AD is the name of the company that was born under the auspices of Dinamic and Dro, with the aim of creating conversational adventures. It was formed by a fixed basic team of programmers and illustrators, and also had sporadic collaborators.
Aventuras AD was a Spanish video game company located in Valencia and dedicated exclusively to the production of conversational adventures. It was the only professional company dedicated exclusively to this genre and one of the most representative of the so-called golden age of Spanish software, in the 1980s. In addition to the production of adventures, they translated the PAWS parser into Spanish, which, together with the announcement of the MicroHobby adventure contest and the creation of the AD Adventure Club contributed enormously to the spread of the genre in Spain and the creation of hundreds of non-professional adventures.
The company arose from a first adventure created by Andrés Samudio and Carlos Marqués with The Quill: La Diosa de Cozumel. Andrés Samudio sent his adventure to Dinamic for his distribution (under the Samusoft label). However, Dinamic was looking to strengthen its conversational adventure division with a team of exclusively dedicated authors such as Fabián Escalante, Nicolás Lecuona, Pedro José Rodríguez Larrañaga, and finally they agreed with Samudio to create an independent subsidiary company dedicated to adventures. Samudio bought the AD brand from Dinamic and registered the new company under the name of Aventuras AD S.A., rented offices and expanded the staff by looking for its own programmers and graphic artists and assuming the production costs of future adventures, leaving Dinamic and Dro Soft (the distributor of Dinamic) only the commitment to market a certain number of adventures of the new company per year. The next to join were Manolo González and Juan Antonio Darder, both as programmers, although the second went on to work as a graphic designer after showing his work on site. Later Paco Zarco would join as graphic artist and Juan Manuel Medina as programmer (replacing Manolo González). Other graphic artists and illustrators were hired punctually in some adventures. The first shareholders of the company were the programmers themselves. Initially, Andrés Samudio's idea was for the company to be open to the collaboration of other programmers and graphic designers as freelancers.
Among the new company's first projects was its own version of The Original Adventure and the adventure The Goddess of Cozumel. In addition, Andrés Samudio cites Carvalho as a future project in an interview (an adventure that Dinamic would eventually publish independently of Aventuras AD). In the same interview he talks about a parody of Indiana Jones entitled In Search of the Lost Harp and another of Don Quixote, as future projects (which would never see the light of day). Also from the beginning, the project of translating and marketing the PAWS parser in Spanish was raised. Apparently one of the first works undertaken by AD was the conversion to Atari ST of some Dinamic adventures such as Don Quixote or Carvalho
The first adventure written by Andrés Samudio (The Goddess of Cozumel) was originally programmed with The Quill, which is how it was sent to Dinamic. However, after the agreement between Dinamic and Andrés Samudio to create the subsidiary dedicated to adventures, he traveled to Wales where he met with Tim Gilberts (creator of PAWS), who convinced them to program an exclusive parser for AD (DAAD, acronym for AD Adventure Designer) that would allow the conversion of the adventures to the different computer models on the market. This is how Gilberts was hired by Aventuras AD during the following year to develop the programming tool and teach the AD team how to use it. The price of the DAAD was more than two and a half million pesetas, and thanks to it the AD team expected to publish an average of ten adventures per year.
In addition to the creation of its own adventures, another of the important fronts opened by AD for the dissemination of the genre in Spain was the translation into Spanish of the aforementioned PAWS. PAWS, programmed by Tim Gilberts, was a simple adventure programming environment for Spectrum, very popular in Britain. Thanks to the collaboration of Andrés Samudio with the MicroHobby magazine, the new parser enjoyed immediate acceptance and caused a real boom in amateur authors and companies. Aventuras AD itself published through MicroHobby an improved version of the PAWS sample adventure entitled Survival (El Firfurcio). All of this was also encouraged by calling a national adventure contest, in which more of 100 creations.
The reviews of the specialized magazines were enthusiastic, always highlighting the professionalism of the company and the difference in quality between its adventures and the previous ones in the Spanish market. Despite all this, the public response did not seem to be up to par and, with the exception of The Original Adventure, none of the AD programs appeared on the best-seller lists. An English translation of Cozumel was prepared, but was never distributed (although the Spanish edition box did contain screenshots of the English version). A version of The Space Adventure was also distributed in Portugal with instructions in Portuguese.
Despite good reviews in trade magazines, the company never turned a profit. The costs of the DAAD, a less than expected response from the public, and internal organization problems, ended up determining its closure. Manolo González left the company leaving several adventures in the middle due to disagreements over payments. One of the programmers who replaced him (Juan Luis Cervera) also left for the same reasons, and finally it was Juan Manuel Medina who took charge of the programming, taking on the economic difficulties of the company. The last published adventure, Chichen Itzá, did so even after it had been announced on several occasions that it was not going to see the light of day. Some rumors pointed to the possibility of a recycling of AD in the company of Graphic Adventures in the style of Lucas Film (then very fashionable), but it was just fan speculation. Among the projects that remained unfinished, it is worth mentioning the second part of The Original Adventure, which had a complete script and some graphics.
Adventures and tools created by AD
Tools for creating adventures
En Busca del Arpa Perdida: idea para una parodia de Indiana Jones, no desarrollada. Parodia de Don Quijote: no desarrollada. En lo Profundo: aventura que transcurriría en el interior del cuerpo humano, no desarrollada. Aventura Original 2: con guión de Juan José Muñoz Falcó, llegó a contar con algunos gráficos de Paco Zarco.
The AD Adventures Team
Director and screenwriter:
AD Adventures naming controversy
The Dinamic Adventures name was first used in the Megacorp game and continued to be used in the rest of Dinamic Adventures. When Andrés Samudio decided to create his own adventure company and agreed with Dinamic so that they would take charge of the distribution, he decided to continue using the Aventuras Dinamic brand, which is the one that continues to appear in The Original Adventure. From the next Aventuras AD adventure, Jabato, the name of Aventuras AD was definitively established, as an independent company dedicated exclusively to the production of adventures and distributed by Dinamic.