User Manual/Configuring ScummVM

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Using the Launcher to configure ScummVM

The ScummVM Launcher gives us a graphical method for changing the settings that it uses to run games. There are two ways to do this: firstly by changing the default settings (which games will follow unless told otherwise), secondly by configuring an individual game to use settings that are different from the defaults. To begin with we will look at changing the default settings. To do this, click on the "Options" button on the right-hand side of the Launcher window. There are many options, and they are separated into tabs: we shall look at each tab in turn.

Graphics tab

The Graphics tab of the ScummVM options

The graphics tab allows us to change various things about the way the games are displayed on screen when played.

Control Description
Graphics mode This allows us to change the graphic filter that ScummVM uses (e.g. to scale the game to a bigger resolution). The option has no effect on games whose original resolution is higher than 320x200 or 320x240 (e.g. 640x480) - such games should be configured separately. See the Graphic filters section of the manual for more detail
Render mode This allows us to change the render mode that ScummVM uses. See the Render Modes section of the manual for more detail
Aspect ratio correction Most games supported by ScummVM were designed to be played at a screen resolution of 320x200 using rectangular pixels (higher than they were wide). Most modern systems however are using square pixels, which means that the image appears to be squeezed vertically and the characters look wider and shorter than they should. If this option is checked, ScummVM corrects for this by stretching the game window to a resolution of 320x240 which with square pixels looks the same as 320x200 on old monitors. As with Graphic filters, this takes a little processing power to achieve. We can combine this with a Graphic filter, and for example with a scaling of x2 the window size will be 640x480 instead of 640x400.
Fullscreen mode Switches between playing games in a window, or playing them in fullscreen mode. Switch between the two using Alt-F5 while in a game.

Audio tab

The Audio tab

The audio tab in the options allows us to change various things about the way that sound is outputted in ScummVM games.

Control Description
Music driver This is the method that ScummVM uses to output MIDI music. For more details, see the section on music drivers.
AdLib Emulator This is the emulator used by ScummVM to generate the music when the AdLib music driver is selected. Two emulators are currently available. MAME OPL emulator was the emulator that was used up to version 0.13.1. More recently the DOSBox OPL emulator has been added (but is still experimental).
Output rate This is the sample rate at which ScummVM plays back sounds (including music if using an emulation music driver, such as the AdLib music driver). For more information, see the Output sample rate section
Text and Speech For games with digitized speech, this control allows the user to decide whether to play the game with speech and without any subtitles, with subtitles displaying the words spoken in the digitized speech but not the speech, or with both.
Subtitle speed This allows the user to adjust the length of time that the subtitles are displayed on screen: the lower the speed is set, the longer the subtitles appear for.

Volume tab

The Volume tab

The volume tab allows us to set the relative volumes for the various different types of sound that ScummVM plays.

Control Description
Music volume The volume of the music played back in games. This is usually MIDI music played back with one of the music drivers, but some games use digitized music.
SFX volume The volume of the sound effects within the games.
Speech volume The volume of the digitized speech in the game, if it has any.
Mute All Mute all sounds.

MIDI tab

The MIDI tab

The MIDI tab lets us change various settings about the MIDI music played back in games.

Control Description
Soundfont Some music drivers require you to provide them with a Soundfont, which contains samples of instruments for the device to play back. This setting allows you to choose one.
Mixed AdLib/MIDI mode Some games contain sound effects that are exclusive to the AdLib soundtrack. For these games, you may wish to use this mode in order to combine MIDI music with AdLib sound effects.
True Roland MT-32 (disable GM emulation) ScummVM will treat your device as a real MT-32. Because the instrument mappings and system exclusive commands of the MT-32 vary from those of General MIDI devices, you should only enable this option if you are using an actual Roland MT-32, LAPC-I, CM-64, CM-32L, CM-500, or GS device with an MT-32 map.
Enable Roland GS Mode ScummVM will initialize your GS-compatible device with settings that mimic the MT-32's reverb, (lack of) chorus, pitch bend sensitivity, etc. If it is specified in conjunction with True Roland MT-32 (above), ScummVM will select the MT-32-compatible map and drumset on your GS device. This setting works better than default GM or GS emulation with games that do not have custom instrument mappings (Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island). You should only specify both settings if you are using a GS device that has an MT-32 map, e.g. SC-55, SC-88, SC-8820, etc. Please note that Roland GS Mode is automatically disabled in both Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit the Road, since they use General MIDI natively.

If neither of the above settings is enabled, ScummVM will initialize your device in General MIDI mode and use GM emulation in games with MT-32 soundtracks.

MIDI gain The relative volume of the general MIDI music. This is only supported by some of the music drivers.

