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Messages - ZvikaZ

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1
SCI Development Tools / Re: General MIDI vs MT-32
« on: September 05, 2023, 04:26:35 AM »
My observations regarding the MT-32:
  • The first few SCI 0 games had no special patches to reprogram the MT-32. Means they load pretty quick.
  • Then they started using game-specific patches. This is the set of games with cute startup messages like "INSERT BUCKAZOID".
  • The later SCI games, starting with 1.1, shared a common MT-32 patch resource, with "SIERRA ON-LINE" as the single message. This patch approximates the General MIDI standard.
To answer your questions then, I don't know if it's accurate but if it is, the switch would likely be when they started using that single patch in SCI 1.1 and later.

Thanks, it makes sense.
I've looked at the games that are SCI 1.1, and before SCI 1.1 (at https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php?title=Sierra_Game_Versions#SCI1.1) and was surprised to see that SQ4 (floppy) is SCI1 (early), while SQ4 (CD) is SCI1.1
It's interesting to compare them - do they use the same sound resources? (and then SQ4 is probably an exception to our MT32/GM rule), or maybe Sierra have re-composed the sound tracks? if so - why should they do such an effort?

2
SCI Development Tools / General MIDI vs MT-32
« on: September 04, 2023, 01:13:48 PM »
Hi.
I've read a long time ago, and I don't remember where, that first SCI games were composed with a MT-32 (and therefore sound best with a MT-32, or Munt), while later SCI games were composed with a SC-55 (and therefore sound best with General MIDI).


1.
Is it accurate?

2.
When was this transform from MT-32 to SC-55 done?
In other words, I want to know which games are better sounded with MT-32, and which games are better sounded with GM.

Thanks


3
SCI Development Tools / Re: Sounder 0.5 - with many improvements
« on: April 20, 2023, 06:34:30 AM »
I have started looking at your feature request.
It's interesting to note that GM also has SysEx'es.
See https://github.com/scummvm/scummvm/blob/master/engines/sci/sound/drivers/midi.cpp#L802 (this function is called if using GM patch file).
I run it with debugger, for SQ6 (using GM) and the first MIDI command in the patch file is indeed a SysEx.

I assume that GM's SysEx'es are also interesting to keep, right?
Or only the MT32 SysEx'es are interesting?
Or maybe worse - make it configurable? (I feel that Sounder already has too many flags...)

4
SCI Development Tools / Dynamix resources?
« on: September 16, 2022, 02:24:58 AM »
Hi.
Hope it's on topic...

Are there any tools for Dynamix games resources hacking?
Any documentation?
Any interesting info?

5
SCI Development Tools / Re: Sounder 0.5 - with many improvements
« on: September 15, 2022, 03:39:43 PM »
Very nice work. I've said so elsewhere, but I'll say it again. :)

Is it possible for Dynamix games to be supported? They mostly use LZW compression in resources, and then SND file type, same as Sierra's (more or less).
Thanks!
I'm glad to hear that it's useful.

Regarding Dynamix games - well, if it's more or less like Sierra's .snd format, I'm willing to support it.

But I will need more information.
How do I extract the sound resources, of Willy Beamish, for example?
Can you refer me to some source describing its sound resources?
Document, or even a code.
Or maybe you can write the differences?

6
SCI Development Tools / Re: Sounder 0.5 - with many improvements
« on: September 06, 2022, 05:16:21 AM »
Created a stub page on the Wiki for it. You can fill in and update it as necessary.

http://sciwiki.sierrahelp.com//index.php?title=Sounder

Thanks, I've filled that page.

Also, I've issued version 0.5.1 with a minor bug fix.

7
Forum Support and Suggestions / Seeing send PMs?
« on: August 31, 2022, 04:31:02 PM »
I have sent a few personal messages - in the past, and recently.
But when I go to "Home ┬╗Community ┬╗Personal Messages ┬╗Sent Items" it says "No messages..."

Can something be done to show those messages? Maybe some configuration change?
If my old messages cannot be saved, at least I would like to see my new sent messages in the future.

