AlienTextEngine & TalePad

A text game engine, a language and a code editor to play.

Alien Text Engine? What?

This is the first big project that I have faced. It started a few years ago when Prometheus (the alien movie sequel) launched. As an alien fan I went to watch it hoping for the best. It was terrible (sorry if you liked it). On that day I set down and though: “How can I fix this? How can I save this amazing universe?”.

The first thing that came to mind is that I’m a developer and I wouldn’t be able to make an animation or a movie, but since I loved games I would make a game out of it. I would rewrite Prometheus to my taste! I decided to make it a text game since I wanted to see results quickly and finish soon.

A Work always in progress

As all my friends know, swiftly my small project became huge. I wanted a clean API and a sh** ton of features. Soon enough it became an engine (this happened to me before. Like… with all games I started).

A mountain of features

As the years went by (yes, at least 3) the engine took shape, grew and became strong. In 2014 I took a course on compilers during my graduation and made my main assignment to create a language for this engine. A language (and a compiler) where everyone would be able to code histories. And thus, Tale code was born.

But what is it?

Alien text engine is a game engine that provides a framework for text game development. It is a big library with many standard definitions for objects, actions, interactions that one would use to create a text adventure. It is internationalized supporting by default portuguese (Brazil) and english.

Tale code is a companion programing language that comes with the engine. The language is a declarative script. In it you instantiate behaviours and objects, create scenes and links setting up an entire history.

Tale pad is a notepad that compiles tale code. I don’t suggest using it to write talecode though, for that I use NotePad++ with a language definition that I made (available here).

What can you do with it?

  • Create amazing virtual text worlds
  • Embed text histories on your apps and sites
  • Play other histories
  • Use to help master RPG games

Engine features

  • Custom translation support
  • Command creation at runtime
  • Multiplayer ready
  • Easy API (Java)
  • History models are customizable/extensible