Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The End

Today, December 29, 2009 at 23:23:31 (UTC), Mohawk entered the main ScummVM tree. You can now go grab a daily build and try out Myst or Riven. And now Strangerke can make his own gameplay videos and not coerce me into making them. :P

So, this is the end. Mohawk is now in the trunk and everyone can attempt to play Myst and Riven in ScummVM. :)

Or, perhaps the ending has not yet been written...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sync'd (aka December Update)

After about a year of work, videos finally work and now with full a/v sync (md5 suggested something that could be the problem and that was it). Of course it was about a five line fix, but that's the not the point. ;)

Mohawk progress in the past month, let's see... I don't really remember a lot of it. I've spent most of my time on Uni things. It's now break, so it's time to work on more! digitall has been working on QDesign Music 2 (a complex audio codec used in Myst ME) and then we've taken an early look into the Living Books games. Nothing playable yet, but we can parse the "book outline" files.

I'm sure there's more I've forgotten, but I'll give a quick wrap-up:

Myst: Playable
- Many graphical glitches
- Wrongly disabled hotspots
- Only Stoneship is accessible from Myst Island
- D'ni is accessible! Can't hand a page over though :P

Myst ME: Slightly less playable than Myst (inherits the same problems)
- Less videos work
- Probably some PICT problems that have yet to be encountered

Riven: Very playable
- Almost no status update since last time :P
- Fixed one minor regression from cleanup

Myst is movin' right along now! Unfortunately, both Myst and Riven have hardcoded puzzles which are the biggest impediment in progressing further. But fear not, they will be worked on!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Legacy of Time 10th Anniversary

Earlier this year, Tommy Yune, conceptual artist on most of the Journeyman Project series posted on his Journeyman Project blog that Presto Studios would be re-releasing Legacy of Time for Mac OS X as a 10th Anniversary Special Edition. This was put on hold after the evil QuickTime 7.6/7.6.1 bugs that caused Cinepak videos to not display properly.

On October 30, the game was available to order. I ordered as soon as I possibly could. And, it came yesterday. I played as normal, and as usual, pretty much everything came back to me about playing the game (I'm not done yet, but I did find two parts of the legacy already!).

One of the interviews mentioned there was a new easter egg in the game. It obviously caught my attention. Now, instead of looking through the game for the new one, I set off looking at the data files. Most of the files seem the same from the original PC DVD version (from 1998), but some of the dates are different. For instance, the final cutscene has a date from January of this year, so it was probably modified a bit.

Then, I was looking through some of the El Dorado videos, and lo and behold, a video had a date from 3/13/08. It has been touched since the original release! Looking at it, it's the video with the pool animations (EP/EPanim.mov). At the end of the video is the new easter egg involving a whack-a-rat type joke with the idol heads around the pedestal with the legacy. I haven't figured out how to trigger it in game yet, but that is the next step.

Also, while the interviews seem to suggest improved graphics, the files all have the same 6/25/1998 date (minus those couple videos, unless I missed some), so the files all have the original DVD release's graphics and they haven't been updated since then.

Easter eggs cannot hide from me! :P

Friday, November 06, 2009

The ScummVM Logo: A Lookback

If you didn't notice, ScummVM has an updated logo. So, in honor of that (even though it's a week late), I've taken the liberty of compiling all the ScummVM logos throughout history. Much thanks to archive.org. I just thought it was interesting how far it has evolved. Of course, I came much later and missed out on the old logos... (And, does anyone remember that first one?)

Ancient (2001):

Early 2002: (Website Redesign)

Late 2002:

Late 2005: (Website Redesign)

Late 2009: (Capitalization)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

November Already!

Here we are. November. And when was the last blog post? A month and half ago? Bah! It's been too long!

Riven has improved a lot. Loads of hardcoded functions have been filled in, it's slowly becoming more completable. The marble puzzle is just bypassed currently because I haven't gotten around to its logic. So, you can now get up to trying to access one of the lesser domes. And, if you use the debug console, the game is actually completable. Whaddya know?!? Some other bugs (including another QuickTime scaling bug! Egad!) were fixed.

