Logo Pending


Yeah? Prove it!

Ah, those gloriously outdated questions at the start of Leisure Larry 1 and 3. You gotta love ’em. But what if you wanted to implement your own, accounting for the simple fact that

  1. we don’t use Text resources any more now that we have Messages;
  2. bitfield magic is weird and unclear.

Couple years ago, I rolled my own. Actually I did so even further back, when we still used SCI Studio, but that was such an ugly hack I’d rather not talk about that. Anyway, here’s my own implementation. I’ll interrupt the source code to explain things as we go. Ready to prove you’re a learnèd adult?

;;; Sierra Script 1.0 - (do not remove this comment)
(script #140)
(include sci.sh)
(use Main)
(use Game)
(use System)
(use Print)
(public
  AgeCheckRm 0
)

Before we go on, you’ll need the following setup in a matching Message resource:

Noun Verb Cond Seq Text
0 0 1 1 Question 1
0 0 1 2 Answer 1-A
0 0 1 3 Answer 1-B
0 0 1 4 Answer 1-C
0 0 1 5 Answer 1-D
0 0 2 1 Question 2
0 0 2 2 Answer 2-A
0 0 2 3 Answer 2-B
0 0 2 4 Answer 2-C
0 0 2 5 Answer 2-D
1 0 0 1 Challenge
1 0 0 2 Correct
1 0 0 3 Wrong
1 0 0 4 Done
1 0 0 5 Cheater

Questions are phrased like this: "3Which of these is not a pokémon?" where the first character is a digit from 0 to 4. If the digit is 0, all answers are equally correct. If it’s not, 1-4 map to answers A-D. The total number of questions should equal the TOTALQUESTIONS definition that now follows:

(define TOTALQUESTIONS    20) ; How many questions you have messages set up for.
(define REQUIREDQUESTIONS  5) ; How many must be answered.
 
; Metrics. Depending on your image, you'll want to edit these to match.
(define QUESTIONLEFT     100) ; Where and how the question is written.
(define QUESTIONTOP       32)
(define QUESTIONWIDTH    150)
(define QUESTIONFONT       4)
(define QUESTIONCOLOR      0)
(define ANSWERLEFT       100) ; Where and how the first possible answer is written.
(define ANSWERTOP         60)
(define ANSWERWIDTH      170)
(define ANSWERSPACING     25) ; How much space goes between each answer.
(define ANSWERFONT         4)
(define ANSWERCOLOR        0) ; Black
(define CORRECTCOLOR      35) ; Green
(define WRONGCOLOR        12) ; Red
 
(define BLACKSCREEN        0) ; Picture # for the black screen. Questions use scriptNumber.
(define CORRECTSOUND     111)
(define WRONGSOUND       112)
 
(local
  questionsAsked = 0 ; Total number of questions asked
  currentQuestion = 0 ; Current question's index
  correctAnswer = 0 ; Current question's correct answer
  answerGiven = 0 ; Player's guess for the current question
  correctSoFar = 0 ; Questions answered correctly so far
; score = 0 ; If you were to put a lady in a swimsuit, this'd simplify things.
  [textBuffer 200]
)

The EndThis procedure is where you’ll want to do things like set a filth level according to the score and inform the player they’ll get to play at that level.

(procedure (EndThis)
  (gRoom newRoom: 120)
)
 
; Larry 1 and 3 use bitfield magic for this. We're keeping it simple, trading
; a bit of extra overhead for readability.
(instance AskedSoFar of List)
 
(procedure (PrepareQuestion &tmp i aTop [cleanQuestion 200])
  ; Try to find a question we haven't asked yet first.
  ; This might cause an infinite loop if the amount of questions is off.
  (while TRUE
    (= currentQuestion (Random 1 TOTALQUESTIONS))
    (breakif (not (AskedSoFar contains: currentQuestion)))
  )
  (AskedSoFar add: currentQuestion)
 
  ; Grab the question we picked and extract the correct answer.
  (Message msgGET scriptNumber 0 0 currentQuestion 1 @textBuffer)
  (= correctAnswer (- (StrAt @textBuffer 0) $30)) ; '2' - '0' = 2
  ; Copy the question *without* the first character (the answer) to our temp space.
  (for ((= i 0)) (< i (StrLen @textBuffer)) ((++ i))
    (StrAt @cleanQuestion i (StrAt @textBuffer (+ i 1)))
  )
 
  ; We can now display it.
  (Display @cleanQuestion dsCOORD QUESTIONLEFT QUESTIONTOP dsCOLOR ANSWERCOLOR dsBACKGROUND -1 dsWIDTH QUESTIONWIDTH dsFONT QUESTIONFONT)
 
  ; Now we can fetch and display the possible answers.
  (for ((= i 0)) (< i 4) ((++ i))
    (DrawAnswer i ANSWERCOLOR)
  )
)
 
; Draw a given answer (0-3) at the correct position and the given color.
; One thing you might want to try to do is to add the "a. b. c. d." bits.
; I left that out as a challenge.
(procedure (DrawAnswer number color)
  (Message msgGET scriptNumber 0 0 currentQuestion (+ answerGiven 1) @textBuffer)
  (Display @textBuffer
    dsCOORD ANSWERLEFT (+ ANSWERTOP (* (- number 1) ANSWERSPACING))
    dsCOLOR color
    dsBACKGROUND -1
    dsWIDTH ANSWERWIDTH
    dsFONT ANSWERFONT
  )
)
 
; Support function to keep the main part a little bit cleaner to read.
(procedure (TimedPrint theSequence theTime)
  (Print
    font: gFont
    ticks: theTime
    addText: 1 0 0 theSequence 0 0 scriptNumber
    init:
  )
)

Now we’re getting to the proper logic of the whole thing! First, we set things up much like you might a title screen, then pass control to a room script.

