ScummVM game creation studio?

General chat related to ScummVM, adventure gaming, and so on.

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Yandros
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ScummVM game creation studio?

Post by Yandros »

Hello,

This is directed to the authors of ScummVM rather than as a topic for general discussion but feel free to comment.

I am very impressed by the overall quality of ScummVM and the obvious dedication shown by its authors. Many of the most classic games of all time have been revived by this project and for that we are all very thankful.

However the adventure gaming genre seems to have died out with the introduction of faster and better computers. Anyone hanging out for new commercial point-and-clicks is likely to be sorely disappointed (with the possible exception of ‘TellTale’ games who appear to be developing an episodic version of Sam and Max 2).

The ScummVM engine is obviously very complete in its own right as an adventure game engine. So why not create a utility or studio product that allows fans to create their own commercial quality adventure games?

Sure we’ve all heard of AGS – the only point and click creation utility/engine around at the moment. But if any of you have ever actually used it you will understand where I’m coming from when I state that it is both frustrating and difficult to use properly and, in addition, it’s natively designed for Sierra style adventure games, not LucasArts style games.

So, I suppose, my request is that the authors of ScummVM consider creating a daughter project which allows adventure game enthusiasts, like myself, to create games for ScummVM.

Not only will fan games then be completely portable to any system (due to the nature of ScummVM) but also will be of commercial grade using a tried and tested engine.

Even if you decide to completely ignore me I will still continue to look forward to future developments on ScummVM as it is a most impressive project.

Thanks for your time.

jumpjack
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Post by jumpjack »

Rather than writing from scratch a Game Development Environment, I guess it would be easier (although not easy...) write an AGS->Scumm converter, so that AGS created games (there are a lot!) can be played in scummVM.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin »

*sigh*, why don't people ever read the FAQ before asking questions? The answer is plain and simple: No. And we wouldn't recommend to anybody to develop such a "SCUMM studio" either. See http://scummvm.org/faq.php#AEN73.

Besides the techincal points which render this idea silly, anybody writing such a "SCUMM studio" can expect serious legal troubles from LucasArts.

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DarkSoul
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Post by DarkSoul »

That is no small request Yandros :S. Thats probably an even bigger project than ScummVM itself. Maybe you should consider the scale of what your asking before you ask it. The ScummVM team are doing a fantastic job, asking so much more out of them is selfish and greedy. I would recommend that if you want a studio so badly, then try getting a project team together yourself for it

Yandros
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Post by Yandros »

jumpjack wrote:Rather than writing from scratch a Game Development Environment, I guess it would be easier (although not easy...) write an AGS->Scumm converter, so that AGS created games (there are a lot!) can be played in scummVM.
I have already put forward the idea to them. The engines are very different and it would be impossible to implement.
fingolfin wrote:*sigh*, why don't people ever read the FAQ before asking questions? The answer is plain and simple: No. And we wouldn't recommend to anybody to develop such a "SCUMM studio" either. See http://scummvm.org/faq.php#AEN73.

Besides the techincal points which render this idea silly, anybody writing such a "SCUMM studio" can expect serious legal troubles from LucasArts.
It wouldn't be a SCUMM studio. The ScummVM engine itself renders existing scumm game files but the entire engine is a source rewrite (afaik). So any games made with a studio product could and likely would be completely different to the SCUMM game format. In addition to that I don't think lucas arts could care less considering that their entire adventure game team packed up and jumped ship to start telltale games.
DarkSoul wrote:That is no small request Yandros :S. Thats probably an even bigger project than ScummVM itself. Maybe you should consider the scale of what your asking before you ask it. The ScummVM team are doing a fantastic job, asking so much more out of them is selfish and greedy. I would recommend that if you want a studio so badly, then try getting a project team together yourself for it
I doubt that it would be a bigger job than SCUMMVM itself. You fail to realise how difficult it is to reverse engineer then support x different versions of a private engine in one product without any documentation or assistance from the orginal creators. AFAIK scumm game files are compiled to scumm bytecode and the costumes etc are a private bitmap format which changed between versions?

