ADRIFT is intended for people who do not like programming, instead providing a series of dialog boxes which you simply fill-out with descriptions and properties of each location, object and character. It is a respected tool with a loyal user base and an active discussion forum.
Because of its ease of use it is most popular amongst non-programmers and the AIF community, however many people who could use more complex languages are also using ADRIFT because of how quickly a map can be created and the characters and objects created and placed on the map.
Previous versions have been criticized for sacrificing some power and flexibility for easy usability, however the newest versions of ADRIFT 5 have added many enhancements and dozens of object-oriented functions so that it should now be possible to do anything that previously required programming-like authoring systems.
The main place to get help and assistance with ADRIFT is from the ADRIFT 5 Wiki and the ADRIFT Forum. A number of experienced users hang out there and are normally willing to give advice. InsideADRIFT is a bi-monthly PDF format newsletter filled with news, announcements, competitions and articles.
- Graphical map authoring system means that a complex map that could take days to create in other authoring systems can now simply be drawn on the screen with location names and all of the directional links between locations done in a few minutes.
- Characters and objects can be placed into locations with a few mouse clicks.
- Creating containers and surfaces, giving objects weight and size, and defining other characteristics can all be done by clicking on a few menus.
There are many different ways to play ADRIFT games.
- Games can be played online using any web browser. Any game on the ADRIFT website can be played by pressing the green PLAY icon above its entry.
- These games can be linked to with the URL:
- replacing 1234 with the ID number of a game stored on the ADRIFT website.
- You can also play a game on another website using the URL:
- replacing URL with the web address of the game.
- The writer may choose to compile his game into a .EXE file that can be run directly under windows. Note that these files include the ADRIFT runner inside them so are much larger to download than the TAF files.
- This is the main format used with ADRIFT interactive fiction, and requires the ADRIFT runner to be downloaded to run them. Any required sound and picture files will be provided separately.
- These files contain a TAF file plus sounds and pictures that are used by the game. Requires ADRIFT runner.
- Alternate runners
- There are two third party ADRIFT runner clones, jAsea and SCARE, that have allowed people to play ADRIFT games on non-Windows platforms, although they do not give the same playing experience as the official ADRIFT Runner and do not currently support ADRIFT 5.
The latest version of ADRIFT is 5.0, which comes with many changes and improvements, as well as Campbell Wild's decision to no longer charge for the program.
The ADRIFT 5.0 windows runner and developer, Linux runner, and the last releases of the older versions of ADRIFT (2.0, 3.9 and 4.0) are available from:
Installation instructions can be found at:
Related downloads are available from a number of sites including:
Tips and Tutorials
See also: Category:ADRIFT tutorials.
(Edited from the ADRIFT v4.0 Manual created by Campbell Wild, 25 Oct 2003)
- Wrote Adventure Generator which had a command line interface that asked a series of questions, then allowed you to play the game that it output. Although this made it quicker to create a game, it was not a very nice interface, and wasn’t particularly easy. I believe I wrote this in Pascal.
- Re-wrote the Adventure Generator, this time making it easy to edit information that had previously been added. Again, choosing Pascal to do this. This was menu driven, and allowed 20 locations, 20 objects and 40 tasks. You can download TAG from ftp://ftp.adrift.org.uk/adrift/tag.zip.
- Started work on ADRIFT in December 1997 to rewrite a lot of the limitations of TAG 2, and to create it for the Windows environment. Initially, I just called it “Adventure Generator”, but renamed it later. A breakdown of the development of ADRIFT is as follows.
- Dec-1997: Started work on “Adventure Generator v3.00”
- 16-Dec-1998: Released Adventure Generator 3.10.
- 10-Jun-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.22.
This was the first version to support backwards compatibility with previous versions of Adventure Generator. Deleting of objects, tasks and events was also introduced.
- 13-Jun-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.23.
Up until this point, all TAF files had been plain text – 3.23 was the first version to encrypt the files with password protection.
- 19-Jul-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.24.
The lists for Rooms, objects etc in the main window were separated into individual windows. The option to hide objects was also introduced. Event sub descriptions also came in this version.
- 03-Aug-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.30.
Version 3.30 saw the introduction of characters. Up until this point, objects had to be used instead. Object aliases were introduced, as was an additional room description based on task completion.
- 28-Nov-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.31.
This was the first version to incorporate a dynamic map, based on the layout created by the user. Basic synonyms were also introduced for common commands.
- 06-Dec-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.32.
This version had mostly small updates such as printing out the map, and improved tasks.
- 21-Dec-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.40.
The task dependency viewer was introduced in this version. There were a number of improvements to events and tasks also.
- 28-Dec-1999: Released Adventure Generator 3.50.
