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Welcome to the ScummVM planet - This aggregates the personal blogs of developers, teams members and active participants from all around the ScummVM community.
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August 13, 2017

Joseph-Eugene Winzer (Joefish) - GSoC

Summary -- Week 9

The remaining game logic has been implemented with a few exceptions but still needs to be thoroughly tested. (1, 2)
Speaking of testing, there are still bugs in the first act that need to be ironed out before a pull request can be issued like rendering artifacts and problems with the terminal next to the sleeping pods.

For next week, it is planned to fix up act 1 and to finish implementing the dialog system as the second and third act are now available for testing. 

by Joe Winzer ( at August 13, 2017 08:10 PM

Simei Yin - GSoC

GSoC Week 11

GSoC 2017: Sludge Engine Week 11

Week task conclusion

Generally, this week is focused on further bug fixing for the game Out Of Order and we are able to play from the begin to the end now.

Again, thanks to my mentors _sev(Eugene Sandulenko), t0by(Tobia Tesan) and all scummvm team members that has helped me during this week.

To make a brief conclusion about what we have achieved for this week :

  1. Bugs Fixed :
    1. Sprite depth
    2. Add thumbnail
    3. Save & load interface
      1. Add thumbnail
      2. Add saved file list
  2. Lightmap: 1 2 3
  3. Multiply blend mode for transparent surface

Things not achieved yet:

  1. Bugs left to be solved:
    1. Sometimes the menu can’t be called out by esc. This can be solved by restarting scummvm. Not sure when this bug will occur yet.
    2. The character sprite can be too dark sometimes.
    3. Save&Load game can cause some loop sound that shouldn’t be played there played
    4. When the credits show in the end, the zBuffer of the last scene remain
    5. At the beginning of the game, there is a moment the zbuffer doesn’t work. Don’t know why it is.
  2. The end of the game Out Of Order contains a short movie, so we’ll also need to see how to play it in scummvm
  3. By the way, the parallex is not used anywhere in any game. So I think it’s not necessary to implement it now.
  4. Still don’t know why the windows-only games don’t work.

What’s for next week: XM, IT, S3M Sound decoders

Tasks for next week :

  1. Fix the bugs that remain
  2. XM, IT, S3M sound decoders

by yinsimei at August 13, 2017 03:20 AM

August 08, 2017

Arnaud Boutonné (Strangerke)

Kingdom on hold

I've finally reversed the whole hardcoded logic again for the demo (because BinDiff wasn't able to handle small changes in giant functions). The positive part of that is that it made me point some small bugs I fixed in the full version.

At this point, the engine is only missing the MVE video player. I don't think I'm able to handle that myself despite TMM pushed the missing opcodes in ffmpeg. So, the engine is on hold undefinitely (at least until someone is willing to help me with that player).

I'm still tossing a coin to decide what I'll work on next.

by Arnaud Boutonné ( at August 08, 2017 07:15 AM

August 07, 2017

Joseph-Eugene Winzer (Joefish) - GSoC

Summary -- Week 8

This week was about implementing the terminal in the sleeping cabin room, adding the death screen and clean up.

Unfortunately it's still quite buggy and needs more investigation. Currently, the game restarts on death to the beginning as there's no full implementation of save/load yet.

For next week I will keep implementing missing game code for the remaining two acts and make it just compile for now.
Most key functionality is already implemented but with the other acts in the engine the dialog functionality can finally be tested.

by Joe Winzer ( at August 07, 2017 08:30 PM

August 05, 2017

Simei Yin - GSoC

GSoC Week 10

GSoC 2017: Sludge Engine Week 10

Week task conclusion

Since I didn’t have time to work on Sludge last week, I make this week the 10th week of GSoC Generally, this week is focused on bug tracking for the game Out Of Order. As the objectifying took longer than planned, we decided to back to it when we have time later and concentrate on bug fixing.

Again, thanks to my mentors _sev(Eugene Sandulenko), t0by(Tobia Tesan) and all scummvm team members that has helped me during this week.

To make a brief conclusion about what we have achieved for this week :

  1. Bug Fixing
    1. Backdrop bug :
      1. Clear screen
      2. Fix backdrop loading
      3. Fix crash when loading game
    2. zBuffer :
      1. zBuffer order bug
      2. Reset zBuffers when blank back drop
    3. Fix Off-screen cliping handling for Transparent Surface (in PR at present)
    4. Others :
      1. Quit game buit-in
      2. Correct pixel format for png writing
  2. New game situations :
    1. Out Of Order : Bugs concerning backdrop and z-Buffers are fixed
    2. The Interview : The crashing bug has been fixed with the update
    3. Life Flashes By: The bug concerning save & load file detection is unsolved, as it is not related to the built-in function FileExists as I expected. So still need to track down this problem.

What’s for next week: Bug fixing & Lightmap & Parallax

Tasks for next week :

  1. Test Out Of Order thoroughly and fix the bugs that remain
  2. Test other games and track bugs
  3. Add lightmap shader effect to sprite displaying
  4. Test and add parallax in Out Of Order (haven’t seen it in Out Of Order till now, maybe it is used in the scenes later)
  5. If time permits, try to figure out why the windows game doesn’t work. This may be something convoluted, the reason is still unknown

And for the week after the next, we will focus on making the decoder for multi-track sounds

by yinsimei at August 05, 2017 07:08 PM

August 01, 2017

ScummVM News Headlines

You're gonna need a SCI-cologist!