That's great and all. But, really, the biggest piece of progress has been in Myst. Around the time of my last post, a new developer came forward (digitall) and has been working on various portions of Myst bringing it up to a highly playable state. Myst is now explorable and Stoneship is also accessible from the start. Screenshots? Of course! Videos? No!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

QuickTime Hell

I hate QuickTime videos. They really are over-engineered. In good news, I have conquered most bugs in our player (mostly based off the ffmpeg player, thank you so much!) but there are still several evil ones left. The last of these screenshots will show the main bug left:

The first three are from the Cyan logo video, the main intro video on D'ni, and then Cho greeting you on Riven (before his timely demise). The last is the door to the temple. Yes, that's a bug. Or, rather an unhandled feature of QuickTime videos (it's in ffmpeg, just not in ours :P) that requires us to cut the width and height by 2. Only a few movies have this, and I'm not sure why. It doesn't make sense to me to even double the resolution in the first place, but alas, it's on the TODO list now. As are the "background" videos which will probably be handled next (they're partially supported now, just need to hook in a few function calls and cut out some screen updates). Not to mention the a/v sync problem still. And, yes, gameplay videos will be coming, just please don't bug me about it now.

EDIT: Fixed the double-resolution stuff (and 4x res stuff too... stupid QuickTime...):

For those interested, the problem was in the display matrix (in the tkhd atom) we didn't handle previously.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Boldly Going

Taking a break from my usual Myst/Riven/Mohawk posts, this one will be different. Back in November of 2008, I took a brief look into the engine behind Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. Most of the work was based off of the Xentax Wiki information (as well as other pages on the site). Before long, I had the basic file parser going and then followed by images. I even went to support the MIDI sound and figured out the font format of the PC version before moving onto writing code for the file format of the Amiga and Macintosh formats (which really weren't all that different).

However, I didn't really want to continue to work on it after finding out that the game had some heavily hardcoded parts. And, it just sat on my hard drive for many months... until now. I'm putting the code that I have (slightly cleaned up today and made to compile with the current ScummVM trunk) onto a new Google Code repository. I hope that someone will want to take up the project and continue it to completion. I don't have any plans to work on it myself, currently. If any ScummVM forum dweller remembers, there was a brief mention of another ScummVM engine for the games back in June of this year. As far as I know, nothing ever came out of it. If anything did, I'm sure that probably some of my code could be salvaged if only for the Mac/Amiga code.


Any of you out there who have played Myst or Riven know that the only thing that could possibly relate to that title in those games is Zip Mode.... which is now supported in Riven in the engine. :)

As for videos, I *did* make an attempt to make some yesterday. I actually made one, and then the program for capturing crashed on me when saving. I even beat the "Rebel Tunnel Puzzle" from memory. If anyone out there knows of a good program for capturing video on Mac OS X, leave a note in the comments. :P

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Continuing Updates

After a long time coming, the Myst demo has finally been located and secured. I found it on a CD-ROM Today demo disc from July, 1994. Talk about a blast from the past. I quickly started it up in Mohawk (after fiddling around with the fs stuff on the hybrid disc on OS X). The game is about as playable as the full version of Myst. You can access the menu and click on things before an error, while the full version just doesn't do anything to leave the intro. :P

Interesting that it hadn't been found earlier. I had been searching for almost two years for the demo. The Riven demo I found was on the SoftKey release of the Prince of Persia Collector's Edition. Seems Broderbund/Red Orb like to hide their demos fairly well (On a side note, reverse the first six letters of Broderbund for a neat trick :P).

Are you still looking for a Riven gameplay video (*coughStrangerkecough*)? Well.... there is none, because this is all part of THE COVER UP!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More of a Real Update (Kind of)

Seems everyone is expecting more updates from me, so here's a better one than the last one (which, if you didn't realize, was more of a joke than anything to spite Strangerke who has been pestering me for more blog updates. Besides, we should pester DrMcCoy who hasn't posted in two and a half months :P).

