Authoring guide

To make your own adventures, you literally just have to fill in the blanks of a configuration file. Here's a small sample:

[study]
name = Wizard's study
type = room
description = Curtains dyed a leafy brown adorn the stone walls, 
otherwise bare but for the furniture leaning against them: a large, 
ornate writing desk near the window, a bed on the opposite side and, 
facing the door, a little bookshelf. Peeking between two clouds, the 
sun casts a patch of light on the fading carpet.
success = Distant birdsong is more often than not covered by the 
wind whistling outside the window, only to bring in the smell of 
pine needles.

[desk]
name = writing desk
type = scenery
location = study
description = It's all rickety now, and the lacquered wood has shed 
its luster, but the chair is still comfy, and the many drawers open 
easily. Curios from lands you've only heard of perch precariously 
around the edges.

[note]
name = penned note
type = thing
location = desk
description = A note penned with flowery letters on paper that's 
only slightly yellow says, "I've been called away again. Hold the 
fort until my return. Seriously, don't go anywhere! Read a book or 
something if you get bored."

Most systems that promise not to require coding still have you juggle a myriad dropdowns and checkboxes that change depending on what you selected. It's coding in all but name. Adventure Prompt is more limited, but never looks more complicated than the above. And there's a surprising amount that can be done even so. As of March 2018, it supports rooms, exits, scenery/portals, inscriptions, portable items, vehicles, spells and actions, all of them able to appear and disappear, and constrain each other's behavior in various ways. All objects support the same properties, so there's less to remember. It's just that the meaning of a property depends on context.

Moreover, if you ever used a MUSH or MUCK, and are acquainted with the online building commands, you can also use an interactive command-line editor that works in the same way. It's good for quickly inspecting and tweaking a game compiled from configuration files, or even a save file.

Both the advc.py compiler and the editor, advprompt.py, are command-line programs written and tested in Python (3.3, though 2.7 should work). The editor contains most of the documentation, available through a live help system. It can also run in IDLE: open the file with Ctrl-O, then press F5 to run it as a module.

Bundling a game with the runner is only possible with the compiler for now, or else manually.