History of Addventure

Pre-Web history

I first wrote Addventure for the Nyack High School BBS in 1987-88. It was written in a specialized language the BBS supported, took advantage of a couple of features of the BBS (namely the text editor), and was about 200 lines long. The game went through four runs during the year before the BBS was discontinued.

Over the next couple of years, I made versions for both PC and UNIX systems, but none of them were finished versions, and none were widely released.

Addventure on the Web

When I started learning how to use the WWW, I realized that many of the features that Addventure needed were built into it - it had a basic editor, and linking between documents was the entire point!

I wrote an experimental version (now dubbed 0.9) in April of 1994 and tested it with a couple of friends. When I thought it was ready for prime-time, I re-wrote parts of it, converting the whole thing to C-- and splitting out a library to help me parse the form replies.

Version 1.0 was released in June, 1994. Changes to fix bugs and to try and reduce the number of dead-ends were introduced over June and July. The source code was now about 800 lines long, not including the library that was split out. The default game contained over 5000 active rooms within six months.

Beginning about this time, a number of Addventure gamers were asking for new features - most notably the ability to allow choices to go to previously existing pages ("backlinking"). The Addventure 2 Ideas and Alpha Test mailing list was thus created. After over six months of development, Addventure 2.0 was released in January, 1995 containing over 6000 lines of C--. After a shutdown of over two months, caused by a lack of space and some bugs, Addventure 2.1 was released in Febuary, 1997 incorporating a few more suggestions from the Alpha team.

The Next Room in Addventure

I plan to keep working on Addventure but, quite frankly, I'm never sure what needs to be done next. The Alpha team has proposed a (very large) number of ideas that I'm looking to put in, but some will be awfully difficult to implement with the Web. Perhaps someday I'll move Addventure to yet another system (Java is the leading contender), but right now it's doing fine where it is.