Originally Posted by Vance
There are a couple of more modern takes on the SCUMM engine though those projects seem to have stalled. Lua is the newer 'engine of choice' for these types of games (most famously used in Baldur's Gate). LA Noire also uses Lua, which could be a really good starting point...
Well, Lua is not actually an engine but a mere scripting language, which, admittedly does appear to be the favorite of many a programmer when doing those choice-and-consequence bits.
Which is why it's mainly utilized in RPGs and RTSes that require unpredictable outcomes from time to time, to at least maintain an illusion of the player being in control. It hasn't seen much use in traditional adventure games per se, since they're still pretty much mostly linear ordeals. Action X always produces outcome Y, and things need to follow a proper sequence to reach the end. L.A. Noire
is a notable exception, given how a case can go to wildly differing directions and have various outcomes depending on player's actions.
Then again, maybe more adventure games should be like that, to make the genre truly popular.
Still, while Lua offers a good set of tools to help forming a branching narrative, the game still needs more resources in form of a proper engine to bring things to life... like, say, Source.