Inform 7 to Xcode

Newbie question for someone wanting to dabble in IF:

Some friends and I were reminiscing about the old days of playing our wonderful Infocom games, and we generated a story idea that we’d love to work on together to try to create our own. Since we have little programming experience, we look to Inform 7 as our ideal way of creating our story. However, if we manage to complete a game we’re satisfied with, we’d love to distribute it on the Mac App Store. What we can’t find is some way to bridge the Inform 7 result with Xcode.

Does anyone know of a standard wrapper or a best practice to compile an Inform 7 project to a standalone application? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find anything.


There isn’t a way to do that yet. That could change in the near future because people are working on it, but for now you’d have to rig your own solution.

At the very least people will be able to play your game using an iOS interpreter (Frotz).

edit: oops, misread Mac App store. Clearly I’m not a Mac person.

I’ve been working on this building an iOS interpreter, but not a Mac OSX one. (I did it once upon a time for MacOS 7, too.)

In theory it should be easy to adapt Mac Zoom or Gargoyle to load a game from a built-in resource, and then compile an app package that way. But there’s no turnkey solution.

Unfortunately the Mac App Store forbids GPL apps, so using Gargoyle for the underlying implementation would be unwise.

It’s a pity since this was one of the use cases I was really excited about a couple years ago.

The situation is not nearly so clearcut as “GPL apps are forbidden”. There are some GPL apps up there. It is a quagmire, however, and most developers have chosen to avoid it.

My iOS project uses Fizmo rather than Frotz as an interpreter engine, for this reason.

New original interactive fiction for sale again? :astonished: Wow… If people could get something like that running… :mrgreen:

Thanks for the input, everyone! We may start making it in Inform just to have something to do, and hope that we (or someone else) discovers an easy way to bundle it to the Mac App Store.

Hahaha, we don’t hold any expectations that it would sell…our hope was to distribute it for free. But we fondly remember IF and hope that if we can do it, a random person unexposed to the genre will see it, try it, like it, and maybe start looking for other titles.

Well, why not? People buy books electronically. They’re even more primitive. :laughing:

But seriously, yeah, people don’t usually buy IF unless they’re an enthusiast who buys an Infocom or other such classic on EBay. Most people don’t realize that video games and IF aren’t comparable. The point in IF is to not have graphics (or only have supplementary graphics) because it’s supposed to be an interactive book world.

But yeah, People are starting to read books electronically a lot, and this seems like it might be a good time to reintroduce the IF medium. So go for it, however you decide to distribute it! :slight_smile:

I’d recommend using Cordova (aka PhoneGap) together with Parchment. Cordova apps are built out of HTML+JavaScript and run in an embedded browser, but from the user’s POV they’re just like any other app. Apple has even been known to approve them for the App Store, shockingly enough.