ADVENTURE BUILDER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Adventure Builder is an Text Adventure Game authoring system (also referred to as an Interactive Fiction authoring system) for DOS and Windows. The first version was marketed in 1988 as Quest V1.0. The name changed with version 2, and Adventure Builder V2.0 is now available as freeware/shareware. It is freeware for personal use and shareware if you make any profit with games created with the system (a one-time $20 registration fee with no royalties).
Send fees (checks only, no credit cards or cash please) to Alan Conroy, 14016 35th Avenue South, Tukwila, WA 98168-4010, USA.
Adventure Builder is oriented toward non-technical people, but allows programmers to get a lot more out of the system with some additional effort. For an interesting game, probably SOME programming is necessary.
Software support exists, but is minimal. I am working on the next version of the software (and have been for two years now). All support is via e-mail and only very serious bugs will be addressed before the next version is released.
For a detailed description of the product, see the Software Production Description.
What are text adventures?
They are computer games which interact with the player through textual output (describing locations, objects, and events) and keyboard input in the form of English commands (such as "go north", "open the door", and "put the sword into the basket"). The most famous examples of text adventures are the Zork series of Infocom games from the early 1980s.
How does Adventure Builder compare to other Interactive Fiction authoring systems?
There are a lot of authoring systems available today. To compare Adventure Builder with each one would be prohibitive in effort and space. Further, each system has a unique slant on some (or most) issues, making any detailed comparison useless. In relation to what I know of the popular authoring systems (Inform, Hugo, and TADS), my personal opinion is that Adventure Builder is generally easier to use. It also allows truly huge games. The disadvantages are that it only supports DOS and Windows platforms, and effectively has no graphics support. Generally speaking, it would seem to be on par with the popular systems as far as raw capabilities.
Is there any plan to support platforms other than DOS and Windows?
There are no plans for porting Adventure Builder to other platforms. We chose the industry standard to maximize the number of potential users. We have nothing against any other platform, and should anyone wish to do the port themselves, they should contact us for a license to do so.
What does the source language look like?
The source language for Adventure Builder is based on a programming language called Sirius, which resembles a cross between BASIC and Pascal.
Are graphics supported?
Some access is allowed to the machine hardware, so some graphics programming could be done. However, anything more fancy than EGA is probably prohibitively difficult.
What language is Adventure Builder written in?
Adventure builder V2.0 is written in Borland Pascal V7.0 with bits of assembler used in places.
Are sources to Adventure Builder available?
The sources to Quest (the earlier name for Adventure Builder) version 1.1 are available. Download Quest V1.1 (a self-extracting archive). Just a few comments for those who download the V1.1 sources. Note that you won't be able to compile Quest V1.1 from the sources. Not included are the routines from our proprietary subroutine library, which Quest makes extensive use of. However, you can see how the parser works, determine save file formats, and any number of other interesting things. Further, Quest V1.1 was compiled with Turbo Pascal V3.0 and a product called Turbo Power. Finally, don't judge me too harshly when you look at the source code. Remember, this is 10-year old code (actually, some of it much older), written before there were such things as syntax-highlighting or Object Oriented Pascal. In short, I'm embarrased by the state it is in and I can gladly state that V2.0 source code is a world apart from V1.1. Enough disclaimers.
Is the parser built-in or part of the library?
The parser is built into the program. However, that does not prevent you from bypassing it and writing your own. However, at this time, you cannot do your own prompting and call the parser to do standard stuff.
I can't run the Quest Demo
If you cannot run Quest, it is probably a problem with the DOS path. The easiest solution is to just make sure that the QUEST.* files are in the same directory as the Adventure Builder application and then to make sure that you run it from the same directory.
I can't view the help files
Not all of the files with the extension .hlp are Windows Help files, so you cannot use Help to view them. They are viewable from the various command-line utilities by typing "/HELP" at the utility command prompts. ABHELP.HLP is the only Windows Help file.
What is the SMALPLAY application?
You should ignore the SmalPlay application (unless you are running on a memory-poor 80286 or 8086 computer).
HISTORY OF ADVENTURE BUILDER
1987 - Work begins on Quest V1.0 for DOS.
1988 - Quest V1.0 for DOS released commerically.
1989 - Quest V1.1 is released. It is primarily a maintenance release.
1990 - Quest V1.2 is released.
1995 - Work is finished on Quest V2.0 for DOS and Windows.
1997 - Quest was renamed Adventure Builder, and Version 2.0 is released as shareware.