I'm an aspiring text game designer, interested mainly in interactive fiction, and I've been using Python with a lot of success. Unfortunately, Python is not very distributable. It can't be run in a browser, and the downloaded file requires an interpreter. I'm looking to move into something more distributable.

The problem is this: I really love the elegance of Python, and I'm looking for another system that comes close. JavaScript/HTML isn't nearly as elegant. (What's the JS equivalent of print()? There isn't one. You have to use <script> and .innerHTML etc.). I looked at Inform 7 also, but the language is so horrible when it comes to doing real code (i.e., "less than or equal to"). I've also tried Twine, but I rejected it for the same reason as Inform 7 … plus I really prefer working with the text as a text, without the aid of a IDE.

So is there a simple way of writing cross-platform IF, without sacrificing the power and elegance you can get from Python?

The requirements for the ideal system would be as follows:

  • Not requiring an IDE
  • Syntax usable for actual programming tasks
  • Moderately low-level (I prefer to invent my own game systems)
  • Playable on all platforms, especially browsers
  • Simple handling of input and output
  • python had continuation based web frame framework nagare. nagare.org It allows to write sites in python and seamlessly translate python code to java script. It effectively allows to write website in the similar style to desktop GUI application. The nagare project is currently dead, to my regret, but it is still usable.
    – ayvango
    Dec 3, 2015 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


There are several dozen competitors, but basically it all comes down to a choice between the big two: TADS and http://inform7.com/.

The languages have widely different syntax, so it will be a matter of taste for you.

A comparison of the syntax with a small sample game can be found here.

Useful links:

Answer: I always preferred TADS over Inform, based on the syntax. It is free, cross platform and can run in the browser. I do not believe that you will find anything better, more powerful, mature, widely used, with good supports


There is also Quest.

I don't know it personally, I just bumped into a 'How to be awesome' blog post by its author ;-)

Quoting from the sites:

Quest lets you make interactive story games – you can make text adventure games (like Zork, or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and gamebooks (like the Choose Your Own Adventure books). It lets you create sophisticated games complete with graphics, sounds and videos, all without having to know how to program yourself - a full visual editor is included.

- Visual script editor. A plain English approach to programming, where you can choose commands from searchable lists, so you don't need to remember any syntax
- Highly customisable - most functionality comes from a Core library, which is written in the Quest game language (ASLX) itself
- Games support unlimited undo
- Games are fully translatable - there is no hard coded text within a game. You can translate the English template to create games in other languages - we already have support for Spanish, German and Dutch.
- HTML game output allows embedding sounds, pictures, YouTube, Vimeo clips
- XML game file format is easily editable outside of Quest if you don't want to use Quest's own editor
- Games can be played online by uploading the .quest file to textadventures.co.uk, or you can use the WebPlayer project to host them yourself on a web server with ASP.NET
- MIT licence means you're free to create commercial Quest games, and use Quest in closed-source projects

Here is the repository.

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