Go on a cruise, sort out some mixed-up nursery rhymes, or spend some time in a mental ward! The second batch of 32-bit DOS/Windows Sierra adventures are now ready to be tested in the latest daily build of ScummVM:

The Datafiles page has been updated with instructions on how to install these games. If you don’t own some, go to our where to get the games page to buy them!

Before you start your test run, please read the instructions on our SCI testing page, and take some screenshots along the way.

Have fun!

by snover ( at August 01, 2017 04:00 AM

July 31, 2017

ScummVM News Headlines

Defeat the ruler of the Fifth Age

Right after the ending of Myst, you are promptly sent to another Age by Atrus, where his wife Catherine is stranded. Riven is the fifth Age written by Atrus' father, Gehn, which he rules as a cruel self-proclaimed god. Your dual mission is to rescue Catherine and imprison Gehn. To be successful you will have to carefully explore the five islands of Riven and solve the intricate puzzles they hide.

The ScummVM team is proud to announce that Riven: The Sequel to Myst is finally ready for its testing period. If you want to help with the tests, use the latest daily build of ScummVM to play the Windows or Mac version of the game. Please report the issues you encounter on our bug tracker. Be sure to follow our testing and bug reporting guidelines.

As a warm up before playing Riven, you may want to play Myst. If you do so, please use a daily build of ScummVM. Major changes were made to the game engine to remove situations where the game feels unresponsive. Some bugs may have escaped our attention. As with Riven, please report the issues you notice during your play-through.

by bgK ( at July 31, 2017 04:00 AM

July 25, 2017

Joseph-Eugene Winzer (Joefish) - GSoC

Summary -- Week 7

So most of the week was spent on rewritting the game loop to implement animations as shown above and fixing the bugs introduced by it..
The animation system is simply implemented by setting a timer that when it expires causes the room specific animation() function to be called. (1, 2, 3, 4)
Besides that,

    An interesting discovery for me was that although the text rendering code is correct it shows artifacts when drawing umlauts. As the game strings were copied directly from the cp437 encoded source I expected the character value to be encoded in a single byte as characters in extended ASCII don't exceed 0xFF. What I didn't consider is that UTF8 is only backwards compatible to basic ASCII (0x00 - 0x7F) and anything above takes at least two bytes, what causes the corruption as seen above ("Triebwerke funktionsunfähig"). That's why umlauts in the German original will be substituted by their equivalent octal value as already done here.

    For the coming days the first act should be made playable by implementing edit() so the sleeping cabin section works correctly and adjust the game loop for dying and implement the 'death screen'.
    After that implementing the remaining game logic takes priority especially now that the animation system is working.

    by Joe Winzer ( at July 25, 2017 04:09 PM

    July 22, 2017

    Simei Yin - GSoC

    GSoC Week 9

    GSoC 2017: Sludge Engine Week 9

    Week task conclusion

    Generally, this 9th week of GSoC project is focused on objectifying the code and adding new games. The objectifying takes more time predicted and I think I will continue to work on it next week and debug for new games.

    Again, thanks to my mentors _sev(Eugene Sandulenko), t0by(Tobia Tesan) and all scummvm team members that has helped me during this week.

    To make a brief conclusion about what we have achieved for this week :

    1. Objectify the code
      1. Timer
      2. Language Manager
      3. Resource Manager
      4. Object Manager
      5. Graphics Manager : 1 2 3
      6. Event Manager
      7. Sound Manager
      8. Text Manager
      9. Cursor Manager
    2. Add new games
      1. Out Of Order : playable without any mechanic bugs in the first scenes, I didn’t test it to the end though. However, there are several graphic bugs with backdrops and z-buffers that need to be fixed
      2. Frasse and the Peas of Kejick : playable without bugs in the first scenes
      3. The Interview : There is a crush concerning backdrop size when we go to scene 2, need to check
      4. Life Flashes By: There is a bug concerning save & load file detect. I think implementing the fileExists built-in function will solve it.
      5. A few windows-only games, with blank screen or only main menu works. I can’t understand why there’s windows-only sludge game. I think I’ll need the source code to have a check


    The data files of the games mentioned above can be found in the repo :

    What’s for next week: Fix games & Finish code objectifying

    Tasks for next week :

    1. Finish code objectifying :
      1. Character Manager
      2. Stack Machine Manager
    2. Fix games
      1. Fix the animation issue in Robin’s Rescue : This issue is here for several weeks, didn’t have time to look deep into it as it’s a rather wierd one. This bug only exists in this game. No such bug in other games.
      2. The issues mentioned above

    by yinsimei at July 22, 2017 05:36 PM

    July 19, 2017

    Joseph-Eugene Winzer (Joefish) - GSoC

    Summary -- Week 6

    Sorry for the delayed report this week but I really wanted to add a video finally walking through the empty hallways of the starship Supernova. Moreover...

