Gratuitous Fireworks

No list here could possibly do justice to all of the people who deserve thanks. Here are a few names, all the same.


The word filfre was coined by Steve Meretzky, and refers to gratuitous fireworks celebrating authors. The photograph above was taken by Michael Lane in Seattle in 2005.


Interactive fiction as we now understand it was created by many people: Will Crowther, Don Woods, the authors, editors, testers, artists and marketing folk of Infocom, Inc., and the inventors of design systems past and present, to say nothing of the many thousands of authors who have tried their hands at IF since the 1980s.

Inform was created by Graham Nelson.

Emily Short advised on the design from its very early days, and went on to write almost all of the Examples, the Recipe Book, and five of the six complete examples. Andrew Plotkin's advice was also instrumental.

Early testing was by Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin and Sonja Kesserich. At the other end of the testing process, we'd like to thank Jesse McGrew and Aaron Reed especially for helping to push boundaries.

More than a thousand different people have submitted bug reports, and we would be lost without them. This page would be the length of the credits from The Lord of the Rings if we named them all here.

The Mac OS X user interface, and its overall visual design, are by Andrew Hunter.

The Windows user interface is by David Kinder.

The GNOME user interface for Linux distributions is by P. F. Chimento.

The underlying tools for Linux are ported by Adam Thornton.

Debian packages for i386 are made by Eric Forgeot.

Arch Linux packages for i686 are made by Jonathan Liu.

Ubuntu packages for AMD64 are made by Christopher Armstrong.

Christopher Armstrong is the project librarian for user-contributed extensions and release templates.

Aaron Reed maintains the six complete example projects.

The website runs on a content management system devised for us by Liza Daly of Threepress Consulting Inc. Our screencast auteur is Aaron Reed.

The Treaty of Babel reference software, handling bibliographic data for IF, is by L. Ross Raszewski. The incomparable IFDB website is a project by Mike Roberts, who also leads our fellow design system, TADS 3.

The Z-machine was created by Joel Berez and Marc Blank in 1979, but substantially improved by many hands in years to follow. Duncan Blanchard and Dave Lebling deserve particular mention, and Stu Galley, Infocom's own local historian, kept notes. Work by Mark Howell, the InfoTaskForce, Paul David Doherty and others led to the first post-Infocom Z-machine implementations. Inform's own form of Z is built on Frotz, by Stefan Jokisch.

The Glulx machine was created by Andrew Plotkin. Inform uses two interpreters for it: Andrew's reference interpreter Glulxe, and Iain Merrick's speed-optimised Git.

The Inform 6 code base used by Inform 7 is maintained by David Kinder.