(instance AgeCheckRm of Room
  (properties
    picture BLACKSCREEN
  )
 
  (method (init)
    (super init:)
    (gOldMH addToFront: self)
    (gOldKH addToFront: self)
    (gIconBar hide: disable:)
    (gUser canInput: FALSE)
    (AskedSoFar init:)
    (HideStatus)
    (self setScript: RoomScript)
  )
 
  (method (dispose)
    (AskedSoFar dispose:)
    (gIconBar hide: enable:)
    (gOldKH delete: self)
    (gOldMH delete: self)
    (super dispose: &rest)
  )
)
 
(instance RoomScript of Script
  (properties)
 
  (method (changeState newState)
    (switch (= state newState)
      (0 ; Starting up
        (Prints 1 0 0 1) ; Give the challenge.
        ; At this exact point, the Larry games would ask for your age.
        (= cycles 1)
      )
 
      (1 ; Redraw the background, grab a new question, and wait for an answer.
        ; For the first question, transition nicely. For the rest, don't.
        (if questionsAsked 
          (DrawPic scriptNumber dpOPEN_NO_TRANSITION)
          ; (aSuit setCel: score forceUpd:)
        else
          (DrawPic scriptNumber dpANIMATION_BLACKOUT)
          ; (aSuit init:)
        )
 
        (PrepareQuestion)
        ; Sit and wait for a cue.
      )
 
      (2 ; Got an answer! Is it right!?
 
        ; First, redraw the given answer in either green or red.
        (DrawAnswer
          answerGiven
          (if (or (== answerGiven correctAnswer)
                  (== correctAnswer 0))
            CORRECTCOLOR
          else
            WRONGCOLOR
          )
        )
 
        ; Now, judge 'em.
        (++ questionsAsked)
        (if (or (== answerGiven correctAnswer)
                (== correctAnswer 0))
          (++ correctSoFar)
          ; (++ score) ; for a Larry 3 lady in a swimsuit
          (gMusic2 number: CORRECTSOUND play: self)
          (TimedPrint 2) ; Correct!
        else
          (gMusic2 number: WRONGSOUND play: self)
          ; (-- score) ; for a Larry 3 lady in a swimsuit
          ; For Larry 1 style, you might want to add a "was it wrong before"
          ; flag or counter. If we *were* wrong twice, exit the game.
          (TimedPrint 3) ; Wrong!
        )
        (= seconds 1)
      )
 
      (3 ; Wait a bit and repeat
        (if (== questionsAsked REQUIREDQUESTIONS)
          (gMusic1 fade:)
          (Prints 1 0 0 4) ; Done!
          (EndThis)
        else
          (= state 0) ; This actually makes state 1 so we get the next question.
          (= cycles 1)
        )
      )
 
    )    
  )

The handleEvent method will respond to lowercase A-D, uppercase A-D, Ctrl-Alt-X, and mouse clicks on the answers. If any of these things happen, it will cue itself, causing the answer to be checked.

(method (handleEvent event &tmp i aTop aBottom)
    (if (!= state 1)
      (super handleEvent: event)
      (return)
    )
    (switch (event type?)
      (evMOUSEBUTTON
        ; Check each answer spot in turn.
        (= aTop ANSWERTOP)
        (= aBottom (+ aTop ANSWERSPACING))
        (for ((= i 0)) (< i 4) ((++ i))
          (if (InRect (- ANSWERLEFT 10) aTop (+ (+ ANSWERLEFT ANSWERWIDTH) 20) aBottom (event x?) (event y?))
            (= answerGiven (+ i 1))
            (self cue:)
            (break)
          )
        )
      )
      (evKEYBOARD
        (event claimed: TRUE) ; Prevent the usual inputs from working.
        (switch (event message?)
          (KEY_a
            (= answerGiven 1)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_b
            (= answerGiven 2)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_c
            (= answerGiven 3)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_d
            (= answerGiven 4)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_A
            (= answerGiven 1)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_B
            (= answerGiven 2)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_C
            (= answerGiven 3)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_D
            (= answerGiven 4)
            (self cue:)
          )
          (KEY_ALT_x
            (if (& (event modifiers?) 4) ; Holding Control too?
              (TimedPrint 5) ; Cheater
              ; For Larry 3 style, you might want to ask what rating you want.
              (EndThis)
            )
          )
        )
      )
    )
  )
)
 
; Bonus lady in a swimsuit because why not.
;;; (instance aSuit of Prop
;;;   (properties
;;;     y 77
;;;     x 83
;;;     view 140
;;;     loop 1
;;;   )
;;; )

There may yet be some timing issues. I’ll leave fixing those to whoever’s brave enough to use this in the first place.

