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!!!