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X16 visual novel games?


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If you stick to 320x240 in 256 colors - yes that's possible - but challenging. I've done it in Invaderz for the background graphics, which all use around 200 colors (the rest goes to the sprites of player and enemies). Thing is - in the emulator, loading the bitmaps takes almost no time. But it will be slower on real hardware, roughly 2 seconds per screen when loading from SD card. Using compression techniques might not mitigate this, as unpacking will use CPU time... Unpacked, each screen takes around 76kBytes of data.

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I've created an adventure game engine for the X16, like Sierra's SCI or Lucas Arts' SCUMM, but I am using 16-color graphics. However, since you can have custom palettes, the results are much nicer than the EGA games you may remember. Here's the intro to a game I'm developing for that engine:

And a bit more of the game:

 

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On 9/2/2021 at 9:30 PM, AndyMt said:

If you stick to 320x240 in 256 colors - yes that's possible - but challenging. I've done it in Invaderz for the background graphics, which all use around 200 colors (the rest goes to the sprites of player and enemies). Thing is - in the emulator, loading the bitmaps takes almost no time. But it will be slower on real hardware, roughly 2 seconds per screen when loading from SD card. Using compression techniques might not mitigate this, as unpacking will use CPU time... Unpacked, each screen takes around 76kBytes of data.

Though in a japanese style visual novel, if the bottom third of the screen is reserved for text ... now 320x160 ... and most in scene changes happen in a foreground while the scene background is stable ... so in scene changes are in the upper bitmap layer in a 160x120 section centered in the 320x160 lower bitmap  ... preloading from the SD card into three High RAM banks while the player is reading and loading to Vera from HiRAM would make in-scene transitions pretty snappy.

Edited by BruceMcF
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On 9/4/2021 at 4:10 PM, BruceMcF said:

Though in a japanese style visual novel, if the bottom third of the screen is reserved for text ... now 320x160 ... and most in scene changes happen in a foreground while the scene background is stable ... so in scene changes are in the upper bitmap layer in a 160x120 section centered in the 320x160 lower bitmap  ... preloading from the SD card into three High RAM banks while the player is reading and loading to Vera from HiRAM would make in-scene transitions pretty snappy.

Thanks! That way it is certainly possible to do PC-98 style VNs.

 

But uh-oh though, if that works well for the most time, someone is gonna go and develop a naughtier VN for the X16 like the PC-98 had many of them.

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