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Topics - Kawa

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The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / Christmas Card again
« on: December 16, 2018, 10:39:33 AM »
Remember three years ago?

Yeah, I did it again. Because why not? Merry Christmas again.

Yes Phil, this is in Sierra script.

SCI Development Tools / I just wrote a thing.
« on: October 05, 2018, 04:24:16 PM »
I wrote a thing that converts script (just the string pools, really), messages, and text resources from codepage 437 to 1252 so it looks right in SCI Companion and edits nicer. Just export all resources of those types, run the thing, and drop in one of my fonts. I might add a thing where it also takes SC files. Also, I should probably add heap support.

Code: [Select]
Input:  "Fr Informationen ber Space Quest 5 drcke bitte auf diesen Knopf."
Output: "Für Informationen über Space Quest 5 drücke bitte auf diesen Knopf."

Input:  "Es w„re ja alles gar nicht so schlimm - vom harten Aufprall einmal abgesehen.  Geh' n„chstesmal nicht so nah an den Rand."
Output: "Es wäre ja alles gar nicht so schlimm - vom harten Aufprall einmal abgesehen.  Geh' nächstesmal nicht so nah an den Rand."

Yes, there are hidden characters in there where the ü should be.

The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / A bit of SCIence
« on: September 23, 2018, 04:33:50 PM »
With no apologies to CTxCB for the title.

My mission: to feed SSCI, ScummVM, SV, and SCI Companion strange font resources.

First, I generated a font resource based on Fixedsys Excelsior containing 1024 characters, because all three header fields in a font resource are 16-bit values. All four programs can load the result (attached), though SCI Companion's all "what matter of bassoonery is this" and clamps it to 256. SV just blindly tries to draw all 1024 characters and runs out of screen space, and the interpreters are happily unable to actually use any character >255.

Next up is the lowChar value. Across 500+ font files I've checked, all of them have a lowChar of zero. This is not the index of the first character in the font proper! None of the four actually care about this value, except for one spot in SSCI: the character being drawn must be >= lowChar and < highChar. As such, if you were to set it to 0x61 'a', SSCI will stop drawing any capitals, digits, and most symbols in that font.

If highChar is effectively numChar, that explains why SSCI does care about that. Remember that time I made AGI draw extended ASCII characters and it went off the rails? Giving a translation of let's say KQ5 the font(s) from the US version, the extended ASCII characters are simply skipped. But if you take a 128-character font and change its highChar to 256 (or 226, more popular number), SSCI will happily mistake the first 100-something characters' data for offsets to the high moby's characters, follow them, and draw... it depends, I suppose. I expected more dramatic results than this but when I tried it I got a few dots where the high characters would go. ScummVM catches an access violation and pops the debugger, SV crashes like a normal Windows application, and SCI Companion resets the font to 128 8x8 blanks.

If you write down your results, it's science. If you don't, you're just fucking around.

Looks just like the real thing, only better.

Made from scratch, runs in DOS. Mostly idempotent with Sierra's installer in all respects that matter, but nicer and smaller.

Smaller: The original, with the required HLP and TXT files, is 100 KB. This baby weighs in at 26 with every single string built in. Even unpacked at 49.5 KB it still has Sierra's beat. The original, when unpacked, is 167 KB for just the EXE.
Faster: No dots, no fuss. We mostly only scan for the most likely features and don't look up every single DRV file -- we only confirm which of those we know are there.
Clearer: When you only show 13 items at most and have 18 music hardware choices, Sierra's installer gives no indication that the list scrolls. As you can see above, we do.
Scripted: In the same sense as the original -- if there's an INSTALL.SCR file and you run from diskette or CD-ROM, "save configuration" becomes "begin installation" and the batch-like script is executed. Only two commands are unimplemented; IF ERRORLEVEL and TESTDIR.
But wait! If you run from diskette or CD-ROM and there's no script file, it'll fall back to a built-in generic install script that just copies what works for most games! If, that is, there is a SPACE setting in RESOURCE.CFG. (copies *.drv, resource.*, interp.*, install.exe, sierra.exe, and writes a new resource.cfg)
Full source: Because why not?

Tested positive on King's Quest VI CD and The Dating Pool.

? Binary | Sauce ?

<Screwtape> Kawa: So what you're saying is, Sierra should retroactively hire you.
<Kawa> no lol
<Covarr_Work> he's saying telltale should ditch their shitty crashy engine, switch to SCI, and hire him in the present.
<Kawa> SCI64?

It was at this point my thoughts ran away, thinking back to the Monkey Island remakes.

High-resolution widescreen graphics with alpha channels on views and background layers seems like an obvious feature, probably by leveraging PNG somehow. Rotating views, as per Phil's custom SCI0 terp, to go along with the existing zoom feature from SCI11, but with proper blending. Scrolling areas, as per the later games. Vorbis/FLAC background music, possibly on separate channels for volume control trickery...

