A DAADed game o hacker

3 min readMay 12, 2018

Hey! Wasn’t it “a PAWed game o’hacker”? Well, for users of the old Professional Adventure Writer game engine, made by welsh company Gilsoft in mid 80s, that text is pretty well known, as it was clearly visible in the BASIC loader of all games made with ZX Spectrum PAW.

So why DAADed? Cause PAW (or PAWS) was not the last adventure game engine Tim Gilberts, Gilsoft, or Infinite Imaginations as it was renamed later, created.

Yes, after PAW, there was SWAN (system without a name), used by Fergus McNeil for his Mindfighter adventure, and then there was DAAD.

DAAD (Diseñador de aventuras de Aventuras AD, or Adventure Designer for Aventuras AD) , was a professional tool developed by Tim Gilberts for spanish company Aventuras AD, the only spanish company in the late 80s and early 90s dedicated to text adventure games in exclusive.

DAAD was not a single application but a set of tools aimed to make easier to create adventure games once, then compile for several platforms avaliable on those dates. DAAD supports ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad PCW and MS-DOS targets, and the same source code,very similar to CPC PAWS but more advanced, could be compiled to generate all of those targets.

So if this tool exists since the 80s, how comes it’s hasn’t been avaliable for long? Well, Aventuras AD went into bankrupt about 1992, and the text adventure scene was hidden in the shadows for some time. By the time some of the Aventuras AD members appeared again, when internet started to be avaliable for eveybody by mid 90s, all their stuff was lost.

So DAAD was a professional tool made for a private company, not a tool to be sold in stores like PAWS or The Quill, and that company went bankrupt. Can you guess what happened? Yes, for over 20 years DAAD was missing in action. Only in 2015, when Andrés Samudio, former CEO of Aventuras AD, was about to make some cleaning in his atic, a box with a lot of disk with labels related to DAAD was found. He, together with some spanish enthusiastic guys, managed to recover most of those disks, and turn DAAD back to life.

What was recovered was the IBM PC version of DAAD, another version for Atari ST existed, but that is still missing. Anyway, you can use DAAD properly from DOSBOX, and even from Windows if you still have a 32 bit Windows. Many other tools included, specially the ones made for communications betwee platforms, require a real machine, or just find another way to emulate the file transfers made from PC to CPC disks, to Spectrum +3, etc. using emulators.

After two years of DAAD, there have been a few games made with DAAD in the spanish scene, cause although DAAD documentation is completely in english, the start database does only exist in spanish. DAAD is ready to work with english anyway, and making an english start database should not be very difficult (in the end, is quite similar and backwards compatible with CPC PAW one, to an extent).

So where is DAAD? OK, follow this link:

Happy adventuring!




Developing indie interactive fiction and IF engines since 1984