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§2.12. Use options

One more preliminary. Inform has a small number of optional settings which affect the result of translating the source. The sentence:

Use American dialect.

makes the resulting work of IF use American spellings (except where the designer spells otherwise) and the American convention for spelling out numbers (thus, "one hundred seventeen" not "one hundred and seventeen"). Similarly:

Use the serial comma.

uses a comma when printing lists: thus "Julian, Dick, George, and Anne" rather than "Julian, Dick, George and Anne". A more profound change is made by

Use scoring.

which introduces the concept of a numerical score - something which modern authors of interactive fiction often feel is inappropriate, which is why Inform only provides it on request. Two alternative options:

Use full-length room descriptions.
Use abbreviated room descriptions.

change the normal way room descriptions are shown: normally they are given in full, but in abbreviated mode, they're never given. (The latter is a bad idea in any publicly released story, but is provided for completeness and in case it may help testing.) Alternatively, we can set the traditional Infocom-style of room description to any of VERBOSE, BRIEF and SUPERBRIEF:

Use VERBOSE room descriptions.
Use BRIEF room descriptions.
Use SUPERBRIEF room descriptions.

The default is now VERBOSE, but until 2010 it was BRIEF.

Next we have:

Use undo prevention.

which disables the UNDO verb, both in play and after death, for the benefit of stories which are heavily randomised and where we do not want players to keep on UNDOing until they get a random outcome which is to their taste. (Many players consider UNDO to be their birthright, and that any work using this option is an abomination: indeed, it has even been suggested that this section of the Inform documentation be censored. To use the option is to court controversy if not outright hostility.)

We can combine any number of options in a single "Use" sentence, so for example:

Use American dialect and the serial comma.

brings about both of these changes.

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