Forum posts

Forum: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

Thread: GOG and Steam "versions" for running King's Quest VI FAQ

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

New players may find it convenient, and legal, to buy the Steam or GOG "versions" of the games and use them to speedrun. However, after a few runs they may wonder why their times are not competitive with the other runs on the board. This is because the Steam and GOG "versions" use an emulator named "ScummVM" as a means to play the game on a modern computer. If you were to download the files for the game and run the sierra.exe executable in the folder you will get a prompt from Windows stating "This app can't run on your PC" meaning that dos based applications do not run on a 64-bit PC natively. Unless you have an old 32-bit PC knocking about, then an emulator is necessary, but why is ScummVM not suitable for running King's Quest VI?
Here are a few points of interest:
First of all I would like to address something: you may notice that I am putting "version" in quotation marks when I refer to GOG and Steam. This is because GOG and Steam are distribution platforms selling digital "distributions" of these games. These distributions come bundled with an emulator that has been configured to work on modern PCs, as according to them. These are not "versions". Versions of Dos games refer to revisions of the engine, game's code, and localizations done by Sierra. Here is a link to a wiki page listing all the different SCI (or Sierra Creative Interpreter) engine games and their respective versions: https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/Sierra_Game_Versions#SCI_Games
A: ScummVM artifically throttles, or sets the cpu it is emulating to a certain mHz, which makes it fine for a casual experience, but not for speedrunning. Why is that? Certain tricks, such as the zips require a certain speed to be fully utilized. At slower speed you will see Alexander's legs moving very fast, and that is good, but it isn't as fast as he could be. Using DosBox ECE set to max cycles and dynamic core the zips are nearly instantaneous, which is what you would want with a speedrun.
B: While somewhat unrelated to the GOG or Steam releases of the game, our customized for speedrunning version of ScummVM, dubbed "Quan's ScummVM" as it was customized by community member UrQuan, exhibits a bug on faster CPUs when climbing the cliffs of logic. With the "Enable speed throttle" option in ScummVM disabled, holding enter when climbing the cliffs of logic on even a 4th gen intel processor will cause Alexander to constantly stumble and give the all too familiar "Woah wait a minute" voice line. Thus, we do not use this version as it only works on slower CPUs.

For these reasons, and more, we in the KQ6 speedrunning community prefer to use DosBox ECE (Enhanced Community Edition) for running the game. We have specific configurations to the .conf file to maximize speed and ensure as much stability as possible during speedruns. If you wish to buy the game legally and use it for speedrunning, then a little setup is required. Fortunately, there is a guide posted under "Guides" on this page to help get you setup doing so.

In conclusion, the GOG and Steam "versions" confusion is something that is always going to be present when talking about these games, but hopefully this post helped mitigate it. Speedrunning these old dos games is not quite as "plug-n-play" as console games, but with a little knowledge and light education it can be done easily and without many problems. Personally, I wish that we could have one emulator that was PnP to run every King's Quest game, and ScummVM would be my choice for that as it is open sourced to anyone wanting to make their own version, but we currently do not have someone in the community with the knowledge and experience to do so.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Forum: King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride

Thread: GOG and Steam "versions" for running King's Quest VII FAQ

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

(edited: )

New players may find it convenient, and legal, to buy the Steam or GOG "versions" of the games and use them to speedrun. However, after a few runs they may wonder why their times are not competitive with the other runs on the board. This is because the Steam and GOG "versions" use emulators named "ScummVM" and "DosBox" as a means to play the game on a modern computer. If you were to download the files for the game and run the sierra.exe executable in the folder you will get a prompt from Windows stating "This app can't run on your PC" meaning that dos based applications do not run on a 64-bit PC natively. Unless you have an old 32-bit PC knocking about, then an emulator is necessary. So why are these distributions not suitable for running King's Quest VII?
Here are a few points of interest:
First of all I would like to address something: you may notice that I am putting "version" in quotation marks when I refer to GOG and Steam. This is because GOG and Steam are distribution platforms selling digital "distributions" of these games. These distributions come bundled with an emulator that has been configured to work on modern PCs, as according to them. These are not "versions". Versions of Dos games refer to revisions of the engine, game's code, and localizations done by Sierra. Here is a link to a wiki page listing all the different SCI (or Sierra Creative Interpreter) engine games and their respective versions: https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/Sierra_Game_Versions#SCI_Games

A: These distributions are meant for a casual experience. They were configured as such by individuals (or even an individual for the DosBox distribution) to cater to the casual audience. The configurations were not mandated by any Sierra employees, but Our goal in speedrunning is to complete the games as fast as possible, and as such we have researched the best emulator and configurations to meet that end.

The following two points will be focused on the GOG distribution as Steam comes packed with DosBox 0.74, but is still pertinent as the version and configuration conflicts with what is used for runs.

B: ScummVM artifically throttles, or sets the cpu it is emulating to a certain mHz, which makes it fine for a casual experience, but not for speedrunning. Why is that? Certain tricks, such as the mashing movement tech, does not work quite as well in ScummVM due to a longer pause when getting the "X" cursor.

C: ScummVM is an old emulator with many MANY patches thrown into it over the years that have make subtle changes in the games. These are not readily apparent upon a casual playthrough, but they will once you spend a good enough amount of time speedrunning. As well as patches fixing old glitches there is also the possibility of bugs that were inadverdently left in the code that were never fixed. For example: the spots where the out of bounds glitches were routed in the speedrun cannot be performed as the paths that Rosella takes were patched to not be traversed; however, as a result there are other out of bounds areas that she CAN access, but they do not save as much time as those patched. That was just one example of both a patch and bug in ScummVM, and could be many others in there, but we currently do not have anyone in the community who could go through it's code with a fine toothed comb to pick them all out.

For these reasons, and more, we in the KQ7 speedrunning community prefer to use DosBox ECE (Enhanced Community Edition) for running the game. We have specific configurations to the .conf file to maximize speed and ensure as much stability as possible during speedruns(KQ7 is still a buggy mess). If you wish to buy the game legally and use it for speedrunning, then a little setup is required. Fortunately, there is a guide posted under "Guides" on this page to help get you setup doing so.

In conclusion, the GOG and Steam "versions" confusion is something that is always going to be present when talking about these games, but hopefully this post helped mitigate it. Speedrunning these old dos games is not quite as "plug-n-play" as console games, but with a little knowledge and light education it can be done easily and without many problems. Personally, I wish that we could have one emulator that was PnP to run every King's Quest game, and ScummVM would be my choice for that as it is open sourced to anyone wanting to make their own version, but we currently do not have someone in the community with the knowledge and experience to do so.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Forum: King's Quest: Quest for the Crown

Thread: Why do the high scores look like a sped-up CPU?

Started by: TRS-90TRS-90

Antarctica? Wut?
KQ on DosBox ECE at max cycles with machine=tandy (runs it just a smidge faster) is how we run it currently. Getting an "exact" bead on hardware is a big bugbear for DOS speedruns and, personally, this is a fine compromise. Thanks for asking this question though. We are looking into some things right now for a possible "original speed" (name pending) sub category of any% and 100%. It is free game for anyone who would want to route it once it is organized. Fortunately there are multiple runs on the board that are at a lower cycles speed so their routes can be used as a foundation.

 

Forum: King's Quest: Quest for the Crown

Thread: Why do the high scores look like a sped-up CPU?

Started by: TRS-90TRS-90

Hey if you could join the discord we are having a discussion about this. We can also help you get up on running this and any other King's Quest games.

 

Forum: King's Quest: Quest for the Crown

Thread: Why do the high scores look like a sped-up CPU?

Started by: TRS-90TRS-90

We run the game on dosbox at max cycles.

 

Forum: Full Throttle

Thread: Any% != Any Percent?

Started by: PunchBunPunchBun

You can try it on dosbox and if it doesn't work on that, then it is added to scummvm.

 

Forum: King's Quest: Mask of Eternity

Thread: Banning segmented runs.

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

(edited: )

Segmented runs are now banned for this game. The reasoning for doing so is as follows:
1) I have written a guide on how to get the game properly set up so it will run in 3dfx set to 800x600, omit the "copying files to hard drive" loading screens, circumvent crashes, and run in a borderless window set to whatever resolution you want. I have currently ran through the game multiple times with this setup and it has not crashed on me once.
2) It was discussed in the King's Quest Speedrunning discord that segmented runs are better used as tech demonstrations and route examples. They are relics of the past where game capture software was rudimentary at best (ala SDA days); this is no longer the case with OBS being widely available.
3) The biggest concern is free reign to splice and fake a run. I would rather circumvent this, and any suspicion, entirely by banning editing of a run.

Runs will now be obligated to have a livesplit window present or be livestreamed without ANY editing of the recorded run. Any run thought to have been modified will be immediately invalidated and the runner considered for permanent run rejection on the board. The current two segmented runs will be removed and the runners asked to submit new runs that are single segment.

Any questions or discussion can be done on the discord server linked on this page.

PandoraPandora and Bluescreen18Bluescreen18 like this. 

Forum: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Thread: Amiga runs

Started by: MilkToastMilkToast

Join the discord so we can discuss the routes and stuff.

