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Messages - lance.ewing

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571
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 25, 2010, 01:50:28 AM »
I looked through both the 3rd and fourth editions page by page and found nothing. I believe the original KQ book was called something else, but that would have been pre SCI.

I have a copy of "The Official Book of King's Quest", which did indeed have some AGI source code in it. The person who told me that there was SCI source code in King's Quest Companion was an ex-Sierra employee. But I think it was based on a memory that is nearly 20 years old. There must be some basis to it though. When I showed him a snippet of script code from SCI Companion, he asked if some of that syntax came from the SCI snippets shown in King's Quest Companion. It may be that he is remembering the AGI code snippets in the earlier King's Quest book. I'll go back to him and check.

572
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 24, 2010, 12:59:41 PM »
It is possible that he has the name of the book wrong. If you were able to verify this then that would be great. If you can't find anything in the book then I'll go back to him and ask if he had the title correct. It was a recollection rather than a certain fact.

573
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 24, 2010, 02:07:34 AM »
I have been reminded that the name of the book that has the original SCI code snippets in it is called "King's Quest Companion". Does anyone have a copy of that book so we can verify this?

574
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI Decompiler?
« on: December 23, 2010, 01:40:54 AM »
there is a generic decompiler architecture in the scummvm codebase now (it was written in a Google Summer of Code project). It should be quite possible to write an SCI decompiler based on that. Doesn't help with compilation, of course.

Interesting. What does scummvm use the generic decompiler architecture for?

575
SCI Development Tools / Re: SCI Decompiler?
« on: December 22, 2010, 01:58:27 PM »
Sounds like a fun project doesn't it? It would be interesting to talk to the author to see how far he/she got. It is essentially the equivalent of the SHOWLOG tool I wrote for AGI but obviously a lot, lot harder. You'd basically need to start by understanding the compilation process. I'd imagine that looking at some of the successful Java decompilers might throw up some ideas on how to tackle it.

576
SCI Development Tools / SCI Decompiler?
« on: December 22, 2010, 05:14:59 AM »
I've seen references to someone other than Brian writing a SCI decompiler. Does anyone know much about this? Who it was? Where it is?

577
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 20, 2010, 05:25:36 PM »
There is a comment on this web site by someone who describes the SCI language as being like Smalltalk. Don't know what their source is:

http://multimedia.cx/eggs/the-interpreter/

Here's the quote:

"And quite an interesting fact: old games used byte-code so it would be easier to parse and run. For example, SCI

578
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 20, 2010, 05:21:39 PM »
I just founds Mark's blog as well. He has a blog entry that briefly talks about the SCI language.

http://mwilden.blogspot.com/search/label/sierra%20on-line

Here's a quote:

"So imagine my delight when, soon after, I got a job with Sierra On-Line, then (1989) the most prominent adventure game company. They had actually created their own language, SCI, that was a very pure implementation of OOP. I'll never forget that first night reading the documentation on my bed and just being consumed with this language that did things I wanted to do and even things I didn't know I wanted it to do.

Ever since then, I've run into lots of people who talked about the difficulties of making the paradigm shift to OOP. But not me. It was love at first sight."


579
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 20, 2010, 05:00:19 PM »
I realise I've taken this post completely off topic but since we were talking about the original SCI syntax, I thought you might all be interested in a web site I just discovered:

http://www.mwilden.com/smalltalk/index.htm

I found it interesting that it mentions not only C and Lisp but also Smalltalk as part of the hybrid that is SCI. Check out this quote:

"SCI was a combination of Lisp, C and Smalltalk, but the message-passing was very much Smalltalkesque. I loved the language"

It is interesting that on the same page he says "I'm sorry, but I cannot get into Lisp" but then says he loves the SCI language. This makes me think that it may have been more Smalltalk-ish that Lisp-like. Perhaps it only had a Lisp shell but was really more like Smalltalk.

I think I might email Mark and see if he can remember much about the original syntax of the language. Worth a shot...

