Inspired by Conrad Cook's post over in the "Other Development Systems" subforum
, I'd like to make a single-page resource for people who are just stumbling into the world of interactive narrative, wanting to make a story, and wondering what system would be best for them to use. I'm picturing this as a list of profiles listing the basic information about each system, with lots of links to help people find out more. (UI-wise, I'd love to make the page filterable by various criteria, and provide the ability to link to particular profiles.) As far as scope, I think it should be very wide-ranging as to which systems to include, from hypertext to parser IF to Ren'Ai to choice-based games.
Here's a list off the top of my head: TADS 2, TADS 3, Inform 6, Inform 7, Quest, Hugo, ADRIFT, ChoiceScript, Twine/Twee/AdventureCow, Undum, Ramus, Ren'Py, Vorple, Bloomengine, SCUMM
However! That's a lot of writing to do, much of it on things I don't necessarily know about. So, I need your help! You could suggest a system that I don't have listed, or you could write up a profile. (Or... both?) Stylistically, I'd like to keep a neutral-to-positive tone and focus on the big distinctions between systems, while remaining fairly concise. If you contribute a profile, let me know if you want authorial credit and/or a link to your website. I reserve the right to edit for tone or grammar/spelling.
Here's an example profile, for Inform 7, which demonstrates the categories of information that I think it would be useful to have:
What does it make:
Inform 7 is for creating text-based interactive stories with a modern-style parser. It has some support for the inclusion of images and sound.How does the author use it:
Inform 7 is a rules-based programming language with a distinctive natural language syntax. The built-in world model is fairly simple, but there are many user-contributed extensions that support a wide variety of modified behaviors. Inform 7 has an Integrated Design Environment that allows the author to view the code and story side by side and automates some tasks.How does the reader/player use it:
Players type commands to advance the story. (Some extensions create clickable hyperlinks or menu-style navigation.)
Inform 7 is capable of creating stories in two different formats: z-code and Glulx. Both require interpreters to run. Z-code is the smaller, lighter format; it can only be used for smaller games, but it has interpreters available for almost every imaginable platform. Glulx can be used for larger projects, and allows images and sounds.Web capable?
Yes. The z-code interpreter "Parchment" is fully functional and stable, and the Glulx interpreter "Quixe" is in development (though it does not yet support the image and sound functionality of Glulx). Inform 7 can automate web-ready releases with either interpreter. For further web integration, see the profile on Vorple.Main/official site: http://inform7.com/"Cloak of Darkness" Implementation:http://www.firthworks.com/roger/cloak/inform/index.htmlDocumentation and support:
Built-in documentation, also available at http://inform7.com/learn/manuals/
Jim Aikin's "Inform 7 Handbook" http://www.musicwords.net/if/i7hb.htm
Ron Newcomb's "Inform 7 for Programmers" (pdf) www.plover.net/~pscion/Inform%207%20for ... ammers.pdf
Aaron Reed's "Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7" http://inform7.textories.com/
Further support links at viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3988
Support forum (be sure to mention Inform 7 in your subject line) at viewforum.php?f=7Tags:
has an IDE, parser IF, Turing-complete, web capable
(I welcome feedback on the above profile. I think I may have said some things that are no longer true. Also, I have no idea whether or not to capitalize "glulx." And I use a lot of hyphens, all the time. I'm also not sure where to mention playfic.com -- since it's a pruned-down version of Inform 7, perhaps it should get its own profile?)