Introducing Ourselves

Hello! I mostly write reviews for IFDB, but I decided to join the forum in case I had any questions or comments about a certain game.


Hi hi!

I’ve enjoyed many IF games but am not much of a writer myself. But one day I sat down to try my hand at it and realized that Inform is sadly rather antiquated with respect to the way it stuffs people into “man” and “woman” categories; the code itself doesn’t seem to have any place to put any of my non-binary friends. I may not be an author, but I am a programmer, so I set out to fix the problem.

So, I’ve spent the last several months learning Inform7 and enough Inform6 to understand how the Inform system handles something like “examine wizard. poke them.”, and I think I’ve got a usable extension for making that work for describing a person who isn’t necessarily just “she” or just “he”.

But there’s not much point in writing a tool that nobody will use, so here I am to say hello and join this community of folks who might actually want to use what I’ve worked on. I’ll be finding appropriate threads to discuss more details on, but the friendly introductory bot told me to come over here to start.

(It also told me to use an emoji, and I suppose there’s a flag for why I’m here: :rainbow_flag:)


Hi Sadie!

I’ve been working on such an extension too, and I’d love to see what you have. Mine is an addition to another extension by Nathanael Nerode. It’s currently held up in review until he gets around to looking at it, but I can point you at the code.

Nice to have you aboard!


Short answer: GitHub - sadiedemight/i7-pronouns: Inform7 code for flexible handling of pronouns.

I did find an extension by Nerode, but it’s more limited than I hoped. I’ve got something that lets me add new pronouns for for output and for parsing, and I’m leveraging rulebooks for flexibility.

I’m still not entirely sure what’s the clearest way to encode a testable project in I7, so I did something a little backwards, with the testing code owning the extension itself as a resource.


I am currently working on a sci-fi game in which one of the alien characters (there are no humans in my game) doesn’t have a clear gender. I refer to them as a “person” instead of a “man” or a “woman” and treat “them” as a synonym for the character’s name. I haven’t tested my game thoroughly yet, so there may be some instance where this breaks down, but so far it seems to work. It’s a minor character though, so you may need something more flexible than what I’ve done.


Rather than discussing pronouns in detail here in this general thread, is there an existing thread that would be more appropriate? The best fit I’ve found so far is over here, but maybe we should just start a new thread?


Okay, then, here.


If you’re not relying on Inform to conjugate verbs for you, you don’t need to do anything special. However, if you have a third-person narrative with a they/them PC, Inform has to be able to figure it all out.


Kindly prepare for reading a rambly wall post.

Hello, all. I’m Shaunak, an Indian mid-teen who fell down the rabbit hole of interactive fiction at the very start of 2022. I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and I’ve always had a deep fascination with programming and computers. While I don’t remember exactly how I discovered IF, I do remember that I somehow ended up on The Dreamhold page on (I think I faintly recall being redirected to it from Wikipedia). Curiosity and fascination led to more exploration: dabbling in a lot of IF pieces, reading articles and enjoying the works of art that is IF, and here I am today.

Sadly, however, due to the limited time that is available to me, largely thanks to the restricting TM Education System, it’s been near-impossible for me to have the motivation to finish a singular piece of medium to large-length parser IF. The farthest I’ve gotten is in Anchorhead and in Eat Me, and that too, only halfway through in both. There are about 15 or more long parser-based works which I’ve started playing but never finished. This list includes games such as The Dreamhold, Spider and Web, Lost Pig, Counterfeit Monkey, Toby’s Nose, Blue Lacuna, etc., off the top of my head. Maybe my attention span is to blame for this, but again, I’ve tinkered around in Anchorhead for 3 hours straight. Considering I never game for that long of a stretch, that may be something to say about the quality of the writing.) The only games I’ve completed are Galatea, 9:05, Violet and Heliopause. I’m currently playing Hadean Lands.

