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Topics - ZvikaZ

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1
This topic has been mentioned here in few threads, and some information is at https://bugs.scummvm.org/ticket/13414.
I have made now some modifications to ScummVm's code (which will be probably available tomorrow at their daily builds).

The situation with my fixes should be (if I'm not mistaken ;) ):
  • The game's GameID in WinAGI is determined by the .com file's name, or `AGI` if it's `sierra.com`
  • Once the game files are being changed, ScummVM fails to find the game in its detection table
  • ScummVM tries fallback detection, based on GameID's value in WinAGI
  • If it's a value that's known to ScummVM (ignoring case), it will be used
  • Otherwise, it will be `agi-fanmade`
  • ScummVM's `gameid` for each game can be seen in scummvm.ini, or at https://github.com/scummvm/scummvm/blob/046b6a6328075a4c876d8ee83c5755efff9da7d9/engines/agi/detection.cpp#L48
  • Note that Space Quest 1 (for example) might have 'sq.com' in some distributions, which will make its GameID in WinAGI to be 'SQ', while scummvm expects it to be 'sq1'. Just modify it in WinAGi

I assume that's enough for the translation work.
If something else is needed, or if I'm mistaken, please notify me.

2
AGI Development Tools / WinAGI: automatically setting gameid
« on: April 17, 2022, 05:38:30 AM »
https://bugs.scummvm.org/ticket/13414#comment:9 says:

Quote
According to AGK, WinAGI and AGI Studio are choosing the GameID based on the presence of the .COM game loader in the imported game folder. Usually it's Sierra.com, which sets the GameID to "AGI"

Suggestion - in case that's the .com loader is just Sierra.com, maybe the gameid can be set by checking the `set.game.id("SQ");` command's value.


3
AGI Development Tools / WinAGI - "Invalid or Missing WinAGI file"
« on: April 17, 2022, 05:28:58 AM »
Hi.
I've imported SQ1. 'Edit Game Properties' dialog popped up, and I modified GameID to `sq1`, saved, and exited. So far, no error message or warning.
Then I reopened WinAGI, and got an error: "Invalid or Missing WinAGI file", saying that sq1.wag file is invalid or missing, and removed from Most Recent Files list.

It's really not critical issue, as I can still manually load the wag file, but it seems like something needs to be fixed here.
(maybe change the .wag file name if the gameid is changed? or maybe fix the Most Recent Files list?)

4
AGI Development Tools / AGI extended character support
« on: April 02, 2022, 02:21:00 PM »
This topic was mentioned at https://sciprogramming.com/community/index.php?topic=2051.msg15257#msg15257, but it's off topic for that thread, and it already got many interesting topics, so I'm replying at a new thread...

AGKorson discussed what's possible with the original Sierra AGI interpreter, running on Dos/Dosbox.

However, with ScummVM we have more flexibility. Actually, I have translated PQ1 to Hebrew - https://sciprogramming.com/community/index.php?topic=2001.0.

For instructions, please see https://github.com/adventurebrew/HebrewAdventure/tree/master/tools/agi.
I admit that these instructions were phrased mainly as a reference for myself in the future, but I will gladly help if you want.

Also, maybe some minor modification need to be done to ScummVM to support AGI French, but I can do this as well.

5
Hi.
I'm trying to understand the scripts' format (with the help of https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php?title=SCI/Specifications/SCI_virtual_machine/Introduction), and I don't understand the exports segment.

Let's take SQ1VGA, script 103.
ScummVM's debugger ("dissect_script 103"), says that its exports segment is:
Code: [Select]
Obj type #7, size 0xa: Exports
000004: 01 00 22 03  00 00                                   |.."...          |
According to the Wiki, it means that there is one exported function, at address 0x322.
But 0x322 is the middle of the Object 'rm103'. I expected it be something in a code block.

What's going on?

6
SCI Development Tools / Is it possible to know selector's type?
« on: January 23, 2022, 01:30:43 PM »
Hi.
Is it possible to know the selector's type?
For example, in SQ1VGA, room 103, SCICompanion has decompiled all `lookStr` as strings. How does it know that it's a string?

Is it guessing?
If it's guessing because the selector's value matches a string address in the file - it might confuse a random value that just happens to match some address - does it avoid that?

Or maybe it has some list of string selectors?

Or something else?

