Logo Pending


Perspective is a tricky thing

This topic was suggested, more or less, by Phil Fortier.

What do these screenshots from DoomLeisure Suit Larry 3, and Secret of Monkey Island have in common?

Their perspective. Every single wall is a straight line. I put Doom there to show it’s not just adventure games, and Monkey Island because the arcs end in straight lines, but otherwise they all have the same perspective. Don’t believe your eyes? Here, let me spell it out for you:

This is one-point perspective, where lines converge to a single point.

Here’s a Youtube video I picked out at random from my search results while I ensured I wasn’t pulling crap out of my ass. You’ll notice a hallway like that could do well as an adventure game background.

They’re also a pain in the ass when you render your game’s backgrounds with a program that doesn’t do 1PP, like I do. I mean, I could use this copy of 3D Studio Max that I have collecting dust over here, but all my prefabs are in Daz Studio? So I gotta fake it somehow. Very carefully align the camera so the walls point straight up.

In this old version of Alhor’s Garage in The Dating Pool, the walls are not straight. So I went back and tweaked the camera along with a few other details.

I feel much better about this version. But for other scenes, to get enough floor space in view, I have to pull back the camera drastically. Normally you’d increase the floor space by angling the point of view down. I’m sure you can agree that in Chairman Kenneth’s office, the camera is pretty far up. If I tried to reproduce that image in Daz, I’d get diagonal walls. So how do you fix that?

There’s practically no floor space here! If I used this, the main character would have a line to move along, and if other characters were to try and pass there’d be almost no space to show it. Moving the camera up mostly increases the ceiling space…

And of course you could fake it by tilting the walls back to compensate.

Or you can just say fuck it and deem the perspective distortion negligible after downsampling.

*sigh*

I seriously wish I had the means to acquire some nicely painted backgrounds, even after years of demos with rendered ones.

[ , , , , , ] Leave a Comment

Skip a bit, brother

Ah yes. The skip button. You don’t see those often in most of the old Sierra adventure games, and to be honest I’m not interested enough in the later ones to check. Sue me. But how do they work?
As usual, let’s look at the scripts.

First, we have Leisure Suit Larry 5 – Passionate Patti does Pittsburgh, which shares its skip system with Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist. The only notable difference between the two is that, being an SCI11 game, the latter uses Messages instead of Text resources. This system has two dedicated parts to it, plus how the current scene reacts:

(instance icon5 of IconI
  ; ...
  (method (select)
    (return
      (if (and gFFRoom (super select: &rest))
        ; That is, if we had a gFFRoom set and the usual response to a button click was true.
        (gIconBar hide:)
        (if (Print "Do you really want to skip ahead?" #title "Fast Forward" #button "Yes" 1 #button "Oops" 0)
          (if (== gFFRoom 1000)
            ; In this case, we want to cue something.
            (if (IsObject gFFScript)
              (gFFScript cue:)
              (SetFFRoom 0)
            else
              (Print "ERROR: Object passed to SetFFRoom isn't an object you silly person!")
            )
          else
            ; In the *other* case, we just want to go somewhere.
            ; This option is good for larger cutscenes.
            (gRoom newRoom: gFFRoom)
            (= gFFRoom (+ gFFRoom 1000))
            ; ... I'm... not entirely sure what that was for.
          )
        )
      else
        (return 0)
      )
    )
  )
)
 
(procedure (SetFFRoom room script)
  (if (not room)
    (= gFFRoom 0)
    (= gFFScript null)
    (gIconBar disable: 5)
  else
    (= gFFRoom room)
    (if (and (> argc 1) (== room 1000))
      (= gFFScript script)
    )
    (gIconBar enable: 5)
  )
)

Call SetFFRoom with anything but 1000, and you set up a skip to another room. Call it with “room” 1000 and a cue-able object otherwise. Pretty simple, I don’t think I need to bother with a practical example.

Incidentally, this makes one of the examples of a non-standard procedure whose name is absolutely certain.

On to Leisure Suit Larry 6 – Shape Up or Slip Out. This is the low-res SCI11 version, but I sincerely doubt the SCI2 version is much different. It has only one shared part, the icon, without a setup procedure. Note that icon5 is exported as ScriptID 0 8, hence the references throughout.

