As noted in previous sections, the IF community tends to place a high priority on IF games and tools being usable by people on a wide variety of platforms. But this accessibility does come with a price. Even just playing IF generally requires downloading a couple of different pieces, an interpreter appropriate for one's machine and the game file; now imagine throwing multimedia resources into the mix. It'd be bad enough if it were just a matter of taking a few hundred pictures and a generous helping of music files and zipping them into an archive along with the game file, but it's trickier than that. Even if you can get all your files from point A to point B without losing any along the way, who's to say that the computer at point B will be able to understand them? Even the filenames themselves can be a problem when trying to share data with different sorts of platforms. DOS and Windows machines require filenames to have an appropriate three-letter extension for them to be usable; Acorn machines (such as those used to develop Inform) don't even permit extensions. Being able to compile a single file, encompassing the game file and all the associated resources, that would be playable by interpreters on many different platforms, would be a significant improvement. This is what Blorb is for.

To create a Blorb file, you need the following:

Unfortunately, Blorb is new enough that the tools haven't been completely standardized, nor is it widely supported at present. Until that becomes the case, we'll have to deal with the various tools on a platform-by-platform basis. Choose from the following list (though at present, your choices are, um, limited):

For more on Blorb, see Graham Nelson's Blorb page and Andrew Plotkin's Blorb page.

Next section: Capabilities testing
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