IF in another language.

Is it possible to write IF in another language? If it’s possible, how? I have adrift but I have no idea about it, Inform 7 but it’s in natural ENGLISH language. Actually, I’m Indonesian. Maybe the first Indonesian who joined this forum. And I really want to introduce my people about IF.

Inform 7 has extensions to several languages:


means you can write in one of those or learn from one such translation how to translate into Indonesian

TADS3 only got one so far, German:


Hi, Wendienew! Plenty of IF games have been written in languages other than English. (I made “foreign language” tag for it on IFDB, which you can search here.) I know of at least one CYOA-type IF that was written in Indonesian, called Dengan Balon ke Sahara. It was made with QUEST, I believe. There’s also various extensions available for Inform that “translate” it to other languages, although I don’t think any of them are for Indonesian. I’m sorry I couldn’t be much help here. Do your game ideas have to be parser-based?

The next update to Inform 7 - no scheduled date, but probably soon-ish - will greatly expand its ability to accomodate different languages; it’s one of the major items on the feature list. (Not being a linguist, I don’t know how easy it’ll be to port the code to Malay grammar; but getting all the output into a different language should become substantially more straightforward.)

I’m eagerly antecipating that. :slight_smile: While I’m not an author, I’ve toyed with the idea of a Portuguese extension for a while. I’ve seen Portuguese works in Twine and Quest, maybe if given the tools Portuguese works could arise from our Portuguese authors.

All three or four of us.

Well, it’s something, innit?

My impression (not supported by evidence) is that a few authors have written games in Italian, Spanish, German, and probably a couple of other languages using Inform 6. Inform 6 is still a very viable choice as an authoring system, so it would be worth looking at.

I’m the developer of Aetheria Game Engine (AGE), a system that you can use to write IF games in various languages.

It was initially designed for Spanish, where it has been used to create several award-winning IF works, but then it was expanded to be language-agnostic. Right now, it is possible to create full working games in it in Spanish, English, Galician and Esperanto. The parser and system’s design make it very easy to translate it to most languages - to the point that, e.g., the localization from Spanish to English required practically no coding, but only writing some word lists. This should be the case for the majority of languages, although things can get hairier with languages with irregular declensions (e.g. Basque). To be honest I don’t know much about Bahasa Indonesia, but if you’re willing to have a go at translating the system, I’m very willing to discuss with you to see if it’s feasible, what would be needed, and help if there’s any coding involved so that you only have to do the linguistic work. Of course, the same offer goes for anyone here who would be interested in translating the system to their own language.

AGE’s website is code.google.com/p/aetheria

The documentation about how to create games is in caad.es/aetheria/doc - unfortunately it’s not in English but in Spanish, but I have found that online translators do a rather decent job of it, so this shouldn’t be an obstacle to see how the system works (help in building a good translation of the documentation to English would also be welcome!)

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of features:

  • Graphical IDE letting you create the static information about the world in graphs and forms rather than code, see screenshot: caad.es/aetheria/doc/lib/exe … ampiro.png
  • Advanced behaviour is added using the BeanShell scripting language (just like a dynamic version of Java)
  • BeanShell gives you full access to the Java API, so you can use as many Java classes in the standard API (or in files that you provide) as you like. Want to use libsvm to train some classifiers? You can do it. Want to make your game connect to times.com so that the character gets actual news from today in his newspaper? You can do it (now go and do that inside a Z-machine if you can :smiley:)
  • True multiplayer support (no hacks like “there is only one player but we switch it from creature to creature” or things like that). You can use to create multiplayer IF or even potentially MUDs
  • Can serve games via telnet and IRC apart from dedicated client
  • Real-time support. Every game can be switched between “synchronous” (~turn-based, but there are not really turns, it’s a simulation with time units) and “asynchronous” (real-time)
  • Sound support: MIDI, MOD, MP3, OGG, AIFF, WAV, SPX
  • Raster graphics support: PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, animated GIF
  • Vector graphics support: SVG
  • Other presentation features: support for frames, changing margins, changing typography, using custom TTF fonts that you include with the game, colour styles, full screen mode
  • Support for playing online in a web browser via Java applet. This includes the full multimedia support. Does not work from browsers without Java applets though
  • Built-in CRPG features (combat, weapons, armor, skills, training, etc.) because the system was built with that in mind, although it of course can be used for pure IF by ignoring all that
  • It’s free software (everything is under a BSD license)

Is there a manual in English?

You mean a manual for creating IF with the system or a manual for localization to other languages?

If it’s the first, as I said in the previous post, unfortunately there’s no human-written manual in English. There’s the Spanish one that you can view in English via Google Translate. As expected, the translation is not great, but it mostly works to get a general idea. translate.google.com/translate?h … eria%2Fdoc

If you mean a manual about localization of the system, I haven’t written it in any language, but it would be rather easy. If there’s interest I can do that.


Wow, thank you so much for the links. I’m surprised to see Dengan Balon ke Sahara, it is actually in Indonesian.
I don’t know how to play it since the file’s extension is .quest. Which interpreter plays this file anyway?
And, what is parser-based and CYOA? I haven’t heard of it.

Thanks for your information, I’m also thinking about translating the system to Indonesian. But I don’t think I can understand about the coding since I’m not studying it.
Well, it’s my pleasure to do with the linguistic work :smiley:

That’s good. I hope I can participate with that but I know noting about programming :frowning:


A parser-based game is where you type in commands, such as “look at door”, “open it”, “enter”, while in a COYA (Choose Your Own Adventure) style one, you choose your actions from a menu instead.

I have written a guide to translating AGE to new languages. It explains (in English) everything you need to do the linguistic work!

caad.es/aetheria/doc/doku.ph … u_lenguaje

This also goes for anyone else that would like to give a hand translating the system (or the documentation) to any language.

So, all I have to do now is start it? Well, thanks, I’ll do it then. But I think I need a lot of time… :smiley:

There is no hurry! And if you run into any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask, I’ll help in what I can.

Thanks, I’ll do my best.

Might be – however, so far (in two years or so), I know of no (published) Swedish IF written in Inform 7; on the other hand, there’s a score of Portuguese (and Malay) speakers for every Swedish speaker – and as many more potential IF authors and players!

The pending I7 update does aim for great portability; but you are bound to be disappointed, if you expect it to be easy (or even easier than now) to translate it into either Portuguese or Malay or most any language, I’m afraid.

AGE already works fine in Galician, which is linguistically very close to Portuguese (in fact, some Portuguese people claim it to be a dialect of Portuguese, although in Galicia we tend to disagree with that :laughing:). So it would probably take very little work to make it work for Portuguese. Any Portuguese speaker could likely translate it using Galician as the source language, as Portuguese speakers can understand written Galician mostly fine.