A cross-platform, multimedia interpreter for TADS adventure games.
C++ C HTML Other


QTads - A multimedia interpreter for Tads games.
Written and maintained by Nikos Chantziaras.  Based on Mike Roberts'
portable reference implementation of Tads.

This file contains an overview of QTads.  Other documentation files in
the distribution include:

      People who wrote QTads' code.

      The GNU General Public License (GPL).  QTads is distributed under
      the terms and conditions of this license.  (Note that this file
      might be missing in the Debian distribution; it can be found at
      /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2 or in the "Help->About" menu of
      the program.)

      The HTML TADS Freeware Source Code License.  QTads can be
      distributed and modified under the terms of this license if you
      cannot or don't want to accept the terms of the GPL.

      Installation and usage instructions.

      Contains the list of changes between QTads versions.

      Manual page.

The newest version of QTads can be downloaded from its homepage at:


Previous versions can be found at the project page:


About Tads and QTads

QTads is a so called "interpreter" for games created with the Text
Adventure Development System, or "Tads" for short, a C-like object
oriented programming language for authoring Interactive Fiction
(similar to the Infocom or Legend Entertainment games, like "Zork").
Yes, we are talking about text adventures here.

The Tads compiler creates executables for the Tads Virtual Machine (the
"Tads VM").  QTads is an implementation of this Virtual Machine; it
runs Tads VM executables.  One can also say that QTads is a Tads VM
emulator.  This is similar to Java; the Java compiler creates JavaVM
programs which must be executed with a JavaVM implementation.

Both Tads 2 as well as Tads 3 games are supported.

QTads is not written from scratch; it uses Mike Roberts' portable
reference implementations of the two Tads VMs; the T2 VM (written in C)
and T3 VM (written in C++).

For more information about Tads, visit its home page:


On what systems does it run?

Theoretically, it should run on *any* system for which a Qt-port exists
(many Unices, including Linux and Mac OSX, Windows, Haiku, even embedded
devices like cell phones and PDAs).  The systems it is known to run are
Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 and newer, MS Windows XP/Vista/7 and Haiku.

What's Interactive Fiction?

Well, this is just a poor README file and therefore not the appropriate
place for an introduction to Interactive Fiction.  For more information
about Interactive Fiction (or "IF" for short), just go to the Tads page
(see above) and follow some links.  Or search for "interactive fiction"
in Google; you'll be amazed about how many results you'll get.  And
you'll be even more amazed about how active the IF community is.

At qtads.sourceforge.net you can find further information about online
places where the community gathers and where to find games.

I don't like QTads.  It sucks.

Then help me improve it.  Send me suggestions and bug reports, or even
code if you know C++ and Qt.  Now!  Don't be afraid to do it.  Thank


QTads is Copyright (C) 2013 by Nikos Chantziaras.

QTads is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it either
under the terms of the HTML TADS Freeware Source Code License as
appearing in the file HTML_TADS_LICENSE included in the packaging of
this file, or under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation and appearing in the file
COPYING included in the packaging of this file; either version 2 of the
License, or (at your option) any later version.

QTads is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.