Adventure Builder System

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Adventure Builder System
Authoring system
Link Download
Developer Tom D. Frost
Format Other
Interaction style Parser
System Sinclair ZX Spectrum
System details
Latest version
Status Stable
Uses interpreter
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Multimedia support Usual ZX Spectrum graphics, sound & colour effects.
License Former Commercial
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The Adventure Builder System or ABS was a text adventure creation tool for ZX Spectrum, written by Tom Frost of Tartan Software.

It existed in a couple of different forms. The earliest iteration of the tool was published, as Adventure Builder in two type-in listings in Sinclair User magazine; issue 51, June 1986; and issue 52, July 1986. There was a correction to the listing in a later issue.

An updated version of the tool was later sold on tape, with a comprehensive printed manual, by Tartan Software. It was also released by mainstream publisher CRL through their Alpha-Omega imprint and included on their The Powerhouse label's How to Get the Most out of Your Computer compilation. A graphics aid was also available for the system.

The system utilised routines that Tom had developed for his Tartan work. Games were created using the tool by editing the supplied BASIC programs which, when run, would generate the machine code for the adventure. Although powerful, it was arguably a lot more complicated to use than the more popular (but more expensive) Quill and GAC. Sinclair User rated the Alpha-Omega release 4/5 saying, "If you reckon you can handle the complexities of programming using the Adventure Building System then it's a terrific buy. But definitely not easy to get to grips with. Strictly, not for beginners."

Despite forming the backbone of most of Tom Frost's own releases (he would go on to further develop the system for his own, more complex games) not many adventures by other people were published using the tool. Notable third-party examples include The Golden Locket and Radiomania by Keith Burnard. There are also several Russian games that credit the ABS.