Posted by Deliverator on April 12th, 2006
I have been playing around with ScummVM quite a bit this week. I have played 3 Lucasarts games to completion, so far, and have started on my fourth – Full Throttle. I have been scouring eBay and p2p for more games. One of the problems I ran into is that many of the newer Scumm games include full digital soundtracks and voice-overs. Earlier games simply had subtitles for the dialogue and used fm synthesis/midi files or something similar for the sound effects. As a result, some of the earlier games had data files ammounting to only 5-10 MB, while later games like Full Throttle might total a gig. The large size of the datafiles makes playing these larger games on a PDA rather difficult, as these devices tend to use fairly small flash cards for storage. One solution, other than going and plunking down those hard earned $ on a large flash card is to make use of an auxilary project to ScummVM called Scumm Tools. Scumm tools allows one to compress the Scumm audio files using MP3 or Ogg formats. Compressed data files are supported by most newer versions of ScummVM, although you will need to ensure that your platform has enough processing power to decode the audio and do everything else, as well. The tools are a nice start, but many games spread their data across a large number of files, making for a lot of time spent at a command prompt to compress them all. Thankfully, a user on the ScummVM forums created a series of game-specific batch scripts that help automate most of the process. The benefits of compressing are sizeable (haha). Most “talkie” games compressed to about 40% of their previous size, with no perceptible loss of audio quality.