What is SCUMM-8?
A playable sample game “Return of the SCUMM” can be found here.
While it is heavily “inspired” by the SCUMM engine, it isn’t a true replica (for that you’ll want good ol’ SCUMM-VM).
However, SCUMM-8 attempts to stay as true as possible to the original SCUMM command reference.
“Cool, so does that mean I can play those old LucasArts games in PICO-8?!”
Er… no. SCUMM-8 cannot play those original games, just that it is intended to provide similar functionality within the (very limited) world of PICO-8.
“It don’t work mate, waited forever and ‘Monkey Island’ never loaded!”
Wow, really? You still here?! OK, once again. Think of SCUMM-8 as an even more retro “mini-me” version of the classic SCUMM engine. Most of the features are planned, but the experience will be… shall we say…”cut down”.
“Got it. . . . so what about ‘Day of the Tentacle’ then?”
*sigh* . . . “Look behind you! It’s a three-headed monkey!” . . . *runs away*
- Multiple Rooms (up to 32, technically)
- Pathfinding for walking
- Dialogs between Actors
- Camera system (pan-to, follow, static)
- Room transitions (“iris”, cut)
- Customisable Verbs
- Z-plane ordering of objects/actors
- Global-level (background) & Room-level scripts
- Game start-up script
- Object dependencies
- Replace Color (to allow re-use of room/object gfx)
- Adjustable Room Brightness Levels
- Screen “shake” effect
- Proximity (between Actors/Objects)
- Game Editor (In Progress…)
- Game Save/Load
Please see the SCUMM-8 Wiki for details on how to get started creating your own SCUMM-8 game, as well as the the full API reference.
Thanks & Useful Resources
A big thanks to Aric Wilmunder (ex-LucasArts developer) for sharing valuable SCUMM documentation. Particularly the **SCUMM Tutorial **(1991), the example room from which was the first room I actually created in SCUMM-8 (minus the cool Sam & Max gfx, of course)
Thanks also to Dan Sanderson for his picotool – specifically his minifying tool (luamin), which enabled me to squeeze MUCH more code under PICO-8’s limits.
Shoutout to @PixelArtM, whose PICO-8 mockup inspired me to wonder whether this could actually be pulled off within the virtual console’s limits (SPOILER: it can… just about!).
UPDATE: “Life Imitates Art” as @PixelArtM uses SCUMM-8 to make said mockup a reality!
Some other great SCUMM resources I found along the way include the following:
- Ron Gilbert’s post about “SCUMM Script”
- The SCUMM Diary: Stories behind one of the greatest game engines ever made
- Ron Gilbert – Maniac Mansion postmortem from 2011 (Video)
- ScummC – A Scumm Compiler (by Alban Bedel) – (Particularly the OpenQuest example)
- Ron Gilbert’s post about “Puzzle Dependency Charts”