[Scummvm-devel] Global menu save/load dialogs

Filippos K philipk79 at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 10 12:39:34 CET 2008

> The main aims are to match the original games as closely as possible 
> (other than bugs), and allow the games to work on as many platforms as 
> possible.

We agree on that

> The work to support original load/save/options dialogs of current game 
> engines has already been completed. I expect most users (especially of 
> older ScummVM releases) would be shocked by a custom load/save dialog, 
> when choosing to load or save, via in game interface.

The fact that the work has already been completed is good, and I'm not saying
that we should remove that work. I'm saying that the code for these dialogs
can be kept where it is, but that the default dialogs should be changed to be
the ones from ScummVM. The dialogs for each engine can still be kept and
be opened with a different key combo.

> Only the script based load/save dialogs of early games, are partially 
> supported (saves still fail) in the SCUMM engine. A matching load/save 
> dialog was never even attempted for the later games.


> ScummVM allowing a load/save anywhere in SCUMM engine, actually causes 
> more bugs (especially in HE games). The current use of custom GUI for in 
> game messages, causes scrambled characters in non-English versions of 
> later games (since in game fonts aren't used) too.

That's why there is a function which tells the GMM when the save/load
dialogs can be opened (canLoadGameStateCurrently / canSaveGameStateCurrently).
So these cases can be avoided

> As I mentioned earlier, the current enhancements are kept optional so far.

So the question is... what would be better? Keep the games as they are, and
show the General Main Menu dialogs by default when requested, or show the
enhanced dialogs by default? Obviously, I'm up for showing the enhanced ones by
default, but purists might disagree...

> The default load/save dialogs aren't that more limited, other than 
> limited slots in CINE (any others?). A date and screenshot isn't a large 
> advantage, and could easily be keep optional.

drascula has limited slots too, plus its save/load dialog is very buggy by design
cruise is limited as well
lure's save/load dialogs are... well, a bit strange

> I already stated a common keyboard shortcut for GMM, across all game 
> engines, would serve the same purpose and keep this optional.

True, though as I mentioned I fail to see why this feature should be kept optional (apart
from the sentimental value of the original dialogs, I suppose), since it's clearly an enhancement
over the original ones. 

I would understand your argument if we were talking about DOSBox, or other emulators 
that strive to emulate a particular environment (e.g. a DOS operating system),
where the games run as they did originally. But in ScummVM, we rewrite the game engines from
scratch, so I fail to see why we should be limited by the quirks they originally had (like, for
example, having 10 save slots).

> A common load/save dialog for all game engines would never be possible, 
> due to the script based system been used for loading and saving in 
> several games engines (AGOS, GOB, others?) anyway.

I already mentioned that, and this is understandable. AGOS and GOB are the only two engines
that I am aware where saving and loading are done through scripts, almost all other engines
perform saving and loading through engine code.

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