In May of 1996, Hercules started to make a SuperZZT game called "Voyager". It was the first game in the English language that he ever made. Having just found out about the ZZT community on the Internet, he wanted to have a company too. He decided to start up one, and called it Inferno Soft. At that time, Hydra was making his first English game as well (called "Fields of ZZT"). Hercules also started the ZZT games "Star Wars", "Desert of the Nomads" (both for ZZT). "Voyager" became "The Search For The Lost Dog". Real-life friends Olivier Cornelissen and Jasper Staal (LightningBolt/DoggyShop) both joined a couple of weeks later, and work on titles such as "Forest of ZZT", "Quest For The Immortals" and "Space Balls" was started.
Over the past few months, Jasper Staal totally neglected the work on his games. He was "banned" from Inferno Soft. Another real-life friend of Hercules, Alon De Maa (The Avatar) joined as our first official beta-tester, who was to test all of our finished games. Some of our games, like "Indiana Jones" made good progress.
Hercules and Hydra thought it was time for a new name for the company, because we were getting fed up with the name "Inferno Soft". Together we thought up the name "Interactive Fantasies". We had a lot of work in those days, changing the name in all of our products. Also, MeBo and Hydra made "King's quest ZZT" in about 3 weeks! Also, Hydra started working on our home page.
In October of 1997, our home page finally got online! Our first visitors started to come, and most of them thought we were a good, promising company. Our first games were released; "Indiana Jones", "Freak Da Cat", "King's quest ZZT", "Fantasy Of Freedom", "The Incredible Building", "The Search For The Lost Dog", and a demo of the innovative MZX game "Brotherhood". Hydra's real-life friend HM, and Anthony Bolan (Chili) both joined as official beta-testers.
In January, new members started to join Interactive Fantasies; Sir_C, HM, Chili, Zhacolian and EvilMario. Also, our page and company became fairly well-known in the ZZT community. Hercules started to work on a special MZX project: A Death Beyond Imagination.
yllek nadnerb, in those days still known as Brendan Kelly joined us. Also, "Quest For The Immortals", "Forest Of ZZT", and "Savage Isle" were released. More beta-testers, like Kyle Hill, Greedo7772, Tom Bowman and LordKadro were welcomed.
Zplayer, famous from the ZOP color box, returned to the ZZT community, now he was called XAbbott. He joined Interactive Fantasies and started work on "N" and "Earthworm Jim".
Hercules and I made the first issue of our magazine, still called IF Mag at that time. Also, after Htdra laid eyes on a preview version of "ZZT Arcades", master ZZT-OOP programmer Koopo (KuoYen Lo) joined.
Zenith and Lord of Chaos joined the, by now, very large company. Koopo's "ZZT Arcades" was released.
At this point in time, XAbbott left ZZT and IF (though he came back to ZZT later). Kev Carter (ex ZZTek) was hired in his place. By now, a rumor was spreading that IF would merge with the MZX company Eon Entertainment (in fact it was just something Eon-prez Colin Snover had suggested to Hercules). Some members, most noticeably HM and EvilMario (he already left for a few days), were getting fed up with the large company size as well. Near the end of August, we felt we had to take measures. The member-count of IF was reduced to 8 (Hercules, Hydra, HM, EvilMario, yllek, Zenith and LoC). Also, we got rid of the "official beta-testers idea". We thought everything was going well again...
More problems arose. Some guys wanted to change the name of IF, because they thought IF was a name for a porn company :). Koopo left ZZT, and so everyone thought that he had quit IF as well (in fact he was going to program MZX and stay with IF). Near the end of the month yllek left IF because he thought it was too "formal". Because of him leaving, and because he thought Koopo left as well, EvilMario also said goodbye. HM formed IF into the new Infinity Inc. The members of Infinity Inc were: HM, Hercules, Hydra, Zenith, Lord of Chaos and XAbbott.
