Thoughts on the App Store

Subforum for discussion and help with ScummVM's iPhone port

Moderator: ScummVM Team

Locked
User avatar
PlayingKarrde
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:16 pm

Post by PlayingKarrde » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:14 pm

Robo-X wrote:But I guess the biggest problem is with the save game state when you press the home button. Without that functionality there is 0 chance ScummVM will ever come to AppStore.
Why is that exactly?

Garden Dwarf
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:07 am

Post by Garden Dwarf » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:15 pm

With V1, ScummVM was distributed with Installer ... I see no problem to release the V2 version of ScummVM on Cydia.

However, I understand your point of view. ScummVM on AppStore is interesting for more people (those who won't jailbreak their phone).

Why not releasing a first version on Cydia ? Users can test it on the brand new V2.0, then it can be upgraded to fit into the AppStore.

User avatar
Robo-X
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:20 am

Post by Robo-X » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:07 pm

PlayingKarrde wrote:
Robo-X wrote:But I guess the biggest problem is with the save game state when you press the home button. Without that functionality there is 0 chance ScummVM will ever come to AppStore.
Why is that exactly?
Lets say you play Monkey Island 2. You just played for half an hour without saving and then suddenly somebody calls you and you answer the phone. ScummVM quits without saving and you just lost 30 min of playing. I would hate to be forced to replay the last 30 min.

//Rob

User avatar
PlayingKarrde
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:16 pm

Post by PlayingKarrde » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:25 am

If I'm working in Photoshop for 30 minutes and the power goes out I lose 30 minutes of work. This is why I save often.

Same applies to Monkey Island. Save often. Besides, the thing that takes long in Scumm games is figuring out what to do. Once you do that its quick to go through it.

Like I said earlier, not saving on Home press isn't the end of the world if you can remember to save everyone so often. It doesn't take much. Maybe the devs could even work in some way to have a quick save button that allows you to skip the menus.

User avatar
Robo-X
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:20 am

Post by Robo-X » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:56 am

Well you could try to explain it like that but it would still anger a lot of people when they lose progress in a game.

//Rob

fingolfin
Retired
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:12 pm

Post by fingolfin » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:03 am

We will not release a version that does not save/stay in background. when a call is incoming / you press home. PERIOD.

Why? Because while you might not be bugged by it, many people will be. Bad experiences like that stick in people's head like tar, you never get it out again, and we'll be labeled as "that frustrating software which always looses state when I get a call". I really don't want our name to be tarnished like that.

User avatar
PlayingKarrde
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:16 pm

Post by PlayingKarrde » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:21 pm

That's fair enough and I can understand that, but surely every other app in the store has this issue does it not? And if not how is it that they are able to do it and not you?

I'm not saying it doesn't bug me, it really does, but when the most popular game, or app of any sort, Super Monkey Ball, doesn't do it and nobody seems to care is it such an issue here really?

Either way though it really makes no difference to me. If there's an app store version and a cydia/installer version I'd always get the second one anyway as my experience with the store over the last couple of days has been abysmal.

I'm just playing devil's advocate here.

User avatar
TomFrost
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:53 pm

Post by TomFrost » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:58 pm

PlayingKarrde wrote:That's fair enough and I can understand that, but surely every other app in the store has this issue does it not? And if not how is it that they are able to do it and not you?

I'm not saying it doesn't bug me, it really does, but when the most popular game, or app of any sort, Super Monkey Ball, doesn't do it and nobody seems to care is it such an issue here really?
Many level-based games (like Super Monkey Ball, for instance) save by level as you complete them. If you play for a half hour then get a call, you may have to start over with the level you were playing on but you will not lose all your progress for those 30 minutes of playtime. This is how the grand majority of level-based apps work.

Other apps, like the many card games and Sudoku games available through the app store, advertise that you can go back into the game and pick up right where you left off. That's easy -- for a game like that, you can save every single action to a file when it's made. You get dealt a card? Save it to a file. You enter a number onto the sudoku board? Save it to a file. With this sort of setup, no matter what happens you can always reopen the program and that one file will still be completely up-to-date with where you were.

