IF for someone new to coding

Hello people of IF!

First post, so just holler at me if I’m posting or I’ve missed a post that already answers my question, but…

As someone who is attempting to learn computer coding for the first time - with the plan being to learn Java and move on to C# or C++ - and a lover of choice driven games, would people recommend attempting to create my own IF story in order to learn whilst having a goal to motivate myself? Or would learning the basics elsewhere then coming back to create an IF after grasping them be more practical?

I’ve been looking at TADS, but if anyone could recommend a better system for n00bs such as myself (or indeed even a non related medium of learning Java basics) I’d be very much appreciative


You may want to check out Squiffy which is very simple and can give you a concept of some of the elements involved in creating Choice-Narratives, and is also JS friendly:


Most simple choice narratives are done in markup. Two others to check out are Twine and AXMA Story Maker (Both are JS-friendly; The AXMA devs are saying is soon going full JavaScript); both have online editors you can play with without installing anything.


The AXMA documentation is actually built in ASM which is pretty neat:

Hi Quinn,

I’ll chuck this in as an option for you. The original Infocom games were coded using Z language (ZIL), which is a LISP dialect. I’ve been learning it and to get the basics down hasn’t been that difficult, i’ve been pushing the conversational NPC aspect which has made my path a little trickier.

So if you wanted to learn object orientated coding, code structures, objects, properties etc then learning ZIL would be a good place to start plus its very purpose is to create IF games; so a tick in both boxes there.

Let me know if you’re interested and i’ll share more.



It really depends on your goals. Are you desiring to end on creating your own engines or having general purpose programming knowledge? If you just want to code IF, and learn some basic C++ style coding along the way then Tads 3 would be good. Be warned though, it’s not 100% interchangeable at all. If you really want to learn to code and don’t have any knowledge, but know you will need a background in code, for say games, or making your own IF engines, then I would definitely suggest starting with C++ itself. Learn the language in the console for awhile until you can make classes and link files. Or get your feet wet with visual studio and C# which is pretty much the same process. Learn both of those. You can also learn a lot by taking up web programming after that. That’s how I learned a bunch. Learning C++ and then JavaScript and php. I’m generally not a smart person, so I can’t get far with coding, but I finally got to the point were I can make websites work, I can make my own parser with Regex if I had to, ect. Coding graphical games for the most part is out of my league haha. But I am glad I did things the way I did. Getting into the web opened up the world of DBs for me too. Databases. Definitely check out Mysql and PHP. Mess around with xammp and phpmyadmin. If you get into C# you can use embedded slqlite databases. C# is a good way to go if you plan on getting into Unity. Anyway, that’s my rant. Depends on where you want your coding to take you and your level of intelligence.

Quest and ADRIFT are still the go to systems for people who just want to put together a game without coding as far as I know.