The PAW Monster Edition

PAW Monster

The PAW Monster Edition is a project of The PAW Reservoir for the development of a PAW replicant.

Another PAW replicant?!?!

The PAWME will replicate the original PAW design (database and language interpreter embedded within an editor) on the PC. The application will be self-contained and compact (no external libraries, no multiple executables, no file renaming, no compiler-interpreter architecture anymore… ). An .exe file will launch an editor that will provide the functions of the original PAW…

But why do we need another PAW system for Windows? We already have Doug Harter’s WinPAW, among others…

… hmm, that will provide the functions of the original PAW plus all many of the advanced features of the existing clones. This reset intends to upgrade the PAW design to the modern times and, while retaining all of the look & feel of the original software, make of it a serious tool able to produce top level games as many of those produced with the big ones. No object-oriented programming, no simulation paranoia, no endless lists of unaffordable plug-ins…

  • indexed database-driven system like the PAW but with extended capabilities: up to 65.000 locations, objects, dictionary, processes, flags, messages… (eventually unlimited).
  • expanded database structure with new data fields.
  • programmable PROCESS 0 (zero).
  • new PROCESS * (simultaneous to player’s input).
  • up to 20 user-defined windows for screen layout.
  • up to 65.000 flags (variables).
  • up to 100 local flags for locations and objects.
  • automatized behaviours via location and object flags: define attributes (container, non-player character, visited, foe, liquid, opaque… whatever) once and the system handles accordingly.
  • location routes.
  • stacks for FIFO operations with flags.
  • buffers for text ‘maths’.
  • flag indexation.
  • location routes.
  • authomatic & customizable light, hour and weather systems.
  • distant objects reporting and ‘atmospheric’ messaging for dynamic description effects.
  • simple macro programming
  • expanded PAW grammar: WINDOWx, WHATL(loc), WHATP (process), BITWISE condacts, OOPS and AGAIN, NPC interaction condacts, a power-boosted DOALL…
  • hard wired ‘start’ database with real and advanced functionality.
  • Hopefully, multiple target compilation: PC, DS, Java, Windows CE, etc.

… all interfaced via a user-friendly and simple editor similar to that of the original PAW. Plus some other nice and useful embellishments.

So, what are we supposed to be able to write with the PAWME?

Regardless of their beauty and retro-feeling, the 8-bit based windows versions of PAW are unfortunately too limited and cannot be used for large and text-plenty games or interactive fictions. To put it simply: they do not accommodate enough text nor database resources. SINTAC (which is, in fact, not a replicant of the PAW but of its elder brother DAAD) or CAECHO do in fact have most of the functions and the required expanded grammars that could in fact produce large and meaty text adventures. But SINTAC (absolutely beautiful) insists on the 8-bit limit of 256 of each class except for messages. There’s no use in having 65.000 messages if you can only use 256 flags to control such a monster, 256 objects and rooms with no local flags or attributes, if there’s not any bitwise operation grammar, etc. And the CAECHO system is a prodigy of design (the database is, simply, superb and massively fillable with so many values and flags and text maths and the language is so varied and so proficient…) but the paw-like grammar has been translated into a strange C-like spanish dialect. A beautiful software design by a computing engineer for computer engineeers. Mortals cannot simply make any sense of it, let aside write a game with it. And both of them only run under MS-DOS plus their authors have turned their back on the PAW forever and reject to update and recompile these fantastic tools to run under Windows. Sic.

We are starting to evaluate Superglús and ACE as both are superb PAW replicants. But we still feel that a rewrite, a new design and an editor version would be much better. Among the reviewed programming packages for our rewrite, Multimedia Fusion has taken the pole position for the time being…

You can report to the Project tab at for further information about the PAWME.