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Messages - lance.ewing

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61
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: November 02, 2022, 08:16:52 PM »
Huh. Seems like you're right. I bought (or I should say "re"-bought) a lot of my Sierra games again from GOG. Over the years, I've probably bought some of these games (digitally) a second or third time. But you're right about the Manhunter games. Obviously you can buy them physically on things like ebay, but they may not work these days, and seem rather expensive compared to the digital forms. I was trying to copy my old original game disks to disk images recently and almost all of them had bad sectors, or perhaps the floppy drive was no good (tried about 5 different drives with varying success). I think this is where something like the Kyroflux that @Collector uses would come in.

So given that it doesn't appear to be possible to buy them anymore, then I guess this is kind of an Abandonware scenario? It is sad really, as I quite liked those games.

I'm not sure how archive.org get away with this kind of thing, but both games are available to play online on there, and if you check the browser network tab, you'll see that they download the games files, e.g.:

https://archive.org/details/msdos_Manhunter_2_-_San_Francisco_1989

downloads this zip:

https://cors.archive.org/cors/msdos_Manhunter_2_-_San_Francisco_1989/Manhunter_2_-_San_Francisco_1989.zip

which contains the game files.


62
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: November 02, 2022, 04:58:24 PM »
Yeah, I think I've heard some popping here and there as well. I'll create an Issue for it.

63
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: November 01, 2022, 02:57:28 PM »
Mark here (vafada in github) just dropping by to say hello and I guess this is the place to discuss AGI development.

Welcome Mark! Yes, this is the current place to discuss AGI and SCI development. There have been several message forum websites in the past that were used, but they've all gone now. I think the previous one for AGI died back in 2010, ironically just as I was rejoining the community after being away for over 10 years.

Thanks Lance for open sourcing AGILE and JAGI!

And thanks for helping out with the fixes.

JAGI was already open source on sourceforge, written by the mysterious "Dr Zoltan". I still to this day have no idea who that was. I was using JAGI to explore some of the Apple II AGI v1 games a few years back.

64
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 31, 2022, 08:07:29 PM »
Turns out that the game data files are read only, but turning that attribute off allows Agile to recognize it as AGI.

That's strange, about the read only. Oh, I think I know why. I'm using the AGI Library, built for Visual AGI, so it probably opens all files in read/write mode, regardless of whether it is for reading or writing. There would be no need for AGILE to open for writing. I might be able to change that in the Library.

65
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 31, 2022, 07:21:49 PM »
Was testing with Donald Duck's Playground. There is a hacked version of either the booter or Amiga version, I forget which, to run in DOS. If you run the game in DOS and press the Escape key it crashes with:

"Bad action: 161
Press ESC to quit."

In Agile it does not crash. However, I realized that the menubar is not hidden when you press ESC again. This is true of this hacked version as well as v1.50 int2.440. This does not occur in DOSBox. Going to a new room does reset the menubar in AGILE. This is not an issue with SQ1. I'll have to see if this occurs in any other game.

Okay, thanks. I will hopefully have some time today to take a look. Just working my way through the pull requests that have been submitted from Mark. He has been finding and fixing a few more things.

I think the hacked version of DDP might be the one for download on Al Lowe's website, and if so, then I guess that is a version that is going to be quite common, perhaps even the most common these days.

Lance, do you need either DDPG to check it out?

I have both already (Edit: Assuming the one on Al Lowe's website is the hacked one)

66
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 31, 2022, 07:15:00 PM »
Thanks. I have merged your PR now, so both of those changes are now on master.

Initially it didn't compile after the merge, due to the generated settings designer file being out of sync with the new setting, but I fixed that on master by regenerating the designer class. It is compiling fine now.

67
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 30, 2022, 07:26:45 PM »
Trying SQ2 with the latest build Collector posted on the SHP forums. The sound of the sweeping is still wrong (though it sounds like the truncation problem is solved). I decided to test between AGILE, ScummVM, and DOSBox to see how they all measured up. To my surprise it seems like ScummVM doesn't produce the sound correctly either. So while ScummVM has the best tone emulation (until now) with its volume envelope on the notes, DOSBox has the best noise emulation. I took a screen capture. The first one (top left) is AGILE, the second one (top right) is ScummVM, and the bottom one is DOSBox.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tFzwrzeT_8URmg6C_f_Lv3VTWRibc-zZ/view?usp=share_link

Thanks for sharing that. Yeah, I can definitely hear that all three sound different.

Did I mention yet that I managed to find the full SQ2 game playing on an IBM PC JR and Tandy 1000 on Youtube? We could add that as a 4th and 5th comparison.

There's this one:



which says IBM PC in the title, but it is playing the 4 voice sound, so I think it must be the IBM PC JR. Edit: It doesn't really look like a PC JR though. Could standard PCs have the PC JR sound added?

There are a few Tandy 1000 videos as well of SQ2.

EDIT: I decided after to do a tone comparison as well and was surprised again at the result. AGILE's tone generation sounds perfect and crisp. ScummVM's tone is great but it sounds like it's also aliasing. And DOSBox's sounds like there's a filter over it so the crispness is lost. Or perhaps the tones generated are not perfect square waves? The tone falloff is also not as noticeable. Just thought it'd be an interesting share. So AGILE's tone generation is the crispiest of them all! :D

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JZJG1Unfuh8oIXblXZHeJhgaKqIBrknT/view?usp=sharing

Cool! Nice to know  :D

68
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 29, 2022, 07:17:59 PM »
Made one slight addition. I added a call to AdjustGameScreen after the form gets last settings for the
context menu aspect correction to sync Agile's window with selected aspect setting.

