Aug 1, 2005 twenty five past six pm

The port of SCUMMVM to the DS is getting a lot of attention.

As the person that created SCUMM and along with Aric Wilmunder coded the original system, my hat is off to the SCUMMVM team and contributers for this undertaking.

I am in awe.

Especially since I could never get anything to run from one version of the system to the next...

Other people's comments:

Posted by seb on Aug 1, 2005 quarter past seven pm

Amazing. The stylus + touch-screen combination seems like an ideal interface for adventure games. If this works out I may buy a DS just for it...

Posted by Whup on Aug 1, 2005 nine pm

An hour long train ride to work would fly by with one of these in your hand and a set of headphones.  Especially with the type of short'n'sweet games Ron's been talking about...

Suppose someone wrote a good, solid and simple to use engine suitable for adventure games (ported to PocketPC, DS, PSP etc) that worked on platform independent game modules.  Make the engine and a sample game free for download, as well as making each of the game modules available for a fee.  Divide the game modules into professional and hobbyist categories, and enforce some kind of minimum quality for the professional games.

Assuming the engine could be built, and that you got a few decent game designers to support you, I wonder if the model would work?

Posted by peterb on Aug 1, 2005 twenty five to eight pm

I wonder if your analysis of "It's too expensive to develop 2d adventure games any more" is still valid if the target platform is the DS (or PSP) rather than the PC.

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Aug 1, 2005 twenty to eight pm

If you ignore the initial reusable engine development, the cost of doing an adventure game on one of these platforms would be significantly lower.


I know what publishers are willing to pay to have games made for these platforms, and it's rock bottom.


It would be a lot easier to raise the smaller amount from alternate sources


I don't know how tightly the hand-held manufactures control what is made and not made (like they do with the consoles).

Posted by peterb on Aug 1, 2005 twenty past eight pm

Two words:  ScummVM cellphone.

Posted by Whup on Aug 1, 2005 twenty to nine pm

It would be a lot easier to raise the smaller amount from alternate sources

When you say 'alternate sources' are you talking private investors, with the intention of passing on the completed game to a publisher?

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Aug 1, 2005 twenty past nine pm

When you say 'alternate sources' are you talking private investors, with the intention of passing on the completed game to a publisher?

Yes, or self-publishing, but I don't know what the economics are of publishing in that space is.

Posted by Whup on Aug 1, 2005 ten to ten pm

I could only guess with the DS.  Stories from friends that write XBox games sound horrible (ie, paying big royalties on CD's as they're produced, paying big for Microsofts QA testing etc), and I can't imagine Nintendo being much better.

At least software for PocketPC, phones and Palms can be sold royalty free as far as I know.  Then again, perhaps I've missed some fine print.

I can't imagine where to even begin as far as marketting and production goes...

Posted by eloj on Aug 1, 2005 twenty to eleven pm

> and I can't imagine Nintendo being much better.

Oh, I think we can be pretty sure they aren't better. "The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion" anyone?

That aside, anyone know what the scene for devkits are on the DS and PSP? Can you get it up for free ("cost of a cable or two")?

Posted by Whup on Aug 2, 2005 quarter past midnight

I've only really looked into the DS, but I believe you can transfer whatever you want via WiFi.  Other than that its possible, I can't really help much.

Posted by The 9th Sage on Aug 15, 2005 quarter past ten pm

You CAN, sort of, but first you need to flash the firmware of the NDS because Nintendo requires code to be sent via wireless to be digitally signed...since homebrew code can't be signed, you need to disable this check in the firmware.  :)  Do a search for FlashMe and you'll find out more info.

Oh yes, and you need specific wireless hardware to do this also.  Apparently the NDS for Wireless Download Play stuff uses a somewhat tweaked 802.11b protocol.  There are custom drivers meant for communicating with the DS, and they work beautifully, but the drivers don't work on all chipsets, only cards with Ralink chipsets, and it can't be the USB dongles either.

You can also use a PassMe, which is a hardware passthrough that allows the DS to run NDS code from a GBA flash cart.  Only homebrew though, not pirated NDS games or anything.  I seriously hate those pirates.  >_<

Posted by shindakun on Aug 3, 2005 ten to nine am

"That aside, anyone know what the scene for devkits are on the DS and PSP? Can you get it up for free ("cost of a cable or two")?"

You can get the Unoffical PSP Devkit from after that you'd only need a usb cable and a PSP with 1.0 or 1.5 firmware.  The DS is a bit more involved check the forums over at for more info.

