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Inform 6

This is Inform 6.41, copyright (c) Graham Nelson 1993 - 2022, a compiler for interactive fiction (text adventure games).

Release notes, manuals, executables and more are available from


Back in the late 1980s, people began investigating the format of Infocom's text adventures. Infocom used a standard format that defined a virtual machine, which has come to be known as the Z-Machine, to allow them to be able to port their games to many different computers. This investigation lead to the creation of open source implementations of the Z-Machine, such as the InfoTaskForce interpreter, Zip, Frotz, and many others.

In 1993, Graham Nelson released the first version of Inform, which compiled a somewhat C-like language ("Inform") to the Z-Machine. In the years that followed this led to the creation of hundreds of free games by a community that had sprung up based around the Usenet group

The latest version of Inform is Inform 7, but Inform 6 still lives on, both as the code generator used by Inform 7, and as a language and compiler in its own right. Inform 6 is now considered stable and only has bugs fixed and minor, non-breaking features added, but development continues.

Using Inform 6

To use the compiler, you will need an executable. There are pre-built executables available, or you can compile the source yourself. There is no makefile as compilation does not really need one: all that is required is a C compiler and for it to be invoked with something like

  cc -O2 -o inform *.c

Suitable defaults for various operating systems can be selected by defining the appropriate symbol, a list of which are near the top of the "header.h" file (under "Our host machine or OS for today is..."). For example, to compile for Windows, use

  cc -DPC_WIN32 -O2 -o inform *.c

To write a work of interactive fiction with Inform 6, you will also need a version of the Inform 6 library. Stable versions of the library are available, and development of the library continues in a separate project.

More resources and documentation, including the Inform Designer's Manual, are available from the Inform 6 web site.


The latest version of the Inform 6 compiler, used for generating interactive fiction games.