The Digital Village

HHGG shareware for Comic Relief
date: 25 Feb 1999

Good games never die - they just get ported to Java.

Hanging around the game forums and chat lines over the last few years has convinced us that there's a permanent market for good games, even when they have no graphics, no ravening heavies with phalloguns and no 24-bit gory body parts splatting off dungeon walls. A good story will do it every time. In this case, the good story is of course The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in its 1984 incarnation as one of the most popular text adventure games ever released by the legendary Infocom.

The game is no longer commercially distributed, but we've had so many requests for it that we've decided to re-release it as shareware, in three formats: as Mac and PC programs and as a Z (the language used by Infocom to write their games) data file that can be run with any of the many Z interpreters available (there's something peculiarly satisfying about playing HHGG on a Newton or PalmPilot...)

The first thing we've done is to team up with our friends at Comic Relief to release the game into Java form on their web site for this year's Red Nose Day. This is to encourage people to donate to a very, very good cause, having hopefully had some fun from the game on-line. There is also nothing to stop you downloading the data file from the site. There are just two things we ask in return - firstly do play it on-line (the whole CR site is sponsored and the more traffic it gets, the happier the sponsors are) and, if you do download it, please make a donation to the tremendous work Comic Relief is doing.

Our primary motive for re-releasing the game (in whatever form) is not to make huge sums of money from it, but to give something useful back to the loyal community that's built up around the Hitch Hiker's Guide. The shareware fee will be nominal and under the original shareware 'honour' ethos, rather than providing a crippled version that makes people register and pay before all features are available.

If you're interested in being notified when we finally manage to rerelease the Mac and PC versions, please subscribe on the front page of douglas adams's site


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