Jerz: Writing for the Internet (EL236)

22 October 2004

Interactive Fiction Workshop 2

Whoops, I had this numbered "3" on the original syllabus.

This class period will be a basic introduction to interactive fiction authorship. Most students have little trouble with this exercise, and come away with a greater appreciation for what IF authors have accomplished.


  1. Before class starts, download this file: (click on it and then click "Save". Put it in the EL236 folder of your networked space (that is, "I/EL236").
  2. When it is finished downloading, right-click, choose "Extract All...", click Next, and then change the value of the first box from "P:\EL236\IF-edit" to "[yourletter]:\EL236\", where [yourletter] is either I or J (whatever the student networked space is -- I can never remember)
  3. If you'd like to get started, double click on EL236\IF-edit\editor\IF-IDE.EXE (if you don't see the .EXE, then look for the cursive "ie" icon).
  4. From within the Inform Integrated Developing Environment, check to make sure that your editor knows where a interpreter (game player) is. Click View, Options, Compiler/Interpreter, and then the [...] button next to "Interpreter Path." A file explorer window will pop up. Find your way to WinFrotz.exe (the program that plays interactive fiction games). It will probably be in your EL236 folder (if it's not there, look in EL236/EL236). Click OK.
  5. Now, load the demo file. Click File, Open, and then find "EL236/IF-edit/games/demo.inf".
  6. To run this demo game, click the [!] icon. Feel free to change any of the red text (except if the word Include is before it).
  7. The second demo game, demo2.inf, has embedded instructions for letting you personalize the shell of a game.

(I don't want to spend class time waiting for the download, so please do it in advance.)