How to distribute Inform Glulx games as standalone apps
When distributing a Glulx game (or a Z-code game for that matter), one may reasonably want to offer a Mac or Windows native app, rather than a game file with some instructions on downloading an interpreter.
(You should always make the portable game file available too, of course.)
Use Simon Christiansen's AndroidIF project. Instructions are available there.
Build a Windows installer using NSIS. This installs Gargoyle, the game file, and shortcuts to tie them together.
(NSIS is particularly convenient in that it can be run on Mac or
Linux, creating a Windows-ready
The setup is a directory with these files:
Most of these files are in the
distribution. You can drop all the interpreters you're not using. (For a
Z-machine game, keep
frotz.exe instead of
You can condense all the license files into one
play-if-card.pdf is available from
the PR-IF web site.
Also write a
READ-ME.html and create a
(cover art icon).
You then create a file
wininstaller.nsi. This is the config
file that NSIS uses to build the installer. Feel free to snarf
and modify it to your needs.
When customizing this, be sure to distinguish between "GAMETITLE" -- a software key, no spaces -- and "GAME TITLE", the human-readable title of the game.
TODO. For Hadean Lands, Zarf offered a zip file containing the game file and Mac Gargoyle. This is not ideal -- the player has to launch Gargoyle and then select the game file manually.
You can launch Gargoyle with a given game from the command line:
open -a Gargoyle GAMEFILE.gblorb
So this might be rigged up with a shell script. But it would be better to wrap everything, Gargoyle and game file and all, as a Mac application bundle.