April 30, 2006

Announcing: Inform 7

by Nick Montfort · , 4:07 pm

Inform 7

After years of work and anticipation, Graham Nelson’s new interactive fiction development system, Inform 7, is out. The new system is in many ways more different from Inform 6 than OS 10 was from System 9: Code looks like natural language (like English prose, specifically), a new and well-crafted IDE from Andrew Hunter is provided, and numerous improvements to the language and world model have been incorporated. Games still compile to z-code, however, to run on the standard interpreters that run earlier Inform games.

Copious examples are provided in and alongside the manual, Writing with Inform. An excerpt, for example, from the source code to Emily Short’s Bronze, mentioned previously here on GTxA:

The warning sign is scenery in the Entrance Hall. The description of the warning sign is “You know the words by heart, having heard them first from your father, and then studied them yourself on many more recent occasions.” The printing of the sign is “Those who seek to leave the castle depart at peril of their lives and souls, unless another servant be provided in exchange, or a fixed term of absence be granted by their master.” Understand “old” or “familiar” as the sign.

Stephen Granade also offers an overview of Inform 7 on Brass Lantern.