7
https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/18/microsoft-to-acquire-activision-blizzard-to-bring-the-joy-and-community-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/
So, Microsoft is buying Activision, which owns Sierra's rights.

Is it good?
I personally think that it can be hardly worse than now, and there is a (small) chance that they will do something good with Sierra.
I'd like to hear other opinions :)

8
Well, it's actually an expansion to my comment on another thread (http://sciprogramming.com/community/index.php?topic=2034.msg15053#msg15053), but since it'd be quite off topic over there, I write it here...

I said there:
Quote
IIRC, I once read an interview with one of Lucas developers, and he said that they developed on another machine

So, I just (re-)found it: https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/the-scumm-diary-stories-behind-one-of-the-greatest-game-engines-ever-made, it's an interesting reading.

And while looking for it, I've found some other piece (https://gamesnostalgia.com/story/170/legendary-game-designers-ron-gilbert), about Ron Gilbert, where he mentions the influence KQ had over him, and Maniac Mansion design:
Quote
that was the first time I had seen any of the King’s Quest games and the first time I had ever seen an adventure game with graphics. ... I just watched him play, and it was like this epiphany moment... Like “Oh, this is what Maniac Mansion needs to be. It needs to be an adventure game with these pictures on it.”

It's interesting to compare this to Ken Williams' claim in his book that he (and Sierra) was never interested in what was done in other companies.

9
SCI Development Tools / Is there a SCI32 compiler? If not - why?
« on: July 01, 2021, 01:00:12 AM »
As I've been told in other thread, Scicompanion can't compile SCI32 games. Do we have any other tool that can do that?

If not, is there a technical reason for this? Some complexity maybe? Or it's just that noone had the time/interest to write one?

10
Hi.

In GK1 (GoG version), I've decompiled all scripts, and then recompiled script #22 (GKNarrator.sc) without any modifications. Then, I've exported the .scr and .hep files, put them in a clean game directory, and it miserably fails upon loading in ScummVM (as Dos) with:

Code: [Select]
Invalid species 169(0xa9) unknown max 169(0xa9) while instantiating script 22!
I've tried both with Kawa's 3.2.3.2, and with Phil's last version.
In Kawa's version, I got two warnings, which I ignored:
Code: [Select]
Warning: (GKNarrator.sc) Duplicate case values. Already encountered a case for '18'  Line: 90, col: 5
Warning: (GKNarrator.sc) Instance 'talkPlane' is not used anywhere.  Line: 167, col: 9
While in Phil's version the 'case' think is an error - so I've commented that line.

Any ideas?

11
Hi.

We've finally finished the PQ1 (agi) Hebrew translation project.
It was very fun :)
Thanks for everyone that helped, and especially AGKorson, for WinAGI, and the great support!

https://github.com/adventurebrew/HebrewAdventure/releases/download/pq1_v1/pq1-hebrew-installer.exe



 

12
Hi.

If it's feasible, it'd be nice to have batch import/export feature from the console.

Example possible APIs:
Code: [Select]
conWAGI.exe /export_all
conWAGI.exe /export View6 /export Picture12

conWAGI.exe /import c:\some\directory\with\importable\files
conWAGI.exe /import View6.agv /import Picture12.agp

BTW, our PQ1 Hebrew translation project is now in beta testing, and you have an important part of it, so, thanks again :)

13
AGI Development Tools / Should WORDS.TOK have even number of bytes?
« on: May 02, 2021, 08:35:38 AM »
It seems that WinAGI expects WORDS.TOK to have even number of bytes.
Is it on purpose?
If yes, please update the WORDS.TOK spec, in WinAGI's help.
If no, please fix it...

It can be demonstrated by creating a new WORDS.TOK file, with only 'a', 'anyword' and 'rol', and opening it in hex editor. It has an unexpected zero at the end. If it's removed, and loaded again to WinAGI, it complains that the file is illegal.

14
AGI Development Tools / conWAGI.exe output redirection fails
« on: April 29, 2021, 07:25:03 AM »
Hi.

I've tried to redirect conWAGI.exe's output to file, but the file was empty.
I've also tried to capture the output with Python's subprocess.check_output, but it returned an empty string. I assume these issues are related.

Thanks

15
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:
Quote
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...)

Logic101:
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))
    {
    --attenuation;
    }
  if (controller(c39) &&
      attenuation < 15)
    {
    ++attenuation;
    }
  }

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:
Quote
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)'.

So:
- 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.

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