Inform/z-code VMs with graphics?

In another thread there was discussion of choice-based games written in Inform. My question is related but still off-topic there:

Is a z-machine capable of graphics? And the newer one (glulx? or how it is named?) Pardon if that seems obvious, but I never played a parser IF with graphics, so I don’t know.

Yes, Infocom released four graphics games. They are less played, some due to perceived quality, others due to being so late in Infocom’s life-span. Glulx can do this, too. Mine does, as does Amanda Walker’s recently discussed Of Their Shadows Deep. Many do, though games without images are by far the majority.

I’m not sure the current release of Inform can scale images to window, unless I’m just bad at Inform (which is highly possible).

This is a great reference for general Infocom information:


That’s a cool informative text. Thanks!


You can play Infocom’s graphical games here: Infocom Frotz

But the Z-Machine shouldn’t be used for new graphical games, as it’s not well supported by interpreters. Use Glulx or another format. Some examples:

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If you want to look at something completely unoriginal but sooooo mainstream (in the Eighties, maybe): Wolfsmoon


@Pebblerubble - Using several extensions you can have in-line images and images in separate windows in Glulx format games.

The screenshot below is from The Time Machine, my first Inform 7 game (you can find the source code here).


You can write a game with graphics and sound in Inform 6 or Inform 7 and compile to Glulx. The graphics are supported by most interpreters, but not as many support sound. Windows Glulxe supports both.

You can write a game in Inform 6 and compile to the z6 file format to support graphics, but very few games have done this. Most interpreters don’t support z6 files.

You cannot do graphics or sound with PunyInform, as it does not support Glulx.


Though PunyInform not supporting Glulx isn’t really an insurmountable problem the way most interpreters not supporting Z6 is. It wouldn’t be enormously difficult to change that; it’s just kind of pointless, since the purpose of the PunyInform library is good performance on retro machines, and retro machines don’t support Glulx.

The Z-machine can actually do sound as far back as version 3, which PunyInform does natively support, but not many people use it.