Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation
Chapter 26: Publishing
§26.1. Finding a readership; §26.2. Editing and Quality Assurance; §26.3. A Page of Its Own; §26.4. The IF Archive; §26.5. IFDB: The Interactive Fiction Database; §26.6. Competitions, Exhibitions, and Jams; §26.7. Meetups and Conferences; §26.8. A short concluding homily
|Contents of Writing with Inform|
|Chapter 25: Releasing|
|Chapter 27: Extensions|
|Indexes of the examples|
§26.1. Finding a readership
So the new work of IF is written, and tested, and has all its bibliographic data and a fancy cover illustration lined up. What next?
Releasing and gaining attention for independent games – commercial or otherwise – is a big, complex, and constantly changing field, and other online sources will be able to provide more up-to-date information than we can offer here. However, there are some resources, events, and community spaces specifically for authors of interactive fiction and text adventures in particular.
First, though, a word about terminology.
For many years, the phrase "interactive fiction" referred primarily to parser-based games like the ones Inform produces by default. For those games, there has always been an avid hobbyist community, but few sales, and most parser IF writers have not felt that it would be more trouble than it was worth to charge for their games, because the income would be slight relative to the effort of setting up a storefront.
In recent years, other forms of interactive fiction – those that do not rely on typed input from the player – have experienced a commercial revival. There are a number of commercial game studios that write text-rich, choice-driven stories, especially for a mobile market.
Simultaneously, the communities of interactive fiction readers and players have grown and diversified. Once "the IF community" referred to a specific group of people; now, there are many communities of people who play text-based games, in various formats, with various amounts of overlap.
Although it is not a typical tool for choice-based mobile games, Inform has been used to produce commercial works, both parser-based and not. Users are very welcome to sell works created by Inform with no royalty or requirement for rights clearance. It's also widely used in education, and as a prototyping tool for other kinds of stories, such as interactive narratives that will ultimately take another (not text-based) form.