New Features on IFDB

This is a summary of recent additions and changes to the site. The list isn't comprehensive - we report only the more visible and significant changes, so you might notice some minor changes from time to time that aren't reported here.

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20 March 2021

Lots of changes: The team has been hard at work on improvements to IFDB.

Improved sort by rating: When sorting games by Highest Rating, we now use Evan Miller's formula.

We used to sort by average rating, but this would tend to rank games with just one perfect 5-star rating above games with dozens of 5-star ratings and a few 4-star ratings. Evan Miller’s formula sorts by our confidence in the game, by adding five “fake” ratings to the average (one 1-star, one 2-star, one 3-star, one 4-star, and one 5-star rating) and subtracting the standard deviation from the result.

Dark mode: If your browser prefers dark mode, IFDB will honor that, and adopt the "Midnight" styles from our stylesheet gallery. (IFDB still allows users to choose your own custom stylesheet.)

Updated default list of IF systems: Say hello to Adventuron, Dialog, Ink, Texture, and Unity. (You can, as always, just type in the name of any development system; you don't have to pick one off the list.)

You can now unvote on reviews: Previously, once you'd voted (helpful/unhelpful), you were forced to pick a side.

Fixed Baf's Guide links: IFDB has a number of links to Baf's Guide, the predecessor to IFDB. Baf's Guide has been offline for some time; these links have been updated to point to the Wayback Machine at

Farewell, IFDB browser plugin: Did you know that IFDB had a Windows-based browser plugin that would automatically install interpreters for you? Unfortunately, it hasn't worked in years. We've deleted it from the site.

Narrow design: Paragraphs are now limited to 12 words wide (60ch), and the main body of the page is limited to 100ch. This makes the text more readable, in agreement with WCAG recommendations.

8 March 2021

Code of Conduct: IFDB now has an official Code of Conduct.

23 February 2021

A new home for IFDB: IFDB is now live on our new server at It loads a little bit faster now, and more enhancements are yet to come!

11 July 2010

Search lists for genres, systems, file formats, and more: The main game search page now offers lists of possible values to use with several of the special search keywords. You can get lists of values for series, genre, forgiveness rating, language, authoring system, and file format. Each list shows all of the values for that attribute currently used by game listings in the database. The value lists are helpful if you're not sure of the exact syntax to use for your search. They're also good for research and exploration, since they let you see the full range of actual entries for each attribute. To reach the main game search page, just click the Search link near the top of any IFDB page. This page lists all of the special search keywords and explains how to use them. Each keyword that offers a value list has a link to show the list.

Search for download formats: A new game search option lets you search for games with downloads in a particular format. For example, you can search for games with blorbed z-code downloads only. For details, see the "format:" keyword on the main game search page, which you can reach by clicking the Search link in the main controls at the top of any IFDB page.

1 December 2009

"Play Online" option for z-code games: The Download box on a game's home page now includes a "Play Online" button if the game is compatible with the Parchment interpreter. Parchment is a z-code interpreter that uses Javascript to run in a browser window, so you don't have to install any software on your computer. (You'll need a Javascript-compatible browser, of course, but a recent version of any popular browser should suffice.)

The Play Online button is only displayed for games that include a download link for a plain z-code file (.z5, .z8, etc). Parchment can't load directly from a "blorb" file or from a compressed format such as "zip", so IFDB can't generate a Play Online button for those formats. If a game has multiple z-code files among its download links, the Play Online button uses the first one listed.

18 November 2009

Minor bug fix for Play Now! on Windows: The Windows browser plug-in for the Play Now! button couldn't handle Zip files that contained folder (directory) entries that weren't properly marked as such in the file attributes. Most Zip creator programs do this correctly, but it appears that some don't, since there are a few files on the Archive with the missing attributes. If you tried to use the Play Now! button with such a game, you would have seen an error message saying that one of the files in the Zip couldn't be extracted. The plug-in now checks for this case and handles it gracefully, so games prepared with these questionable Zip creators should now work properly with the Play Now! button.

28 September 2009

Streamlined image uploads: The process for uploading images (for game Cover Art, for example) is a little simpler now. Rather than going to a separate page to upload an image, the upload is now performed directly on the editor page where the image will be used. This is a little faster, since it skips the extra page loads, and it's easier to use since it doesn't interrupt what you're doing on the main editor page.

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