Now consider ScummVM. These games all run through different engines that aren't quite as standardized as we'd like them to be yet, it's not a turn-based game, and there's a huge RAM stack that's maintained as you're playing. That stack constantly changes, as it deals with timers, animations.. all that sort of thing. So, in order for ScummVM to use the scheme that the card/Sudoku games use, that entire stack would have to be written to a file every time it changes. And since that can happen thousands of times a second, it's not feasible.

One semi-solution might be to integrate an option that autosaves every 5 minutes, but if you check out the writeup for the Google SoC, the engines aren't quite standardized enough to allow for that yet. The only thing that would work *now* is if I'm mistaken and programs actually do get a trigger when a call comes in/home button is pressed/etc. Then ScummVM could save the RAM stack and quit. Someone with more intimate knowledge of the SDK would be able to shed better light on that possibility.

fingolfin
Retired
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:12 pm

Post by fingolfin » Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:09 am

Actually, we do support autosaving in some engines, but sadly not in all.

User avatar
Vinterstum
ScummVM Developer
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:59 am

Post by Vinterstum » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:10 am

Besides the technical hurdles, there's also the legal ones.

Apple's licence agreement for the official SDK is not very open source friendly, especially with the NDA still in effect.

Oh, and it specifically prohibits applications to download any data containing interpreted code. Which includes most ScummVM-compatible games, unfortunately.

blunden
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:46 am
Location: Sweden

Post by blunden » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:44 am

Vinterstum wrote:Besides the technical hurdles, there's also the legal ones.

Apple's licence agreement for the official SDK is not very open source friendly, especially with the NDA still in effect.

Oh, and it specifically prohibits applications to download any data containing interpreted code. Which includes most ScummVM-compatible games, unfortunately.
After all it's Apple so no surprise there. A lot of great apps will probably still require jailbreaking anyway because of the license so it's not really a problem.

User avatar
Robo-X
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:20 am

Post by Robo-X » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:17 am

blunden wrote:After all it's Apple so no surprise there. A lot of great apps will probably still require jailbreaking anyway because of the license so it's not really a problem.
It could become a real problem when Apple closes down all loop holes in a future firmware update and there will be no jailbreak available. I hope that will not happen even though the App Store is great it still doesn't give me all the options I have with a jailbroken iPhone.

//Rob

blunden
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:46 am
Location: Sweden

Post by blunden » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:07 am

Robo-X wrote:
blunden wrote:After all it's Apple so no surprise there. A lot of great apps will probably still require jailbreaking anyway because of the license so it's not really a problem.
It could become a real problem when Apple closes down all loop holes in a future firmware update and there will be no jailbreak available. I hope that will not happen even though the App Store is great it still doesn't give me all the options I have with a jailbroken iPhone.

//Rob
Well, unless they make a hardware revision the pwnage method seems pretty hard to stop. The question is also wether they would want to? Jailbreaking is the number one reason I bought the ipod touch and I think they know that a lot of people feel the same. Though, considering that we're talking about Apple, they probably won't care. :( Apple simply doesn't make the device justice with all these limits.

User avatar
Vinterstum
ScummVM Developer
Posts: 585
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:59 am

Post by Vinterstum » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:13 am

Robo-X wrote:
blunden wrote:After all it's Apple so no surprise there. A lot of great apps will probably still require jailbreaking anyway because of the license so it's not really a problem.
It could become a real problem when Apple closes down all loop holes in a future firmware update and there will be no jailbreak available. I hope that will not happen even though the App Store is great it still doesn't give me all the options I have with a jailbroken iPhone.

//Rob
As blunden mentioned, the current method PwnageTool uses to jailbreak the devices will require an actual new hardware revision to "fix".

And if there's anything the PSP/DS has taught us: There'll always be a way :).

User avatar
Robo-X
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:20 am

Post by Robo-X » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:28 am

I hope you are right. The only thing that would change that is that the AppStore apps seems to be so easy to crack. As it's a big revenue source for Apple I am sure they will do all they can to plug the hole. And possibly make it even harder to jailbreak. But I am speculating.

//Rob

Locked