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Text, Voice… Both?

“Interesting. I wonder if this is related to the “BOTH” button that got cut in SQ4.” — @ATMcashpoint

I don’t know about the both button that ScummVM adds to some SCI games, but there’s quite literally no way it could work by just adding a third button state. There’s a fair bit of script logic that’d need to be overhauled. Here’s why that is, and here’s how I did it in The Dating Pool.

could have used the SCI Companion template game to compare against and document, but to be honest it’s a bit of a mess, as you could expect from a decompilation. The leaked system scripts are much neater to work with, even though the actual script code is basically identical.

Original Messager.sc:

(method (sayNext theMod theNoun theVerb theCase theSeq &tmp aTalker [theBuf 200] msgkey)
  ; If we were called with arguments, grab the text for that entry.
  ; If not, grab the next entry in the sequence.
  (if argc
    (= aTalker (Message msgGET theMod theNoun theVerb theCase theSeq @theBuf))
  else
    (= aTalker (Message msgNEXT @theBuf))
  )
 
  ; If we have voice enabled, allocate space and grab the entry's tuple.
  ; This block is missing in SQ4CD.
  (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
    (= msgkey (Memory memALLOC_CRIT 12))
    (Message msgLAST_MESSAGE msgkey)
  )
 
  (if (and  aTalker
            (or  (not lastSequence)
                 (and  lastSequence
                       (<= curSequence lastSequence)
          )
        )
      )
    ; Look up the Talker (or Narrator) by number.
    ; aTalker was a number, but now it'll be an object pointer.
    (= aTalker (self findTalker: aTalker))
 
    (if (!= aTalker -1)
      (talkerSet add: aTalker)
 
      ; Now let our Talker handle the rest.
      (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
        (aTalker
          modNum: theMod,
          say:    msgkey self ;<-- pass ONLY the tuple
        )
      else
        (aTalker
          modNum: theMod,
          say:    @theBuf self ;<-- pass ONLY the string
        )
      )
      ; In SQ4, we just always pass only @theBuf. There's some major
      ; voodoo involved in getting it to work.
 
      (++ curSequence)
    )
    ; Cutting a bit of irrelevant fastcast voodoo
  )
  ; Dispose of the space we allocated for the voice tuple, if needed.
  (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
    (Memory memFREE msgkey)
  )
)

Catdate’s Messager.sc:

; Exactly the same as in the template BUT...
(if (!= aTalker -1)
  (talkerSet add: aTalker)
  ; Pass both the buffer AND the tuple, no matter our settings.
  ; That does mean that msgkey may be null, but say won't use it in
  ; that case anyway.
  (aTalker
    modNum: theMod
    say: @theBuf msgkey
  )
  (++ curSequence)
)

In SQ4CD, the Narrator has extra noun, verb, and sequence properties that get set to allow the text to work. It’s really quite a bit of a mess, and my hat’s off to whoever on the ScummVM team got that Both mode to work. I was going to document it but got lost trying, it’s that wild.

On to the Narrator and by extension Talker!

Original Talker.sc:

(method (say theBuf whoCares)
  (if theIconBar (theIconBar disable:))
  (if (not initialized) (self init:))
 
  (= caller
    (if (and (> argc 1) whoCares)
      whoCares
    else
      null
    )
  )
 
  ; Figure out what to do with the message.
  ; Note that in one case, theBuf is a string...
  (if (& gMessageType TEXT_MSG)
    ; (method (startText theBuf &tmp strLength)
    (self startText: theBuf)
  )
  ; ...but in the other it's a tuple!
  (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
    ; (method (startAudio theKeys &tmp m n v c s)
    (self startAudio: theBuf)
  )
 
  ; cut a bit...
 
  ; start___ will have set ticks to the length
  ; of the string or recording. We add one more
  ; second regardless.
  (= ticks (+ ticks 60 gameTime))
  (return true)
)

Catdate’s Talker.sc:

; much the same, but
  (method (say theText theAudio whoCares)
    ; ...
    (if (& gMessageType TEXT_MSG)
      (self startText: theText)
    )
    (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
      (self startAudio: theAudio)
    )
    ; ...
  )

Now, this works fine. If I record a quick bit of gibberish, then load up the game, switch to Both, and click, I get a perfectly readable message and hear my gibber. But if I were to revert my little change and use the original code…

That’s what we in the business call mistaking a bunch of numbers for a valid string. I specifically get this result because the first value in the tuple is the module number, which is 110 (0x6E ‘n‘) in this case, and all numbers in SCI are 16-bit so there’s a terminating null right after.

What’s funny is that after all this, I can’t see how SQ4 is supposed to support Both mode, and ScummVM only needs to add that third button state. There is no patch to adjust the script, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how this would work:

(method (say theVoodoo whoCares &tmp newEvent)
  ; ...
  (if (& gMessageType TEXT_MSG)
    ; Note: noun, tVerb, and tSequence are properties. theVoodoo is now "case".
    (self startText: modNum noun tVerb theVoodoo tSequence &rest)
  )
  (if (& gMessageType CD_MSG)
    (self startAudio: theVoodoo)
  )
  ; ..
)

The weird part is that I can’t find anywhere those properties are set.

