The Books (Where should I start?)

Adv3Lite Quick Start Guide
by Eric Eve

This brief guide is probably the best place to start for newcomers to TADS 3 and/or adv3Lite. It contains instructions for installing the library and compiling a basic game, an explanation of the other documentation, including guidance on where to go next, and a sample game newcomers can experiment with if they want to dive straight it.

Adv3Lite Tutorial
by Eric Eve

This tutorial introduction is a great starting point for anyone new to TADS 3 and new to programming. The book opens with the basics of getting TADS working on your system and setting up your first simple game, so even if you've never done any programming before, this will help you get going quickly. The tutorial then leads you step by step through the design of three example games, showing how to use adv3Lite to implement the effects needed in the game. By the time you're done, you'll know your way around the system and you'll be able to write your own games.

Learning TADS 3 With Adv3Lite
by Eric Eve

Part tutorial and part reference, Learning TADS 3 With Adv3Lite is a perfect place to start for confident beginners, and for people with a little more programming experience. This book is designed for learning TADS on your terms - it's organized by functional area, so once you've mastered the basics, you can skip around to focus on the areas you're most interested in. As you develop your game, you can return to the book as a reference, to review the details of particular TADS features.

Learning TADS 3 With Adv3Lite contains a number of exercises. Samples games suggesting solutions to some of these exercises may be found here. Alternatively you can treat these solutions as sample code illustrating various aspects of the adv3Lite library.

Adv3Lite Library Manual
by Eric Eve

This is a comprehensive overview of the adv3Lite library, covering nearly all of the key classes and functions. It can be used as a reference by people who are already up and running with the system, or as a way for users already familiar with TADS 3 to learn about the adv3Lite library.

TADS 3 System Manual
by Michael Roberts

This book is a reference to the TADS 3 language and the T3 VM, including the standard intrinsic functions and classes. It covers the language and VM features in depth, so it's the place to go when you need to find the details on the system.

Adv3Lite Library Reference Manual

This is an extensively cross-referenced and hyperlinked compilation of information on the Adv3Lite and system libraries. The entire library is indexed here, with the latest information generated directly from the library source code.

Introduction to HTML TADS
by Michael Roberts

TADS 3 uses a variant of HTML as its formatting language. These notes explain how HTML fits into TADS, and how you can use HTML formatting codes for text effects, graphics, and sound, and how the TADS variant differs from standard HTML. (These are essentially just the original notes for HTML TADS 2, so they're a little rough, but they are updated with relevant changes for TADS 3. Note that this isn't an HTML tutorial - but the HTML in TADS is pretty close to standard HTML, so you can learn it from any of the many tutorials on the Web for ordinary HTML.)

Change Logs

Adv3Lite Library Change History. A chronological log of changes to Adv3Lite, the alternative TADS 3 Adventure Framework Library.


These books are copyrighted by their respective authors. In general, they may be used and distributed without charge, subject to certain restrictions. Please see the individual books for full copyright and licensing information.

Some of these books are offered in the "PDF" format. To view PDF files, you need the Acrobat Reader software, which is available as a free download from Adobe.

Where do I start with all these manuals?

At first sight, there's a lot of documentation here. If you want some guidance on where to start, try following the decision tree below (for each question you reply NO to, go to the next item in the list).

  1. Do you need help installing and setting up TADS 3 and/or adv3Lite? IF YES -> Quick Start Guide
  2. Are you already familiar with TADS 3? IF YES -> Adv3Lite Library Manual
  3. Are you familiar with writing Interactive Fiction in another system (such as Inform)? IF YES -> Learning TADS 3 With Adv3Lite
  4. Perhaps you should start with the Adv3Lite Tutorial