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Community Affairs => SCI Community News => Topic started by: Cloudee1 on May 22, 2011, 11:45:45 AM

Title: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 22, 2011, 11:45:45 AM
So once it became official that jDOSBox would allow us to play sci games through our browsers... albeit a little slow. I have been trying to decide the best way to make use of this.

This is the angle that I have chosen to launch with. The Design Desktop. The idea is that these games are offered as online previews only. They are not demos, they are not full games, they are simply sneak peaks into an in-development game. A brief glimpse of what's to come, what's been done and quite simply of what is possible.

If anyone would like to submit an in-progress game to be displayed on the Design Desktop, zip it up and drop it in the fangames upload form. Just add a little bit of additional notes if you need to provide any additional information to aid in play.

While I am sure that our fan games as well as Sierra's demos are to follow in the whole play it online deal, for now, let's take a look forward and show off what it is that we have in the pipeline rather than offering a slowed-down version of what is already available.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 22, 2011, 04:42:20 PM
While I am sure that our fan games as well as Sierra's demos are to follow in the whole play it online deal, for now, let's take a look forward and show off what it is that we have in the pipeline rather than offering a slowed-down version of what is already available.

Fair enough.  I do believe I owe Scavenger at least a peek at what I've put together for an persistent on-screen display.  Uploaded, bugs & all.

Cloudee, I think you need a new category of game on the upload form for 'Developers Desktop', no?

EDIT:  Also, adding a note on the Desktop about how long it takes to crank up the games would be good (I just waited 2 full minutes before Fab Las Vegas did anything).
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 22, 2011, 05:05:30 PM
Hey gumby, I'll get your game through the works as soon as I can. As for the upload form, I am in the middle of creating a new one now just for desktop game uploads. It's not entirely essential, since the only really new bit is the part about additional notes on play. I still want a zip but really it just needs to contain the 3 resource files. swap those out, rename my img file and the game is ready. Changestates that rely on cycles or any counting are really slow. Point of reference, 50 cycles till the moonrise in the missile command room of shoot em up.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 22, 2011, 09:09:38 PM
Your Fabulous Las Vegas  looks intriguing. I take it that you do not have views for Baby Spice done yet.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 22, 2011, 10:11:08 PM
Uhhh, isn't Baby off to the far right?

EDIT:  Nevermind.  I see what you are getting at.  Views  :)
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 22, 2011, 10:26:43 PM
Well I'm not real sure how to make her gyrate from that pose and still maintain any babiness, and I don't even have all the views for the ego. But thats whats kind of cool, I sure want to now more than I did yesterday. And with any luck, others do too.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 23, 2011, 04:22:57 PM
Ok so the new form is up, it's just as not fancy as the other one. It can be found at the top right on the desktop page.  gumby I fought with your game in dosbox... it won the first round.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on May 23, 2011, 06:19:20 PM
Uploading.

EDIT: Err...it keeps telling me to add game instructions even though I put stuff there. Is that like commands that jDOSBox needs to run? Or instructions on how to play the game? Either way it keeps thinking I haven't added anything in the field.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 23, 2011, 07:36:46 PM
If the hotels got wifi, I'll fix it tonight. Probably some variable mismatch...
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 23, 2011, 08:43:38 PM
Ok so the new form is up, it's just as not fancy as the other one. It can be found at the top right on the desktop page.  gumby I fought with your game in dosbox... it won the first round.
If you like I could create my own disk image & zip it up if it would help.  Are you using DiskExplorer and just replacing the necessary files?  Not sure if DE will like that (it does have that problem with deleting files), but I can't find anywhere that it won't ilke it.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 23, 2011, 10:58:22 PM
Deleting files from an image is one thing that WinImage has no trouble doing. I think the shareware version should be able to do everything needed for this.

http://www.winimage.com/download.htm
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 23, 2011, 11:03:12 PM
I'm wondering if it isn't that extra resource file in there. Watching it load in the console window, it seems to send a lot of extra commands at load up.

Also the form has been fixed and tested. Sorry about that Brandon.

I haven't had any reason to delete any files, I'm just rewriting ones that exist and or adding new ones like mpumidi.drv. Every other game I have done it too has gone fine.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 24, 2011, 08:41:45 PM
Uploading.