…At least with the KQ6/LB2 patches they actually do overhaul quite a bit of the scripts’ logic, which are otherwise just the same system scripts as above. Not the way I did it for my game, but clearly in a way that works out.

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SCI01/1 Multilanguage games and telephone country codes

What?

Yeah. Telephone country codes. Those SCI games that let you switch between two languages without exiting? They used telephone country codes internally.

(instance sq4 of Game
  (properties
    parseLang 0
    printLang 0
  )
  ;...
)
 
(procedure (byLang german spanish french italian other)
  (switch (gGame printLang?)
    (49 german)
    (34 spanish)
    (33 french)
    (39 italian)
    (else other)
  )
)

Unfortunately, I don’t have the source code for an SCI interpreter that has the string splitting function needed — it only has the telephone number codes. So I’ll go with what ScummVM does.

Given a call to StrSplit with a parameter like You have an empty jar.#FVous avez un vase vide., the current printLang is matched with a separator character. In this case, if it’s zero we cut off and return the left part of the string. If it’s nonzero (say it’s 33), it’s matched to F for French. Looking for the split marker #, we then look at the next character and see if it’s our request. If it is, if we found a #F, we return the right part of the string. But what if we don’t find the right language? Let’s say for example I took the “see ya on the chronostream” message in the French version of SQ4 and made a Dutch secondary line?

What happens is, the interpreter gives up. ScummVM or the original, they just return the whole string.

But then of course, Dutch isn’t a supported language at all. The interpreter only recognizes the country codes for English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. And two of those aren’t supported by the game script I started this post off with. Surely if I gave the French SQ4 a German line it’d react differently?

Well, yeah. If the split marker is for a language the interpreter can recognize, it just returns the left part.

(Bonus: For no good reason beyond a little harmless pride in my country, I added the number for Dutch to the list in SCI11+. Which is stupid. It has no StrSplit function… but it could get one. Which would be stupid because we have patchDir support and can use it to just switch languages externally.)

… but why telephone numbers though?

Answer: numbers are easy to work with I guess.

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Combining PQ2 and KQ4… in SCI11

If you were so inclined, you can easily take that mashup I just posted and convert it to SCI11.

Just take the doit method from earlier and replace the two Print calls:

(Print
  addText:
    "TO: Detective Bonds\nFROM: Captain Hall\nSUBJECT: ID of evidence photo\n\nPlease provide the LAST name of the person pictured in the attached evidence photo for homicide case 186751.\n\nPlease respond in box below, ASAP!\n"
    40 0
  addIcon: 923 2 myPick 0 0
  addEdit: @yourAnswer 20 40 100
  init:
)

and

(Prints "Sorry Bonds, you'll need to do better than that!")

The main difference is that you’ll have to provide your own coordinates. You can tell that the ones I put are very rough. I mean to port the SCI0 Print procedure to SCI11 as ClassicPrint some day. Don’t be fooled — Prints is merely a simple wrapper procedure:

(procedure (Prints)
  (Print addText: &rest init:)
)
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Combining PQ2 and KQ4’s copy protection scripts

I said I would, right?

(local
  ; Correct answers' hashes, in original order.
  ; Determined by https://helmet.kafuka.org/sci/kq4_cp.html
  [answers 8] = [666 393 526 377 365 453 383 441]
)
 
(instance CopyProtection of Room
  (method (doit &tmp i ch hash myPick [yourAnswer 40])
 
    ; Just like in PQ2, we grab the current time, then mask out
    ; the lower bits to limit the range to a number from 0 to 7.
    (= myPick (& (GetTime gtTIME_OF_DAY) 7))
 
    ; Clear out the first character of our answer to effectively
    ; make it blank.
    (= yourAnswer 0)
 
    ; Request our input as before...
    (Print
      "TO: Detective Bonds\nFROM: Captain Hall\nSUBJECT: ID of evidence photo\n\nPlease provide the LAST name of the person pictured in the attached evidence photo for homicide case 186751.\n\nPlease respond in box below, ASAP!\n"
      #icon 701 0 myPick
      #edit @yourAnswer 20
    )
 
    ; Now we use some trickery from KQ4, but different.
    (= hash 0)
    (= i 0)
    ; While the character at position i is nonzero...
    (while (= ch (StrAt @yourAnswer i))
      ; Anything between 'a' and 'z' gets turned to uppercase.
      ; We don't bother putting it *back* in yourAnswer though.
      (if (and (>= ch 97) (<= ch 122)) (= ch (- ch 32)))
 
      ; Add this value to our running total.
      (= hash (+ hash ch))
      (++ i)
    )
 
    ; Either the hash we calculated is the correct one, or
    ; we entered "bobalu".
    (if (or
          (== hash [answers myPick])
          (== hash 437)
        )
      (gRoom newRoom: 1) ; or wherever your game starts.
    else
      (Print "Sorry Bonds, you'll need to do better than that!")
      (= gQuitGame true)
    )
  )
)

And presto! I’d talk about some of the other games’ copy protection schemes but for example KQ5’s doesn’t pass the decompiler. Probably because of a difficulty involving endless loops. Still, feel free to suggest something.

