ADRIFT is a set of Windows applications for creating and playing text adventures, also known as Interactive Fiction. It comes in two parts; there’s the Developer – the adventure creator, and the Runner – the part which plays the games.
ADRIFT Developer has a graphical user interface (GUI) which allows you to create adventures quickly and easily by filling in text boxes, selecting checkboxes, and choosing items from drop down lists. It is unique in that no programming is required, yet it is very powerful allowing the creation of complex adventures. ADRIFT is very simple to understand and learn.
Major differences between v4 and v5
ADRIFT 5 is a complete re-write of ADRIFT 4. The reason for this is due to the flawed design of ADRIFT 4. Fiction created using ADRIFT 4 have constantly been criticised for “guess the verb” problems, issues where overriding tasks only works some of the time, and problems with the parser. This is mainly due to the design whereby the Runner has a built in set of standard tasks, and players can choose to override these. The overriding in ADRIFT 4 works by creating task commands which syntactically match the in-built commands. If there is not full coverage of the in-built commands, problems can arise with the default task executing rather than the overriding one.
ADRIFT 5 gets around this problem by having all the in-built commands defined in libraries. These tasks can then be explicitly overridden, removing the possibility that the wrong task will execute.
Here is a side-by-side comparison
|ADRIFT 4.0||ADRIFT 5.0|
|Technology||Visual Basic 4.0 - 6.0||VB.Net (.NET Framework 2.0)|
|System tasks||Hardcoded in Runner||Customisable in Standard Library|
|Restrictions between locations||Task or Object status||Unlimited restrictions of any type|
|Editing ALRs||External text editor||Within application|
|Hints||One per task||TBC|
|Location Properties||N/A||Dynamically assigned|
|Object Properties||Hardcoded list||Dynamically assigned|
|Character Properties||N/A||Dynamically assigned|
|Resize windows||No||Most can be resized|
|References per task command||2 max||Many|
|Drag and Drop support||No||Yes|
|Source text highlighting||No||Yes|
|Alternate text output||Rooms only||Any text|
|Full screen mode||No||Yes|
|Graphics||File only||File or Internet|
|Treaty of Babel support||No||Yes|