Since 09/04/2005, the CVS builds are unable to run unofficially translated SCUMM games. It coincides with the new unified target system, which relies on md5 checksums rather than specific target names (zaktowns, loomcd, etc). Whenever trying to launch such a translation, we get the following error message (here's Zak FM-Towns in newly translated French as an example):
"Looking for zak Trying to start game 'Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders' Unknown MD5 (46583ec0ecc443db614fa465a12cc592)! Please report the details (language, platform, etc.) of this game to the ScummVM team (0:0:0x0): Unknown magic id (0xFE08) - this version is unsupported!"
I have long hesitated to fill this as a bug report, hoping it was just a fixable glitch due to the new system and not a deliberate choice to drop support for third-party translations. But just in case, please let me advocate the cause of those unofficial translations through a couple of arguments:
1. They used to work in ScummVM without any problem (providing the translation was carefully done), and they used to be enjoyed by a fair number of people whose English was not their native language. Those translations just had to be manually added to the INI file and given a proper target name, which was not a big deal.
2. The people working on unofficial translations want to contribute to the legacy of those old games by putting whatever creative skills they have (beyond programming) for the benefit of the many and in a legitimate way. This is different from hacking since those translations (mine at least) are distributed under the form of patches only applicable onto original versions (via PatchMaker, etc).
3. Figuratively speaking, the mission of ScummVM has always been to "translate" games from one computer "language" to another, that is to make some games run on platforms that never had any "native" versions of those games (eg. running The Dig on PalmOS). We, freelance translators, do the very same, except our efforts are aimed at people, not computers. But the philosophy's the same.
The unified target system is a very good thing IMO, but it has the side-effect of leaving in the dust any game which md5 is unrecognized (particularly annoying when you're working on a WIP translation). The matter is complicated with those PC games which were available in two or more versions for the same platform -- Classic/Enhanced, floppy/CD, EGA/VGA... The new system has no way whatsoever (beside checking the md5) to determine whether it's an EGA or a VGA version, a Classic or an Enhanced, a floppy or a CD... It used to rely on the target name for that.
I'm occasionally working for a French translation group called ATP, which purpose is to offer quality translations of games that were distributed here but either never translated or badly done. I've worked all Summer long on an exclusive translation for Loom VGA and was delighted to see it work in ScummVM for a few days. Now I have to tell people to use DOSBox or an older version of ScummVM in order to enjoy this translation, which is quite frustrating.
Hopefully it will run again the way it did -- I'd sure be thankful to you for that. At least please consider and discuss the matter.
Ticket imported from: #1286150. Ticket imported from: feature-requests/258.