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Topics - ZvikaZ

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SCI Development Tools / Is it possible to know selector's type?
« on: January 23, 2022, 01:30:43 PM »
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?

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 :)

Well, it's actually an expansion to my comment on another thread (, but since it'd be quite off topic over there, I write it here...

I said there:
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:, it's an interesting reading.

And while looking for it, I've found some other piece (, about Ron Gilbert, where he mentions the influence KQ had over him, and Maniac Mansion design:
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.

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?


In GK1 (GoG version), I've decompiled all scripts, and then recompiled script #22 ( 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, and with Phil's last version.
In Kawa's version, I got two warnings, which I ignored:
Code: [Select]
Warning: ( Duplicate case values. Already encountered a case for '18'  Line: 90, col: 5
Warning: ( 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?


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!



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 :)

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.

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

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.


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:
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...)

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))
  if (controller(c39) &&
      attenuation < 15)

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:
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)'.

- 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.

In PQ1 (AGI) there is a Chief Whipplestick, which is once called Captain Whipplestick.
I'm not familiar with American PDs, but does it make sense that the chief of the police department in only a captain?
Or maybe it does make sense, considering that Lytton is a small town?

It's also interesting that Whipplestick is mentioned only once in the SCI version (as 'Lytton police chief Randolph Whipplestick')

SCI Development Tools / Message file format?
« on: February 28, 2021, 10:42:53 AM »
Is there some documentation for the message file format?
(besides reading ScummVM's message.cpp , or the original

Currently, when decompiling logic files, the object names are explicitly written.
For example, from PQ1:
Code: [Select]
  if (has("Patrol Car Keys"))
However, this complicates things when the object names are translated, because it's not enough to update the objects files, but the object name has to be searched for in all logic files and updated. And if the translation is fixed, again, all the usage places should be updated.

It'd be much easier if it was possible to just retain the the i- syntax:
Code: [Select]
if (has(i1))
(similarly to the option "Show message arguments by number")


AGI Development Tools / Russian translation / AGDS tool?
« on: February 17, 2021, 03:27:12 AM »
I've seen references to the Russian made AGDS tool, and to AGI games translated to Russian.
Does anyone have the tool, or any of the translations?
(or maybe played one of these games, and can answer me if they accepted commands in English, or in Russian?)

AGI Development Tools / WinAGI: feature request - lower case GameID
« on: February 12, 2021, 02:51:52 AM »
Currently, when changing the GameID from the game's GUI, it insists that it will be upper case.
Why not let me have it lower case, if I prefer?
I can change it from the .wag file, to lower case, and everything works fine.

ScummVM supports (*) detection fallback for unrecognized games, based on their .wag file. It uses GameID field from the .wag file (among other fields). Therefore, if I set it to 'pq1', I can continue working on the game, while changing it, without touching ScummVM detection tables.

(*) That mechanism hasn't been updated for long time, and it's based on old format of the .wag file. I've created a PR ( to support the newer INI format. It'd be nice if you can comment over there :)

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