Adding a directory structure to ScummVM?

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

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exofreeze
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Post by exofreeze » Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:23 pm

Ok.. seriously... if you sort by company then you have an entire catagory for Wyrmkeep.. for just 1 game...

then a whole catagory for westwood.. just for the kyrandia games...

and a whole coktelvisio for just gobliins and ween...

Why create such a large directory structure just so you have to click on 3 buttons simply to get to Inherit the Earth... when before all you had to do was click the name of the game??

I still think the only merit to any of this is simply allowing one entry per title which links to the most played version (or possibly one a user can mark as a favorite), with all the variations under it.

Case-point: I installed Scumm on my Mom's machine because she loves adventure games. I get it all setup, and all she has to do is click a name to go. Why in the world would she care about variations, companies, engines, or anything else like that?

What you people are talking about sounds a lot more like a front-end. If this is what you guys really want, then go develop a second front end to Scumm that has box art, screenshots, hell - how about avi previews of the game, trivia, and solutions - go buck wild, knock yourself out.

But DON'T go trying to change the very basis of scumm in a way that profusely complicates it's interface for everyone else.

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md5
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Post by md5 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:13 am

I agree as well, it's not worth the effort, it makes the program harder to use for the benefit of a small fraction of its users

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Post by timofonic » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:56 am

md5 wrote:I agree as well, it's not worth the effort, it makes the program harder to use for the benefit of a small fraction of its users
Why marginating a smaller portion of users? If everyone thinks as you, then 99.99999999999999% non-Microsoft operating systems could be with 0% apps. Thanks to people thinking on the alternative stuff and not always the mainstream one, there are alternatives and freedom of choice.

I suggest to not changing dramatically the default theme but improving it a bit in certain ways, so the average casual user or the one that not has clue about computerish stuff and only wanting to play has no problems using ScummVM. Then adding widgets for US, the geek & nerd ones, for enjoying all those features with our own custom themes using those "hidden" advanced stuff features that others don't care. Think of it as a GUI a lot more customizable.

About being worth the effort or not is relative, since it could make happier a portion of users that are activelly more collaborative in ScummVM with that geeky & nerdy stuff: exaustive testing of games and providing bugs about them, specially before adding them as usable on official ScummVM releases.

Imagine a skin for the hardcore paranoid ScummVM game collector:

- Screenshots for each game downloaded automatically from the screenshot gallery of ScummVM.org
- Descriptions for each game downloaded automatically from ScummVM.org
- Different sorting options: alphabetically, year, company, engine...
- Jukebox for playing music from each game.
- Options for using it on keyboard, gamepads or only pointer devices (mouse, wiimote...).

Then imagine different levels and types of geek & nerd users, each one creating their own skins and testing those games in a more comfortable manner. Instead of having different GUIs for different platforms or many frontends that can be badly coded or abandonated, better provide a flexible and very customizable GUI for all them (even for current platforms using it's own custom coded GUI).

Of course we are discussing this stuff, it's only thinking about this for future suggestions when having clear all this.

For the very few of those don't know what a nerd is, see this

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md5
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Post by md5 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:10 pm

The developer of each application gives extra weight to parts of his work which will be used by the greater portion of its users. This holds true for all applications.

The current interface is designed to be as simple for the end-user as possible. Most of the users have a few of the supported games, which they aim to play in their spare time. I realize that you're looking to improve the current interface, but that has the following setbacks:
- ScummVM is designed to work on a variety of platforms, and thus adding extra options and menus will make it harder for it to be used on many platforms
- Not many users have a vast collection of those old games, so making the changes you propose will only make it more difficult for you to find the game you need, especially if you're one of the people who are not computer-literate
- Why would you want to play BOTH an English AND a non-english version?
- How many collectors are there compared to the non-collectors?
- How much work will your proposals need to be implemented and tested, and more importantly how will your changes affect the usability of the interface on non-PC platforms?
- Why should developers devote time in such a feature, which only affects the interface, when there are more important things to do, for example squash the bugs that the current engines have and support more games?

Your idea about improving the interface is not bad, it's just not as easy as you make it sound, and not many users will use the extra functionality

As for the other features you suggested:
- It's not easy to add screenshots to each game, as the gui itself doesn't know anything about each game until it asks the appropriate gamedetector function in its engine
- There already exists code for viewing resources from each game (like the jukebox you suggested), currently for SCUMM games, called ScummEX. Information can be found here:
http://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/ScummEX
- ScummVM already has joystick/gamepad support

And in the end of the day, if you're interested to have such features, you're welcome to submit a patch that will implement them. Or, you could create your own standalone interface, which can then be tailored to your needs. Such an interface could be something like ScummVM Q+E, but sadly the author of Q+E has stopped developing it

Finally, if you're interested in the more "geeky and nerdy" advanced features, there's always the command line, which is always much better than a GUI :)

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Post by Collector » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:22 pm

fingolfin wrote:when you want to play a game, do you go about it like this: "Hm, should I play a SCUMM or an AGOS game now..."?
While it might be silly to want to play a game solely based on the engine, it makes perfect sense to browse by company. Each company tended to have their own unique flavor to their games. LucasArts games have a very different feel than Sierra games.

