Interview: Mike Gentry

Underneath the veneer of “natural language,” Inform 7 actually has a pretty rigorous syntax, and it can be very picky about how you word certain kinds of phrases. But then there are other areas where the syntax is very loose, and it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that you can write your game in any sort of casual English, only to have it break down when you try to compile. This can be a source of frustration to both newcomers and experienced programmers who are accustomed to writing in languages with a more consistent syntax. However, I think that people will grow accustomed to this learning curve. Figuring out Inform 7 is not unlike figuring out how to play text adventure games for the first time: at first it seems like it will understand anything, but eventually you get an intuitive feel for how things must be phrased. —Mike GentryInterview: Mike Gentry (Game Couch)

The author of the acclaimed horror IF game “Anchorhead” offers an excellent assessment of Inform 7 (a robust programming environment designed specifically for the creation of text adventure games).