"The most commonly used authoring systems"

On the IFWiki page Category:Authoring system, a sentence says:

The most commonly used (and talked about) systems appear to be ADRIFT, Alan, Hugo, Inform 6, Inform 7, Quest, TADS 2, and TADS 3.

That list was effectively written in 2005 (the wording then being “Adrift, Alan, Hugo, Inform, TADS, and TADS 3”), and Quest was added in 2007.

If we were to update this, what should it say today?

I’ve just removed the subsequent sentence, on the assumption that it must be at least slightly out of date:

The newest authoring systems are ThinBASIC Adventure Builder and RAGS (released in 2006), and DreamPath (released in 2007).



Add Twine, Adventuron & Dialog for starters. ?


Games listed as published in 2022 on IFDB:

Twine 69
Inform 7 37
Adventuron 13
Inform 6 6
ChoiceScript 5
Ink 4
Adrift 3
Dialog 2
TADS 3 1
Hugo 0
Alan 0
TADS 2 0
Quest 0

The data is imperfect (not all games are on IFDB and not all IFDB pages are complete, I forgot some systems, …) but I think the overall picture is still valid.
You should probably run the search for 2021 as well but I don’t think it will change things radically.


One should not take the list of released games as benchmark. I have WIPs under Hugo, Alan 3 and TADS 2, and even Inform 5… Granted that some obviously are WIP since the turn of century, if not earlier.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


I would suggest the wording changes to…

Some of the most commonly used (and talked about) systems include…


You can also check the entries for the last XYZZY awards.
I readed somewhere here, in intfiction, a list of development systems used last year.


In a sense we could get rid of the sentence completely, as it’s not strictly necessary where it is, and to avoid it being too long or too short – but it’s interesting information and could help someone starting to look for an authoring system.

Maybe we could go with

Some of the most commonly used, and talked about, authoring systems include:

  • Choice-based: Twine, ChoiceScript, Ink.
  • Parser-based: Inform 7, Adventuron, Inform 6, Adrift, Quest, TADS, ZIL, Dialog.

Looking at the same systems as Nils listed above, just with the addition of ZIL and plain “Inform”, but for 2018 onwards (essentially the last five years):

Twine 736
Inform (not specified) 314
Inform 7 268
ChoiceScript 106
Adventuron 97
Ink 58
Inform 6 35
Adrift 31
Quest 26
TADS 11 (TADS 2 was 0)
ZIL 11
Dialog 7
Hugo 1
Alan/Alan 2/Alan 3 0

The full list of systems listed on the IFDB search page is quite daunting:

