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Thursday, 31 January 2008 05:51

Passage - A journey through time (with or without a wife)

What is it that makes software -- and any other sort of product, for that matter -- usable and popular, or in other words a success? A superficially simple game by Jason Rohrer sets you thinking about such deeper matters.

Passage is a simple-to-use game that I stumbled across today.

Get it from here: ... It's a small download and a fast install.

If you become enamoured with the game, I recommend that (as explained on the above web page) you edit the three initialization (ini) files so that it runs in windowing mode rather than hogging the full screen, and maybe at a screen resolution higher than the default 640x480.

The game's author Jason Rohrer recommends that you play the game first, before reading his statement of intent here:

The Wall Street Journal has a review here:

I'm an old fogie and these days rarely play any sort of game, so I'm quite inept at games and needed to read the statement and review before having a clue what Passage was all about, but I'm sure that the Gen X and Gen Y amongst you will cotton on to it quickly.

Apparently Passage has really got people talking. Why do people latch on to this particular game, with its unspectacular graphics, rather than others with elaborate graphics and options? Does it appeal to you, or not? What does it have to say about product fitness for the intended task and popularity? (Think, say, of basic mobile phones versus many of today's over-featured models.) Give us your opinions!

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Tony Austin

Worked at IBM from 1970, for a quarter century, then founded Asia/Pacific Computer Services to provide IT consulting and software development services (closed company at end of 2013). These says am still involved with IT as an observer and commentator, as well as attempting to understand cosmology, quantum mechanics and whatever else will keep my mind active and fend off deterioration of my grey matter.

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