David's web pages
One day there will be something interesting here. Today is not that day, but at least there is
a bit more than there used to be...
Text adventures, or "interactive fiction", are text-based computer games. If you were playing computer
games in the late 1970s or 1980s, you might remember games like this (the start of Infocom's Zork):
Commercial text adventures are long gone, but there is an active community writing freely available
games, based around the
intfiction.org Forum, the blogs at
Planet IF and, though to a lesser extent than formerly, the
Usenet groups rec.arts.int-fiction and rec.games.int-fiction.
The Interactive Fiction Archive and its mirrors contains
the vast majority of the community's work. If you're looking for somewhere to start making sense
of all the games and systems in the IF-Archive, try
The Interactive Fiction Database.
ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire
Infocom interactive fiction - a fantasy story
Copyright (c) 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 Infocom, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ZORK is a registered trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Release 52 / Serial number 871125 / Interpreter 4 Version F
West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
Most of these games are written in various well defined formats, for which interpreters are
built for various operating systems. To play, all you need to do is start the relevant interpreter
for your computer, then load in the game you want to play. The following are the interpreters
I've been involved with:
I'm also part of the team behind Inform 7, a user-friendly design
system for writing text adventures.
If you want access to the bleeding-edge source code for these projects, I use GitHub for source code
In the computer world "old" is anything not made this year, so "ancient" in this context means
from the 1980s. Below are several old software packages I've worked on resurrecting for modern
- AberMUD II, one of the first MUDs (a multi-user text adventure, effectively).
- DBW-Render, an early ray tracing graphics package.
- Omega, a game inspired by Rogue and the Ultima series.
- Xlife, an implementation of John Conway's "Life" cellular automata,
optimized for very large patterns.
- A collection of games and utilities written by me for the Commodore 64,
the first computer I ever owned.
- Commodore 64 emulator tape images of the Zzap!64 Sampler Tape, which came
with issue 26 of the UK magazine "Zzap! 64". This doesn't seem to be available anywhere else. For an
emulator, I would recommend VICE.
Assorted tools I've written for specific people (you know who you are):
- Flash Edit, a tool for getting at and changing the images in a Flash
- Report Config, a tool to output details of a PC's configuration.
This page wouldn't be complete without a link to my
other half's blog.
(Warning: rather more wool and fewer computer programs than this page.)