EDIT: Err...it keeps telling me to add game instructions even though I put stuff there. Is that like commands that jDOSBox needs to run? Or instructions on how to play the game? Either way it keeps thinking I haven't added anything in the field.

Ahh!  The basket of goodies!  ;)
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on May 25, 2011, 09:52:10 AM
Lol. Did I ever solve that problem? I don't remember if I did or not.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 25, 2011, 11:09:18 AM
I tried all the combinations I could think of to 'take basket', but no dice.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 25, 2011, 02:17:46 PM
I did too, last night and got nowhere.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on May 25, 2011, 03:23:13 PM
"get goodies basket" works. It doesn't seem to understand that "get basket of goodies" means the same thing.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: lance.ewing on May 25, 2011, 05:47:41 PM
I just gave the KQ2 remake a go on my Macbook Air 11" and for some reason the keyboard input wasn't working. It didn't respond to the arrow keys and it wouldn't let me type in any commands. I was able to walk around the scenes using the mouse though. The keyboard issue might be a jdosbox problem. Keys are working fine on the Java version of PICEDIT when I run it on my mac. I just tried running jdosbox standalone outside of the browser and keys are working fine on the DOS command line there as well. Haven't tried it with a SCI game yet though.

The other thing I noticed was that the screen refresh was very flickery and flashing a lot. I'm guessing you're all seeing this though. The speed of ego walking around the screen seemed fairly standard. It was just the screen refresh that was very noticeably flashing. Faster PCs probably don't see this.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 25, 2011, 07:03:52 PM
Does this happen with other games in jDOSBox?
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on May 26, 2011, 01:59:47 AM
No screen flashing on my end. And keys work for me.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 26, 2011, 04:03:40 AM
Nor mine, but we both have PCs. I am wondering if Macs have problems with jDOSBox.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 26, 2011, 07:56:52 AM
On several slower computers in my home I did notice some flickering, but mainly I noticed that the speed was slower (maybe 80-90%).  During times of flickering, music also suffered so I just attributed it to speed.  Sounds like you might have a different issue going on Lance.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: lance.ewing on May 26, 2011, 04:43:37 PM
Nor mine, but we both have PCs. I am wondering if Macs have problems with jDOSBox.

Yeah, I guess it is possible. My main machine is a PC as well, but I got a Macbook a couple of months ago. It was mainly to have something portable for travelling, but I've started using it as my main home development machine now. Java should in theory be the same on all platforms. I guess it could have been a one off as well, so I'll give one of the other applet demos a go and see what happens.

I'll also see if I can get a SCI game running in jdosbox when it is run standalone outside of the browser.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: lance.ewing on May 26, 2011, 04:48:53 PM
On several slower computers in my home I did notice some flickering, but mainly I noticed that the speed was slower (maybe 80-90%).  During times of flickering, music also suffered so I just attributed it to speed.  Sounds like you might have a different issue going on Lance.

This Macbook Air 11" doesn't exactly have the best CPU. It is a lot more powerful than other similar sized machines such as netbooks, but for things that require a lot of CPU, it isn't going to compete with a desktop PC. An emulator is probably quite CPU hungry. The fact that everyone is seeing slow performance means that it is running as fast as it can, and so I guess using as much CPU as it can get hold of. This probably explains the screen flashing in my case.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: lance.ewing on May 26, 2011, 04:57:46 PM
Nor mine, but we both have PCs. I am wondering if Macs have problems with jDOSBox.

Yeah, I guess it is possible. My main machine is a PC as well, but I got a Macbook a couple of months ago. It was mainly to have something portable for travelling, but I've started using it as my main home development machine now. Java should in theory be the same on all platforms. I guess it could have been a one off as well, so I'll give one of the other applet demos a go and see what happens.

I'll also see if I can get a SCI game running in jdosbox when it is run standalone outside of the browser.


Interesting. Well I tried KQ2 again tonight and the keyboard entry was working fine. It must have been a one off. I tried everything I could think of last night to get it to accept keyboard input but it was refusing to. Everything fine now. I also noticed that it loaded a lot quicker tonight. KQ2 might be cached I guess, but the other games I hadn't yet tried were loading quicker as well.

