turning old .z5 file into playable website


I’m trying to turn an old .z5 file into a playable website that I could put on itch.io. If I were recompiling a new game I’d know how to do it, but this is an old project that I can’t easily (or maybe even at all) drop into inform and compile again.

I thought it would be a matter of finding parchment online and just pressing a button, but either it’s more complicated than I thought or else I really don’t understand the process. Is there anyone who could explain the best way for me to turn this .z5 file into something that can be played on itch.io?


If you have Inform 7, put this into a new project.

Release along with an interpreter and an existing story file.

Then copy your file to Story.z5 in the .materials folder, set your compilation mode to Z-machine, and hit Publish. (WI25.15)

Create a new I7 project; set it to Z-code; use the line

Release along with an existing story file called “your-game.z5”.

Place the file “your-game.z5” in project.materials. Hit the Release button.

You can also define headline/date/etc info. See chapter 25.15.

It is also possible to directly convert a Z-code (or Glulx) file into “foo.zblorb.js” and copy it over the project.materials/Release/interpreter/foo.zblorb.js file in the release. This requires the Python script that’s bundled with Parchment, at github.com/erkyrath/parchment/b … code2js.py .

You’d do something like

python zcode2js.py new-test.materials/shade.z5 > project.materials/Release/interpreter/foo.zblorb.js

Thanks – this almost works! The remaining problem might be tricky, though. Everything compiles correctly, and I do end up with a playable .zblorb file. But the website version still doesn’t work. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t even load parchment, although I guess it might be loading and just not showing anything. The game uses colored backgrounds and text–would these not work with parchment for some reason?

The old parchment website at googlecode.com used to have a button where you could enter the URL of your story file, press a button, and it’d give you an URL to play it through Parchment, but that seems to have finally disappeared. Still, if you don’t to make your own website, I think you can generate a Parchment url for your file by writing iplayif.com/?story= and then putting the URL for your story file. For instance:


Since you’re not hosting this, it’s vulnerable to whatever happens at the Parchment website (for instance, the redirects from parchment.googlecode.com seem to have expired so all my ancient Play Online links are now broken). And I don’t know if this helps for loading to itch.io. So I think you’re better off doing what the other folks said, but this is what it sounds like what you were thinking of.

Try the python script thing.

If it’s on the same domain there shouldn’t be any need to convert it to a JS file.

This almost worked, slightly more! (Took me a bit because I have never used python before.) I think the colors in the original is going to prevent this from ever being quite right, though. Now I can get the website to load the file, and run the file, but the text is just black bars (in the original it was a black background with white text.)

I really appreciate the help, anyway, even if this isn’t quite meant to be.


That is probably fixable with CSS, but I don’t remember how Parchment handles all that stuff in the HTML.

Okay, yes – I just figured out how to change the CSS. Thanks very much!

And how do you then edit the z-code file, such as .z5, from inside Inform 7?

The Inform IDE cannot edit a Z-code (or Glulx) game file directly.

There are tools to disassemble the game file, but the result will be assembly code. Hard to read, not really useful for editing.