Posted by Froschi on Aug 4, 2005 ten past four am

Well, those were other days. Nintendo is somewhat more eager to try new things out nowadays, especially on the DS. And let's not forget that there's already a very solid DS-adventure out there (Another Code).

Posted by Marco on Aug 9, 2005 twenty five past eleven am

Did you play Conker on Nintendo 64? If Nintendo remained as critical as in Maniac Mansion days, this game wouldn't exist.

Posted by Someone on Aug 2, 2005 ten past two am

Self-publishing on consoles? :)
Come on they got us game developers (and even publisher) by the balls!
The cheapest platforms remains the PC (and maybe mobiles)

Posted by Robin on Aug 2, 2005 ten past two am

If 'Another Code' proves to be successful on the DS, perhaps that will make publishers a bit more receptive to the idea of developing more adventure games for the device. We can but hope...

Posted by Andy on Aug 1, 2005 five past ten pm

Hey look, behind you! A two headed handheld.

Posted by fr0d0b0ls0n on Aug 2, 2005 twenty five past one am

The Touch-screen is great for adventure games. I wanna a Monkey Island DS Ron, ill buy at least one game for sure.

Well, in the DS we have Another Code, pretty good but too short. Have you played it?

Posted by MonkeyMagic on Aug 18, 2006 twenty to two pm

Another Code (or Trace Memory as it was released in the U.S.) is a decent game. Like you said, it's a little short, but it does a good job of using the DS in creative ways. There were some places that the developers broke Ron's rules for adventure games -- at least once I couldn't pick up an object that I needed until a later point of the game, by which point I'd forgotten where it was.

Phoenix Wright is another game that shows some glimmer of what an adventure game can do on the DS. Unfortunately, both games are completely linear and there's only one thing you can be doing at any one time. But overall I think the DS has a lot of potential.

Posted by Sven 1 on Aug 2, 2005 half past two am

I played Monkey Island on my Ipaq. Worked really great. But I couldn't find CTRL+W  (Do you reallt want to win?)

Posted by drunkymonkey on Aug 2, 2005 five to three am

Hmm, it's not going to convince me to buy a ds, but it's good news all the same. The problem is, very few people will know about it or indeed want to use it.

Posted by eobet on Aug 2, 2005 twenty to four am

The GPX2 is soon out. Hopefully, that will have ScummVM as well (it has an analogue directional pad, at least).

The GP32 was quite an underground success, so hopefully this new one will be as well. I never bought the GP32, but I do believe that I will buy a GPX2!

Posted by Duncan Stibbard Hawkes on Aug 2, 2005 four am

If monkey island comes out on the DS, I'm buying it! I don't care how many times I've compleated it before!

Posted by TaYoKeN on Aug 2, 2005 ten past six am

thats what i said...

Posted by Ogtrax on Aug 2, 2005 five past noon

I got both a DS and a PSP. I hope scummvm will be ported to both. The DS is almost perfect for adventure games. You can have your inventory / verb's space there. And the dialogue options.

Posted by Owen-B on Aug 2, 2005 half past noon

There's such a rich vein of material in the SCUMMVM archive that would instantly be brought back to bear fruit of some kind for both gamers (new and old) and developers that are trying to convince publishers that point-and-click games have a market, that this must be once of the most exciting prospects in gaming at the moment.

And that must be the most unwieldy sentence I've ever seen.

Posted by Cremaster3 on Aug 2, 2005 five to one pm

SCUMMVM has also been ported to the PSP.

-Cremaster 3

Posted by Rooster on Aug 3, 2005 twenty to seven am

Yes, it actually has been ported to the PSP (good call Cremaster3) - provided you are still on v1 or 1.5 ... so you can run the homebrew.

But, legally, I am having a blast running Monkey Island on my PSP. Even Curse of Monkey Island runs ... all be it slightly choppy with out of sync audio. But that will hopefully be remedied when the folks porting it to PSP support the clock speed 333 and maybe a frame skip or 2.

Posted by joostp on Aug 3, 2005 eight am

Rooster, we're actually trying to resolve this issue without resorting to changing the clock-speed to 333mhz... stay tuned. :)

Posted by Fantaz on Aug 3, 2005 ten past eight am

Ron, you need to talk to a DS expert and get something like this on the market.  I would love to play a Monkey Island compilation on my DS.

Posted by Udvarnoky on Aug 3, 2005 ten past eleven am

What could Ron do?  LucasArts owns Monkey Island.

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Aug 3, 2005 five past five pm


Posted by DS Expert on Aug 3, 2005 half past seven pm

Have LucasArts ever indicated they'd be willing to part with the license?  

Lottery jokes aside, do you see Monkey Island as something you'd have liked to finish, or would you prefer to spend the time on something new?

