FAQ :: Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ :: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ
last updated: February 17, 2014
1. Introduction
1.1. Why is it called ScummVM - what does this name mean?
1.2. What is SCUMM?
1.3. Is ScummVM free?
1.4. Where do I find ScummVM?
1.5. How do I compile the source code for my OS?
1.6. On what platform does ScummVM run?
1.7. Can I use ScummVM to make new games?
2. Supported games
2.1. What games does ScummVM support?
2.2. Will ScummVM support other games?
2.3. When will Maniac Mansion Deluxe be supported?
2.4. Will you add support for Sierra's SCI games?
3. Running games
3.1. How do I install games to run in ScummVM?
3.2. Do I need original CD or Floppy disks?
3.3. Does ScummVM work with all versions of games?
3.4. Can I play through xxx (place your favorite SCUMM adventure here) ?
3.5. Can I save/restore the game?
3.6. Do savegames from the original games work in ScummVM?
4. Graphics and Audio
4.1. Does ScummVM support CD audio?
4.2. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of CD audio?
4.3. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of the original MIDI music?
4.4. Does ScummVM support filtered graphic modes?
4.5. Can I run my game full screen?
5. Troubleshooting
5.1. My game won't run.
5.2. I installed my game but ScummVM can't find it.
5.3. I don't hear any sound.
5.4. I don't hear any music.
5.5. My game crashes at some point.
5.6. ScummVM crashes, but the console window disappears too quickly to see the error message.
5.7. The game colors are messed up.
5.8. The subtitles in my non-English game are messed up.
5.9. How do I make my Macintosh version of a game work?
5.10. Reporting Bugs.
5.11. I downloaded the Broken Sword packs from your site but the game won't run.
5.12. There are no graphics in the Broken Sword I intro.
5.13. I get "WARNING: Unable to open configuration file C:\windows\scummvm.ini!"
5.14. I get "Failed to save game state to file: xxx"
5.15. ScummVM starts, but all I get is a transparent window!
5.16. ScummVM runs, but sound is stuttering and/or garbled!
5.17. How do I set an environment variable?
5.18. ScummVM starts somewhere in the middle of my two Xinerama monitors in fullscreen mode. Help!
6. Features
6.1. Will you add support for zip archives?

1. Introduction

1.1. Why is it called ScummVM - what does this name mean?
1.2. What is SCUMM?
1.3. Is ScummVM free?
1.4. Where do I find ScummVM?
1.5. How do I compile the source code for my OS?
1.6. On what platform does ScummVM run?
1.7. Can I use ScummVM to make new games?
1.1. Why is it called ScummVM - what does this name mean?

Scumm” comes from the fact that it was originally designed to run SCUMM games, like Monkey Island. “VM” stands for Virtual Machine.

Every now and then somebody will raise the subject of finding a “better” name for ScummVM, one that fits better with its modern scope (which extends well beyond SCUMM games). So at this page we present you with some nice alternatives. Choose whichever suits you best -- but we will stay ScummVM.

1.2. What is SCUMM?

SCUMM stands for "Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion". It is a utility used to create the famous LucasArts adventure games.

It was initially created in 1987 by Aric Wilmunder and Ron Gilbert for the game "Maniac Mansion" and was used later, with some modifications, for Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. Development on the SCUMM system continued for some time, and was used in Loom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Monkey Island 1,2,3, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle, The Dig and Full Throttle.

1.3. Is ScummVM free?

ScummVM is released under the GPL (General Public License), so it's more than free. ScummVM source code is freely available and you can do whatever you want with it. If you make modifications to it and redistribute your work you MUST make the source available. However, the ScummVM team would be pleased if you choose to send them your modifications, so they can be merged into the main tree.

1.4. Where do I find ScummVM?

You can find it on the download section on our web site. You can download the latest version, which could be a little old. For the most recent cutting-edge in-development version, you have to compile it yourself from the repository or use the precompiled 'daily builds' linked from our download page.

1.5. How do I compile the source code for my OS?

The source code package contains a file called README explaining the basics. More detailed information can be found on our Wiki.

1.6. On what platform does ScummVM run?

ScummVM should be able to be compiled for any platform supported by SDL, with just small modifications.

ScummVM runs on a wide variety of platforms, including Win32 (Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP), Linux i386 and PPC, Mac OS X, many smart phones and game consoles and more. It is also part of various BSD ports collections and included in Debian testing and unstable.

For a more comprehensive overview please take a look at the platforms list in our Wiki.

1.7. Can I use ScummVM to make new games?

While it is theoretically possible to write a new game that uses ScummVM it is not advisable. ScummVM has many hacks to support older games and no tools geared towards creating content usable by ScummVM. Potential game authors are encouraged to look at open source technologies such as SDL for a cross platform multimedia library (also used by ScummVM), and the Lua and Python scripting languages for game logic.

