Getting Started in TADS 3 by Eric Eve

TADS 3, a “robust, modern programming environment specially designed for creating Interactive Fiction,” is officially out in General Release 3.0.12. The freeware release comes in author and player kits for Windows, Unix, and Mac OS X, and is complemented by an admirably packaged bookshelf of documentation, including Getting Started, a Tour Guide, and system, technical, and reference manuals. For those not familiar with TADS, acclaimed interactive fiction works implemented in it include:

Earlier this summer all the big news was about Inform 7 - two major interactive fiction development updates in a single year is very good news. Looking at the two together, I’m reminded of Liz Daly’s articles in ONLamp. In Choosing a Language for Interactive Fiction, Daly wrote a comparative evaluation of Inform 6 and TADS 2. She favored TADs for future development and for its C-like concision, describing Inform as “baroque.” After the release of Inform 7, Daly’s bemused followup review Natural Language Game Programming with Inform 7 noted Inform’s strong points but marveled that the language was moving away from (TADS-like) features “that are so obviously critical to writing IF” such as a comprehensive world model and familiar C-like syntax.Of course, the arrival of TADS 3 reminds me that we don’t really have to choose. Instead, I’ll echo Stephen Granade’s opinion that, with more available tools, everybody wins:

Given a form-driven language like ADRIFT, a traditional IF language with strong multimedia support like Hugo, an object-oriented language with a massive library like TADS 3, and I7, authors can choose a language that best fits their game and prefered working style.

[via Brass Lantern]

1 Response to “TADS3 interactive fiction kit released”

  1. 1 Ficlets: Literary Lego at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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