Showing posts with label scumm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scumm. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

The Final Countdown

The year 1996 forms a convenient segue from the last post and ties-in with today's safe return of space shuttle Discovery. Prior to completing my final year at Bournemouth, I graduated from console gaming (only to return a few years later with the purchase of a PlayStation) to PC/Mac.

My Macintosh Performa 5200 introduced me to the rich CD-ROM tapestries weaved by LucasArts at the peak of their powers. Dark Forces (favorite FPS), Rebel Assault II - The Hidden Empire (completed between sending off an application to Reuters and accepting the position) and The Dig (demo). The latter remained an enigmatic curio (I'm familiar with Alan Dean Foster's soft cover novel) until this morning, when I obtained a copy of the full game (PC) and played it via the venerable ScummVM.

Based on a story by Steven Spielberg, with dialogue written by Orson Scott Card (The Abyss), the apocalyptic narrative presages Hollywood's meteor movies Deep Impact and Armageddon. The Dig's hand-drawn and animated game art looks fresh and inviting in 2005. Surely this was a franchise in the making replete with animated/live action series and merchandise?

Whilst UK television viewers await the debut of Lost (teasers directed by Madonna and JLo photographer David LaChapelle) on Wednesday night. A few films, that are worth watching more than once, are being repeated. Jean-Claude Van Damme (AKA The Muscles from Brussels) is not an 'action hero' I'm particularly fond of. Yet Timecop (1994) is a riveting yarn from Dark Horse Comics scribe Mark Verheiden (whom responded to a letter I wrote Dark Horse in 1994). Even the wooden Mia Sara can't detract from the forgettable fun to be had. The first time I ever saw Timecop was on a NTSC THX-Certified DTS Laser Disc. The image and sound surpassed VHS and analog broadcast transmissions of the day.

A few of my observations concerning Flickr and Firefox were shared during last night's JMUG meeting. Appreciated.

Friday, 6 May 2005

Swan Lake

The sky is clear blue and New Labor has secured an historic third term in power without my support.

I'm in a nostalgic gaming mood and have sourced a copy of LucasArts very rare VGA version of Loom (1990). In a move mirroring Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Loom's ambitious creative cue is derived from Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake". The SCUMM game engine was anything but!

Jennifer Garner cuts coquettish charm in this irresistible picture, and reminds me of a childhood friend.

With Hanson's Penny & Me a serenade. She's a Texan treat at no mistake!

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger has been dispatched from Amazon UK's warehouse. I grabbed an initial retail copy thanks to a hefty discount, but will wait for 10.4.1 before installing!

Friday, 24 December 2004

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Last evening's party, in Cornwall, was a resounding success. The only fly in the ointment was continuously interrupted sleep! Last year I was awoken by the sound of the hotel fire alarm (a hoax) and this year it was the turn of a too loud TV left on all night! The dulcet tones of Sarah McLachlan - Afterglow Live - eased my chagrin. The season of goodwill indeed!

ScummVM was updated to 0.7.0 just in time for the holiday. And Atari fans can indulge in some XL/XE/XEGS nostalgia. There was a time, long ago, when I drooled at the prospect of playing Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus! on Atari 8-bit. You too can take on the insidious Jaggies once again.

Tonight, as Mariah Carey emotes festive feelings, I'm adding the finishing touches to an end of year backup image. This will be burnt to DVD before the New Year.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Maniac Mansion

It's very rare to stumble across an application that is a revelation. Earlier this year MacMAME earned such a distinction - authentic arcade action delivered directly to your desktop - and now ScummVM joins the pantheon!

ScummVM derives its name from 'Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion' and is a 'virtual machine' for several notable graphical point-and-click adventure games. For example LucasArts' The Dig, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle. Loading Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis rekindled halcyon memories of my Amiga adventures and the often delayed fourth installment in the movie franchise. Incidentally, the Maniac Mansion property was licensed as a family sitcom (in the US) and ran for several seasons in the early 90's. Did it ever show in the UK?

Both MAME and ScummVM are a Work-In-Progress and available for the majority of popular computer platforms. MacMAME now sports an improved OpenGL driver that fixes VBL sync and aspect ratio correction. Checking anti-aliasing (AKA smoothing) in MacMAME's front-end evokes graphical comparison with Sega's underrated and poorly marketed Dreamcast (NAOMI-based console). Playtime.

Google continues to rollout updates to their email service. Gmail POP3 set-up is a breeze in Entourage 2004 and the added benefits of SSL shouldn't be overlooked. As an avid user of Gmail, I hope that the final release retains this feature. Hotmail announced that support for offline reading and composing would be withdrawn sans subscription. If this happens, then Gmail more than meets my needs.

Time to read the latest developments concerning the Mac OS X 10.3.7 update.