The penultimate day of 2023 saw another release of ScummVM, which includes a RISC OS version thanks to the efforts of Cameron Cawley. The software is now at version 2.8.0, and the latest version brings with it a number of new engines, enhancements to old ones – and of course, a whole raft of newly supported games.
ScummVM is a ‘virtual machine’ that was originally developed to run games built around the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, the underlying system designed by LucasArts for the game Maniac Mansion, and subsequently used for other titles that followed a similar game play model – that of ‘point and click’ adventure games.
One way to make games written using the SCUMM system playable on modern computers would be to emulate a computer on which these games originally ran, but the nature of the system means there are alternatives. One would be to port the original SCUMM engine – and indeed it was ported to a number of platforms originally – and another is to develop an alternative, but compatible system. And that’s how ScummVM was born.
Since then the scope of the project has expanded to incorporate a number of additional engines, which in turn brings more and more games to any platform on which ScummVM can be run – and that includes RISC OS.
To play a game whose engine is supported, you need the original data files for the game – some of which can be found online, or by getting hold of the original discs – which can then be loaded into ScummVM and… away you go!
A list of the newly supported games and engines, as well as other changes, can be found on the ScummVM 2.8.0 news page.