Me and my awesome uncle, Andy Baio, have just launched a website together. We call it, Playfic.
What is it you ask? Well, Playfic is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka “text adventures”) entirely from your browser, using a “natural language”-inspired language called Inform 7.
Inform 7 is incredibly awesome and weird. For example, this is a fully functional game:
East of the Garden is the Gazebo. Above is the Treehouse. A billiards table is in the Gazebo. On it is a trophy cup. A starting pistol is in the cup. In the Treehouse is a container called a cardboard box.
Type that into Playfic, and you end up with this simple game, ready to send to the world.
The official documentation is extensive, with a great manual and recipe book. We’ve collected a list of resources to help you get started.
For now, there’s very little documentation on Playfic itself, but you can click the “View game source” link on every game to see how it was made, and I’m adding sample games from the official Inform 7 Recipe Book.
My hope is that Playfic opens up the world of interactive fiction to a much wider audience — young writers, fanfic authors, and culture remixers of all ages.
While the language can be tricky, building simple games is surprisingly easy. I had never coded anything or made a game before using Playfic, and within 30 minutes of futzing around, I had made my first game.
If you want to see what I’ve made, check out my profile as well as my Playfic Tutorial and (currently) my best actual game.
Some stuff is broken and missing, but I’d love to hear what you make of it. Go make some games!