User Manual/Introduction

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If you want to contribute, send us a sample of text you'd write for the new manual, and we will consider adding you an account. You can work on the manual in the Wiki, but if you prefer, supplying us with HTML or TeX sources is fine, too (we will then translate them for the Wiki).

You can have a look at our TODO page for a list of tasks that need to be done.

1.1 What is ScummVM?

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure and role-playing games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this is that ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the game, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed!

Originally it was designed to run the SCUMM games by LucasArts, such as Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle or Sam & Max Hit the Road. SCUMM stands for 'Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion', which was the first game for which LucasArts designed this system. Much later it gave its name to ScummVM. The 'VM' stands for Virtual Machine.

Over time support for a lot of non-SCUMM games have been added, and ScummVM now also supports many of Sierra's ADL, AGI and SCI games (such as the first six games in the King's Quest series, the first five games in the Space Quest series, and many others), the first two games in the Discworld series, the first two games in the Simon the Sorcerer series, Beneath a Steel Sky, Lure of the Temptress, the first two games in the Broken Sword series, Flight of the Amazon Queen, this first three games in the Goblins series, the Legend of Kyrandia series, many of Humongous Entertainment's children's SCUMM games (including the Freddi Fish series and the Putt-Putt series), and many more. You can find a full list with details on which adventure and role-playing games are supported, and how well they run in ScummVM, on the compatibility page. ScummVM is continually improving, so check back often. If you need some games for ScummVM, check the list which shows where to get the games. Many of the games are still commercially available, and some of them are even free.

The systems on which you can play those games include regular desktop computers (running Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and others), game consoles (Dreamcast, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and others), smartphones (Android, iPhone, Windows CE, SymbianOS, among others), and many more. For a complete list of systems which are supported by ScummVM, consult the platforms list.

At this time ScummVM is still under heavy development. Be aware that whilst we attempt to make sure that many games can be completed with few major bugs, crashes can happen and we offer no warranty. That being said, some of the games have been supported for a long time and should work fine with any recent stable release. You can get a feeling of how well each game is working in ScummVM by looking at the compatibility page.

Actually, if you browse a bit around you might discover that ScummVM is even being used commercially to re-release some of the supported games on modern platforms. This shows that several companies are happy with the quality of the software and how well it can run some of the games.

If you enjoy ScummVM feel free to donate some money to help us. This will help us buy utilities needed to develop ScummVM easier and quicker. If you cannot donate, you can help by contributing a patch, or if you aren't able to program, you can test one of the supported games and file any bugs you find on our bug tracker.