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Explore a broken-down luxury cruise liner, try to convince the Deskbot to give you an upgrade, and eventually track down and fix the ship's governing computer, Titania. Or you're never going to get home. We're pleased to announce the testing period for the late '90s game Starship Titanic. At this time, only the English version is ready for testing. So break out your copy, and grab the latest daily build of ScummVM. You'll also need an extra required titanic.dat file, which should be put in the same folder you copy your game files to.

Before you start your test run, please be aware there is one specific kind of Indeo encoded AVI video we haven't yet figured out how to decode transparency information for. In a few areas, such as the SGT Stateroom and Titania's closeup, amongst others, you'll see objects with jagged black areas around them. Please just ignore the problem for now. But all other graphics or gameplay issues should be reported on our Issue Tracker.
If you haven't already, share this on the Steam forum of the game too.
Thank you for the heads up, I’m going to give it a try soon.
A few bugs I've found so far, I'm afraid. Spoilers abound for those who haven't played it before.

When descending in any elevator to the SGT class, the "first class" orchestral music doesn't fade out...the "second class" jazz music fades in then out again, then the SGT class "piano music" fades in...but the orchestral music continues until you leave the elevator. When travelling up, the reverse is true..the piano music doesn't go away. When going from 1st to 2nd, the orchestral music mixes with the jazz music.

The mouse cursor in game seems to lag by 300-500ms...meaning if you want to travel somewhere you have to briefly wait for the in-game cursor to catch up and change accordingly, otherwise the game registers a "mis-click". This delay is doubled or even trebled when dragging items around...ESPECIALLY the parrot - it took me almost 10 seconds to drag him down to the inventory.

Fentible's eyes sometimes turn completely white during his speech. This may be related to the known alpha-channel bug that the devs are already aware of - the one that is affecting the corruption around the edges of characters.

Sometimes, the Deskbot will announce "Bing bong..." and then silence.

When entering the Titanic for the first time, Fentible is supposed to talk, attempt to press the elevator button and miss, then apologise and ask you to do it for him. There is no pause. He says that's he's having trouble pressing the button whilst still attempting to do so...there should be a pause of about five seconds or so BEFORE he says "Things are going from bad to worse"

When playing the credits video, upon flying back into the embarkation lobby and turning round, the video freezes for 3-4 seconds whilst the music continues playing. The video then finishes playing to silence.

I'm not sure if this is a bug in the original game, but I kept having my chevrons overwritten. If I created a custom one, then went to get an upgrade from the Deskbot, the automatically assigned chevron would just overwrite whichever chevron is on the far right. Also, if I made a custom one, then changed the chevron to make a new custom one and attempted to save it, the new one overwrote the old one.

Whilst feeding the pistachios to the parrot, his speech is far too quiet and is almost drowned out by the music (not that that's a bad thing!)

During the animation of the starlings being pulped, the fan doesn't appear to be moving at all. I'm not sure if this is a bug with the original animation, or if it's another alpha-channel bug

In the music room, it sounds like there's a buffer-underrun occurring when playing the music. It sounds fine for a couple of seconds, then pauses, and begins stuttering badly throughout the rest of the playback. This also happens when playing it back in the restaurant.

In the restaurant, the Maitre D'Bot makes comments about enjoying the music...even before I changed the cylinders.

When entering the first class restaurant, you can see the Maitre D'Bot in the distance. His idle animation is played FAR too fast - like 4 or 6x faster than it should be.

Nothing seems to happen when I put the hose in the light fitting and give the other end to the Suc-U-Bus.. The cursor changes to a "grab" cursor, but the animation doesn't play and the item doesn't appear.

...also...the chicken went cold in literally five seconds. Seriously. By the time I added it to my inventory it had become a cold chicken. I'm not sure it's even possible to complete the puzzle!
Post edited July 04, 2017 by pacifist.413
Wow. You're good at testing. Thanks for identifying all these problems to look into. As far as the chicken goes, you should check that the chicken toaster dial is on in the ship's fusebox, or else the chicken will start off cold. Interestingly enough, from memory, the walkthroughs I consulted said that if you let the SuccUBus eat the chcken, the game is put in an unwinnable state. But it's not.. as I recall, removing the chicken fuse and replacing it again in the fusebox resets the SGT restaurant to give you a new chicken as long as you don't still have one in your inventory. This is also useful for getting rid of a cold chicken.. you can feed it to the SuccUBus and use that trick to get a fresh hot one.