Posted by Tutu on Aug 4, 2005 ten past one am

Maybe they'll make a new Monkey Island one day... if they can fit it in the Star Wars franchise: Star Wars, The Monkey Planet Chronicles, Return of Darth Lechuck.

Posted by DS Expert on Aug 3, 2005 five pm

He's right you know...

Posted by Jeffrey on Aug 3, 2005 quarter to nine am

Ron, I just wanted to say thanks for coming out and supporting the SCUMMVM team.  I personally went out and purchased a lot of the old classics direct from LucasArts a few months ago just so I could play your old games on my Mac.  Without SCUMMVM I would have never made that purchase.  

Odd thing now is that since LucasArts re-did their online store the archives pack of DOTT, Indiana Jones, and S&M is now gone :(


Posted by Nossie on Aug 3, 2005 quarter to noon

I dont know how many hours I spent in my youth playing the scumm games on the amiga and PC....  I dont think I'd spend the money on new DS games because I know the premium Nintendo like to add to their games...

OTOH I would buy them for my PDA...  not enough point n click games on the ipaq/XDA I say hehe

The power needs to go back to the coders and not the publishers... Online distribution isn't expensive and neither should it be taken less seriously.  The big difference without a large publishing house behind you is that your game will only sell if its actually any good.   but thats jimho

Posted by 5th beatle on Aug 4, 2005 half past ten am

SCUMMVM for DS is great, but...
How can I install games or SCUMMVM.. in DS.
Maybe... wireless card?

Posted by Karmillo on Aug 4, 2005 twenty five to one pm

You need to buy a special flash ds cart that you can plug into your pc

Posted by Steve on Aug 4, 2005 five to eight pm

I was always a fan of the monkey island games as well.

For the people who are interested in creating SCUMM games, take a look at
The goal is to be able to create SCUMM games.

Posted by Edmundo on Aug 5, 2005 half past eleven am

I'm just happy that all of my old SCUMM games run great on my modern computer.

Posted by TheSmashingPenguin on Aug 5, 2005 two pm

And i would be even happier if i had a bunch of modern SCUMM games to run great on my computer.

Posted by Edmundo on Aug 6, 2005 ten past midnight

Umm... right... modern SCUMM games like Monkey Island 5: Oh Noes! Big Whoop is At It Again?

Posted by Robert Johnson on Aug 6, 2005 quarter to three am

I guess that if they were modern, then they wouldn't be scumm games anymore would they?

Posted by TheSmashingPenguin on Aug 6, 2005 twenty to six am

That's the trick. Why couldnt SCUMM evolve ? Why do you want to break my dream? Why ?

Posted by Robert Johnson on Aug 7, 2005 twenty five to eight am

'cause I'm a bastard. And it's a 2d interface, and those don't really sell, and I would like to play Sam and Max 2 or a decent Monkey Island game (hasn't been one since MI2)  and living in the past with simple item puzzles, linear stories,  and exploration is not coming back and we need to move into the future together, even if it means dragging the die hards in by the hair of their ever whitening beards, (deep breath) that's why.

Actually it's because we sound like old men complaining about 'the good old days' and how good things used to be. We need to work with the situations and the markets we have. Not what we used to have.

Unfortunatly it seems to me from reading alot of BB on subjects from games to webcomics to music that the dedicated fans are the ones who want more of the same and are the ones whose feathers get ruffled the most when something changes. The problem is that 'more of the same' is anathemic to creativity. To quote a not so famous actor "the people who love shakespeare the most are the ones who most often ruin it."

Posted by Ender on Aug 7, 2005 twenty to two am

I suppose that, as far as supporting the different 'generations' of SCUMM goes, I believe the way ScummVM evolved is the only reason it really ever got done.

We started from the middle with MI1 thru DOTT. But then we (relatively) simultaneously started work in both directions (Eg: Back to Maniac/Zak/Loom, and forward with FT/The Dig/CMI). I'd say the team specialises with developers tending to understand a certain 'period' of SCUMM, because of this.

Afterwards, V6+ was branched off into the Humongous Entertainment SCUMM variants. Which are basically an evolutionary parallel to the final LucasArts SCUMM revisions.

Really, it's all quite interesting how it worked out :)

Posted by yaz0r on Aug 7, 2005 ten past five am

Technically, we started with MI2, then MI1 Cd version and finaly Indy4. When we started working on later game (dott), there wasn't a specific version of scummvm able to play all the supported games, but different builds supporting different games using ifdefs everywhere. The whole system had to be painfully brocken down to finaly merge it all to a single engine. The same situation also arised for dig and ft for some reasons...