So, here goes. The last post showed off the main things that I had worked on in Mohawk for the past month-ish. Video is still getting better, sync slightly improved (works near perfectly in Myst, worse in Riven) and improved streaming of audio from QuickTime videos. The sync gets worse the longer the video is, but I have a solution to it that I will be implementing soon. Note that only Riven's intro videos currently play, there's still problems with other ones. Riven is indeed playable up to the marble puzzle, which as you might know, is one of the more complex puzzles in the game. I had a script parsing bug left in Riven since who knows when that I finally fixed and finally finished the boiler puzzle. It has so far been just a huge annoyance in working on the game. Hopefully, I won't have as much grief with the marble puzzle.... :P

Indeed the Making of Myst is supported. It's not much of a game, but it has some of the basics of the Myst flavor (yes, ST, flavor!) of Mohawk. It uses one resource/hotspot to show the video, which is now handled. Myst still is not playable beyond the intro.

Hopefully, if you've noticed the trunk, I also had a little SCI action going. Namely (very very very) early SCI32 support at the begging of DrMcCoy (who still hasn't fixed the Urban Runner bug!). I also added AVI/MSVideo1 support to the Windows version of SCI (specifically KQ6 in this case). The actual player I wrote for a dead-ish project/engine of mine that I started a while back, but never got off the ground due to it being completely hardcoded (as opposed to Riven's more complex puzzles only being hardcoded). Maybe after Mohawk (and other things) I'll get back to it. Riven is still my priority, don't worry! It was nice to take a short break and look at an engine that has next to no hardcoded-ness for once. In case you were wondering about SCI32's status, there really is nothing to report. At least GK1 and Torin start their scripts before having a crash with something or other (due to kernel functions not being implemented).

As promised for months and months and months, there will be a new gameplay video. I hope to get it up on YouTube on TUESDAY, so stop bugging me about it! :P

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update for Strangerke

Strangerke has demanded an update from me, so here it is. I fixed some Riven bugs and now the boiler puzzle is completable. The game is playable until the marble puzzle. Added support for changing Myst cursors and the Making of Myst. There were also various video fixes and support for audio support in Riven videos. Riven now shows the intro videos (though slightly out-of-sync). Expect gameplay videos soon.

That is all for now. :P

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taking Inventory

As of yesterday, Riven has full inventory support. Yes, that means you can access Atrus' Journal, Catherine's Journal, and the trap book. Yes, that also means that the first "end" to the game is now accessible. The first two actually. You can now die by using the trap book on Riven or on Tay. Two out of like 20. Not bad.

Images of course!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spanning the Globe

After some work, I've gotten images in various other games (besides Myst and Riven) to display properly in Mohawk. Here's a little teaser of what I've been working on:

Hopefully, someone will recognize that image from "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" It's the main interface at the bottom of the screen. Any transparency is represented by black right now. Of course, none of the other games are playable yet, but this opens the door for working on the other games. But, there's still lots of Myst and Riven stuff to do ;)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Myst in Windows 3.1/DOSBox

After yesterday's post, I obviously had to test Myst as well. Especially since that's what I'm working on (partially, at least :P). Using the same setup as yesterday, I began to install the application which installed smoothly. QuickTime, on the other hand, was not as cooperative. Apparently, someone else had my problem and I used the same solution to use the alternative QuickTime installer. Myst started up, and it worked perfectly. Beyond perfectly, really. I couldn't find one problem with the game. Everything just worked. The game is completable too. I've commemorated this with an image and a video.

The image was taken at exactly that time too (locally). Where's that constellation? :P

I also have been working on Myst more. I've experimented with some hotspots and the results are coming along. And I fixed some script parser bugs. Clicking on the book in the first screen actually works now. ;) More posts to come soon, hopefully...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Inaugural Game

Today I bought a new MacBook Pro (13", the cheapest one). It was desperately needed. And for anyone who's followed my blog for a while, you'll know how badly the previous laptop sucked. Well, it didn't suck, it just was nearing the end of its time and I kept fixing it to keep it alive.

Anyway, as I do with all new computers I get, I always put on the "inaugural game" onto the computer to christen it, so to speak. The game is always Buried in Time, one of my favorite games. However, having an Intel Mac, running this game would not be an easy task. The Intel Macs don't support < Mac OS X anymore and it obviously doesn't support any Windows thing. Now, I could have gone about this in many ways (such as VirtualBox or WINE), but instead, I chose to use DOSBox + Windows 3.11.