 

Forum: Maniac Mansion

Thread: Moderator whereabouts

Started by: DontTouchtheDoorDontTouchtheDoor

From what I hear El-Nino is difficult to come in contact with (a buddy of mine has been trying to contact him for a long time) so idk. If he never responds you can always submit a ticket to the global mods and they can add someone else as moderator.

 

Forum: Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven

Thread: All Awards and Obelisks written route

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

Thanks a lot Anerag. I'll be sure to if I get stuck.

 

Forum: Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven

Thread: All Awards and Obelisks written route

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

I have an old route for this category that Anerag gave me, but I am sure it is outdated by now. I intended to run the category, but unfortunately never got around to it. I am more than willing to dive in now though. Anyone have an updated written route? Thanks in advance.

DvD_01DvD_01 likes this. 

Forum: The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

Thread: Real Hardware

Started by: authorbluesauthorblues

@authorblues Would love to man. I know you got a lot of stuff to manage and I'm experienced with this genre of speedgames.

 

Forum: The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

Thread: Real Hardware

Started by: authorbluesauthorblues

I hadn't thought about that Fry, and I agree with it. Super Sleuth is indeed the only route that has RNG come into play so it would need that as a factor, but any% is fine without it. I say lets do that. If it is unanimous, then we can add a clause to the rules and a forum post explaining the difference and possibly where to acquire each distribution?

 

Forum: The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

Thread: Real Hardware

Started by: authorbluesauthorblues

Another thing I should mention that I came across: there are distributions of this game on various websites that have the copy protection sorted to always be Celie. While this sounds like a nice convenience (and trust me it is), it comes with the caveat of having the RNG (cane location, cigar location, elevator position, etc) completely sorted to one position. A tell for this version is if the chandelier never stops shaking as it is only supposed to shake a bit and stop signifying it as a death trap. As there is only one version of the game running on one version of the engine (0.000.631 Colonel's Bequest 1.000.046) we can determine that this was simply a modification done by a fan at one point and then widely distributed throughout the internet. I have not determined if the paid for distributions (GOG, Steam, etc) have this modification, but I know a lot of websites that offer a free download do.

So the question: should this be allowed in speedruns? I personally consider any kind of RNG apart of the experience and a factor of speedruns so I say ban it.

 

Forum: The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

Thread: Real Hardware

Started by: authorbluesauthorblues

(edited: )

I would suggest ScummVM as it foregoes what we call the "input buffer overload" where if you are holding down a key and release it you will have trailing inputs of that key until the queue for them has run out. I am sure you both are aware of this because it is on full blast with 3k cycles. I should note that is primarily exhibited on DosBox and is dependent on what keyboard connection you are using for native (Ps/2, USB, or a built in keyboard for a laptop).

Playing on native is more of a meme especially when it isn't a machine with native sound hardware (hence the PC speaker beeps recorded with my headset up next to them DarksydePhil style). It just isn't viable for everyone, and, as Quan said, emulators are about equal (my setup is so jank with it too it isn't even funny). That being said if my Any% run is to be denied for that, then I have no problem. Like I said above I can easily get that time, and more than likely a better one, with ScummVM using my experience and route.
Another nice thing that you can do with ScummVM, and this is more of a convenience to us, is that you can make a save at the beginning of the game and directly load the game from there bypassing the copy protection. I've been doing this with other games like King's Quest IV which has similar copy protection or KQVI which has a long unskippable opening sequence.

 

Forum: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

Thread: Amiga Version (Emulator)

Started by: MilkToastMilkToast

https://www.speedrun.com/kings_quest_vi_revolution_software
Page has been created so whenever you want to submit your run feel free.

 

Forum: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

Thread: Amiga Version (Emulator)

Started by: MilkToastMilkToast

You'll note that there is an emulators "variable" that can be set and it is to distinguish what emulator is used, or if you are playing on native hardware.

 

Forum: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Thread: Amiga runs

Started by: MilkToastMilkToast

(edited: )

Welcome! Great to see new people interested in running FoA.

The Scumm+CD rule is primarily in place for two reasons: the save/saveless categories (as quick saving in scummvm is significantly faster than DOSBox) and to avoid people submitting runs on tested inferior platforms like the Steam release. That said: we have been meaning to explore the other versions to see if they are comparable to CD+ScummVM in terms of timing and to see if there are other glitches/exploits/etc.

If you want you can join the discord linked on this page and we (UrQuan and I) can discuss this with you further. Make sure to talk in the Lucasarts_games room.

 

Forum: The Colonel's Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery

Thread: Couple questions regarding the run for this game.

Started by: ChuckGrodyChuckGrody

I'm gonna be looking into the routes too for some optimizations using some SCI related tricks I know of so I'll get back to you with that as well.

jtrostjtrost likes this.