TADS Programming Language Help For Students

Introduction to TADS

TADS approaches IF design from a programmer's perspective. Creating Interactive Fiction is an unusual hybrid of writing prose (the Fiction part) and programming a computer (the Interactive part). The two aspects are not only essential by themselves, but intertwined; much of the text has to be infused with live behaviour, meaning programming code, and the programming code is ultimately all about generating text. The programming model is similar to Javascript's. It's highly dynamic and excels at incremental development, which is how most people write IF. TADS doesn't force you to deal with low-level memory management details, as C and C++ do, and it doesn't have a rigid compile-time type system like Java's. Instead, like Javascript, TADS has run-time typing, high-level datatypes such as strings and lists and lookup tables, anonymous functions (closures), and an automatic garbage collector that takes the drudgery (and most of the common pitfalls) out of memory management.

Example: Create a starter game file, again as a text file:


     gameMain: GameMainDef
       initialPlayerChar = me

     versionInfo: GameID
       name = 'My First Game'
       byline = 'by Bob Author'
       authorEmail = 'Bob Author '
       desc = 'This is an example of how to start a new game project. '
       version = '1'
       IFID = 'b8563851-6257-77c3-04ee-278ceaeb48ac'

     firstRoom: Room 'Starting Room'
       "This is the boring starting room."

     +me: Actor


Compiler Download

To get started, see Download and install TADS and follow the instructions.