Perhaps my main (personal) gripe with parser games is that sometimes I miss solutions to obvious puzzles, and end up giving up on them. Checking the solution from a transcript destroys the charm of exploring, and afterwards, I don’t feel like returning to the game to complete it. Perhaps it is what is popularly known as a “skill issue”, one that may or may not be fixable.

Anyways, this is my first attempt at interacting with the rest of the community. I’ve recently begun thinking about developing my own IF in my sparingly little spare time, and I have come up with some great ideas to start with if I do say so myself. I’m going through the documentation and watching some great videos to teach myself Inform 7, and I’m proceeding well, more or less.

Now, of course, I joined this forum some time ago, and for a reason. I want to discuss how my ideas hold up to current IF standards and people’s preferences, and what ideas I should be looking to expand upon. Is creating an “Authoring” personal thread for said discussion the best way to go about it? Please inform (pun intended) me of what I should ideally do.

A little thought has come into my mind a few times as I’ve browsed this forum and lurked for the past week or so: I’m probably younger than most frequenters of the forum. I feel young in here.

Well, I’d rather not make this too long. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to read this rambly wall post introduction that may not have made sense at times. I look forward to talking to you all in the future.


Welcome Shaunak!

This is not an uncommon experience; I’m pretty much the same. But it will vary by game, and also by the quality and nature of solutions that exist for the game. You will find a spectrum of people on here, from those who are happy to use a walkthrough any time, through the middle ground, and then on to the more hardcore types who’d really rather avoid any walkthrough. I’m hardcore in spirit, I’m just not as clever a player to match my attitude :slight_smile:

Sometimes I can get exactly the help I need to restore my momentum. But sometimes I read one step that just makes me say, ‘What?’, then I look at the next step and find it leaves me just as confused, and then the discipline, faith and interest required to continue trying to solve puzzles all collapse at once.

Sounds like you’re going well with Inform. Your feelings about puzzle solvability will probably play into what you make, and that will be cool.



Fantastic. Sometimes I worry that IF is just a collection of grizzled old dogs and it will die out with us. It makes my day to hear that the younglings are getting the bug.



Bah! No problem, I have been young for so many years that I can’t count all of them.


Hmeh! You’re not young. I can count all of my young years by weighing the jar of toenails I’ve been saving. Not even 15 kilos old!


What a terrible day to have eyes.


…scratches nose-wart…switches jars…bends over on stool, showing crack…looks through eye-glass…inadvertently farts…licks glass…“ahh that’s better”…mutters in croaky voice:

-“Yup, we guts eyz tooz.”

…cackles incontrolably…


None of you are old in comparison to me. Literally. You can check my profile if you want. :jigsaw:

(Also I just wanted to make the 1300th post…)


I’m the older, am I not? I was born in the XVth century. Before Christ.






Hi, I thought I’d quickly (re-)introduce myself here before posting. In the past few months I read several posts on here to which I wanted to reply, but it always felt strange because I felt some people would wonder who I am, and some would wonder where I’ve been.

Some of you will remember me (with mixed feelings, I imagine) from way back, long before this forum existed, as a regular contributor to many aspects of Interactive Fiction at that time: I’ve written a game (Ralph, in 1996), I’ve participated in discussions on mailings lists and the Usenet newsgroups, I’ve provided much feedback to several projects, I used to be on ifMUD almost every day. With many of you I had personal discussions via e-mail.

I never really lost interest in IF, but from a certain point on, I just didn’t have enough time to actively participate, and as these things go my activities shifted to other areas. Lately, though, I’ve taken steps to making a living talking about old games, at first on YouTube, then I started studying again in order to take up Computer Game Studies and hopefully write a thesis on that subject in a couple of years.

It’s a bit weird to see that this topic that I’m replying to right now was started 17 years ago, a mere 3 or 4 years after I stopped contributing, but I also like how this kind of mirrors my re-emerging. In any case, I hope to be a little more active again, though probably not on a regular basis just yet. But it’s nice to be back, even with just one post.