The Story of Johnny
Larry Leach, Simon Oliver and Edward Arevalos have been (independently) investigating the program files, and on 8 Sep 1998 Larry reported:
I've been looking closer at how the screen saver works and discovered that he is on the island for 10 days, after which the story starts over again. Since there is a story line that goes along with this screen saver, I found that the special scenes only happen on certain days (NumDays in scrantic.ini). I've tried to catch the unique events of each day, but haven't been able to get them all. Perhaps with a combined effort, we can make a 'diary' of his stay or perhaps someone has figured this out already. If you change NumDays to a specific day, you can be sure to catch the scene that you want to see, if you're patient enough. These are events that only occur on that day. Here's what I have so far.:
Whenever a 'special' happens you hear the tinkling sound (but not always the clock) and on these days the 'specials' definitely do occur. As for the end of scenes, you would have to watch it for days to make sure if they are right or if I have missed any, whereas I can keep starting the screen saver until I hear a 'special' coming to watch it.
Showing Particular Scenes
Larry Leach has managed to persuade certain scenes to appear on demand. On 1 Oct 1998 he said:
You have to change the computer's clock to a specific time and then start the screen saver. I can't force every scene, but here's what I can get: Day 3, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11.
David Harrison has been doing some investigating, and on 19 Oct 1998 he wrote:
I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth on the things going on. First, there are the everyday activities like fishing, walking or jogging around the island, looking for help, starting the fire, eating, building on the raft, etc. These are random loops that freely lead from one to the other.
Second, about every 5 minutes or so there is a special event. This usually involves the gull, shark, tiny pirates, party boat, tourist boat, BIG boat, bath time, spitting fish, large octopus, etc. The special events are followed by a black out. The scene then resets to a slightly different view of the island, maybe with the tide out, and, depending on when you set your day on the screen saver, night or day.
The story line scenes (Introductions) only happen on the NumDay that they are assigned to. This leads to a good way to force the scenes without messing up your computer's internal clock. I'm working with Windows95.
Go into the scrantic.ini file and set the NumDays and Introduction to the same number (say 4). Save the file and close the screens. At the control panel, chose display (or right click on the mouse and go to properties). Chose "screen saver", chose "settings". The top selection is "Start of day" with the time of day in half hour increments. Arrow up or back to the next half hour setting ahead of your current time. Pick your wait interval at 1 minute. Close everything out.
The scene of the day will then usually run at about 15 minutes before the change of day because, according to the scrantic.ini, it hasn't run yet. I've been able to run all the story line scenes this way. Day 2 did give me a lot of trouble, but I might have just missed the scene as it came and went. Best I can tell, the scene of the day will usually show within a half hour of the time set for start of day if you just let it run.
On 20 Dec 1998 John Paines said:
I've been looking closely at the saver recently, and playing about with the SCRANTIC.INI file, and I have the following comments which you may find interesting:
[ScreenSaver.ScreenAntics] SourceDir=C:\SIERRA\SCRANTIC Background=1 Clouds=1 Waves=1 Sounds=1 Password= NumDays=1 Introduction=2 CurrentYear=1998 CurrentMonth=10 CurrentDay=22 StartTime=30
If you want to edit scrantic.ini, which is normally in C:\WINDOWS, use a text editor such as NotePad, not a word processor. If you must use a word processor, save the amended document as a text file.