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About the 2015 mobile ports

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:33 am

According to me, Tommo seemed the rip the games out of emulations from the Android version of ScrumVM (which is buggy BTW) and called it a port. Are the results bad enough?

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:11 pm

Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo has an F2P version. You could give that a try if you want to have a rough idea of what to expect from the ports, assuming the rest of them were handled similarly.

I had a look at its data, and it seems to have a heavily reworked asset system, so I doubt it uses ScummVM. If it did, it would be in violation of the GPL due to being a closed-source fork. Considering how well things went for Mystic Software and Atari when they plagiarized ScummVM for their Wii ports of HE games, Tommo would've had to have been unbelievably stupid to allow the same thing to happen again.

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:37 am

SomeRandomHEFan wrote:Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo has an F2P version.

Yeah, cause that’s the only one Tommo bothered updating when they brought Nimbus and gave the (then-removed) Zoo port a comeback with a new port.

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:16 am

The original ports back when Nimbus Games released them for Mobile was an actual port using a container created with Marmalade. A SCUMM engineer recreated the games specifically for Mobile. Tommo came around and threw that in the trash for ScummVM.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:28 am

I'm honestly not sure if Tommo even has the source code for the HE fork of SCUMM. As far as I remember, their purchase agreement with Atari gives them permission to sell the acquired games without removing Atari's logos due to a lack of source code.

Though it would be very strange for Atari not to give it to them, considering they clearly still had it, as evidenced by Nimbus' earlier ports. Perhaps the SCUMM license they inherited from HE doesn't permit being transferred to more than one party? After all, the Backyard Sports games and Moonbase Commander both went to different companies, which means there are now three parties who own games using HE's SCUMM fork.

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:20 pm

I think you're right, Tommo has no source material at all. I don't even believe Atari had source game material either. Based on what I was told by Brad Taylor (Lead Game Dev for Nimbus) he was using archives that him and other Humongous employees had.

Tommo owns Humongous they can do what ever they choose to do with it. The agreement you've mentioned is what Nimbus had with Atari. Atari gave Nimbus permission to sell the Humongous games but were you're off is there was no legal mention about source code what so ever. Nimbus was required to use the name "Atari" when talking about the games but I don't recall it being an issue because anything Humongous related would redirect to Atari.

Though it would be very strange for Atari not to give it to them, considering they clearly still had it
Again I don't think this is true. Atari may had promotional source but as I stated before the team at Nimbus used Humongous employees archives.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Wow, that's disheartening. Guess Atari must have dumped the source code at some point after 2008. That was when the Wii ports of three HE games happened. Though Mistic Software plagiarized the ScummVM source code for them, they also clearly had access to the original code and tools, seeing how they were able to insert their names into the credits. Plus, they were reponsible for the 2007 PC versions of these and a few more games, and I doubt those made use of ScummVM.

I'm glad some of the former HE employees did Atari's job for them and backed up the sources properly. Would be really unfortunate for them to be lost entirely. Shame Tommo seems to care too little about the games to put them to use. As amazing as ScummVM is, it's still by no means the ideal way to play HE games. Its tendency to skip sound effects in particular really bugs me.

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:42 pm

The Wii games were something interesting and the fact that Mistic Software was needed to port the games may explain why ScummVM was needed. Maybe the Humongous division fixed the game it self and Mistic thought at the time ScummVM was the best thing to use, I really don't know.

Now the 2007 PC games are you referring Mistic creating those? Because as far as I know they were released under the last of the Humongous team (in the Andy Hieke era of HE)with Atari as the distributor. 
About the 2015 mobile ports RSZ0cq1HTaa_BSaeMK_3Jg
Tommo doesn't deserve to own the Humongous IP..I really wish Nimbus bought it but they couldn't afford it. Me wishing they did is not bias because of me working for Nimbus Games I honestly believe they deserved it.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:16 pm

I can't load that image you linked. Gives me an Error 403.

Edit: Was able to see it by asking the Wayback Machine to archive it. No idea why that site blocks my IP. Perhaps a US-only region lock?

I thought I remembered Mistic Software being involved in the 2007 rereleases, but I could be wrong about that. I recently ordered a copy of the 2007 version of Freddi Fish 1, so I should be able to confirm who was responsible for them once it's arrived.

It would surprise me if Humongous Inc. did them, though. To my understanding, that was just a tiny sub-division of Atari consisting of a handful of former HE employees who had some limited involvement with anything HE-related the company did for a couple years. I'm not aware of there being any programmers among them.

But it would also be extremely surprising if Mistic Software really didn't get the HE SCUMM source code. It was always implied that their plagiarism of ScummVM was entirely their decision, with Atari not even knowing about it. If Atari themselves had ordered this move, then that would be even worse, especially considering they threatened to counter-sue the ScummVM team for reverse-engineering their games after the truth was uncovered. Plus, Mistic Software clearly had the tools to edit the games, and used higher quality versions of some HE music tracks for their menus. What seems the most likely is that they had received the source code, but decided to take the lazy route and use ScummVM's code as a basis instead due to it being more port-friendly.

You seem to know quite a lot about the inner workings of HE, though. I've never even heard of an Andy Hieke.

