Author Topic: SCI Decompiler?  (Read 29092 times)

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Offline lance.ewing

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2011, 01:52:44 AM »
Also found this

Reading that article again, I recall why I think that the Avis and Jeff are the right people. The article mentions that Jeff previously worked at Microsoft, that he is in his late 50s, and that at the time the article was written were living in Encinitas, California.

The summary for both Avis Durgan and Jeff Stephenson has this list of places lived:

San Diego, CA
Redmond, WA
Encinitas, CA
Seattle, WA

Both Redmond and Seattle are linked with Microsoft. Encinitas is in the list, and San Diego is very close to Encinitas. The age gives from Jeff is 59, which is late 50s. So everything seems to match up.

It is amazing what is on the net these days. I found this web site just by searching for the right combination of keywords:

If you hover over the address history View More link, you get a list of all known towns/cities. The list not only includes those locations listed above but also Oakhurst and Coarsegold, both names associated with Sierra-on-line, and presumably the places names in between are everywhere he has been between his time at Sierra and his time at Microsoft.

San Diego, CA
Encinitas, CA
Redmond, WA
Bellevue, WA
Seattle, WA
Chapel Hill, NC
Durham, NC
Carrboro, NC
Ahwahnee, CA
Oakhurst, CA
Coarsegold, CA

And if we use the same web site to search for Avis Durgan, then all of the same places above appear for her, everything that is except for Oakhurst and Coarsegold.

Apparently Jeff's full name is Jeffrey Alan Stephenson if we can believe that web site.

You know what, I just realised that has probably automatically created the pages for Jeff and Avis based on publicly available information such as what appears on the one I mentioned above. So my email has possibly gone to an inbox that no one is checking.

Offline OmerMor

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2011, 02:35:36 PM »
Nice catch lance. Personally, I had no doubt it were them. Are you gonna email Avis now?

btw regarding obsolete sci sites:
Old tutorials by Lars Skovlund (lskovlund)
Some snapshots from an old sci messageboard from insidetheweb (sadly we can't read the posts, they were not archived :():
The SCI Scriptorium
Lance Ewing's The Hidden Secrets of Sierra

There were many more sites, the used hosting services such as which prevented archiving (through their robots.txt policy), and are now probably gone forever.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2011, 02:43:11 PM »
Yeah, I have a link to the archived version of my old web site on my new web site ( I was glad indeed when I found that had a copy of it. I also used to have an old VIC 20 web site but I suspect that one is a bit too old to have been archived. I wrote a VIC 20 emulator back around the same time I was writing the AGI tools. Actually I ended up writing it in Pascal, then C and finally in Java. It was another one of my spare time projects at that time. I had grand plans at the time of writing an AGI like adventure game system for the VIC 20 to prove just how much you could do on the VIC 20 with the benefit of todays technology.

It is a shame that a lot of the old SCI and AGI web sites are no longer accessible, and that they weren't archived. Before the Internet, I used to log on to BBS (bulletin board systems) and chat in adventure game forums there. I even started writing a series of text documents entitled "SCI Examined" that I uploaded to various BBSs in New Zealand. Obviously the exposure was fairly limited. It was a record of my attempts at the time to hack SCI. I ended up focussing more on AGI and left others to look into SCI.

Offline OmerMor

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2011, 01:52:56 PM »
have you managed to track Avis / Jeff ?

congrats on your PICEDIT milestone.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2011, 02:33:10 PM »
No, not yet. I haven't really been focussing on that over the past few weeks. I've been trying to get another milestone release of PICEDIT out before I go on holiday for a week. I've probably still got another 3 or 4 milestone releases to go for 1.3, more than I initially thought I'd do. I decided to release more often so that at least something gets out there for people to look at. And that is just version 1.3. I still have grand plans to add SCI0 picture support for version 2.0 of PICEDIT, which would be the next release after 1.3. The 1.3 release is mostly about playing catchup with the rest of the AGI and SCI pictures tools. I think that a dual AGI/SCI picture tool might be unique, especially if it supports things like import and export between SCI0 and AGI.

So for now the SCI syntax quest is on hold. I did add that sample SCI code that you found to the end of my Syntax page on though:

What I was attempting to do with the Instruction Set page ( was to build up a table of all the SCI instructions, work out their percentage of appearance within the games and then based on the conclusions of the Syntax page try to work out what original SCI source code would have compiled to each of the instructions. Some instructions are obviously used very often but others are used exclusively for particular scenarios.

Offline Collector

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2021, 09:03:25 PM »
As dead as this thread is, Jeff has a Facebook presence. He is now painting. Here is a self portrait he uses for his art page.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline OmerMor

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2021, 05:34:02 PM »
Nice find!

In 2015 I managed to contact Jeff via LinkedIn.
Here's what he wrote:

I've been off-and-on aware that there are a number of folks out there reverse-engineering SCI. The stuff I've seen doesn't really resemble the original source language (which was syntactically like Lisp but with a message-passing kind of mechanism behind it that was kind of Smalltalk or Objective-C like). But then folks are basing the result on looking at the byte-codes rather than the source code, obviously.

I don't really remember whether I was around for SCI2 - I seem to have a sense that SCI2 was more about the graphics than the basic system, but that was all so long ago... Later stuff might well have incorporated real variables and more linkage between "rooms" in the game - SCI was originally designed to run on pretty small systems, and a lot more could be done on more capable machines.

Offline Collector

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2021, 10:02:51 PM »
He would have talking about Studio script not being close to the original. Could be interesting to get his take on the current "Sierra script" that Companion uses.
KQII Remake Pic

Offline Kawa

Re: SCI Decompiler?
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2021, 06:36:53 AM »
I've seen the original Sierra code, from SCI0 to 2. I don't know what Jeff Stephenson would say about Companion's scripts but I can honestly say it's this close, if you disregard extra stuff like the &getpoly and verbs macros.

Code: [Select]
(define X an entire snippet of code)

(class Example kindof Object
;"kindof" instead of "of", though "of" was used later on
; exactly like in Companion, though some versions of SC allow one of two type markers
; list of forward-declared method names
(method (DoAThing with &tmp i)
; exactly like in Companion
; and maybe two or three other little gotchas.

Edit: the (methods) block is supported but ignored, and kindof is considered synonymous to of. Also, sends can have commas, like (bluh foo: 42, bar: 4), but where Sierra's compiler allows trailing commas (bar: 4,), Companion does not.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 07:44:55 AM by Kawa »

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