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Authoring system
Developer Dick Bratt
Format Other
Interaction style Parser
Systems MS-DOS, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128
System details
Latest version
Status Unavailable
Uses interpreter
Multimedia support Graphics, music, additional code such as arcade-game elements
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SAL or the Spinnaker Adventure Language was the main component of the Spinnaker Adventure System, a production tool used for many of the releases on Spinnaker's Telarium software label.

SAL was designed by Dick Bratt, Spinnaker Software's vice-president of engineering and was based on the C computer language.

Speaking to Publishers Weekly in 1985, Spinnaker chairman Bill Bowman explained the rationale for the creation of SAL: "...we decided to build an internal development system that would enable us to go to a creative person like a Ray Bradbury or a Harry Harrison and not require that creative person to have a relationship with a bunch of programmers." In a later interview for a Harvard Business School study he added that, "[the system] enables us to take a script from an author, add some art work, and a secretary can translate it into SAL."

As well as the adventure language itself, there were additional modules to incorporate graphics, music and other code (such as arcade-game elements) into each release. Spinnaker boasted that their clever programming and compression allowed them to include 100 to 150 images per game.

Although costing over $1 million to develop, SAL/SAS enabled Spinnaker to more easily create games for multiple platforms; eventually targeting Commodore 64, Apple II, IBM PC, and Atari ST; cutting down their development costs and playtesting time.

The Spinnaker Adventure System' was used for most of the early Telarium releases from the Spinnaker/Byron Preiss joint venture Byron Preiss Video Productions such as Dragonworld and Rendezvous with Rama. The system was referred to as SAL on the game packaging, rather than SAS.


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