A development studio would most certainly be easier than the engine itself. Additionally the engine is already writern so the game creation interface would be the bulk of the work I am guessing.

Maybe a few more years lacking new point and click adventures and you will start to see my idea in a new light.

Florob
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Post by Florob »

So if I understood you correctly basically the idea is to add another enginge to existing ScummVM infrastructure and write a development tool for this engine (or the other way around).
IMO this makes hardly any sense. What you really want to do is start a new Project that is simmilar to AGS under a FreeSoftware license and use portable librarys (SDL, GTK, QT4,...) so it doesn't run only on Windows.

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sev
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Post by sev »

Yandros wrote:
jumpjack wrote:Rather than writing from scratch a Game Development Environment, I guess it would be easier (although not easy...) write an AGS->Scumm converter, so that AGS created games (there are a lot!) can be played in scummVM.
I have already put forward the idea to them. The engines are very different and it would be impossible to implement.
Only possible solution in this case is to open source AGS engine and find someone who would port it to ScummVM as a module. AGS FAQ states that this will never happen.

Also there is AGI studio which you can create games for AGI engine with. AGI is supported by ScummVM now.
Yandros wrote:It wouldn't be a SCUMM studio.
Are you a lawyer? You seem to be not a programmer either. No offense.
Yandros wrote: I doubt that it would be a bigger job than SCUMMVM itself. You fail to realise how difficult it is to reverse engineer then support x different versions of a private engine in one product without any documentation or assistance from the orginal creators.
You seem not to realise how big task is to create something usable. There exists scummC, a SCUMM v6 compiler, Google for it, it's really small, but is it convenient tool? Now think, what is bigger PDF Creator or PDF Viewer? Or 3D engine and Blender (3D editor)?
Yandros wrote:A development studio would most certainly be easier than the engine itself. Additionally the engine is already writern so the game creation interface would be the bulk of the work I am guessing.
Should we stop development of engines and dedicate ourselves to this task? Nobody is interested in it in ScummVM Team. Take a look at scummex, a fork which is geared to have functionality of ScummRevisited. It is abandoned and is in a miserable state. Pick it up or find interested parties.



Eugene

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eriktorbjorn
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Post by eriktorbjorn »

Yandros wrote:I doubt that it would be a bigger job than SCUMMVM itself.
Well, an adventure creation system would have the advantage that it would probably only target one game engine, where the development version of ScummVM has a dozen of them in various states of completion.

Some of them are probably badly suited for re-use. They may hard-code how the game's user interface works, or even how part of the game itself works. The SCUMM engine is probably one of the most general-purpose ones in that respect. But that also means that the game scripts have to do a lot more of the work. The game has to provide its own user interface and standard behaviour. E.g. I'm fairly sure it's up to the scripts to decide whether picking an object up will cause the main character to walk over to the object and pick it up, or if the game will just print "You have to move closer to the object first."

That's why it's probably not enough just to have a compiler that tarets the engine, you need a good set of default rules to model the standard world, so that you don't have to do the same work over again when writing the next game. If you look at the development tools for creating text adventures, you'll find that many of them consist of a compiler for a general-purpose language geared towards creating adventures, and a standard library consisting of several thousands of lines of code written in that language. Most of those systems have been in development for many years, so I doubt it's particularly easy to design and create a good adventure creation system, even if you have the engine already. So far, I haven't seen any of the ScummVM developers show any interest whatsoever in even trying. Me included.

Someone else did start working on a SCUMM compiler but I don't know if the project is still alive. The last release was over a year ago, and that was apparently just to add a missing file to the release made six months before that...
Yandros wrote:Maybe a few more years lacking new point and click adventures and you will start to see my idea in a new light.
Or maybe there will still be enough things to fix in ScummVM to keep us all occupied. :wink:

Yandros
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Post by Yandros »

Thanks for the reply eriktorbjorn.

I'd just like to say to the others in this thread (site admins included) that you shouldn't put lables on people and you most definately shouldn't put legitimate ideas down.

