Somewhat dismayed - no text parser!

So - I’ve recently gotten into a book I bought about Twine, and I was, upon getting into Chapter 2 or 3 of the book, dismayed to learn that Twine doesn’t have a textual parser to let the player TYPE-IN stuff!! :frowning: I’m wondering which systems out there do? ie. it’ll be an open world game, instead of “click this or click that”. Does Inform do it?

Inform 6, Inform 7 and TADS 3 are all text based parser systems.

Inform 6 and TADS 3 are similar to traditional programming languages while Inform 7 is a “natural language” system. Inform is still in active development. The developer is giving a status update at Narrascope (online conference) on May 29, 2020.

TADS 3 lets you do amazing stuff :slight_smile:

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Agreed. TADS 3 is my favorite parser development system.

Thaumistry by Bob Bates is a recent game is an amazing work of fiction.


Might i recommend looking at the Ifwiki’s Engine list.


I think Dialog deserves mention in the same breath. It’s already quite an impressive newcomer for making parser games, but its also gained a choice based mode that looks set to become more and more useful.


Thank you for adding Dialog. The modern features it includes are exceptional and new developments are being added and enhanced on a regular basis.

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I feel that someone here ought to mention that Inform 7 is overwhelmingly the most popular parser-based tool for developing IF.

For example, there were no TADS games entered in the 2019 IFComp, no Inform 6 games, one Dialog game, and 26 Inform 7 games. The winning game was an Inform 7 game.


If you’re looking for a system with a graphical interface, take a look at ADRIFT and Quest.

Neither is as popular as Inform, but they are closer to Twine in terms of simplicity.

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There’s also a huge difference between the three main languages (Inform 7, TADS 3, and Dialog).

TADS 3 is similar to a typical programming language like Javascript or something. Most people used to programming are really comfortable with its syntax.

Dialog uses a rule based system that is pretty uncommon in coding languages but really powerful when done right (which Dialog does).

Inform 7 uses a natural language way of programming which is really inviting to people new to programming. It’s almost like you’re writing normal sentences. This is just my opinion, but I can’t stand Inform 7’s syntax because it’s extremely wordy and also very deceiving in its simplicity. But others love the hell out of it, and more power to them. It’s definitely the most popular and so also the most supported in terms of getting help.