Inform6 programming in DOS

Hi i have no previous experience of inform 6. (But i have used inform7 for some time). I would like to start using it, but exclusivity in dos or win 3.11. My question: Is there a informpack set up with compiler and interpreter set up? Maybe you already have a “portable” zip or something that you would like to share with me? Like the one i saw for win32 (

Most .z8 works great on my 33mhz and 4 mb ram box, and i hope that inform6 will as well :slight_smile:

It looks like the latest available for DOS is 6.30. When I finish up with 6/12 of the Library and the Inform6 for Unix package done, I’ll prepare one for DOS.

Thank you so very much!! I’m looking into manuals about Inform 6 now. Will it come set up with a text editor? When you have created a DOS-package is this the place where i will get to know about it? (Or is there some other page where i can go and look for it?). When do you think it might be finished roughly? (A few days, a few weeks or a few months?). Thank you!

I’ll announce it here and on Usenet. It won’t include an editor. Just choose your favorite DOS-based text editor. I don’t know when it’ll be done. It all depends on how long it takes for betatesting 6/12 and getting the Unix Inform6 compiler out the door. I guess maybe a month.

I wrote my first game (in 1999) in a DOS machine using Inform 6. There’s no reason why you need to wait for the new release – the existing release should work extremely well. There are several websites that give good information about using I6. Roger Firth’s Inform FAQ was still online the last time I looked, and Marnie Parker (aka Doe) also has some pages with tips, and of course the Designer’s Manual (aka DM4) is extremely helpful. There are, in addition, dozens of I6 extensions in the IF Archive.

I6 is not exactly a modern IF development system, but you can certainly write full-featured games with it. It has the advantage that compiled game files tend to be more compact than I7 files, which may be an issue if you hope to see people playing your games on their phone – or, for that matter, on 33MHz DOS computers with 4MB of RAM!

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Thank you both very much for the support!
It is now working out well.
Compiling a a few bigger sources takes
some 30 seconds or so. Not that very painful at all.

All the best!


I up this topic but I can’t find inform6 compiler for DOS somewhere and I am interesting by it. Someone have it here?


Hi, and welcome to the forum!

The IF Archive has Inform 6 resources here: Index: if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform6

The subdirectory “executables” contains a compiler which should work in DOS:

Various versions of the I6 library can be found here: Index: if-archive/infocom/compilers/inform6/library

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I think the Inform 6 standard library should work with Inform v6.30.

PunyInform requires newer versions though. You need at least v6.36, unless you pick up an older version of the library (which I really don’t recommend you do).

Thanks for your answers!

I had take the Inform630 compiler for DOS and it work…Now I search documentation for create a Z-machine story with graphics illustrations and work with Frotz interpreter for DOS…Have you some advices or link about it?

Apparently that support only EGA graphics at his best.

That’s not a great fit. As far as I know, your only option would be to use Z-machine version 6 to do this. It uses a proprietary graphics format, and I don’t know of any tools that support working with this format. Then you need an interpreter to run the game. Frotz can run v6 games, and I think it can use images built for EGA, but I’m not sure if it can run v6 games on an actual EGA based system.

You can try it out though. Get the v6 story files (all four of them) from The Obsessively Complete Infocom Catalog and the corresponding EGA media files from Index: if-archive/infocom/media/ega and try to get them playing using Frotz for DOS.


An alternative would be to use v6 and a modern-day image format like PNG. Frotz can handle one or more of the modern image formats, but again I’m not sure if it can do this on a PC with EGA.

For now I don’t have find the way to get graphics work on DOS version of Frotz but I continue searching for it. Maybe I must create à blorb file with these graphics empacked in it. Some command tools for create blorb for Frotz DOS are welcome!

For now I have a frotz game (“Journey”) that worked with a blb file on Windows Frotz but not on DOS Frotz.

a warning:

under mess-dos, don’t use the 8086 binary, only the 386+ binaries

I have used it only once, back in 1994, on an highly optimised Amstrad 386sx-20, and was painfully slow, for the rest of my DOS era (few months, late '94, early 95 I swithed to Linux), I used only the 386+ binary (of course, under Linux, I always compiled when feasible…)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

The current Standard Library (6.12.6) requires at least version 6.33 of the Compiler. At the start of parser.h is this:

#Ifndef VN_1633;
Message fatalerror "*** Library 6.12.x needs Inform v6.33 or later to work ***";
#Endif; ! VN_

That change was committed in 2012 as part of implementing Suggestions 80 and 95 when I was getting the 6.12 release ready. See and Inform - Support - Suggestions

80.  Sensible substitution of "actor" for "player" in select verb routines (and handlers).
95.  There are a lot of rules that stop a player from doing stuff, like you can't get off something you are
not on. If you try to make a NPC responding to orders, you have to more or less write all these rules
from scratch. It would be helpful if there existed somewhere the source code to an NPC that responds 
to all the orders, by which I mean all the default commands that a player character responds to, and 
which follows all the rules that a default player character do. Then it would be fairly easy to edit the
source code into the NPC one wants.

I don’t remember why the version requirement was bumped up. Perhaps @zarf or @davidk could chime in?

I suppose I could look into using some sort of Perl to C converter on the Blorbtools package so those tools would work under DOS. Last time I tried to use Perl under DOS, the results were not pretty.

I certainly don’t remember. But that 2012 commit changed the minimum from 6.10 to 6.33, and 6.10 is really ancient. Any number of features documented in the DM4 were probably missing from 6.10. (The DM4 was written for version 6.21.)

These days there’s no reason not to use the latest Inform 6 version, unless you’re trying to exactly replicate an old Z-code game file.

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