How do you expect to grow as a community if you force people to conform to mute acceptance? No offense but sev you don't know squat so be quiet and dont assume to know things about people.

I think the idea is still legitimate and I realise that the scumm script does do a lot of the work. The heads and bodies of the costumes are actually seperate in most SCUMM games if I'm not mistaken. So no doubt thats the level we are talking.

Anyway no doubt ScummVM will reach a turning point where it will be all but finished and this project will be dug out of the sand and revived. If not and depending on my study load I might start the project myself.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin »

Sorry Yandros, but your reply once more shows that it's you who doesn't know squat ;-).

Your idea, to create an "adventure game studio" of course is legitimate (and pops up here frequently, which, as by now you hopefully have noticed, is why we even include it in our FAQ). Nobody denied that. But we specifically explained that it's not going to happen as part of the ScummVM project, period. Which is also legitimate. Furthermore, we tried to explain to you why it's (a) not a good idea to base such a thing on SCUMM, and (b) why it's far more complicated than you tried to make it sound.

BTW, nobody so far mentioned it, but of course a 'Game studio' doesn't make you an artist nor a good story writer, nor a coder, all three skills that would still be required. So it would make things easier, but not easy; turning a very hard set of tasks into an only quite hard set of tasks. Of course it definitely would help making adventure games, but it's unlikely that it'd cause a rush of original and well-done adventure games to start popping up...

Finally, we do not "expect to grow a community". It's not a goal of ours -- why should it be, anyway? However, despite this we apparently already grew quite a huge community, even though we didn't enjoy the luxury or your counseling :-). Not sure how that was possible, but apparently, it did happen :-).

LOGAN
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Re: ScummVM game creation studio?

Post by LOGAN »

Yandros wrote:However the adventure gaming genre seems to have died out with the introduction of faster and better computers. Anyone hanging out for new commercial point-and-clicks is likely to be sorely disappointed (with the possible exception of ‘TellTale’ games who appear to be developing an episodic version of Sam and Max 2).
Whoever though adventure games are dead.... here's a list I put up of more recent ones: http://members.home.nl/albartus/graphic ... _games.xml

Today I bought Paradise. Also Keepsake and Dreamfall (wich I not consider TLJ2) were lying there.

Recently a second adventure company entered the adventure arena, Anaconda.

Sssst, it's a secret... Adventure games are alive!

Arkenholt
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An idea

Post by Arkenholt »

Just as an idea (I warn now that I have very little skill/knowledge in coding), but would it be a better idea if someone was looking into creating an "adventure game creator" type program to devise there own scripting system, ie not SCUMM, in order to avoid Lucasarts legal problems.

So once the system has been created then work on a module that would work with ScummVM in order to play-back any games based on this new scripting system, so for the ScummVM devs it would be much like implementing a new engine with source (obviously only if they wanted to!)

Just an idea for anyone who does have coding skills and wants to do something like this! I realise this would be a massive undertaking, hence why I probably would never be able to do it myself.

Hope this might be helpful.

Del
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Post by Del »

I think this idea is a lot better. There's no reason to create the new games in the Scumm format, really. You'd also have a lot better control of the features and any bugs or unclear parts of the format would a lot easier to sort out when you're creating the design yourself.

FeebleFiles1
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Post by FeebleFiles1 »

I think to write a programm which can edit the files which are in the games to replace some musics voices or animations and backgrounds.

That would be a great tool i find

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sev
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Re: An idea

Post by sev »

Arkenholt wrote:Just as an idea (I warn now that I have very little skill/knowledge in coding), but would it be a better idea if someone was looking into creating an "adventure game creator" type program to devise there own scripting system, ie not SCUMM, in order to avoid Lucasarts legal problems.
AGI Studio could be used to create games playable by ScummVM.

Also don't forget about AGS, but that's Windows-specific and is not supported by ScummVM. From the other hand you may learn from it, i.e. first lesson is amount of years which AGS creator spent on it. That's not that easy task.


Eugene

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