Publishing to HTML

I’m toying with some IF ideas and I’d like the results to be playable in a browser. I have hosting, a CMS, etc… I just want to link people to the game from my blog and have them go to town, so an export I can just FTP up is ideal, rather than sending them to some other site. I don’t want them to have to download anything.

What are my options here? Hypertext/choice based or parser is fine, though I think the former is probably more accessible to new players.

If you want to try your hand on parser games, Inform 7 has html export. Inform 7 is a plenty good language, in my opinion. Easy to get into, and plenty of depth.

Don’t know what the best bet for multiple choice games, though. Anyone…?

I’m passingly familiar with Inform, but have much more experience with TADS 3. Apparently I prefer a structural approach to something more natural-language.

Yeah - personally, I see Inform as some sorta middleground between a programming language and a free-roaming sandbox game. Requires a different mindset than ordinary programming!

Regarding hypertext, I heard a lot about Twine … haven’t played with it much, though.

It’s possible to make a web-playable game with TADS, but it can only be played via IFDB.

You can try out Inform 6. Despite its name, it’s not a lesser version of Inform - it is, in fact, what Inform 7 compiles to under the hood. Then you can use Parchment (or Quixe, depending on whether it’s a ZCode or Glulx game) to easily share the game over the web.

Quest also has good online capabilities, but I think that - like TADS - you can only play a Quest game online from the actual Quest website.

Twine is definitely a possibility. Others are Undum (check out Sequitur’s “Raconteur”, which is a sort of frontend that pares down some needless complexity… from what I understand), or Inklewriter.

AXMA Story Maker is a tool that looks awesome, but it doesn’t seem to be 100% free.

Choice-based: Undum, Raconteur, Twine, AXMA, Quest, Squiffy, RAGS, Texture, INSTEAD (the engine itself is not web but there are several community conversions), UrqW (see docs on regular URQ and DOS-URQ language) and maybe a dozen of others.

Most comfortable for developers: Undum, Raconteur, Squiffy, INSTEAD (they don’t have a game editor but their capabilities are really good)
Have a visual or GUI game editor: Twine, AXMA, Quest, RAGS
Open Source: all of them except AXMA, Texture and RAGS.

UPD: there’s also Atril which is much more powerful than Undum family but all the docs are Russian-only. The newest release by Jumangee is a Heart of Ice translation.

Inform 7 will create a complete webpage for you with the game playable. You don’t have to use 6. If you want the game to be mobile-friendly, the only caveat is Android has some trouble with Glulx games.

Quest games can be playable off-line, but only on PC, not Mac. Squiffy is good if you want to do a lot of text manipulation, like click-replacing and don’t want t

Undum is a little hard, but creates absolutely beautiful games. Raconteur flattens the learning curve a bit but still requires some programming knowledge.

AXMA is Russian-developed. They have an online library which isn’t populated very much on the English side. They request a registration of ~$40 US to unlock the export to HTML, but one of the creators online said if you upload your story to the catalog and download it again, you get the HTML. I like AXMA because the feature set is closed and you don’t need to mess with plugins or coding for things such as real-time timers. The system also works great on smaller screens such as tablets or phones. I did an Ectocomp entry in it.

There is also ADRIFT which works a lot like Quest in trying to make an Infocom-style parser game with no coding, but needs its own platform-specific interpreter or a web interpreter. If you get it working, it can make a very nice-looking game. I’ve had several stumbling blocks with it that frustrated me enough to stick with Inform 7. (You may have much better luck on a PC.)

Not quite. It can only be played via a server, but you have your choice of the IFDB server, or, or both. You can also host your own server, though I suspect it’s less than straightforward (haven’t actually tried). For “here is my game, you can play it in your browser right now,” I generally use for simplicity. It saves players having to click through the IFDB launch screen. For instance, here’s my new game using each server:
IFDB: … pen_web.t3 … pen_web.t3

The main difference is that IFDB lets you save your game to the cloud, while makes you download a save game file to your computer.

The OP did say they preferred TADS3 to I7, so I thought I might suggest I6.

Oreolek - wow, is RAGS still around? I tried adding it and its games to my collection, but the vast, vast, vast majority of the games were very poor quality AIF, and there was no sign of new stuff being made.

Emerald, thanks for the clarification.

As has been said in this thread, you can build a game in I7 and I6 and publish to a website. You can publish a hostable webfile that will let your site guests go straight to an in-browser iteration of the game (though, it will lack saving capabilities). I currently use this function for my hosted Inform games. However, for what you described, you could also use Twine. Twine will let you do CSS, so you can make stunning presentations for your games in a web browser that the other options will fall short of, out of the box.

You could even design your whole website as a Twine game. This brings anna anthropy’s page to mind:

Anyways, I would recommend Twine, for what you’re suggesting, if you’re comfortable with a hypertext design and anticipate your audience playing mostly in-browser.

Just tried it - seems like save and restore works, but your saved games are lost when you close the browser.

Ah yes, I believe that Parchment will save your data as a temporary cookie or in your cache, but it isn’t persistent across browser sessions. So unless your game can be played in one sitting (honestly, most can be finished in that time), then it’s not a good option.

I was under the impression that after SAVing a game in Parchment you had to copy/paste the URL, and that url was, in effect, the saved game. When you wanted to restore you’d just go straight to that URL. No?