Open Source IF

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Open Source IF is interactive fiction that is released together with its source code. This allows other authors to study the source code and see how things were done. Unlike free software, open source software does not necessarily allow you to modify and redistribute the work. (It should be noted that this terminological difference is not universally accepted, as some people and organisations use open source software as a synonym of free software.) Free software Interactive Fiction will not be listed below, since it already has its own page.


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Interactive Fiction released as Open Source Software

Creative Commons Licenses

Although the Creative Commons licenses have not been specifically designed for software, they have nevertheless been used for several Interactive Fiction programs.

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

This license allows you to redistribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor, do not use it for commercial purposes, and release it under this same license.

NonCommercial Sampling Plus 1.0

This license allows you to copy and adapt the work, but only on the conditions that (1) it be used non-commercially; (2) the derivative work constitute a good-faith partial or recombined usage employing "sampling," "collage," "mash-up," or other comparable artistic technique, whether now known or hereafter devised, that is highly transformative of the original; (3) the original work is either only partially used, or forms an insubstantial portion of the derivative work, or the derivative work must be substantially transformed. Please refer to the license for further details.

Home-brew Licenses

These programs are released under licenses that the author's have written themselves. As such, details may vary and a careful reading of the license text is necessary.

Licenses that do not allow derivative works

For these works, the source code is provided for studying it only: you are not allowed to redistribute any modified versions of the game.

Licenses that do allow derivative works

These works do allow you to redistribute modified versions of the game, but place one or more restrictions on the process of changing or distributing that are incompatible with free software.

No Licensing Information

There are quite a lot of source code files on the IF Archive that do not come with any licensing information. As such, it is better not to assume that you can use this source code for your own works, unless you get explicit permission from the authors. For ports of a game to another authoring system, this means you must ensure that both the original author and the porter give you permission to use the code.

IF Abuses released as Open Source Software

Some programs written in IF authoring systems are nevertheless not interactive fiction, but (say) implementations of chess or Tetris. Those are generally called abuses, and are listed here separately.

Home-brew Licenses

Licenses that do not allow derivative works

  • Encyclopedia Frobozzica by Nino Ruffini, ported by Digby McWiggle to Inform 6. (Infocom Reference work. "Encyclopedia Frobozzica is copyright 1993, 1999 Activision, Inc. Used with permission." This permission presumably does not transfer to derivative works.)

Licenses that do allow derivative works

  • Lists and Lists by Andrew Plotkin, Inform 6. (Partially allows derivative works: "The Scheme interpreter source may be freely used, modified, and incorporated into other works." A Scheme interpreter and coding exercise.)

No Licensing Information

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