It gives me great pleasure to announce that the ScummVM team have been provided the source code to the Discworld games (Discworld, Discworld II: Missing Presumed...!? and Discworld Noir) by John Young, the tireless lead programmer for the trilogy, and are proceeding to make free-to-play versions of all three games for distribution over the internet.
As my regular players will recall, my first videogame industry job was with Perfect Entertainment, the makers of the Discworld games, and I had the pleasure of working on the second game, as well as serving as game designer and script writer of Discworld Noir (my first game as a lead). Noir was very well received in Europe, but lost out in many Adventure Game of the Year awards to Grim Fandango. There was never a North American release of Noir because GT Interactive, the publisher, went bankrupt around the time of the European release.
I was first contacted about the Discworld ScummVM project by James "Ender" Brown several years back, as he needed my help on various fronts. I was able to confirm with Angela and Gregg (the directors of Perfect Entertainment) that there were no inherent legal problems, and also able to get permission from Terry Pratchett for a free release of the games, but the last step - the source code - was proving tricky as John was busy with a new family and a hectic job. Fortunately, he found time earlier this year to track down his source code and passed it onto the ScummVM team.
They don't have playable versions of the games yet, and they won't be able to tell you when they will (although I will be sure to mention it here when they do), but anyone interested in the project can go to the ScummVM homepage to learn more. James notes:
The subteam working on Tinsel support already has a alpha engine with DW1 completable, and are making excellent progress - see this blog post. We'll announce when Discworld support is committed to a public build on the main ScummVM homepage. If people want to jump in, there is a Discworld thread on our forums which people can chime in on if they want - just make mention not to ask when its ready! At the moment there isn't much help needed, but once we are happy with the quality of the initial engine we'll be calling for beta testers.
I'd like to thank the ScummVM team for working tirelessly towards the preservation of these games for posterity, and I wish them best of luck on the project! I'll announce any news on this here in the future, but you can also check their website directly if you want to see how things are progressing.