Questions regarding non-English IF

Hello, folks.

I’m coming from a place of some ignorance here, so please humor the inquiry.

What authoring systems are favored by various non-English IF communities?

I know that Inform has numerous language extensions, but that can’t always be ideal as the software was originally written with English in mind; I would suspect there are some peculiarities to its underlying structure due to the vagaries of English grammar that may be difficult to correct/address with an extension.

Are there any commonly used authoring systems used by these other communities beyond those well-known in the English sphere (Inform, Twine, TADS, ZIL, Adventuron, Dialog, etc.)? I would imagine there must be with decades of divergent evolution.

Finally, which languages have a currently extant IF community? I know IF communities in French, Spanish, and German are alive and well, but are there any other, maybe less well-known IF communities writing and playing in other languages? Is there a Portuguese IF community? What about Mandarin or Arabic? Russian? Hindi? Do these communities have an IF home online like our, or ifMUD?

Thanks again for humoring me,

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Most of the major European languages have an IF community. I think the Spanish community is the strongest. They are very active. Adventuron and DAAD are popular.

Most of the major European languages have a replacement for the standard Inform 6 library. These take care of any syntactic issues in the English parser, as well as replacement of the standard verbs.

There are a lot of language-specific authoring systems, but most of these are no longer used. Here’s a quick run-down of the ones I’m aware of:

Adrift 3.9 has games in French, Russian and Spanish. Adrift 4.0 has games in French, Italian and Spanish. Adrift 5.0 has a game in Danish.

AGE has a game in Spanish.

AGT has a game in Dutch.

Alan 2.6 & 2.8 have games in German. Alan 3.0 has a game in Spanish.

AWS has games in Italian.

CAT (not the English one) has games in Spanish.

Floyd has games in German.

JACL has a game in French.

MAC (Mystery Adventure Creator) has games in Italian.

ngPAWS has games in Spanish.

Quest 5 has at least one game in Spanish.

SINTAC has games in Spanish.

TADS 2 has games in Russian.

TADS 3 has games in Czech, German, Italian & Spanish.

TAG (not the English one) has games in German.

TxA has games in German.

Visual SINTAC has games in Spanish.

YaBasic has a game in Italian.

And, of course, good old Inform 6 has games in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Lobjan, Spanish & Swedish.


Twine def has games in French (at least 2 cause I made them, lol) But you can find a lot of French games here:

And there is a parser program made by a French peep, all in French, that seems to be quite popular:

From what I have seen on the French discord, both Donjon and Twine, plus Inform and Ink are being used (I couldn’t say how popular each of them are). I have also seen French VNs made in Ren’Py (I’m pretty sure one EctoComp entry was made with that).


To add about French interactive fiction.

Inform 6 was for some time the main authoring system (in the '00s). There also were some ADRIFT 4 (or maybe 3?) games. Then Inform 7 gained in popularity (notably the 6G60 version) and is now the most common used for parser. But we are stuck with 6L38 right now because translating Inform is more complicated than before. (The natural language syntax can be translated to an extent, but it’s a bit difficult to maintain.)

Because of that, and because there are some quirks needed to install the French translations, Donjon, an recent authoring system in French that looks superficially like Inform 7, has been gaining traction, especially with newcommers. (By the way, I believe Donjon’s creator is Belgian, not French.)

We also have been quite early adopters of Vorple.

I think there are Quest games too, but then they remain on Quest’s site. We don’t use Quest much otherwise. I have a translation of Dialog that’s not quite ready yet, and as I write this I believe there’s only one French parser game written in Dialog. There has been an attempt at a TADS translation in the past, but it was never finished and I don’t think there are French games in TADS. (Inform was good enough and translating TADS is a huge task.)

For multiple-choice IF, we have quite a lot of ink users, and Twine of course. There’s also Moiki that has quickly gained popularity. The winner of our last comp was a Moiki game. We also got some Texture games, but, as in English, it remains a bit niche.

Thinking about it, I don’t see too much divergent evolution. We do have some French authoring system made by French-speaking people, but globally we use the same as the English-speaking world. It there are differences, I would say they are “cultural”, as in the types of games or writing.

