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IF design systems

Inform is a popular choice of design system for interactive fiction, but it is only one among many. The IF community is an inclusive, friendly one, and has for many years tried to avoid rivalry, which is why there is a single Usenet newsgroup for IF design (, rather than separate newsgroups and communities for each design system. Even if you normally use only Inform, the manuals, example games and web sites for other design systems often make stimulating reading.

TADS (Text Adventure Development System)    Mike Roberts Link  
A popular and powerful IF development system, with capabilities similar to those of Inform.
Hugo    Kent Tessman Link  
Another industrial-strength IF development system, again with Inform-like capabilities.
AGT (Adventure Game Toolkit)    Mark Welch, David Malmberg Link  
One of the first IF development systems, now largely superseded, but still of note for its contribution towards building today's flourishing IF scene.
IF development systems in the IF Archive     Link  
A cornucopia of development systems, from ADL to Worldbuilder. Some are now unsupported, and some were never very fully worked out in the first place, but several are still used.
Cloak of Darkness    Roger Firth and others Link  
A very simple game, implemented for comparison purposes in Inform, TADS, Hugo and a number of other IF systems, to help newcomers choose the most appropriate development toolkit.

Last updated 6 December 2004. This site is no longer supported; information may be out of date.
Maintained as a historical archive by the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. Copyright 1993-2018 IFTF, CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.
This page was originally managed by Roger Firth.