You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

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

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dreammaster
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You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by dreammaster »

It's finally time to announce the official testing period for the Glk engine in ScummVM, for playing interactive fiction (aka text adventures). This is a conglomeration of sub-engines for playing the games that use the various authoring systems released over the years. At this time the following sub-engines are going into official testing mode:
* ADRIFT (except for version 5)
* AdvSys
* AGT
* Alan 2 & 3
* Archetype (newly reimplemented for Glk from the original Pascal sources)
* Hugo
* JACL
* Level 9
* Magnetic Scrolls
* Quest
* Scott Adams
* ZCode (all ZCode games except the Infocom graphical version 6 games)

Other sub-engines, such as Comprehend, TADS and Quill, are likely to be included in the future. So those of you that are fans of the literary classics, dust off your favourite classics, and prepare to play them again. You will need a daily development build. As always, please submit the bug reports to our issue tracker.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by AgustinCordes »

Erm... so I tried loading .zblorbs, .z4s and regular DATs to no avail. I can't seem to detect any Z-code game. Am I missing something? Has this been documented yet?
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by AgustinCordes »

Ah, guess it's possible macOS isn't supported yet. I'll try compiling this on my own.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by AgustinCordes »

Oh, I see. Compilation errors on macOS.

I'll go cry in a corner now.
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criezy
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by criezy »

The Glk engine was missing from the macOS 64 bit daily build because it could not find the freetype library that is required by this engine (and a few others). See https://bugs.scummvm.org/ticket/11514. This should be fixed with the latest daily build.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by Lillesvamp »

@AgustinCordes Did you follow the instructions in the wiki?

It tends to be comparatively painless to compile ScummVM on macOS.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by AgustinCordes »

Right, I was able to compile the command line build but the fonts.dat file was missing. And then the AGT interpreter threw a compile error on Xcode.

But I was able to test the daily build now, thanks! There's a pretty big issue with text-based games, though, and I'm curious to hear about your plans (if any!). The scaling needs quite a bit of work and currently fonts look very pixellated. Other interpreters like Spatterlight handle this very well, but I noticed Gargoyle never got around to supporting retina monitors, which makes the fonts look horrible. You can see what I mean in this capture:

Image

And it's considerably worse on fullscreen: https://imgur.com/a/yDNXBiE :(

Retina monitors are becoming the norm and I fear this port will be useless if the scaling isn't handled properly. I'm even wondering if rendering these games through the current graphics backend is the right approach... It's not an issue with other games, but the lack of sharp text here could be a dealbreaker.
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dreammaster
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by dreammaster »

AgustinCordes wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:31 pm Retina monitors are becoming the norm and I fear this port will be useless if the scaling isn't handled properly. I'm even wondering if rendering these games through the current graphics backend is the right approach... It's not an issue with other games, but the lack of sharp text here could be a dealbreaker.
Glad to hear you were able to compile it. And yes, when manually compiled, the dat files in /dists/engine-data aren't linked in by default, so in such cases I normally recommend users set up the Extra Path in the launcher dialog to point to the engine-data folder, so all games you play that need data files can locate them.

As to your concerns, this is the one outstanding limitation with having them in ScummVM, yes. The window size is fixed, and even if you use the OpenGL renderer which allows the window to be resize, or go fullscreen, the surface size remains the same, and simply gets stretched appropriately. This has been fine in the past, and was indeed necessary, since all the older games we supported were originally written for fixed resolutions. It's only now with the Glk engine that has a lot of text that it becomes advantageous if we did have some mechanism in place to allow for the backend to change the resolution, and report the changed dimensions back to the engine, which could then take advantage of it.

I'm honestly not sure if anything like this would happen any time soon, though, unfortunately.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by AgustinCordes »

Yeah, I understand the issue. Any solution would require a complete rethinking of the ScummVM backend: allow custom backends for engines? Reimplement the entire backend? Anything would mean a lot of work.