2. Supported games

2.1. What games does ScummVM support?
2.2. Will ScummVM support other games?
2.3. When will Maniac Mansion Deluxe be supported?
2.4. Will you add support for Sierra's SCI games?
2.1. What games does ScummVM support?

We have a compatibility list on our website that contains an up to date list of which games work, and how well they work. Apart from SCUMM games, we now also support quite a few other adventure games. More games may be added, but this is not a common occurrence — see below.

2.2. Will ScummVM support other games?

That depends on several factors: First off, it has to fit within the scope of ScummVM, i.e., it has to be a point and click adventure with 2D graphics. Secondly, there must be a developer (or multiple) who is interested in working on this and both willing and able to carry out the required work.

You have to understand that all ScummVM developers are volunteers who work on ScummVM in their spare time, solely for fun, and not for profit. Yet reverse engineering a completely new game without source is a long and difficult process. Even with source it can be very tedious and time consuming.

So unless you work for a company interested in providing us with source code for one of your classic titles, or want to do the work yourself, please do not ask us to add support for a new game. We will simply reject any such requests out of hand.

2.3. When will Maniac Mansion Deluxe be supported?

The short answer: never. The long answer: This game is a fan-made replica of the original Maniac Mansion. It is not the same game as Maniac Mansion Enhanced, which we do support. It features improved music, sound, 256-colors graphics and reworked game interface. It was made using the Adventure Game Studio which is a free, albeit closed-source graphics adventures engine. There are Windows, Linux and FreeBSD versions of the engine. Its author keeps his source code closed due to reasons explained in the project FAQ (see last two questions). That means that you need to download that program to play the game.

2.4. Will you add support for Sierra's SCI games?

FreeSCI has now been merged into ScummVM, see this news item. However, many SCI games are still not supported, so you may also want to check out DOSBox if you want to play all SCI games, especially newer ones.

3. Running games

3.1. How do I install games to run in ScummVM?
3.2. Do I need original CD or Floppy disks?
3.3. Does ScummVM work with all versions of games?
3.4. Can I play through xxx (place your favorite SCUMM adventure here) ?
3.5. Can I save/restore the game?
3.6. Do savegames from the original games work in ScummVM?
3.1. How do I install games to run in ScummVM?

For most games you do not need to run the installer. Simply copy the files listed here from your floppy or CD to your hard drive, then start ScummVM. Click on 'Add Game' and select the directory to which you copied the game files.

For some games the files are packed and not directly accessible on the floppy or CD. In such a case you will need to run the original game installer and then copy the files from where they have been installed to the directory in which you want to install the game to play with ScummVM.

3.2. Do I need original CD or Floppy disks?

Most definitely. ScummVM won't work without them. If you would like to buy these games, we suggest you browse Ebay. Do not ask the ScummVM team where you can download the full versions of LucasArts games. These requests will be ignored.

3.3. Does ScummVM work with all versions of games?
3.4. Can I play through xxx (place your favorite SCUMM adventure here) ?
3.5. Can I save/restore the game?

Yes. Saving and restoring is already supported (ALT-1/9 to save, CTRL - 1/9 to restore, or F5 to access the save/load menu).

3.6. Do savegames from the original games work in ScummVM?

In general, no. We do not have any plans to load old savegames (with the exception of the Simon the Sorcerer series of games). Newer versions of ScummVM have also sometimes broken compatibility with older ScummVM savegames. Since ScummVM is under heavy development, this may occur again in the future.

4. Graphics and Audio

4.1. Does ScummVM support CD audio?
4.2. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of CD audio?
4.3. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of the original MIDI music?
4.4. Does ScummVM support filtered graphic modes?
4.5. Can I run my game full screen?
4.1. Does ScummVM support CD audio?

Yes, ScummVM fully supports CD audio in Gobliins (CD), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (FM-TOWNS), Loom (CD & FM-TOWNS), Monkey Island 1 (CD, FM-TOWNS & SegaCD) and Zak McKracken (FM-TOWNS). Just keep your game CD inserted into your CD drive when you start ScummVM. If you have more than one CD drive in your system, you can specify your CD drive using the -c command line parameter. See the README for more info.

4.2. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of CD audio?

Yes. You can use LAME or some other CD audio conversion utility to convert your CD audio to MP3. Since version 0.3.0 we also support Ogg Vorbis files, and FLAC is supported since version 0.7.0. See the README for more info.

