Access Software's Countdown

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SuperDre
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Access Software's Countdown

Post by SuperDre »

Has anyone already looked at the game 'countdown'? with that I mean at how the datafiles are structured?

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Strangerke
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Post by Strangerke »

I just did. A bunch of containers files (67 to be exact) plus a compressed EXE. After uncompressing the EXE, it's clear that a lot of the logic is hardcoded in it (for example : a lot of dialogues, some specific animations, ...) It somehow reminds me the Legend games where almost all the logic is hardcoded in the EXE file.

I doubt you'll receive a positive reaction coming from a DEV guy.

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SuperDre
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Post by SuperDre »

Yeah, I already thought that when I looked at the exe using the hexeditor and saw the exact text that is shown in the first screen..

The datafiles contain a small header and some MDCD compressed files stuck to each other.. you can use a hexeditor to save the blocks to files and uncompress the files using MDCD10.zip http://compression-links.info/Link/635_ ... 10_zip.htm
the audio is done using RealSound files but I haven't checked it out..

Anyone know which games in the scummvm trunk are also 'hardcoded' logic games?

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john_doe
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Post by john_doe »

I've been looking into supporting the Access games recently (Amazon, Martian Memorandum, Noctropolis).
Countdown uses LZW as compression method, as do all other adventures from Access. The logic in Countdown is indeed completely hardcoded, other Access adventures after Countdown have the game logic scripted, though. Mean Streets seems to be completely hardcoded, too. Countdown seems to use the same file formats, though, like the newer games (but that doesn't help that much without the logic :)).

Other games with hardcoded logic are Igor, Drascula and all M4/MADS games (Orion Burger, Dragonsphere etc.). Not sure about Amazon Queen and Bud Tucker, but they seem fairly hardcoded. And for Drascula and Amazon Queen source code was available from the original developers, so that wasn't as hard as re'ing it.
All other games use some kind of scripting to a varying degree (e.g. all MADE games are completely script-based, i.e. everything from scene handling to the inventory are scripts and very little is non-game-specific C++ code).

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SuperDre
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Post by SuperDre »

Thanx.. I was asking that so I can look how scummvm handles hardcoded games.. for now it's just interest... I'm gonna ask Chris Jones about it (I knew I remembered his name from somewhere, and now I know he's the man behind the AGS engine, which is a community I'm also following a lot)..

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Post by Seldon »

SuperDre wrote:I'm gonna ask Chris Jones about it (I knew I remembered his name from somewhere, and now I know he's the man behind the AGS engine, which is a community I'm also following a lot)..
Chris Jones from Access is not the same, as the one behind AGS engine, if that's what you assume. These are two different persons.

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SuperDre
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Post by SuperDre »

Seldon wrote:
SuperDre wrote:I'm gonna ask Chris Jones about it (I knew I remembered his name from somewhere, and now I know he's the man behind the AGS engine, which is a community I'm also following a lot)..
Chris Jones from Access is not the same, as the one behind AGS engine, if that's what you assume. These are two different persons.
I guess you're right, thanx for clearing that up.. damn damn damn..

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Post by Seldon »

On the other hand maybe it is good time to ask Chris Jones (the one from Access :wink: ) about sources of their older games? Since they are trying to go back to adventure buisness, it would be very valuable for them to get community support? Just look at the Revolution - I suppose releasing Beneath a Steel Sky and providing assistance for ScummVM team was very good move. I'm convinced, that it gave them many new fans, as people who didn't know their games could see how good they are.

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Longcat
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Post by Longcat »

I thought Microsoft bought Access?

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Post by Seldon »

Jonatan wrote:I thought Microsoft bought Access?
I know that, but does it rule out any help from original developers in supporting the games (I don't mean freewaring them)?

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Longcat
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Post by Longcat »

depends on who has the source(if it still exists) these days.

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Post by SuperDre »

Jonatan wrote:depends on who has the source(if it still exists) these days.
If you mean with 'who has the source' who owns the rights, then you're right.. LOL.. because if CJ still has the source (which I would think he has) doesn't mean he can share it even if he wanted to..

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Post by Seldon »

SuperDre wrote:
Jonatan wrote:depends on who has the source(if it still exists) these days.
If you mean with 'who has the source' who owns the rights, then you're right.. LOL.. because if CJ still has the source (which I would think he has) doesn't mean he can share it even if he wanted to..
Ahhh, I hate the copyright laws. It's unfair that the company can keep the rights of works, that lie at the bottom of the drawer. If the rights are unused for, let's say, 10 years, they should be transfered to public domain. The world goes on now so fast, that 10 years now is like a century in the past.

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SuperDre
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Post by SuperDre »

Seldon wrote:Ahhh, I hate the copyright laws. It's unfair that the company can keep the rights of works, that lie at the bottom of the drawer. If the rights are unused for, let's say, 10 years, they should be transfered to public domain. The world goes on now so fast, that 10 years now is like a century in the past.
Until it's your own IP that's laying at the bottom of the drawer.. Maybe you're gonna use it one day, maybe you don't, but you certainly don't want anyone else making a lot of money on your IP..

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Post by Seldon »

SuperDre wrote:making a lot of money on your IP..
I don't think that's the case. :wink:

Anyway, I think that present model of intelectual property managment is bad for the industry, or at least for consumers. I think that 70-year copyright period is plain ridiculous. And I hope, that under consumers pressure, such greedy behavior will be eliminated from companies politics.

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