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Messages - MusicallyInspired

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1636
Forum Support and Suggestions / Re: Recommended Link
« on: March 27, 2010, 06:00:13 PM »
None of the games will ever be 100% because of the fact that it's using a different interpreter. But it's more than enough to play the game. You don't even notice the differences (I think the only differences are behind the scenes and not part of the gaming experienc. Even LA adventures aren't 100%. AGI games play perfectly well as the interpreter used is Sarien.

As for SCI games, the reason they're not on the compatibility page yet is because their still working on the SCI interpreter. Sarien is finished so AGI games are on there. FreeSCI is not finished but there has been a lot of work completed on it and it's much farther along now than FreeSCI was before it merged with ScummVM. I actually think the SCI interpreter is disabled by default in the latest stable release of ScummVM, but you can download the daily builds and the engine is enabled. I was just playing Space Quest 5 yesterday with near perfect playability (just a few graphical issues that weren't ironed out yet like some scaling sprites and rotating palette images).

But anyway, your choice. It certainly plays SCI0 games without any issues that I can spot.

1637
Forum Support and Suggestions / Re: Recommended Link
« on: March 25, 2010, 08:10:01 PM »
For the love of mercy don't try to play DOS games in DOS mode in WinXP/2000/Vista/7 at all! For one thing the sound won't work. Also, you'll probably have speed issues.

1638
Forum Support and Suggestions / Re: Recommended Link
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:45:06 PM »
When you do get around to it, add ScummVM as well. It can play AGI and SCI games now.

1639
SCI Community News / Re: SCI Tools page is up and running
« on: March 25, 2010, 12:00:33 PM »
Nice! Lookin`good!

1640
SCI Community News / Re: Half of a new tutorial has been added!
« on: March 24, 2010, 12:35:51 AM »
Nice! I remember King Graham and I were trying to implement a P&C system. He started the cursour system and I created the icon bar. It failed miserably, though, when I kept running out of heap space by making the icon bar appear too many times. I guess the Event wasn't being disposed properly or something. Plus you seem to have solved the problem of heap space anyway besides that.

1641
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Overlaying one pic to another pic
« on: March 19, 2010, 12:23:38 PM »
http://sciprogramming.com/community/index.php?topic=227.0

I made a thread about this ages ago here before the forums went down. Might find some additional useful information there. The only reason I remember it is because I was going through old threads recently and reminiscing.

Seems like the overlay method is the better choice apparently.

1642
SCI Community News / Re: Social Networking
« on: March 13, 2010, 08:47:39 PM »
Nice!

1643
Everything-Else / Re: Of all the things I could be doing...
« on: March 09, 2010, 06:04:29 PM »
Haha! That's ok. It's little things like that that make the website more complete.

1644
SCI Syntax Help / Re: "Look at <inventory item>"
« on: March 09, 2010, 02:33:41 PM »
This is still an annoying problem if anyone has any ideas to rectify it.

1645
The Games and other Sierra Adventure stuff / Gallery Images Uploaded
« on: March 09, 2010, 12:52:15 AM »
I've uploaded a couple screens from my KQ2SCI remake to the gallery section.

1646
Everything-Else / Re: We're back!
« on: March 09, 2010, 12:33:36 AM »
Indeed! I can't wait to see what everybody works on again.

1647
SCI Resource Viewer

Here is the SCI Resource Viewer program I was talking about. It'll view almost any resources (including sound resources!) from pretty much any SCI game out there. Straight from King's Quest IV all the way up to Torin's Passage, LSL7, Phantasmagoria I believe, and others.

This is a powerful tool for developers because it has several features that SCI Studio or SCI Companion doesn't have.

-The biggest one is the ability to preview sound resources. You can choose which PATCH to play them through (Tandy 3-voice, Adlib, Sound Blaster, MT-32, General MIDI (if the game supports it), PC Speaker, or even digital sound (again if the game or sound resources supports it) and after that you can choose which Windows MIDI interface you want to output it through. It also includes the loop trigger feature. Some sound resources in SCI games contain loop triggers that are used in conjunction with the game scripts to loop certain parts of a music theme while the game is busy doing something. Then when the game is finished it usually calls another sound resource and plays it. You really get the feel for how Sierra used their sound resources to their advantage. Almost as well as iMuse in LucasArts games. You can also save sound resources as MIDI files and save the digital audio sound resources as WAV files.

-It can view disassembled SCI scripts (for whoever can read them properly...I sure can't).

-It can view priority and control palettes of SCI1+ game picture resources.

-It's also a HECK of a lot more stable than SCI Studio could ever DREAM to be. that includes the unfinished VGA binaries.

There used to be a function in earlier releases to export resources in their native format but that seems to have since been removed for some reason. I seem to remember the author of the tool saying that it'll "try" to export resources in their native format with mixed results. Maybe he just never solved it.

Obviously the biggest and most useful tool in the program for SCI game developers is the ability to preview sound resources. And with the built-in set of features it has you can do that in any way possible exactly as the game would output it without having to launch the game itself! The only problem is that you can't really preview PC Speaker and Tandy 3-Voice sound resources very faithfully as the program doesn't utilize the PC Speaker and computers today obviously don't have Tandy 3-voice support anymore. In fact, if you don't have a true FM-Synth sound card then even playing back sound resources in Adlib won't work well either. And MT-32 is only useful if you actually have an MT-32 (or the MUNT emulator, which is coming along nicely I hear!).

