CABAL is here!

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CABAL is here!

Postby Collector » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:02 pm

CABAL has become a reality! For those that missed it, 6 or 7 years ago ScummVM pulled an April Fool's joke announcing the merger of the Free SCI project with ScummVM to form a universal adventure game engine. This joke has now become reality with the release of ScummVM 1.2.0. ScummVM, which now officially supports some SCI games. This represents a huge jump in the number of games supported by ScummVM.

In the near future, look for a change in the KQ6 installers. They will be setup with ScummVM for the Windows version on all flavors of Windows. This means you will be able to play KQ6Win on 64-bit Windows without a VM. No crappy Win 3x SB drivers to spoil the music. No cursor bug under Windows XP! And for the ever increasing number of large screen monitor users, 3x scaling without postage stamp sized videos.

I'll still continue to use DOSBox for most of the Sierra game installers, but ScummVM opens up some possibilities for our classics. There are about three other Windows SCI games that DOSBox is not a viable solution for. The Shivers games and Mother Goose Deluxe have no DOS interpreters and Phantasmagoria 2 DOS videos are interlaced, while the Windows version does not. True, Shivers 2 and Phantasmagoria 2 have the Squirt the Cat installers, but Shivers 1 and Mother Goose Deluxe are 16-bit games, which means they are no gos for 64-bit Windows.

What I don't like about it is that fan made patches are not supported, it averages out the dithering of the the early SCI games, giving it a different value than what is perceived by the human eye (thus giving a "false" color value)
and the RESOURCE.CFG is ignored. True, the ScummVM settings can take the place of many of the functions of the RESOURCE.CFG, but I find it easier to use the RESOURCE.CFG.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby Tawmis » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:51 am

Well with the patches thing - they probably did that to eliminate as many other "extra" variables as possible.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby Collector » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:37 pm

That is the reasoning.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby MusicallyInspired » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:44 pm

You can disable the "undithering" effect of SCI0 games by pressing CTRL+D and typing "undither 0". Hit ENTER and close the console with ESC. The next screen you jump to will have the undither "feature" disabled and look like the original resources again. The downside is you have to do this every time you load an SCI0 game. Myself, I just altered the ScummVM source code to have it permanently disabled by default and compiled my own executable. I could provide this for the latest version of ScummVM if anybody wants it....for 32-bit Windows, anyway.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby Collector » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:29 am

I don't have all of my environments setup again, so that would be great if you would. What I don't like is the choice of defaults that the ScummVM crew has for the Sierra games.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby MusicallyInspired » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:11 pm

Here you go. From the latest version as of yesterday. Version 1.3.0 subversion 53599. This version starts SCI0 games without undithering the backgrounds and allows you to add SCI fangames that aren't in ScummVM's compatibility list (unlike AGI fangames, if ScummVM doesn't have a specific fangame's MD5 it will just reject it as an unknown game by default. Not anymore).

http://brandonblume.com/games/scummvm_1.3.0_svn53599.zip

EDIT: Apparently, there's an easier way to fix this without compiling your own build which is to:

...go into scummvm.ini and add sci_undither=false in [scummvm] section. In this case all sci games won't get undithered. You may also add it per game section.


Could have been better explained somewhere. They just tell you about it and don't even explain how to control it properly. The kicker is that the scummvm.ini file is in a different location depending on what operating system you're using.
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Re: CABAL is here!

Postby Collector » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:56 pm

I still think it is a bad choice to use non standard settings for the default. All "enhancements" are a matter of taste and should not be forced on the users. Averaging the dithered colors does not give an accurate representation of the color perceived by the eye. It always turns out darker and blurs out detail defined by the dither pattern.

I suspect that one of the main purposes of the MD5 identification is to prevent people from using ScummVM with abandonware versions, but as you noted, it locks out fan games. It can be an extra pain to give support to people when they have abandonware versions and don't tell you, but I don't like having a tool limited on purpose, either. Especially if it limits other legitimate uses, too.

I don't want to be too critical of the ScummVM crew, but the ones that did the SCI development were ScummVM oldbies, who are primarily LA fans. I don't think that they quite have the same respect for the Sierra games that they do with the LA games. I'm happy that they added SCI, but will only be using it for the Windows games. For everything else I'll be sticking to good old trusty DOSBox.
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