As for the other points, I've created bug reports for all of them.
Post edited July 04, 2017 by dreammaster
I can confirm the mouse pointer sluggishness issue and the opening animation hanging up on my system (Debian with today's nightly build). The mouse pointer issue first occurred when I picked up the photo in the house, and for a short while I thought the game had hanged up on me, but it came alive again when I let go of the photo. :)

Speaking of the mouse pointer, when I go to pick up the photo from inventory, the mouse pointer doesn't turn into a pickup-hand when hovering it, but only very briefly (until it moves) when I put it back. This is a bug, I think. (I also seem to recall that you could click to pick up in the original implementation, not just click and hold, but I may be misremembering.)

There is also an issue with the transparency in Fentible's animation before going up to the ship, when he has a nervous fit, but I think this is also a known issue. Will report more as I come across them (or do you prefer to get them directly on GitHub?).

Thanks for the stellar work!
The mouse pointer sluggishness made it nigh on impossible to do the parrot/chicken puzzle because of the amount of animation, but after about 12 tries I finally got it!

The Rowbot's singing also seems to have the same buffer-underrunning problem that the Music Room/Restaurant has. He also sings the same short snippet over and over, and it plays even over the top of the music in the Arboretum...

But when fiddling with his levers, he's completely silent even though his mouth is moving...

Can confirm the Arboretum "wrong season" bug - when on stays on Autumn UNLESS I'm dragging something onto the screen, then it flickers between Winter and Autumn.

After freezing the river and doing the Rowbot puzzle...the sound dropped out completely and remained silent until I restored a save game.

The "Don't Touch That" puzzle...I seemed to get working. But I had to attach the hose to the Suc-U-Bus FIRST and THEN put the other end into the lamp (drag from the corner of the screen). If I attached the lamp first and then the Suc-U-Bus, it doesn't seem to trigger the air/rising animation when I look back...
Thanks. I've at least confirmed the problem you had with the nose puzzle, and have added a ticket to the bugtracker for it, as well as for the gondola issues you listed.
Hey, just though I'd touch base to let everyone know that the testing period is still going strong. Particular praise goes to user dafioram, who's tireless testing has discovered dozens of different bugs.. quite a few of which were actually in the original game. There's still about a dozen outstanding bugs left to quash, which still includes the complicated problem of figuring out the remaining video format that includes transparencies (i.e. get rid of the black areas around objects in some scenes).

Another little tidbit that may interest fans.. just this evening I've hooked in the original game's Secret Cheat Room that was used by the developers. From tomorrow's daily build onwards, you'll be able to use Ctrl+C to switch to the cheat room. A scerenshot of the room is attached. It consists of both a list of quick jump destinations, as well as a separate inventory screen that contains most of the different items found within the game.
Awesome news, great to see how far the reimplementation has come :)
Hey yet again. Feeling pretty good right now. As of yesterday, I finally finished fixing the last remaining graphical bug that was outstanding from the testing period. That means that the entire game looks and plays just like the original. Though it does benefit from improvements I've added along the way, like ability for more than 5 savegames, mouse scrolling for the inventory and conversation log, and the ability to move around using the arrow keys.

The only exception is the cursors.. previously, ScummVM's backend didn't support having cursors with partial transparency/alpha. So I'd dithered the cursors down so ScummVM could display them. But I got some good news from a fellow ScummVM developer working on the SCI (Sierra games) engine.. some changes he's made for cursor drawing that the SCI engine needs also allowed my cursors to display correctly. Currently, it's on a separate code branch he's working on, but in a week or two when he finally merges it into the mainstream ScummVM source, daily builds will finally be pixel perfect against the original.