Although we quite regularly (for our small community) have people arriving on our Discord to show the authoring tool they created, but they often don’t gain much users. (I mean, it’s difficult when there are so many tools available already; but we have some “succes” stories like Moiki and Donjon.)

Thanks for asking these questions! I love seeing what is done in languages other than English!


I know a lot of Brazilians who play and write IF, but in English. I don’t know any IF written directly in Portuguese. :thinking:

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I am an IF player of the light side, parser IF. As I play many games I can point at two types of spanish IF authors.

Parser IF spanish authors, veterans and novels, rather prefer inform6 although several ones write their games in PAWs for ZXSPECTRUM or even in DAAD. Additionally two important games have been released in the last weeks in Adventuron and NGPAWs.
On the dark side there are many authors creating games in twine, ink, bitsy, binky, Renpy, etc.

  • Jade.

If you’re interested in Spanish text adventures and IF, then there’s really only one place to start… and that’s the CAAD website, which also features a regular magazine…

The Spanish scene is really active and a great source of tools and tech that help support writers in many different languages, particularly English & Spanish ones.

There are a handful on the retro scene producing stuff, mostly for machines like the MSX. For example Rogerio Biondi did Mystery City a couple of years ago, in both English and Brazilian Portuguese.

Hugo Labrande is the expert when it comes to French IF/text adventures; see his posts on this forum about his newsletter. Here’s one of his older articles on the subject…

There have been lots of articles about Soviet-era text adventures and there is still a scene writing games in Czech etc.

There are lots of similar articles about text adventures & IF in various languages. Some, such as the ones on Japanese games, explore the particular challenges of “parser-based IF” in those languages.


I adapted ngPAWS to Catalan and I started a translation of a game (unfinished, not working on it at the moment), but I would not consider myself a community XD (there’s just a couple of finished games available)
For me, any parser html5 based is excellent for creating in your language

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There is one Inform 6 game in Danish too: På loftet sidder nissen - Details

There are two different translations of the PunyInform library to French. Hugo Labrande has used his translation to make L'île Tristam - Details

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I learned Esperanto, at least to the level of basic ability to read and write, partly because at one time someone promoted here, on a prior iteration of this very forum. Someone suggested that IF fandom would cross over nicely with the Esperanto movement. The replies generally made fun of the idea, acknowledging the unlikeliness of combining two such obscure niches, both trying to gain a little more mainstream recognition.

I was neutral about it at the time, but a couple years later I was hit by a deep need to not be monolingual after I worked with people who emigrated to my part of the U.S. as refugees and who know 3-5 languages simply because they needed to acquire them.

So, last I checked, there’s maybe a couple IF games in Esperanto and at least one that uses it within a surrounding English context.

But now I’m learning Spanish for work, and somewhat to my disappointment, my Spanish level will pretty soon be higher than my Esperanto level. I’d like to participate in Spanish IF just a little bit, some day.


On the topic of conlangs, I have wondered about the feasibility of an IF game in toki pona, as a combination art project and experiment. How would the deliberate ambiguity of the language interact with the generally-sparse descriptions of classic text adventures? The basic vocabulary of the language includes “examine”, “take”, “drop”, “open”, and “go”, after all, though you’d need to come up with some idiom for “inventory” and some way to convey absolute directions rather than relative ones. Maybe just repurpose forward/backward/left/right and handwave that they’re relative to some major landmark.


I never made time to so much as read an overview of Toki Pona. I have, however, done about that for Lojban, and it’s interesting to consider how strongly the form of language influences the kind of puzzles, interaction, and implementation that are possible. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since playing Andrew Schultz’s Low-Key Learney Jokey Journey and posting about it.

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There’s a non-dead forum in Italian for retro gaming that includes text adventures:


There is an experiment I tried a long while back that might be worth expanding into a full wordplay game. The idea is that you don’t choose the nouns for your actions explicitly: which noun is involved depends on the consonants and vowels in the verb. So you need to find as many synonyms as possible to be able to operate on all the nouns you care about.

Which, yes, is a Homestuck reference.