Program - TADS
TADS is a set of programming tools specially designed for writing
TADS consists of:
• A programming language, which resembles C and Java.
TADS is a powerful object-oriented language with high-level
string and list datatypes and syntax specially designed to make
adventure game object definitions concise and readable.
• A compiler, which reads a set of source files written
in the TADS programming language and produces a portable binary
game file. Once you compile your game, you need only give players
the compiled binary file; you don't need to distribute your
source files to let people play your game. A compiled game file
is completely portable - you can simply copy the file to any
computer that has a TADS interpreter and run it.
• A library, which provides a set of generic adventure
game definitions. The library is written in the TADS language,
so you can change it or even completely replace it if you want
to go outside the usual conventions. The library provides a
large set of object class definitions for the kinds of things
that often appear in IF games, and you can use the library classes
directly or use them as building blocks to create more customized
• On some systems, an interactive debugger, which lets
you examine your program's execution in order to find and fix
programming errors. The debugger lets you step through your
source code a line at a time, examine variables, set "breakpoints"
to stop execution at particular points in the code, and monitor
variables to catch specific value changes. The debugger gives
you a direct view of the inner workings of your program as it
executes, making it much easier to track down logic errors,
or just to understand how a piece of code works.
• An interpreter, which a player uses to run your game.
TADS interpreters exist for many operating systems, and each
version has been customized to conform to the look and feel
of its operating system. Since the interpreter provides the
human interface, and each interpreter is customized for its
system, a TADS game automatically adopts the correct local look
and feel for each system it runs on.
TADS can be used to create pure text games, as well as games
that mix text, graphics, and sound. TADS uses HTML to specify
formatting - this gives the ability to display JPEG and PNG
graphics; control text fonts, styles, colors, sizes, alignment,
and layout; play WAV, MIDI, and MP3 sounds; divide the screen
into "frame"-like areas; and create clickable hyperlinks
that allow players to enter commands with the mouse.
The multimedia features are fully supported on Windows and Macintosh,
and the TADS approach to multimedia ensures "graceful degradation"
on other platforms that only offer text-only interpreters -
in other words, even if you use the full multimedia features
of TADS, your game will still work on text-only interpreters,
just without the graphics and sounds and fancy text formatting.
The adjustment to a text-only environment is largely automatic;
in many cases, you won't have to pay any attention at all to
the differences between the text and multimedia interpreters
when writing a game (in other words, you won't have to write
lots of conditional code for text vs. multimedia)
Download the TADS
Game Programming Tools