Full list...
Computer Novel Contruction Set Inform 7 ChooseYourStory AdvSys
6502 machine code A-Code AAS ABL AI, Java, C++
Adobe Flash, Flash ADRIFT ADRIFT / Eamon CS ADRIFT / Inform 7
ADVENT 2 Adventure Book Adventure Builder System Adventure Creator
Adventure Development System Adventure Game Studio Adventure Maker Adventure Master
Adventure-Editor Adventurescape Adventuron Adventuron / DAAD
Adventuron, PAW AdvSys AdvSys, AGT AdvSys, Inform 5
AGE AGIFG AGT AGT, PAW (Professional Adventure Writer)
Alan Alan 2 Alan 3 Alan 3, Texture
Amazon Alexa AMOS Amulet Android
Android and iOS Apple II (jsbasic) Archetype ASG
Assembly language Atari Atari BASIC Atari BASIC, machine language
Aventuro AWS AXMA 6 AXMA 6.1
AXMA Story Maker BASIC BASICODE bassavg
BBC Basic Bitsy Blotter BTZ
C C# C++ C64
C64 BASIC Carrd CAT Character Engine
Choicescript ChooseYourStory chooseyourstory.com commaful
commodore 64 basic Commodore Basic Comprehend Computer Novel Contruction Set
Construct Curveship Custom Custom PHP
Custom, Inform 6 Custom, Javascript DAAD DAAD,PAW
Delphi dendry Desmos Activity Builder Dialog
DISAC Donjon Dos Dragon
Dragon Computer Eamon Eamon CS Eamon Deluxe
Eamon Remastered elisp Elm Explore Engine
Facebook App Facebook Messenger FacebookMessengerBot.js Figment
Flash Flexibase Floyd Floyd (Java)
Fortran GAC GAC, Inform 6 GAGS
GameMaker Godot Google Forms Gruescript
GW-BASIC Haskell Hatrack II HTML
HTML/CSS HTML/Javascript HTML5 Hugo
Hyperfable IAGE icicle IF Creator
IFC - Interactive Fiction Compiler IFDB infictio Inform
Inform (Platypus Library) Inform 5 Inform 6 Inform 6 with PunyInform
Inform 6, Vorple Inform 7 Inform 7, ADRIFT 5 Inform 7, JavaScript
Inform 7, Squiffy Inform 7, Twine Inform 7, Vorple InformATE
Ink Ink / HTML5 inkle inklewriter
JACL Java Javascript KAOS
Kni Kreate KreuAVT Lantern
LibGDX Lisp Love2d, Lua Machine language
Massively Micro Adventure Creator Minform Mipric
Moiki Monogatari Multiple Môsi
N/A Nightswim NMP None
Not Inform 7 O.H.R.RPG.C.E OPS5 p5.js
Paguaglús Pascal PastaLisp PAW
PAW (Professional Adventure Writer) PAW / ADRIFT PAW / Adventuron / DAAD / The Quill PAW / DAAD / Adventuron
PAW; Superglús PAWS Perplexity Playtypus
Print PunyInform Python Python 3
Python 3.4 Python 3.9 Qbasic qBasic64
Qiaobooks Quest Quest 5 Quest 5.5
QuestJS QuickBASIC Quill Raconteur
Ramus Ren’Py RPG Maker RPG Maker 2000
S.A.G.A. SAL SAM Adventure System ScottKit
Scratch Seltani SINTAC Sistema Editor de Adventures
SKC Spectrum Spinoff Squiffy
STAC Storyboard StoryConsole StoryHarp
StoryNexus StoryPlayer5 Storyspace strand
SublimeText (javascript) SUDS Superglús T.A.G.
T/SAL TAB Tabular Adventure Generator TADS
TADS 2 TADS 2, PAW (Professional Adventure Writer) TADS 3 TADS 3, ALAN 3
TAPLO Tell4Play textallion and txt2cyoa Textes Mouvants (Unity)
Texture The Adventure Generator The Biro The Quill
The Quill / Adventuron The Quill / DAAD / Adventuron The Quill, Adventuron, DAAD The Quill, Inform 6
The Quill, Inform 6, ZIL The Quill, PAW The Quill, PAW (Professional Adventure Writer) The Quill, ZIL
thinBASIC Adventure Builder TIC-80 Timeline TRS-80
TRS-80 Color Computer Twee Twine Twine + PuzzleScript
Twine / Adventuron / PAW / DAAD Twine 1 Twine 1.4 Twine 1.4.2
Twine 2 Twine 2.0 Twine Harlowe Twine, Branch Manager
Twine, Harlowe Twine, Undum Twine, Unity Twinery
Twinery.org TxA ULTRAcode Undum
Undum.js Undum/Raconteur Unity Unity 3D
Unity and Ink Script Unity, ink Unity3d Varytale
Versificator 2 Versu Visionary Visual Basic
Visual C++ Visual SINTAC Wander Web
Webs Site Builder: Grow A Site, Grow A Community! Windows Windrift WOLF RPG Editor
World Builder Worldscape XLR8R XVAN
Youtube ZETA ZIL ZX-81

That would be interesting, if someone has the link handy.


P.S. I wonder whether the text ought to be updated on the IFWiki main page too. It says that Squiffy and Texture are “still going strong”. Each has five games on IFDB since 2018… though IFDB search results can’t be the sole arbiter, as PunyInform only has 11 games in that period, but is active and talked about a lot. Also, should the ZILF link be changed to ZIL?

Here’s what the main page has about authoring systems:

What’s new in the IF scene:

Still going strong:

This has been educational. Thank you. I’ve removed the “most commonly used” sentence from Category:Authoring system (to make it more like the other software category pages), added an updated version to the Authoring system page, and at the same time updated the lists on the Main Page.

If I have made any mistakes you can register for a wiki account and fix them :slight_smile:

Only a fraction of games end up on IFDB, and that’s doubly true of systems that have their own publishing arena. There are 200-300 games published in the Texture Public Library since 2018 and several dozen Squiffy games at textadventures.co.uk.


Oh no. I’m always worried that deleting anything from IFWiki will be heresy to someone, so I did look at https://textadventures.co.uk/squiffy and wondered whether there was more to it than met the eye. Would you be willing to register an IFWiki account and correct/update it where necessary? There is also a page on Squiffy which may interest you.


I don’t actually know anything about Squiffy, sorry.

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As an outsider looking in, why don’t you post a message on quest site asking for input/clarification? You could also post to the Adrift site too as they also have their own repository for games.

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IfWiki is quite incomplete on this regard, then.

Most Squiffy works are published at textadventures.co.uk and I dare say that they are more than just three.


If it were me, I’d keep the order of the list alphabetical, rather than by popularity (as that changes and is somewhat subjective).


Yes, I’ll do that when I get a chance. Good idea.

If you mean the figures above, it’s IFDB that must be incomplete. As it happens though, I’m sure IFWiki is even more incomplete, as from memory IFDB has about 11,000 game pages and IFWiki about 3,000.

Ok, I’ve made that change. Thanks.

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A large chunk of what is there in IFWiki, in terms of the older games, is just full of inaccuracies and incorrect information too, when it comes to dates, systems used, authors, publishers and platforms. The whole “games released in…” group of pages are a mess, merely due to the amount of research that’s been done by bloggers and archivists in the many years since they were originally created.

IFDB is generally a lot more accurate, although there are still plenty of issues with the facts about older, pre-2000 games and there are duplicate entries for games.