Adventure Book Meta-Language (ABML) and Simple Expression Language (SEL)

Hi. I started 22-odd years ago (well, it started as but thats another story). It is not restricted to the Fighting Fantasy gamebook system. It is a generic Gamebook Engine platform. I just happen to be a Fighting Fantasy fan.

I made 2 languages, 1 markup and 1 support scripting, ABML and SEL, ABML is obviously XML-‘ish’, SEL is loosely Perl based (in fact it indirectly calls Perl for in-built function calls, though the operators, librarying and flow control are hand-written). Both function and are editable directly on the web platform, for creating and playing gamebooks.

ABML is quite easy to see, SEL is more sophisticated includes function, variable and array definition, function librarying and so on. It is all user-definable and requires no source modification to extend functionality.

All docs and how-to’s are on the Wordpress front-end. For ease of use when using the engine to play or create I recommend using the ‘play without wordpress front-end’ option under the ‘Gamebooks’ menu. It’s not pretty, I’m not a graphics designer. The guides/docs are under Book Creation->Adventure Creation Guides on the main menu.

No sign up is necessary to just play (Play as Guest on the Main Menu). Gamebook Creation requires an account. There are a few dozen example adventures of varying development stages, some even written by visitors to the site without any interference from me (see Community Adventures in the play area). To see a fully fledged adventure in operation I recommend ‘Trial of Allibors Tomb’. Or for a fan-written demonstation ‘The Fight’

I haven’t yet made a local installation version, though the engine is portable to other webservers with some manual set-up.

I’d very much love to hear your feedback or questions.