But anyway, if nothing else you can check to make sure your properly ammended digital sound effect to a sound resource is working properly (this is done with the programs I have downloadable in the SCI Sound Tools thread).

1648
SCI Development Tools / SCI Sound Tools
« on: March 09, 2010, 12:14:06 AM »
SCI Sound Tools Pack (read below)

Adlib INSMaker (creates and edits custom Adlib BNK files. Read below)

Sierra MT-32 SysEx Banks (MT-32 sysex dumps from various Sierra games)

These tools are for people who don't want just simple slap-a-midi-file-in-soundbox-and-put-it-in-your-sci-game procedure. These tools will allow you to produce Adlib and Roland MT-32 soundtracks in your games. They will also allow you to use Digital Sound Effects in your game like Roger Wilco speaking in the SQ3 introduction sequence ("Where am I?") and the sound of the gate closing at the beginning of the KQ1 SCI remake.

For a description of each program and their functions, I've copy and pasted the following from an old post I made on the Mega-Tokyo forums just before the SCI Community website first went down.

===========

The tools that are now available are:

AddWav.exe - Ammends a digital WAV file to a sound resource. This will enable you to have digital sounds in your game. This is possible because we know that SQ3 as well as a couple other games had digital audio sounds. You'll need to use either the SNDBLAST.DRV or MTBLAST.DRV drivers for digital sounds to work. Some limitations: the WAV file must be 8-bit mono and the resulting sound resource must be no bigger than 65536 bytes.

Bnk2Pat - Converts the Adlib Instrument Maker INS file format to Sierra's SCI0 patch file format for use in SCI0 games. BNK files must be saved in "Melodic Mode" or it won't sound right in-game. The converter will warn you if the file is not in the right format. You're also limited to 96 total instruments (an SCI0 limitation).

Minor note: there's also a program out there called SBank that will convert Sound Blaster IBK files to InsMaker's BNK format if you need it. I have no idea where you could find it, though.

Pat2Bnk - Converts Sierra's SCI0 Adlib instrument patch resources into Adlib Instrument Maker's BNK file format. For use if you want to reuse Adlib instruments from another Sierra SCI0 game.

Syx2Pat - Converts an MT-32 custom instrument SysEx file into Sierra's MT-32 instrument patch resource format for use in SCI0 games. It will also create (with the use of a text file) the 3 text messages that you can have show on your MT-32's LCD display just like Sierra's games did.

Note: there's also programs out there that will convert the M32 file format to the SYX format. You can obtain one at the Quest Studios website in the MT-32 Resource Center section as well as a database of SysEx files from all of Sierra's games if you want to reuse some instruments you like from your favourite game. There's also a database of tons of other MT-32 instruments not used in Sierra's games that you could use as well. In addition to all this there are some MT-32 librarian program options you can select from as well to make your own instruments (you'll need one if you want to rip instruments out of existing Sierra games and create your own SYX instrument collection).

InsMaker - Adlib Instrument Maker. Creates BNK files of custom Adlib sounds. All BNK files you wish to convert to SCI0's patch format must be saved in "Melodic Mode" in the Options menu and must have no more than a maximum of 96 instruments. This program is best run inside DOSBox as it requires an FM Synth MIDI device which no modern sound card has, nor any modern OS supports.

SoundBox - This one we know of already. It creates a sound resource out of a standard MIDI file and allows you to assign channels to whatever output you want (Adlib, MT-32, PC Speaker, Tandy 3-voice, General MIDI, etc).

In addition to these tools, these sound drivers are also available:

SNDBLAST.DRV - This driver allows SCI0 games to have stereo Adlib music (ADL.DRV is mono-only) and digital sound effects, if any are ammended to a sound resource.

MTBLAST.DRV - The same as MT32.DRV except it also supports digital audio-ammended sound resources.

MPUMIDI.DRV - For use when you just want to convert a MIDI to a sound resource quickly with SoundBox and not worry about all that instrument-creation stuff. The difference between this and GM.DRV is this one just chooses the instruments based on what patch number they're using while GM.DRV is for games that have no GM mapped instruments and tries to guess the General MIDI instrument equivalent based on the MT-32 instrument names. Use this driver if you aren't planning on having Adlib or MT-32 support.

GM.DRV - General MIDI driver.  Used mainly with official Sierra SCI0 games. This driver guesses the General MIDI instruments by reading the MT-32 instrument names and choosing the closest-resembling General MIDI equivalent with mixed results depending on the game. Use this if you do plan on having Adlib and MT-32 support.

Unfortunately I don't have a GMBLAST.DRV that will allow you to have General MIDI music and digital sounds together for an SCI0 game. So currently the only way you can have digital sounds in your game is to use either MTBLAST.DRV or SNDBLAST.DRV and neither of those support General MIDI. I'm looking for one, though.

I'll also be using digital sound effects in my KQ2SCI remake!

1649
Forum Support and Suggestions / Re: Lost Password Email
« on: March 08, 2010, 07:11:22 PM »
Hah! Classic.

1650
Everything-Else / We're back!
« on: March 06, 2010, 11:12:21 PM »
It's good to be back!

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