On October the 17th, Hercules and Hydra came to an agreement. HM was saying Infinity Inc. was a new company and IF was dead. Hydra and Hercules did not think so. We thought it was a shame if Interactive Fantasies, the company which we were already part of for such a long time, would die. We decided to start it up again. The Agonizer returned, and we went looking for new members to join. By the end of the month, we had built up a great team of 10 people again: Hercules, Hydra, The Agonizer, Zenith, Koopo, Ethan Hunt, Blue Magus, Viper, Flatcoat Lab and Jeff Conroy.
This month, Blue Magus released "Jami's Undercity" and "Asmodeus 2.0". Also, Hercules came up with a demo of "A Death Beyond Imagination", and, after an extremely long delay, issue 3 of our magazine iFantasy was released.
Ethan Hunt released his first IF game, Ping Ball. Also Blue Magus made a small Z3 preview of Earth Rim Roamer, called the Laughing God. At Christmas, Hydra and The Agonizer came over to Hercules' place and made a small ZZT game together: Bear Hunting. As a sequel to this, Hydra and Hercules made another game dealing with rednecks: Beer Hunting :).
Issue four of iFantasy was released by Hercules. Blue Magus released updated versions of his games Asmodeus and Dungeon Master's Gallery (they now include comprehensive FAqs in HTML).
Koopo started work on his project Darkness Falls and released the first two episodes. Zenith finished work on ChickenWire. A demo of the RPG Flame Frost Blade Demo was brought to you by Flatcoat Lab. Hydra passed the Pazziton Chronicles on to Zenith (he first passed it on to Koopo, but he was too busy at the moment).
Koopo released the third episode of Darkness Falls. Hercules started work on a new ZZT game, called Post Apopleptic Chill.
iFantasy 5, made by Ethan Hunt, was released. Also, the small mini-game Red Light Zone by Hercules and Hydra was released. We have started to work on a small IF birthday world.
On the first of June our company celebrated its third birthday, and a small special Birthday World was released. Also, Hercules released the ZZT realism game Post Apopleptic Chill. Zenith quit ZZT but returned shortly after.
Zenith now really decided to quit IF, because he had been it for a year. To replace Zenith, Knightt joined IF on July 6. Shortly after this we lost two other members, Jeff Conroy and Viper. Jeff quit, because he doesn't like the idea of programming groups anymore and Viper felt like somebody else had to take his place, because he didn't release anything. This was sad, but all three left on friendly terms. To replace Jeff, Hercules got James Wong of Software Visions fame into IF! JawaTrader also joined IF. Hydra passed the Pazziton Chronicles on to Blue Magus and Hydra and Hercules released the funny mini-game "The Life of a Scotter". Flatcoat Lab released his artwork project Mosaic and changed his nickname to Venom. Blue Magus finished a remix of his game Jami's Undercity and Hercules starts work on An Ewok's Life Demo 2.0.
Blue Magus releases Deep December, a cool dungeon-exploring RPG. Venom finishes issue 6 of iFantasy.
Hercules finishes An Ewok's Life Demo 2.0. Sadly, On September 7 Blue Magus left Interactive Fantasies, because he thought IF has lost its status and was not a "badge of honor" anymore. A day later Ethan Hunt quit IF and ZZT. After talking to ex IF member DoggyShop for a long time about IF's problems, Hercules (with the suggestion of DoggyShop) started thinking about reforming IF once again (like in October 1998) and the remaining members (Hydra, The Agonizer, Venom, Koopo, Knightt, cygnus and Jawatrader) were mailed by Hercules about it. HM returned to his old company IF to replace Ethan. Jawatrader quit, because he was no longer interested in ZZT. Hercules was sort of forced to fire cygnus (mainly to get Blue Magus back into IF). Hercules did it on friendly terms, though. Blue Magus returned, because of that and Zenith returned as well (Hercules asked him to join again). The members of the new IF are: Hercules (president), Hydra (vice president), Knightt, HM, Venom, The Agonizer, Koopo, Zenith and Blue Magus. Zenith immediately released a game under IF, Magic Land Dizzy. A few days later, we welcomed the famous tseng to IF, which means that IF had 10 members again. Venom released the dungeon-exploring RPG Castlevania 827: Oh God not Again, the toolkit SNACK 4 and the IF ZZT Logo Animation. Hercules put his MegaZeux project, A Death Beyond Imagination, on hold.
