Most of my audience should recall the days when games like Zork and Hitchhiker's Guide were all the rage. It was a time of big hair and cell phones that could choke a goat. It was also a time of white text on a black screen and the mystery of how to get beyond the screen door, which demanded you carry both 'tea' and 'no tea' at the same time. In the days before truly graphical games, there was the Interactive Fiction game.
TADS, the Text Adventure Development System. TADS looks like programming, with standard things like declarations of types and commands, and of course lots of parentheses, semi-colons, and curly brackets. TADS was at once new and familiar: I've played with tools like these before. In the eighties I had a copy of the Computer Novel Construction Set, which allowed you to, predictably, create 'computer novels', or interactive fiction.
Inform uses natural language. Each seems to have its good and bad points, but I've just begun working with them so I can't judge just yet.
Writing an interactive fiction story is rather different from writing a traditional story, though there are elements that overlap: character, plot, conflict. You define the setting, decide on a goal for the player character, and then set about throwing obstacles (and methods for overcoming those obstacles) into their path. That's how I'm going about it, anyhow. Seeing as how it's been ... nearly twenty-five years since my last (and first!) attempt at creating interactive fiction, I'm pretty much coming into this cold, barring my experience as a player of IF games. It ought to be interesting. Now if only I could get the Computer Novel Construction Set to run thoroughly in Wine... aahhh, nostalgia.