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Sorry, Bonds – Police Quest 2 Copy Protection

Last for now in the set on copy protection is Police Quest 2. I might go into some others, I dunno, and I have something planned where I optimize the hell out of the PQ2 copy protection script by means of KQ4. But let’s get down to it.

(local
  [yourAnswer 40]
)
 
(procedure (ToUpper &tmp i ch)
  (= i 0)
  (while (= ch (StrAt @yourAnswer i))
    ; If ch is between 'a' and 'z'...
    (if (and (>= ch 97) (<= ch 122))
      ; ...change it to uppercase.
      (StrAt @yourAnswer i (- ch 32))
    )
    (++ i)
  )
)
 
(instance rm701 of Rm
  (method (doit &tmp myPick)
    (= myPick (& (GetTime gtTIME_OF_DAY) 7))
    (= yourAnswer 0)
 
    (Print "TO: Detective Bonds\n
            FROM: Captain Hall\n
            SUBJECT: ID of evidence photo\n
            \n
            Please provide the LAST name of the person pictured in
            the attached evidence photo for homicide case 186751.\n
            \n
            Please respond in box below, ASAP!\n"
            #icon 701 0 myPick
            #edit @yourAnswer 20
    )
 
    (= gQuit true)
    (ToUpper)
 
    ; Like in C, StrCmp returns zero if the strings are the same.
    ; Zero is false, so we use a not to make equal be true.
    (switch myPick
      (0    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "GRANANDEZ")) (= gQuit false)))
      (1    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "SIMMS"))     (= gQuit false)))
      (2    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "TASELLI"))   (= gQuit false)))
      (3    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "COLBY"))     (= gQuit false)))
      (4    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "BAINS"))     (= gQuit false)))
      (5    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "SNIDER"))    (= gQuit false)))
      (6    (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "JONES"))     (= gQuit false)))
      (else (if (not (StrCmp @yourAnswer "DICKEY"))    (= gQuit false)))
    )
    (if gQuit
      (Print "Sorry Bonds, you'll need to do better than that!")
      ; With gQuit set, we'll exit at the end of this doit cycle.
    else
      (gGame restart:)
      ; The main game object can tell if we're restarting, so it'll
      ; put us in the first playable scene instead of the title screen.
    )
  )
)

Gee, I can think of a way to improve this already. Let’s turn yourAnswer from a local to a temp, and inline ToUpper:

(method (doit &tmp myPick i ch [yourAnswer 40])
  ; ...
  (= gQuit true)
 
  (= i 0)
  (while (= ch (StrAt @yourAnswer i))
    (if (and (>= ch 97) (<= ch 122))
      (StrAt @yourAnswer i (- ch 32))
    )
    (++ i)
  )
  ; ...
)

And that’s just one improvement. It really helps that, unlike the subtitle typing in Larry 5, we only uppercase one thing once. Tune in next time to see what could be done.

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Little Black Book – Larry 2 Copy Protection

It’s been a while now since I last explained a Sierra game’s copy protection, so why not go at it again?

Compared to KQ4, LSL2 has only a few different options, and it involves no math.

(local
  phoneNum     ; The correct answer.
  [input 6]    ; Our guess. 11 characters max, but 16-bit values so 12/2=6
  ; The photo parts are put in hunk space instead of heap or something.
  dressView
  faceView
  hairView
  earringView
)
 
(instance rm10 of Rm
  (properties
    picture 10
    style dpOPEN_CHECKBOARD
  )
 
  (method (init &tmp dress face hair earring)
    (ProgramControl)
 
    ; Preload the photo and logo parts
    (Load rsVIEW 60)
 
    (super init:)
 
    ; For each part of the logo, create a new view in hunk space, and addToPic it.
    ; Adding a view to the pic causes it to be disposed, so in the end none of the logo parts take space.
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 0 posn:  72  52 setPri: 1 addToPic:) ; Logo
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 1 posn: 122  36 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; S
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 2 posn: 141  35 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; I
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 3 posn: 161  35 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; E
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 4 posn: 190  35 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; R
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 4 posn: 221  35 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; R
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 4 cel: 5 posn: 252  35 setPri: 0 addToPic:) ; A
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 5 cel: 0 posn:  13 113 setPri: 7 addToPic:) ; Left girl
    ((View new:) view: 60 loop: 6 cel: 0 posn: 306 113 setPri: 7 addToPic:) ; Right girl
 
    ; Now create views for the photo parts.
    ((= dressView   (View new:)) view: 60 loop: 0 cel: 0 setPri: 1 posn: 154 981 init:)
    ((= faceView    (View new:)) view: 60 loop: 1 cel: 5 setPri: 2 posn: 154 981 init:)
    ((= hairView    (View new:)) view: 60 loop: 2 cel: 1 setPri: 3 posn: 154 981 init:)
    ((= earringView (View new:)) view: 60 loop: 3 cel: 4 setPri: 4 posn: 154 981 init:)
 