    🎉 The GUI is finally working! 🎉

    Probably the most noticeable improvement is that GUI is now actually rendered correctly and interaction with the environment is finally possible without everything glitching out. Although, there are still issues with Give and Use command that will be addressed next.
    Besides the GUI there have been improvements on every front.
    • Wrapping GUI elements in a state class (1, 2, 3)
    • Fixing font rendering
    • Correctly handling and rendering object state (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Improvingn mouse input handling (1, 2)

    Coming up next will be implementing timers for handling events and animations. There have been talks about starting translating but depending on how things go it either has to be pushed back or will have a lower priority.
    Of course fixing a bunch of bugs along the way would be nice too :)

    by Joe Winzer ( at July 19, 2017 01:30 AM

    July 16, 2017

    Simei Yin - GSoC

    GSoC Week 8

    GSoC 2017: Sludge Engine Week 8

    Week task conclusion

    Generally, this 8th week of GSoC project consists of a lot of code fixing and cleaning in order to merge it into the upstream.

    The great news it that it’s been successfully merged and I’m able to contribute directly to the main repo now, which is quite cool. Which also means to be more careful about every commit from now on. Also, Sludge engine has been announced in the facebook page of scummvm.

    Again, thanks to my mentors _sev(Eugene Sandulenko), t0by(Tobia Tesan) and all scummvm team members that has helped me during this week.


    Before diving into the code objectifying, we find it’s better to do a thorough code cleaning first, remove the useles if 0’s and complete some critical functions.

    To make a brief conclusion about what we have achieved for this week :

    1. Multi-lingual system added
      1. Multiple detection entries
      2. Change fallback detection
    2. Read/Write float to stream
    3. Replace char * by Common::String, replace sprintf
    4. Complete some graphic functions
      1. Parallax (not finish yet): Parallax layers can scroll at different speeds to the background image, giving the illusion of depth to a scene as it moves.
      2. Credit Scrolling
      3. Burn sprite to backdrop
      4. Paste sprite to backdrop
    5. Other code fixing and cleaning


    What’s for next week: More games & Code objectifying

    We gave a less priority to the code objectifying during this week but I think we are ready to start it from the next week, as the code cleaning has been generally finished.

    Also, as there are a number of functions still untested, we think it’s better to test them with more games.

    Tasks for next week :

    1. Add all sludge existing sludge games into detection list (include Out Of Order)
    2. Objectify the code and create classes
    3. Fix the animation issue in Robin’s Rescue

    by yinsimei at July 16, 2017 01:15 PM

    July 03, 2017

    Arnaud Boutonné (Strangerke)

    Kingdom - Day 22

    1 week has passed... Here are the most noticeable changes in the code since the last post:
    - Implement PlaySound
    - Add code for savegames
    - Implement the timers
    - Implement SaveAS and RestoreAS which are used to save/restore parts of the screen when switching to/from some specific game areas (inventory, map...)

    At this point, there's only 1 function which is still stubbed, used for displaying some icons (I'll look at it this evening most likely). As soon as the video player will be implemented, I'll start a playthrough to see if there are bugs in the hardcoded logic. I expect some in the first group, as it was the first one I reversed.

    Special thanks to waltervn and to SylvainTV for their help on the timers and the weird way it's hooked in the original on int 8h

    (and sorry, no fancy screenshot this time again...) :)

    by Arnaud Boutonné ( at July 03, 2017 11:24 AM

    July 02, 2017

    ScummVM News Headlines

    Trapped on a luxury cruise ship.. In Space!

    Explore a broken-down luxury cruise liner, try to convince the Deskbot to give you an upgrade, and eventually track down and fix the ship's governing computer, Titania. Or you're never going to get home. We're pleased to announce the testing period for the late '90s game Starship Titanic. At this time, only the English version is ready for testing. So break out your copy, and grab the latest daily build of ScummVM. You'll also need an extra required titanic.dat file, which should be put in the same folder you copy your game files to.

    Before you start your test run, please be aware there is one specific kind of Indeo encoded AVI video we haven't yet figured out how to decode transparency information for. In a few areas, such as the SGT Stateroom and Titania's closeup, amongst others, you'll see objects with jagged black areas around them. Please just ignore the problem for now. But all other graphics or gameplay issues should be reported on our Issue Tracker.

    by Dreammaster ( at July 02, 2017 04:00 AM

    June 26, 2017

    Arnaud Boutonné (Strangerke)

    Kingdom - Day 15

    Another milestone has been reached! After only 15 days of development, the engine contains now the complete hardcoded logic of the DOS version. We still have to compare it to the DOS Demo version, and we expect differences of course... but still, it's an important milestone for this little project :)

    The map input has been implemented too, which means the game is now somewhat playable without videos and sound. Yes, it's a bit annoying for a FMV game, but we're working on that :P

    Expect more news soon, with new screenshots this time!

    by Arnaud Boutonné ( at June 26, 2017 09:22 AM

    June 20, 2017

    Arnaud Boutonné (Strangerke)

    Another milestone reached

    The past week has been spent on stabilizing the current code (on my side) and on contributing a patch to ffpmeg so it handles correctly the previously undocumented opcodes we encountered (that's for TMM). I also spent some energy on the user input, which is composed of several large hardcoded logic functions. After a couple of fixes this morning, a step has been reached: the game starts (no video player nor sound yet).

