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Topics - Jalen

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I hope this isn't off topic for this forum; it's not about AGI or SCI, exactly, but it's about their direct predecessor, so it's not entirely unrelated, and I'm hoping that there are enough Sierra fans here that someone might know something...

As the topic title says, I was wondering if anyone had any information on the details of ADL, the "Adventure Development Language" created by Ken Williams and used for the Sierra "Hi-Res Adventures".  Specifically, I was wondering if the details of the syntax and structure of the language were available anywhere—enough for someone to create a new game that used the same engine.  ScummVM can run ADL games, so clearly someone has figured out the format, but despite fairly extensive searches online I've been unable to find anything useful.  (It doesn't help that "Adventure Development Language" is a generic enough name to make it hard to search for specific information on it.)

I do have a reason for asking about this; I'm starting a blog about game creation systems (well, not right away, but it should be launching some time in the next year—I'm trying to get some prep work done first).  My intent is to go chronologically covering the various game creation systems and engines that have existed over the years, and trying if possible to make a game with each one.  (I'm not sure how far I'll ultimately get, but at least up through the 80s there are few enough such systems that a comprehensive approach may be doable.)  ADL is one of the earliest game-creation systems/engines I've found (not the earliest, but within the first twenty or thirty), but of those early engines it's one of those I'm having the most trouble finding detailed information about, second only to a really obscure system from 1979 called F.  So if anyone could point me to where I might be able to find out more about ADL's format, I'd really appreciate it.

(Of course, I'll be covering AGI and SCI in my blog eventually too, but they came later so they're further down the line... and anyway, there seems to be plenty of information about them available online, not least at this site, so I don't have any questions about them.  At least not yet... maybe when I get to them on my blog I will.)

I'm particularly hoping to cover ADL on my blog because, well, I actually have my own fond memories of those old Sierra games... I'm old enough to have played the "Hi-Res Adventures" as a child; I don't think I ever solved The Wizard and the Princess, but I think I did solve Mystery House and Mission Asteroid, and (most of?) The Dark Crystal.

Anyway, again, if this is off-topic for this forum I apologize, but I'm hoping since it's about a Sierra adventure system it's at least close enough to this forum's bailiwick.  If anyone has any information on ADL, or can point me to where I can find it, I'd definitely much appreciate it.

(And, as I said, I may have questions about AGI and SCI when I get to them in my blog, but that may be a while... though maybe not all <em>that</em> long; AGI is within the first fifty or so systems in my chronological list.)


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