I've just pushed a small change inside the ToggleFullscreen method, as I noticed it wasn't updating the full screen option in the context menu. So when using ALT-ENTER to toggle full screen, the tick in the context menu wasn't reflecting that. I've added a line inside ToggleFullscreen to set the context menu option to match the full screen state after the toggle.

69
I can confirm it wasn't me, I was only 7 years old at that time :) I would have absolutely *loved* to have worked there back in the day.

Yeah, Sierra was also where I wanted to work "when I grow up". I guess that might have been true for most of us, assuming we were still at school when we were introduced to these games. Sadly things had moved on by the time I was out of school and University.

The best time to work there would have been between 1983-1989, the AGI years  ;D. Nothing against SCI, obviously, but by that stage, the teams had started to become fairly big, so gone were the days when only a few people worked on each game. I think it was quite cool that people like the MacNeill brothers created Goldrush, and the Murry siblings created Manhunter. I'm sure the Ewing brothers could have created something back then  ;D.

70
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 29, 2022, 06:11:13 PM »
Thanks, I've just merged it.

Mark Yu found another bug, this time seen in KQ1, where, after a restart, none of the controllers were working. Turns out that AGILE was clearing the key to controller mappings as part of a restart, whereas the original AGI interpreter clears only the current state of the controllers, not the key mappings. I think I misread the original AGI interpreter source code fragments when I first wrote that bit. Anyway, that issue is now fixed and recently pushed to master.

71
Just thought I'd say that I'm really looking forward to this. Colossal Cave was one of the first games I played on my IBM PC XT. It wasn't the first text adventure I played though. That would be the Scott Adams adventures (probably Adventureland being the first), on a VIC 20. When we got our IBM PC XT second hand, it came with various disks, and Colossal Cave was on one of them. It also happened to have KQ3 installed on the hard disk, but as it didn't come with the original disks, I couldn't start it up. But I did start poking around in the data files already, and remember seeing the list of items, which just increased my interest further.

72
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 28, 2022, 07:38:40 PM »
@Collector, I have just merged some changes to add the "Loading" message while a game is being decoded. Now when AGILE first starts up, it shows the AGILE window immediately and then goes into the logic of selecting the game folder and decoding the game. While the game is being decoded, a message is displayed within the middle of the AGILE game screen (in the AGI font) saying "Loading... Please wait". I implemented this by doing what we were discussing earlier, i.e. moving the game folder selection and decoding into the AgileForm class.

The changes are showing in this PR:
https://github.com/lanceewing/agile/pull/23/files

73
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 25, 2022, 10:26:03 PM »
I have been fighting GitHub and finally think I have sorted through whatever issues I was having. Somehow I did not find it as intuitive as Bitbucket with Atlassian's SourceTree. I have made a pull request.

I've just been reviewing it. It looks like the pull request was initially reverting some of my recent changes to the AnimatedObjects and Defines classes. I know that you wouldn't have made those changes, so I think it must be another merge conflict resolution bug. I've fixed both and pushed back to your repo, so they are no longer in the pull request.

74
AGI Development Tools / Re: AGInfo 1.40 (MS-DOS, with C source)
« on: October 25, 2022, 09:46:29 PM »
Does your tool support more AGI games that the scummvm auto detection? Or are you saying above that you'd incorporate the logic from AGILE for the AGI games? I wasn't certain what you meant.

For AGILE, I basically used a scaled down version of the data in scummvm for game detection. I ripped out all the non PC platforms for now, as AGILE doesn't yet have support for those. I can add detection of them in when it is able to support them. So currently AGILE should detect any original PC AGI game that scummvm can detect, and also any AGI fanmade game that scummvm can detect. I'd be keen to know if there is a more complete set of data so we can cross reference it with what I have in AGILE.

(I'm 100% certain that not every AGI fanmade game will work in AGILE though, as I haven't added some of the non-standard features yet)

75
AGI Development Tools / Re: C# AGI Interpreter
« on: October 25, 2022, 09:41:33 PM »
Thanks, I'll take a look. I assume you have noticed "Mark Yu" getting quite involved in the project. I first noticed him when he forked the repo a few weeks back, and since then he has submitted a few pull requests and been involved in discussions with me with regards to some of the outstanding issues. You can see them under the Issues page in github. He discovered an interesting character encoding issue in KQ2, with the sign behind the tree that promotes other games. Turns out the AGILibrary wasn't treating characters as CP437 when coverting the bytes to a string, so none of the extended characters were rendered properly. The promo in question was using the 0xFF (non-breaking space), which AGILE was rendering as "?". I'm about to merge a fix for that one. After that, all extended characters will render properly in AGI text mode (and even the graphics mode actually, but I know that the original AGI interpreter didn't render extended chars properly in graphics mode; only text mode).

I'm then going to review one of his pull requests, the one that fixes the SQ promo easter egg seen through the hole in KQ2. I discovered that bug during my KQ2 playthrough, raised the Issue, and Mark discovered the cause and a fix a few hours later. Turns out it is related to an issue I "fixed" when I played MH2 back in 2019, but my "fix" seems to have introduced a different bug. Looking back at my fix, it looks more like a workaround, so I might revisit that fix to see exactly what the issue in MH2 was, as I can't remember now, and I didn't create a Bitbucket issue at the time, or put enough detail into the commit comment. I guess that rediscovering it will involve temporarily reverting some code back to how it was back then, playing MH2 for a bit, and then hopefully rediscovering what the issue was.



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