Fabularium - Android GLK + TADS HTML IF interpreter

I have just tried Fabularium and am very happy with it. I have been using the Text Fiction app until now but it is limited in what game types it will support. But it does have support for color ‘themes’. Dark themes in particular. The description of Fabularium says that text color can be changed, and there is a ‘Background color’ in the settings. But I can not figure out how to change text color. I see nothing like that in the settings. And the background color (default is white) seems to do nothing at all. The initial screens are beautiful! But the harsh black and white of a game screen is quite a let down. I would really like to be able to set up something much like Fabularium’s initial screen colors in the games. I hope color options are on the to-do list.

Gord Seifert

Will Fabularium be made available as open source? (Please? :smiley: )

I played around with Fabularium a bit. You can change background color and text color but you have to change them in the fab.ini file. This can be done from within Fabularium: Go to the Explore tab and click on the fab.ini file. The file will then open in Fabulariums built in text editor. Then scroll down to the section “Colors and style definitions”. There is a field called windowcolor which is the background color. For the text color there is a field called tcolor 0 which is the standard text color. Remember to save the file after you change it. If you regret your changes you can always choose the option “Reset config files”.

I’ve managed to sideload Fabularium onto a Amazon Fire and it works great.

The one thing I would like is a bit more customisation on the game chooser screen. Maybe font size, maybe a bit more room for long game names, maybe a list view of title (and other info) rather than an icon view (so we can see author name, series name etc).

Given that Fabularium uses interpreters from Gargoyle, any existing save files from Gargoyle ought to work without any problems.

It looks like Fabularium stores save files in the directory Fabularium/GameData. Each game gets its own directory which appears to be the IFID of the game, inside of which are save files matching *.glksave. You should be able to just copy one of your saves from Gargoyle to the proper location there and it’ll be avaialable. I presume Fabularium filters on the .glksave extension but I’m not sure.

And of course saves from Fabularium should work just fine in Gargoyle as well.

All right! Thank you! I just renamed the savefiles from .sav to .glksave and it just worked. Thanks for your help.

Hey, it’s me Kevin I emailed you about adding support for using user-preferred phone’s onscreen keyboard. I hope you put the source code on GitHub so I can follow, compile, and test it on my device to help you out. I really love your work it’s better than any interpreter on Android and Frotz for iPhone.

I notice someone here said they had Fabularium running on kindle fire. I sideloaded it onto my Kindle Fire HD and it doesn’t work at all. Installs just fine but crashes straight out to the home screen as soon as I try to launch it. It’s running Android version Anyone have any ideas what could be causing the issue? Is it a known bug?

It’s a year later, but hopefully tcowper is still watching this thread…

I can’t get Fabularium to work. I’ve downloaded it off of Play Store. I’m on an Nvidia SHIELD K1, running Android 7.0.

When I run it, I go to “Explore” to try to import something. I’ve tried two files that I have in Downloads: a .z5 file, and a .zblorb file. I’ve tried doing just one at a time, or both together. I select them, and, from the menu, select “Add to Game List (auto)”. At that point, Fabularium crashes. (It goes back to the home screen, and I get a message “Fabularium has stopped”.)

It does copy the files – there are files of the right name and size corresponding to the game files in Fabularium/Games/. However, if I run Fabularium again, it thinks it has nothing in its library.

Any suggestions?

I think your best bet is to reach out to Tim via the email in the app description, tcowperapps@gmail.com.

(While you’re at it, maybe nudge him to make Fabularium available as open source?)

From the author’s description from the Google Play app for Fabularium: “Fabularium is and always will be completely free, with no ads, and open source.”

I imagine you might have to contact Tim directly, tcowperapps@gmail.com if he’s not frequenting the IF forums.


The Fabularium source code is now available on github. github.com/tccowper/fabularium


Just mentioning, if you’re using Fabularium you can sign up on the Google Play Fabularium page and become a beta tester for new versions. Any bugs or inconsistencies you run across can be entered into a simple text form on that same page and it will be sent to Tim. Personally, I think it’s a great way to help him work out issues and give back something for his efforts.


To compile Inform7 “only” requires one build command using the ni.exe compiler and the Inform 7 libraries to get the Inform 6 .inf files (which you already support). All the Inform 7 support files are freely available. I’ve replicated the build chain in DOS, but don’t know how to create it for Android. Would it be possible to add Inform 7 support with that? Probably a big ask, but one that seems to be asked often and you have an amazing framework already in place. Thanks!

Hello. I thought that I’d sign up so I could join this topic regarding Fabularium as it’s the only place that is/was discussing it. Fabularium seems like the best Android IF app available at the moment.

I started using it right from its beginning and gave lots of feedback to Tim and some of my suggestions got implemented/fixed. I even get a mention in the release notes. Tim was quite responsive. But since 21 May 2018 I’ve not heard a thing from him. His last update on github was 24 Feb 2019. Does anyone know him and know if he is ok?


I’ve been unable to contact Tim as well. It’s a shame as the app is pretty great, although I have a problem currently in that I can’t download metadata for any of the games (the app simply says “check your internet connection”). I’ve tried changing the metadata query string in settings in various ways, but nothing works - the ifdb server used is of course running fine, and the query strings I’ve tried work fine when used directly in a browser. Anybody know how to fix this please?


It’s cold ashes. Last update became many time ago. I feel like a retro gamer.
It’s the best Android program to play IF but doesn’t support fine transcripts.
I play planty games, without transcrips, and I can alright retrieve metadata.
This has an awful system at gamedata trunk, so I save progress with the name of the game at any game I install under Fabularium. Otherwise you have to see the serial number and look for that at gamedata trunk.
Another “issue” I have found recently is that Fabularium doesn’t save savegames at gamedata folder. I can’t find these archives.

If you need of doing a transcript use Hunky Punky for zcode and Text fiction under Thunderword for gluxe games (this is more trickie).

  • Jade

Does metadata work for you right now please? I’ve tried on multiple devices now, and all give the same error. Perhaps the server format has changed recently?

I use Fabularium v.1.4.1.
I have retrieved metadata for Anchorhead. Here is the fab.log:

"E] IFictionRecord: /storage/emulated/0/Fabularium/Games/Anchorhead.gblorb: malformed xml:

301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.

Here is: Anchorhead

It seems to work fine for me.

  • Jade
1 Like

Hello BlueIn2Red.

The metadata used to work correctly a while ago. But I can confirm it does not work for me either. It stopped working a while ago. I don’t remember if this was after one of the last app updates from Tim or if it was when I installed it on a new device.

I now have two different android tablets and actually have icons from the meta on most of the IFs on one device (I may have manually copied these though). The other one has none. Neither will get meta data when attempted.

I’ve tried with http and https in the config address. But I think that there are other problems - the address seems fine. I get an error in my log about clear text traffic. Perhaps it’s one of the many Android security changes that has broken it.

I was in regular communication with Tim, regarding bugs and features, until he disappeared. I have no idea, but now assume the worst.

If only someone could take on the project and fix the few things that need fixing. The source is on github, but I was not able to build it due to limited knowledge of Android studio and the dependencies the source code and project seems to require. I’m sure someone that knows would be able to fix it up fairly easily.