§25.9. An introductory booklet and postcard
When IF is aimed particularly at people who have never played IF before, there are certain conventions which it's a good idea to explain, or players will simply not know what to do. It can become a chore writing a clear set of instructions, and then there is the further nuisance of explaining about the need for an interpreter program to play the IF story file.
To alleviate this, Inform can "Release along with an introductory booklet", as for instance in this example:
Release along with cover art, the introductory booklet, a file of "Collegio magazine" called "Collegio.pdf" and a file of "The mating call of the green wyvern" called "Mating Wyverns.mp3".
The introductory booklet is a standard 8-page PDF file, written and designed by Emily Short, which contains all the basic information needed for a player to get started. It has been written to be as general-purpose as possible, in the hope of being useful for a range of widely different works of IF. There will certainly be works to which it would not be an appropriate supplement, and some authors will certainly prefer to write their own notes for players, but of course it is not compulsory. By making it available as a convenience, the authors of Inform do not intend to say that these are the "official" instructions or that others are not. It is simply intended as a time-saver.
As an alternative, or a supplement, it's also possible to:
Release along with an introductory postcard.
which supplies a standard postcard about IF (everything new players need to know, at one glance) written and designed by Andrew Plotkin and Lea Albaugh.