Any chance of devs here working on unisci?

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Serious Callers Only
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Any chance of devs here working on unisci?

Post by Serious Callers Only » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:14 am

Unisci if you don't know, is a tool to take resource files from different cds of a SCI32 game and join them into new, merged files.


It works almost perfectly..., and allows the dos interpreters and scummvm to share the same files (dos can't do it, and dosbox can't because the cds have to be mounted) except, for two multicd games:

RAMA and Lighthouse.

UNISCI source was released a few years back:
https://erolfi.wordpress.com/2013/07/26 ... urce-code/

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6rGgjY ... 1lTU0/edit

Only no one interested in doing this has the skills or knowledge of SCI file formats to adopt this code to add support for those two games. Note that it already works for phantasmagoria or GK2 that are both larger games.

From my RAMA cds, apparently RAMA cd 1 has uncompressed (or at least 'not in a filesystem file' because i well know that things can be uncompressed in a container format) audio and videos in dedicated dirs 'AUDIO' and 'ROBOT'.

Maybe the actual problem is that the interpreters for these games didn't allow loading these files from the VFS container. But that would surprise me, considering how VFS usually work and how Sierra used its own (with a patch directory that overrides anything etc).

I'm asking here, because scummvm devs are currently working on SCI32 and recently released a version with support for both RAMA and Lighthouse, so you should know well what's wrong here and have the necessary c++ skill to check unisci code.

MrPunchy
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Post by MrPunchy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:08 pm

ScummVM already joins the cds without the need for external tools and is able to run the game much better than dosbox and its original executable. Can I ask why you need to do that?

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Longcat
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Post by Longcat » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:20 pm

Yes, this seems totally redundant.

What would be the point of uniting the files into a new file?
Also, it would not be the original game data anymore. I vote no.

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Post by Serious Callers Only » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm

Saving space and comparing the original interpreter to scummvm by being able to share the files.

Or just playing the original - like every other sierra game - with one of the installers that do this with the original cds, and could do it too to these two games with this. I suspect this is the very reason RAMA and lighthouse aren't on gog. And will not be very soon with the engines still at the beginning of support.


This isn't related to scummvm (well, not much) and i was upfront about that on post 1 and posted this on the right forum.

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Post by Longcat » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:45 pm

I think you are wrong. gog has used dosbox with mounted cd images for along time, for several games. Both Rama and Lighthouse play perfectly fine in dosbox.

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Post by Serious Callers Only » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:29 am

Just because gog mounts images doesn't mean that they don't prefer to shrink the games and not have the user do 'ctrl+f4' which believe it or not, is a major obstacle to a casual gamer that never heard of dosbox or read readmes.

If it was policy to just dump isos they wouldn't have merged all the other games they could. The only cases where this doesn't happen is major games they have no expectation of this happening ever, such as World of Xeen. Even then i think i've seen some cases where they're dumping multiple cd contents into a single dir and using mount d cddir -t cdrom, which is a major hack that only works if the game is not reading sectors locations directly, using label recognition or uses cd audio.

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Post by MrPunchy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:09 am

Why do you want those games to be in gog? The games are already in ScummVM which is much better.
If gog wants to sell the game that they work, that's what they're paid for.

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Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:55 am

The idea he's getting at is that many game resources are shared between discs, creating a redundancy of game data between them (things like menu sprites/cursors, Ego sprites, and stuff that would need to be loaded into memory no matter which disc you're using). Copying (or downloading, in GOG's case) all the original game discs would constitute transferring more data than is necessary since we aren't limited to CDs anymore. Being able to unify all resources into one resource file would cut down on file size immensely. This isn't a big deal for early SCI games as multiple floppy disk resource files don't take up that much space, but for games that span 2, 3, 5, 7 CDs the file size adds up (as well as resource rendundancy).

But I also would rather have the original game files on GOG, personally. Unmolested. They've already ruined the Gobliiins games this way. There's no way to play the GOG games in DOSBox as there are no game executables besides ScummVM. Still, the option for those that wish to save disk space is not a bad idea.

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Post by tsoliman » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:19 am

MusicallyInspired wrote: But I also would rather have the original game files on GOG, personally. Unmolested.
A good compromise maybe would be to have just the ScummVM datafiles in the regular download and have the original CD images in the Bonus section (aka "Game Goodies")? Maybe also HQ scans of box art and CD :)

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Post by Longcat » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:18 am

Serious Callers Only wrote:Just because gog mounts images doesn't mean that they don't prefer to shrink the games and not have the user do 'ctrl+f4' which believe it or not, is a major obstacle to a casual gamer that never heard of dosbox or read readmes.

If it was policy to just dump isos they wouldn't have merged all the other games they could. The only cases where this doesn't happen is major games they have no expectation of this happening ever, such as World of Xeen. Even then i think i've seen some cases where they're dumping multiple cd contents into a single dir and using mount d cddir -t cdrom, which is a major hack that only works if the game is not reading sectors locations directly, using label recognition or uses cd audio.
There is no need for gog users to EVER use CTRL+f4, as you can simply mount each cd image to a separate drive. Unifying several cd images in a folder is not really a hack, you are just dumping the date in the same place. I don't believe any of the larger games have cd audio or sector reading.

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Post by GateKeeper » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:39 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:But I also would rather have the original game files on GOG, personally. Unmolested. They've already ruined the Gobliiins games this way. There's no way to play the GOG games in DOSBox as there are no game executables besides ScummVM.
I think you should blame DotEmu, not GOG, for any issues with Gobliiins. As for other games with the same problem, GOG might be the guilty party, depending on the game.

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Post by Serious Callers Only » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:56 am

This transformation works on SCI - that's part of the point, to be able to run the game 'unmolested' or in scummvm at will. I have a original edition of RAMA with the book RAMA II (though i've lost the box a looong time ago).

Separate drives don't work on many games because of several issues - i'll admit i haven't thought of of trying that here (yet) and it's still wasted space - less though.
edit: tried it, doesn't work.

But anyway, Qbix is already helping here:
http://www.sierrahelp.com/forums/viewto ... 346#p64346

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Post by LogicDeLuxe » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:30 am

Serious Callers Only wrote:Just because gog mounts images doesn't mean that they don't prefer to shrink the games
They're not very consistent with that. Some game are reduced to the files required to run it indeed (which might included a reduced cd images as well). But there are also many games with the original cd image intact, so you can just burn it, install and play it on an old DOS PC.
MrPunchy wrote:Why do you want those games to be in gog? The games are already in ScummVM which is much better.
GOG would prefer using ScummVM anyway. So any game supported by ScummVM showing up on GOG is a good thing.
MusicallyInspired wrote:But I also would rather have the original game files on GOG, personally. Unmolested.
Indeed. I also prefer releases with the full original cd images intact, so I can play the game on my old DOS PC.
MusicallyInspired wrote:Still, the option for those that wish to save disk space is not a bad idea.
That might be especially appealing for handheld devices.
On the other hand, no CD game seems big enough to bother by today's standards where many games have tens of GB and even patches are measured in GB.
tsoliman wrote:A good compromise maybe would be to have just the ScummVM datafiles in the regular download and have the original CD images in the Bonus section (aka "Game Goodies")?
That certainly would be a good idea. Unfortunately, GOG doesn't seem to bother. It's asked for multiple times on their platform, so they are certainly aware of such wishes. Maybe, it's just not asked for enough. The majority just wants to play their purchased games on their up to date PC. GOG's main goal is to make exactly that possible.

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