Some XYZZY 2020 Best Technological Development Candidates (Inofficial)

So, I asked myself what might be candidates for the Best Technological Development category of the XYZZY awards, and did some research.

I’d like to say that this post is of course not intended to lead to any sort of informal straw poll, nor to spark a debate on the relative merits of the tools. It’s just meant as “for your consideration and further research”.

I’m sure I missed some interesting and worthy candidates, so feel free to suggest more.

Again, this is not an official list, and I’m not vouching for complete accuracy with regard to whether something can count as a 2020 technological development.

Of course, for an established system/tool, I’m referring to the particular versions which came out in 2020.

I also thought of the very important IFDB Transfer/Open-Source Effort, but I guess that might be more accurately nominated for 2021, since the first commit in the new Github repo is from January 23rd, 2021.

I hope this helps to find candidates for nomination, and maybe leads people to check out interesting projects they might have missed. :slight_smile:

Edit: added dMagnetic.


Wow! A really great year for IF technology.

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This is hugely helpful, @StJohnLimbo – thanks!

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Excellent list. It’s really encouraging to see how much was going going on in 2020. There are a some fun things for me to check out that I wasn’t aware of.

Suggested additions for a future 2021 list:

  • Gruescript (This one impressed me a lot recently)
  • Impudently and arrogantly I suggest: trombicula (web-based version of tensodoct javascript interpreter) and sk2sadat (alternative, optimized ScottKit compiler). (Maybe I’ll merge sk2sadat and trombicula into a nice all-in-one web-based solution like Gruescript one day. Perhaps it will be in the 2022 list :wink: )

Very helpful listing. 2020 (and 2021) are good years for IF technology. I have bookmarked the post for future reference.

Thank you.

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It’s an amazing list. I knew only a bunch of these programs.

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Much appreciated, thanks for doing this!


I know this is tooting my own horn… But it was also a busy year for my little project Now with dMagnetic, a Magnetic Scrolls Interpreter.

Not only saw dMagnetic 0.22 the introduction of Hi-Res graphics (in the form of sixels), but also the possibilty of using several new input sources to play the games.

A full list of changes can be found here:


Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! :slight_smile:

Thank you for the suggestion, I’ve added it to the original post. :+1:

Good job on the additional input formats, and the sixel update looks great indeed!

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Thanks for including Discourse Frotz!!

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And yet, only two projects were nominated, one of which wasn’t even on this list.

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Wow, this is a great list. It’s a pity it wasn’t available earlier. Most of these tools were not new in 2020, but reached a new level of maturity in that year.

If memory serves me correctly, 2020 was also a big year for ZIL and DAAD developments.

For me, 2020 was the year that Adventuron became a serious authoring tool. There were updates on an almost daily basis and some brilliant games were released. I was able to release the most technically advanced game that Adventuron had seen up to that point (in time for Christmas 2020), with proper supporters and containers and full-sentence parser, amongst other things. More great games were to follow in 2021.