Windows 3.11 installs easily under DOSBox. It was simple to put the CD in and then just install. However, I had to mess around a bit for graphics. I used Windows' SVGA driver (640x480x256 colors) and then for DOSBox set the machine type to "svga_et4000" and it worked like a charm. I installed the SB16 drivers for Windows and then sound worked too. Besides a crash that happens when watching the credits video (with the title and whatnot), the game runs but a with a slight lag. Especially with screen updates. You'll see what I mean with this video:

I'll also get to try Myst and dithering under this setup now too. That's the next step ;)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mohawk in 16bpp

Since Jody's 16bpp branch is really taking form now and the API is pretty much all there, I figured it was time to take a shot at Riven in 16bpp. After only a few minutes, I was able to convert Riven to using the new API. I'll give you a few comparison shots.

First, we have this lovely shot in the village on jungle island overlooking the lake. Note the lovely submarine in the upper right as well as the dock on the other side.

*waves the 16bpp wand*

And one more. This time of the submarine before you lower it. Note the malformed colors on both the submarine and the handle.

*does some more magic*

Now that's much better. The difference is quite apparent. Also, notice how the bottom is all black now. The black index in all the palettes differs. Not only that, but I would have to remap the images of the inventory on every card swap. The original game didn't work in 8bpp mode anyway, only 24bpp. 16bpp is good enough for now.

This is really only an experiment currently. But soon enough, it will pave the way for videos and the inventory. More posts soon, including that video I promised.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

June Update!

Welcome to June!

I have been working on Mohawk the last week and have, most importantly, fixed some video bugs. I killed off a video-related segfault and (finally) fixed Cinepak's color. I'll have some videos up later in the week showcasing Mohawk's ability to (ab)use the Overlay to play a Cinepak video :P

I also had some Myst fixes, though it doesn't make the game more playable or anything. I shall be working on Mohawk more this week and then probably not again until July (lots of stuff to do and vacation). We'll see how much I get done :P

Riven will once again be the focus of my efforts. Though, Myst and RTZ PSX will be temptations to look at :P

Oh, and make sure you buy Tales of Monkey Island. I know I will! :P

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Iconic Mohawk Image

Looking at the datafiles for the Mac portion of the Green Eggs and Ham disc, some of the Mohawk files have a cute little icon attached to them. Of course, it's of a guy with a Mohawk :P

(Image Copyright Broderbund, I'm guessing :P)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mohawk Recap

Holy Cherokee, Batman! It's two days in a row with posts!

This is pretty much a follow-up to the Mohawk Galore! post from last year. Since that, I've discovered a couple more (which I forget if I mentioned or not) and I know of several others that are very likely to use it. So, in summary, here is a recap of all the games.

Definitely Mohawk
- Myst (Windows version)
- Riven (Windows and Macintosh versions)
- Myst: Masterpiece Edition
- Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
- Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego? (The Great Amtrak Train Adventure)
- Green Eggs and Ham
- In the 1st Degree
- Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
- Maggie's Farmyard Adventure
- James Discovers Math
- James Explores Math
- The Treehouse

Likely/Known to Be Mohawk
- Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge
- Math Workshop Deluxe
- Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
- Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego?
- Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective
- Carmen Sandiego Math Detective
- Carmen Sandiego Word Detective
- Various other Living Books

Not Mohawk
- Myst (Macintosh, Amiga, Console/Handheld versions)
- Riven (PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
- RealMyst
- Any other Myst sequel
- Any Carmen Sandiego game not on Windows/Macintosh
- Any game created by The Learning Company (after buying Broderbund's property)

And, one last sum up. What works so far:

- Pictures, Sound, Basic Card/Hotspot Support, Early Video Support, Cursors. The opening scene works.

Myst ME:
- Same as Myst, with less Picture support. The opening scene works, minus a background image.

- Pictures, Sounds, etc. Pretty much everything minus videos and various hardcoded puzzles. The game is completable up until the boiler puzzle and you are able to retrieve the trap book from Tay.

All Other Games:
- Sounds, Early Video Support, MIDI. Some basic structure is known for its pictures and other resources.