(instance icon5 of BarIconI
  ; ...
  (method (doit &tmp theTarget)
    (cond 
      ((not gSkipTarget)
        ; Don't do anything if no skip was set up.
        0
      )
      ((not (IsObject gSkipTarget))
        ; Skip target is a number, so a room.
        (gButtonBar disable: (ScriptID 0 8)) ; icon5 that is.
        (= theTarget gSkipTarget)
        (= gSkipTarget null)
        (gRoom newRoom: theTarget)
      )
      (else
        ; Skip target is something to cue.
        (gButtonBar disable: (ScriptID 0 8))
        (= theTarget gSkipTarget)
        (= gSkipTarget null)
        (theTarget cue:)
      )
    )
  )
)

As an example, here’s the ladder-climbing sequence with Merrily:

(instance rm260 of LarryRoom
  (properties
    picture 260
    horizon 11
  )
 
  (method (init)
    (super init: &rest)
    (= gSkipTarget gRoom)
    ((ScriptID 0 8) enable:)
    (self setScript: toTower)
    ; ...
  )
 
  (method (cue)
    ; Called when we click the Fast Forward button.
    ((gRoom script?) setScript: forwardScript)
  )
)
 
(instance forwardScript of Script
  (properties)
 
  (method (changeState newState &tmp oldCursor)
    (switchto (= state newState)
      (
        (= cycles 2)
      )
      (
        (= oldCursor gCursor)
        (gGame setCursor: 999)
        (SetCursor 225 87)
        (if
          (Print
            addTitle: "Just Not Into Rubber, Larry?"
            addText: "Do you really want to miss out on what promises to be a unique experience, Larry?"
            addButton: 0 "Oops" 0 35
            addButton: 1 "Yes" 155 35
            init:
          )
          (self cue:)
        else
          (gGame setCursor: oldCursor)
          ; Reset the skip and get rid of this script.
          (= gSkipTarget gRoom)
          (self dispose:)
        )
      )
      (
        ; We chose to skip. Change up our inventory...
        (gEgo get: 40 put: 35 put: 31 put: 20 put: 2)
        (= gSkipTarget null)
        ((ScriptID 0 8) disable:)
        (gGame handsOff: changeScore: 20 174 hideControls:)
        (= cycles 2)
      )
      (
        (SetPort 0)
        (SetPort 0 0 190 320 10 0)
        (Bset 8)
        (gSounds stop:)
        (DrawPic 98 dpOPEN_EDGECENTER) ; Black screen
        (gCast eachElementDo: #hide)
        (= cycles 2)
      )
      (
        (gRoom newRoom: 620) ; Go to your room
      )
    )
  )
)

And then there’s The Dating Pool. It has a simple skip system with a single global, like LSL6, but comes in two parts like LSL5 and FPFP.

(instance SkipIcon of cdIconItem
  (method (select)
    (if gSkip
      ; I *could* ask for confirmation here...
      (gIconBar hide:)
      (if (IsObject gSkip)
        (gSkip cue:)
      else
        (NewRoom gSkip)
      )
      (return true)
    )
  )
)
 
(procedure (SetSkip skip)
  (= gSkip (if argc skip else 0))
  (if gSkip
    ; Unlike LSL6's ButtonBar, an IconBar's IconItem doesn't have enable or disable methods.
    (SkipIcon signal: (| icHIDEBAR icRELEASE icIMMEDIATE))
  else
    ; I could let gIconBar enable or disable the icon but nyeh.
    (SkipIcon signal: (| icHIDEBAR icRELEASE icIMMEDIATE icDISABLED))
  )
)

And an example:

(instance IntroScript of Script
  (method (changeState newState)
    (switchto (= state newState)
      (
        (HandsOff)
        (SetSkip skipScript)
        ; ...
      )
      ; ...
    )
  )
)
 
(instance skipScript of Script
  (method (cue)
    (DrawPic 150 dpFADEOUT)
    ; Put us at place we'd be if we let the cutscene play out.
    (gEgo
      init:
      posn: 90 130
      resetCycler:
      view: 0
      loop: 2
    )
    (gRoom setScript: RoomScript)
  )
)

(Update: I’d changed the skip script in The Dating Pool to use cue instead of doit and allow gSkip to be a room number. And then I forgot to update the example.)

[ , , , ] Leave a Comment

Observations on Larry 6’s death handler

Though the two versions of Leisure Suit Larry 6 have a mostly identical script for its death handler, there are some interesting differences in the high-res SCI2 version that I’ve noticed:

  1. The reason parameter is stored into a local variable, which is used throughout instead.
  2. There is no checking if the rewindScript parameter is an object.
  3. Adding the title and text to the Print references the messages directly instead of preloading them:
    ; SCI11
    (Message msgGET 82 2 0 reason 1 @theMessage)
    (Message msgGET 82 2 0 reason 2 @theTitle)
    ; then
    addTitle: @theTitle
    addText: @theMessage theMessageX theMessageY
     
    ; SCI2
    addTitle: 2 0 lReason 2 scriptNumber
    addText: 2 0 lReason 1 theMessageX theMessageY scriptNumber
  4. At the start of the loop, the SCI2 version calls (DoAudio audPLAY scriptNumber 2 0 lReason 1). You might recall that’s the Message key for the main joke. It stops the audio, should it still be playing, when processing your response.
  5. Setting the window background is done a little differently; Print exposes a back property so it doesn’t have to memorize, change, and restore a global window background setting. There’s no such property in SCI11’s Print.
[ , ] Leave a Comment

Hold up, let me try that again.

In Leisure Suit Larry 6 – Shape Up or Slip Out, there are many ways to die, much like any other Larry game or indeed any Sierra game. Interestingly, this one has a “Try Again” button! How does that work?

