Elvira series support in-progress for AGOS (Simon) engine?

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timofonic
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Elvira series support in-progress for AGOS (Simon) engine?

Post by timofonic » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:09 pm

Hello,

after my obsessive look at the source code repository and the lack of news, I've seen the Elvira word on the AGOS (previously named Simon) engine. Does this mean we will can play games like the Elvira series and Personal Nightmare using ScummVM?

I heard sometime ago horror adventures are not very appreciated by most of the ScummVM developers. Does anyone changed the mind about this or a newcomer wanted the support of the HorrorSoft (the past name of AdventureSoft that developed the adventure games)?

I personally appreciate the work by HorrorSoft ;)


PS: Im curious...what does mean AGOS? It seems some kind of acronym.
Last edited by timofonic on Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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eriktorbjorn
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Re: Elvira series support in-progress for AGOS (Simon) engin

Post by eriktorbjorn » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:05 pm

The Madventurer wrote: adter my obsessive look at the source code repository and the lack of news, I've seen the Elvira word on the AGOS (previously named Simon) engine. Does this mean we will can play games like the Elvira series and Personal Nightmare using ScummVM?
Elvira seems more likely to me than Personal Nightmare, because of their availability. I was able to order the Elvira games from the Adventure Soft web page a few weeks ago, but I've hardly even heard of Personal Nightmare.
The Madventurer wrote: I heard sometime ago horror adventures are not very appreciated by most of the ScummVM developers.
I don't know why anyone would make a sweeping statement like that. For the record, I played and enjoyed The Lurking Horror ages ago. Probably before I even heard of LucasArts. Though from what I've seen of them, the Elvira games are a slightly different genre than most of the games ScummVM supports, so I don't know if they'd ever be supported if they had used a completely different game engine...

timofonic
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Re: Elvira series support in-progress for AGOS (Simon) engin

Post by timofonic » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:25 pm

eriktorbjorn wrote: Elvira seems more likely to me than Personal Nightmare, because of their availability. I was able to order the Elvira games from the Adventure Soft web page a few weeks ago, but I've hardly even heard of Personal Nightmare.
Yes, it's quite rare. I can't locate it too, I was think this kind of things occours rarely. What about asking Adventure Soft directly? Maybe they can sell or even making it freeware (!!!).
eriktorbjorn wrote:
The Madventurer wrote: I heard sometime ago horror adventures are not very appreciated by most of the ScummVM developers.
I don't know why anyone would make a sweeping statement like that. For the record, I played and enjoyed The Lurking Horror ages ago. Probably before I even heard of LucasArts. Though from what I've seen of them, the Elvira games are a slightly different genre than most of the games ScummVM supports, so I don't know if they'd ever be supported if they had used a completely different game engine...
I now remember, and some ScummVM developer said it on a forum. He said that most ScummVM developers not like horror adventure games and not interested in them. Maybe he was wrong, but now I remember it perfectly...

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Kaminari
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Post by Kaminari » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:01 am

The next thing you know, ScummVM supports every MUD engine under the sun :)

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Post by Kirben » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:32 am

I'm currently working on support for Elvira 1/2 and the Waxworks, but don't expect them to be playable anytime soon.

With current ScummVM SVN, you will only see part of the introduction of each game, along with poor music support.

Reports of unknown versions of all three titles are welcome, as long as they are originals and not warez.

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Kaminari
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Post by Kaminari » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:24 am

I think I still have my French copies of Elvira 1/2 for Amiga. Would they be supported?

Can't even remember if the games were actually localized!

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Post by Kirben » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:50 am

Kaminari wrote:I think I still have my French copies of Elvira 1/2 for Amiga. Would they be supported?
The Amiga versions of Elvira 1/2 and Waxworks, along with Simon the Sorcerer 1 used planar style graphics resources. There is currently no support for decoding that graphics method in ScummVM, but you are welcome to post md5 details for your versions.
Kaminari wrote:Can't even remember if the games were actually localized!
I think there was French and German versions of all three games.

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df
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Post by df » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:28 pm

a personal nightmare was great. (unrelated, i also loved ooze and darkseed...) didnt really like the other elvira / waxworks games.

