Have you ever wanted to make a game? But your lack of 3D modelling skills and knowledge of C ruined these plans. Well don’t fear, as long as you can write in prose you too can become a game designer.
Inform 7 is a program for creating Interactive Fiction, like the old classics of Zork, H2G2, and other Infocom titles. (I’ll be honest, I don’t know of many, before my time mostly)
Interactive Fiction(IF) games were story based games free of graphics (for the most part) so most of the action was going on in your head. No photorealistic models to build the scene for you. You would use simple commands like ‘use’ ‘say’ ‘go to’ etc to navigate and interact with this virtual world. No pressing X to Jason. But with the advent of 2D sprites and the ‘video game console’ the genre died down rather quickly leaving behind piles of dusty tapes.
However one man has been diligently working away at a program that can let you, the regular layman at home, work on your own IF game. The latest release, version 7, uses a new programming language(if it can be called that) which uses regular prose writing style and interprets that into game code.
It’ still has it’s nuances and you do have to stick to a certain style of writing to instruct Inform on where a room is located, what an object is. But a large part is written like a regular story, with no need to dip your toes into regular programming languages.
The multi-pane display is handy for seeing everything at a glance. And to get you started the second pane is used for the tutorial by default. I should point out the Windows version is a bit different in UI style to the OSX version
Overall it’s a very nifty program that lets you make games from a bygone era of gaming, I suggest folks give it a quick short.
Also to get you started with ideas and the style of IF games here’s Infocoms classic H2G2 remade by the BBC: H2G2 20th Anniversary remake