User Manual/TODO

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Name User Manual TODO
Technical Contact(s) The ScummVM Team
Subsystem Documentation


I see several ways in which the user might use a ScummVM manual.

  • A new user will arrive: I have game XXX and I was told that ScummVM can help me to play this game on platform YYY. How can I run this game with ScummVM?. A good way to help that user would be to have a Quick Start section, something that the current manual is lacking.
  • More experienced user (or the same user a bit later) will ask more complex questions or will want more details. How can I get a better sound? What sound settings should I use?. For this kind of more advanced documentation I would simply take the different sections of the Quick Start and break them into different pages in which we can add more details.
  • The last approach is quite different: the user with the ScummVM window in front of him might ask himself what is this button? What does it do? Here instead of a workflow approach (How To?), we have a GUI oriented approach (What Is?).

The following organization tries to address all these approaches.

User Manual Structure

1. Introduction
 What is ScummVM?
2. Quick Start
 This would look like a platform-independent tutorial of the whole process, up to launching a game. One of the freeware game can be used as an example so that the user can try it himself.
 This should be short and well illustrated. All subsections here would also have a link to the more detailed section.
 2.1 Installing ScummVM
 2.2 Installing a game for use with ScummVM
 2.3 Adding a game in ScummVM
 2.4 Running a game in ScummVM
 2.5 Where to get help?
3. ScummVM Interface
 3.1 Main Window
 3.2 Options
 3.3 Game settings 
 3.4 In-game menu (with a list of games that keep to their own menus)
4. Using ScummVM
 4.1 Installing ScummVM (on all platforms)
 4.2 Configuring ScummVM (describing the settings and command-line parameters)
 4.3 Installing a game for use with ScummVM (covering multi-CD games, additional files like kyra.dat, and extracting/converting audio tracks)
 4.4 Adding and Running a game in ScummVM (and creating batch files)
 4.5 Configuring a game in ScummVM (adjusting per-game settings, describing why 3x scaler makes 640x480 games run in a smaller window than oldies...)
 4.6 Removing a game from ScummVM
 4.7 Uninstalling ScummVM - ? Why would they even think about that?!
5. Getting help
 5.1 FAQ - ? Would threads like these:
 'Why isn't my Torin's Passage detected by ScummVM?' - 'It is probably not supported by now. See compatibility page here (link).'
 qualify as 'frequently asked'? Or 'There is no sound'? 'My game crashes'?
 5.2 Contacts
 5.3 Reporting bugs
6. Appendix
 Contains comprehensive technical information.
 6.1 Command line options
 6.2 Config file description
 6.3 Tools

Discussion on the User Manual Structure

  • Do we need a FAQ there? There is already an FAQ on the web site? Maybe we could have a more detailed FAQ, i.e. for each question we would not just have two or three lines but a more complete answer (with illustrations if needed).
  • For the nearly identical items (e.g. ScummVM's 'Options' and 'Edit game' windows) it would probably be better to duplicating Manual's contents - thus never having to make reservations for numerous tiny peculiarities.
  • The manual in this structure might not be optimal for users wanting to use the manual on a specific platform. They would have to look for bits on different pages that contains many information not relevant for that platform.
    • We can have a page similar to an index with the list of platforms and for each one links to the relevant parts in the documentation.
    • We can have a Platforms page with the info sorted by platform. The content (ScummVM installation, Game installation and controls) could be written in templates so that it is not duplicated and can be used in several places (e.g. User Manual, User Manual Platforms page, wiki platform pages).
  • Should the ScummVM interface and Using ScummVM section be each on a single page or have on page for each sub-section? I would prefer the later because otherwise we might get very long pages and I think it is easier to find information on several well organized pages than on a single long page.


Add ScummVM and game installation instructions

We need to add the instructions for the following platforms on the Installing ScummVM and Installing a game for use with ScummVM pages:

  • Atari
  • BeOS
  • Fedora Core / RedHat
  • GP2X / GP2XWiz
  • PS2
  • Symbian
  • Wii
  • Nintendo GameCube

We might be able to get the information from:

  • the wiki platform page
  • the port forums, but we need to make sure it is up to date (ask port maintainer).
  • ask in the port forum if the information is not already there
  • ask directly the port maintainer (I am not sure they all visit the forums).

This information is to be displayed on several pages (e.g. the User Manual, the platform pages). To avoid duplication, we can use two templates for each platform, one for ScummVM installation and one for game installation, that contain the relevant information.

Add controls for embedded devices

We need to add controls for embedded devices (devices that do not use a mouse and keyboard) on the Adding and Running a game in ScummVM page. For the following platforms there is a link to the platform pages. This should be changed so that it is directly visible in the User Manual.

  • Windows CE

It is completely missing for the following platforms:

  • PS2
  • Symbian
  • GameCube
  • Wii


The requirements section on the Installing ScummVM page is incomplete.

  • Update list of supported platforms, platforms that are not maintained anymore and third party unsupported platforms. The PS2 for example is not in the correct category and the Android port is missing altogether.
  • Add minimum memory, OS (or firmware) version, screen size... required to run ScummVM on each platform.

Compiling from source

The compiling from source section on the Installing ScummVM page needs to be written. Here are some ideas:

  • Point to the Compiling ScummVM page, resp. integrate that here.
  • List all required libs; where to get them; how to install them
  • List all optional libs etc.
  • We could separate this by OS, or by compiler/dev system. I think the current split in the README (section 9.0) isn't too bad.

Uninstalling ScummVM

The page Uninstalling ScummVM needs to be written (or removed). I suppose there will be different instructions depending on the platform (e.g. Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone).