DAAD (acronym for Diseñador de Aventuras AD -- Aventuras AD Designer) was the authoring tool that the Spanish company Aventuras AD used to create their interactive fiction works. DAAD system was based on SWAN (System Without a Name), which was an evolution of PAWS -- sold commercially by Gilsoft.
Author: Tim Gilberts. Creation date: 1988. Editor: Aventuras AD. Supported Platforms: Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, MSX, MS-DOS, Spectrum. Latest Commercial Version: 2.8. Price: Sold exclusively to Aventuras AD for 2.500.000 pesetas (~15.000 €). Sold by the company, after closing, for 1.000.000 pesetas (~6.000 €). No buy was found.
Tim Gilbert and DAAD
Aventuras AD wanted to convert adventures to the different computer models that existed in the market at the time. This is how Gilberts was hired by Aventuras AD during the following year to develop DAAD, the programming tool and to teach the team on its use. The price for DAAD was more than two and a half million pesetas (~15.000 €), according to Samudio himself. The company expected to publish an average of ten adventures per year.
DAAD allowed to easily convert works to different systems. This allowed Aventuras AD to be one of the companies that published works to the most different systems, especially to the less widespread systems in Spain such as the Atari ST, the Commodore Amiga, the Commodore 64 or the MSX.
In general the games were programmed in MS-DOS. The graphics were made on Atari ST for the 16-bit versions -- they lost quality when transferred to PC, due to its smaller color palette. The Amiga and the Atari ST were identical, though -- and on Spectrum for the 8 bits versions, later retouched to take advantage of the characteristics of each computer.
Another remarkable feature respect to its predecessors was the object treatment system -- the programmer could define an object and all its characteristics (solid/liquid, hard/soft, poisonous or not, etc.). Then, DAAD automatically treated it as one. This allowed to define objects only once. NPC's were defined in a similar way.
The prize had to be 200.000 pesetas cash (~120 €), the publication of the winning adventure by Aventuras AD and several trips to the UK and Spain (Madrid and Valencia) to visit the mythical places of the creation of adventures.
However, the contest faced several troubles (the unexpected high participation, The company's crisis, 8-bit computers decline, etc.). It was decided not to give the initial prize to a single winner, but to offer to seven semifinalists a shared prize consisting in the DAAD itself, and one-week holiday in Valencia to learn how to use the program. Aventuras AD also offered to send the new works done by the winners to the main companies. All finalists accepted the agreement and received their copy of DAAD, although none of the winners get to travel to Valencia nor send any new adventure to DAAD to be marketed.
End of Business
The initial plans of Aventuras AD to publish up to ten adventures per year were far from reality. In its five years of existence it only produced six commercial adventures plus one promotional. The exorbitant price of DAAD was a constant burden for the company. In some projects the team were payed late -- some programmer even left the company for this reason -- and even its last project did not recive any money from Dinamic.
Finally, after speculating about the possible resell of DAAD for one million pesetas (~6.000 €), the company definitively abandoned the production of adventures in 1993.
Thought Lost for Ever
After the closing of Adventures AD, almost 20 years passed with no information about DAAD code, since the only surviving copies were those from the winners of the contest, and the known copies of the tool were on irremediably damaged discs.
Unexpectedly, among some material that Andrés Samudio donated to the AUIC (Asociación de Usuarios de Informática Clásica -- Association of Users of Classical Computing) for its exhibition at the Madrid Games Week on 2013, some discs appeared. They were in samudio's storage room for years, with most of them preserved and functional. In one of those discs contained a copy of DAAD that could be recovered entirely and made available to the public to use or study -- with the express permission of the author during the Valencia's Va de Retro 2014 fair.
[Aventuras AD] works made with DAAD:
- La Aventura Original (1989)
- Jabato (1989)
- Cozumel (1990)
- La Aventura Espacial (1990)
- Los Templos Sagrados (1991)
- Chichen Itzá (1992)
Other works made with DAAD:
- Elf 1 (2016)