Inform 6 is amazing but the problem is that in its current form, targeting 8-bit systems and / or the interpreters from Infocom is not possible. Neither does the current compiler version support properly targeting Z3, nor does the library come with the lightness it would need to run performant enough for a satisfying gaming experience on a retro system.
We had the desire to release a contemporary Inform 6 distribution, that focuses on targeting classic computer systems, such as the Commodore 64, the Amstrad CPC or the Atari 8-bit on one hand, while on the other hand retains the typical Inform experience. RetroInform had been released on Saturday. It consists of a forked version of the Inform 6.15 compiler and Metrocenter '84, a library based on mInform.
There is a changelog that keeps track of the path taken since forking mInform. We focused on backporting useful routines and fixing bugs but also added completely new features, such as (optionally) disabling inference or metro_scenery where @fredrik kindly contributed a large chunk of code to it. While the library is still much work in progress (we adapt changes as we need them in the course of developing Hibernated 2), it is usable and stable, so we thought we rather put it out in the wild now and just push new versions as they are created.
There are some convenient features, such as a command line wrapper that triggers compiling to Z-code and dumps an Atari 8-bit disk image in addition, so you can instantly test your code on a proper home computer. But it’s necessary to mention that we only worked actively on the library and the demo files, the rest is pretty much a collection of gathered tools and patches that we now brought to a central virtual haven.
Grab it from here: RetroInform | Metrocenter `84
Extra dose of motivation: if you have written an Infocom style adventure game and you have the desire to share it with the retro community, get in touch with me. After the massive success of my games Hibernated and Rabenstein, my publisher is searching for more interactive fiction to release. You’re not getting rich with it but the retro community is more vibrant than ever these days. It’s a massive target audience and it is wonderful when your games get physical. Examples: Hibernated and The Curse of Rabenstein. Note that Hibernated 2 will be my first Z-machine game and way more sophisticated than the previous efforts, which can be compared to classic adventures released in Europe mid-80s. They were created with DAAD.
We also have new interpreters for Commodore 8-bit machines: C64, C128, VIC-20, Plus/4 and PET available. But these will be released at a later date. Teaser pictures (Commodore 64 and VIC-20) below. Anyway, keep those retro games coming. Imagine worlds!