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General and Everything Else => The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff => Topic started by: OmerMor on July 04, 2016, 03:28:00 PM

Title: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on July 04, 2016, 03:28:00 PM
I just found a SCI demo that I never knew existed for the ImagiNation Network (INN).
Unlike INN itself which used a modified version of SCI (called LSCI or Large Model SCI), this demo used the original SCI interpreter (version 1.001.097).

The demo works fine both in DosBox and ScummVM.

I discovered this demo inside an ISO from archive.org:
CD-ROM Today - The Disc #5 (November 1994) (https://archive.org/details/CD-ROM_Today_-_The_Disc_5_November_1994)
It's under IMAGINE\INNDEMO.

If you don't want to download the entire ISO, I'm hosting a standalone ZIP archive:
INNDEMO.ZIP (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5j-_ZMS8_UobWJ4VE5HZVNOWnM)
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: CTxCB on July 04, 2016, 05:03:22 PM
I just found a SCI demo that I never knew existed for the ImagiNation Network (INN).
Unlike INN itself which used a modified version of SCI (called LSCI or Large Model SCI), this demo used the original SCI interpreter (version 1.001.097).

The demo works fine both in DosBox and ScummVM.

I discovered this demo inside an ISO from archive.org:
CD-ROM Today - The Disc #5 (November 1994) (https://archive.org/details/CD-ROM_Today_-_The_Disc_5_November_1994)
It's under IMAGINE\INNDEMO.

If you don't want to download the entire ISO, I'm hosting a standalone ZIP archive:
INNDEMO.ZIP (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5j-_ZMS8_UobWJ4VE5HZVNOWnM)
I didn't know this existed either, I had quite some fun watching how INN was in it's heyday. The only other insight into INN in it's heyday was when I saw a clip of it on an episode of The Computer Chronicles. I've played INN via INNRevival for a number of years before it went offline sometime last year, and I'm still an advocate that there's a space for INN in the online gaming scene if handled correctly, a online game that is "simple enough for my grandmother to play" as Ken Williams said.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on July 04, 2016, 05:13:44 PM
I agree. And as I said, we're working on rewriting the INNRevival server.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: CTxCB on July 04, 2016, 05:57:38 PM
I agree. And as I said, we're working on rewriting the INNRevival server.
Great, I'm excited about that.

LINK (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqUyPacHME8)
By the way here is the segment from The Computer Chronicles on INN, broadcast in 1995.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: Kawa on July 04, 2016, 05:58:11 PM
Awful lotta fonts in there.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: Collector on July 04, 2016, 07:24:23 PM
I agree. And as I said, we're working on rewriting the INNRevival server.
I thought that was mostly abandoned.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: Kawa on July 04, 2016, 07:29:53 PM
Fun fact: that file on font numbering schemes that OmerMor posted? This contains most of those font resources... but where the doc says this one's an outline for that one, they don't seem to fit. But whatever~
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on July 05, 2016, 02:26:25 AM
I thought that was mostly abandoned.

It was.
And then it was picked again.
And this time we have Ben, the author of the original version, so I'd say we have a pretty good chance of success.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: CTxCB on July 05, 2016, 04:48:18 AM
I thought that was mostly abandoned.

It was.
And then it was picked again.
And this time we have Ben, the author of the original version, so I'd say we have a pretty good chance of success.
Do you have enough money to buy the rights of INN from AOL, or whoever they were subsequently passed on to? Not saying you need them, but this could be the first step to a new INN, maybe... I'm hanging out on that hope still, INN was way advanced for the time and the area of what INN is now seems empty and unexplored in the online gaming market now as a result.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on July 05, 2016, 06:50:17 AM
Do you have enough money to buy the rights of INN from AOL, or whoever they were subsequently passed on to? Not saying you need them, but this could be the first step to a new INN, maybe... I'm hanging out on that hope still, INN was way advanced for the time and the area of what INN is now seems empty and unexplored in the online gaming market now as a result.

I had a correspondence with one of the original INN developers. He told me he tried to get AOL to consider selling it to him when they shut down worldplay, but he couldn't even get them to look at what they had.

I have no idea if I have enough money to buy something which I don't know the price to. But I don't think I'd try to buy it anyway. For me, the challenge of reverse engineering the service is what drives me to do it.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: CTxCB on July 05, 2016, 07:06:04 AM
Do you have enough money to buy the rights of INN from AOL, or whoever they were subsequently passed on to? Not saying you need them, but this could be the first step to a new INN, maybe... I'm hanging out on that hope still, INN was way advanced for the time and the area of what INN is now seems empty and unexplored in the online gaming market now as a result.

