A-code introduction

Dave Platt developed the A-code language (not to be confused with the Level 9 A-code system!) for writing his influential "Adventure 3" (a.k.a Adventure550) expansion of the original Crowther/Woods Adventure game. In doing so, he broke from the traditional format of Adventure and its expanded versions, relying on a custom executable processing a standard format data file.

Though only a few games have ever been written in A-code, it is of some historical interest because of the influence of Adventure3. Personally, I regret that the language did not catch on – it is easy to write, is very readable and has some unusual, useful features. To the best of my knowledge this is the complete list of A-code games:

  • Adventure3 (a.k.a. Adv550 or PLAT0550) Dave Platt 1980
  • Adventure C01 (a.k.a. Adv580 or GOET0580) Mike Goetz 1982?
  • Adventure4+ (a.k.a. Adv660 or ARNA0660) Mike Arnautov 1984?
  • Adv770 (a.k.a. ARNA0770) Mike Arnautov 2003

There are also a couple of A-code re-implementations of existing games:

  • Roger Firth's "Cloak of Darkness" – Cloak by Mike Arnautov, 1999
  • Crowther's & Woods's Adventure – Adv350 by Mike Arnautov, 2020

This documentation describes the current version of A-code, which is still backward compatible with original A-code sources of all of the above games. Differences (both of implementation and of feature) between Platt's original version of the language and the current one, are explained in the history sections of the document.

I am profoundly grateful to Joan CiberSheep for teaching me how to create pdf and epub versions of this documentation and for assisting in scripting the task!


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Mike Arnautov (27 March 2023)