Author Topic: Looking for SCI Viewer source code  (Read 2010 times)

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Offline uglyduckling

Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« on: May 25, 2010, 01:45:30 AM »
Hello everyone,

I'm a developer looking to do something purely for fun for a change.

I'm considering attempting an SCI1.1+ editor written within a larger game engine shell I was writing for an adventure game my brother and I are designing. In other words,  providing a bridge from SCI1.1+ to a modern engine written in managed code (XNA Framework) which means you could run your SCI games in native Windows, and on XBOX, Zune, and Windows Phone 7.

Obviously, a pipe dream without detailed specifications about the file formats surrounding SCI1.1 resources and scripts. I have a copy of the SCI Viewer and it seems to be quite the stable tool for poking at the resources. Unfortunately without source to accompany it, it's only really useful for clones. I'm already heading down the clone route, but I think the community at large would rather have a native interpreter.

So, I'm asking, hoping that someone out there can point me to the source code for that amazing tool, and the Rosetta stone of SCI buried inside it.



Offline Cloudee1

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 12:23:15 PM »
I'll start off up front by saying that I have no idea about viewers source code. But I will say that there is a big difference between an interpreter and viewing resources. Lars would probably be your best bet for figuring out all of that stuff though as he was part of the freesci gang. Before it joined with scummvm anyway. he would be your best bet for getting the standards and learning the difference between interpreter versions and whatnot. The only sourcr code I could point you towards is Bri's vga studio, other than that, maybe someone else knows more.
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Offline uglyduckling

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 01:02:33 PM »
I understand the difference between an interpreter and viewing resources. I want to start with the resources for a couple of reasons, one is that if interpreter attempts fail, it will be still be possible to import resources in their native format for use in a newer engine. The interpreter would be the final piece that would translate instruction code from the original game into my engine's game instructions so you could run the old games without modifying them. If the compiled scripts can be read by the translator then a comparable code generation tool could also make a new version of the old scripts readable. I just really need the magic of the SCI Resource Viewer to fully understand the file format specs so I can start the process.

Offline Collector

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 01:57:23 PM »
I want to start with the resources for a couple of reasons, one is that if interpreter attempts fail, it will be still be possible to import resources in their native format for use in a newer engine.
Not to be a wet blanket on your efforts, but that is exactly what Free SCI was and ScummVM is doing, making a newer interpreter for the existing games. As far as making new games, that would also be duplication of effort. There are two tools that do this currently, SCI Studio and SCI Companion. If you really want to work with it, consider picking up on Brian's efforts and finish developing SCI Studio VGA. It has the full source available. As suggested, you could try to contact people from the Free SCI project for more information.
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Offline uglyduckling

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 03:44:09 PM »
Fair enough,

I see that ScummVM is rolling with the original FreeSCI, and there are the older SCI Companion and SCI Studio sources floating around. They are written in C or C++, which are great languages for gaming, but I'm interested in writing it in managed code (C# is far easirt for other people to read, understand, and contribute to, plus it's going to run on XNA which allows execution on XBOX360 and provides lots of additions for pipeline management).

As for game engines, every nerd has their own take on how a game engine should function and I'm no different. I'm already building adventure games using our own hand-rolled engine, I just want that hand-rolled engine to be able to play and edit SCI games. Since the current tools can't do this fully, and they aren't written in C#, it's not a duplication of effort, more just a duplication of intent. It's a hobby project, so I'm not really concerned about whether or not it's useful for anyone but me.

All that said I was able to find the specifications for the file format's on ScummVM's wiki: http://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/SCI/Specifications, so for the time being I'm good to go.

Offline Collector

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 04:10:05 PM »
Let us know how it progresses.
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Looking for SCI Viewer source code
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 01:19:21 AM »
The original author of SCI Viewer appeared one day out of the blue on the Janitorial Times (and probably a couple other Sierra forums) and then after a few releases promptly disappeared. He never did release the source.
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