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Topics - doomlazer

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When MTBLAST.DRV or MT32.DRV are used with Space Quest III game version 1.018, the menu options for toggling sound on/off and changing volume are enabled, but they have no effect on the game audio. It always stays on and at constant volume. Switch back to SNDBLAST.DRV and the sound controls work fine.

Is there an updated interpreter or sound driver that would make the controls work? Seems odd that MT-32 would be supported, but the menu options are non-functional. If it's expected behavior I'd just like to know.

Also, the music I'm getting through MUNT doesn't sound as good as some of the youtube SQ3 MT-32 videos I'm comparing against. Is there anything I can do to get better results? Ideally, I'd like to keep the digital audio sample from the intro cutscene working as well.

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The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / 16-bit wavs in SQ4CD
« on: January 05, 2022, 08:03:50 PM »
I'm trying to figure out why SQ4CD doesn't support 16-bit wavs. I can import an unsigned 8-bit file from audacity fine, but when I use a 16-bit wav in SQ4CD I get a klaxon-like alarm sound in-game. I see that SQ6CD has 16-bit speech; both games are SCI1.1, so is there an easy fix?

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SCI Syntax Help / evKEYBOARD question
« on: October 27, 2021, 11:12:31 PM »
In Police Quest 2 room 8 the game responds to F8 and F10 key presses (PQ2's gun shortcuts), with the message, "Calm Down. You have no need of your gun here."

If I'm interpreting this code correctly CTL+ALT+SHIFT+SCR_LOCK also triggers the same message.

Code: [Select]
(== (= eventMessage (event message?)) 16384)
I'm making some assumptions here based on the enums in sci.sh, so maybe I'm mixed up, but I'm curious as to what that key combination would have been used for on a DOS machine. I checked the PQ2 manual and searched online for the key combination, but I'm not seeing anything relevant.

It seems like an odd way to trigger Sonny's firearm. Any clue what might have been intended here?

A question about the number 16384, because I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. Would 43168 return true as well or does it only match in that order?

A final question about PQ2. In the background pic the computer is branded HOYT +++, but in the game it overlays a sierra brand. Any idea what HOYT might be?   Edit: that would be PQ2 programmer Chris Hoyt I guess. The Sierra label that covers it is called "Shaw" in the decompiled code likely in reference to another PQ2 programmer, Jerry Shaw.

Can you guess what the two synonyms for DOS in PQ2 are?


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SCI Development Tools / resource.00x limitations
« on: October 19, 2021, 01:50:45 PM »
I'm packing every possible SCI background pic and overlay from the different KQ4 versions into a single project and starting to get concerned about possible resource file limits. As a precautionary measure I'm now putting backgrounds into a new resource file, but are there any known limits for these files other than FAT file limits (which I'm nowhere near) or disk/media storage limitations? I believe resources are loaded as needed, so I'm not expecting memory to be a problem, but I also don't want to paint myself into a corner here.

Thinking a bit more broadly, what are the other factors that limit maximum resource usage. Forgetting heap, I would assume the hard limit for maximum of any particular type of resource to be 999, but that should be about it, right?

You could theoretically get around that limitation and create massive games, by having a second 'game' that could be transitioned between using saves. Unfortunately with a game that large, or one that even approaches the 999 limit, the bottleneck would probably be inventory items, which always exist in SCI0 heap. I'm not planning to build anything on that scale, so feel free to ignore this paragraph as daydreaming.

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SCI Development Tools / SCI10 SCI1.1 export/import
« on: October 14, 2021, 02:15:25 PM »
I'm finding exported views, pics, and sounds have problems going between SCI10 and SCI1.1. Are the formats supposed to be incompatible between the two versions? If I export a view from PQ3 and import it into any of the template games I either get a grey box or wildly garbled cels.

Is there a tool to covert these without cut&pasting each cel? I get having to do that between AGI/SCI, but from SCI1 to SCI1.1 seems like it should be compatible.


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SCI Syntax Help / Script patch files
« on: September 22, 2021, 05:24:54 PM »
I'm having trouble exporting a modified room script as a patch file.

If I start with a fresh copy of a game in SCICompanion and only decompile the room script I need, I can edit the script easy enough. I then compile that single script and rebuild the resources. Finally I try exporting the script number as a patch.

Unfortunately, when I import the new script patch (or put it in a game folder) I'm still getting the original code.

Am I trying to do something that's not possible here? If I want to distribute a mod with changes to just one room, should I instead be distributing the SRC folder with just the .sc and .sco for that room?

This ties into a larger question about distributing mod files for the original games. I believe even modified VIEW patches would technically be a copyright violation as derivative work are prohibited under copyright. I'm trying to decide if, on larger mods with many changes, I'll need to distribute all the VIEW patches and the SCR folder or if it's best to just rebuild resource.001 and distribute that (which seems to work fairly well)?

For a single room mod that requires script changes, distributing a modded RESOURCE.001 seems wasteful, I'd much prefer to use a script patch instead if possible.

Any thoughts? 

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SCI Syntax Help / ShakeScreen problems
« on: September 20, 2021, 06:36:59 PM »
I'm hoping someone can clarify an issue I've been struggling with for awhile now. I'm having trouble with calls to ShakeScreen. I can't get them to work on any game I've tested through SCICompanion or DosBox.

I thought it might be an interpreter version, as none of the Steam collections seem to have screen shake. I tested KQ4 (cliff north of start) and SQ4 (Ortega) and neither work for me.

I also own GoG KQ4+5+6 version and all ShakeScreen calls seem to work as expected.

The confusing part is that it seems to be a problem with DosBox which doesn't make sense to me. KQIV from GoG uses SCUMMVM, but when I run the GoG version in DosBox.74-3 or SCICompanion the ShakeScreen suddenly stops working.

I've got no problem with SCUMMVM, but I personally prefer DB, so it would be nice if I could get screen shake to work there. Does anyone have any insight on this? Could it really be a DOS emulation problem?

Also, what is the correct way to verify a game's interpreter version?  I can't find where SCICompanion would show that info. It's not under 'version detection'.

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