Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Playing old-school adventure games on Android

Did you know you can play many of the old-school point-and-click adventure games on your Android device? Here's how:

  1. Install the ScummVM app

  2. Check compatibility
    In the game compatibility list, pick a game you want to play, and make sure it's compatible. Be sure to click on the game and read the compatibility notes.

  3. Install the game engine
    Go to the list of game engines, find the game you want to play, and then find the engine it needs. Then go to the Google Play Store and install the correct plugin for that engine.

  4. Get the game data files
    Find your game in the data files list, and make note of the data files it needs. You need to get those data files from your copy of the game (install the game if necessary), and then put these files somewhere on the SD card of your phone.

  5. Add the game to ScummVM
    On your phone, open ScummVM, then click Add Game. Browse to the folder where you put the data files, highlight the folder, and click Choose
A few games, such as Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen have even been released as freeware. See here on where you can get them. Here's what the above steps would look like for one of the free games, Teen Agent:

  1. Install ScummVM

  2. Install the teenagent engine plugin

  3. Download Teen Agent from GOG

  4. Install Teen Agent (if you're using Linux this works fine in Wine)

  5. Go to the Teen Agent installation folder, and copy all the *.res files somewhere to your Android device's storage/SD card

  6. Get the teenagent.dat file (which was mentioned in the compatibility notes for this game) and put it in the same folder where you put the *.res files

  7. On your phone, open ScummVM, then click Add Game. Browse to the folder where you put the Teen Agent files, highlight the folder, and click Choose.
In case you're curious, I haven't actually found Teen Agent to be very fun. In particular, the English translation isn't that great (the original game was Polish, I believe) and the puzzles are somewhat difficult because many of them aren't very intuitive; many of the solutions simply don't make much sense. I chose it intentionally as my example, though, because it's important to check out the compatibility notes for any quirks, like the teenagent.dat file in this case.

You might also find these links helpful in using ScummVM on Android:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Free resources for learning Python

I've blogged on here a bit about Python, but it occurred to me that I haven't actually provided any resources for anyone interested in learning Python.

A great place to start is It's got simple tutorials as well as an interactive shell so you can try it out as you learn.

There's also Dive Into Python, a free book that's also been published by Apress.

Dive Into Python covers Python 2, but there's a Python 3 version available as well for free, published by Apress as well.

Of course there are a lot of other free resources available, but less is more, and these two are a great place to start. A more comprehensive list of resources, free and non-free, are available here:

Have fun!

Monday, February 6, 2012