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Topics - ZvikaZ

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Maybe it's a known fact, but I just discovered that today, so, wanted to share...

I have always thought that in AGI the sound is either turned on, or off.

However, WinAGI help says:
v23: Sound Attenuation

For Tandy systems, this variable is used as a global volume control

OK, having a global volume control is great, but how does the user control it?

Well, I have found this at PQ1: (I assume it's similar for other games as well...)

Code: [Select]
if (machineType == TANDY)
  set.key(61, 0, c38);
  set.key(45, 0, c39);
  set.key(43, 0, c38);

and Logic0:
Code: [Select]
if (machineType == TANDY)
  if (controller(c38))
  if (controller(c39) &&
      attenuation < 15)

i.e., if the machine is Tandy, then the user can press '-' to increase attenuation (= decrease volume), and '+' (or '=', which are on the same key) to decrease attenuation (= increase volume).

ScummVM already supports PCjr sound emulation, which as far as I remember should be similar to Tandy, (is it possible with DOSBox? I have never tried...), however, it currently doesn't have a PCjr or Tandy computer types:
Code: [Select]
enum AgiComputerType {
kAgiComputerPC = 0,
kAgiComputerAtariST = 4,
kAgiComputerAmiga = 5, // Newer Amiga AGI interpreters' value (Commonly used)
kAgiComputerApple2GS = 7,
kAgiComputerAmigaOld = 20 // Older Amiga AGI interpreters' value (Seldom used)

Compared to the types in WinAGI help:
Value Computer Type
0 IBM PC compatibles
1 IBM PCjr
2 Tandy 1000
3 Apple IIe, IIc
4 Atari ST
5 Amiga
6 Macintosh
7 Cortland*
8* PS2 with MCGA

It's interesting that these two lists don't perfectly much each other. WinAGI help explain that 'Cortland' is actually 'Apple IIgs'. ScummVM is missing PCjr, Tandy, Apple IIe/c, Macintosh and PS2 - I assume because they aren't supported. However, WinAGI help is missing '20 // Older Amiga AGI interpreters' value (Seldom used)'.

- Sierra added volume control keys to Tandy. Was it a known fact?
- Why didn't they add volume control keys to other platforms that had better-than-PC-speaker sound device?
- Maybe the Older Amiga machine type should be added to WinAGI help?
- What were the differences between the Tandy and a regular PC, besides improved music? In other words, is it a good idea to set machine type for Tandy (2) in ScummVM, instead of PC (0)? 'grep'ping in PQ1 source code shows that it's harmless, but that's not enough indication to make such a change...

I have tried my last idea, with KQ2 (because of the sea sounds at the beginning which are great for volume tests), and '+' and '-' really change the volume. Cool!
('=' doesn't work, because in KQ2 it's saved for swimming)

However, another strange thing is that these keys don't appear in the menu, or in the in game help.

In PQ1 (AGI) there is a Chief Whipplestick, which is once called Captain Whipplestick.
I'm not familiar with American PDs, but does it make sense that the chief of the police department in only a captain?
Or maybe it does make sense, considering that Lytton is a small town?

It's also interesting that Whipplestick is mentioned only once in the SCI version (as 'Lytton police chief Randolph Whipplestick')

SCI Development Tools / Message file format?
« on: February 28, 2021, 10:42:53 AM »
Is there some documentation for the message file format?
(besides reading ScummVM's message.cpp , or the original

Currently, when decompiling logic files, the object names are explicitly written.
For example, from PQ1:
Code: [Select]
  if (has("Patrol Car Keys"))
However, this complicates things when the object names are translated, because it's not enough to update the objects files, but the object name has to be searched for in all logic files and updated. And if the translation is fixed, again, all the usage places should be updated.

It'd be much easier if it was possible to just retain the the i- syntax:
Code: [Select]
if (has(i1))
(similarly to the option "Show message arguments by number")


AGI Development Tools / Russian translation / AGDS tool?
« on: February 17, 2021, 03:27:12 AM »
I've seen references to the Russian made AGDS tool, and to AGI games translated to Russian.
Does anyone have the tool, or any of the translations?
(or maybe played one of these games, and can answer me if they accepted commands in English, or in Russian?)

AGI Development Tools / WinAGI: feature request - lower case GameID
« on: February 12, 2021, 02:51:52 AM »
Currently, when changing the GameID from the game's GUI, it insists that it will be upper case.
Why not let me have it lower case, if I prefer?
I can change it from the .wag file, to lower case, and everything works fine.

ScummVM supports (*) detection fallback for unrecognized games, based on their .wag file. It uses GameID field from the .wag file (among other fields). Therefore, if I set it to 'pq1', I can continue working on the game, while changing it, without touching ScummVM detection tables.

(*) That mechanism hasn't been updated for long time, and it's based on old format of the .wag file. I've created a PR ( to support the newer INI format. It'd be nice if you can comment over there :)

AGI Development Tools / WinAGI: feature request - batch mode
« on: February 12, 2021, 02:46:47 AM »
(is it the correct place for feature requests? do you prefer single thread for each feature request?)

It'd be great if it was possible to run WinAGI in batch mode - i.e., from the command line, without GUI (like 'gcc', or other compilers).

I've started work on Hebrew translation for PQ1. My previous project was Hebrew translation for SQ3. In that project, I've exported all textual resources to an excel file, uploaded it to Google Drive, and then shared it with a team of volunteers. The translation, and discussions, were done on Google Drive. Then I had scripts that downloaded everything from the drive, made required changes, [compiled everything with SciCompanion (*)], and created zip file ready for distribution.

(*) I've written [compiled] in brackets, because that step couldn't be done automatically, as SciCompanion doesn't have batch mode. Thus, this step needed manual intervention.