8
That looks amazing!

Can you further explain how did you do that?

What are your next plans?

9
SCI Development Tools / Re: "Sounder" tool - alpha version is ready
« on: August 29, 2022, 06:31:28 PM »
You might want to make an entry on the Wiki. I can make a stub page that you can flesh out.

Good idea. Yes, please create that stub page.

10
SCI Development Tools / Sounder 0.5 - with many improvements
« on: August 29, 2022, 07:00:33 AM »
Hi.
Sounder version 0.5 is available. It includes many new features, improvements, and bug fixes.
Windows installer can be downloaded from: https://github.com/adventurebrew/re-quest/releases/latest/download/Sounder.Installer.exe
Or, if you prefer the Python source: https://github.com/adventurebrew/re-quest/tree/master/tools/sci/sounder

Read the User Guide (from the Help menu) for the detailed usage instructions.

Note
The Sounder source link has been changed from previous posts.

11
SCI Development Tools / Re: "Sounder" tool - alpha version is ready
« on: August 29, 2022, 07:00:06 AM »
404 from your link, but I found it on your repo.
Yeah, you're right. I've meanwhile moved all Sounder stuff to its own directory. Glad you found it anyway :)

12
AGI Development Tools / Re: AGI extended character support
« on: August 20, 2022, 06:04:31 PM »
When I wrote it, I assumed that this script will be used only for Hebrew.
Therefore that assertion.
You can locally delete from line 40 to line 50.
All that block tries to solve a problem that I think is irrelevant for French.

Later, I should add this behavior as optional, depending on user's argument, but don't wait for me...

Let's see if that improves the situation.

Also, regarding the codepage conersion, well, that should be addressed. I'm not sure what codepage 435 and 858 are.
However, note that you should decide what codepage you want to use. Use whatever is easier for you.
As you can see from the comment in keyboard.cpp, I decided to use win1255 for Hebrew. As its name implies, it didn't even exist at the Dos era, it was invented later.

Anyway, the conersion there is from Unicode to the desired codepage. I'd recommend adding breakpoints and verify the behavior there with the debugger.

14
SCI Development Tools / Re: Convert SCI0 vocab to SCI1 vocab?
« on: August 05, 2022, 02:59:33 AM »
Nice. Having KQ4 converted to SCI01 would of course be of great help for VGA-ifing the game. Both sounds and vocab is a known issue for me. For Vocab I just used the file from the hacked Season Professional and added words manually to get the game to compile. That did not work to well. There is a lot of "bad said spec" messsages. For sounds I found one tool in this forum for converting, but it did not work out to well. I have attached the game, go to the fishermans pier, to hear a pretty bad version of his tune.

What is that tool you found in this forum? Is it 'Sounder'?
If so, I'd like to get (but probably on other thread, it's a little bit off topic here...) more details, in order to fix it.

EDIT
====
Also, please download an updated release: https://github.com/adventurebrew/re-quest/releases/latest/download/Sounder.Installer.exe

15
SCI Development Tools / Re: "Sounder" tool - alpha version is ready
« on: August 05, 2022, 02:54:09 AM »
1. I have issued a new release now, Eric, please try it. It has some more fixes and improvements.

2.
I noticed that you have an installer. I thought it was just a Python script. Is the installer a Python installer?
From the end user's perspective, 'Sounder' is a regular Windows program - it's installed with a regular installer, "next, next...", and then there's an icon in the desktop. When clicked, a window is opened and everything is done from there.

Behind the scenes, it's indeed a Python script. But it's packed with a tool called PyInstaller (problematic name - it has nothing to do with Windows installers, I'd called it 'PyCompiler', or 'PyPacker', if they asked me) which "hides" the Python stuff from the user, and creates an .exe file which loads everything.
In order to create a regular Windows installer (that installs the output of PyInstaller to the user's machine) I used NSIS.

If you're interested, that's my script that runs all this stuff: https://github.com/adventurebrew/re-quest/blob/master/tools/sci/compile.bat

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