Adventures in Alan v3

Anssi Räisänen finished 13th out of almost 40 entries in the annual IFCOMP. "Ted Paladin and the Case of the Abandoned House" was developed using Alan v3 and the extensive library provided by Anssi himself. The game introduces a novel dimension of discovery.

This is a short introduction to the standard library for Alan v3. After reading this brief introduction you will probably want to have a look at the Alan Library Cookbook.

There are four files in the standard library. You should have them in the same folder as your source code file. Then, you can include the library by using the 'import' statement in your source code.


“Have you ever wondered what Christmas would be like if it were run by your horrible cat, who also happened to be a timeless Lovecraftian horror? Find out in this bloody festive holiday treat!”

This is the blurb for Byron Alexander Campbell’s ALAN3 game which was published in 2009.  The tone of the game is light-hearted, especially compared to the author’s other game released at about the same time, “Room 206”. This time around, the task is to catch a fish for your pet cat which turns out to be the great Cthulhu itself (!). Despite the Lovecraftian connection, the game is humorous throughout, even if macabre elements abound.

There have been some indications out there in IF-land about a problem with restore in Alan alpha9 interpreters. One of the games that have been hit is "Room 206" by Byron Campbell, a game reviewed here recently.

The problem have now been fixed. Alpha9 interpreters for Windows have been patched, and the fix will be included in the upcoming beta1. (As well as all development snapshots from now on.) If you are uncertain if your interpreter have the problem, interpreters with a date of 2010-12-06 and later should be ok.

Byron Alexander Campbell's "Room 206" was released a while ago in ALAN3, and according to a current thread on he is working on an Inform7 implementation of the game. This review is based on the ALAN3 version and has mainly only mild spoilers. More straightforward spoilers will be marked below.

As to its length, the game is rather extensive - easily longer than the average IF Comp game and maybe the longest ALAN3 game produced. In the beginning of the game we find the hero in a chapel right after a wedding. Curiously, he can't seem to find his newly-wed wife anywhere; she has gone outside the chapel a bit before him to say goodbye to the guests. Outside, however, there is just an empty limousine waiting, as well as the empty chapel grounds with no people around. Initially, you only seem able to wander around the few locations in and around the chapel. Soon, however, it becomes evident that there is more to this story than meets the eye. You begin to get hints of everything not being quite right when you find a ladies' shoe - instead of, say, a bottle of champagne -  in an ice bucket in the limousine, and other similar things. From there on it's an unpredictable ride with lots of twists and turns. The game turns out to have a rather sinister and disturbing plot and could be classified as a horror story.


What They Say

"I think it's the best IF language I've ever seen - and I *am* a programmer."

Andrew Heale