Author Topic: Rare SCI Games  (Read 17876 times)

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Offline Boohyaka

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2023, 06:25:55 PM »
I've discovered this guy and we've been talking quite a lot recently, I'll help him validate/complete his already impressive collection with my own fluxes. This is probably today's best ongoing effort for a complete database and validated original dumps and images of all Sierra games:

https://archive.org/details/20220303_20220303_0527

He's also actively developing an image checking/cleaning/manipulation tool that may be useful to you and your own fluxes, Collector: https://github.com/Digitoxin1/DiskImageTool

If you (or anyone else) have your own set of fluxes or original images files missing (or needing validation) and would like to contribute, feel free to hit me up :) I'm also on his Discord that is advertised on the archive page. He's also fluxing beyond Sierra and has many other collections on archives: https://archive.org/details/@digitoxin

It's a sublime preservation effort of original media in unaltered form! Of course that's a bit different from what you are doing @Threepwang with the fan translations and all, but a very important cause nonetheless :)


Offline Threepwang

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2023, 02:54:04 AM »
I've discovered this guy and we've been talking quite a lot recently, I'll help him validate/complete his already impressive collection with my own fluxes. This is probably today's best ongoing effort for a complete database and validated original dumps and images of all Sierra games:

https://archive.org/details/20220303_20220303_0527

He's also actively developing an image checking/cleaning/manipulation tool that may be useful to you and your own fluxes, Collector: https://github.com/Digitoxin1/DiskImageTool

If you (or anyone else) have your own set of fluxes or original images files missing (or needing validation) and would like to contribute, feel free to hit me up :) I'm also on his Discord that is advertised on the archive page. He's also fluxing beyond Sierra and has many other collections on archives: https://archive.org/details/@digitoxin

It's a sublime preservation effort of original media in unaltered form! Of course that's a bit different from what you are doing @Threepwang with the fan translations and all, but a very important cause nonetheless :)

Yep, resource conservation is key. It's a great thing to catalogue everything.

It's a shame that Sierra games have so many bugs. Also the original translations are very poor. I think the worst in terms of bugs is QFG4.

I have a question: When the version and the interpreter are the same, but the hash is different, is it the same game or is it an alternative version?

Offline Collector

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2023, 10:18:46 PM »
Yep, resource conservation is key. It's a great thing to catalogue everything.

It's a shame that Sierra games have so many bugs. Also the original translations are very poor. I think the worst in terms of bugs is QFG4.

I have a question: When the version and the interpreter are the same, but the hash is different, is it the same game or is it an alternative version?

I grabbed that archive. Painfully slow going through archive.org. It will take sometime to go through the fluxes to add them into my collection. I have not done any new streams for a while since my 5.25" floppy drive died and the price on them has shot up.

As to the Version Tool, I am starting to go through it to see what releases it has that are missing in my collection. It did have one of the earliest versions of KQ4, version 1.000.106, interpreter 0.000.247. It predates SCI's ability to accept external patch files. There does seem to be one earlier release that has interpreter 0.000.247, but I don't know what game version it is or anything more about it. If anyone knows about it, please let me know.

Where are you getting the different hash? Through the tool? If so, the hash generator accessible through the tool menu item was simply generating the wrong hash. That is the problem with a project that has say on the back burner for years. You forget things. The SCI method to get the MD5 hash does what SVM does. It only reads up to the first 5000 bytes of the target file into the byte array. This is to speed things up when scanning larger files. It also generates hashes consistent with SVM. The stand alone hash generator was using the entire file. The current version, which I will probably upload towards the end of the week uses the same method.

ETA: the MPC version of QfG4 is far less buggy than the floppy version. It still has a couple of timer bugs that are solved by the NRS patches.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2023, 10:21:47 PM by Collector »
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Offline Threepwang

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2023, 12:49:56 AM »
Yep, resource conservation is key. It's a great thing to catalogue everything.

It's a shame that Sierra games have so many bugs. Also the original translations are very poor. I think the worst in terms of bugs is QFG4.

I have a question: When the version and the interpreter are the same, but the hash is different, is it the same game or is it an alternative version?

I grabbed that archive. Painfully slow going through archive.org. It will take sometime to go through the fluxes to add them into my collection. I have not done any new streams for a while since my 5.25" floppy drive died and the price on them has shot up.

