AAS (Advanced Authoring System) was released on April 1, 2003, and was supposedly a new XML-based authoring system by "Roddy Ramieson". The AAS website boasted a cool logo, the mascot Lanty, a manual, several new games of dubious quality, and a lively forum overdosed with smileys. There was even a store page where you could order an AAS thong.
Of course, the whole thing was a hoax. On March 1, 2003, Duncan Cross suggested "Let's do a SpeedIFSystem!". Sam Kabo Ashwell suggested the AAS acronym. The secret ifMUD channel, #aas-cabal, was created and co-conspirators were invited to join. Soon, Duncan created a picture of the google-eyed lantern, Lanty, IF's answer to Clippy, to much amusement.
Before any games could be written, a language and interpreter had to be created. Because of the short time available, an XML-based design was chosen. Stephen Granade would eventually create the final AAS XML specification based on everyone's suggestions, and wrote the AAS manual. Iain Merrick wrote the base AAS interpreter engine. Duncan Cross wrote the GUI interpreter. Adam Biltcliffe wrote the AAS IDE, and added encryption to the AAS interpreter. All of this programming had to be done in less than a month.
While this was going on, other AAS cabal members created the AAS website (www.aas-ta.com, now archived at http://diden.net/if/aas ). Duncan Cross found the anime web template. Gunther Schmidl added the website content and the AAS store page. The forum was seeded by several people, particularly by Emily Short, Storme Winfield, and Stephen Granade. Misty Granade created the AAS logo.
Once the system was ready, several of the members wrote sample games in AAS (see below).
- AAS Masters (Stephen Granade as "David Banner"). This game was written and released somewhat later than the others, and reveals who really did what.
- ADVENT (Iain Merrick as "Arthur Tavistock Jnr").
- Cave of Adventure (Stephen Granade as "Roddy Ramieson").
- Caverns Of Doom (Iain Merrick as "Roddy Ramieson").
- Cloak of Ultimate Darkness (Iain Merrick as "Roddy Ramieson").
- Dead By Morning (Sam Kabo Ashwell as "ninjaschlong").
- Fabled Caves Of R'th-nylch! (Adam Biltcliffe as "Pat Vickers").
- Office Ahoy! (Storme Winfield as "Ken Taylor").
- Pleasure Palace (Storme Winfield as "Cindy Phillips").
- Pride and Prejudice (Iain Merrick as "anonymous").
- Sexual Conquest (Gunther Schmidl as "Linc Abrahams").
(For other non-competition IF projects, see Collection.)