Need help on choosing a system for an IF game

Hello, I’m trying to pick between Inform 7, Twine or maybe even Adventuron and others. This has led me to realize that I know very little about picking the better option for a project I have in mind.

Currently, I am planning to make a game involving at least some level of procedural generation, a system for passing time and some role-playing features such as an inventory. I don’t want to feature creep too hard, but it’d be nice if some other elements like basic combat are possible in some way. I also want to have the ability to display pixel art graphics if possible, which is making me lean towards Adventuron, but again, unsure.

Twine has caught my attention, but I keep seeing good things about Inform. Tho, they both function differently from what i’ve read and confuses me a little.

Inform 7 looks great, but I know very little about it and am unsure if it’d be a good choice or not.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I didn’t mess up the topic location :grinning:


Okay, I’ve tried all of the systems in this list and I might be able to share some of my experience.

First, you can do pixel art in both Adventuron and Inform. I have a project that I’ve done in both Adventuron and Inform. Here’s how it looks in the two formats:




Programming-wise, the biggest pros of Twine are that there are a lot of resources online for Twine, and a bunch of different code has been created for it. It can handle some procedural generation and passing time, etc. If you know some javascript, you can do just about anything.

Cons of Twine are that it doesn’t naturally keep track of stuff like Inventory or location, so you have to code all that in by hand or get someone else’s code to do it.

The pros of Inform are that it’s great for procedural generation, and has an inventory and world locations already built in. Combat isn’t automatically built in, but is possible. Inform has plenty of documentation and a lot of people who are willing to help.

Cons are that it can be a little tricky to learn, as it’s a full-fledged programming language. And graphics can be touchy with it. Also, Inform games in the past haven’t always been as popular as Twine games on sites like itch. In this forum, parser games are at least as popular as Twine games.

Adventuron’s pros are that it isn’t too hard to learn and has great pixel art handling. It includes inventory and world modeling too.

The cons are that the language leans more to specific individual interactions than whole classes of interactions, so it’s very fast and easy to write a rule for killing an orc, but writing rules for whole systems of combat, while possible, is a little more work than doing the same thing in Inform.

There is also less available documentation on Adventuron than the others, but the people that know a lot about it are very helpful and friendly.


Another thing to consider is: what gameplay are you planning for the player?
If it is list of choices on screen or links to click → Twine might be better
If players should type in commands → go for an actual parser program

Resources for Twine
Resources for Adventuron
Let’s Play Inform 7 :stuck_out_tongue:
EDIT: the actual Resources for Inform 7 post :wink:


If you haven’t already, you could also try playing games made with different systems to see what the gameplay is like.

Example of an Adventuron game with graphics:
The Bamboo Forest (

Example of a Twine game with some graphics:
Will Not Let Me Go (

Example of an Inform 7 game that has some graphics (though I think you might have to play the online version to see the graphics):
The Blue Lettuce (


Other Twine with graphics:

(there are a lot of those on

Other Adventuron with graphics:

(I think the Adventurons Examples also have graphics)


I haven’t seen any systems with a fun default combat system, except perhaps Eamon, but that is very old school. So you should expect to implement your own combat system. However, some might have some available add-on libraries to get you going faster. If this is a big deal, perhaps try to get an overview of combat libraries for different systems.


If you’re not sure Twine, Inform 7, or Adventuron will work for you, people might be able to suggest other authoring systems to look into, as well. Especially if you say what kind of gameplay you want (typing commands, choosing from a list of options, clicking links, etc.).


Thanks to everyone for the replies!

I’ve given it some thought after everyone’s replies, and I’m starting to get a better grasp of the options. Inform 7 seems to be the more robust option of the bunch, from what I’ve seen and read. But I am also interested in the possibilities that Twine opens up when it comes to visuals and UI modifications. The only thing that turns me away from it is just how much I’d have to do myself “by hand”, so to speak.

I know both systems work on different core gameplay (parser and links), but I feel I can work with either when it comes to what I have in mind specifically. I might just try both for a while and see which flows better with my own workflow and ideas.


You didn’t include it on your list, but TADS can also do everything on your checklist. Combat will need some coding, depending on how complicated you want it to be.


Any of the systems you mentioned can be coaxed into doing RPG, but you’ll have to develop the combat system yourself. Personally, I think Adventuron will be the easier to learn and implement that combat system. An example of a game that comes close is Dungeons of Antur.

You could also consider other systems such as ADRIFT, Inform 6 compiled to Glulx and TADS. In all honesty, I think you’re better off using one of the RPG generation systems.


What kind of combat are you going for?

  • Real-time “push the on-screen buttons” (like A Dark Room)?
  • Real-time “push the physical buttons” (like most RPGs, roguelikes, etc.)?
  • Turn-based “push the buttons” (think Pokemon)?
  • Choice-based (“You see an opportunity to strike.” → Slice at the hip or Aim for the face)?
  • Parser-based (ATTACK → “You attack the enemy.”)

I can’t offer suggestions because I don’t know enough about IF software, but figuring out what you want will (hopefully) help others help you find a good system. Some of these are easier to implement in certain ones than others (like parser- and choice-based combat clearly are easier in their respective systems) but most, if not all, are doable in all systems with some finagling. Depending on what you want, though, interactive fiction may also not be the right genre for you.