Is there a SCUMM editing/making studio-like program?

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

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EugeneE
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Re: There's also...

Post by EugeneE »

seubz wrote:Hi,

There's also a project I'm working on called ScummGEN (http://scummgen.googlecode.com) which has unfortunately no release yet.

The project is in a very good shape though, as a lot of features have already been implemented (check out the wiki news updates for some more information). I'm starting to work on editors and I plan to have a final product very similar to AGS.

Seubz
Hi,

You have a very cool idea and I also can't wait for something to come out of your idea.

Making your project similar to AGS will, IMO, make it easier to create Scumm games. Scumm may be dead to Lucasarts but not to their fans.

In fact, I like how people are creating editors to create games in old game engines such as AGI, SCI, Scumm, etc.

My first taste of Scumm was in 1992, my grandparents bought me a used Commodore 64 and it came with Maniac Mansion which is a game that I love even to today.

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sev
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Re: There's also...

Post by sev »

EugeneE wrote: Making your project similar to AGS will, IMO, make it easier to create Scumm games. Scumm may be dead to Lucasarts but not to their fans.
Guys, you have to keep in mind that SCUMM is not dead to LEC lawyers.

And I am afraid that once they find out that there is some program which lets create SCUMM games and it is usable, that project will be shut down pretty quickly.

It is not something which came out of blue, since they already licensed SCUMM to Humongous Entertainment, thus, they are making money from it. HE was releasing SCUMM-based games till 2009, so you may see that the technology is still on active sale.

It may even happen that we will be forced to keep discussions such as this one out of place on these forums some day.

There is a great bunch of other engines which even more superior than SCUMM in ScummVM, so consider creating authoring tools for those, and stay away from SCUMM.


Eugene

EugeneE
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Post by EugeneE »

So,

Lucasarts is still licensing Scumm to 3rd parties such as Humongous Entertainment which means that Lucasarts is still making money off it.

I didn't know that they were still licensing Scumm.

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Mort
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Re: There's also...

Post by Mort »

sev wrote:And I am afraid that once they find out that there is some program which lets create SCUMM games and it is usable, that project will be shut down pretty quickly.
Not that I disagree (I know nothing about software patients or copyright law) but wherein lies the difference between reverse engineering the SCUMM Engine (ScummVM) and reverse engineering the SCUMM file formats, to which structure a totally original set of editors will compile to (ScummGEN)?

Is it simply that the SCUMM format is protected as a way of supplying games (through licensing) rather than as a way of executing the games?

I'm just confused as to how a reverse-engineered gaming project that outputs to a copyrighted format (ScummGEN) is different from a reverse-engineered project that will play files of a copyrighted format (ScummVM) in a legal sense?

On the topic though, I'd be ecstatic at having a way to produce SCUMM-style (looks and function, not technology) games on a Mac that can be played, cross-platform, on something like ScummVM without me having to learn how to actually program from scratch.

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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired »

Both AGI and SCI have development tools to create completely new games with them and Sierra/Vivendi/Activision Blizzard hasn't brought the C&D hammer down on any of them. And on the other side of the coin, AGS has been making SCI/Scumm-style games for ages some even being remakes of SCI/Scumm games and most of those even using graphics from Scumm games and nothing has happened (except for the Maniac Mansion Deluxe remake, but the New Adventures of Zak McKracken wasn't touched). Granted, LA is a bit more brutal about that stuff and they are apparently still licensing the Scumm engine out as someone said, but still. On one hand you can say that ScummGEN/ScummC and the like would allow people to create Scumm games without licensing the engine from LucasArts, but on the other hand you'd never be able to sell it. So it'd probably be OK as long as you're not selling games made with the Scumm engine. Also ScummGEN probably only creates older-style graphic games (320x200 8-bit), am I correct?

Of course I know nothing for certain, but a small nostalgic group of gamers making free custom Scumm games doesn't seem all that threatening to a copyright. And yes that doesn't really matter in the long-run, but judging from how things have played out in the past I can't see LA pouncing on a fanmade Scumm creator anymore than I can see Activison Blizzard pouncing on the already-existing AGI and SCI development tools.

