Inform 7 is an interactive fiction authoring system. It is notable for its use of a subset of natural language and for being rule based, rather than object based.
Although it is (in name) the successor to Inform 6, the syntax of the language is entirely different to its predecessor. The link to Inform 6 lies under the hood: an Inform story is translated first to Inform 6, which is then compiled into Glulx or Z-Code by the Inform 6 compiler. This means that works produced using Inform 7 can be played on Z-Code interpreters (although there are some modifications required, as, for example, Inform 7 games tend to use a larger stack than Inform 6).
Inform 7 was first released as a public beta on April 30th, 2006.
Early Inform 7 games
On March 1st, 2006, three example games were released (see the rgif announcement: Three Games in Inform 7). These games were:
- Bronze (Emily Short). Example of pathfinding and room adjacency. This is an updated version of the same game from Speed-IF Gruff.
- Damnatio Memoriae (Emily Short). Example of link-based magic as first seen in Savoir-Faire.
- The Reliques of Tolti-Aph (Graham Nelson). Example of RPG-style combat and magic systems.
Inform 7 was released as a public beta on April 30th, 2006. Three more example games were released at the same time:
- Glass (Emily Short). Example of managing conversation flow.
- When in Rome 1: Accounting for Taste (Emily Short). Example of directable NPC and an NPC with random characteristics.
- When in Rome 2: Far from Home (Emily Short). Example of NPC with random characteristics and behaviors.
All six example games are available from the Complete Examples page.
Public Beta Releases
The latest is build 6M62 (24 Dec 2015).
Timeline of Builds
- Changes to Inform (Build 6M62 and earlier)
- Change History (records all changes back to build 3K27). Internet Archive link.
- Build 6L38 change log. Internet Archive link.
- Build 6M62 change log. Internet Archive link.
Authors of Inform 7
See also: Inform7.com, the official website.
- Graham Nelson: creator of Inform 7. Also wrote the documentation.
- Emily Short: wrote the examples and the Test Suite used for regression testing. Also was the first extensions librarian.
- Andrew Hunter: author of the Mac OS X user interface and of the overall visual design.
- Toby Nelson: support and modernization of the Mac OS X interface.
- David Kinder: author of the Windows user interface.
- P. F. Chimento: author of the GNOME user interface for Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.
- Adam Thornton: ported the underlying tools for Linux.
- Peter Seebach and Cedric Knight: hosted the official website.
- Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin and Jesse McGrew: theoretical guidance and advice.
- Sonja Kesserich: was a notable tester.
- Christopher Armstrong: extensions librarian.
- Inform7.com, the new homepage as of April 23rd, 2009.
- Inform News. Read the latest news on Inform 7. (403 error as at 16 Aug 2020.)
- Inform: The Bug Tracker, powered by Mantis. (404 error as at 16 Aug 2020.)
- Inform's Suggestion Forum, powered by UserVoice. (404 error as at 16 Aug 2020.)
- Inform Downloads. Download a version for Windows, Mac, Linux etc.
General articles about Inform 7
- SPAG #44 - Interviews with Graham Nelson and Emily Short about Inform 7.
- Inform 7 at IFiction-FR, the French IF wiki. "Inform 7 and the future of IF games in foreign languages".
- Inform 7 in Wikipedia.
- The SourceForge page of Gnome Inform 7 for Linux.
- A Comparison of TADS 3 and Inform 7 by Eric Eve.
Third-party documentation, tips, and examples
- The Inform 7 Handbook by Jim Aikin. (Italian translation by Leonardo Boselli.)
- Beginner's Guide to Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 is a wikibook begun by Brandon Felger in October 2006. (It looks like it was largely abandoned by 2014.)
- Créer des jeux textuels avec Inform 7 (homepage), French beginners' manual, by Eric Forgeot.
- Write a Text Adventure With Inform 7 by Stephen Granade.
- Inform 7 for Programmers, 6 Jan 2009, build 5U92 by Ron Newcomb.
- Inform 7: An Unofficial Documentation Index by Andrew Plotkin, building on the earlier I7 index by Sean Barrett. This page now contains the following message: This index is no longer supported. The Writing With Inform manual has been updated, and the links on this page are broken. A current version of this index can be found on the Inform 7 web site, as the General Index of the manual. The General Index is also included in the I7 application under "Documentation".
- Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 (homepage) by Aaron A. Reed.
- Category:Inform 7 at the Rosetta Code wiki.
- Inform 7 Tips by Matt Wigdahl:
Notable newsgroup and forum postings about Inform 7:
- Inform 7: Public Beta, original announcement by Graham Nelson, April 30 2006.
- Inform 7: Possible future developments, raif post by Emily Short and Graham Nelson, January 2007.
- "Inform 7" is the wrong name, raif thread begun March 29, 2007. "Natural Inform" was the working name for Inform 7, and is what the compiler binary ".ni" stands for. However, Graham Nelson states: "Natural Inform is not officially the name of anything."
- Introducing Inform 7 - a semi-brief overview of I7 at Stephen Granade of Brass Lantern.
- Some Observations on Using Inform 7 - article by Emily Short.
- Natural Language Game Programming with Inform 7 - article by Liza Daly, June 2006, for O'Reilly's ONLamp.com.
- "Informless" - Shamus Young reviews Inform 7 for Twenty Sided, December 2006.