Since Joe Pranevich has already written great posts on Sierra’s early Hi-Res Adventures and Scott Adams's Questprobe games, I thought I should also do my duty and acquaint myself with some company making text adventures with graphics. With lot of options to choose from, I finally decided on a British gaming company, Level 9, mainly because I had never played any of their games, but also because after Infocom, they had the largest catalogue of text adventures.
The story of Level 9 begun with three brothers, Pete, Mike and Nick Austin. It was a family-based company, and as the years went by, they hired at least their father and sister. The exact details of the founding of Level 9 seem a bit hazy, with Brass Lantern and Digital Antiquarian giving two conflicting set of dates for their early years. What everyone seems to agree on is that the brothers begun by making an extension of BASIC on a rare computer called NASCOM, but the company manufacturing these computers promptly went bankrupt soon after.
|Austin brothers in 1987.|
On the background, Ingrid Bottomlow,
a character from Gnome Ranger