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

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):
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. >
Commercial text adventures are long gone, but there is an active community writing freely available games, based around the intfiction.org Forum, the blogs collected at Planet IF, and the Interactive Fiction Archive, which contains much 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.

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 control: https://github.com/DavidKinder/.

Ancient Software

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 systems: