Adam Sommerfield

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Personal Information

Adam Sommerfield started in the world of text adventure games at the age of 7 playing Scott Adams games on his Commodore Plus-4 (a 7th Birthday present). Learning Basic, as many kids of the era did, he enjoyed creating simple text-only adventure games featuring himself and his friends in local places such as home, school, the park etc Later he enjoyed playing many of the homebrew and cottage-industry games, many published by Zenobi, on his ZX Spectrum +2. After graduating from West Nottinghamshire College with a HND in Computer Science he moved into the world of work, and that was the end of his initial dabble into text adventure games although a love of retro technology and 1980's computers and games remained.

In 2017 whilst researching 1950s MIT computer history Adam learned about the LISP language and the early artificial intelligence work, this prompted an interest in LISP which led to learning that a LISP-dialect called ZIL (Zork Implementation Language) had been created by MIT students in the late 1970's as part of their technology & tools to be used to create the brilliant Infocom games company and their text adventure games; shortly after renamed interactive fiction. After learning that it was possible to code in ZIL and create new games using Jesse McGrew's ZILF Adam set to work creating a small community to learn ZIL and promote its use alongside ZILF.

Contacting Jesse McGrew the pair started the "ZIL - Zork Implementation Language" on Facebook (see links below). Since then the use of ZIL and ZILF has steadily increased and the Facebook group enjoys active membership, including Tim Anderson (one of the original mainframe Zork implementors) and David Lebling (one of the founders of Infocom and author of several works of IF).

Organizational Credits

Organizational Credits