Playing Games

Cooper made an interactive tutorial for playing games on Playfic for newcomers to interactive fiction. If you write a better tutorial, let us know!

This cheatsheet by Andrew Plotkin and Lea Albaugh is a handy guide to playing interactive fiction.

Writing Games

Writing Playfic games may look like English, but it can be confusing. Here's a list of resources we recommend for digging into writing more complex Inform 7 games.


Playfic is a learning community, and one of the best ways to learn is by clicking the "View source" link on any game to see how it was made.

Cooper made a handful of sample games showing how to do some very simple tasks:

  • Objects
  • Doors
  • Devices
  • Non-Player Characters
  • Ending and Winning
  • Made something you want added? Let us know.


    The official Inform 7 documentation is an essential guide.

    The Inform Recipe Book shows hundreds of examples, arranged by category, from the simple to very complex. Want to make poison candy or make objects magnetic? Look no further.

    Writing with Inform is the official manual, going over every aspect of the language.

    Aaron A. Reed's Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 is the definitive book on the subject, available through major booksellers and on the Kindle.

    The Inform 7 Cheat Sheet, designed by Mark-Oliver Reiser, manages to squish most of the documentation into a four-page primer. Mostly useful for quick reference, after you're a little familiar writing Inform.

    > What is Playfic?

    Playfic is a platform for writing and playing interactive fiction. Interactive fiction (aka "text adventures") is a genre of game that uses no graphics or sound, but instead, uses text to tell a story in an interactive world.

    Playfic is a way to write interactive fiction and publish it entirely on the web. Playfic uses a "natural language" programming language called Inform 7 that's easy to pick up and difficult to master. You're able to make your first simple game within minutes.

    The best part? Playfic runs from your browser, so there's no need to download any programs to use it. You can write a game and publish, instantly creating a clean URL that you can send to your friends. What are you waiting for? Go explore!

    > How does Playfic work?

    Behind the scenes, Playfic simply takes the game source you enter and passes it to the commandline Inform 7 compiler, and views it in the browser using the open-source Parchment interpreter that plays the games. Playfic's just the social glue tying them together.

    > Who made this?

    Andy loves interactive fiction and wanted to make a game, but found it to hard to share his work-in-progress online. In an epic tale of yak shaving, he built Playfic before writing his first game.

    Cooper, on the other hand, had never programmed anything before or made a game. While interning for Andy over the summer, they built the core of the site. On Playfic, he'd written his first game in about 30 minutes of spelunking.

    Huge thanks to Flourish Klink, Stephen Granade, Andrew Plotkin, Emily Short, and Anil Dash for their incredibly valuable advice.

    > Got a question/comment?

    Get in touch! Email me or hit us up on Twitter