Posted by Nacente on Aug 7, 2005 five to seven am

What happened to the site?

Posted by Whup on Aug 7, 2005 ten past four pm

It was slashdotted  I tend to check slashdot just after Grumpy Gamer, and when GG was down I wasn't surprised to find it mentioned on the games page of slashdot.  100 million geeks tried to hit Ron's site at the same time =)

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Aug 7, 2005 half past four pm

It was slashdotted

Actually, that's not true.

The site was down because I screwed up the DNS.  I went to change the DNS for another site of mine, and accidentally changed the DNS for this site.

A Slashdotting from the games page goes mostly unnoticed.  Slashdot drove about 3000 referers to the site in the first hour, easily manageable.

The story I wrote about how much I hated Zelda made the main page of Slashdot, and that drove over 30,000 hits, but still not enough to matter to the server.

Posted by Whup on Aug 7, 2005 five to five pm

So it was nothing more than a coincidence?  Darn... I even took the time to put a link in too! :(  Serves me right for jumping to conclusions I guess.

I went to change the DNS for another site of mine

You mean theres more grumpiness?

Posted by Nacente on Aug 8, 2005 twenty five past four am

Oh ok, good server you have.

Posted by Roman on Aug 10, 2005 twenty five to five am

It's been mentioned here, that it's too expensive nowadays to create a graphicadventure. I think that's because of all the modern media stuff (hires, speech, FMV) but IMHO they aren't needed if you don't target the PC. People have mentioned handhelds here, but IMHO a low res scumm game would be possible on games consoles too because the TV blurs the pixels.

I've installed SCUMM VM on GameCube Linux 2 days ago, and felt like a child on christmas. The low res graphics look absoluteley great on a TV screen, even the EGA ones.

And for the speech: Nintendo understands it and Square does know it too: Speech destroys the complete feeling. If you don't get an hollywood or real theater actor, speech can only hurt. Every player creates his own imagination of the voices (except for Indy of course, where everyone imagines Harrison Fords voice) and these imaginations are perfect, they can only get worse from real speech, especially if it isn't spoken by real actors.

And for FMV: FMV suck, they tear the imperfect gaming visuals apart by showing you the FMV perfection all the time. Nobody needs FMVs in an adventure game.

So, I just wanted to say, I'd immediately buy a new Low Res, no Speech no FMV Ron Gilbert Adventure (if it uses a serious number of verbs instead of the stupid get/look/use interface) for a game console, like everyone else would do if he played your games as a child.

BTW: If you read this Ron, thanks a lot for the countles hours of pure fun and enjoyment you've given us with your wonderful games. I've never had more fun with any other game in the last 20 years.

Posted by Snuffkin on Aug 18, 2005 quarter to seven am

I like adventure games for curious reasons; I like the ones with oil-painting style graphics/resolutions, sometimes lower, I like them because they're a little nostalgic, they manage to create wonderful graphics without the latest technology or 3D rendering, and sometimes they can tell stories in a quite humble manner.

Regarding speech, I think it can work. People use their own imaginations to develop what isn't described, yes; books are a great example. But I think there are some instances where voices do a great job. I think S&M and possibly BaSS are good examples.

Sometimes, I worry that the world has forgotten how to produce those oil-painting style graphics, because I don't see them anymore. I see EGA, I see more plain graphics, but not that style.

Posted by Gabriel on Aug 15, 2005 half past eight pm

DS? the picture looks like a GBA SP to me...

Posted by Whup on Aug 15, 2005 quarter past nine pm

Wouldn't the picture have to be upside down for that?  I always thought the screen was on the top half of the clamshell, and that the buttons were on the bottom half?

Then again, I haven't picked up a Game Boy in 10 years so I don't really know what I'm talking about =)

Posted by Basti on Aug 20, 2005 twenty five past six pm

Right, it's the 2nd/Primary DS-Screen.

But I wonder, the screen resolution of these gaming devices never fits .. does anyone have some information about the DS Screens?

And about the "Adventure" discussion. Right now on TV there is some stupid Computer-games show which gives out an award for "Best Adventure". Guess which game? Resident Evil 4. I guess nobody knows what Adventure means .. or meant. There was a time the term "Action Adventure" was used for some stupid Jump and Runs, but these days every frickin' game can be declared as Adventure as long as it isn't a racing or sports game.

Life sucks. And nobody really wants to accept, but adventures are death. And we will never see any new ...

Posted by Whup on Aug 21, 2005 five past four pm

Off the top of my head, I think the DS was 320x240, which should match perfectly with the old Monkey Island games (unless a non 4:3 ratio was used).  I'm sure Ron could correct me if I'm wrong =)

I guess nobody knows what Adventure means .. or meant.

