing text adventures when there was no more market for them.


Design-wise, would you want to re-visit any of your old Magnetic Scrolls titles?
No no, much better to let these things be. They had their time. They were great fun. They all had flaws but much better to let these things stay good in the memory. I did once think about a 25th Anniversary edition of The Pawn but I lost interest after about 30 minutes – couldn’t really think of what to do with it.


Have you actually sat down and played a Magnetic Scrolls game recently?
Yes – my 8 year old son wanted to see them. I was gobsmacked. I’m glad that Magnetic has been developed (thanks Niclas Karlsson and all those that ported it) otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to show him. I was so proud. Unfortunately, he took one look and said ‘Is that it?’ then went back to Lego Star wars or something. Ho hum, the joys of being a parent.


OK, last question for you then. Do you sometimes visit any of the Magnetic Scrolls tribute websites?
Yes, and I’d like to say Thank You to all those that played the games and wrote about them and voted for them as well as those that keep the memories alive. It really is incredible to me that what we did nearly 25 years ago generated and still generates such interest.


Rob, thanks again for your answers. It was certainly a pleasure talking to you.
And thanks to you for taking the time and trouble to keep these things alive. Your dedication is impressive…


This article © Peter Verdi and may not be used in full or in parts without the written permission from the author;
Photos of Robert Steggles donated by himself and used with kind permission;
Screenshots from "The Pawn" and "Corruption" and box art from "The Guild of Thieves" and "Corruption © Magnetic Scrolls Ltd;
book cover of 1874 edition of "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth" is public domain;
magnetiX 1.3 by Jan-Sebastian Schliemann


Previous page

Back to Articles page