Adventures in Text Adventure Game writing Part 1

It has been a write since I tried my hand at Text Adventure writing, so I thought I’d have a bash.

Because I’m a creature of habit (even if that habit hasn’t bitten me since the early ’90s), I decided you use the Professional Adventure Writer software by Graeme Yeandle (available from This is the PC version of the CP/M version I used back in the long, long ago, the before time (circa 1989-1991). This was originally released for the Amstrad (and other machines), and was an updated successor to the highly popular Quill software for the 8-Bit computers of the ’80s.

So, armed with a compiler and interpreter, what else would I need? Well, for a start, some mapping software. I chose Trizbort, as it is easy to use.

I’d also need some ideas. But what sort of lunatic keeps old scraps of paper and exercise books containing puzzle ideas for games dating back to the ’80s? Well, me for a start.

So, armed with the right software, and a stack of puzzles, I set off on my long adventure to create an adventure.

Having no idea what the overall plot would be, I started by setting these rules:

  1. No sudden deaths. Nothing is more annoying that dying for no reason.
  2. At least two ways to solve any puzzle. Although I messed this up on the very first one. But it didn’t matter as I wrote myself out of it.
  3. No mazes that aren’t logical!
  4. A way out of every seemingly impossible trap.
  5. No pointless in-jokes that have a reference pool of 5 people I went to college with.

So, setting off, I decided on a vague fantasy setting (just so I could use my hanging dwarf puzzle from an old WFRG scenario, along with the Troll Booth bit from an old TinyMUD).

So, being a big fan of AberMUD, we’ll start with at Temple and a Pit. But not the sacrficial pit of AberMUD, as that would be too much of a cliche. It’s just a good starting point.

So now we need a plot…

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