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Messages - EricOakford

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1
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: January 11, 2022, 12:12:41 PM »
It seems like the reason the views tend to be garbled when edited may be related to SCICompanion not properly modifying RESOURCE.MAP.
That's interesting. The more details you can get me and/or Phil, the better.
Specifically, if the resource files are modified, SCICompanion later mistakenly detects the map format as SCI 1.0, when it should be SCI 2. The package format and actual resources are still detected correctly, however.

In SCI Viewer, the resources themselves display fine, so it appears the view editor is not causing the problem; modifying the map file is.

2
Everything-Else / Re: It's 2020 and no TLS-encryption
« on: January 10, 2022, 10:30:48 PM »
That post is over a year old lol.

Yeah. I'm considering moving things over to my new site. I spared no expense and got a XenForo license. I can connect the new board with the main site, which uses WordPress.

Here's my analysis of this site:
Arcade
   Doesn't work. Probably don't need it anyway.

Shop
   Uses SMFShop. I can replace this with trophies, which are standard in XenForo.

Gallery
   Uses SMF Gallery, can be replaced with XenForo Media Gallery... later.

Tools, Fan Games
   XenForo Resource Manager can handle these easily.

There will be search engine optimization, proper support for mobile devices, and social media support.

3
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: January 10, 2022, 08:17:08 PM »
It seems like the reason the views tend to be garbled when edited may be related to SCICompanion not properly modifying RESOURCE.MAP. That may explain why the views look okay in the view editor.

And adding in the control panel is tougher than in SCI16, since the GameControls and Slider classes appear to have been deprecated. SCI2's control panel will be based on that of GK1 and SCI2.1's on SQ6.

4
Everything-Else / Re: It's 2020 and no TLS-encryption
« on: January 09, 2022, 08:42:34 AM »
SierraHelp is managed by Collector, but I think this site is managed by Cloudee1, who hasn't been active for a year. A lot of the Sierra fan pages, for that matter, are seen as "not secure" by Chrome.

I do agree that an SSL certificate would be a good idea. My new site, The Missing Floppies, does have one (it came with my Hostinger plan and never expires).

5
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: January 07, 2022, 08:42:54 PM »
I managed to put in an older-style status line. Since the DrawStatus kernel call no longer exists in SCI32, this required making a special plane with text. QFG4 did a similar thing, but with views to represent current health, stamina, and mana.

6
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: December 20, 2021, 12:34:54 PM »
By the way, you can input the interpreter's name with any argument, and it will give the version number and stamp.

Thank you. I tried this with a few games but couldn't get it to output the info in DOSBox.
"c:\KQ4\sierra version" outputs "Can't find configuration file" and "c:\KQ4\sierra -version" boots the game with no output. I must be doing something wrong.

This doesn't work on SCI16 interpreters before version 1.001.095 (which is nearly all of them). I guess I should have noted that.

7
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: December 19, 2021, 01:15:55 PM »
Any idea what the LSL7 stamp will be? Not that it works with SC anyway.

Here's the initial DOS interpreter's build date and version:
Code: [Select]
Oct 18 1996 04:09:07   3.000.000The version stamp number is 18.
And here's for the interpreter included in the official patch:
Code: [Select]
Nov 08 1996 17:46:12   3.000.000HOWEVER... the stamp number in the patch's interpreter is -1! That means no version stamp check! ;D

By the way, you can input the interpreter's name with any argument, and it will give the version number and stamp.

8
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI32 Templates
« on: December 17, 2021, 08:29:25 PM »
Well, after researching some SCI32 game demos, I figured out their interpreters' version stamps. Now I know why some don't trigger Error 42 after the resource file is modified - they have the stamp 0 or -1, which allows it to match any game!
Code: [Select]
LSL6 SVGA: 0
LSL7 demo: 11
RAMA demo: -1
Torin: -1
Torin demo: -1
SQ6: 1465
SQ6 demo: 1352
SWAT demo: 1402
KQ7 demo: 0
GK1 CD: 0
PQ4 CD: 0
QFG4 CD: -1
QFG4 disk: 869
QFG4 disk (German): 933

9
SCI Development Tools / Re: Decompilation Archive
« on: December 16, 2021, 08:11:32 PM »
I've just put up decompilations of the demos for Torin's Passge and RAMA! Slowly, I work my way up to the later part of SCI2.1...

