avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Tuesday June 18, 2024, 9:04 pm
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Inform: Past, Present, Future - Story of a Text Adventure Game Engine  (Read 6669 times)


  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 40,906
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
A nice long picture-heavy version of a talk given recently on the past and future of the text adventure game engines that set the standard for text adventure games, and powered such classics as Zork.

Inform is a domain-specific language, and its domain is the creation of interactive fiction. When it began in 1993, Inform was simply a new hacker tool for making what we used to call adventure games: that is, textual games with a turn cycle in which the player typed commands and the game then revealed an appropriate piece of story — a story partly generated dynamically, but partly following a narrative already laid out by the author. This is a genre of writing which began with recreational computing in the 1970s, then passed through a commercial phase in the 1980s. Inform is called Inform in part because of the classic works of a company called Infocom:



  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 9,755
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
I kind of skimmed about the first half of it, and then quickly scrolled through the rest.

I didn't realize that there even existed a programming language that used such natural (human) language in it. That was probably my biggest takeaway. Just seeing some of the sentences and being impressed that Inform was able to derive meaning from them.


  • Member
  • Joined in 2015
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • C# data manipulation junkie
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Inform: Past, Present, Future - Story of a Text Adventure Game Engine
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 05:43 PM »
Saw the title of this thread and felt obligated to keep it up to date with this finding!


I've always wanted to try programming punchcards... hah, just kidding! What an archive though!
If I do it more than 2 times I want to automate it in C#!