Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Degree Type

Master of Science


In this paper, I survey past and present tools available to text adventure game authors, and then describe a new product: the Text Adventure Design Assistant (TA DA!), a visual programming system for creating text adventure games. My system consists of two parts: an abstract framework which defines an archetypical game, and a user interface which allows for the construction of games in a visual manner by manipulating the elements of the abstract game to produce a concrete design. The two most popular contemporary programming languages for creating text adventure games, TADS and Inform, are compared and contrasted, and my abstract framework is adapted to both of these languages. The traditional pencil-and-paper design process used by adventure game authors is studied and its application to the development of TA DA! is described. Finally, the implications of TA DA! and similar advances in visual programming are discussed and I predict future trends in the design of both adventure games and other application domains based on this work.


Computer Sciences | Programming Languages and Compilers