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SuperDre
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Re: There's also...

Post by SuperDre »

Mort wrote:On the topic though, I'd be ecstatic at having a way to produce SCUMM-style (looks and function, not technology) games on a Mac that can be played, cross-platform, on something like ScummVM without me having to learn how to actually program from scratch.
AGS has a version that works on a Mac and a version that should work on Linux... Sadly Chris got burned on another project, that's why he's not allowing other people to port AGS to other systems..

seubz
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Post by seubz »

Hello,

Even though I'm sad to hear about sev's comments, I was told by the ScummVM team some time ago about the risk of developing such a tool (ScummGEN).

I am also still unsure about the copyright violation of my project - I actually didn't even reverse-engineer anything myself, ScummVM's team did a nice job for this. I had a look at ScummVM's code, tried to see what it "expected", and did the necessary job to feed ScummVM the necessary data. From this point of view, nothing is really bad. I think the "bad" part comes from the fact that the file format generated by my tools is the SCUMM format, which is indeed copyrighted. I believe that if I change the format enough (and if I patch ScummVM), no copyright laws would be violated. The whole idea of this project is mainly to challenge myself, and as I love SCUMM games, this was the perfect project for me.

The argument that many other editors exist is completely valid, and I support those. I also believe that some people are like me and want to create games based on the original SCUMM engine, "just for the fun of it".

Almost all SCUMM functions are working in ScummGEN, the work left is basically only editors... I'll continue development on my side and once I have something worth showing, I'll post here, unless the ScummVM team tells me not to, a reason I would understand.

Sebastien

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ezekiel000
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Post by ezekiel000 »

I guess the difference would be that creating a new interpreter for Scumm like ScummVM only allows you to play games that you have bought and that have been created by LucasArts or a licensor of the Scumm system from LucasArts. So no money lost.

But a program to create Scumm games would be an alternative to licensing the technology from LucasArts. So there is a potential for lost of income from licensing.

I'm not trying to discourage the writing of Scumm game building software just how I understand the situation.

seubz
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Post by seubz »

I'm not sure it's about profit loss here, but just about intellectual property. I don't believe that an engine created circa 1994 (SCUMM v6), being 256 colors and 320x200 would still bring them money today.

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ezekiel000
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Post by ezekiel000 »

Yes your right it's more about intellectual property, but the Scumm engine that LucasArts licenses out is capable of 16bit graphics at least I'm not sure of the other specs.

zorbid
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Post by zorbid »

seubz, you may want to contact the EFF to be sure about the legality of your project.

IIRC, when the LEC lawyers first discovered ScummVM, they were especially worried about the possibility of an open SCUMM SDK.

billwashere
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Post by billwashere »

There is a great bunch of other engines which even more superior than SCUMM in ScummVM, so consider creating authoring tools for those, and stay away from SCUMM.
What engine would you recommend to create authoring tools for? Or more importantly which engine is legal to create tools for?

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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired »

ezekiel000 wrote:But a program to create Scumm games would be an alternative to licensing the technology from LucasArts. So there is a potential for lost of income from licensing./quote]

Yes you can create games without licensing, but like I said above you'd never be able to sell any games you make with Scumm anyway (I wouldn't try to sell a game I made in AGI or SCI either). So it still wouldn't be a threat.
zorbid wrote:IIRC, when the LEC lawyers first discovered ScummVM, they were especially worried about the possibility of an open SCUMM SDK.
If that's the case then there probably is a danger...but I still can't see them getting all cranky for a version of Scumm that only creates lo-res 8-bit graphic games, unless they're they just don't understand the difference.

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SuperDre
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Post by SuperDre »

billwashere wrote:What engine would you recommend to create authoring tools for? Or more importantly which engine is legal to create tools for?
I guess none, except if you write your own... Maybe the engine from BrokenSword wouldn't be a problem..
But then again, since ScummVM is opensource you could just use an engine which resides in it and alter it to your own needs (so fix stuff you don't like about it)... Or just write a new engine from scratch, which ofcourse would be the best way to avoid legal problems...

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