Tseng released Welcome to Hell. Zenith finished the third game in the Dizzy series, Treasure Island Dizzy and a puzzle game called <untitled>.
Knightt finished Stupid RPG Disc Two and send it out to the beta-testers. A few hours later, however, he thought it sucked and decided to quit ZZT programming and Interactive Fantasies. After this sad event, the remaining 9 members started discussing who the 10th member should be. We thought of craNKGod, yllek (ex IF member), Almighty Cow, GipFace (formerly Sir_C, ex IF member) and more. Almighty Cow eventually joined and became the 10th member, which was cool. Blue Magus released iFantasy 7. Various group projects ideas passed and the Pazziton Chronicles were cancelled. Finally, we decided that we may pick up Death Gate (old IF group project) some time in the future.
Almighty Cow released the awesome MegaZeux game Endless Journey: Ethen's Test Chapter 1. This was also the first finished MegaZeux game ever released under IF. Venom released the second part of Mosaic (his ZZT art compilation).
Hydra released the sidescroller Freak da Cat 2 (in cooperation with MeBo) and Hydra and Hercules released another one of their famous mini-games, The Hague: City Behind the Dunes. Zenith finished the sequel to <untitled>, nEGATiVE. Tseng released Gem Hunter 3, a really large and cool ZZT game. A little later, Zenith decided to quit ZZT (for a while) and IF. A 10th member had to be chosen again and many people applied. craNKGod became the temporary 10th IF member and released his MegaZeux masterpiece Adlo. craNKGod quit the community (and IF as well) at January 30.
Robert Pragt, the talented and unknown Dutch ZZTer, joined Interactive Fantasies. Multiple events caused Blue Magus to quit. A few days later, Koopo also decided to say goodbye. One of the reasons was that IF isn't what it used to be. Of course, this was a very sad period, since Koopo and Blue Magus were two important members of IF, who had been with us for almost two years. A few days later, tseng decided to quit ZZT and therefore Interactive Fantasies as well. This was another sad loss to IF. However, IF managed to heal its wounds pretty soon. On February 25, both yllek (who came back to IF after his long absence) and Jacob Hammond joined IF. A few days later, on February 27, the talented ZZTer FreeZerBurn moved from Eagle Rock Interactive to IF and IF had ten members again. Hercules and The Agonizer finally released their MegaZeux multiplayer action game Brotherhood, after 3 years. Tseng released a new Gem Hunter 2 SE, before he quit IF (and ZZT at that time).
Hydra released iFantasy issue 8. HM started work on issue 9.
Jacob Hammond released three products on one day: ZZT Music Player/Ripper v2.1, Total Fades v2.0 and ASC2BRD.
We started work on the IF 4th Birthday World, this time with the help of some ex-IF members, too. Hydra and Hercules started to work on a new ZZT RPG, called Deceiving Guidance.
The IF 4th Birthday World was finally released, after a huge delay (it was supposed to be released at June 2).
Jacob Hammond released v2.0ag2 beta of ZIG (it was released under IF!). Some people started saying IF was very idle, and indeed, that was true. IF hadn't released a game since February 2000 and King's quest ZZT 2 was the only game to be released in the near future. To decrease the idleness of IF, changes were needed. Venom decided to quit IF, because he didn't work on his games much and he wanted a more productive/active ZZTer to take his place. Plans were made to bring IF back to its old glorious state. The first plan was to get Akwende (creator of the upcoming MZX game Final Fantasy: Dynasty Prelude) into IF. He was really interested in joining, but it would mean that IF had 11 members. Hercules discussed it with the IF members and everything seemed to be alright. However, Akwende didn't join yet, because he was really busy with college. The second plan was to make IF a 12-member company (at least temporarily). The plan was that Akwende and Draco (who was interested in joining IF after the downfall of Deep End). This plan was dropped. Then came another plan: The Agonizer was going to be an honorary member of IF, which meant that he would be the 11th member. Honorary member means that he'll probably never make anything in ZZT or MegaZeux anymore, but he's still in IF, because he has meant a lot to IF in the past and he has been with us since 1996. This would mean that IF had 2 open spots (since Venom quit). Everything was considered and it seemed like a good plan according to the IF members. Finally, Hercules decided to make IF a 12-member company again (whether temporarily or permanently). We welcomed three new members to IF: Draco, BenW and Chase Bramlage. BenW released his first product under IF: the cool artwork/programming collection "Ben There, Made This".