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Post by jackcmedia » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:58 pm

[censored]

timofonic
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Post by timofonic » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:37 am

Spam?

What about A personal nightmare? The game is comercially unavailable, maybe Adventure Soft releases it as freeware.

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Post by AlanCox » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:17 pm

Elvira is a different system to Personal Nightmare. Elvira uses the AberMUD5 engine or a variant of it. Personal Nightmare was done using a procedural programming language. The bright side of that is that the out-of-game code is quite minimal and most logic is in game code and most operators are things like "SET" or "ADD" while the AberMUD engine is much higher level.

After Personal Nightmare we switched Engine as the game designers couldn't really cope with the power and complexity of that but could code with the Aber5 engine. Later Elvira extended the game engine somewhat differently to Aber5 but that was after I left.

Alan (Original author of both those game engines)

timofonic
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Post by timofonic » Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:28 pm

Is that message from the real Alan Cox?!?! Impressive! :D

So Personal Nightmare is a different engine. Any possibility of providing more technical info in a legal way about this language/game engine (or whatever is exactly), so someone can do an engine/interpreter for that game?

I'm not a dev and being clueless, just hoping this nice retro stuff not gets forgotten and some dev make our dreams come true ;)

The first time I've seen Alan Cox was involved in video game programming, I didn't believed it. I always thinked old school hackers weren't involved into video games.

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Post by Kirben » Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:33 pm

I contacted Alan Cox via email about that in past, a quote of his response:
Personal nightmare I have nothing of but a couple of scraps of game engine printouts and what is in my head. The game code is actually quite sophisticated and a true programming language with functions unlike Aber5 and later (lesson #1 of P/N was that game writers heads explode if you give them good programmer tools). It wasn't the most organized part of my life and it wasn't a success of a game engine either so it wasn't kept alas.

Data compression is the same as the later 8bit games, so you can take a look at taylormade (see www.ifarchive.org) for some clues if you are
having to fight compressed text.

The game engine has objects/locations as the base model including a containment model. The non-player character properties are game engine coded rather more than in AberMUD5 and the primitives it uses are lower level. The tables follow an adventure game style

verb subjectword objectword [rule bits]

type encoding but instead of being fixed size condition [arg1][arg2].. the argument types are encoded so that high bits can introduce things like
"value of flag in argument" and these nest, so you could write stuff like "the value of the F(31)'th flag of the room of object(0)" when doing
stuff like exit processing. High values introduced the special things, and numbers were encoded so that 16bit was prefixed and 8 the norm if I remember rightly.

In the game data btw there is also a complete "superbeing" mode barring
the ability to flip one flag. Very useful for debugging and probably likewise
for emulators.
Don't expect support in AGOS engine of ScummVM, anytime soon. I don't own the game, and it would require reverse engineering, especially to find the correct data offsets.

timofonic
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Post by timofonic » Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:30 pm

Kirben wrote: Don't expect support in AGOS engine of ScummVM, anytime soon. I don't own the game, and it would require reverse engineering, especially to find the correct data offsets.
As Alan Cox replied, it seems Personal Nightmare uses a different engine than AGOS. AGOS is Aber5 based and iPersonal Nightmare it seems uses a lower level language.

I see Personal Nightmare wrongly listed as using the AGOS engine. What's the name of this engine?

http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/personal-nightmare (AGOS?)

About supporting Personal Nightmare in ScummVM: as this game is impossible to find in comercial form or second hand, maybe Adventure Soft can release it as freeware.

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Post by Kirben » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:08 am

The Madventurer wrote: As Alan Cox replied, it seems Personal Nightmare uses a different engine than AGOS. AGOS is Aber5 based and iPersonal Nightmare it seems uses a lower level language.
They appear to share some common code though, video scripting looked similar, based on debug symbols left in the executable. If the game was added to ScummVM, it would be part of AGOS engine, due to common code in some parts.
The Madventurer wrote: About supporting Personal Nightmare in ScummVM: as this game is impossible to find in comercial form or second hand, maybe Adventure Soft can release it as freeware.
Unlikely to happen, check the old interview with Michael Woodroffe at Horrorsoft History web site.

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