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Post by Espiox » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:41 am

Bingo. I'd love to be able to group the Lucasarts games together, or the Sierra games, or Revolution etc.

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Post by DarkSoul » Sun Jan 14, 2007 6:03 am

There are command line based frontends you can use to do this yourselves. For example I use 3DArcade to launch my ScummVM games along with all the other emulators I use. So basically if you don't like the ScummVM GUI, get a frontend, and configure it exactly how you like. Thats what I did.

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Post by exofreeze » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:26 am

Darksoul - that is exactly what I was saying! Use a frontend to do this, why change scumm in a fundamental way when frontends already do this. exactly!

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Post by joachimeberhard » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:45 am

Pushing this up.

I agree with The Madventurer here, with that many games and demos and AGI fangames supported, we definately would need such a feature, at best one that, when all items are collapsed, show as little trees as possible, eg. Company/Game/Variant

Or Engine/Company/Game/Variant.

as suggested with this picture:

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/637/ ... kupkz2.png

The last one would make it much more consistent with the md5list, the compatibility list, and the Wiki, where we always sort by Engine/Company/Game

Please, give it another thought, with the new Mass detector, that adds all those HE demos automatically, because they're in subdirs of the CDs, the launcher becomes unmanageable.

Not suggesting, the mass detector is a problem.
In fact, it's one of the best features ever in my opinion...

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Post by fingolfin » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:18 pm

Err... so how many people actually want to add all those AGI demos and fan made games, I wonder ???

So, that's Joachim, and Eugene... anybody else?

No, that argument does not convince me, quite frankly :)

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Post by iPwnzorz » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:08 pm

I quite like this little counter idea...
Image

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exofreeze
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Post by exofreeze » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:47 pm

seriously - that is an ugly mock-up.

I start ScummVM and I see a list of game engines....
(several of which have ONE OR TWO GAMES listed under them)
Not very attractive.

Now - I have been playing adventure games for years. Do i have every game engine memorized as to what games each engine played - nope. How many people outside of the few people on this forum know that Monkey island was built on the Scumm engine?

How many know that Kings Quest 2 is AGI?

If SCI support ever shows up, how many will understand why KQ4 is under AGI (yes - there was a AGI release of KQ4, just not widely released) and KQ5 is under SCI?

Trying to argue that all the HE demos and AGI fan games will clutter up the menu doesn't work either - because now they are just cluttering up a sub-menu... Maybe the Scumm directory looks nice but you switch to HE and BAM - craploads of demos. Same problem, different directory.

Have any of the people that are FOR this idea ever visited a based adventure gaming website forum... oh, lets say VU's Sierra Classics board or even Adventure Gamers boards - they are FULL of people wondering why such and such doesn't work on such and such. Full of people who don't understand anything about a game engine, they just want to play X game on Y machine.

Hell, those posts even show up here. "I installed the game then installed scumm - and the game doesn't work. what do I do?" To which Clem always shows up and throws the FAQ at them.

This board is crawling with elitist adventure gamer fans who are totally out of touch with the rest of the community. These ideas only turn ScummVM into a non-user friendly elitist emulator.

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Post by joachimeberhard » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:59 pm

exofreeze wrote: This board is crawling with elitist adventure gamer fans who are totally out of touch with the rest of the community. These ideas only turn ScummVM into a non-user friendly elitist emulator.
Gee, now you overreact a little.

This is just one suggestion.

We could sort by Publisher, or just games still.

I don't think it'll be any inconvenience for existing users, but still a great improvement for people who have more games.

Especially if you're an HE collector, considering those games are very cheap.

Or you are not a native English speaker, and you almost always have 2 versions and so on.

Those are real-life situations I think, not elitist or over-nerdy. :)

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Post by glokidd » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:44 pm

As a collector, I have to agree with Joachim and Madventurer. Quite often I have multiple versions of even the Scumm games on my computer at any given time. For example, right now I have the 16 and 256 color floppy versions of SMI as well as the cd enhanced version. Add to that the multi-language SMI disc and you already have at least 6 versions of Monkey 1 alone.
I personaly would like to see the games grouped either by company (which admittedly would leave some sections quite bare) or perhaps in a way similar to how the compatibility page is grouped (Lucasarts games, HE games, other games). I think this would make it much easier to manage large game lists.

Perhap, this could be developed as a patch, something that could be optionally applied by the more intensive adventure collectors.

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Post by md5 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:47 pm

Well, it could be implemented as an option in the GUI (e.g. a checkbox or a radio button, "sort games" or something), which can be initially deselected. By checking/selecting the option to sort the games, the sorted list could appear, with options on how to sort the games.

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