Your first IF experience: a wholesome, welcoming thread

No, for a small outfit with enough numerical analysis needs to want a minicomputer.

I didn’t tackle any of the other questions. The “how did you discover” was basically a co-worker of my father’s saying “check out this cool thing.”

I futzed around with IF-engine writing in BASIC as a boy. It got to where I could sit at the display TRS-80 at Radio Shack in the mall and it probably only took 15 minutes to type from memory something that supported taking and dropping things, inventory, rooms, directions, and a two-word parser and then I’d futz around writing ephemeral refinements.

I wouldn’t say I’ve been steadily into IF. A game here, a game there. I’d check out the IFComp sometimes. I don’t remember the exact order of things, but I was really excited by Bronze when I found it. @dfabulich started the Bay Area IF Meetup and I was semi-regular in its early days (and am again, but there have been very long gaps in my participation).

One time, the meetup went on the road to Santa Cruz to see @aaronius speak, probably 2010. I think Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 was already out but that it was only after that that I read it, and at least much of Writing with Inform. There was a point at which I could credibly say I knew how to write Inform 7; this was me taking a stab at an approach to a not-trivial I7 problem here back in 2011 and I like to imagine that a couple of lines in Kerkerkruip bear some family resemblance to it. But then I didn’t touch it for years and forgot everything.

In February or March of 2021, I thought I’d take another stab at it. And I was frustrated that some things that should be easy were harder than I thought they should be, so I did things like write a script to generate a browsable list of available extensions and write up what I could figure out about I7 compilation on the command-line and update (and, ultimately, basically rewrite as well as re-title) “the list of Inform 7 documentation”.

And I’ve been steadily into IF since then. There are games I want to write, but the list of extension and documentation projects is long and, for now, keeps on not getting shorter.