From Academic Kids

For other meanings, see Scum.
Missing image
Maniac Mansion on the Commodore 64.

SCUMM stands for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion and is a scripting language developed at LucasArts (known at the time as Lucasfilm Games) to ease development of the graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion.

It is somewhere between a game engine, and a programming language, allowing designers to create locations, items and dialogue sequences without writing code in the actual language the game source code would end up in. This also meant that the game's script and data files could be re-used across various platforms. SCUMM is also a host for embedded game engines such as iMUSE (standing for Interactive MUsic Streaming Engine), INSANE (standing for INteractive Streaming ANimation Engine, CYST (in-game animation engine), FLEM (places and names object inside a room), MMUCUS. SCUMM has been ported on the following platforms: Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, CDTV, Commodore 64, DEC Alpha, Fujitsu Towns & Marty, Apple Macintosh, NES, MS-DOS/PC-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Sega Mega CD, Tandy VIS and TurboGrafx 16.



The original version was written by Aric Wilmunder and Ron Gilbert in 1987 with later versions were enhanced by Aric Wilmunder (aka the Scumm Lord).

SCUMM was subsequently reused in many later LucasArts adventure games being both updated and rewritten several times. There were eight versions of the SCUMM engine, known simply as "version 1", "version 2", etc.

LucasArts finally abandoned the SCUMM engine in 1998 when they switched to GrimE for the game Grim Fandango.


Most SCUMM games feature a verb-object design paradigm. The player-controlled character has an inventory, and the game world is littered with objects with which the player can interact, using a variety of verbs - a large collection of these featured in the early games, but by The Curse of Monkey Island these had been whittled down to "Look at", "Use" (which was context sensitive and could produce various actions - Pick up, push, pull, etc.) and "Talk to".

Puzzles generally involve using the right verb action with the appropriate object - "use cookie cutter with another rubber tree", for example.

"Talk to" produces dialogue sequences, in which the player selects from a list of pre-defined questions or comments, and the character they are talking to replies with a pre-defined response.

The notable exception to this general paradigm is LOOM, which does not use the standard verb/object paradigm, but does feature dialogue sequences.


Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

The iMUSE technology was added in this version in 1992.

At this point, the SCUMM system branched off when Ron Gilbert licensed it for use in all of the games for his company Humongous Entertainment. The SCUMM system continued to grow on a separate track to version 11.

Version 6

Version 7

Version 8


ScummVM is an open source project to make a free, portable, SDL library based, C++ coded SCUMM engine. This allows many of the SCUMM engine games to be played on systems where the original versions will not work or have trouble operating including modern Windows systems, Macintosh, GNU/Linux, PalmOS and the PocketPC platform.

See also

GrimE, Sierra Creative Interpreter, Z-machine

External link

fr:Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion fi:SCUMM


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