If you ask me, this could be the opportunity to update the whole thing. Keep software and OpenGL strictly as a legacy options and go with Vulkan/Metal. Maybe even something like bgfx which is mature and widely used now. The rendering in general could use upgrading, especially with these newfangled retina monitors.

Anyway, it's great to finally have support for text adventures here, if anything for preservation purposes. They won't be very usable for a while, though.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by zimzeleni »

What files do I need anyway, is there are list?

I have amiga versions, and zork trilogy works but I need to rename Story.data, to Story.dat for scummvm to recognize it.

Beyond Zero runs but it seem bit broken, it also comes with Graphic.data?

Zork Zero doesnt run, Scummvm recognizes it, but it asks for MG1 file.


Beyond Zero:

https://imgur.com/emSpGKT
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dreammaster
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by dreammaster »

zimzeleni wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:06 pm What files do I need anyway, is there are list?

I have amiga versions, and zork trilogy works but I need to rename Story.data, to Story.dat for scummvm to recognize it.
Currently, the ZCode engine supports the following extensions: .z<1 to 8> (though v6 games are considered unsupported right now), .dat, .zip, .blorb, and .zblorb. These were previously the only known extensions for the games I knew of. Since you've indicated .data is also possible, I've added it in
zimzeleni wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:06 pm Beyond Zero runs but it seem bit broken, it also comes with Graphic.data?
Yes, there's a reported bug for this that I plan to look into on the weekend, once I've fixed some issues I'd overlooked with savegames in the Glulxe interpreter. It was definitely working a while back before I began my more recent attempts to get v6 games other than Zork 0 working. So I'm hopeful of figuring out what I did that broke support. Beyond Zork uses a special font to render the map and other glyphs, and that's already included in the fonts.dat that ScummVM provides. So you don't need the separate file for it.
zimzeleni wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:06 pm Zork Zero doesnt run, Scummvm recognizes it, but it asks for MG1 file.
At least one of the anthology releases of Infocom games forgot to include the graphic files for Zork Zero and other v6 games. If you don't have the file at all, you can download them from the If-archive. Otherwise, make sure the .mg1 file shares the same filename as the game file. Keep in mind that Zork Zero is the only v6 game I previously got to work in the Glk version of Frotz interpreter. Because of this, I'm not counting it as supported. I have future plans to import the new release of Frotz specifically for the v6 graphical games, and have it bypass much of the Glk framework, so that everything is correctly positioned and formatted exactly like the originals expect. So feel free to play if you wish, but I won't be accepting any bug reports for it.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by ezekiel000 »

dreammaster wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:30 pm
zimzeleni wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:06 pm What files do I need anyway, is there are list?

I have amiga versions, and zork trilogy works but I need to rename Story.data, to Story.dat for scummvm to recognize it.
Currently, the ZCode engine supports the following extensions: .z<1 to 8> (though v6 games are considered unsupported right now), .dat, .zip, .blorb, and .zblorb. These were previously the only known extensions for the games I knew of. Since you've indicated .data is also possible, I've added it in
.zlb & .blb are also a valid extension for zblorb & blorb files.
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dreammaster
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by dreammaster »

ezekiel000 wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:22 pm .zlb & .blb are also a valid extension for zblorb & blorb files.
Thanks. Added in.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by Raziel »

Is "frotz" a different engine or just the name of an interpreter/program?
And will it be (is it?) supported too?

What about gluxle? (.gblorb extension, if i guessed correctly?

Thanks a lot for them, was longing to play them for so long :-)
Last edited by Raziel on Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike

Post by eriktorbjorn »

Raziel wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:24 am Is "frotz" a different engine or just the name of an interpreter/program?
And will it be (is it?) supported too?
Frotz is an interpreter for Infocom's Z-Machine. The name comes from one of the spells in the Enchanter series. It wasn't the first one to appear after the demise of Infocom (that would probably be ZIP or ITF?), but it may be one of the oldest that's still being actively developed.

It is still my preferred way of playing the Infocom games. Even the ones with graphics should work pretty well with the recently added SDL version.
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