I plan similar flow for PQ1, and it'd be great if WinAGI could be run from a script, without GUI.

I assume that for the current version, it'd be quite difficult to achieve, but please take this into account for your new C# version design.

Whenever I exit WinAGI it forgets the "Show message arguments by number" settings, while it remembers other settings.
I assume it'd be simple keep that setting as well?


AGI Development Tools / How to distribute fan made translation?
« on: February 11, 2021, 06:32:44 AM »

I've started checking the feasibility of Hebrew translation of AGI games:

I think I can solve most of the problems that I can foresee. However, I'm not sure what's the best way to distribute the translation, once it will be finished.
For the SQ3 project I distributed a zip file, containing a bunch of translated resources.

However, since AGI doesn't have patch file mechanism (or does it have such mechanism? and I'm just wrong here?...), I'd like to hear your opinion as to the preferred way to accomplish that. Or maybe someone already solved that problem?

The options that I currently think of (and their drawbacks):

  • 1. Compile the game in my computer, and distribute the compiled game.
  •     * Problem: It's piracy. And ScummVM won't accept it...
  • 2. Compile the game in my computer, save the binary diff between the result and the original, create a tool that will apply that diff, and distribute the tool with the diff file.
  •     * Problem: PQ1 (2gs version) comes with VOL.0 and VOL.1 files. When compiling with WinAGI, it combines them to a single big VOL.0 file. Opening it in a differ shows no resemblance to the original VOL.0 file. Thus, the 'diff' is actually (almost?) everything. Therefore, it's actually equivalent to the previous option.
  •     * Problem: It will require the user to have specific version. But it's not really an issue.
  • 3. Compile the game in the user's computer. I will distribute the modified resources, and create a script that will open the game in WinAGI in the user's computer, replace the modified resources, and then compile everything.
  •     * Problem: Currently, WinAGI doesn't have batch mode (as far as I know). But, @AGKorson, I assume you can add one in the future ;)
  • 4. Some other solution?
Thanks in advance...

AGI Development Tools / WinAGI 2.1.5 - fails to compile PQ1
« on: February 11, 2021, 02:39:59 AM »
I have loaded PQ1 (dos) to WinAGI 2.1.5, and tried to compile Logic6 (without changing anything...) - but it failed with:
Code: [Select]
563: Property or method not avialable until object is loaded.And then:
Code: [Select]
506: Invalid resource data at 66662 in VOL.0
Previously, I have loaded the 2gs versions of PQ1, and it worked fine, if this matters.

AGI Development Tools / WinAGI Character map
« on: February 10, 2021, 02:48:45 PM »

First, congratulations for the new WinAGI version.

I've found the Character Map tool in the help file (CTRL+INSERT, if anyone wants to use it).
It'd be nice to also have it available in the menus, or toolbar (or both).
Not everyone will think to search for such feature in the help file; and I'm quite convinced that when I will want to use it in a year, I won't remember that keyboard shortcut...


AGI Development Tools / Original AGI code?
« on: February 02, 2021, 04:13:26 AM »
You've mentioned in another thread the original Sierra AGI syntax.
How do we know what was the original Sierra syntax?
Is there original code, or maybe snippets, available?
Or some original docs?
Or something else?

SCI Development Tools / QFG1VGA - picture format problem?
« on: January 24, 2021, 08:48:35 AM »
Another problem with QFG1VGA.

I have just exported a single picture as a patch (300.p56), without changing anything, and it fails.
On ScummVM:
Code: [Select]
Unsupported pic-operation 0!On DOSBox it just gets stuck.

Am I missing (again...) some other file that I should export as well?
Or is it another strange format used by QFG1VGA, and not supported (yet  ;) ) by SciCompanion?

SCI Development Tools / Changing message - fails
« on: January 17, 2021, 04:56:08 PM »
I'm trying to change something in a message file, and it fails.

It's QFG1VGA, with Game->Properties->"Manage resources as patch files" turned on.
I've opened Message.206, Noun 3, Verb 11 (food ration), and just changed it to "food ration1".
Clicked "Commit", and then saved with Ctrl+S.

Now, in the SCICompanion Explorer, under "Status", it says "Resource load failed", and the size of 206.msg file is only 6 bytes...
If it matters, those 6 bytes are:
8F 00 E4 0C 00 00

Have I done something wrong?


SCI Development Tools / QFG1VGA - compile, export as patch - fails?
« on: January 14, 2021, 06:03:57 PM »
I've a strange problem...

I'm working now on QFG1VGA.
Tried changing something at some file. Compiling it, it works.
Then exporting as patch, and putting in a clean directory - it behaves badly.
Checked the game both in ScummVM and DosBox, tried using both Phil's SciCompanion, and Kawa's 3.2.30

More details:
The file is - room 203 - the hero creation screen.
I tried commenting out lines 584-597 - the second `Display` call at `namePlate.highlight`.
I've worked in a fresh clean directory, and that was the only change.
After compilation, I've opened it in ScummVM, and it was as expected - everything worked, and the commented code wasn't executed.
Then I've exported the patch file to another clean directory.
Now, when opening it in ScummVM, in that room, there are a lot of warnings in ScummVM's console, 'glpyh 99 drawn out of bounds' (and similar). And worse - the screen is drawn incorrectly. There are 'ch' strings instead of the numerical values, and few more glitches.
The commented code wasn't executed, so, at least that bit is OK...

I tried to revert it, and uncommented that code. But it still behaves the same (except, of course, that the previously-commented code is now executed).

Started over, from clean copy. Now, I've exported a patch *before* compilation. That one seems to work.
Done it all over, same bad results.
Comparing the good patch before compilation, and the last patch, after undoing my changes (which supposedly should have been similar patches), the latter is smaller.

Any ideas?
If someone could also check it, it'd be nice. Maybe I've missed something stupid...


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