Monday, May 04, 2009

MDo May Update

I can't believe it's May already. April flew by, with almost no progress made.

But, fear not! I did work on Mohawk a little. I've fixed the problem with Riven videos. It turns their offsets were based on the entire Mohawk archive and not the video itself. Wasted about 2 hours trying to figure that one out. In addition to some other minor cleanup, I implemented playing of the tMID resource which is just a simple SMF MIDI file with some extra data. In this case it has a Mohawk Header (MHWK+MIDI), then the standard MThd chunk. Beyond that is the unknown Prg# chunk and the standard MTrk chunk. It sounds pretty good when played. :) The tMID resource isn't used in Myst/Riven, however.

If you didn't get the joke in the title, it was recently confirmed that the "real" name of the Gob engine is MDo. Hopefully no one will hurt me for this joke. :P

And hopefully for next month (which is probably when I'll write the next post) I'll have some more exciting news. Like full Riven support or something. Not likely. :P Hopefully some new games, though. And maybe more videos :D

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I open up a tab to Wikipedia today... and lo and behold! Riven is today's featured article! Awesome! :D

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The April Fool's That Never Was

Yeah, the ScummVM April Fool's Joke didn't really materialize this year. I had began work on one, in which ScummVM renamed to CABAL again now that Sarien and FreeSCI had been merged in. I made a patch which changed all references on the website from ScummVM to CABAL and Residual to CABAL3D. Sadly, I never got around to working on a logo which prevented it from being put into action. I blame real life and LordHoto. :P Here are some shots of what might have happened:

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Update

I've worked on Riven a bit this month. Not many new features, however. There are some updates to the previously unknown opcodes and I've added support for the 1.02 patch which I had never heard of until last week. I mean, I definitely beat the game with my 1.0 version... :P There have also been loads of memory leak fixes. And I have several more to fix. No progress on video, however.

For, something completely random, watch this. There's a hidden tentacle sprite from Day of the Tentacle in Dark Forces. The video isn't that long, but it shows the tentacle's animation. I'll try to upload a patch of secbase.o soon. I haven't played Day of the Tentacle in a while, but I think it's the tentacle walking animation. Also, isn't it strange that YouTube is accepting and converting my ZMBV videos... (ffmpeg perhaps?)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good
The Bad
The Ugly

Yeah, that last one is ugly, but it can still be found for a bargain. Not as good as the $15 bargain I got 6 years ago, but still good ;)

In other news, I haven't done much again except for fixing some video bugs.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Video, Video, Video

So, I've worked much more on Mohawk the past week and a half, and I've added some new features and squashed some bugs. I cannot crash Riven anymore. :P (In addition to all the good Indy news... not the new game! Fate of Atlantis on Wii! :P)

I've also added support for the "water effect" of Riven, so it adds a cool touch to the background. The Rebel Tunnel puzzle is also beatable, meaning you can visit the rebel age (aka Tay). ;)

Today, I also worked on the videos again, and I pulled something off! See here for yourself!

As an extra bonus, here's a video of Riven too!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Logic Board

After months of hiatus, I finally bought the new logic board needed for "the laptop." I'm posting from it! Took long enough! :P

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Book Press Is Not Dead!

As it has been known for some time, the book press from Book Assembly Island in Riven was removed from the game after the beta version. It was also known that two videos (previously visible with Riven Movie Snoop) . (See here and here).

If you use Ron Hayter's excellent Riveal program, you can extract the movies, sounds, and pictures of Riven (both CD and DVD). I did that a while ago, and I look at the images (whose names start with the card they are used in) to help debug the code from time to time. Today, I was working on Gehn's journal in his lab on Book Assembly Island and I looked how many images there are in his journal. Anyway, I saw two images that caught my eye (304_bislandcrater.2010 and 304_bislandcraterprsdn.2010):

I also checked out the card (using my engine's code) 304 on that island. The machine is functional! Unfortunately, since the videos aren't functional in the engine yet, it doesn't look as cool as it would if they worked. Once they are working, I'll post a video of how it works (or you could just use Riveal and extract the movies as well).

For those interested in seeing this in the original game, you could always try out the debug console and switch to bspit card 304.

(Images Copyright © Cyan)