Stand Alone Inform 7 Games With Phonegap

If you feel like distributing your text adventure through one of the marketplaces for mobile phones, you'll need to create a stand alone installer package. This is a quick, rough and ready, tutorial on how to use Adobe Phonegap Build to do that. This should work for Android, Windows mobile, and iOS packages, but my main focus is Android.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any clarification in the comments below.

The first thing you'll need to do is sign up for an account on Adobe Phonegap Build. There's a free option and I can't imagine any Inform based game will get over 50mb in size, so it should work just fine.

After you've got your account set up, you'll want to grab this zip file which contains a template you can use as a starting point for "releasing" a website that can be turned into apk, ios, and windows phone installer packages with Phonegap. You'll probably need my "dark" version of the Quixe interpreter too, come to think of it, since I made some color changes there for my "dark" template. I like white text on black screens.

Unzip it into your Templates directory, modify the stylesheet and so forth to get the look and feel you want, and then add:

Release along with a "Android" website.
Release along with a "Quixedark" interpreter.

to your Inform 7 source.

It'll look a bit like this:

Hit ctrl-shift-r or use Tools->Release to release your project.

In the release directory, rename config.html to config.xml (I had to use .html to get inform to run substitutions, so this is a bit of a kludge, but so be it)

Now, modify the config.xml file as needed. You might have to look up how to add icons, get/generate developer keys for each platform, etc. That's a bit beyond this quick tutorial. I have included an example icon you can work with.

After you have your config.xml as you like, zip up everything in the release directory.

You'll upload that zip to as a private project. (You can also make your code open source and release many games that way)

Phonegap will guide you through a very basic build wizard and you'll have an apk of your game you can download and install on your phone/tablet/TV/etc. You should also be able to get packages for Windows mobile phones and iOS devices, though those require signing keys.

P.S. - It's possible to use this same basic setup to create standalone packages/games from Twine, Undum, RPG Maker MV, and anything else that outputs to HTML. However there is a 50mb limit on the free Adobe Phonegap Build account, which most RPG Maker MV games will easily exceed.

* I have been asked elsewhere why one would do this when Inform games compile to bytecode and there are interpreters etc... Put simply, people are more likely to install a packaged standalone app that they can get through the marketplace of their platform, so this has the potential of making your game reach a much wider audience.