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:06 pm

I think the 2007 PC releases were just the Humongous Inc. team. I think Brad Taylor was still with them.

I don't know what source Mistic had but what ever game modifications were made like the credits (I never watched the credits on the Wii game xD) may have been done with the remainder of the Humongous staff.

Yeah, I was SCUMM Artist and Q&A Tester for Nimbus Games, that's why I know more then I should lol.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:19 pm

According to his LinkedIn profile, Brad Taylor left long before that. His contributions to Moonbase Commander were apparently done on a contract basis. The guy seems to have been one of HE's most important programmers, so perhaps they needed someone with his experience with SCUMM to give the engine one final update.

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:31 pm

Oh well maybe he did leave before that, like I said I'm not to sure.

Yeah Brad was an important programmer, he added loads of features to SCUMM that made games like Moonbase possible. Then there was some (I think, I've never seen the test features in game) features that never was used. I was lucky to meet him and work with him for 2 years.

Don't know how it happened but the 2007 games just seemed to polished to be done outside of Humongous.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:38 pm

Windows TV wrote:Tommo owns Humongous they can do what ever they choose to do with it. The agreement you've mentioned is what Nimbus had with Atari. Atari gave Nimbus permission to sell the Humongous games but were you're off is there was no legal mention about source code what so ever. Nimbus was required to use the name "Atari" when talking about the games but I don't recall it being an issue because anything Humongous related would redirect to Atari.

I'm talking about this agreement: https://docs.bmcgroup.com/Atari/nysb_1-13-bk-10176_313.pdf
Specifically, this part: Sellers  acknowledge  that  certain  titles  and  games within  each  category  of  the  Purchased  Assets  will  contain  certain  logos,  trademarks,  software and  artworks  belonging  to  or  licensed  to  Sellers  and/or  its  affiliates  which  are  not  otherwise removable by Buyer through commercially reasonable efforts (the “Existing Atari Logos”) due to  a  lack  of  source  code.    With  effect  from  the  Closing,  Sellers  hereby  grant  Buyer  with  a royalty-free,  worldwide  and  perpetual  license  in  writing  from  Sellers  to  reasonably  use,  retain and  display  the  Existing  Atari  Logos  in  the  Purchased  Assets  acquired  by  Buyer,  in  the  same manner as such Existing Atari Logos are currently used, retained or displayed.

While it doesn't specify which of the many games that Tommo purchased from Atari don't have their source code available, it clearly implies that Tommo is only granted permission to sell those specific titles without removing Atari's logos. Since plenty of HE games have the Infogrames logo, yet were rereleased by Tommo without having it removed, this strongly implies they don't have their source code.

What's sad is that unless something happened to the archives of people like Brad Taylor, most of the sources probably still exist and would've been totally possible to obtain if Tommo had bothered to do the research and gotten in contact with these guys. But instead, they chose the lazy route and just used ScummVM for everything, notably without actually doing anything to support the project.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Windows TV wrote:Don't know how it happened but the 2007 games just seemed to polished to be done outside of Humongous.

How so? As far as I'm aware, their changes amount to a few replaced logos and expanded credits. The 2007 version of Freddi Fish 1 is supposedly the only English version of the game to have colored item cursors and skippable screen transitions, but the former feature was apparently originally added for the Norwegian dub from 2001, so that wasn't the porting team's work either. I don't know if prior versions of the game already had skippable transitions, but they don't strike me as something that would be terribly hard to implement.

I'll take a close look at it once I have it, but what I've heard about it and the other 2007 releases doesn't look like it took all that much work. Not really something that only the original creators could understand how to do.


Last edited by SomeRandomHEFan on Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Oooh okay I understand now the legal stuff now! I din't exactly know what you was referring to.

All the archives like Brad's is still own by their owners. Brad had to get a few things from others if I recall correctly. Any Atari archives I don't know of. You're right on Tommo being lazy, they could of tried to find the source.
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Post by Windows TV Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:58 pm

SomeRandomHEFan wrote:
Windows TV wrote:Don't know how it happened but the 2007 games just seemed to polished to be done outside of Humongous.

How so? As far as I'm aware, their changes amount to a few changed logos and expanded credits. The 2007 version of Freddi Fish 1 is supposedly the only English version of the game to have colored item cursors and skippable screen transitions, but the former feature was apparently originally added for the Norwegian dub from 2001, so that wasn't the porting team's work either. I don't know if prior versions of the game already had skippable transitions, but they don't strike me as something that would be terribly hard to implement.

I'll take a close look at it once I have it, but what I've heard about it and the other 2007 releases doesn't look like it took all that much work. Not really something that only the original creators could understand how to do.
The Freddi Fish game is a great example. I haven't seen/played the Norwegian dub so I can't account for that but if what you've mentioned is the case then someone with the updated version available made it in English for the 2007 release. I don't know how many times FF1 was released but you are correct the original did not have this due to the limitations of SCUMM at the time.

PPZ 2007 had logos and credit changes but there were some graphical changes too and some features that didn't work at all added back in. This being said the 2007 release actually introduced some weird bugs that others haven't had which may mean that the archive they had of the game wasn't properly saved or while updating the Sputm engine things broke.
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