4.3. Does ScummVM support using MP3/Ogg/FLAC files instead of the original MIDI music?

No. If all the game does is to play or loop a tune it would be possible, but many of the games do fancy stuff like smooth transitions from one tune to another, or turn individual instruments on and off, etc. There's simply no way ScummVM could take a piece of digital music and emulate that kind of behavior.

This question usually comes up in connection with Sam & Max Hit the Road (which has a few unused bonus audio tracks on the CD) and Monkey Island 2 (which is sometimes distributed on the same CD as the version of Monkey Island 1 that uses CD audio). Both of these games do far too much fancy stuff to even consider an idea like this.

4.4. Does ScummVM support filtered graphic modes?

Yes, ScummVM supports several filtered graphic modes such as AdvMAME2x, also known as Scale2x. See the README for more info.

4.5. Can I run my game full screen?

Yes. You can either start your game using the -f command line parameter, setting the game to Full Screen in the ScummVM Options dialog, or by using the Alt+Enter key combination in-game to switch between full screen and windowed modes.

5. Troubleshooting

5.1. My game won't run.
5.2. I installed my game but ScummVM can't find it.
5.3. I don't hear any sound.
5.4. I don't hear any music.
5.5. My game crashes at some point.
5.6. ScummVM crashes, but the console window disappears too quickly to see the error message.
5.7. The game colors are messed up.
5.8. The subtitles in my non-English game are messed up.
5.9. How do I make my Macintosh version of a game work?
5.10. Reporting Bugs.
5.11. I downloaded the Broken Sword packs from your site but the game won't run.
5.12. There are no graphics in the Broken Sword I intro.
5.13. I get "WARNING: Unable to open configuration file C:\windows\scummvm.ini!"
5.14. I get "Failed to save game state to file: xxx"
5.15. ScummVM starts, but all I get is a transparent window!
5.16. ScummVM runs, but sound is stuttering and/or garbled!
5.17. How do I set an environment variable?
5.18. ScummVM starts somewhere in the middle of my two Xinerama monitors in fullscreen mode. Help!
5.1. My game won't run.

First make sure your game is supported. See "What games does ScummVM support?". If it is a supported game and you have followed the instructions in README to the letter, then see "Reporting Bugs." to report this as a bug.

5.2. I installed my game but ScummVM can't find it.

First don't use the install.exe or setup.exe shipped with the game. They usually will not do what you need to run the game with ScummVM -- rather they just copy the game .exe and install some shortcuts. ScummVM requires all game data to run, so you will need to copy those manually. Look at the Game Data Files page for further details.

5.3. I don't hear any sound.

Check the compatibility list to see if your game has sound support currently. You can also try the -s command line parameter to set the in game SFX volume.

5.4. I don't hear any music.
5.5. My game crashes at some point.

Check the Compatibility List to see if your game has any known issues. If you can reproduce this crash more than once, please report it to our Bug Tracker. See "Reporting Bugs.".

If you are experiencing random crashes, and your game plays music from CD, you most certainly have encountered a Windows bug. Try copying the data files from CD to your hard disk, and running them from there.

5.6. ScummVM crashes, but the console window disappears too quickly to see the error message.

On Windows, to make it visible, you should run ScummVM from the command line. To open a command prompt, open the Start Menu and select the 'Run' option. Under Windows NT/2000/XP, type 'cmd.exe' (no quotes) in the dialog box that shows up; under Windows 95/98/Me, type 'command.com' instead. If necessary, change to the proper drive first by typing 'D:' (where 'D' is the drive ScummVM is located). Change to ScummVM's directory by typing 'cd \your\path\to\scummvm' (substituting the appropriate path) and then type 'scummvm'.

On MacOS X, you can find the error messages by starting Console.app (in Utilities within the Applications folder). If you prefer, you can also run ScummVM from the terminal. To do this, start Terminal.app (also in the Utilities folder), then drag&drop the ScummVM.app application onto the Terminal window, remove the space at the end of the line and add 'Contents/MacOS/scummvm' (without the quotes). The line should look like this: '/Path/to/ScummVM.app/Contents/MacOS/scummvm'. Then press return to start ScummVM.

5.7. The game colors are messed up.

This is a known issue when using certain Amiga version datafiles. Normally, ScummVM should have detected your game as an "Amiga" version, but sometimes this fails for various reasons.

To fix this, select "Amiga" as a platform in the ScummVM Game Options dialog, or use the "--platform=amiga" command line parameter to enable Amiga-specific code.

5.8. The subtitles in my non-English game are messed up.

You are most likely using a game such as Maniac Mansion or Zak McKracken if you have this problem. You need to specify the correct language in the ScummVM Game Options dialog, or via the "--language" parameter or by using the 'language' config file option.

