Infocom was a major developer and publisher of interactive fiction from the early 1980s until the closure and sale of the company in 1989. The company dozens of excellent adventures, most of which are now available for study and research as their source codes have been published at the code archive GitHub.
The archivist Jason Scott, the proprietor of textfiles.com, uploaded the source codes of the adventures.
There are 45 code repositories in total, spanning a variety of popular titles including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Zork, Planetfall, Sorcerer, and Nord and Bert. There is even an unreleased adaptation of James Cameron’s The Abyss.
It’s notable news for those interested in preserving and safeguarding video game history, and Scott hopes the repositories will serve as an educational time-capsule for game developers and fans alike.
The games were written in ZIL (Zork Implementation Language) and they can be run in any platform with a ZIL language / Z-Machine interpreter.
The code was uploaded by Jason Scott, an archivist who is . His website describes itself as “a glimpse into the history of writers and artists bound by the 128 characters that the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) allowed them” – in particular those of the 1980s. He announced the GitHub uploads on Twitter earlier this week. The games were written in the LISP-esque “Zork Implementation Language,” or ZIL, which you could be forgiven for not being intimately familiar with already. Fortunately, Scott also tweeted a link to a helpful manual for the language on archive.org.
Gamasutra, which first reported the news, notes that Activision still owns the rights to Infocom games and could request a takedown if it wanted.