[size=200]Major Update!!! Abridged Guide To Start Playing Interactive Fiction!!! July 24, 2017!!![/size] (original Comprehensive Guide follows)
- Download a free game (or 10,000 free games):
- Get Interpreters (there are multiple formats for different game development and operating systems, get the one that meets your needs):
Lectrote is a great option for many of your needs: github.com/erkyrath/lectrote/releases
- Learn how to play an IF game:
Use the interpreter to run the game and have fun!
[i]Original Comprehensive Guide To Start Playing Interactive Fiction:[/i]
I designed this topic as a one stop spot to help people wanting to get started playing Interactive Fiction. It is designed so that even computer novices can quickly and easily get into Interactive Fiction.
I own a modern PC, and run Windows 10. Please reply as part of an addendum to this guide where there are differences due to different operating systems or devices.
[size=150][b]Getting Started Guide:[/b]
You will want to organize things on your desktop in preparation for your new obsession. Create a main folder
named “Interactive Fiction” to store all of your games, and then create additional sub-folders for each of
games and there accompanying documents that you download.
Many files are downloaded in a compressed format. To extract compressed files, you will need a program
such as 7zip. You can download 7zip for free here:
A compressed file appears as a “folder with a zipper” icon in your downloaded files area. Once you drag the
compressed folder to the specific game folder you created for it, right click on the compressed folder, scroll down
to “7zip”, and left click on the “extract here” option. This will extract the files, games, manuals, etc to that
Download an Interpreter or interpreters. Think of an interpreter as a modern game console: you have a
copy of a game, but it is only playable with the appropriate console. Similarly in
Interactive Fiction: you have a copy of a game in a specific format, but need the correct interpreter to play that
game. There are about a dozen different game formats, fortunately most of them are
conveniently compiled into one program called “Gargoyle”. Essentially you download Gargoyle, you install it into
the default location (x86 folder), and games downloaded and dragged to their respective game sub-folders will now
be playable with the correct interpreter automatically selected by Gargoyle.
Gargoyle can be downloaded here, click the “releases” tab near the top, select the download file that corresponds
to your OS: github.com/garglk/garglk
- Lectrote is really nice github.com/erkyrath/lectrote/releases
-For additional Interpreter links: ifwiki.org/index.php/Category:Interpreter
Masterpieces of Infocom CD-ROM. This is separate from step 3. Create a folder named “Infocom
Collection” and drag it into your “Interactive Fiction” folder. Copy the files from your CD-ROM to the newly created
“Infocom Collection” folder.
Download Windows Frotz 1.19 interpreter from here:
Install it to the default location which is your x86 folder.
To play the Infocom games: double click the .dat file of the game you want to play (this
game will now have an INFOCOM icon next to it).
If you own Infocom games, you will want to save as pdf the original game manuals here:
I am assuming you can read PDF documents on your pc, but if you can not, download this for free:
get.adobe.com/reader/ (make sure the correct OS is selected)
Even if you do not own any Infocom games, the manual for Zork 1 will be a good introduction in how to play Interactive Fiction.
Also, here is a handy guide for playing IF: [eblong.com/zarf/if.html](http://eblong.com/zarf/if.html)
Maps. You are going to want to draw maps to help you navigate the worlds you will be exploring. You can
do this the old fashioned way with a pencil and paper, or you can download this
helpful free mapping program: trizbort.com/
If you use trizbort, I would recommend against
using the automap option. You will want to create the maps yourself within trizbort
since it will help to develop your spatial awareness abilities, which it very important within Interactive Fiction.
Also, pressing F1 within trizbort will bring up a very helpful online instructions page.
Download games. You can download games from the Interactive Fiction Database which contains
thousands of free to download games. Game creators that you particularly enjoy will also sometimes have their
most recent work available for commercial release.
Here is a good place on the IFDB to start your game downloading:
Download options are on the right side of each game specific screen. You will usually want to download the one described as the most recent
version/the latest release, as opposed to the competition entry (earlier, less polished version), also there are
usually manuals, walkthroughs, and other extras to download as well.
Here you can find Quest formatted IF games (you can play them directly from the site or you can download the appropriate interpreter to download and play the games offline):
- You may also find some interesting games here (only download those IF games from this site that are classified as abandonware):
- Here is a handy site to acquire manuals for just about every game you would ever want to play: