Thoughts on the App Store

Subforum for discussion and help with ScummVM's iPhone port

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mayhew
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Post by mayhew » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:41 am

However, using external data from some "share space" would again violate Apple's terms
you mean interpretated code I presume, not just data. File server apps have been around since the app store opened

And what about the other direction? Could Scummvm act as a webdav http server?
So, we would have to crippled ScummVM for this, and remove the ability to add extra games to the launcher.
Sure, why not? It's a first step. Maybe it would generate pressure on Apple to allow a full version because of popular demand, who knows.

btw.: Are those license terms available to the public? Link plz

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:02 pm

I don't really see how bending to Apple's stupid rules, by putting work into removing features and crippling our app (instead of using the time needed for that to *improve* things) puts any pressure on Apple... We are actually in no position to put pressure on them at all, I'd say.

Sure, somebody could implement a WebDAV server inside ScummVM, but *why*? That seems so totally... backwards :).


The ScummVM license is the GPL, and you can easily google for that, plus the full text is included with every legal release of ScummVM.

The Apple license terms are partially open, and partially they try / tried to keep them "secret", too (the AppStore licensing agreement part, at least), but of course those are readily to find, too, just google/bing/yahoo for it.

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Chiffa
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Post by Chiffa » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:45 am


fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:29 pm

Chiffa, I fail to see the relevance of that posting to this thread, could you elaborate?

Kyahx
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Post by Kyahx » Mon May 03, 2010 3:12 pm

As of the iPhone OS 3.2 (on the iPad) files can be transferred into and out of apps via iTunes. Chiffa's link is just showing how it works.

This would allow users to load ScummVM games without having to add a webDAV server or other type of hackish wifi solution. The iPhone should also gain this ability this summer when OS 4 is released.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Mon May 03, 2010 4:13 pm

As far as I know this feature currently only supports files, but not folders/directories. Anyway, when iPhone OS 4.0 comes out, and if it offers this feature, we can evaluate whether it is possible to use it in ScummVM for accessing game data without violation Apple's Terms of Service then.

Impossible to decide the viability of all this before they make those TOS public, though.

Kyahx
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Post by Kyahx » Mon May 03, 2010 6:28 pm

A simple solution to the folder problem would be to put the games into a simple zip container (like comics do with cbz and cbr extensions).

This would be a nice feature to add to ScummVM proper anyways, then games could be packed into an easy "Game.scummz" file, possible contain an xml file in the root of the package saying which version of the game it was or any other related information. This would allow games to be loaded without any other user input and open up the possibly of loading via double-click like many emulators do with ROM files.

The document loading feature is already live in OS 3.2, so I'm not sure why you'd need to wait for OS 4.0 to be released to evaluate it. Frankly I think an iPad release would be a better fit for ScummVM anyways…its the perfect screen size to run many of the games without any visual compromise.

Edit: User could also EXPORT their save files via this method as well. I'm using ComicZeal on my iPad currently, and when I load up the files section for that app in iTunes, it shows a folder. While I can't add a new folder or add items to that folder, I CAN export it in it's entirety. That means if ScummVM put all of the save data / settings into a folder in that area, it would exportable via iTunes as well. (See http://i40.tinypic.com/n51smw.jpg)

Edit 2: Actually, if using a zip container to hold the games in a single file were implemented — the settings and save data for each game could be placed inside that container as well. This would even greater simplify the task of keeping everything related to that game in a single, easy to transport file. Alternatively (again using emulators as a blueprint) a second zip container with the same base name but differant extension could be used to store save data, perhaps "scummsav".

Then using iTunes you'd just have to move "MonkeyIsland1.scummz" and "MonkeyIsland1.scummsav"
Last edited by Kyahx on Mon May 03, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto » Mon May 03, 2010 6:48 pm

Kyahx wrote:This would be a nice feature to add to ScummVM proper anyways, then games could be packed into an easy "Game.scummz" file, possible contain an xml file in the root of the package saying which version of the game it was or any other related information. This would allow games to be loaded without any other user input and open up the possibly of loading via double-click like many emulators do with ROM files.
Not exactly the same but at least similar enough: http://scummvm.sourceforge.net/faq/#6_1

Kyahx
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Post by Kyahx » Mon May 03, 2010 7:03 pm

@LordHoto — I understand your reasoning behind refusing to add that feature , but at the same time I don't entirely agree with it. True it will save some time for people who choose to pirate the games, but it will only save them all of 10 seconds (right now they just zip up the folder anyways, and unzip it later). For people who package their own games on the PC, it would add an extra unnecessary step, but I see no reason that it needs to be mandatory. The engine could just load games either way — via a zip container or a folder container.

However if implementing this feature is the question between being able to publish the app in the app store or not, I think it is worth reevaluating. Hell you could opt to only implement the feature in the app-store version of ScummVM, and leave it out of the desktop variates in order to still satisfy your original stance on the issue. Then people who want to get the games onto their iPhone just have one extra step to package the game for their mobile.

fingolfin
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Post by fingolfin » Mon May 03, 2010 7:49 pm

Kyahx,

you argue about how this all would simplify things for users. But this would be at most true for the very few free games -- and of course for all the illegal pirated games out there. Think about it, taking your legal copy and packaging it up into a ".scummz" archive as you propose would be at least as difficult as using ScummVM with the plain data files is right now. Which, by the way, is not very difficult at all, I think: For the free games, you download the .zip file, extract it, point ScummVM at it -- done. The only step you want to remove is extracting the .zip, which on most desktop systems amounts to double clicking the archive...

This leaves as only justification for this feature (besides making pirates happy) the workaround for the intentional limitation Apple imposes on "sharing" data files with applications. Yet another Apple imposed restriction we would have to workaround... yet even if we implemented this, Apple's TOS would still not allow us to support executing game scripts. Which is the real blocker for an AppStore version of ScummVM in the end.

This has been discussed over and over and over, and until the facts change, i.e. Apple revises the AppStore TOS, it is moot to restart this discussion once again.

Kyahx
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Post by Kyahx » Mon May 03, 2010 9:32 pm

I'm not trying to say that the current system is at all difficult — it's not. You are 100% right in saying that it would add very little benefit to users of the desktop version and the only reason to implement this feature would be to jump a hurdle with Apple's current implementation of app file sharing. I'm just saying that if it comes down to being the last thing needed to get ScummVM into the App Store it should be considered, that's all.

You say that the bigger hurdle is that Apple does not allow the executing of game scripts, but don't all of the apps by iPhSoft (FOTAQ, Simon the Sorcerer 1 & 2, Inherit the Earth) use a modified version of the ScummVM engine? Why would those games be allowed to execute scripts but yours would not?

I apologize for pressing the issue, I really do — I just have a hard time seeing why a proper version of ScummVM would be rejected while other ScummVM-based applications have not been. I get the feeling that it has more to do with general distain for Apple and flat out refusal to compromise than it does with legitimate technical hurdles, which is disappointing.

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Vinterstum
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Post by Vinterstum » Mon May 03, 2010 9:49 pm

Kyahx wrote: You say that the bigger hurdle is that Apple does not allow the executing of game scripts, but don't all of the apps by iPhSoft (FOTAQ, Simon the Sorcerer 1 & 2, Inherit the Earth) use a modified version of the ScummVM engine? Why would those games be allowed to execute scripts but yours would not?
Old EULA: You can't download -and- run interpreted code.
New EULA: You can't download -or- run interpreted code.

The ones you list were allowed under the old EULA, since there ScummVM came bundled with the game (i.e. no downloading). And they're now grandfathered in, essentially.

With the new version, that's no longer even possible.

I suspect Apple will eventually change this, since it's a very broad catch-all paragraph that probably applies to all normal AppStore games as well (not a lot of games do scripting in non-interpreted languages...), but we'll see.
I apologize for pressing the issue, I really do — I just have a hard time seeing why a proper version of ScummVM would be rejected while other ScummVM-based applications have not been. I get the feeling that it has more to do with general distain for Apple and flat out refusal to compromise than it does with legitimate technical hurdles, which is disappointing.
As we've said all along, this is not about technical hurdles. The current version of ScummVM can be used to build a 100% AppStore compatible version in about ten minutes, using the official iPhone SDK. The project files and everything else needed is already there, and the distribution issue could on a -technical- level be solved in many ways.

And personally I'd -love- to have ScummVM on the app store, if only to stop these threads :).

It's about an AppStore version of ScummVM, very definitely breaking Apple's EULA.

Yes, it might well get through, since Apple generally uses the EULA however they see fit (they have very broad clauses they -can- use, but in many cases don't, for products they want to see on the AppStore). But that's irrelevant, we'd only go through with this if we -knew- ScummVM would be in compliance with the EULA and not be stopped by the whim of a reviewer.

smithdwsn
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Post by smithdwsn » Sat May 29, 2010 12:31 pm

Yes, it is really great.I have just purchase iPhone and i will install ScumVM into it.It is really nice and useful for me.

Uber Dowzen
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Post by Uber Dowzen » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:19 am

Any updates on this? When is iPhone 4.0 coming out?

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Vinterstum
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Post by Vinterstum » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:08 pm

No updates, nothing to do until Apple changes their EULA.

As far as I know iPhone OS 4.0 is due out this summer, I guess coinciding more or less with the next iPhone model.

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