Consult the README or command line help for further information.

5.9. How do I make my Macintosh version of a game work?

First, if you use a ScummVM version prior to 0.7.0 we strongly recommend you to upgrade to the latest version, as we improved support for mac games considerably starting with 0.7.0.

For newer games ScummVM needs the main data file, usually called "<Game Title> Data" (where <Game Title> is name of your game, such as "The Dig" or "Sam & Max"). Some CDs may appear to only contain an application (watch out, it has almost the same name as the data file, except that it lacks the " Data" at the end). In that case there is still a separate data file but it is invisible.

There also exists a separate tutorial for setting up Mac versions

The older games which have LFL files should only need the platform set to 'macintosh' to run. See "The game colors are messed up." for information on specifying the game platform.

5.10. Reporting Bugs.

To report a bug, please create a SourceForge account and follow the bugs link from our homepage. Please make sure the bug is reproducible, and still exists in the latest daily build/current repository version. Also check the compatibility listing for that game to ensure the issue is not already known. In your bugreport please provide the following information:

  • ScummVM version (PLEASE test the latest daily build/current repository)
  • Bug details, including instructions on reproducing it
  • Language of game (English, German, ...)
  • Version of game (talkie, floppy, ...)
  • Platform and Compiler (Win32, Linux, MacOS, ...)
  • Attach a save game if possible
  • If this bug only occurred recently, please note the last version without the bug, and the first version including the bug. That way we can fix it quicker by looking at the changes made.
5.11. I downloaded the Broken Sword packs from your site but the game won't run.

These are not full games but reencoded cutscene (video) packs. To run the games you still need the original disks. Originally cutscenes were encoded in a proprietary format but Revolution Software kindly permitted us to reencode them into DXA and distribute them freely on our site.

5.12. There are no graphics in the Broken Sword I intro.

Be patient. There are about 12 seconds of speech only and eventually the Revolution logo will appear.

5.13. I get "WARNING: Unable to open configuration file C:\windows\scummvm.ini!"

Make sure you have enough permissions to write in c:\windows directory. Also note that this warning the first time you run ScummVM, since the file does not exist yet then.

5.14. I get "Failed to save game state to file: xxx"

Check savepath in Options->Paths->Save Path. That should point to writable directory.

5.15. ScummVM starts, but all I get is a transparent window!

This problem has been reported to happen under Windows in some cases. Check that you have the latest drivers for your graphics card. If that does not help, try setting the SDL_VIDEODRIVER environment variable to "windib" and try again.

Apparently other applications have had the same problem, because the release notes for SDL 1.2.10 (May 17, 2006) contained the following note:

The "windib" video driver is the default now, to prevent problems with certain laptops, 64-bit Windows, and Windows Vista. The DirectX driver is still available, and can be selected by setting the environment variable SDL_VIDEODRIVER to "directx".

5.16. ScummVM runs, but sound is stuttering and/or garbled!

This problem has been reported to happen under Windows in some cases. Check that you have the latest drivers for your sound card. If that does not help, try setting the SDL_AUDIODRIVER environment variable to "waveout" and try again.

Note using the "waveout" SDL audio driver causes an increased delay in sound, especially under Windows Vista and later versions.

5.17. How do I set an environment variable?

That depends on what operating system and/or command shell you are using. Under Windows, you could try creating a file called scummvm.bat in the same folder as scummvm.exe. Open this file in your favorite text editor and put something like this in it:

@echo off
set SDL_VIDEODRIVER=windib
set SDL_AUDIODRIVER=waveout
scummvm.exe %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

You should now be able to run ScummVM by double-clicking on this batch file, instead of the ScummVM executable.

On more recent versions of Windows, you can also set an environment variable permanently, and for all applications, through the control panel.

5.18. ScummVM starts somewhere in the middle of my two Xinerama monitors in fullscreen mode. Help!

In fact, this is SDL problem. SDL does by default has xinerama support enabled. Set the SDL_VIDEO_FULLSCREEN_HEAD environment variable to "1" to start ScummVM (and other SDL applications) in fullscreen on only one monitor. If this does not work make sure your SDL library does have Xinerama support compiled in.

6. Features

6.1. Will you add support for zip archives?
6.1. Will you add support for zip archives?

We will not do it. There are two main reasons for that. First, we believe that it would ease illegal distribution of games. Second, we already support compression of sound & speech in most larger titles, and use specially designed algorithms like MP3, Ogg and FLAC, so you can already reduce the size of the data files.

We as a team already discussed that question. We can't absolutely exclude the possibility of changing our mind one day in the future, but for now, we have no intentions to do so, hence please don't ask us about it!

 

Tentacle