As a treat to the fans of Zork, I have designed a t-shirt. This will also be my entry in the Game.Life 4 contest (although I am entering at the last moment).

I enjoy the rich sound and colorful graphics that we have available to us currently thanks to HD video, surround sound audio and GPU-based graphics technologies. And yet, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the classic turn-based adventure games from the company Infocom "way back in the day". The history of Infocom is well documented online and some of their games are available for you to play online for free.

What I appreciated most about the Zork games was that I was required to do all of the mental lifting. In other words, at a young age, I had to use my own imagination, problem solving and mental visualization skills to find my way through to the end of the game. Playing was enjoyable because I wasn't concerned with sensory overload that is common in some of today's fast-paced 3D gaming titles. The older games definitely weren't perfect. They generally lacked sound, but they were fun.

This short 'ible is my tribute to the Infocom classics Zork I, II, III & Beyond Zork.........

Step 1: Quote on a T-Shirt...

Usually, the reason people remember certain games are because they love or hate one or more of these:


  1. unique game sounds and musical score
  2. awesome graphics or video sequences
  3. button/keyboard sequences for special movement
  4. or catchy phrases or quotes from a character or in-game narrator


In the Game.Life 4 contest, we are encouraged to create something in real life that is inspired by something in a game. This could be any item, art, clothing.. etc. For my entry, I chose to design a tribute t-shirt around the famous Zork quote:

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.”


This is the dreadful phrase you never wanted to see on the screen after you entered a room, a cellar or some secret place in the game. Usually it meant that you had very few moves left to find a light of some sort. Otherwise, the game would end in your gruesome death.

I wanted the design to be complete with the gaming prompt (>).


<p>That was the first funny message in Zork as I recall. I remember thinking &quot; ohhh....it's got JOKES in it!. I paid $50 for a game to play on my Apple II computer.</p><p>Elegant t-shirt graphics. Cool.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a Nerd and a garage inventor. My dad used to say, "There he goes...off to 'The Lair' to invent something. Try not ... More »
More by M.Hawse:Backyard Garden Boxes - On the Cheap! Tribute T-Shirt - Infocom's Zork I, II, III & Beyond Zork Hand-Painted Pottery | Family Fun in the Studio 
Add instructable to: