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Old 07-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
neversummer
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Steam vs. ScummVM

Is there any noticeable differences when playing a LucasArts Steam release vs. playing it on ScummVM ? Just wondering if there's any point in buying the digital downloads, (MI:SE excluded of course).
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:19 AM   #2
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Even if the Steam versions are inferior, then it's legal to play copies on ScummVM.

The Fate of Atlantis CD version I've been playing actually belongs to my brother, it's about time I got the game myself.

And the prices are so low, you HAVE to buy them.

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Here's what I thought about FOA in an earlier post:

"It uses MIDI. I don't have the original game but the Steam version sounds noticeably worse than the FOA demo playing in ScummVM with MIDI. The instruments sound like there isn't enough reverb, they're a bit flat, and I'm not using the default Microsoft Wavetable Synthesis either (I have a Yamaha XG Soft Synth). I don't know which rendition is more faithful to the original but I prefer ScummVM, it's a shame you can't run the Steam version in it."
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #4
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My main problem with Steam is you can't just download the game as a separate entity I don't mind using Steam as an emulator similar to ScummVM but it bothers me I can't just download the game and play it by itself. I don't believe it would be to hard for LucasArts to do either.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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On further testing FOA does sound the same in ScummVM and Steam just as long as you're using the default windows MIDI, which is pretty awful compared to the MT-32 soundtrack here. They'd have been better off going with Adlib emulation.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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I like scummVM...


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Old 07-14-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Steam is better than ScummVM, especially for Last Crusade and FOA, but probably for The Dig and Loom, too. Just go and look at all the missing features and bugs at ScummVM's SourceForce site... Sure the games are "90%" compatible with ScummVM, but with Steam it's 100%, the real deal. ScummVM's poor emulation of the Indy IQ points (present in both games) was enough to stop me playing through them again, for example, but I've also encountered all kinds of weird stuff trying to play Last Crusade.

Yes, the dudes at ScummVM deserve medals their outstanding work, definitely, but it's nice being able to play the games again without any issues or missing features. So despite inferior sound quality, my vote is for Steam. (I really don't like the MT-32 sound track, either...)

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Old 07-14-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderPeel2001 View Post
Steam is better than ScummVM, especially for Last Crusade and FOA, but probably for The Dig and Loom, too. Just go and look at all the missing features and bugs at ScummVM's SourceForce site... Sure the games are "90%" compatible with ScummVM, but with Steam it's 100%, the real deal. ScummVM's poor emulation of the Indy IQ points (present in both games) was enough to stop me playing through them again, for example, but I've also encountered all kinds of weird stuff trying to play Last Crusade.

Yes, the dudes at ScummVM deserve medals their outstanding work, definitely, but it's nice being able to play the games again without any issues or missing features. So despite inferior sound quality, my vote is for Steam. (I really don't like the MT-32 sound track, either...)
I dont know what steam is but I still like ScummVM the most.


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Old 07-14-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Ah, I wasn't aware that there were significant bugs running FOA in ScummVM. I'll be sticking to the Steam version then.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, I played Fate of Atlantis through using ScummVM a couple of years ago and I don't remember any significant bugs. I didn't pay much attention to the IQ points part, though. Things must have got even better since then!


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Old 07-14-2009, 05:52 PM   #11
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Some games have been less buggy than others. I played through a few or ran a few on ScummVM 2-3 years ago, but the only noticeable type of bugs I came across had to do with character scaling or Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle had obnoxious pauses between characters talking. It could all be fixed by now, I have no idea. None of the compatibility ratings goes past 100% on the listed games that ScummVM supports. I think that's mostly just to cover their ass, whether the games are faitfully emulated or not.

ScummVM has done wonders for the Goblins series, which were all difficult to run correctly in the first place back in the early 90s. They even fixed the release bug on Goblins 3 CD version were the game would continuously freeze every 10 seconds or so if you had the background CD audio on. DOSBox couldn't even fix that bug. Now 15 years later I can play Goblins 3 on CD correctly as I would have loved to play back then.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:03 PM   #12
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I discovered a bug in Fate of Atlantis on ScummVM just today, in the Labyrinth, on fist path there's a place where Sophia doesn't want to come back in to the Labyrinth if you go back, then suddenly she teleported to me when I entered through a specific doorway. Rather odd.

Curse of Monkey Island was seriously bugged on ScummVM, graphically.

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Old 07-14-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordTrilobite View Post
Curse of Monkey Island was seriously bugged on ScummVM, graphically.
Really? I played through that myself on ScummVM a few years back and I had no problems I can remember. It seemed to be the same game I played through on Windows 95 or 98 systems. I think they fixed that awful bug where you can turn your screen black in the carnival though.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:27 PM   #14
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Yes, I have Windows XP, though the ScummVM version I used at the time was an older version, dunno which one.

The sprites left trails a lot, aspecially the subtext.

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Old 07-14-2009, 07:16 PM   #15
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I was going to say that Curse was one of the least buggy... Maybe you just had a old version of ScummVM? It's weird bugs, like the one you mention in FOA, that are probably so rare and minor that they obviously won't take priority... but I'd rather not have them (Assuming it was a bug in ScummVM and not the original game..! Never can tell when using ScummVM)

Of course ScummVM is AWESOME, don't get me wrong. I'm just glad that we have the official versions, with all the menus and everything, running again.

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Old 07-14-2009, 07:18 PM   #16
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Mind you that that bug in FOA was the ONLY bug I found, and I played it three times on ScummVM so far.

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:44 AM   #17
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It would really help if you could report any issues you find in ScummVM (recent version), on the bug tracker so they could be fixed in the future.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:22 AM   #18
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Do the Steam versions offer different pixel filters and resolutions? Can someone post a screen shot of one of the games running on a 1920X1200 monitor, (I'd imagine it looks best running in windowed mode)?
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:36 AM   #19
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They run at 640x480 and use the exact same filter as AdvMAME2x, but you can switch it off if you wish by pressing alt+s.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirben View Post
It would really help if you could report any issues you find in ScummVM (recent version), on the bug tracker so they could be fixed in the future.
Done it many times. Usually they're so obscure that nobody can be bothered to track down exactly what caused them (including me).

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Old 07-15-2009, 12:17 PM   #21
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I've not run into any problems or bugs in any Scumm games (including CMI, which my wife and I are playing through right now on the Wii). They might as well be 100% compatible from what I can see. I also don't care about the IQ points, though. But everything else is absolutely perfect.

So does Steam FOA use a General MIDI soundtrack then? Is there any way to make it play with the MT-32 instrument mapping? I'm wondering if it'd be possible to hook my MT-32 up and have it work with the Steam version.


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Old 07-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #22
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By the sounds of it, unfortunately not:

"Indy4 plays the music through Windows MIDI mapper, probably the MT-32 soundtrack remapped to General MIDI which sounds odd on my real MT-32 but fine on GM compliant devices."

http://www.vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=22176
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:25 PM   #23
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Well that sucks. I guess I shouldn't have expected otherwise, but the MT-32 will always be the definitive choice for music on these older games for me because that's what they were composed for. Ah well, I've still got my trusty 486 DX2 66 (as well as ScummVM)!


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Old 07-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #24
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I wish they'd done what they did with the XP-compatible re-release of Sam & Max - recorded the music from a real MIDI module (in that case a SC-55), in this case an MT-32. Windows MIDI is dreadful, and it doesn't sound much better with a Yamaha XG.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:34 PM   #25
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Both FOA and SnM used iMUSE. Making the soundtrack use digital recordings would take a lot of work.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:39 PM   #26
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Well, as I said they did it with Sam and Max in the LucasArts Classics release.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:46 PM   #27
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No, they didn't.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #28
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Then why does my copy of Sam & Max sound totally different if I copy the data files to ScummVM or DOSBox and use MIDI? Not only that, if I have my MIDI device muted or disabled I still get music. Or if I change between Microsoft Wavetable Synthesis, soundfonts in timidity++ and Yamaha XG softsynth there is no difference whatsoever in the music playback, yet if I do the same in ScummVM/DOSBox it comes out sounding totally different.

This is the LucasArts Classic UK re-release (not the one bundled with DOTT).
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:06 PM   #29
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Most likely because it's made to use only the MS softsynth. How big is the game then? The original version is 189 MB. If it really did have a complete recording of the soundtrack, the re-release should be significantly larger.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:19 PM   #30
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Okay, that explains it then, it is 189mb. The interpreter must be doing something a bit different to ScummVM, since it sounds a lot better than MS softsynth in ScummVM. Maybe it adds reverb and chorus effects.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:18 PM   #31
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From what I heard, the Steam versions are simply the original games running through Dosbox with some pre-made, and apparently sub-optimal, configurations. I also heard that it is possible to run DOS games purchased from Steam in Dosbox by simply click and dragging the game folder on the Dosbox.exe file (which also removes the need to have Steam installed and running to play these games). Anyone tried to run the Steam games directly in Dosbox to see if it was possible to play The Last Crusade with adlib music rather than internal speaker? (Launch the game by typing: "Indy256 a")

In my opinion, the wisest choice would be to encourage LucasArts by buying the games on Steam but aquire/hold on the original games files so you can run the games with the most optimal configuration rather than the poorly configurated Steam versions.

As for which is better between Dosbox and ScummVM, it's 50-50 in my opinion: Dosbox runs more games with generally less bugs, ScummVM is easier to use, runs on more platforms, has more features and can run the FM-Towns versions... the answer depends whether you know Dosbox enough to configure games that require CDs and it also depends on the games themselves:

Zak and Loom I prefer to play with ScummVM since the FM-Towns versions are greatly superior.
The Last Crusade and Fate Of Atlantis depends whether you care for the Indy Quotient or not: Dosbox if you do, ScummVM if you don't. I've also heard the Fists path of FOA had some issues in ScummVM, not sure if these have been corrected. On the other hand, ScummVM allows you to save during the action sequences if you suck badly at them.
Full Throttle I play in Dosbox because the game keeps crashing in the old mine road in ScummVM, even with the latest version.
For MM, MI1, MI2, S&M and DOTT it's only a matter of taste as they work fine with both Dosbox and ScummVM, IMO.
I have yet to replay The Dig and CMI so I don't know for these two.

Last edited by blueskirt; 07-15-2009 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Apparently wrong on the Dosbox tidbit
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:22 PM   #32
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I'm quite positive that LEC adventure games on Steam are not running through dosbox. They're native ports.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:25 PM   #33
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Some versions of Sam & Max came with redbook recordings of the main tracks... They still sounded cruddy to me. I don't like any of that stuff. To me it may as well ALL be general midi.

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:26 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueskirt View Post
From what I heard, the Steam versions are simply the original games running through Dosbox with some pre-made, and apparently sub-optimal, configurations.
Where did you hear that? The original .exe appears to be bundled with both games, which would work fine with DosBox, I believe. Is that what you're thinking of?

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #35
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The Steam versions don't use DOSBox, they use an interpreter written by Aaron Giles that was also used in the re-releases of Sam & Max and Full Throttle.

Here's his homepage:
http://www.aarongiles.com/scumm/index.html
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #36
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I am playing the Steam version of FoA. I started in the Wits Path, and I have encountered a bug that is stopping me from finishing the game. In the submarine, when I use the IndyWear, I don't get the whip. This is a known bug? whithout the whip I can't continue in the Labrynth.. I would appreciate any help here.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:38 PM   #37
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Just to set the record straight, no game supported by scummvm will ever pass 98% compatibility. And that is if the devs have the original source code for the game. Without source they will never mark it higher than 95%. Nobody wants to claim perfection.

Bugs in LEC games supported by scummvm are scarce these days and I think thunderpeel is giving them an unnecessary bad rep. Scummvm is by far one of the best things to happen to classic adventuregaming in recent years.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:16 PM   #38
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Releasing classic adventures on Steam is a good step though.

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Old 07-24-2009, 06:31 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Releasing classic adventures on Steam is a good step though.
Yes, I completely agree with this. Too bad I don't think game designers get royalties like musicians do. Maybe one day...
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