Let’s work it out backwards. Starting from the script that handles the death message, we find it takes two parameters. One we can quickly determine to be the reason Larry died, the other we can tell is some sort of reference to a Script instance. After all, at one point the procedure checks if it’s an object in the first place, and in another it tries to cue the thing:

(while (not theAnswer)
  (Print
    font: gFont
    addTitle: @theTitle
    addText: @theMessage theMessageX theMessageY
    addIcon: frameIcon 0 0 2 0
    addIcon:
      (deathIcon view: theView cel: 0 loop: theLoop yourself:) 0 0
      theIconX
      theIconY
  )
  (switch
    (= theAnswer
      (Print
        addButton: 1 2 0 3 1 (+ theMessageX 1) theButtonY scriptNumber
        addButton: 0 2 0 2 1 (- ((Print dialog?) nsRight?) 75) theButtonY scriptNumber
        init:
      )
    )
    (0 ; Try Again
      (gLarryWindow back: prevBackColor)
      (gLSL6 setCursor: oldCursor)
      (gSounds eachElementDo: #pause false)
      (if rewindScript (rewindScript cue:))
      (= theAnswer -1)
    )
    (1 ; Restore
      (= local19 0)
      (gLSL6 restore: hideControls: drawControls:)
      (= theAnswer 0)
    )
  )
)

So there’s two things that can happen when you click “Try Again”. Either rewindScript is valid and it gets cue‘d before EgoDead returns -1, or it merely returns -1.

Taking a step back, we’ll look at one point where it gets called. In my case, opening the door to the swimming pool:

(instance enterPoolScr of Script
  (method (changeState newState)
    (switchto (= state newState)
      (
        (gGame handsOff:)
        (if (gMusic handle?)
          ; Pause whatever we're playing
          (gMusic pause:)
        )
        (gEgo
          setSpeed: 8
          view: 901 ; Grabbing the door
          loop: 6
          cel: 0
          setCycle: End self
        )
      )
      (
        (sfx
          number: 518
          loop: 1
          play:
        )
        (barDoor
          view: 5101
          setCycle: End self
        )
        (= ticks 10) ; Can you see the possible mistake here?
      )
      (
        (gEgo
          view: 5101 ; \o/
          loop: 2
          cel: 0)
      )
      (
        (= ticks 180)
      )
      (
        ; This is it. This is where we call the death routine.
        (EgoDead 13 self)
      )
      (
        ; "Try Again" was chosen, so we reset everything.
        (if (gMusic handle?)
          ; Unpause
          (gMusic pause: false)
        )
        (gEgo
          normalize: 900 8 1
          cel: 2
        )
        (barDoor
          view: 510
          loop: 0
          cel: 0
        )
        (gGame handsOn:)
        (self dispose:)
      )
    )
  )
)

So! You click the hand on the pool door, it animates a bit, calls EgoDead with the correct reason. That in turn recognizes reason 13, picks out the little animation and window color, fetches the right text from its Message resource (noun 2, verb 0, condition 13, sequence 1 and 2 for the joke and title respectively), and displays the window. If you click “Restore”, it keeps looping until you actually do restore something. If you click “Try Again”, it cues the caller (enterPoolScr in this case), which then sets it up like you never clicked the door in the first place.

And that’s how it works.

[ , ] Leave a Comment

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.

[ , ] Leave a Comment

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?

[ , , ] Leave a Comment

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)
  )
)
[ , , ] Leave a Comment

Palette Cycling in Larry 5

I distinctly recalled just before posting this that one particular room in Leisure Suit Larry 5 – Passionate Patti does Pittsburgh a Little Undercover Work had a palette cycling effect that bit into the 64 global colors of the palette. So I enabled the debug handler, loaded up ScummVM, and Alt-T’d my way over to room 700.

…It looks perfectly right. That’s not right.

Now, you’ll notice the Fast Forward icon isn’t grayed out. That’s what you get when you cheat, but that’s hardly relevant here.

Had I remembered wrong? Was this the wrong screen? No, surely my memory isn’t that bad? Besides, old adventure games are relevant to my interests. I don’t tend to forget things about those.

But then again, this is ScummVM. What does DOSBox have to say?

Thank you, DOSBox. I figure it must be because ScummVM draws it all in truecolor mode, manually applying the effect to the background, as opposed to the original actually changing the VGA color palette.

(Any political implications are entirely in the reader’s head.)

[ , , , ] Leave a Comment

Adventure game background art

Ah, Sierra. You gotta love the beautiful background art in their VGA games. From the cartoony…

…to the outright pretty…

…you have to admit someone was credit to team.

But then there’s games where they seemingly dropped the ball (in my opinion) for whatever style-related reason…

…or simply didn’t do much “background art” at all…

And that makes me feel…

Well, okay, I guess, about using edited Gmod screenshots from Letrune in “The Dating Pool”, turning this…

…into this:

[ , , , , , , ] Leave a Comment