Paths tab

The Paths tab

This part of the options lets the user tell ScummVM where to look for particular files

Control Description
Save Path This is the default folder in which ScummVM will store saved games. If this is not set, saved games will generally be stored in the current directory. Exceptions to this include:
  • Windows Vista and up (\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\ScummVM\Saved games\)
  • Windows 2000 and XP (\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\ScummVM\Saved games\)
  • Mac OS X ($HOME/Documents/ScummVM Savegames/)
  • other UNIX variants ($HOME/.scummvm/)
  • iPhone (/private/var/mobile/Library/ScummVM/Savegames)
Extra Path This is the folder that ScummVM will look in for various "extra" files. These could include one or more of:
  • Additional datafiles required for certain games (e.g. kyra.dat)
  • Soundfonts (see MIDI tab)
  • MT-32 ROMs (see MT-32 emulation)
Theme Path The folder that additional themes for the ScummVM Launcher are stored in.

Misc tab

The Misc tab

The Misc tab contains options that don't belong on any of the other tabs.

Control Description
Theme Click on this button to change the visual appearance of the ScummVM Launcher
GUI Renderer This settings defines how the ScummVM GUI is rendered. The two options are to use either the normal renderer or an antialiased renderer.
Autosave In some games (namely Beneath a Steel Sky, Flight of the Amazon Queen and all SCUMM games), ScummVM will automatically save the game every few minutes. For the SCUMM engine, it will save in Slot 0. This saved game can be loaded again using Ctrl-0 or the F5 menu. Use this control to adjust the time period that ScummVM waits between saves; the default setting is 5 minutes.

Using the configuration file to configure ScummVM

When you change a setting in the ScummVM Launcher (see Using the Launcher to configure ScummVM), all it does is add a line to the configuration file. This is a plain text file which stores all the settings for ScummVM. It is possible to edit this file directly, and some settings can only be changed this way. A description of the configuration file is available in the User Manual Appendix.

The name of the config file and the location in which it is stored depend on the system you are running ScummVM on:

Operating System Location of config file
Windows Vista \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\ScummVM\scummvm.ini
Windows 2000/XP \Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\ScummVM\scummvm.ini
Windows NT4 <windir>\Profiles\username\Application Data\ScummVM\scummvm.ini
Windows 95/98/ME <windir>\scummvm.ini
Unix $HOME/.scummvmrc
Mac OS X $HOME/Library/Preferences/ScummVM Preferences
Others scummvm.ini in the current directory

Note: all Windows versions will use <windir>\scummvm.ini if it already exists.

General config file settings

These parameters can either be set in the "ScummVM" section of the config file, in which case they specify the default setting, or in the section for a particular game, in which case they override the default setting for that game.

Keyword Type Description
path string The path in which a game's data files are stored
autosave_period number Number of seconds between autosaves (default: 300)
save_slot number The savegame number to load on startup
savepath string The path to which a game will store its saved games
versioninfo string The version of ScummVM that created the configuration file
gameid string The real id of a game. Useful if you have several versions of the same game, and want different aliases for them
description string The description of the game as it will appear in the launcher
language string Specify language (en, us, de, fr, it, pt, es, jp, zh, kr, se, gb, hb, cz, ru)
speech_mute bool If true, speech is muted
subtitles bool Set to true to enable subtitles
talkspeed number Text speed
fullscreen bool Fullscreen mode
aspect_ratio bool Enable aspect ratio correction
gfx_mode string Graphics mode (see Graphic filters)
confirm_exit bool Ask for confirmation by the user before quitting (SDL backend only)
cdrom number Number of CD-ROM unit to use for audio. If negative, don't even try to access the CD-ROM
joystick_num number Number of joystick device to use for input
music_driver string The music engine to use
output_rate number The output sample rate to use, in Hz (see Output sample rate)
alsa_port string Port to use for output when using the ALSA music driver
music_volume number The music volume setting (0-255)
multi_midi bool If true, enable combination AdLib and native MIDI
soundfont string The SoundFont to use for MIDI playback (only supported by some MIDI drivers)
native_mt32 bool If true, disable GM emulation and assume that there is a true Roland MT-32 available
enable_gs bool If true, enable Roland GS-specific features to enhance GM emulation. If native_mt32 is also true, the GS device will select an MT-32 map to play the correct instruments
sfx_volume number The sfx volume setting (0-255)
tempo number The music tempo (50-200) (default: 100)
speech_volume number The speech volume setting (0-255)
midi_gain number The MIDI gain (0-1000) (default: 100) (only supported by some MIDI drivers)
copy_protection bool Enable copy protection in certain games, in those cases where ScummVM disables it by default.
demo_mode bool Start demo in Maniac Mansion
alt_intro bool Use alternative intro for CD versions of Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen
boot_param number Pass this number to the boot script

Game specific settings

These parameters will only have any effect in the section of the config file devoted to specific games.

Music & sound effects mute settings

Broken Sword 2, Flight of the Amazon Queen and Simon the Sorcerer 1 & 2 all allow use of the following settings:

Keyword Type Description
music_mute bool If true, music is muted
sfx_mute bool If true, sound effects are muted

Broken Sword 2 specific settings

Keyword Type Description
gfx_details number Graphics details setting (0-3)
object_labels bool If true, object labels are enabled
reverse_stereo bool If true, stereo channels are reversed

The Legend of Kyrandia specific settings

Keyword Type Description
walkspeed int The walk speed (0-4)

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