    Main Menu:

    First screen of the game:

    Hopefully we'll have soon another milestone to announce! :)

    by Arnaud Boutonné ( at June 20, 2017 01:01 PM

    June 17, 2017

    ScummVM News Headlines

    Hi-Res Adventures

    Last year, we added support for three of Sierra's Hi-Res Adventure games: Mystery House (#1), Mission: Asteroid (#0) and Wizard and the Princess (#2). We're proud to announce that three more Apple II games are now playable in ScummVM and ready for testing: Ulysses and the Golden Fleece (#4), Time Zone (#5) and The Dark Crystal (#6).

    For Ulysses and the Golden Fleece, we currently support the Load 'N' Go budget release. For Time Zone and The Dark Crystal we support the disk images that can be found on some of the Sierra collection CDs. The Datafiles wiki page has been updated with the required filenames for the disk images.

    If you own one of those classics, grab the latest daily build and try it out! If you encounter an issue, please post a bug report following our testing guidelines. And while you're at it, please take some screenshots!

    You may be wondering what happened to Hi-Res Adventure #3: Cranston Manor. Unfortunately, we still have not been able to locate a copy of this game after looking for it for over a year. If you own it, we'd love to hear from you!

    by waltervn ( at June 17, 2017 04:00 AM

    June 11, 2017

    Paul Gilbert (Dreammaster)

    The player is finally home.. the long way round

    It's taken so many nights spent slowly debugging the original executable versus my ScummVM implementation, but the final starfield puzzle of Starship Titanic is finally working.

    I'm not 100% happy with how the starfield rotates to selected markers when you've locked them in, but frankly, given that I've spent multiple months on disassembling, implementing, and fixing just this one puzzle, I'm just happy at this point that it works at all.

    So now with the starfield puzzle finally completable, I was able to initiate the endgame, and see the ending video and credits:
    I have to say, there were times when I grew weary of implementing and testing all the matrix code that the puzzle required. But I guess I'm just too stubborn not to see it all the way through.

    So what's happening next? Firstly, there are various minor bugs that I was aware of, but hadn't previously gotten around to fixing. I'm currently working into fixing them now For example, I fixed some jerking of text in the end credits, and some black boxes that briefly appeared over the flames in the canal. I've got some outstanding issues with NPC idle animations to look into. The Bellbot also won't currently bugger off if you tell him goodbye :) Once that's done, I'll give it another playthrough just to make sure before it's announced for public testing. So expect it to be soon. For those of you that don't have the game already, the current GOG sale has it discounted. So it's a very opportune time to pick it up.

    On a final note, there are couple of things associated with the game that I don't have any immediate plans to spend time on:
    * The QSound library the game uses for simulating sounds in a 3D space using standard stereo output. Many know my distaste of working sound code. So I'll leave it as a future exercise for someone else to work on. I've implemented the low level sound calls using mostly the same interface as QSound exposes, so it should prove convenient for anyone who chooses to do so
    * The Indeo 4 decoder still doesn't handle cases where transparency information is embedded directly into the video frames, rather than as a separate video track. Since codecs are installed directly into Windows, I'm not even sure which DLL implements the decoder. I'll try and spend a bit of time trying to figure it out, but worst case, it may be something the game just has to live with. The game currently has "best guess" code that estimates what the transparencies should be. It's not perfect, but it's reasonably servicable for now.
    * I don't have any near-term plans to do any further work on the German version. I'm simply too burned out over the game, and want to move on from it. I may return to it one day; I'd also welcome anyone else who wants to look into it themselves.


    by Dreammaster ( at June 11, 2017 10:26 PM

    May 29, 2017

    Thierry Crozat (criezy)

    Mission Supernova - A look at the music

    Earlier this month we announced two projects for this year Google Summer of Code to add support for the Sludge engine and for the Mission Supernova games in ScummVM. I am a co-mentor for the Mission Supernova project (the other mentor being Strangerke). We were lucky enough to be provided with the original source code for Mission Supernova (for which we have to thank the rights owner). With the coding period for GSoC starting officially tomorrow we spent the last month looking at this original source code. Interestingly, in addition to the source code for the game we were also given the source code for some tools. One of those converts a MOD music file to a game data file. And I though it would be interesting as a side project to reimplement it so that it works on modern computers, and to then extend it to perform the reverse conversion from game file to the original MOD file (which we don't have).

    I thus spent a few days working on this in the past two weeks.

    We have been asked not to share the original source code (and anyway you would have to be a bit of a masochist if you want to see C code from over 20 years ago). But I will show a small extract to give you an idea of the work involved. The original source code is in C and for DOS.

    The source code for the mod conversion tool is very compact and starts with these two functions:

    For anyone familiar with supporting both big endian and little endian platforms, what they do is obvious. They swap bytes to convert between big endian and little endian representations.

