Skip to main content

Posts

Recent posts

Reviewing & Polishing

Hello! Because I think I am mostly done with the new feature implementation, this week was mostly cleaning up the tree, and getting it ready for a PR!Last week, I mentioned some special engines which were ported a little differently, so let's start with those.The MetaEngines in ScummVM uses game detection to detect these games and then uses MetaEngineConnect to instantiate an engine and run it. However, if we fail at the very first step, i.e detecting a game - what happens then? For this, ScummVM uses "fallbackDetection" to approximately find the closest match to the game engine that could be used.The AGI engine was one of my first test engines because it had an additional dependency on fallback detection, which I wanted to test from the get-go. Turns out that the resources for fallbackDetection were only used by the detection features in this case, so the object file was shifted to the DETECT_OBJS variable which would eventually be linked with the executable.However, t…

Some exciting progress to share, some new things to do!

Hello! Some very nice progress this week I can't wait to tell you about. Let's just jump right into it!So, last week I shared that even though I had something cooked up that was somewhat correct, it wouldn't really be suitable as a proper solution. I also discussed briefly on what was the approach I was taking on next. Because the new work would require cleaning up a lot, I just set up a new branch and cherry-picked some of the commits that would be relevant.
The plan did work out, and after laying out the brief structure I explained last week, some engines started to show life again. For some engines, the story was a little different though.. but we'll get to that next week because these might not be final, and I used my best judgment for them. Once the few engines were working well, I got started with porting all the engines over, and this week - I managed to convert them all to the new infrastructure! 79 engines in total, including the ones that are unstable! A very …

A huge jump of progress, & back at square 1?

Hello! What a busy week it has been, and I have some good things to share. In just over a little 3 days of time, I worked for a lot of time to implement the new idea I mentioned I had last week, and it was actually working quite well! I managed to implement the entire basic structure of it, as well as port over 8 of ScummVM's 79 engines to adapt to it!
So, what's the deal with this, and what did I do? The "idea" was just me getting a basic understanding of how things "could" work in a way.
Well, we were at the "createInstance" bridge where I left off last week. This is a member function of either a MetaEngine or an AdvanedMetaEngine class. The problem with this was this had engine code in it, so it couldn't be included in the executable. The basic idea around this was simply to remove it as a class - member function, and instead mark it as an export symbol. What we could then do, is in base class, provide a default functionality. These functions…

Touching upon all 3 tasks

Hello! So, this week I have done things that ranged across all my tasks. Recently I checked out our sister project, ResidualVM. ResidualVM's codebase is largely similar to ScummVM, but the main difference is the addition of capabilities to run 3D games. They also take regular snapshots from ScummVM to keep up-to-date. So, the work of RTL GUI which was merged in ScummVM was also present there.
When I was running the application with the Hebrew language, some popups and drop-down buttons looked quite different from the normal GUI. Upon a little investigation, it looked like paddings were being set wrong for the RTL-widgets set in the theme. This was because back when I was on my RTL task, I temporarily set a padding of "2" as a placeholder to check, and then completely forgot about it as the difference was ever so subtle. I'm glad though, that I found this, and opened a PR to fix it.






Last week I left off saying Eugene had some comments about my U32 task, so this was what…

Getting a better understanding & a little progress

Hello! The first few days this week, I spent trying to understand my task, and work on a small number of engines, and try to make games detect/work as a means to see if everything would work as expected. But first, some context.
ScummVM has a MetaEngine and a Engine.
MetaEngineA MetaEngine is responsible for, as the name would suggest, a meta-data related things before we actually start the engine. This is an abstract class, and each specific engine must inherit it and have their own implementation of it.
Alternatively, we also have an AdvancedMetaEngine, inheriting from MetaEngine, which provides a default Game Detection algorithm - which saves individual engine developers the hassle of providing detection tools. The detection algorithm is an Md5 + filename check and makes game detection easier for engines. These engines can inherit from AdvancedMetaEngine and provide some other metadata/utility functions, like getting supported games, querying which features an engine has, etc.
Advanced…

ScummVM plugins - The new task

Hello! This week, I got started with my new task - "Moving detection features to the executable".

What is the task? ScummVM has over 50 engines that support many - many games. Currently, when compiled - these engines can either be compiled directly inside the scummvm executable (statically linked) or packed inside small packages of external libraries that can be loaded on demand (dynamic linking)

So, why would we even opt for external libraries? Wouldn't packing everything into the executable give the best performance? Well, yes. But the thing is, ScummVM has a lot of platforms it supports (ScummVM Platforms) over 30! It's very portable, which is one of the really amazing features of ScummVM. With dynamic plugins, the executable sizes are lowered. Because of this, when we need to detect games - each engine is loaded by one and the relevant detection happens. This is slow.

The main purpose of this task is to move the detection related features to the executable, i.e …