I need help learning how to use Inform 7

Hello! I am interested in making text adventures. I was directed here after asking around Reddit. I have… absolutely no experience with anything involving coding or somesuch, and I don’t know quite where to start. I’m wondering if there is a tutorial I can watch?
Also, I have to use borogove.app, which I’m hoping works out. But it has Inform 7, and then Inform 7 with Vorple… what is the difference?
Oh, and I am introverted and have ADHD, so it may be days before I come back to check this post. But I will get back to this.
I hope I posted in the right spot…
Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer, I really appreciate it.


I would suggest following the manual, Writing with Inform, page by page, and creating your own examples with your own imagination. Try creating your own little game this way. Come up with a ‘room’, in your mind, learn how to create it using the techniques taught in the manual, then create each of the (important) objects. That’s how I did it.

It can be a test of patience, to get it to work right, but don’t fall for discouragement. You probably have a powerful imagination; it clamors to be expressed. You will surmount the obstacles if it is important enough to you.

You have found the right spot to post. There are plenty of experts here to help you. As far as a tutorial, I have no idea, only the built-in manual and recipe book, but there probably is a tutorial and someone else here can probably point you in the right direction.

But here’s a good(?) example of a way to start–after you have typed a title and your name into the initial box (after clicking on ‘New Project’)–

[under the game title]

Home Office is a room.  "(room description here)."

The player is here.

I hope that this is helpful.


If you’re using Borogove, then I suggest you go to the main Inform site and click on Documentation, at the top of the screen.

The documentation there is included in the desktop app. This has two main parts: “Writing with Inform” and “The Inform Recipe Book”. The first works systematically through the Inform 7 language, starting with simple stuff. The Recipe Book approaches the same information from a “how do I…” approach: “How do I make an elevator?” “How do I make one room visible from another room?” etc. Both share the same set of examples.

There’s also a comprehensive list of help pages in the first post of the Inform 7 section on this site.

Vorple is a way of adding pictures, music and sound effects to your game (amongst other things.) It’s wonderful, but I suggest you ignore it for now, and focus on using the “vanilla” Inform 7 which is text only.


I second the importance of going through the Inform 7 docs, but I also completely understand how overwhelming this is. Keep in mind that as the chapters progress, the subjects get more and more advanced—not something you need for your first attempts with the language. Especially since you have no coding XP, focus on doing the simple things first, creating a simple map with some objects, learning the Before/Instead/After rules, etc.

If you are a video person, I think I’ve seen some beginner tutorials on YouTube. You can also start with those.

If you get hooked, you will eventually want to go through the whole documentation—which is one of the best I’ve seen ever, with tons of great examples.


I’m afraid I don’t really know anything about what videos are available, but the Inform 7 Documentation and Resources post has lots of information for newcomers. These might be of most interest:


Thank you for the reply! While I am apprehensive about reading a document, as my ADHD makes reading more of a chore than it should be, it really seems like the main way to do this is go through it. I will see how I do with it.
Thank you again!

OH thank you! Vorple may very well be of interest to me in the future, now that I know that. But first thing’s first, definitely, gotta learn from scratch. Do I need to download the Inform app?

Thank you! I will have to look into videos, surely people have done tutorials on Inform. I appreciate the vote of confidence, that the document is a great one. Makes me a little less apprehensive. Thanks again!

Thank you for the links!

For me, having the app on my system is the best choice, because I have a slow and flaky internet connection. I also like being able to save my projects as separate files, so that I can back them up.

But many people work quite happily using only the net version running in their browser. So it’s up to you.

I am not very technically minded, but I found downloading the desktop app to be very straightforward. Click on “Download” (and wait) → click on Install (and wait) about covered it!

I use Linux, and some of the bits of the I7 app require some “gentle persuasion” to get working, (That’s Linux for you - a thousand ways of doing the same thing differently!) but the Windows and Mac versions are, I understand, pretty well sorted.

As for learning Inform - it’s like learning any other language. You learn a little bit, and do simple stuff, and then you learn a little bit more. The best thing to do is to start with a small project - keep it small by limiting it to a short time frame (say, one evening) and a small location (say, one building.) Other characters take a lot of writing, and are the most complicated part of IF, so try and think of somewhere without any people in it. Animals are complicated, but way less complicated than people.

So, for example, if you like horror stories, you might like to write “A night in the laboratory” where the player has been trapped somehow, and has to find a way to escape. You could have fun inventing spooky machines and avoiding rats!

Would you happen to know if you can download files from the net version? Like, to have back ups just in case? As mentioned, Windows S Mode is extremely restrictive of downloading apps.

Yes, you can click on the folder icon to the left of “Source Text”; this will expand the File Manager tab. Clicking on “File Manager” will open a dropdown menu, inside of which is the command “Download project”. You can also download individual files by hovering over them and clicking on the “hamburger” menu (the three horizontal bars).

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