    If you are wondering what big and little endians are, go read my first post in this blog on adding support for the mac version of Broken Sword (you can also read the third post in that series about fixing speech for some mac versions of Broken Sword).

    Conversion between big endian and little endian should come as no surprise. The MOD format was originally developed for Amiga, which are (or at least were at the time) big endians computers. Looking at the specifications of the MOD format shows that it is indeed using the big endian convention. On the other hand the DOS operating system was working on little endian computers. Using a little endian format for the music in Mission Supernova thus made sense to avoid having to swap bytes during runtime. Every little helped at the time to get good performances...

    Another thing visible in the code above and that should come as no surprise (at least for developers dealing with old platforms) is that an unsigned int is coded on two bytes (and not on 4 bytes as you would expect nowadays) and a long int uses 4 bytes.

    The last point we can note is that functions and variables have German names. Fortunately for me I did study German at school and could understand most of the code straightaway without having to ask Google translate (or my German sister in law) for help.

    The first step of my work was to rewrite the code of that tools so that it works on modern computers, whether they are using big endian or little endian conventions, and can be understandable by others.

    • I replaced the byte swap function from the original source code with code we already have in ScummVM that handles byte swapping depending on the platform on which the code is run (so that for example reading a MOD file would only swap bytes when the code is run on a little endian computer).
    • I replaced data types such as unsigned and long with types provided by ScummVM such as uint16 and int32.
    • I rewrote the code to use ScummVM Common::File API instead of the low level DOS file access code.
    • I translated variable and function names to English.
    • I objectified the code a bit adding a ModReader class.
    At this point, without the original MOD file, I had no way to know if the code I wrote was correct. Writing this code however helped me understand the differences between the MOD format and the format used by the Mission Supernova game.

    The two formats are very similar, but besides the different endianness, there are a few other differences. Actually the format for the two parts of Mission Supernova  is slightly different.

    Here is a description of the MOD file header:

    And one of the Mission Supernova part 1 data file header:

    For the Mission Supernova part 2, there are only 15 instruments stored and not 22.

    Note how some information is missing in the Mission Supernova data file. That means that we have to guess what that information should be when converting that data file back to a MOD file. Fortunately none of that missing information is really important. For example for the song name I just decided to use the name of the MOD file that was hardcoded in the original source code.

    Some other information is just formatted in a different way, such as the Mission Supernova instruments data having a loop start and loop end instead of a loop start and loop length.

    Also the Mission Supernova data file stores explicitly the number of patterns and the offsets of the samples data. Those have to be computed from other informations in the MOD format.

    The other difference not seen above between the two formats is in the pattern data. Both are using 32 bit values, but they are not coded in exactly the same way. For details on the differences just look at the source code and comments in the rewritten tool.

    This knowledge of the MSN music data file might be useful when we have to work on supporting the music in the game engine reimplementation. For now I used it to write some code to do the conversion the other way around: from the game data file to a MOD file.

    This allowed me to check that the code is correct:
    • By checking that the converted MOD file I am getting is played correctly in a player supporting that format.
    • By doing a round trip conversion: converting from MSN data file to MOD and then back to MSN data and checking that I get back the original file.
    My first round trip test actually resulted in the original and converted MSN data file having a one byte difference (every bytes were identical except one). The offset of that bytes indicated it was the second byte of the order list length value, coded on two bytes in the Mission Supernova format. And then I realised that  I was using a char variable  (that uses one byte) since in the MOD format the order list length is coded on one byte. Writing that variable on two bytes meant the second byte was garbage.

    The final source code is available at At some point I might merge it in the main ScummVM repository.

    Implementing this reverse conversion also allowed me to listen to the music without waiting for the games to be supported in ScummVM. And to let you enjoyed that music as well, here are recordings for the music of the first and second parts of Mission Supernova converted to MOD and played back in an OpenSource ProTracker clone.

    Mission Supernova part 1 music

    Mission Supernova part 2 music

    by Thierry Crozat ( at May 29, 2017 04:32 PM

    March 10, 2017

    Alexander Tkachev (Tkachov)

    GSoC: ScummVM site new look

    I've posted this picture on IRC yesterday:

    It inherits that green/white scheme of mine. The navigation menu from the side moved in dropdown lists on the top panel. ScummVM description is a bit shorter, shows an actual application screenshot and calls to download the newest version. Then goes the two-column layout, and the right column can contain not only screenshots section, but also Contribute and Donate sections.

    Making of logotype & color scheme

    As my original idea was to make a clean minimalistic look, not to change familiar colors, let me show you how exactly I came to what I have now:

    So, let's try designing a logotype!

    Step 0. Open an editor.

    Step 1. OK, what's the most important part of ScummVM logo? Green "Scumm" and gray "VM" parts, for sure! As we're trying to achieve the minimalistic look, borders and stuff would be left out:

    Looks good for me!

    Step 2. So, the other part of logo is background color, which is familiar ScummVM orange:

    Oh. Probably gradients did all the job. Or the borders. May be try different tones?

    Not really better.

