How popular is TADS?

I was wondering if I should add TADS support to Text Fiction. It was certainly requested, there seem to be games for it out there, but recalling how much trouble I had with the z-machine, I’m not sure if it is worth the effort. Anyone got some insight on what’s more popular with the authoring community? How much quality games are there?

TADS may not be very popular with current authors but many beloved games have been written in TADS format. Here’s a list of TADS games that have been ranked very highly on IFDB with a fair number of reviews; there’s definitely some high-quality games there.

It would be awesome to get a mobile TADS interpreter, but note that its virtual machine is significantly more complex than the Z-machine. So if you plan do it you probably need a bit more time & effort to pull it off.

Re your question, “is it worth the effort”?


Also, this goes to anyone who might be considering iTads.

onyxbits, could you consider porting garglk? If so you’d get a dozen VMs for free.

In general I wish more people would work on Gargoyle rather than starting other interpreter projects! :slight_smile:

I found “Jetty” which I might be able to use as a basis. Not much information on the cogs and wheels of the TADS engine itself. Seems to be well buried somewhere on Can you point me to some tech manuals?

Uhm … if you got an iphone/ipad why are you cheering for an android project? Or am I misunderstanding something here?

Peter’s just a generally nice guy!

He might own both, it’s not unheard of! :wink:

Sorry, porting garglk is not an option. That’s a C code. My C is a bit rusty, Android dictates Java (unless you want to do JNI, I don’t) and I also need to be able to do some funky stuff in the interpreter core in order to support my screen model. That completely rules garglk out.

Well … in that case, running Text Fiction on your ipad is no problem at all. You just need about an arms length of duct tape :stuck_out_tongue:

Because at this stage ANY mobile TADS interpreter would be welcome, even if I don’t have an Android device.

Plus, I’m pretty sure that once there is A mobile interpreter, it will be easier for other developers to make ANOTHER. Hopefully because some of the groundwork will be shared, not to mention the extra motivation.

I’m afraid, an I* developer can’t really build on any Android work (or vice versa).

I think there’s been some preliminary work on a mobile TADS interpreter, here

(note the tads directory amongst all the other stuff)

But from what I recall Wei ran out of time to work on it a while back.

I think Jetty is for TADS 2, isn’t it? Not that a T2 interpreter would be unwelcome but it’s a T3 interpreter that’d be really great. I think there are significant differences between the 2 and 3 TADS VM. I don’t think there’s a real how-to doc for writing a TADS interpreter at, when this has come up before I think the consensus was that the VM source itself was the spec.

Hm … yes … I stumbled upon that repository earlier. Unfortunately its all in scala and therefore useless for me.

I was afraid that would be the state of afairs. Well, at least T2 would be unneeded.

It looks like you guys don’t know there already is a working TADS terp for Android.
Son of Hunky Punk handles both Z-code and TADS.

Kind of. It only plays TADS 3 games, not TADS 2, and the T3 VM isn’t up to date, so it won’t play games made with the most recent versions of the TADS 3 compiler. For instance, the most recent release of my game It won’t run on Son of Hunky Punk.

I do like Son of Hunky Punk, though; it’s great that someone picked up the project again after it was abandoned for so long.

What Emerald said. It’s like a WIP as far as Tads is concerned. I know it’s hardly trivial for a mobile interpreter to fully support T2 and T3, but until it does, it’s only a WIP.

Disclaimer: I consider the Gargoyle Tads (disremember if T2 or T3) to be a WIP, personally, because it won’t play music. Or is it show graphics? Anyway, there’s one of those that it doesn’t do.

I knew about the out-of-date T3 engine, but Son of Hunky Punk does play TADS 2. It hasn’t had trouble with any of the TADS 2 or 3 files I’ve tried on it (several dozen). I suspect it’s only the most recently-compiled T3 stories it can’t handle.

I love Gargoyle on the desktop, but it can’t do TADS graphics or sound. I use QTads for that reason.

Yes, you’re quite right, sorry! Not sure what interpreter I was thinking of there…