As to the Version Tool, I am starting to go through it to see what releases it has that are missing in my collection. It did have one of the earliest versions of KQ4, version 1.000.106, interpreter 0.000.247. It predates SCI's ability to accept external patch files. There does seem to be one earlier release that has interpreter 0.000.247, but I don't know what game version it is or anything more about it. If anyone knows about it, please let me know.

Where are you getting the different hash? Through the tool? If so, the hash generator accessible through the tool menu item was simply generating the wrong hash. That is the problem with a project that has say on the back burner for years. You forget things. The SCI method to get the MD5 hash does what SVM does. It only reads up to the first 5000 bytes of the target file into the byte array. This is to speed things up when scanning larger files. It also generates hashes consistent with SVM. The stand alone hash generator was using the entire file. The current version, which I will probably upload towards the end of the week uses the same method.

ETA: the MPC version of QfG4 is far less buggy than the floppy version. It still has a couple of timer bugs that are solved by the NRS patches.

Thanks for your explanations. Here is a screenshot of two LSL3 versions:
http://www.image-heberg.fr/files/16799784701195083359.jpg

The version and the interpreter are similar, but not the hash. However one offers 8 RESOURCE.001 files and the other only 4, this is due to the different floppy disk support of the time. But can we consider that it is the same game?

In any case for a translator, it changes everything, because the resources of one are not similar to the resources of the other, which requires to extend the compatibility of the translation patch. But this is a specific problem for people who want to translate a game.

I hope I'm not too confusing. It's interesting, I try to help and understand better too.


Offline Kawa

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2023, 06:50:45 AM »
I'd say the resources of one are not just similar but outright identical to the other, in this case. They're the exact same resources, merely spread out differently. The hash for the map file is different because the spread is different. This is obvious.

I can in fact confirm this with the fact the LSL3 source contains bat files and makevols scripts to create both "360" and "720" versions. In fact, there's an "overnite.bat" that does everything short of actually copying things to diskettes, for both four and eight disk versions. Hence the name. They're nightly builds, and they come in both 5.25" and 3.5", from the exact same resources.

If the 5.25" version is appreciably rarer in the wild today than the 3.5", I think translators may not need to worry about supporting the latter. Might simply not be worth the hassle.

Offline Threepwang

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2023, 10:11:41 AM »
I'd say the resources of one are not just similar but outright identical to the other, in this case. They're the exact same resources, merely spread out differently. The hash for the map file is different because the spread is different. This is obvious.

I can in fact confirm this with the fact the LSL3 source contains bat files and makevols scripts to create both "360" and "720" versions. In fact, there's an "overnite.bat" that does everything short of actually copying things to diskettes, for both four and eight disk versions. Hence the name. They're nightly builds, and they come in both 5.25" and 3.5", from the exact same resources.

If the 5.25" version is appreciably rarer in the wild today than the 3.5", I think translators may not need to worry about supporting the latter. Might simply not be worth the hassle.

Hi Kawa,
That was the response I expected. Now I understand. Thank you for taking the time to explain. It makes sense.  :)


Offline Collector

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2023, 10:26:26 AM »
I only have the 3.5" version, so couldn't complete that entry. The map file, as Kawa pointed out is different because of the different layout of the resources. The map and volume files are different, but contain the same resources spread out over a different number of volume files. This can allow the tool to ID that difference. The media information was missing from the 5.25" entry. If it had included that info it would have been immediately apparent what the difference was. I have added this to the 5.25" entry. There are several missing items in the release entries. This is the kind of information that I need to flesh out the database. It was gathered from several different sources including my own games. It is hard to complete the entries for games I do not have

Let me know if you find any more.
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Offline Collector

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2023, 10:29:05 AM »
If the 5.25" version is appreciably rarer in the wild today than the 3.5", I think translators may not need to worry about supporting the latter. Might simply not be worth the hassle.

If the translations are via patch files I don't think it would make much difference which release the patch was applied to.
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Offline Kawa

Re: Rare SCI Games
« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2023, 10:36:42 AM »
If the translations are via patch files I don't think it would make much difference which release the patch was applied to.
But I happen to know that certain strings are part of the script resources, not text. Stuff like window captions. Do you include entire copies of the script code, or do you patch them? The former, you're in legal hot water. The latter, you bind yourself to a specific version of the game including these different disk sizes.


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