    Step 3. OK, so they say that you could make a solid color scheme not only of complementary colors, but also of analogous. Let's try replacing orange with green:

    Hey, it's not that bad. And it's not exactly green, it has some yellow tones in it. The closest to orange I could achieve =)

    by Tkachov at March 10, 2017 09:00 PM

    March 07, 2017

    ResidualVM News Headlines

    Welcome to Google Summer of Code 2017

    GSoC 2017 Logo

    We are happy to announce that we are participating in this year's Google Summer of Code under the umbrella of our sister project ScummVM.

    Have a look at the list of ideas or bring your own idea!

    If you want to participate or have questions about GSoC, come talk to us on IRC Freenode channels #residualvm or #scummvm.

    by aquadran ( at March 07, 2017 12:00 AM

    February 28, 2017

    Alexander Tkachev (Tkachov)

    GSoC: ScummVM new look (idea)

    Recently I've thought to try designing a new fresh look for ScummVM. This is what I came up with:

    As you might've noticed, it's a little bit inspired by Steam: games listed on the left and current game displayed on the right. Saves are available right from the very first screen.

    Options dialog stayed pretty much the same, but tabs are replaced with a list. That allows to add more tabs without any scrolling and makes it look similar to main screen.

    I was unable to add the familiar orange color into this scheme without ruining it, so I replaced it with pale green. The whole look is kind of minimalistic: no gradients, borders, rounded angles and such. The similar approach could be used to redesign ScummVM site.

    These sketches show a 1024x768 desktop look, while not doing anything about platforms with smaller resolutions. I think it's OK to go with a simple skin for those, meaning the layout stays the same and only the colors/fonts/images change.

    I worked with ScummVM GUI system, so AFAIK it wouldn't be too hard to change those layouts to correspond these sketches. That couldn't be achieved with a simple skin, because some minor changes needed to place saves dialog in main dialog or to replace tabs with a list.

    P.S. It's not about GSoC, but my site is configured to show only those posts which has "GSoC" prefix in the RSS feed Planet is aggregating.

    by Tkachov at February 28, 2017 09:00 PM

    November 24, 2016

    Sven Hesse (DrMcCoy)

    xoreos Not-Thanksgiving 2016

    xoreos is a FLOSS project aiming to reimplement BioWare’s Aurora engine (and derivatives), covering their games starting with Neverwinter Nights and potentially up to Dragon Age II. This post gives a short update on the current progress.

    Note: This is a cross-post of a news item on the xoreos website.

    And again a year is nearing its end. Like last year and the year before, I’d like to turn my gaze inwards.

    A lot of things happened with xoreos this past year, albeit most of them hidden and “under the hood”:

    • I wrote about disassembling NWScript bytecode. The tasks I mentioned there are still open, too. If anybody wants to take them up, I’d be happy to explain them in more detail :).
    • We released xoreos 0.0.4, nicknamed “Chodo”. That was the only release of xoreos in 2016. xoreos 0.0.4 included some minor fixes and features for Neverwinter Nights, and the xoreos-tools package included the new NWScript disassembler.
    • In April, I reached a streak of a full year of daily xoreos commits. Due to some real life things, I had to take a break there, though. I’m now again at three months of daily commits, but there is a three-month “hole” between April and August.
    GitHub contribution graph in April

    GitHub contribution graph in April


    GitHub contribution graph in November

    GitHub contribution graph in November

    • Farmboy0 fleshed out the Jade Empire engine a bit, mostly in the scripts department.
    • Supermanu implemented a huge chunk of the character generator for Neverwinter Nights.
    • Farmboy0 fixed a glitch in the Neverwinter Nights animation system that has plagued xoreos for quite some time: the animation scaling in various creature models was off. This lead to, for example, the head and arms of elves detaching from the body during the yawn animation.
    • I then implemented a few more animation script functions, too, which is especially noticeable in the intro animation for Hordes of the Underdark. I also fixed a mistake in the keyframe interpolation. This takes care of another glitch in Neverwinter Nights: model nodes rotating the wrong way around.
    • smbas added support for Lua scripts in The Witcher. A lot of the initialization code that sets up the classes and functions The Witcher expects to find is still missing, so nothing obvious is visible as of yet.
    • Farmboy0 moved the window handling from the GraphicsManager into a new WindowManager class, making the code more readable.
    • I fundamentally restructured our build system, or at least the autotools part of it (xoreos can be built using either autotools or CMake). Previously, we used a recursive autotools setup, where make recurses into each subdirectory. This is, unfortunately, pretty slow, among other drawbacks. I changed it to be non-recursive now, with the top-level Makefile instead being created using (recursive) includes.
    • I then introduced various smart pointer templates into the codebase, making it easier to read and easier to keep track of memory allocations.
    • berenm added AppVeyor integration. Like Travis CI (which we already use as well), AppVeyor is a continuous integration service. This means that every single commit to the public xoreos repository will now be built on Microsoft Windows, using Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, in addition to gcc and clang on GNU/Linux (via Travis CI). This ensures that any compilation breakage on these systems is immediately visible and can be fixed at once.
    • GitHub added a new feature, “Projects”, that provide Kanban-like boards of tasks. I took the time to fill the xoreos Projects page with boards for tasks from our TODO list.
    • There were of course also various clean-ups, minor fixes and expanded code documentation.
    Animation with glitch

    Animation with glitch

    Animation without glitch

    Animation without glitch

    Animations in the HotU intro

    Animations in the HotU intro

    Additionally, there are several tasks currently being worked on, among them:

    • Supermanu is looking into pathfinding.
    • mirv is still working on rewriting the OpenGL renderer.
    • I am currently writing unit tests for the xoreos codebase, using Google Test. I already found multiple issues, bugs, and corner cases while adding them.

