SCI Studio Tutorial 1

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Making a Game With SCI Studio

Volume I

By Brian Provinciano

Updated March 5th, 2003

This tutorial is based upon the older "SCI Studio" Script, which has been since superseded by "Sierra Script". Please refer to the SCI Companion Documentation for more information.


Have you ever wanted to make an adventure game like Sierra's King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry or Quest for Glory? Well, now you can! With SCI Studio, you can create games using the exact same engine Sierra used!

Since 1988, Sierra has been using the SCI game engine to create countless outstanding games. Through the great efforts of many fans, the SCI game engine has been reverse engineered. With this acquired knowledge, SCI Studio was written, giving you the ability make complete games using Sierra's original SCI game engine!

Making The Game

So you want to make an SCI game, do you? Well this is the place to start! This tutorial will tell you everything you need to know about making an SCI game. It takes you step by step through the whole process of creating a simple game. From managing the game's files, to creating the graphics, to scripting, it will teach you every aspect of making a adventure game with SCI Studio.

To make an SCI game, you should have some prior programming experience. This tutorial will assume that you have a general grasp in computer programming. You need not be an expert, but should have an idea of how programming generally works (variables, if, else, while, statements, etc.). You should also be familiar with at least one object oriented programming language such as C++, Java or Delphi. This is simply a suggestion, as I have been emailed by many users who had absolutely no prior programming experience, but with this tutorial, were able to create some quite impressive games.

Making an SCI game is not very hard. You essentially just need to draw backgrounds, the characters and animation, and script what should happen when the user enters certain commands, such as "open door", or "look tree".

SCI games all begin in SCI Studio...

Getting Started

This tutorial takes you through every step of making an SCI game. It is highly recommended that you follow it from beginning to end and don't skip any steps. If you go through it step by step, you WILL be able to make a complete SCI game when finished. Just remember to follow it's order, not skip anything, and if you get stumped on something, read it over and over until you understand it.

There are five main sections:

  • The Getting Started section gets you familiar with SCI, and starting a new game.
  • The Basics section teaches you how to edit the graphics and game vocabulary.
  • The Getting Technical section gives you a general overview of theSCI language and syntax. For those of you who know Lisp, or at least one object oriented programming language such as C++, Java or Delphi, you should have no trouble understanding this section. If, however, you have no prior experience, you may find it hard to understand. If you have trouble, just read it over once in it's entirety and then continue on to the next section. After finishing the Scripting The Game section, you should understand it a lot better. Go back to it, and read it again. You should be set!
  • The Scripting The Game section takes you through every step of making your first game, "Tutorial Quest"! It discusses what you need to do and explains everything you need to know as it arises.
  • The Conclusion section concludes the tutorial giving you information on additional resources to expand your knowledge and get more help on programming SCI games.

Finally, when finished this tutorial, you click on the Volume II link, which will take you to many more tutorials which teach how to do specific tasks such as creating custom buttons and other more advanced topics.

Best of luck!

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Chapter   1 - An Introduction To SCI Resources
Chapter   2 - Creating The Game

The Basics

Chapter   3 - Editing Views
Chapter   4 - Editing Cursors
Chapter   5 - Editing Fonts
Chapter   6 - Editing Pics
Chapter   7 - Editing The Vocabulary

Getting Technical

Chapter   8 - An Introduction To Scripts
Chapter   9 - Elements of a Script
Chapter 10 - Getting Familiar With Objects
Chapter 11 - Variables
Chapter 12 - Methods and Procedures
Chapter 13 - Conditional and Looping Statements

Scripting The Game

Chapter 14 - Making The Title Screen
Chapter 15 - Programming The First Room
Chapter 16 - Handling The Player's "Said" Input
Chapter 17 - Creating and Using Props
Chapter 18 - Handling The Inventory
Chapter 19 - Creating and Using Actors
Chapter 20 - Making An Additional Room
Chapter 21 - Creating and Using Doors
Chapter 22 - Handling The Player's Score
Chapter 23 - Using The Death Handler
Chapter 24 - Using The Print Procedures
Chapter 25 - Customizing The Menubar


Chapter 26 - Game Maintenance


< Back to Tutorials IndexNext: Chapter 1 - An Introduction To SCI Resources >