Remembering David Malmberg

David Malmberg, the creator of Adventure Game Toolkit (AGT), passed away last weekend. His family contacted IFTF to share that he died peacefully, and requested that we let the community know.

David first released AGT in 1987, where it became a foundational creative technology during the early post-commercial era of interactive fiction. You can learn more about AGT in IFWiki, or browse IFDB’s collection of games created with AGT.

IFTF and I share our condolences and gratitude with David’s family. They have set up a memorial page for him where you can leave guestbook messages if you wish.


I am so saddened by this news. It is a loss not only to David’s family and friends, but to the IF community as a whole. When he released the Adventure Game Toolkit (adapted from Mark Welch’s mid-80s era Pascal-based shareware app the Generic Adventure Game System), he provided the would be writers of interactive stories in the late 80s and early 1990s an accessible platform with which to practice and play. In the BBS era, a sprawling community of AGT writers emerged on CompuServe, energized by Malmberg’s annual AGT competition, which ran from 1989 until 1993, and tutored by a 200 page+ guide to writing interactive fiction, first of its kind. The seasonal rhythm that the annual IFComp provides to us now (and that many other competitions that have emerged since the mid-nineties also offer their participants) originated in Malmberg’s innovative design event. A detailed account of David’s creation of AGT, and the language itself, can be found in Jimmy Maher’s blog. Speaking personally, David’s enthusiasm, good humor and support set me on my IF path; the debt I owe him is immense. His contributions to the IF community are a powerful and indelible part of our shared history.