    From my side of things, my current plan is to make my unit tests branch public some time in December. I’ll write a small announcement here about it then. A new release of xoreos, 0.0.5, should follow early next year.

    As always, this all wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of people. For them I am thankful.

    • Farmboy0, for various fixes, implementations and file format spelunking.
    • Supermanu, for his character generator work and pathfinding research.
    • mirv, for continuing to work on the OpenGL rewrite.
    • smbas, for his work on Lua and The Witcher.
    • berenm, for the AppVeyor integration and CMake knowledge.
    • TC01, for writing a Fedora specfile for the xoreos projects.
    • CromFr, for taking a stab at the walkmesh structure in NWN2’s TRN files.
    • clone2727, for invaluable ideas and corrections.
    • The folks at GamingOnLinux, who continue to be a great resource for all things related to Games on Linux.

    I am also thankful for all the people who take the time to explain things to others, people who write interesting, useful or needed articles, and people who provide mentoring and help. Relatedly: a week ago, Stephanie Hurlburt published an article with engineers who are willing to mentor or answer programming/engineering questions. I for one think that’s a really great idea. Please take a look at that article.

    And now, let’s see what the next year has in store for us. If you, however, found all this terribly interesting and would like to help with our little project, then please, feel free to contact us! 🙂

    flattr this!

    by DrMcCoy at November 24, 2016 05:31 PM

    November 04, 2016

    Paul Gilbert (Dreammaster)

    There's been a Titanic amount of progress

    Since my prior posting earlier in the year, there's been a great deal of progress in Starship Titanic. I decided to put aside the problem of reverse engineering all the Star Map classes until I had the rest of the game working better. In that respect, I've made great strides since, as of last weekend, I was able to complete the entire "prologue" of the game  That included using the computer, experience the crash, talking to the Doorbot, entering the ship, and viewing the Credits. Huzzah. \o/

    I was going to prepare a video showing the intro, but with the most recent changes, there seems to be some instability showing up. It seems like something that was already present, just coincidental that the newer changes result in more frequent crashes. It's kind of hard to narrow down the cause, as there's also a problem with the implementation of the Indeo video decoder we're using for NPC videos like for the Doorbot, where it's reading past the end of the frame data. So it's difficult to track down the memory corruption, as warnings about the decoder are completely overwhelming everything else.

    So for now, I'll present a screenshot of the amazing multi-color Doorbot :)

    After thinking over matters, I've decided to keep progressing into the game, and come back to look at the problem later on. Part of the trouble I'd been having with the code was the sheer length of the intro as I got further and further into it.. requiring me to wait through several minutes of cutscene & conversation every time I made any changes or bugfixes. Even if the intro has suddenly become unstable, I still have savegames I made from beyond it, so I'm using them as a starting point to make further progress testing into the game.

    Speaking of testing, I've had a major boon to my efforts to track down bugs in the code. I was previously stymied trying to test the original Windows executable in the IDA debugger, since it kept crashing on me. Plus running in compatibility mode full-screen didn't help either. And without the ability to see "valid" values in the original executable, I anticipated it would be difficult to track down errors in my code, since I wouldn't know whether values/state at any point in time were already wrong on not.

    Luckily, though, I stumbled on a solution. Using the Visual Studio "Attach to Process" allowed me to attach to the game executable without it crashing, unlike IDA. At least, for the majority of the time. Though switching from the game to the debugger and back again caused severe corruption of the full-screen display. Luckily, though, there had been some previous discussions about running the game in a window - I was able to use a utility called DXWnd that intercepted the game's DirectX calls and forced it to run a window. The result wasn't perfect, in my opinion, for anyone wanting to play through the game, but it's worked well enough for my purposes, in conjunction with Visual Studio.

    As a result, I'm now making much better progress than I had anticipated, and hunting down bugs is in general much easier than I'd anticipated. Let's hope that stays the case.. my next major gameplay milestone is to complete more extensive conversation with the Deskbot to get myself a room. The basic yes/no detection for the Doorbot worked pretty smoothly first time I tried it. The Deskbot, though, is using more of the conversation parser - I've already located and fixed some problems with it. Let's hope that there won't end up being too many.

    On a final note, the one downside of my surging progress with Titanic is that I'm currently spending less time working on finishing my Xeen engine. I'd originally anticipated the frequent roadblocks trying to hunt down bugs in Titanic would have me growling in frustration, and switching to Xeen for awhile to unwind a bit. Now with the ability to debug the original executable, that hasn't really happened so far, and hopefully won't happen. I'll probably end up spending more time right now focused solely on Titanic, and see if I can't get the bulk of the game with the exception of the final starmap working by the end of the year. Then I'll be in a better position to alternate between working on Xeen and trying to disassemble the remainder of the Starmap classes.


    by Dreammaster ( at November 04, 2016 05:11 PM

    August 24, 2016

    Bendegúz Nagy (WinterGrascph)

    Alas, the end

    And so it has come to this, all things must end. But it is nothing to be sad about for me, this has been a great addition to my experiences and I welcome the change for it has been something short of 3 and a half months that I've been working on DM. Not that I won't be working on it from now on, but I'm definitely taking a few days off, lest I come to dislike it for looking at the codebase for too long.