The flashing is still the same though.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 26, 2011, 05:46:09 PM
I'm not sure what's going on there with the screen flickering. I mean the cursor flicker is real bad in missile command of shoot em up because of the way I did my stars. But the screen... But if cpu speed is slower then I guess it could cause it, but it would only be guesses. I do notice though that kq2 play speed seems real close to normal whereas neither of mine are.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 27, 2011, 05:03:10 AM
The performance of jDOSBox is not nearly as good as that of DOSBox, but then its development is only about 3 or 4 months old. It also does not use SDL.

I'm not sure what's going on there with the screen flickering. I mean the cursor flicker is real bad in missile command of shoot em up because of the way I did my stars. But the screen... But if cpu speed is slower then I guess it could cause it, but it would only be guesses. I do notice though that kq2 play speed seems real close to normal whereas neither of mine are.

I have not noticed any screen flickering in the missile command part of shoot em up, but then I have not tried it on one of my older PCs. I also noticed one reason it takes the games to load. You have it set to download the unziped IMG files. If you drop them in a ZIP or a JAR they will only be 2-4KB in size instead of ~4MB of the IMG. Shoot em up weighs in at 289 KB compressed in a JAR.

To mounting an IMG from a JAR:

Code: [Select]
 <applet code="jdos.gui.MainApplet" archive="jdosbox.jar,game.jar" width="640" height="400">
    <param name="param1" value="imgmount c jar://game.img -size 512,16,2,512">
    <param name="param2" value="c:">
    <param name="param3" value="autorun">
  </applet>

Just remember that the "game.img" needs to be in a "jdos" folder in the "game.jar".
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on May 27, 2011, 07:00:33 AM
Given the nature of these games, I'm trying to keep them off of the users computer as much as I can. when it comes to our games, or Sierra demos, no qualms about it.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 27, 2011, 08:11:23 AM
Given the nature of these games, I'm trying to keep them off of the users computer as much as I can. when it comes to our games, or Sierra demos, no qualms about it.

I don't think that zipping/jarring up the games requires them to be downloaded onto the users HD for unzipping.  I would assume they just unzip in-memory.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 27, 2011, 01:01:44 PM
I don't think that zipping/jarring up the games requires them to be downloaded onto the users HD for unzipping.  I would assume they just unzip in-memory.
This does indeed seem to be the case.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on May 27, 2011, 01:36:19 PM
So the files aren't actually downloaded to disk? That is a relief and something I was wondering about. I'd rather not allow people the ability to acquire my alpha builds if it's at all possible.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on May 27, 2011, 02:13:21 PM
Yeah, I think the only way the files hit disk is when you use the "download" parameter in the applet (which is what I'm doing with the AGI/SCI games).
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on May 27, 2011, 02:47:26 PM
Dropping the game IMG in a JAR seems to be about the best way. Besides the fact that it is much smaller than the uncompressed IMG, the fact that it is done in memory makes it much faster to initialize.

Danoon released a new version released today.

Quote from: danoon
0.74.20
* New dynamic core, most games are 2x faster than build #19
* Fixed lots of minor bugs, mainly around installers

Test out the faster Doom at http://jdosbox.sourceforge.net/

I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since build #19. The new core definitely took a lot of time, but I think it was was worth the effort. Doom seems to be the wost case for the new core, its only 25% faster, but every little bit helps. The nice part is this core works in unsigned applets. There is still room for improvement, a recompiling core shows lots of promise. Maybe someday I will get to that. For now I would like to work on stability, so please write about bugs your see.

http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?p=228174#228174
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: MusicallyInspired on June 24, 2011, 03:13:40 PM
KQ2SCI seems to be unplayable at the moment. jDOSBox can't seem to find the IMG file.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: gumby on June 24, 2011, 08:53:54 PM
Confirmed.  All the Design Desktop games are unplayable.

EDIT:  Looks like the URL of the .img files that DosBox is loading is inaccessible (404).  Could just be protected (not public), dunno.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Collector on June 24, 2011, 11:09:36 PM
Has Cloudee posted since the site was down? If it was moved to a new server, perhaps not everything got moved.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Cloudee1 on June 25, 2011, 12:16:23 AM
Wait, what... I've been burning up my spare hours on a project at work and haven't had much time for play. Will figure out whats going on tomorow.
Title: Re: The Design Desktop - Play unreleased sneak peaks of upcoming SCI releases
Post by: Raf on June 29, 2011, 06:07:44 AM
Has Cloudee posted since the site was down? If it was moved to a new server, perhaps not everything got moved.
The site's been down...?