    ; I left out most of the answers in the interest of fairplay and conciseness.
    (switch (Random 1 16)
      (1 (= dress 0) (= face 5) (= hair 1) (= earring 4) (= phoneNum "555-7448"))
      (2 (= dress 1) (= face 5) (= hair 2) (= earring 4) (= phoneNum "555-5968"))
      ; ...
      (15 (= dress 2) (= face 4) (= hair 0) (= earring 2) (= phoneNum "555-5633"))
      (16 (= dress 1) (= face 1) (= hair 3) (= earring 2) (= phoneNum "555-5834"))
    )
 
    ; Now apply the traits chosen above.
    (dressView   posn: 154 81 setLoop: 0 setCel: dress)
    (faceView    posn: 154 81 setLoop: 1 setCel: face)
    (hairView    posn: 154 81 setLoop: 2 setCel: hair)
    (earringView posn: 154 81 setLoop: 3 setCel: earring)
 
    (Animate)
    (Display "© 1988 by Sierra On-Line, Inc." dsCOORD 60 176 dsCOLOR 1 dsBACKGROUND 3)
  )
 
  (method (doit)
    (Format @input "555-")
    (Print
      "Please find this girl's picture in your little black book, then type her telephone number here:"
      #at -1 144
      #width 248
      #font gFont
      #edit @input 11 ; add a textbox, max length 11.
    )
 
    ; Reminder: like in C, StrCmp returns zero if the inputs are equal, and zero is false. Hence the not.
    (if (not (StrCmp @input phoneNum))
      (gRoom newRoom: 90)
    else
      (Print "Sorry, but you need to spend more time staring at beautiful women!
              In order to play this game, you must have the original documentation.
              If you've lost your little black book, please telephone Sierra's
              Customer Support Department at the number printed on your disks.")
      (= gQuit true)
    )
  )
)

I can think of a few ways to improve this, and in fact I already did in some places — this is not the original LSL2 copy protection! Can you think of more ways to improve this script?

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What do SQ5 and LSL5 have in common?

Things being typed out in their introduction.

In Space Quest 5, the introduction has a sequence where Roger Wilco dictates a captain’s log. The text appears word-for-word, though it’s pretty easy to modify the script code and make it character-by-character. But before I can explain the intricacies of that scene, I must ensure you know how a Scriptworks.

No, not a script file, a Script object. They are in essence state machines, with a state property, a changeState method, a cue method, and two timer properties, cycles and seconds. The changeState method is the beef of it all, containing the code for each state. The cue method simply takes the current state, adds one, then invokes changeState with that value. The doit method checks if either of the two timers is nonzero, decrements them accordingly, and invokes cue when time runs out. In general, you only need to implement your own changeState. Other objects may also cue a script. A good example would be waiting for an Actor to move to a particular position. They would know which Script is waiting for them and cue them at the appropriate time. Until then, the Script sits on its thumbs.

Knowing that, let’s take a look at the captain’s log:

; Earlier in the file...
(local
  [logInput 200]
  [logWritten 200]
  ; Remember: these are 16-bit values, so 400 characters.
  page
  length
  cursor
)
 
(instance sCaptainsLog of Script
  (method (changeState newState)
    (switch (= state newState)
      (0
        (Message msgGET 104 1 0 0 page @logInput) ; Grab the current page worth of text.
        (= length (StrLen @logInput)) ; Remember how long the line is.
        (= cursor 0) ; Reset our typing cursor
        (= cycles 1) ; Near-immediately continue -- we could self-cue though?
      )
      (1
        (repeat
          ; Copy one character...
          (StrAt @logWritten cursor (StrAt @logInput cursor))
          ; ...and add a terminating zero so we don't write garbage.
          (StrAt @logWritten (++ cursor) 0)
 
          ; Stop copying if we find...
          (if
            (or
              (== (StrAt @logInput (- cursor 1)) 32) ; a space...
              (== (StrAt @logInput (- cursor 1)) 0) ; or the end of the text.
            )
            (break)
          )
        )
 
        ; Put what we've copied so far on screen.
        (Display @logWritten dsCOORD 40 10 dsCOLOR 254 dsFONT 1307 dsWIDTH 250)
 
        ; If we haven't reached the end of the text yet...
        (if (> length cursor)
          (-- state) ; rewind to state 0 so the next cue is for state 1 again!
          (= ticks 15)
        )
      )
      (2
        ; The rest doesn't matter here.
      )
    )
  )
)

If one wished to write character-by-character, you’d just remove most of the repeat:

(StrAt @logWritten cursor (StrAt @logInput cursor))
(StrAt @logWritten (++ cursor) 0)
 
(Display @logWritten dsCOORD 40 10 dsCOLOR 254 dsFONT 1307 dsWIDTH 250)
 
(if (> length cursor)
  (-- state)
  (= ticks 15)
)

That was pretty easy, all things considered. I think the more interesting example to study would be the subtitle in Leisure Suit Larry 5 – Passionate Patti does Pittsburgh a Little Undercover Work.