And all that still with the lispy scripting language we know and love, and the same basic resource file style, extended where needed. I'd play it. I'd use it... long as it's not Unity, because I'd rather like to play for more a minute or two at a time.

But yeah, wouldn't that be a cool hypothetical thing to have?

Inevitable mockup screenshot:

(click for bigger)

SCI Development Tools / Custom-building your own SSCI
« on: April 12, 2017, 05:48:34 PM »
I just managed to compile my own copy of sierra.exe. It doesn't actually run anything yet, but at least I got the right compiler! Lemme just rename it so it can coexist with the one that came with the archive...

Yeah okay, I'll accept that.

Edit: got a new development environment set up in a DOSbox. Two minor changes to startasm.s and info.c later, I have an SCI.EXE (debug) that manages to run the template game, albeit without the ability to initialize my sound hardware, and a SIERRA.EXE that actively refuses because it's not been stamped.

Everything-Else / This is what happens when I get bored.
« on: September 21, 2016, 04:39:50 PM »
I not only make mockups... but I implement them!

There used to be an image here, but it's gone.

Everything-Else / So I was amassing a large amount of vaporwave...
« on: August 15, 2016, 05:48:05 AM »
...when I found this particular track. I was like whaaat? :o I know that shit's all about vague distortions of existing songs (and AESTHETICS, I suppose) but I did not expect Codename Iceman sounds 5 and 7.

That'll be all.

How large is large? Two days, two hours, twenty-two minutes... and one second.

SCI Development Tools / Vocab 999
« on: March 06, 2016, 10:37:49 AM »
Just because I wanted to be able to compile the sentence (RemapColors rcPERCENT 253 64) without having to write StrSplit and play pretend, here's a quick tool I whipped up to create a 999.voc with all the kernel calls that SCI11 supports. If you run it as-is, it'll use an internal list. If you specify a file name as a parameter (read: drop it on the icon) it'll use that instead. And for that reason I include one of those too.

Everything-Else / Anachronisms
« on: January 23, 2016, 10:30:53 AM »
On the one hand, you have Cloudee1's Space Quest remake.

On the other, there's this.

Not a photoshop, actual unaltered screenshot of what is obviously a joke that shan't be worked out further.

The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / The Dating Pool
« on: December 27, 2015, 11:40:52 AM »
First public release! Here's a demo version that features the first day and its puzzle. It's probably pretty buggy, and in fact I had to remove some things just to make it not crash. If you feel like a challenge in figuring out why the removed things make it crash, just tell me. If you have any suggestions for content or style, please go ahead and tell me.

But now, with no further ado, you can get The Dating Pool - One Day Demo at

Just took these from the site linked above, lol.

Changes to New Years demo since Christmas
? Canister logic fixed
? Intro crash bug fixed
? Credits and post-demo slideshow amended

SCI Syntax Help / This is not a game about The Flash
« on: December 16, 2015, 11:01:05 AM »
Strangest thing. I was working on some scripts for dialogue and puzzles and such so I might get that one-day demo done some time this year, when this odd shit started happening: walking directly left or right makes Ego outright zip across the screen, while any of the other six directions move as they should. The only related thing I touched was to correct the default scale. Even with most of SetupEgo commented out (because who knows?) and nothing in the room code making further changes to Ego. What could cause such an effect?

Edit: you might notice there's no diagonal animations. That's because the grooper was disabled.

The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / Christmas card
« on: December 08, 2015, 10:21:17 AM »
I am sorely tempted to make a 2015 Christmas Card demo. Specifically, the Carol of the Burger King, with either a nicely redrawn SQ3 Monolith employee singing it (in subtitles only of course holy shit) or a slightly altered JONES Monolith employee doing the same. I'm partial towards the latter since the screen layout would have plenty space for greetings, it wouldn't look too much like the original video, and it would minimize the amount of graphical effort -- just make it snow on the game board, string some lights...

Then, of course, one would take a Carol of the Bells midi and drop in cue points for the lyrics.

The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / High-Resolution Packs
« on: November 09, 2015, 05:06:27 PM »
Has anyone else 'round here considered this concept as it might apply to SCI? Like, you'd take ScummVM and alter the graphics and sound code for its SCI engine to detect and substitute external data where available.

Something relatively simple might be like playing hrp/42.ogg instead of 42.snd, while something rather more involved might be drawing hrp/0_2_4.png instead of loop 2 cel 4 of 0.v56.

Just hypothetical I guess, but I doubt I'm the first here.

I have, in my closet, a large amount of backup DVDs, since I haven't always had an external HD and such. I thought it lost, but I found it anyway... the design docs for an attempt at a Larry 4 game that Raf wrote after I'd emailed Al Lowe for permission to make it! And god DAMN are these docs Flemish!

And not just that, but the AGS project files and such for the same are here too! Original plan was to write it in SCI, when SCI Studio 4 was released. Of course, we all know how that ended.

...all that hidden in the very first stack of many to boot!

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