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SlimBUK

SCUMMVM-like OS independant platform

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SCUMMVM has ensured that we can play old classics like DOTT, Indiana Jones, etc on devices that couldn't have been imagined when the games themselves were being developed. This ability has given them lasting appeal and a valuable place in the small cultural niche that we call gaming history.

I was wondering if it would be a good idea to develop DFA with the far future in mind, releasing a game that runs on a virtual machine that can then be rewritten for the needs of the OSs that want to run the game. This could be really handy for future Double Fine too, and mean that they wouldn't have to spend any extra money porting a game to a different platform, just change the VM.

any thoughts?

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That would be really great, but it depends on what type of engine they choose to use. When Emulating the scumm games you don't need all that power, face it they were made a long time ago. And it would probably be easier to port the new game to the native OS.

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Oh it would definitely be easier to port DFA to platforms than make a new platform entirely, but it would be a long term investment to minimise the amount of work required in future. Let's say DF make 5 games for this thing, which runs on windows,ios and linux. Suddenly IBM come up with OS/3 and it's the most amazing thing in the world and everyone needs to port their games to this new platform or miss out on some deliciously seductive moolah.

Porting 5 games would, I imagine, be significantly more expensive than porting the one VM system.

Perhaps it's not appropriate to do this now, for DFA. However, I really think there should be a change. One of the problems I have with the games industry how shockingly short term it is- unlike films or music, you can't obtain some of the greatest games ever made unless you break the law. How dumb is that?

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If the game engine is not too technically demanding, what about eventually giving the code to the ScummVM developers so that they can open it up to more and future platforms?

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I'd think it would be more work to make the game compatible with ScummVM than it would to make it compatible with the various devices it supports. Why should it be emulated or virtualized anyway? ScummVM virtualizes those games because newer computers won't play them. That's the only reason. So the engine has to be reverse engineered or open sourced for ScummVM to support it. Integrating an engine (even an open source one) into ScummVM is a whole extra heap of processes, problems, and headaches. A process easily bypassed by just developing the engine to be compatible with those platforms independently. ScummVM would just make things take longer than necessary. In the long run, if DF makes more adventures with their new engine it wouldn't really cut that much time off of compatibility. All you have to do is compile it for a different platform anyway, assuming it was programmed with compatibility for other platforms in mind, that is. For iOS devices, and game consoles it'd be a little extra work but not much, I'd think.

Also, I doubt it would be in DF's best interest to be subject to and limited to ScummVM. They'd rather have the whole show and they can run everything just fine on their own. ScummVM is irrelevant in this case and, honestly.

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At least we currently have the option to break the law, but some years from now, we'll see a lot of games disappear into nothingness. Single-player PC games aren't a problem but multiplayer and console games have a more risky future. Not that I normally care much about those, but more and more interesting stuff is showing up exclusively on those.

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Pretty sure Tim has said they're probably using off-the-shelf software, so I doubt they'll be making their own reusable Scumm-like platform.

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