580
AGI Development Tools / PICEDIT 1.2.1 beta 2 released (fixes 5 defects)
« on: December 19, 2010, 07:12:55 PM »
I have just released beta 2 of PICEDIT 1.2.1. This release fixes five defects, four of which were quite big bugs. These five defects were as follows:

1. Setting visual colour to white was adding the wrong colour byte code into the AGI picture (16 instead of 15).
2. Setting priority colour to red was adding the wrong colour byte code into the AGI picture (16 instead of 4).
3. Setting priority colour was adding the wrong action byte code into the AGI picture (0xF0 instead of 0xF2).
4. Turning off priority colour was adding the wrong action byte code into the AGI picture (0xF1 instead of 0xF3).
5. Picture navigation when showing the priority screen kept switching back to the visual screen.

Although I have been adding new features over the past couple of weeks, this release does not include any of those. Instead it is exactly the same as beta 1 except for the five defects fixed above. I will continue to fix bugs in version 1.2.1 until either no more are found or I release the next major release.

Grab the new beta 2 release from my web site: www.agifans.com

581
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 18, 2010, 06:24:57 PM »
Yeah, if you load up QFG2 and then inside the game activate the debug mode (by typing "suck blue frog"), and then press ALT-W, it goes through a sequence of dialogs to define an Actor/Prop/View/Feature/PicView. It also asks for a filename. You can place the Actor/Prop/View/Feature/PicView within the current room and after you define each thing it writes the detail to the file.

582
SCI Syntax Help / Re: Vocab.900 - The 'Black Box'
« on: December 18, 2010, 04:52:24 PM »
Another source of real SCI code (and therefore evidence of the syntax) is Quest for Glory 2. It has a more sophisticated debug mode and in fact can generate snippets of SCI code. See below an example I created this afternoon using QFG2:

(instance Test9 of Actor
   (properties
      x 103
      y 169
      z -20
      heading 0
      noun 'bob8'
      view 0
      loop 0
      cel 0
      description "Test9"
      sightAngle 90
      closeRangeDist 50
      longRangeDist 100
      shiftClick verbLook
      contClick verbGet
   )
)

583
SCI Development Tools / Re: Picture Editor written in Java
« on: December 18, 2010, 04:42:56 PM »
I've just been playing around with the debug mode in Quest for Glory 2 to try to work out the answers to the priority band puzzle. Using a combination of Alt-P (show priority screen) and Alt-E (show ego stats) I was able to verify that both the scummvm and my original formula are correct. The priority bands are as follows:

0: Black - Lines 0-41
1: Blue - Lines 42-52
2: Green - Lines 53-63
3: Cyan - Lines 64-73
4: Red - Lines 74-84
5: Magenta - Lines 85-94
6: Brown - Lines 95-105
7: Light grey - Lines 106-115
8: Dark grey - Lines 116-126
9: Light blue - Lines 127-137
10: Light green - Lines 138-147
11: Light cyan - Lines 148-158
12: Light red - Lines 159-168
13: Light magenta - Lines 169-179
14: Yellow - Lines 180-189

I have attached an example of the screen shots I took during this process and from which I got the above information.

584
SCI Development Tools / Re: Picture Editor written in Java
« on: December 18, 2010, 04:53:16 AM »
Pretty sure white is used as pic priority... And about the little lines, never noticed them, the line is the front boundary of that priority band so yeah, they should go up.

I might fire up the original SCI interpreter in debug mode and do some priority band testing with ego to verify this.


Before I do that though, one point of clarification: What I was referring to is the priority band, which are bands that control what priority value ego gets depending on ego's y value. As far as I know, there is no white priority band. But there definitely is a white priority colour that is used within the priority screen on a SCI picture. Anything in the picture that is priority colour white will always be on top of ego because ego would not normally have a priority value of white/15 (as assigned by the priority bands). I assume it is possible to programmatically give ego a priority value of 15 though.

585
SCI Development Tools / Re: Picture Editor written in Java
« on: December 18, 2010, 04:06:31 AM »
Not that this has anything to do with the current issue, but the thing that I would like to see the most is an ability to import a more modern format than PCX. Even just to be able to paste from the clipboard.

The Java version allows the background image to be any modern format and any size. In fact I doubt it still supports PCX.

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