Can I reverse compile a .inform file from my published game?

Hi again. I “published” a short game for my friends and colleagues by way of getting to my Christmas greeting. It wasn’t much but I was happy with how it turned out.

Unfortunately, because inform could not be installed on all the computers I used to write it on, which I did here and there for the last few months of the year, I installed it on a usb drive which had worked fine for years. I had things backed up and all that stuff but, as you may have guessed from the title, all my care came to nothing due to a string of events involving a power cut and a replaced hard drive. I have the drive still but it’s not registering any capacity. I’ve tried repairing it and I could send it for data recovery but the inform file is really the only thing not stored elsewhere in several places. It’s also quite expensive.

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Was your game compiled to Z-code or glulx?

reform reverse compiles Z-code to I6. mrifk reverse compiles glulx to I6.

In both cases, the I6 will be hard to read and will not closely resemble the auto.inf that your I7 had compiled to.

There’s no way to get from I6 back to I7. Now that we have the source, it would be very hard but not impossible that someone could write something that would take an I6 file the I7 compiler had produced and generate I7 that would output the same I6… but I feel safe in predicting that the I7 so generated would neither structurally resemble the original source nor even resemble anything a human being would have written.

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Yeah, decompilation is possible, but it’s not going to be easy to read—and the I6 code produced by I7 is already nigh-unreadable. Unfortunately your best bet is to rewrite the game from scratch.

But, it should be possible to extract all the text from the game, if that helps.

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Yeah, for a short game recreating it is a better bet. And there’s even an online form using glulx-strings to output the text from a game (despite the name it works on any of glulx, zcode, or TADS 2/3, including blorbed games).

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Thank you everyone.

I’m unlikely to use it again and I have incomplete versions around but, as my first “published” game I wanted to archive it. Re-writing it will be a good exercise too.

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