So the very same publishers who refuse to fund a game with adventure in the description are more than happy to use the word to sell their games!  I feel so cheated!

Posted by Basti on Aug 22, 2005 five to eight am

Just had a look at that funny Wikipedia and it's said .. "It features two separate 3-inch TFT LCD screens, each with a resolution of 256�192.". And that would really suck as the whole thing had to be scaled down -> bad quality. And I really wonder what's so good about the DS-Port. There were so many similar attempts for such systems (especially Nintendo ones) and it never worked out as just some freaks had the necessary hardware to get the thing running.

Why won't you just buy some GP32 (These are getting cheap these days) and enjoy the good old adventures (even the Sierra ones afaik) in wonderful 320x240?

And well, that's true .. these funny publishers. Maybe there should be a way to distinguish "Adventure" and "Adventure" ...

Posted by Whup on Aug 22, 2005 twenty five past four pm

Looks like you're right on the screen res (which seems a shame)!  Thanks for finding out for sure.

Why won't you just buy some GP32

I didn't know what a GP32 was until I looked it up - looks like a pretty capable little system which I'd like to get my hands on.  I'm not actually sure if they're available here in Australia though.

Posted by ArC on Aug 22, 2005 quarter to seven pm

Why won't you just buy some GP32

How does it all work on the GP32, though?  The DS has the advantage of the touchscreen simulating the mouse...

Posted by Whup on Aug 22, 2005 twenty five past nine pm

Good point: pixel-hunting with a D pad wouldn't be my definition of fun.  

Perhaps they have a touch screen though - I only saw a few shots but I'm pretty sure a couple included shots of the GP32's window based GUI.

Posted by Basti on Aug 23, 2005 twenty five to nine am

Actually it is Pixel-Hunting, but it isn't as bad as it sounds. And there isn't any touchscreen, you could try out the Zodiac or something. But well, I own my GP because of playing old console games and listening to some music. Just occasionally I throw in the good old LA-Games.

But I really don't get how they do it on the DS. The fonts are just a few px wide, so how do they scale these down?

Posted by Whup on Aug 23, 2005 five past four pm

Actually it is Pixel-Hunting, but it isn't as bad as it sounds

Come to think of it, we used to steer Maniac Mansion with a joystick on our C64's.  Although not as good as a mouse, it wasn't that bad!

The fonts are just a few px wide, so how do they scale these down?

My guess is they wouldn't - the text would just take up a relatively larger chunk of the screen.  It seems some of the ScummVM team post here, so we might be lucky enough to get an explanation at some point. =)

Posted by Teboda on Aug 16, 2005 ten past seven am

I just forwarded the news of the ScummVM DS release to three people and all three responded with "OMG! I'm getting a DS!". One of them even said he would sell his beloved cell-phone to finance it!

Posted by alzare enzyte extagen on Sep 3, 2005 twenty five past six am

Man I really want MI on my DS!

Posted by jacko on Sep 30, 2005 quarter to one am

how do you get games like monkey island (downloaded, don't have CD's or whatever) into scummVm, its driving me f***in nuts

Posted by Someone on Oct 28, 2005 five past four am

you suck

Posted by Someone on Oct 28, 2005 five past four am

i agree

Posted by Someone on Oct 28, 2005 five past four am

everybody who does not give into fps sucks

Posted by BJWanlund on Jan 12, 2006 twenty five to eight pm

One problem.  I got a DS/GBA flash unit and I will be using it as soon as he ships from HK.  I want some really good adventure games, I really like the MI games, haven't had the chance to play Sam and Max Hit the Road yet; d** LucasArts for f**ing up the chance for me to play S&M when they put out that EB Games bonus disc for the game Armed and Dangerous, which I would never have touched with a 10-ft pole.  If someone has that bonus disc, and they aren't using it anymore, could you PLEASE send it to me?  If you could, e-mail me at so I can give you the specifics.


Posted by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2006 ten past two pm

I noticed that ScummVM has been ported to
That has a nice big resolution screen...

Posted by Glen on Mar 11, 2006 twenty five to eight am

Wow, truely amazing, if they release all the Scumm games, such as the original Maniac Mansion. I will buy a Nintendo DS. Not only is the news that these games will be ported, brillient, but surely if the sales of these games is good, maybe people will start making new point and click adventure games. Also due to the limitations of the graphics, they will be "old school" which i love, I can just see it now, Monkey Island 2.1 : Escape from Monkey Island. Only available on the Nintendo DS.

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