Inform 7 has continued to evolve in the years since the book’s first publication. Some exciting new features have been added, but unfortunately, some syntax changes make it more difficult to follow along with the book as you’re learning the language.
If you’d like to follow along with the examples, my current recommendation is to install a legacy version of Inform which matches the source texts used in the printed book. Version 6G60 is the recommended version to use. You can find this on inform7.com by going to the Download link and then selecting that build number from the list of versions. The Errata page of this site includes changes to the book text up to this version.
Once you’re finished working your way through the book, check out the release notes for the newer version (also available on inform7.com) to see how things have improved since 2013!
One of my greatest satisfactions about the book is that it’s not just preaching to the choir; it’s found an audience of people outside the IF old guard. One of these folks has posted some of his thoughts about starting to learn Inform 7, which conclude with this very kind plug:
By the way, I thought I’d take the time to plug Aaron Reed’s excellent Creating Interactive Fiction With Inform 7. It’s one of the most inspiring programming books I’ve ever read. And I’ve been through a few.
A new build of Inform has been released, marking the second update since the book’s publication. The Updates and Errata page has been reorganized and updated to detail how the book’s text and Sand-dancer’s code should be changed for both to be up-to-date with the lastest release, and a new release of Sand-dancer has been uploaded.
The e-version of the book is unavailable for purchase from Amazon outside of the United States, for reasons which are equally opaque to both myself and the publisher. One solution is to buy it from ebooks.com, which has it available in several different digital formats. Another solution: I’ve heard that temporarily changing the address associated with your Amazon account to one within the USA, ordering the e-book, then changing it back allows you to successfully acquire the book from any country. Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for all the interest from international IF enthusiasts.
Another review has appeared online, this one from Brooks Reeves’ blog The Quiet Sunday. “I was a little hesitant to order the book to begin with,” Brooks writes. With all the great Inform 7 resources available online, “why would you plop down thirty bucks for a text book which should, in theory, tell you nothing you couldn’t get somewhere else?” Read on to find out.
Another review has been posted, over here. It’s interesting to hear the take of someone who’s not an IF vet. Check it out.
An electronic version of Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 is now available on the Amazon Kindle store. Many people might not be aware that you no longer need a Kindle to read Amazon e-books: they have reader software for many platforms including the iPhone and iPod, BlackBerry, Android, Windows, and Mac, with your reading automatically synced up across any of those devices you own. I’ve previewed this e-version of the book on a Kindle DX, and it looks very nice– tables and diagrams are all preserved, as well of course as all the original text. (One issue to note for those with accessibility concerns is that most of the tables seem to have been converted to a graphical format. The book is not too heavy on tables– a couple per chapter– but there will be some information missed out on if you’re using a screen reader.)
The book is also available electronically from Safari Books Online and eBooks.com in various formats.
Andrew Plotkin has just posted a review of Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 over at The Gameshelf. It’s great to hear some in-depths reactions starting to come in, especially ones that include the word “awesome.”
Amazon has posted the Table of Contents, Index, and first few pages on their website for the book. Click on the cover or “Look Inside!” to view this material. They’ll begin shipping copies out on tonight and tomorrow!