From the ScummVM wiki:
Quote
These are mainly SCI21 game demos of SCI3 games and exhibit behavior where strings and arrays are mixed together (they were cleanly separated in earlier versions). kString subcalls are of a new variant, variant was also used in SCI3.

10
All right. After shelling out $39 for Anvil Studios' Multi-Audio 8/16 accessory, I've managed to convert all of the original music to WAV files.
I thought I was using the SGM soundfont, but it turned out I was using Arachno instead.  That's a good thing, though, since Arachno is actually more accurate.
And I know it's more accurate (and which music is original) because the QFG4.5 soundtrack is actually available for purchase! Really! The composer's name matches that of what I found in the ripped MIDI files.
I made both mono and stereo masters of the conversions, just to be safe.

So go buy the official soundtrack! (I did!)

11
One reason I'd like to eventually upgrade to SCI32 is better support for WAV-based music.
The MIDI files can be converted to WAV files using something like Anvil Studio. But to make them sound better, a soundfont works wonders. There's one here that sounds good, the General MIDI soundfont "SGM-v2.01-YamahaGrand-Guit-Bass-v2.7". Another good choice is Arachno.
Torin's Passage (which most closely corresponds to my SCI2.1 template) appears to only support monaural sounds, as all of the audio files are mono. Sound effects are 16-bit, while music is 8-bit.
So it seems fair that the music should be exported as 8-bit mono tracks.
Most of the sound effects I'm using are from QFG5 and already 16-bit.

But one drawback to SCI32 is that SCI2 pics do not appear to support controls; where actors can go is determined by polygons instead. For this reason, I will try to only use polygons instead of control colors.

12
Bonus points if you can have it import/export a QFG character profile file.  ;D

I certainly could. That's something I was considering. Maybe late in development (like when this is ported to SCI32) this could be added, since I've already reverse-engineered the import/export scripts for QFG4.

Of course, I'll have to ensure compatibility with QFG5, so naturally the QFG4.5-exclusive spells will not be exported. There will be an in-game explanation for this, though (for example, with Leprechaun Gold, it was already mentioned that Silmaria suffers from "tremendous inflation" according to Tarna's moneychanger, so I could have Erasmus confiscate the spell for Silmaria's economic safety). Another idea is that the events are all just a dream by the Hero (which would explain the discrepancies between this and the official games).

On another note, the third and last enemy in the game, Cleo's murderer, has been added. There may be more enemies on the way, but for now, I'd like to focus on the actual rooms.

13
And now I've managed to make random encounters and combat possible! The Goblin and Elite Guard are now possible combatants. Now I just need to set the Encounter region for every room that is meant to have a possible encounter, and maybe grab some code from the QFG3 decompilation...

14
And the original QFG4.5 authors apparently never completed QFG4, since Bonehead (who was incorrectly identified as Bones) mentioned that you beat Baba Yaga a second time in Monrova (actually Mordavia), which never actually happens. I have since rewritten this dialog to be more accurate.

Good to hear that continuity will be better maintained.

Also better maintained will be the character classes. All three hero types had the sword and shield, which made the Magic User a bit too overpowered with his Leprechaun Gold and Healing spells (at least he would have been, had spellcasting in combat actually hurt the enemy). I plan to have only the Fighter have the sword and shield, just like in the official games.

Other nerfs will be the Leprechaun Gold spell (can no longer use it to pay off the lawyer, reduces honor, etc.), the ability to mug people (reduces honor, takes away puzzle points),

I want to add more alternative solutions for each hero type. Allow the Thief to just jump over the divide that normally requires the lasso (and the Magic User to levitate across with some help); allow the Fighter to just fight his way through certain enemies; allow the Magic User to just use Flame Dart on that mutant plant; these are just some examples I can think of.

All of this could have been excused back in 2001 Now that I've done decompilations of the official games, I can make this one more accurate to them.

15
Never got that far in the QFG series, I think I only made it through QFG2.  Good luck with this!

You should at least give QfG4 a run through. Just be sure to play the CD version. Narration by John Rhys-Davies alone makes it worth it. It is a very fun game.

And the original QFG4.5 authors apparently never completed QFG4, since Bonehead (who was incorrectly identified as Bones) mentioned that you beat Baba Yaga a second time in Monrova (actually Mordavia), which never actually happens. I have since rewritten this dialog to be more accurate.

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