A Small, Informative IF Webpage
You are standing in the middle of a quaint little webpage. Displayed in
front of you is a quick introduction to the world of Interactive Fiction,
and several links to help you learn more about it. It smells a bit stale
at the moment, for the IF world has been largely ignored for the past
decade. You can go back to the rest of Pinback's web site through the
exit behind you.
If you were around computers in the early-mid 1980's, chances are the
above paragraph opened the floodgates to countless memories (good or bad)
involving ancient underground empires, sarcastic robots, buried egyptian
pyramids, and a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Ah yes, the text adventure.
It was the first kind of program you wrote in BASIC that you actually
wanted anyone else to see. It kept you up until way too late on many
occasions. It made you want to throw your computer out the window. But
it made you think. And it was a blast.
Then graphics came along, and gradually, the "text" was slowly escorted
out of the ring, until eventually you could play an entire adventure game
without seeing one written word. The world was portrayed for you in
brilliant high-color, photorealistic scenery, so there was no need for
some programmer-wannabe-author to tell you that there was a tree in front
of you, and you could walk through a door to the west, if you only had the
But waiting silently in the wake of the graphic adventure revolution was a
group of folks that remembered "the way it was", and knew that text wasn't
just used because the programmers didn't have the ability to draw the
picture for you. And they knew that those old Infocom ads had it right,
that the best graphics in the world would never be on a computer screen.
They'd be in your head.
So they waited. And waited.
Some smart fellow figured out that the engine that Infocom used to use for
their own games was still very much useful. And still very much portable.
All it needed was a way to write programs for it. So this smart fellow
(Graham Nelson) wrote a language, and a compiler, and all of a sudden, the
Infocom engine was ready to be fired up again.
Yes, other adventure game development systems had been developed, even
some very good ones. But in
1993, the real resurrection began. And it continues to this day, with
the number of quality games more than doubling itself every year.
Of course, now it's called interactive fiction. But we all know
what it means.
The Interactive Fiction Links
- The ABC's of Adventuring - A wonderfully
original poem about our favorite pasttime.
- Pinback's IF Projects - Information about
Pinback's own IF work.
- XYZZYnews - An online IF-related magazine. News, reviews, interviews, etc.
- SPAG - The
Society for the Preservation of Adventure Games. Another magazine, with other links and stuff.
- IF Archive Guide - An indexed guide to the invaluable Interactive Fiction archive. Lots of reviews, and how/where to find what you're looking for.
- Inform 6 - The premier interactive fiction development tool. Provides the author with a fully object-oriented language, similar to C++. Compiles to "Z-code", the format used by the original
Infocom games. This tool was written by Graham Nelson, who I believe
almost single-handedly resurrected the art of IF.
- Inform Programming - A site for (surprise!) Inform programmers.
- Infocom - Not a
corporate page (since Infocom hasn't existed as a company for years), but
rather a collection of misty watercolor memories of the way it were, back
when IF ruled the world, and grues lurked in every darkness.
Pinback's Web Central
This page and the contents therein (except where otherwise attributed) are
(c) 1997, 1998, by Ben
That was in case any of you devious types were thinking of stealing all my cool stuff. So there.
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