Complete Examples

Six of the seven earliest I7 works

Open pages of a book This page is something of a historical curiosity now. When Inform 7 was launched, in April 2006, it looked nothing like any previous system. In particular, it ran on natural language, and we thought that people would be sceptical that this could be sustained enough to design complete works of IF. The documentation was filled with small examples, but those after all were small. Mystery House Possessed (2005), the first Inform 7 work published, had been written in a very early dialect and didn't read well.

So we worked up some of the larger examples into full games. This turned out to be a good test of how rapid the system was - Reliques was completed in under a fortnight, for instance.

We first thought to publish them as "worked examples" to go into an appendix at the back of the Inform documentation, demonstrating the whole system in the round. But in the end we felt they were too large, and that it would be much tidier to publish them here instead. (Each link leads to a mini-website for the project in question, created using Inform’s own publishing feature, so that’s another demonstration of a sort.)

Inevitably, Inform has moved on quite a way from the first public release of Inform 7. Some of the things done in fiddly ways here would be easier with today's Inform. But we'd like to thank Aaron Reed for tactfully modernising some of these, especially Reliques.

Note also that the Interactive Fiction Database lists a number of other games written in Inform for which the complete source text has been released: this link searches IFDB for them.

Complete Games in Inform

Link to project Bronze, by Emily Short (2006).

A puzzle-oriented adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with an expansive geography for the inveterate explorer. Features a detailed adaptive hint system to assist players who get lost, as well as a number of features to make navigating a large space more pleasant.

Link to project Glass, by Emily Short (2006).

A conversation-oriented adaptation of Cinderella, taking place in one room. Features non-player characters who seek to bring about certain conversational resolutions, a variety of additional verbs, and a narrative with multiple endings.

Link to project Damnatio Memoriae, by Emily Short (2006).

14 AD. Agrippa Postumus, grandson of the recently-deceased Augustus, tries to avoid death at the hands of the next emperor, Tiberius. At his disposal: a couple of old manuscripts, a lamp, and a recalcitrant slave. And a powerful knowledge of the occult affinities of things.

Link to project When in Rome 1: Accounting for Taste, by Emily Short (2006).

Manhattan, May, 1954. The last few years, you've settled into a routine. You work at the bank, you go home, you occasionally have dinner with your mother. It is all acceptably ordinary... One day a strange creature crosses your path, and disrupts the schedule entirely. When in Rome is designed as a lunchtime game: there are five episodes, each of which may be played to a conclusion within about fifteen minutes.

Link to project When in Rome 2: Far from Home, by Emily Short (2006).

No one can know the truth. Even your mother thinks you've set yourself up as a Private Investigator. The rest of the secret had better stay between you, your secretary Esther, and your autographed photo of Joe DiMaggio.

Link to project The Reliques of Tolti-Aph, by Graham Nelson (2005).

This piece of nonsense started from a feeling that the Inform documentation examples showed off many IF-like situations involving the modelling of landscape, people and items, but not much that resembled traditional computer programming. To force it to involve some interesting coding, ROTA was devised as a role-playing game, involving lots of randomness, book-keeping and even the dynamic creation of a map during play.