[Scummvm-devel] Little Big Adventure

Filippos K philipk79 at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 18 15:03:06 CEST 2008

Hello everyone, sorry for the late reply to this, just got back from vacations

I'll try and list my thoughts on this, and general similar efforts, as I do believe it's a very interesting discussion.

Some of the engines used in certain supported adventure games were used to create non-adventure games as well. Examples that come to mind are:
- Many humongous games
- Elvira 1/2, Waxworks (RPG games)
- Simon's Puzzle Pack
- Lands of Lore: The throne of Chaos
- Several fan made AGI games
- Inca 2 (the simulator part)

The facts of this project are:
- ScummVM's portability is outstanding, and it can run under a wide variety of platforms
- There is a lot of shared code for all engines (OSystem, plus common code)
- The focus of the project is on 2D point'n'click adventure games

This has been mentioned in the past as well, but I'd like to raise the question again: currently, the project supports far more games that the LucasArts SCUMM games that it originally supported. Perhaps it would be more fitting to rename it to a more appropriate name, e.g. "GameVM", as an example, and provide engines of 2D games to download as dynamic plugins - this way, users will be able to play the games they want.
As a hypothetic scenario, there could be:
- an "adventure game plugin pack" with the adventure games currently supported - and of course, the FreeSCI engine as well (integration of FreeSCI into ScummVM is currently being worked as a GSoC project)
- an "RPG game plugin pack", with plugins for games like
Elvira/Waxworks and Lands of Lore (when/if the engine is expanded to
accomodate this). The exult project comes to mind, as well as the AESOP engine for EOB
- a "puzzle game plugin pack", with plugins for games like The 7th Guest, Myst, Riven etc
- an "arcade game plugin pack", with plugins for games like Simon's Puzzle Pack and the ones cyx wrote (check http://cyxdown.free.fr/)
- an "isometric 3D game plugin pack" for Residual (which could include plugins for games like Grim Fandango, Little Big Adventure, Alone in the Dark etc)

Of course, this is all highly hypothetical and very radical, and a scenario like this would lead to a very different path for the project than it originally started. Still, it could provide a "segmentation" of the project into other kinds of games as well. In the end of the day, OSystem would be the "umbrella" that would include all these engines, and each developer would be responsible for his/her game engine - something which works for projects like MAME. The only real difference is that engines for non-adventure 2D games could be accepted as well, as separate "packs".

I'm not advocating any change of direction to the ScummVM project, but I do believe that the fact that game engines can be included as plugins leads to all sorts of interesting results.

What are your thoughts? Could this ever become a reality or am I just daydreaming? :)

Filippos Karapetis

> From: max at quendi.de
> To: scummvm-devel at lists.sourceforge.net
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 00:05:57 +0200
> Subject: Re: [Scummvm-devel] Little Big Adventure
> Hi Martin, hi all,
> based on what I heard from people, and what my own studies of the  
> source code of the engine yielded, I do not think that LBA would fit  
> into the scope of ScummVM. Some of the reasons which in their sum lead  
> me to this opinion are:
> * it uses 3D rendered actors (rendered in real time, using a software  
> 3D shader)
>    (as opposed to e.g. SAGA; which uses some isometric graphics but in  
> the end is purely bitmap based)
> * it has loads of arcade elements
>    (we have other games with arcade elements, but for most (all?) it's  
> a minor element; or the game is simply supported because the engine is  
> supported, and little code was needed to add the game)
> * not a "point and click adventure"
>    (granted, we have some AGI games which are not strictly point-and- 
> click, but many AGI games are, and those games do not conflict with  
> the other points)
> Of course, you are still free to use the ScummVM core code; if your  
> goal is to make LBA more portable, that might still be a way to go. We  
> specifically allow 3rd party plugins to be loaded, so you could  
> develop a plugin targeting certain point releases of ScummVM. Or just  
> copy/clone parts of the code.
> Cheers,
> Max
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