First/Second person, wildcards in task commands, unlimited character walks, characters running tasks, toolbar, search facility and hints are amongst the improvements in this version.
- 07-Feb-2000: Released Adventure Generator 3.60.
Splash screen, individual high-score tables, controllable wait, room groups, word clicks, and better room descriptions were improvements in version 3.60. This is the first version which was used by any number of people, and when Adventure Generator started to become known in the Interactive Fiction community.
- 08-Jun-2000: Released ADRIFT 3.70.
Because of the generic name, and to raise the profile of the program, I decided to rename "Adventure Generator" to "ADRIFT" which is an acronym of Adventure Development & Runner – Interactive Fiction Toolkit. Version 3.70 also had simple TADS output, openable edible readable objects and objects with surfaces, enhanced player, improved tasks and simple ambiguity handling amongst minor changes.
- Version 3.80 was the first version of ADRIFT to be published in a magazine, and became downloadable from many places on the Internet. Most of the improvements in this version were bug fixes and fine tuning to the whole program, making it a lot more reliable. Tasks were improved significantly.
- 01-Jan-2001: Released ADRIFT 3.90.
Version 3.90 was a big improvement over 3.80. It had an improved layout, graphics and sound, a battle system, Language Resource (ALR) files, feature disabling, system variables, undo facility, score overriding, much improved Player, 8 directional compass, room hiding, size and weight for objects, unlimited actions and restrictions per task, more powerful characters, integer variables, improved map, transcript, pausing and many more small changes.
- 27-May-2001: Released Final release (20) of ADRIFT 3.90
Version 3.90 was continually improved over nearly six months, during which time it became a lot more reliable, and also introduced extra features such as looping sound, dictionary amongst many others.
- 13-Feb-2002: Released Beta release 0 of ADRIFT 4.00.
Version 4.00 again was a big improvement over 3.90. This was the first version to become Shareware – previous versions had been Freeware. The main improvements were the ability to play MP3s, much better TAF file compression, images and sounds embedded into TAF files, tasks setting and unsetting other tasks, text variables, referenced text, lockable objects, adventure browser, graphics in main window, advanced command construction, multiple object and character aliases, initial object descriptions, and/or for task restrictions, unlimited room descriptions, text editing window, faster execution, improved battle system, random character movement, object states, and modules.
- 09-May-2002: Released ADRIFT 4.00 release 18.
Again, as with 3.90, ADRIFT 4.00 is continually being improved with many releases. Currently, improvements are much greater stability, user definable runner layout, and many bug fixes. Release 18 was the first non-beta version.
- 05-Oct-2004: Released ADRIFT 4.00 release 45.
Enhancements to the Modules feature and several bug fixes.
- 14-Apr-2005: Released ADRIFT 4.00 release 46.
- 25-Dec-2005: Announced that ADRIFT 5.0 is now under development.
- 20-Apr-2007: Released ADRIFT 4.00 release 50.
- 20-Apr-2008: Released ADRIFT 4.00 release 51.
- 03-Apr-2011: Released ADRIFT 5.0.16 Beta, the first ADRIFT 5 version available to everyone.
- 18-Jun-2011: Announcement that registration fee will be removed and ADRIFT 5.0 will now be FREE from version 5.0.19.
- 27 Sep 2011: Webrunner released. ADRIFT games can now be played online using any browser.
- 06-Sep-2012: ADRIFT 4 release 52 removed registration restrictions so that this version is also free.
- 25-Dec-2012: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 27. Redesigned Objects form, highlighted links, and improvements to the parser
- 11-Jan-2013: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 28. Ability to import v4 style ALR files and the to print out the map.
- 29-Jan-2013: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 29.
- 29-Mar-2013: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 30.
- 25-Aug-2013: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 31.
- 04-Aug-2014: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 32.
- 22-Nov-2015: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 34.
- 03-Jun-2016: Released ADRIFT 5.00 release 35.
- ADRIFT Home Page.
- ADRIFT 5 progress - official blog.
- ADRIFT Forum.
- Delron site. Richard Otter's Adrift reference site including the most comprehensive list of ADRIFT games for download, reviews and walkthroughs.
- InsideADRIFT. A newsletter, always looking for contribution on all IF matters.
- Adrift Topic Tutorial System (defunct as of 2011; use the Wayback Machine)
- Shadow Vault (defunct as of 2011; use the Wayback Machine) is David Whyld's Adrift game reference site, including comprehensive lists of ADRIFT games for download, reviews and walkthroughs.
- Online Adrift Resource Site (O.A.R.S.) (defunct as of 2009; use the Wayback Machine) is intended to bring together tutorials and other reference material to assist Adrift users.