Easiest platform for a beginner

I’m wondering what would be the easiest platform to make a simple IF game for an absolute beginner?
Specifically, it must be easy to grasp and less typing equals better.

It depends what you want to do. Inform 7 is popular for making parser-based games because the code readable English, and so there’s not so steep a learning curve. A simple hyperlink choose-your-own-adventure without state tracking can be made using html with no difficulty whatsoever.

If you specifically want to avoid typing, try Adrift or Quest. (Though you’ll inevitably have to type a lot, if you’re writing a text-based game.)

I have experience of both ADRIFT and Inform7 (I7). I can say that for an absolute beginner who wants to create something quickly then nothing will beat ADRIFT. I’ve about broken I7 to my will but it does take much longer to master. I had a workable game up and running in ADRIFT in around 2-3 months when I first started. My conversation from ADRIFT to I7 of Pathway to Destruction took a lot lot longer than that. But, much as I love ADRIFT I think that I7 creates a more solid game.


I only have experience with I7, myself, but I can vouch for it as being very beginner-friendly. With zero programming experience, I had a small, complete and reasonably-polished game finished within 4 hours of cracking it open for the very first time.

There was, however, plenty of typing … because without typing, the player would have nothing to read.

Thanks for the ideas.

I’m looking for something for my son to use to create a basic game. I haven’t actually tried making an IF game since the days of Adventure Writer on my C-64 so I’m a bit out of touch. My son is 11 and has Asperger’s; writing is painfully difficult for him and typing is only marginally better. Because of the difficulty, he resists most efforts to enourage him to write or type but he needs experience putting his thoughts down in sentences for school. Making a simple game may be a way to help as he enjoys playing Zork and I think the idea of creating something like that might appeal to him.

I would take a look at ADRIFT: it is a popular system, and you can start out by using a menu-like interface.

Sounds like ADRIFT is your best bet there. If the whole typing thing really doesn’t work out, other types of games can be made just using a mouse. When I was younger I used to make simple platformers (some with alternative paths, top-down driving sequences, mini-games etc.) just using amateur game developing software Klik & Play. That’s very old software now, but I’m led to believe Scratch and Game Maker are more up-to-date versions, and you can download them for free. I still think the text adventure is the best kind of game for amateur game-makers to make because pretty much no matter what platform you use you can make a game of the quality, or exceeding the quality, of the commercial text adventures at their height. (You don’t need a team of artists and programmers).

Quest is also mostly point and click: textadventures.co.uk/quest/ - for simple games you should only need to type in things like object names and descriptions.

If you’re interested in Game Maker you might want to have a look at this; the newest version of Game Maker apparently puts a watermark on your game unless you pay for the full version, but you can get a slightly older free version of Game Maker that doesn’t do that. (I’ve never used Game Maker, so I can’t say how suitable it is otherwise.)