Favorite SCI0 art?

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Bluddy
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Favorite SCI0 art?

Post by Bluddy »

There's no doubt SCI1 adventures, with their 256 color art, are beautiful. But one of the really fun things about ScummVM (and FreeSCI before it) is that thanks to its rendering engine, some SCI0 screens have become truly beautiful as well.

The original Sierra interpreter seems to have had a fixed 16 color EGA palette for each game, that was used consistently for the whole game. This was probably done to make sure that the sprites for the characters, which had set colors and had to walk against many different backgrounds, wouldn't suddenly switch colors when moving from say, a snow scene to a desert scene. But apparently the artists for many SCI0 games didn't know about this limitation (or at least ignored it), as they chose 16-color EGA palettes that were different for each scene. The result was that the original SCI interpreter took these backgrounds and 'massacred' them with ugly dithering. Can you imagine the reaction of the background artists, who worked so hard to make a perfect 16-color scene, only to have it ruined by the interpreter?

Fortunately, ScummVM is able to render these backgrounds the way the artists originally envisioned them -- with the exact color choice that they wanted. The result is some amazing backgrounds in games that were not that impressive in the original interpreter. You can easily see the difference, comparing ScummVM to Dosbox output.

I've found some great artwork, for example, in The Colonel's Bequest. The backgrounds outside the mansion are particularly very well done, and strongly evokes the feeling of an old, run down estate in the southern US. In general, the more dithering you see in the original interpreter, the more the artists strayed from the original, limited palette and thus the more beautiful the artwork is. An example of a a game that really didn't stretch its creative muscles in terms of artwork was Police Quest 2, in which you'll find mostly standard, boring colors, at least in the opening scenes -- I haven't reviewed the rest of the game yet.

Have you guys found any such hidden treasures in the SCI0 games?
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bobdevis
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Post by bobdevis »

Here is what appears to be a complete list of all the SCI0 games;
http://www.uvlist.net/search?ftag=sci0
I can't say I played any of them but I know exactly what you mean. Art is often amazing BECAUSE the artist was (or chose to be) constrained in certain ways.

Personally I am already impressed by what can be crammed in 256 colors. Backgrounds of games like Simon the Sorcerer often look better then modern games. Simply because you can see that every detail was skillfully optimized by hand.
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Graxer
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Post by Graxer »

bobdevis wrote:Here is what appears to be a complete list of all the SCI0 games;
http://www.uvlist.net/search?ftag=sci0
Space Quest 3 isn't on there... I was sure that it was an SCI0 game.

According to Wikipedia (admittedly not the most reliable source) the list of SCI0 games is:
Wikipedia - Sierra's Creative Interpreter wrote:Games using SCI0 (in order of release):

* King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
* Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places)
* Police Quest II: The Vengeance
* 1988 Christmas Card
* Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon
* Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume 1
* Hero's Quest: So You Want to Be a Hero
* Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
* The Colonel's Bequest
* Codename: Iceman
* Conquests of Camelot: The Search for the Grail
* Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume 2
* Mixed-Up Mother Goose (Version 1.011)

Later versions of SCI0 added bilingual support for international versions; their version string reads "S.OLD.xxx". Games include:

* King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown (1990 remake)
* Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (international versions)
* Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (international versions)
* Jones in the Fast Lane (disk version)
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md5
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Post by md5 »

bobdevis wrote:Here is what appears to be a complete list of all the SCI0 games;
http://www.uvlist.net/search?ftag=sci0
I can't say I played any of them but I know exactly what you mean. Art is often amazing BECAUSE the artist was (or chose to be) constrained in certain ways.

Personally I am already impressed by what can be crammed in 256 colors. Backgrounds of games like Simon the Sorcerer often look better then modern games. Simply because you can see that every detail was skillfully optimized by hand.
There's a detailed list in our wiki:
http://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/Sierr ... sions#SCI0

The page you posted does not have Space Quest 3, Colonel's Bequest and Mixed-Up Mother Goose
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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired »

My favourites are SQ3, KQ1 Remake, and Colonel's Bequest. Conquests of Camelot is also nice but just a bit lacking in some of the detail present in the other games.
l3l3l5l
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Post by l3l3l5l »

sq3 was and is awesome. Especialy the animation of Wilco in the intro, when he he wakes up.
Charles
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Re: Favorite SCI0 art?

Post by Charles »

Bluddy wrote:But apparently the artists for many SCI0 games didn't know about this limitation (or at least ignored it), as they chose 16-color EGA palettes that were different for each scene. The result was that the original SCI interpreter took these backgrounds and 'massacred' them with ugly dithering. Can you imagine the reaction of the background artists, who worked so hard to make a perfect 16-color scene, only to have it ruined by the interpreter?
I'm a huge fan of this "undithering" mode that's been introduced for SCI games in ScummVM, but I just want to interject a bit of information for a second.

The dithering that the SCI0 games did was actually a point of pride for Sierra back when those games were new. In that day, computers could only display 16 colours at a time from a palette of only 64 colours (EGA), so the fact these games could "fake" 240 unique simultaneous colours by dithering was really an impressive feat-- one which the artists were very aware of, and designed the backgrounds with that in mind.

If you want proof of that, just look at the end-game background in Quest for Glory 1 (The one that's a bird's eye view of the whole valley). They use a solid grey colour in some spots, and right next to those they use a dithering to produce the exact same grey. Why? For artistic effect.

The dithering is exactly as the artists intended. Fortunately though the dithering is all soft-coded, and the technology has advanced such that dithering is not neccessary to display 240 simultaneous colours, so we can now view our favourite games in solid colours. Some of us (alot?) prefer it that way, even if it isn't how it was originally intended.
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