Newbie teacher looking for advice

I’m an elementary teacher, and am looking into making some IF for my classroom. I grew up on Scott Adams and Infocom games. I have a web site for my students, and had some questions:

  • Can anyone recommend some creation software? I was reading about Inform 7, but didn’t know if that was the best place to start.
  • How hard is it to publish it so that it can be played in a web browser? Can it be published to fit into a frame, or does it have to be full screen?
  • If it’s published in a web browser, can a student save their progress?

Thanks for any tips or advice!

Have you seen playfic? It lets you code, save, and run, all in the browser, plus links to all of the Inform tutorials. I don’t think there’s a faster way to get your own IF up and running online.

Adrift Could be another choice.
Very easy to use. You concentrate on the writing rather than on the coding.
If you wish to have a look at it,

Or Quest:

If you publish a game to the website, logged-in users can save their progress and come back later.

To answer your initial question: Inform 7 games can be put online at the flip of a switch if you’re using If you’re using the desktop I7 IDE, it will release a game as a directory of static HTML/Javascript files that you can just upload to any web server. (You can then put the web page in a frame, if you like – that’s true of any web page.)

The web interpreter lets you save progress as browser-local data. (Cookies, effectively.) The save will not be available if you come back to the game in a different web browser, or if you do a “clear cookies” operation.

Thank you for all the suggestions. Unless I’m reading incorrectly, is Adrift and Inform the only two that will publish for my own website? It’s kind of a district (and parent) thing that it’s better if we keep our classroom pages self contained, and not redirect to another site.

Also, can Adrift save progress through the web browser?

I believe Quest lets you publish on your own website as well.

If you’re interested in multiple-choice games, which can be easier to code, you could also look at ChoiceScript, which allows you to self-publish on your own website for non-commercial purposes. … ipt-intro/ (I must disclose that I run Choice of Games.) It auto-saves progress in the browser, though you have to configure it to do that.

For multiple-choice games you might also want to look at Twine or Inklewriter. Twine has a GUI though you would want to look at the documentation some for how it works, and you can definitely host on your own page.

Some Time Ago I checked out ChoiceScript, because what could be more fun than playing these games except making them? My non-programmer-y experience was that following the minimal tutorial materials very quickly left me up a creek with things not responding the way they were described as being supposed to, and I couldn’t help but suspect that prior experience with JavaScript might help me untangle things.

I don’t mean to tar the system, as I’m completely smitten with what comes out of it (at least, as published by Choice of Games directly 8), but I’m curious before you try rustling up more authors to adopt it, whether the state of its learning materials has advanced any lately? I appreciate that you can’t deliver the power of what ChoiceScript offers with the authoring ease of eg. Twine, but it feels as if they ought to be a little closer together than they are on that facility spectrum 8)

I’m not sure when last you’ve checked. The learning materials have advanced some, but not as much as I’d like. We’ve put off a lot of work on making ChoiceScript easier to use in favor of porting to more platforms. It’s something I’m very anxious to get back to.

I haven’t released the server side code for ADRIFT yet, although that’s just because I haven’t got around to doing so. I should be able to do this relatively easy so you can host on your own server. ADRIFT can also save and restore games in a browser.

This is kinda what we were trying to do with inklewriter, and I like to think we’ve ended up with something which is easier than Twine to use. But in fairness, I’ve not played with Twine very much, and I know ChoiceScript offers some functionality that inklewriter doesn’t (or rather, the end result games play in slightly different ways).


I’ve gotta say, I was a big Adventure Book fan also. Similarly, my thinking I was adhering to its requirements was inadequate to produce the desired end result, though the sophistication of Kingdom Without End suggests the problem was indeed on my end.

I look forward to Inkling, though my personal computing setup makes a low-footprint offline desktop app ideal. All my regular web browsers are incrementally strangling my netbook’s ability to reliably get much done in the cloud, but you never know – maybe I can access it through Lynx 8)

Also: the engine-developer-to-clueless-newbie ratio here is incredible. I feel like I have presidential candidates personally courting my vote.

Although I’m looking more for parsed type games for what I’m doing, I loved inklewriter. I actively collect old CYOA type books and then use the duplicates in my classroom. I teach with my wife, and we’re planning on using inklewriter for a grade level project this year.

Thanks for all the great advice. I grabbed Adrift and Inform 7 and have been trying each out. I noticed each had an option to use graphics, which would be nice on occasion for illustrating objects and such for younger students. Does that work on both when exported to a web page, or is it text only?