Reply To: AGI Interpreter Recoding


(re: re: Ken Williams Q&A) hello mr. williams. im sure this question has been asked many times before, but i was wondering if it was even legal to re-code the old sci and ags interpreters. i would love to remake these engines using directx so that all of us that own the old games would finally be able to enjoy them on xp and so forth. now i know that there are people out there that have backwards engineered sci, and have made some new versions, but they are very bug ridden. does sierra own the rights to these engines, or just the games and characters created with them. i have no idea how copyrights work, so im sure this probably isnt legally possible. was there ever any official printed documentation of the interpreters? that would be wonderfull! but again, im sure not legal to distibute. as a developer, i am totally against giving software away for free, but i dont see the harm in updating engines and distributing just those files. that way people that own the game can just install the original game, and then copy the new engine files over top the old ones. if they used there copies of the original games for the data and resource files, i dont see what the problem would be, but then again i dont know the copyright laws. isnt that kind of what patch files do? again, i hope not to offend, i do not mean that i am for giving the games away for free, just updated engine code. any information would be greatly appreciated. im sorry if this is asked all the time. also, thanks for the many years of fun! thanks for your time.

I don’t know the legal issues on re-building the AGI or SCI interpretor. I would be totally shocked if Sierra were to ever sue someone for doing so. AGI and SCI are just interpretors, that we ourselves “copied” at the time. It’s not like we invented object programming. We just built our own implementation of it. How could Sierra claim ownership of an interpretor? Perhaps a particular implementation, but you aren’t talking about using their implementation.
Anyway, that’s my opinion – but since I’m not a lawyer – it may not mean much of anything…
Personally, I have no documentation whatsoever from AGI or SCI. I don’t even think I have any old source code for either the interpretors or the games. If I ever find any, I’ll think about posting it here – but I’m fairly positive I don’t have any.
There was a VERY interesting post on this website today. One of the original fathers of AGI and SCI, Chris Iden, left a message for me. He is working with a bunch of other ex-Sierra developers on building games – from our old building in Oakhurst. I will be worth watching what he does. His team is VERY strong. You may be able to write him about the details of SCI and AGI. I’m not sure what all he remembers. It was a LONG time ago.
-Ken W