Any great games in the public domain?

I’m looking for some classic IF games in the public domain or with some open license terms, like the GPL, as I’d like to port them to the Chinese language. I first considered Colossal Cave, but can’t determine if it is free or not. Most of my favorite games are from Level 9, but I’d be interesting in trying something else too. Older is better as the language is generally easier.

I once made a list of free software games on the IF Archive; it is very incomplete, but can be found here:

These are mostly newer works, though. If I were you, I would just take Adventure / Colossal Cave: there have been a million editions, ports and translations of it, and the original authors presumably condone this.

It is long-standing tradition that Colossal Cave and the MIT edition of Dungeon are community property, and can be ported to any language (human) or language (IF programming) freely. Both games predate the era of formal open-source licensing, but that’s how we treat them.

For more recent games, you can try contacting the authors. I’m open to people translating my games – send me email.

The directory has some games’ source code, including Colossal Cave and Dungeon. You might have to download a bunch and look at the the licenses, though.

If you’re interested in translating non-commercial work, you can get a fairly complete list of available source code from IFDB: … +available. Some of them specify a license, some don’t.

Okay, I think I’ll stick with the original version of Colossal Cave, for my first game. I wonder, in your list here, are there any new games that are well-liked, or award-winning?

Unfortunately, my Chinese is far from any professional level. I’m a student, and just want to find something interesting to work on. Also, I don’t have a Chinese engine yet. I’ve already designed a hypothetical engine for Chinese, but don’t have time to write the source code for it or to learn how to convert this to something Inform or TADS can use.

If you’re still developing a Chinese language library, you might want to start with Cloak of Darkness.