    The pull request to merge the engine is due next week as it still doesn't compile with GCC (strangerke has been working on it relentlessly (think 127kbs of error log reduced to 9)). Relatedly, the code is not particularly compliant with the coding conventions at ScummVM (strangerke is working on it, I'll soon start feeling ashamed and will have no choice but to help him).

    As for the future of this blog, it is possible that I will post updates for when something major gets incorporated into the engine (think support for other versions).

    Almost forgot about the new stuff, if I remember correctly it's convenient loading/saving from the launcher and from the inventory. And also there are debugger commands like godmode, noclip, set pos/map and the aptly named, gimme, which spawns items. Entering the commands without arguments will output their usage, call 'help' for a list of them.

    Gimme can be used like this: call 'listItems', if you are looking for something enter any part of it in caps like this 'listItems OF FEAR'. Once you found what you are looking for, call gimme with its name: 'gimme HORN OF FEAR'.

    Setting the map is slightly broken. For best results, teleport to an adjacent map, then use pos to set your position next to some stairs and off you go. Avoid using noclip.

    PS.: So long, and thanks for all the fish

    by Bendegúz Nagy ( at August 24, 2016 08:34 AM

    August 15, 2016

    Alexander Tkachev (Tkachov)

    GSoC: Project Summary

    What I was working on during GSoC is Cloud storages support in ScummVM. Describing this feature in my proposal (mirror), I mentioned that it would include an API to interact with supported storage providers (which are Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Box), saves syncing mechanism, functionality to upload and download games data, and, of course, GUI for all of these. Proposal also has some extra tasks mostly making user experience better.

    Some things were rediscussed during my work, but the main idea remained intact. The work is done and pull request already awaits final review before getting merged. API for all four announced storage providers works fine, saves are syncing and games data could be easily downloaded. Not only described extra tasks were complete, but also some functionality not mentioned in the proposal was added.

    Saves sync is probably the main reason why Cloud storages support is needed at all. It allows users to easily continue playing the game on another device by simply connecting both to the same storage and doing the sync. It’s automatically started on ScummVM launch, on games saving (including autosaves) and when user opens Save/Load dialog. This dialog was updated to show a progress bar while syncing and also to «lock» slots which are being synced. To indicate that there is a sync in progress, small Cloud icon is shown in the corner.

    To use the feature, users must connect a storage first. To do so, they should navigate into Cloud tab of Options dialog, select a storage provider and press «Connect» button. It opens a special Storage Connection Wizard, which provides the instructions on connecting. It has different variations depending on set of libraries ScummVM was compiled with. In the most simple case it says users should navigate to a special short link (to, which redirects them to provider’s page. When they allow ScummVM to use their storage on that page, they are redirected back to, where the code is shown. This code should be typed in the wizard dialog. It’s used by ScummVM to connect to the storage and use provider’s REST API then.

    ScummVM page makes the code that way so wizard could check that code has no mistakes in it. If there is a mistake, it notifies user where it probably is. If ScummVM was built with SDL2, pasting from clipboard is supported. Wizard also has «Open URL» button, which makes it easier to navigate to provider’s page on platforms where URL opening was implemtented (these are Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android — iOS and Symbian are coming).

    But it’s much easier to connect a storage when ScummVM’s built with SDL_net support, because then ScummVM runs a local webserver. In this case users are not redirected to ScummVM site from provider’s page — instead, they navigate directly to webserver’s page. No code typing is needed then, because ScummVM automatically gets it from user browser’s HTTP request. This webserver makes connecting a storage really fast and simple.

    Another thing Cloud storage might be used for is games data download. Users can put their games into storage and then easily download on all their devices. A special «Download» button in Cloud tab opens Download Dialog, where users can select a remote directory to download and a local directory to download into. It shows a progress bar there and automatically tries to detect a game when download is complete. Users are also free to run download in background: no detection will happen, but a message will appear on the screen to notify them of finished download.

    Both storage connecting and game downloading are shown in a video I’ve recorded. I’ve also posted information about my progress in the blog every week. Feature is documented on the wiki pages, with some diagrams included.

    And, finally, we’ve decided that I should do a big extra task. Local webserver, which I originally proposed to simplify storage connecting process only, has been extended to be used for «Wi-Fi Sharing» feature. It means that while ScummVM’s local webserver is running, one can use browser on another device to navigate through directories, download files, create new directories or upload files!

    Users can specify server’s port and their ’/root/’ directory within the same Cloud tab. Only files under specified directory and ScummVM’s saves directory are available, so users secure data is safe.

    by Tkachov at August 15, 2016 09:00 PM


    curved edge   curved edge