Infocom / Z-Machine interpreter?

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Tinhead Ned
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Infocom / Z-Machine interpreter?

Post by Tinhead Ned » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:42 am

Will ScummVM, at any stage, ever support the largish Infocom library of text adventure games, and thus vicariously the massive selection of fan-made interactive fiction that uses the same format? You could combine it with WinFrotz or something, I haven't seen that developed on in years. Now that you're running AGI games (which is excellent by the way) as well as SCUMM games, now might be a good time to branch out even further.

Just a thought.

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eriktorbjorn
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Re: Infocom / Z-Machine interpreter?

Post by eriktorbjorn » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:20 am

Tinhead Ned wrote:Will ScummVM, at any stage, ever support the largish Infocom library of text adventure games, and thus vicariously the massive selection of fan-made interactive fiction that uses the same format? You could combine it with WinFrotz or something, I haven't seen that developed on in years. Now that you're running AGI games (which is excellent by the way) as well as SCUMM games, now might be a good time to branch out even further.

Just a thought.
To be honest, I don't think this is a particularly good idea. ScummVM is good at drawing bitmapped graphics, playing sound, etc. For text adventures it makes more sense to me to be good at drawing text (TrueType fonts, anti-aliasing, kerning, etc.) and handling the clipboard.

Some might argue that it looks less authentic that way; that text adventures should be played with a mono-spaced font at 80x24, or even 40x24, characters. But the Infocom games "always" (as early as Suspended at the very least) had the ability to switch from a proportional to a mono-spaced font:

Image

I suppose ScummVM would provide the ability to run the game in fullscreen mode, though...

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:42 am

ScummVM is for graphical adventures. We won't support Infocom / Z-machine, ever. And anyway, there are already excellent programs out there for those text adventures, so there's is little to nothing to gain by adding support for this to ScummVM.

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sev
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Post by sev » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:07 am

fingolfin wrote:ScummVM is for graphical adventures. We won't support Infocom / Z-machine, ever. And anyway, there are already excellent programs out there for those text adventures, so there's is little to nothing to gain by adding support for this to ScummVM.
Exactly.


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Tinhead Ned
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Post by Tinhead Ned » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:57 am

That's fair enough then.

But on the note of having nothing to gain...and I realise I'm being somewhat outspoken here...the way I see it you have nothing to lose (except time, of course, which I'm sure is a valuable commodity). Wouldn't an emulator capable of running ALL the major great adventure labels all in one package be super convenient, supremely cool and look that little bit more shiny on your resume'? You wouldn't need to apply it straight away - maybe when you've got all the kinks worked out of the graphic adventures for the final time. As stated you already run AGI games - they're halfway between graphic adventures and interactive fiction anyway. It's worth a little more consideration - I recall hearing you'd never support Sierra games either.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:04 am

<sigh> Sometimes, when I read posts like yours, I think it was a big mistake to ever let AGI in...


Anyway, you write: "Wouldn't an emulator capable of running ALL the major great adventure labels all in one package be super convenient, supremely cool and look that little bit more shiny on your resume'?"

Well... no. It wouldn't... Why would it? First off, ScummVM isn't really much help for any resume. Secondly, and more importantly, I don't believe in bloat. ScummVM is good for graphics adventures because it provides gfx and sound capabilities needed to make those games work. Text adventures have quite different needs, for which ScummVM provides currently no framework at all.
And esp. the more exotic ports have tight memory constraints. A dedicated text adventure emulator would be much leaner and faster than ScummVM ever could be. So nobody would gain *anything* from this, IMNSHO.

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Adventureguy
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Post by Adventureguy » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:49 pm

I don't think ScummVM really needs to support Infocom's text adventures. Frotz is quite the better software for this task. Also, there are quite a few ports of Frotz out there, e.g. here are the ports currently supported by Frotz.

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