Hercules hadn't heard from Almighty Cow in a long time, so he decided to put him out of IF. The company has 10 members and 1 honorary member at this point. Chase Bramlage released disc 1 of his awesome ZZT game "N.E.O" (New Earth Operations). On September 30th, FreeZerBurn quit IF to become the new president of Eagle Rock Interactive.
HM finally finished iFantasy issue 9 (with the help of Hydra) and Robert Pragt started working on issue 10. WiL joined the company and IF was "full" again (10 members and 1 honorary member). WiL released a meta-GCS for ZZT, called Gobble_d_Gook.
Hydra and MeBo finally released the long-awaited huge ZZT game King's quest ZZT 2. Shortly after this, WiL released his first full-length game under the IF banner: the interactive movie Voyage of Four.
Robert Pragt released a remake of an old game of his, which never released before: Interstellar Police: Escape from Stall' Prison. Also, WiL released his innovative and well-programmed game Run-on. The preparations for the IF Annual ZZT Excellence Awards 2000 started.
The results of the IFAZEA 2000 were published and WiL released his ZZT inventory object managin/creating utility, iBag. Also, WiL released an update of Run-on. Hercules decided that IF needed some more MZXers, since it currently had none. After talking to the members about it, he opened up a small MegaZeux 'division' with 4 spots. Akwende (best known for FF:DP) and Thundercloud joined. IF had 13 members at this moment - 10 people in the ZZT/general 'division', 2 in the MZX 'division' and 1 honorary member (The Agonizer). Note that IF was still one company and the 'divisions' are just to show that IF was looking for some MZXers. A few days later, (on January 20th) BiG BuBBa quit Duky Inc and joined as well. However, after a day, BuBBa quit already and moved back to Duky Inc. The reason because of this is because he really had problems with quitting Duky Inc. On the same day, fejjy (Jeff Conroy) returned to IF, the company he used to be part of for about a year (in 1998/1999).
EmalkaY joined IF and took the final open spot in the 'MZX division'. Jacob Hammond released ZIG v2.0, a complete and debugged version of his Game Creating System.
The 'MZX division' and 'General/ZZT division' were merged again, seeing as it had no purpose anymore. Hydra and Hercules finally released Deceiving Guidance, their big atmospheric ZZT dungeon-crawler/RPG. Jacob Hammond released his music collection "Noise".
After talking to HM, Hercules decided to open up HM's spot to somebody else. HM didn't really care about ZZT anymore and wasn't involved in the community anymore, either. He decided to leave for now. The spot was immediately taken by the famous ZZTer Fishfood. EmalkaY released a demo of his upcoming game, Nonsense 2.
Jacob Hammond (Aetsch) released a kick-ass mini-game/engine, Scorched Earth ZZT, while WiL released a couple of things as well: largoABRAXIS (a small, but cool game), Am I #play or Not? (an update of his ZZT music collection) and WiL STK (an addition to Super Toolkit). He also updated his Game of the Month-winning Voyage of Four. Moreover, issue 10 of our company magazine iFantasy was released by Robert Pragt. It took a while, but it turned out to be a big and cool magazine. Jeff Conroy (fejjy) started work on the next issue. Hercules decided to "kick" yllek out of IF, because no one ever heard a word from him since September 2000. The open spot was taken by Theta14 (who abandoned AuroraSoft, the company he was president of), the co-winner of the Spring 2001 24 hours of ZZT contest and former company-mate of BenW. On May 31, Jojoisjo joined IF. We didn't have any open spots, but Hercules decided to give Jojoisjo The Agonizer's spot and to not really count an honorary member as a real member anymore. Hercules talked about this idea with Fishfood, Hydra and Rob Pragt, who all agreed with it. Jojoisjo decided to leave Lame Game, because it wasn't really active anymore and he had been given an opportunity to join IF before.
