(Redirected from Natural Inform)
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|Systems||Windows, macOS, Linux, browser|
|System details||An online editor is available: see Borogove.|
|Latest version||10.1.2 / 31 Aug 2022|
|Notes||See also: Inform 6; Inform.|
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Inform 7 (also known as just "Inform") 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 Inform 7 was the successor to Inform 6, the syntax of the language is entirely different to its predecessor. The original link to Inform 6 lay under the hood: an Inform story was translated to Inform 6, which is then compiled into Glulx or Z-Code by the Inform 6 compiler. (As of version 10, this translation is more indirect and optional, but still used in the majority of cases.) This means that works produced using Inform 7 can in principle 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, and works often max out the capacity of even the version 8 Z-Machine as they grow).
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.
Timeline of Builds
See also the version history, which includes release notes.
(Releases from 2006-2015 were primarily referred to at the time with the build codes shown here, such as 6M62. With the release of version 10 in 2022, the version scheme changed, and old releases were retrospectively given numeric version numbers like 9.3 - noted in announcement.)
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 current homepage.
- Inform downloads. Download versions for Windows, Mac, Linux etc.
- Official documentation. (Or an unofficial remix of the same material, with examples editable/playable in a browser.)
- Inform 7 Git repository, where you can report bugs, browse and download the source code, build it yourself, etc.
(Made public on 28 April 2022, at which point the version code was v10.1.0-beta+6U93; source code history goes back to 2019, build code 6Q13.)
- The GitHub page of the Inform 7 IDE for Linux.
General articles about Inform 7
- SPAG #44 - Interviews with Graham Nelson and Emily Short about Inform 7 (2006).
- Inform 7 (archive) at IFiction-FR, the French IF wiki. "Inform 7 and the future of IF games in foreign languages".
- Inform 7 in Wikipedia.
- A Comparison of TADS 3 and Inform 7 by Eric Eve.
Third-party documentation, tips, and examples
- Inform 7 documentation and resources post on the intfiction forum. (With updates for release 10, as of 2023.)
- The Inform 7 Handbook by Jim Aikin, version 2.0 for 6L38 (2014). (Or on readthedocs.io. Print-on-demand link.)
- Inform 7 Programmer's Manual, 15 August 2011, build 6G60 (PDF) by Ron Newcomb, or HTML version.
- Older version: for Inform 7 for Programmers, 6 Jan 2009, build 5U92.
- 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 (2007).
- Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 (homepage) by Aaron A. Reed (2010).
- Inform 7 Examples, the six original games and others updated to work with current versions of Inform, curated and maintained by Alex Proudfoot.
- Inform 7 equivalents of Inform 6 constructs, by Emily Short (2007).
- Category:Inform 7 at the Rosetta Code wiki.
- Inform 7 Tips by Matt Wigdahl:
- Good coding style in Inform 7. Discussion at the IF Community Forum. January 7, 2016.
- Structuring Inform 7 code by Juhana Leinonen. April 22, 2016.
- The Imitable Process of Ryan Veeder by Ryan Veeder. Making a map, choosing room details, and organizing code in Inform 7. August 10, 2016.
- Friends of Inform 7, an unofficial space for collaboration on various Inform-7-related projects.
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."
- The former suggestion forum (archive) powered by UserVoice (since closed).
- Graham Nelson, 'Inform 7 v10.1.0 is now open-source' (IntFiction forum, April 28 2022).
- Introducing Inform 7 (2006) - a semi-brief overview of I7 at Stephen Granade of Brass Lantern.
- Some Observations on Using Inform 7 (2006) - article by Emily Short.
- Natural Language Game Programming with Inform 7 (archive) - article by Liza Daly, June 2006, for O'Reilly's ONLamp.com.
- "Informless" - Shamus Young reviews Inform 7 for Twenty Sided, December 2006.
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