A new version of ScummVM is out now, and brings with it new engines, and therefore even more games. The software is a ‘virtual machine’ designed originally to allow games developed with a specific system to be playable on modern computer system, but has gone on to support many more.
The original target games were those put together using LucasArts’ Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion – SCUMM. Maniac Mansion was a graphic adventure game with a point and click user interface, rather than one where the user typed in commands, and while the SCUMM engine was originally developed at LucasArts for that game, it was subsequently used for others.
In most cases, the executable element of those games – the actual program that runs directly on a computer – would need to be run under emulation on modern systems for the games to be played, but the ScummVM system takes a different approach: it bypasses the binary, and becomes a virtual machine that runs the underlying data that makes up the game, allowing it to be played on any system on which ScummVM can be run.
One of those systems, thanks to the efforts of Cameron Cawley, is RISC OS.
As well as new engines and games – including specific support for a number of titles – Version 2.7.0 includes improved support for some games, new localisations (allowing people to play games in their native language), shader-based scalers to provide a better, more authentic, visual experience, support for a wider range of platforms (though we only really care about RISC OS, don’t we), and much more.
On the subject of the ‘our’ port, this version now includes 26-bit support, meaning it can be run on the RiscPC with RISC OS 3.6 or later.