A downloadable game

FALLING TO PIECES is copyright (c) 2023 by Gianluca Girelli and GDG-Entertainment. This is my first attempt at writing an IF story using the Inform 6 language and the PunyInform library. This work was developed for PunyJam #3 which ran from February 3rd to February 26th 2023, and it may not be sold or included in any for-profit collection without written permission from the author: info@gdg-entertainment.it.

It is dedicated to my very supportive family and friends. It is also dedicated to Stefano Buonocore, who left us way too early: your art will live forever.



 Madness is like gravity,

 all you need

 is a little



 Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight


A text adventure is a form of computer game that presents you with a story. You take on the role of the main character in the story and control that character's actions. The story has a goal and you will need to solve puzzles to achieve that goal. The computer tells you where you are, what you can see and what's happening around you. You can then move around, examine the things you find and manipulate those things by telling the computer what to do using simple English commands.

Commands consist of a verb phrase, optionally followed by a noun phrase. Most commands can be abbreviated to a verb followed by a noun. For example, OPEN THE FRONT DOOR can be abbreviated to OPEN DOOR.

If the verb is followed by a preposition, this may alter its meaning. For example, GET BED will attempt to pick up the bed, but GET ON BED will attempt to climb onto it.

In some cases, the verb phrase and first noun phrase may be followed by a second noun phrase. The two noun phrases are usually separated by a preposition. For example, HIT MAN will attempt to hit the man with your hands (as you didn't specify a second noun phrase), but HIT MAN WITH ROCK will attempt to hit the man with the rock. If you only use a verb and a noun, the game will generally tell you if it needs an extra phrase or implicitly try to deduce what is needed for the second phrase.

Don't panic! It's not as complicated as it sounds. Just use simple English sentences starting with a verb and it will all feel quite natural.


To move around, use commands like GO NORTH and GO SOUTH. You can move in any of the four cardinal compass directions. To save typing, movement commands can be abbreviated to N, S, E and W. You can sometimes use other movement commands such as IN, OUT, ENTER, EXIT, GET IN or GET OUT. These will be reasonably obvious when the time comes.

Examining things

Make sure you EXAMINE everything you come across, even insignificant things like scenery and objects mentioned in room descriptions, as subtle hints and clues are scattered everywhere. To save typing, EXAMINE can be abbreviated to X. For example, EXAMINE LOBBY can be abbreviated to X LOBBY.

You can also try your other senses when it seems appropriate, e.g. SMELL, TOUCH or LISTEN. Unlike EXAMINE, these actions aren't necessary to solve any puzzles but may prove useful later in the game.

Manipulating objects

Apart from examining things, most of your time will be spent manipulating objects. Use commands like GET or TAKE to pick up an object, e.g. GET NEWSPAPER. Use commands like DROP or DISCARD to drop an object, e.g. DROP NEWSPAPER. 

To see what you're currently carrying and wearing, use INVENTORY (or I). As you're not a pack horse, you can only carry ten items at a time.

There are many other verbs that can be used to manipulate objects. These will be fairly obvious when the time comes. Common verbs include OPEN, CLOSE, EAT, DRINK, READ and so on. Use PUT, PLACE or INSERT to put objects into containers or on supporters, e.g. PUT NOTEPAD IN POCKET.

Advanced features

You can use IT or THEM to refer to the noun used in the previous command, e.g. EXAMINE BAG, OPEN IT (for a singular object) or TAKE BEANS FROM BAG, DROP THEM (for plural objects). You can also use HIM and HER to refer to male and female characters used in the previous command, e.g. ASK MANAGER ABOUT BOOK, ASK HIM ABOUT BOOK, or EXAMINE MIKO, TALK TO HER.

You can refer to multiple objects by separating the objects with AND, e.g. GET NEWSPAPER AND KEY. Using IT and THEM in the next command will only refer to the last of those objects, e.g. EXAMINE IT will refer to the key.

You can use ALL to refer to all the appropriate objects with GET and DROP, e.g. GET ALL to get everything in the current location, GET ALL FROM TABLE to get everything on the table, DROP ALL to drop everything you're holding, but not wearing.

When using ALL, you can use EXCEPT or BUT to exclude some objects, e.g. DROP ALL EXCEPT STOOL.

Finally, you can enter multiple commands on the same line by separating them with a period, e.g. EXAMINE FUSUMA. OPEN IT.


There is no score in this game. Your objective is to... Well, that's for you to find out.

Other commands

Use LOOK (or L) to refresh the display.

Use VERSION to get the game version. Use ABOUT or INFO to get background information and credits for the game. Use CREDITS to get the credits only.

Use SAVE to save your progress. Use RESTORE to restore a saved game.

Use UNDO to undo the last move. This is handy if you change your mind or make a mistake. You shouldn't be able to get killed or get into an unwinnable situation in this game. (UNDO is not available with the z3 version of the game.)

Use AGAIN (or G) to repeat the last command.

Use WAIT (or Z) to do nothing apart from passing the time.

Use HELP to get a brief reminder of how to play the game or HINT to get a context-sensitive hint related to the current location. (This will be added after beta testing.)

Use RESTART to restart the game from the beginning. Use QUIT (or Q) to quit without restarting. (Don't use QUIT with the online version of the game, as the game will appear to be locked up. If this happens, press the Back button in your browser.)

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the game.

Keyboard shortcuts

Some interpreters have keyboard shortcuts. If you are using an interpreter on a computer with a conventional keyboard, most will allow you to press the up and down arrow keys to cycle through your past commands. This is handy if you want to repeat the previous command or correct a typo.

Playing the game

There are two ways to play the game.

  • Click the Run game button (above) to play the game in a browser. (Coming later.)
  • Download the z5 file and play the game using a z-code interpreter (see below).

Finding a z-code interpreter

There are a variety of z-code interpreters for all the major platforms, as well as many minor and retro platforms. There are far too many to list here. The best source of downloads is probably the Interactive Fiction Archive. Navigate to infocom/interpreters for z-code interpreters and interpreters-multi for interpreters that interpret both z-code games and other formats.

Common z-code interpreters

Android: I recommend Hunky Punk from Google Play. (There are others, as well.)

iOS: I recommend Frotz from the Apple App Store. (There are others, as well.)

Linux: See the links above.

Mac: See the links above.

Windows: I recommend Windows Frotz from the infocom/interpreters link above. (There are others, as well.)


Inform 6 compiler, language and library originally written by Graham Nelson and now maintained by David Griffith, David Kinder, Andrew Plotkin et al.

PunyInform library written by Johan Berntsson and Fredrik Ramsberg based on the Inform 6 library.

Concept, game design and coding by Gianluca Girelli.

Testing by Garry Francis, Ruggero Simoncelli, Davide Palombo e Marco Innocenti.

Cover and background image is (C) by Marco Riva.

Page layout and text taken from Garry Francis's pages, after prior permission.


falling.z3 47 kB
"Falling to Pieces" Version 2.0 47 kB
"Falling" V2.0 map 34 kB

Install instructions

The game is compiled in z3 format. To play it you need to install an interpreter for your system first. Suggested interpreters are "Frotz" for Windows and "Yazmin" for MacOS.



The game is playable online HERE.

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