The Inform Designer's Manual

Fourth Edition 2001

Inform allows an author to create a simulated textual world which can be explored by readers using almost any computer. The result is a new literary form, a cryptic puzzle which can also be an immersive fiction.

Since its invention in 1993, Inform has been used to design hundreds of interactive novels and short stories, in eight languages. It has been studied in academic courses on English literature, computer science and theoretical architecture. But Inform is mainly used for fun, by a lively and collaborative Internet community with a wicked sense of humour. This is the long-awaited print edition of the ‘DM4’ and includes a critical history rooting today's interactive writing in the pioneering works of Infocom and the university games of the 1970s.

Graham Nelson is the author of a number of works of interactive fiction, including Curses, Jigsaw, The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet and an adaptation of The Tempest. His doctoral thesis, on moduli spaces of flat connections over a Riemann surface, was recently published by the London Mathematical Society, and he has also written on classical Greek translation and modern European verse. In 1997 he won an award from the Society of Authors ‘for British poets under thirty who already show outstanding talent’, and he edits Oxford Poetry, which last year celebrated its ninetieth birthday.

Editor: Gareth Rees
Proofreaders: Torbjörn Andersson, Toby Nelson, Andrew Plotkin
Printed edition managed by: David Cornelson
Cover: Wing of a Roller (watercolour and gouache on vellum, 1512)
by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

The Interactive Fiction Library
P.O. Box 3304, St. Charles, Illinois 60174
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 0-9713119-0-0     US $29.95