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A Kotlin-based DSL for text adventures, with a partial replica of the classic Colossal Cave as an example.


My main goal was playing with Kotlin to get a feel for what it was like. A text adventure model and DSL were a fun little exercise to do, as well as replicating some of the classic locations, items, and events. However, the game was more of a use case and a test case than a goal in itself. This said, it turned out to be a fairly complete mini-adventure with its own goal and plot.

Locations and item descriptions are generally true to the original, as published by Eric Raymond (see a link below). Some interactions are changed or augmented to try out various engine features, and to keep the world cohesive without replicating it all.

Building and running

Run gradle jar in the project directory to build a jar under build/libs/AdventKT.jar.

Alternatively, open the project directory in IntelliJ (it is a project) and build the AdventKT:jar artifact. This produces out/artifacts/AdventKT_jar/AdventKT.jar.

Run the jar using the advent shell script in the project directory. It runs the jar from the location where the IDE builds it. If using Gradle, edit the path in the script accordingly.

Study pointers for the curious

The game is defined entirely in the ColossalCave class. (Spoiler alert). The class is Kotlin code, but shaped into a DSL. The definition is extensively commented to explain the use of DSL constructs. It's accompanied by global action definitions in ColossalCaveActions.kt

The implementation revolves around four core classes under framework: World, Room, Item, and Action. The DSL expressions in cave.ColossalCave ultimately create a particular structure of those classes and their subclasses.

The world definition DSL as seen in the ColossalCave class is defined by a set of methods in World and Room, and to a lesser degree, the Item class.


My email is <first name> dot <last name> at gmail dot com.

Links of interest

Open Adventure, the original Colossal Cave version 2.5

Photos of the real world cave


A Kotlin-based DSL for text adventures, with a partial replica of the classic Colossal Cave as an example.




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