I had a correspondence with one of the original INN developers. He told me he tried to get AOL to consider selling it to him when they shut down worldplay, but he couldn't even get them to look at what they had.

I have no idea if I have enough money to buy something which I don't know the price to. But I don't think I'd try to buy it anyway. For me, the challenge of reverse engineering the service is what drives me to do it.
I understand that, but I wouldn't think it'd be overly expensive even though this is AOL, I'd say... Less than half a million. It seems as if the whole thing is useless to them, as if it's just something they're unnecessarily holding on to because of lack of serious interest. Come on SCIProgrammers, huddle around and start saving up those dollars. ;D
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: MusicallyInspired on July 05, 2016, 11:57:15 AM
I've played INN via INNRevival for a number of years before it went offline sometime last year, and I'm still an advocate that there's a space for INN in the online gaming scene if handled correctly, a online game that is "simple enough for my grandmother to play" as Ken Williams said.

Dave Grossman of LucasArts said that, not Ken Williams.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: CTxCB on July 05, 2016, 12:02:37 PM
I've played INN via INNRevival for a number of years before it went offline sometime last year, and I'm still an advocate that there's a space for INN in the online gaming scene if handled correctly, a online game that is "simple enough for my grandmother to play" as Ken Williams said.

Dave Grossman of LucasArts said that, not Ken Williams.
http://www.sierrahelp.com/Misc/INNRevival.html states "Sierra On-Line founder Ken Williams wanted to create a network that even his grandmother would find easy to use, and to that end INN featured a unique emphasis on a friendly, graphics-heavy interface."
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: Collector on July 05, 2016, 12:49:24 PM
That was just a quote for the Wikipedia article. I went back to the article to see if it was sourced, but the article has been changed into a redirect to the 1990s entry of the Sierra Entertainment article that only briefly mentions INN.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on July 05, 2016, 01:35:08 PM
That was just a quote for the Wikipedia article. I went back to the article to see if it was sourced, but the article has been changed into a redirect to the 1990s entry of the Sierra Entertainment article that only briefly mentions INN.

This is the latest version of the Imagination Network article in Wikipedia, before it was changed to a redirect:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=ImagiNation_Network&oldid=677894116 (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=ImagiNation_Network&oldid=677894116)
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: Collector on July 05, 2016, 03:58:15 PM
I already grabbed it from the history. An earlier version of the article had information on the history and protocol that had been removed from the later versions. I am playing around with reconstructing it for one of the Wikis to preserve it, but it uses so many Wikipedia specific templates that it will take some work to get it to display properly.
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: EricOakford on May 08, 2019, 07:38:40 AM
Sorry to dig up an old topic, but I've got something new to add here - a decompile of the ImagiNation Network demo!

Attempting to run it after recompiling causes it to crash with the following error:
Code: [Select]
Stampver error: 941-360
Script #: 0, IP: 0

Fortunately, that's easy to work around, using the SCI.EXE taken from the SCI16 repository. On the plus side, you now also get the internal debugger!
One script couldn't be decompiled (CONV.SC), as Companion would crash on the attempt. No worries - I grabbed the CONV.SC from SCI16 and adapted it for Companion.
After that, the demo plays through to completion.

Another thing I discovered in INNDEMO's interpreter:
Code: [Select]
Aug 23 1993 12:03:27
ChrisS
i:/interp/sci/ibm
1.001.097
Release Version

That's an EXACT match for SCI16's interpreter!
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: OmerMor on May 08, 2019, 04:29:43 PM
Nice Eric!
As a reward, here's the original source for this demo:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-2zPqps_Xc82foAQsUyuB6HbNOfYhlMN (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-2zPqps_Xc82foAQsUyuB6HbNOfYhlMN)
 ;D
Title: Re: INNDEMO - A Newly Discovered SCI Demo
Post by: EricOakford on May 14, 2019, 11:32:27 AM
And here is the new decompile of the INN Demo, with all the scripts fully documented!

Well, now we know that the globals were originally not defined in the main script, but in the header files (SYSTEM.SH for system globals, GAME.SH for game-specific globals). We also know that view and pic defines had dedicated header files, and there were even loop defines.

And there's quite a bit of macro defines here, with "Cls" (clear screen) being one of them (which currently needs to be implemented as a procedure in SCICompanion).