More accessible files?

I’m using Inform to author my game, but it really annoys me that I’m immediately alienating a good portion of players thanks to the whole process of having to download an interpreter and to get it to work. I am aware that inform games can be played on the web as well, but that option isn’t ideal, as I like to use custom background and text colors, as well as images and sounds to flesh out my games.

Is it possible to convert a Gblorb file to an .exe or something that can be used as a stand-alone? I found a converter earlier, but it no longer works, as it was last usable in 2009.

1 Like

Who is your target audience? Is it people who are already parser fans/regularly play parser games, or a group of new people?

Among people that play IFComp games, for instance, or that use this forum, downloadable .exe files tend to do very poorly, as blorb files have a versatility in that interpreters exist on almost every platform, while .exe come with security warnings and don’t work on all platforms.

If you’re targeting people who’ve never played parser games before, then a web site would make the most sense. But:

So you could use Vorple instead, a web player that includes background, text colors, images and sounds. (here is an example: Jim Munroe - Guilded Youth — Play)

But if you still want a downloadable executable (for steam or whatever), bundling with Lectrote is probably your best option, as detailed in this thread:


I agree with mathbrush’s comment, but if you do want to distribute an exe, here’s an additional method:

Since the interpreters are usually freeware, you can bundle your game up with an interpreter and distribute it that way. On Windows, that would be Windows Glulxe, for example. For ease of use, you can provide a batch file to start the game. So you’d put the gblorb file into the directory where Glulxe.exe resides, and also put in a batch file which is called “PLAY_GAME.BAT” (or whatever) and which contains the line:
Glulxe.exe yourgame.gblorb

Another neat method, without the batch file, is that you can rename Glulxe.exe to have the same name as the gblorb file (except for the ending, of course), and then it will automatically load the eponymous gblorb file on start.
So, copy the gblorb file into the directory where Glulxe.exe is, and if your gblorb is called yourgame.gblorb, you’d rename Glulxe.exe to yourgame.exe.


There’s a simpler method if you only want to adjust the text font/color/style/etc. Generate a playable web page in the usual way, then go into the CSS files with your text editor and start whacking.

This doesn’t handle images without some annoying extra steps, and it doesn’t handle sound at all. But it’s worth mentioning the option.

If you’re targeting people who’ve never played parser games before, then a web site would make the most sense.

This is the important point. For the majority of players, “play it in a web browser” is by far the most approachable option.


While a customized HTML/CSS approach can get you far, and Vorple would be the most versatile and customizable choice, and either of the above could be bundled with Lectrote for a stand-alone executable, I think it’s worth mentioning also that the recent Inform 7 v10 supports compiling to C instead of I6, which can then be compiled to a stand-alone executable.

(It’s also the case that I, personally, strenuously avoid running random binary executables and would have to have heard repeatedly that something was the best game ever to go to the bother of running it in an appropriately isolated environment.)


My target is people who are new to parser games, yeah. I’ve been participating in game jams, and the themes often call for images or audio that aren’t possible within the browser. The reason I’m looking for an exe file specifically is because lets you upload exe files and then play them in browser, regardless of what OS you are on.

I just went through hell’s fires figuring out how to load an Inform 7 file with graphics to play online on Itch. It is doable.

If you do have graphics, you need to download the file from Juhana’s post #19 in this thread and follow the directions in that post. It will then upload, graphics and all, to play on Itch.

Not sure about sound, though. Easy enough to see if it works.

You can also try for playing online. That has also worked for me with graphics, but again, not sure about sound.


AFAIK web interpreters have the same graphical capabilities as offline interpreters, maybe apart from some minor details. The ones that come with the current Inform 7 IDE aren’t up to date so you’ll have to use newer versions like Amanda said.

There must have been some misunderstanding though, because this isn’t true.

You are right- the file type I was looking for was HTML. This issue has since been resolved for me, though, so it’s not relevant now.