Hi Lisa,

Well, if you want my personal opinion I think you might be better
served with starting out with a general purpose programming language
like Python instead. Inform is certainly fine for writing interactive
fiction, because that is exactly what it was designed to do, but there
is a major down side to starting out too simple. What I am saying is
Inform was designed for people who have a specific interest in writing
simple text adventures with absolutely no programming background or
education. Problem is it doesn't really teach you anything
constructive in terms of programming either because it doesn't get
into topics like functions, classes, variables, etc in any depth to
carry over to another programming language. As a result if you wrote a
few text adventures and wanted to write something else, maybe like a
Space Invaders clone, you'd have to start from scratch again anyway
since Inform simply wasn't designed to create that kind of game.

So I'd pick Python. It is slightly more complex than something like
Inform, but the pay off for learning it is huge. It is one of the
fastest growing languages for hobbiests, is totally free, and there is
litterally thousands of pages of free documentation out there for
beginning to advanced Python programmers. Its open source nature means
it will remain free and well documented where languages like C# .Net,
by Microsoft, will cost you something to learn because it is targeted
towards professionals rather than a programming hobbiest just wanting
to tinker in her own home with games. Here is a very simple example
how Python is. (You might want to turn punctuation on at this point.)

#Guess the number
#Version 1.0
#By Thomas Ward
#Selects a random number and asks you to guess it

#Import the random module
import random

#Declare variables
loop = 1
choice = 0

#Enter game loop
while loop == 1:

        #Select a random number
        number = random.randrange(1, 10)

        #Print message
        print "Enter any number between 1 and 10."
        print "Enter 0 to exit."

        # Get tthe user's choice
        choice = input("Enter selection: ")

        if choice < number:
                print "Sorry, number is to low."

        if (choice > number:
                print "Sorry, number is too high."

        if (choice == number:
                print "Congratulations! You guessed it."

        elif choice == 0:
                loop = 0
                print "Exiting Guess the Number."
#End while
#End program

As you can see from this Python program I have just written a fairly
simple guess the number game in a very few lines of code. In fact,
most of the space is just taken up with comments to let you know what
is going on, and some spacing to make the code more readable.
Otherwise there is only like 10 lines that really matter. The rest is
just for you and I to keep track of the program flow. I've heard a lot
of people who say Visual Basic is the easiest language to learn for
beginners, but I can say from personal experience Python is far easier
than Visual Basic which is primarily why I'm suggesting it for a new
game developer like yourself. With a language like this you could be
up and running writing your own text adventures in a couple of weeks
depending on how quickly you pick up new things. Later on if you
wanted to create your own Troopenum, Judgment Day, Shades of Doom,
etc you would have to learn an API like PyGame or PySFML which really
isn't that bad. Definitely far easier than DirectX or some of the more
professional APIs like that.

To get the Python runtime and development system head over to
and for the largest source of manuals, tutorials, library reference
guides, etc head over to
which should get you up and running in no time.
Later when you are ready visit
for the PyGame API, game tutorials, and yes hundreds of free sample
games with source code to help you learn how to program games in


On 11/21/10, Lisa Hayes <lhay...@internode.on.net> wrote:
> Thomas thanks for this I'd start with straight text adventures and progress
> up to sound games and windows games so I guess start with inform and
> progress on/ is that what you'd say and where can I get the languages you
> mention here? thanks again for any help.
> Lisa Hayes

Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.

Reply via email to