On June 2, IF celebrated its 5th anniversary! This year, there won't be a seperate IF birthday world for ZZT, but issue of 11 of iFantasy (which was being worked on by fejjy) would contain a special birthday section with submissions from the IF members.
Chase Bramlage released a ZZT game again -- Operation: Obrian-2. Interactive Fantasies wins several awards in Wayward's Nameless Awards 2001 for the following products: Deceiving Guidance - by Hercules and Hydra (Best Graphics, Best Gameplay, Best Title Screen, Best Dungeon Game, ZZT Game of 2001), Scorched Earth ZZT - by aetsch (Best Programming, Best Engine/Engine-based game) and #play 5 - WiL (Best Music).
BenW, who had now been in IF for a year, decided to quit because of his lack of inspiration and motivation. Once he'll get those back, he might re-apply.
Finally, IF's first group project for ZZT, Death Gate, was released! Death Gate was started back in 1998, but changed into the Pazziton Chronicles later on. However, that project got cancelled and Hercules later on revived Death Gate, which only now saw daylight. It includes stuff by Hercules, Hydra, WiL, Zenith and aetsch, plus some small contributions by BenW. WiL released two small, yet cool ZZT games -- Mazi Oog and Pac Man (which is a remake of the original by Lynx). Chase Bramlage remade disc 1 and 2 of Boof and finished disc 3. He released the trilogy in one package: Boof Remix. Meantee joined IF, taking the open spot that BenW left behind in August. Also, since Draco wasn't going to use ZZT anymore, Hercules and him agreed that he would be replaced when Hercules found someone worthy of replacing Draco. On the 22nd, coolzx moved from Random Inc to IF and we gave a warm welcome to this prominent game-maker and artist. aetsch and Hercules picked up their old idea of redesigning the IF page. aetsch made a first lay-out preview.
More work was done on the page redesign -- aetsch redid the design again, wizdom and Dragonlord started working on scripts as well, Hercules implented Newspro scripts, etc. It was by no way done, though. Chase Bramlage released v1.2 of Boof Remix, and aetsch became the second vice-president of Interactive Fantasies, next to Hydra.
Akwende decided to quit IF, since he already quit MZX and the MZX scene a while before, he was no longer interested in working on MZXAK 2.0 at that time, and he felt like someone else could better take his place. Lynx, the promising ZZTer and real-life friend of long-time IF member WiL, joined up. A few days later, Hercules decided to (temporarily) removed EmalkaY, since he hadn't heard from him in months (with consensus from his vice-presidents). Zanno, another big new talent, joined. WiL released Pipeline 99, his biggest game ever, in late November. This was his final IF release, and left because of college. It was a shame to see one of IF's most important members go, but we wished WiL the best of luck.
On December 1st, Leamas (creator of LOME, and Thief 3) joined up, taking the open spot that WiL left behind. The Agonizer was removed as an honorary member, since it didn't really mean anything: Hercules hadn't heard from The Agonizer in many a month, and he hasn't been ZZTing since halfway 1999.
Leamas and Hercules finished their ZZT joint-project, A Community X-Mas, which was well-received among most ZZTers. Also, EmalkaY returned to the MZX scene and Interactive Fantasies, after a period of absence. This was of course a happy, and somewhat unexpected event. A day after joining, he released the full version of his MegaZeux comedy, Nonsense 2, bringing the scene and IF another cool MZX game! Lynx released his first game under IF: Trapper. The results of the IFAZEA 2001 were published on January 26.
After several setbacks, fejjy was finally able to release iFantasy 11, which also includes a really small IF 5th Birthday World section. Zanno was removed from IF's memberlist, seeing as he quit ZZT and the community, but never left Hercules a message about IF.