In fact, there's only one known bug outstanding. Which is that the music playback in the music room doesn't sound quite correct. I need to look into it further this weekend; hopefully it'll be some straightforward problem I can locate by comparing the raw sound values produced against the original. And when the cursor fixes get merged, the testing period will finally be over. \o/
And the music room bug falls to my leet skills :). Turns out to have been a simple case of a size counter for sound data counting in bytes rather than in 16-bit (2 byte) values. So of the 4 second buffer allocated for the music being queued, only half of the values were being read in. So now, as I mentioned in my previous post, I longer have any remaining bugs, and I'm only waiting on the core cursor changes to be merged in for the English version to be considered "supported", pending the next official release of ScummVM 1.10.

In the interim, I figure it may not hurt to do at least some mucking around with the German version before I move onto other games. As of yesterday and this morning, I've done a whole bunch of fixes, and the game can be played as far as completing the prologue. There are some changes required in titanic.dat, though.. some further tables of information changed in the German version, so I've had to add them. I'm going to hold off generating a fresh titanic.dat, though, in case in further changes are required.

I'm not committing to finishing the German version mind you. I'm still wary of the number of changes that may end up being required. For now, I'm considering this a bit of detox from all the time I spent bugfixing in the engine. We'll see how far I get. But even if I do end up stopping on work on the German version before it's completable, the more I do end up doing now, the less there'll be for someone else (or maybe even myself) to do in the future, so there's that.

BTW: One of the other developers got hold of a Mac version of the game yesterday. I should have been clearer in the testing announcement that only the PC version is supported, not the Mac version. On the plus side, it seems that all of .st files are identical, it's just the videos that differ, with many of them having QuickTime encoding. And since all of the game's logic is in the engine's C++ code, it would only require adding support for AVI's to have embedded QuickTime videos for that version to be supported. Treat this as an interesting tidbit; there's currently no plans to spend the time actually getting the Mac version working properly, since the PC version is available here from GOG for just a few dollars, and ScummVM works on many systems already, including Macs.
Seems I was little too quick to celebrate finishing all the bugs. One of my fellow developers in the group did a memory profile and provided me a list of areas that were leaking memory. There was also another new bug found if you turn away from the Aboretum broken Pellerator without picking up the hose. None of these will hopefully take very long to fix. I'm already working my way through fixing the memory leaks.

On a somewhat happy note for German fans, the German version is now playable right through the prologue, check-in, and entry to the Top of the Well. It did require some fixes in the parser, Deskbot, and Doorbot NPCs, but nothing major.. though it was still a somewhat laborious process to slowly compare the bots' logic against the disassembly of the German executable to find differences. Likewise for the sounds played. I simply put a breakpoint in sound playing method, and gradually fixed the sound effects as they were used.. locating the same code in the German version and putting in the German version's sound filenames.

Given that I'm still waiting on cursor fixes to be merged in a week or two, and how promising the work on the German version has gone, I figure it may not hurt to keep working on supporting the German version while I wait. Better to have it properly supported now whilst the engine is still fresh in my mind. Plus it's great that GOG provide the German version for download as part of the Starship Titanic game entry, so German fans will have no problem obtaining it.
Extensive work during the last three days has resulted in all the sound filenames (which are different in the German version), finally being set up to use the correct German ones. It was a straightforward but laborious process, to locate each call to the game's playSound method in the German executable, and then trace back to figure out what method it was in, and add it to the correct method in the ScummVM code.

I've now started on working my way through the script classes for each NPC bot. Many of the Ids used in them also differ from the English version. So it's a matter of identifying the same methods in the German executable, and slowly working my way through them, checking against the English version every time a value is used, and adding it into ScummVM if it is. I've already finished reviewing the Barbot's script, so this weekend, I'll try to work my way through the others.

Speaking of this weekend, I still have the newly reported bug and remaining memory leaks to also look into. Once I finish them and the NPC scripts, I'll try and figure out what remains that needs to be implemented for the German version to be completeable. As far as I know, there's just some calls to the German Translation tab in some areas (that gives the German version of English text shown within the scenes), and a few classes in the endgame, like the bomb, that have special German logic.

All in all, it's looking like the German version might be ready for testing even prior to the next ScummVM release. That'd be a nice bonus, having the next release supporting both languages for the game.