First, we need a few local variables and, just to keep things orderly, a procedure:

(local
  cursor
  typePos
  [subtitle 50] = "Passionate Patti does PittsbuA Little Undercover Work"
  ; Notice this: "Pittsbu" is character 22 to 29.
  [backspaces 12]
)
(procedure (typeAway &tmp [oneChar 2] char underbits)
  ; Grab the current character to type.
  (= char (StrAt @subtitle cursor))
  ; Put it in a string -- just that character and a terminating null.
  (Format @oneChar "%c" char)
 
  ; Draw it, preserving what was underneath.
  (= underbits (Display @oneChar dsCOORD typePos 160 dsCOLOR global128 dsWIDTH 7 dsALIGN alLEFT dsFONT global173 dsSAVEPIXELS))
 
  (if (and (< 21 cursor) (< cursor 29)) ; Are we typing "Pittsburgh"?
    (= [backspaces (- cursor 22)] underbits) ; Then put those underbits pointers in the backspaces array.
  else
    (UnLoad 133 underbits) ; No need for these underbits, throw 'em away.
  )
 
  (= typePos (+ typePos 7)) ; Advance our drawing cursor...
  (if (== 32 char) (= typePos (- typePos 2))) ; ...but make the space a little bit thinner.
)

Further down there’s a Script that handles the entire opening cartoon. I’ll skip the boilerplate and only show the relevant parts.

(14
  (patti setMotion: MoveTo 335 140) ; This all happens while Patti walks past.
  (= cursor 0) ; Reset our type.
  (= typePos 3)
  (larry setScript: sLarryCartoon) ; Larry reacts on his own.
  (= cycles 1)
)
(15
  (typeAway) ; Type ONE character.
  (typewriter play:) ; Make some noise...
 
  (if (< (++ cursor) 29) ; Increment the cursor -- if it's not at the 'u' in "Pittsbu" yet...
    (= cycles (Random 3 5)) ; ...randomly delay the next character...
    (-- state) ; ...and rewind as shown in SQ5.
  else
    (= cycles 10) ; We've reached the 'u'. Wait and cue up state 16.
  )
)
(16
  ; Grab the right underbits from our array and restore it.
  (Display "" dsRESTORE [backspaces (- (-- cursor) 22)])
  ; Underbits include not only pixel data but also their bounds, so that's easy.
 
  (backSpace play:)
  (if (> cursor 22) ; Are we not yet back at the space before "Pittsbu"?
    (= cycles 4) ; Then rewind at four cycles a backspace.
    (-- state)
  else
    (= typePos 153) ; Reset to where the 'P' was...
    (= cursor 29) ; ...and skip to the 'A' in "A Little"
    (= cycles 10)
  )
)
(17
  ; The rest is much the same as state 15...
  (typeAway)
  (typewriter play:)
 
  ; ...except for this check.
  (if (< (++ cursor) (StrLen @subtitle))
    (-- state)
    (= cycles (Random 3 5))
  else
    (= cycles 10)
  )
)
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Unusual arrow keys and cursor behavior

Most players of SCI games would naturally gravitate to using the mouse if it’s an SCI1 game or later. With SCI0 using a text parser and no pathfinding it strikes me personally as more efficient to just use the arrow keys in those games. But that’s just me. The important part here is that some SCI11 games don’t respond to the arrow keys the same way as others do.

SCI0 being effectively stateless in a way, pressing the arrow keys will cause your character to start walking in that direction. Clicking somewhere causes them to walk there in a straight line until something gets in the way. In SCI1 the icon bar introduced a kind of state in that you have several active cursors. In all but a few adventure games, pressing the arrow keys will cause your character to move if the current cursor is Walk. Otherwise, the cursor itself moves around. So if the current cursor is, let’s say, Look, the little eye moves instead of the main character. Unless of course you’d already set them on their way. And of course (unless you’re playing the original KQ5) clicking somewhere with the Walk cursor makes your character find their way around obstacles towards that point.

Two exceptions to this rule that I know of are Space Quest 5 and King’s Quest 6. It turns out if you press the arrow keys with the Walk cursor out, the cursor itself moves. Why is that?

Obviously, there’s something in the game scripts that causes both the usual and specific behavior. Let’s look at both.

The usual behavior is enabled by the Ego class and its handleEvent method. Called from User, this method checks for direction and walk events. If it’s the former, an arrow key was pressed or a joystick was nudged. If it’s the latter, we clicked the Walk cursor somewhere. How do we know it’s Walk? Because User only calls this method if it was. Any other cursor, it runs further down and ends up calling another script that handles moving the cursor around if you press an arrow key.

(method (handleEvent pEvent &tmp eType dir)
  (= eType (pEvent type?))
  (cond
    ; First, see if we have a script that wants the event.
    ((and script (script handleEvent: pEvent)) true)
 
    ; See if it's a direction event
    ((& eType evJOYSTICK)
      (= dir (pEvent message?))
 
      ; don't claim dirStop/CENTER
      (if (and (== dir CENTER) (& eType evKEYBOARD))
        (return (pEvent claimed?))
      )
 
      ; Pressing the same key that started a motion again should stop
      (if (and (& eType evKEYBOARD) ; it's a key
               (== dir (gUser prevDir?)) ; same dir as before
               (IsObject mover)) ; ego is moving
        (= dir CENTER)
      )
 
      ; In the case of a keyDown event, keep the previous direction,
      ; so we know what key stops ego.
      (gUser prevDir: dir)
 
      ; Actor::setDirection sets ego off to walk.
      (self setDirection: dir)
      (pEvent claimed: true)
    )
 
    ((& eType evVERB)
      (if (& eType evMOVE)
        (switch gEgoUseObstacles
          (0 (self setMotion: MoveTo (pEvent x?) (+ (pEvent y?) z)))
          (1 (self setMotion: PolyPath (pEvent x?) (+ (pEvent y?) z)))
          (2 (self setMotion: PolyPath (pEvent x?) (+ (pEvent y?) z) null false))
        )
        (gUser prevDir: 0)
        (pEvent claimed: true)
      else
        (super handleEvent: pEvent)
      )
    )
    (else (super handleEvent: pEvent))
  )
  (return (pEvent claimed?))
)

You might notice the bit about gEgoUseObstacles.  Setting that to zero effectively makes clicks act like in SCI0. At least to the player — the script code is somewhat different.

Now that just leaves the question of why these two games don’t react like that. And it’s really very simple. KQ6 and SQ5 do it each in their own slightly different way, but the basic trick is the same. Because KQ6 seems a bit neater to me, I’ll show that one first:

(instance ego of Ego
  ; Irrelevancies elided
 
  (method (handleEvent pEvent)
    (return
      (if (& (pEvent type?) evJOYSTICK)
        ; Refuse to handle any directional inputs
        (return false)
      else
        ; Let the original Ego class figure it out
        (super handleEvent: pEvent &rest)
      )
    )
  )
)

Simple, huh? Because this returns false for any direction events, User will always end up percolating the event down to PseudoMouse and as such the Walk cursor is moved by the keyboard or joystick instead of the player character. Now let’s see how this compares to Space Quest 5.

(class SQEgo of Ego
  ; Irrelevancies elided
 
  (method (handleEvent pEvent &tmp eType eMsg)
    (= eType (pEvent type?))
    (= eMsg (pEvent message?)) ; woo wasted effort!
    (return
      (cond 
        ((and script (script handleEvent: pEvent)) true)
        ((& eType evJOYSTICK) (return false))
        (else (super handleEvent: pEvent &rest))
      )
    )
  )
)

Seems pretty clear considering what we already know. So much so I won’t bother documenting it much.

The SCI Companion SCI11 template game is based on SQ5 so by default this too applies to any game you make with it. The obvious way to remove this then is to remove GameEgo::handleEvent. I did, and I haven’t looked back since.

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On SCI Windows – Part 7 – The Dating Pool

It was inevitable, really, that I’d end this series with my own game. The Dating Pool uses a simplified take on BorderWindow, with the ability to change the thickness removed.

could’ve just used a BorderWindow, in fact, with bevelWid and shadowWid both set to 1 and I’d get the exact same result. This exact style was in fact one of the examples I’ve shown back there! But I did not, if only because I use titles sometimes.

(class cdWindow of SysWindow
  (properties
    topBordColor 7
    lftBordColor 6
    rgtBordColor 4
    botBordColor 3
    titleBack 3
    titleColor 255
  )
 
  (method (open &tmp oldPort screens)
    ; The established setup
    (= screens VISUAL)
    (if (!= priority -1) (|= screens PRIORITY))
 
    ; Make room for the edges
    (= lsTop (- top 2))
    (if title (-= lsTop 9))
    (= lsLeft (- left 2))
    (= lsRight (+ right 3))
    (= lsBottom (+ bottom 3))
 
    ; Set our custom style
    (= type 128)
 
    ; Always top priority
    (= priority 15)
    (super open:)
 
    ; Now we draw, on the whole screen.
    (= oldPort (GetPort))
    (SetPort 0)
 
    ; Draw our fill...
    (Graph grFILL_BOX top left bottom right screens back 15)
 
    ; Custom title bar support!
    (if title
      (-= top 9)
      (+= bottom 1)
      (Graph grFILL_BOX top left (+ top 9) right screens botBordColor titleBack)
      (Display title dsCOORD left top dsWIDTH (- right left) dsCOLOR titleColor dsFONT 999 dsMODE alCENTER)
    )
 
    ; Draw the frame
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE (- top 1) (- left 1) (- top 1) right topBordColor priority screens)
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE (- top 1) (- left 1) (- bottom 1) (- left 1) lftBordColor priority screens)
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE (- bottom 1) left (- bottom 1) right botBordColor priority screens)
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE top right (- bottom 2) right rgtBordColor priority screens)
 
    ; Draw our drop shadow
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE bottom (+ left 1) bottom right 0 priority screens)
    (Graph grDRAW_LINE top (+ right 1) bottom (+ right 1) 0 priority screens)
 
    ; Show what we have wrought.
    (Graph grUPDATE_BOX (- top 1) (- left 1) (+ bottom 1) (+ right 1) VISUAL)
    (SetPort oldPort)
  )
)

Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that the color properties are set to various grayscales while the image up top is green. This is simply because the instance of this cdWindow class has those colors. The control panel, in contrast, is tan.

And that’s the end of this series. If you have any other SCI games (preferably SCI11 or earlier) that you’d like to see, drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do. Barring any of that though…

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