Our vice-president and webdesigner Jacob Hammond (aka aetsch) informs Hercules of his departure from Interactive Fantasies. He is going to attend to certain things in real-life and it is uncertain if or when he will return.
Meantee, the talented artist and ZZTer, decided to quit ZZT, after leaving and re-entering the community a bunch of times in the past year. This meant he also quit IF. We were happy to welcome Wayward, creator of some great ZZT games, to IF. On a worse note, our current server (Mousetrap) crashes and no longer offers hosting to ZZTers afterwards. With a bit of luck, Hatrack (owner of Mousetrap) was able to save my files. The search for a new server begins...
The Summer 24 hours of ZZT contest didn't get any official results, but IF member Theta14 was chosen as the winner by host zzblue. On the last of August, long-time IF member Robert Pragt decides to quit ZZT and IF. The company slowly seems to be falling apart, with departing members and a non-functioning website.
Maverick and josdw1 of DigitalMZX offer us hosting at their website. This was very good news, but several CGI problems came to life and wouldn't stop bothering us for a while. On the 10th of September, BenW (former member of IF) decides to return, after Theta14 informed him of the open spot. Two days later, Robert Pragt also decides to return to IF, under a new nickname: PlastikFish. This looked to be a good month.
After a long period of slumber, without any releases or progress on the website (which was still facing the same CGI problems), it looked as if the company would slowly come to its end. Suddenly, however, progress was made on fixing the CGI problems. The website got launched again (with notice on z2, the main ZZT site), albeit it with a bunch of Newspro problems that still needed to be fixed. The good news didn't last too long. The server would definitely not support Perl. Luckily, Herc managed to install two newsPHP scripts and easily convert the old news archives (on Christmas Eve). The site got launched again, this time for real. Fishfood and EmalkaY were removed from the members list, seeing as Fishfood left ZZT quite a while ago and EmalkaY had vanished into thin air. Hydra, with some help of Hercules, started working on PHP/MySQL to bring back the ZZT/MZXer profiles and the review archive.
Hercules decided to take care of the beta-testing of Chase Bramlage's Final Fantasy Disc One, seeing as Chase had been missing for a long time. The game finally got released. The two Finnish MegaZeuxers Marcus and Tommy joined Interactive Fantasies -- hopefully their talents would boost IF's MegaZeux department. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Lynx, who had to leave because of personal reasons.
After getting married, the ZZT oldbie Mono came back in contact with Hercules and joined Interactive Fantasies as a writer. Hercules also removed long-time member Chase Bramlage from the member roster, seeing as he had been missing for over a year.
Tommy released a nifty remake of his MegaZeux game "Zombie Quest", which he made together with Jauhis. On May 20th, Jauhis (a real-life friend of IF members Marcus and Tommy) joined IF as well. With the three talented Finnish MZXers in our ranks, MZXing prospects for IF look good at this point!
coolzx informed Hercules that he no longer had any time for his old hobby, ZZT, and was quitting IF.
News from the IF headquarters has come few and far between in the past year. The Finnards of IF (Tommy, Jauhis, Marcus) released a few kick-ass MegaZeux titles, which was pretty much the only highlight. The MZX team of IF got another reinforcement with the return of EmalkaY, who has been in IF twice before (January 2001 - November 2001; January 2002 - Decmeber 2002).
Hercules decided to remove BenW and Wayward from the member list, due to the fact that he lost contact with both of them.
After a year of virtually zero news, Robert Pragt released his ZZT game Sabotage. Hercules has spent five months in Indonesia between January and June 2005.
Interactive Fantasies celebrated its 10th anniversary! Half of the member list seemed inactive or to just have disappeared, and new releases are a rarity, but IF is now the only ZZT company who has lived on for ten years.
Hercules cleaned up the members list by removing three inactive members whom no one had every heard from anymore. These three members were long-time member Jeff Conroy, Gentoo (also known as Theta14), and Jojoisjo. At this point, IF was back at 10 members, most of which are not really active anymore. Added EmalkaY's Nonsense 3 Demo to the website (this MegaZeux release had already been out for a while, but not previously added to the website).
ex-Interactive Fantasies members: