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So, for a while now I've been working on a secret project (or perhaps not-so-secret if you've been on IRC at the right times). This is a clone/remake of the 8-bit sequel to the Steins;Gate anime/visual novel. Even though it's a non-canon spinoff, it does contain major spoilers for the original Steins;Gate story. It might not make sense unless you've watched/played Steins;Gate, which I highly recommend doing! (The anime is available for purchase or streaming online, and the visual novel is available for preorder here).

The game I'm cloning is meant to emulate the environment of old 8-bit computers in an old-school text adventure, which includes the low color depth and legacy sound hardware. The original game allowed selection of 6 different computers to emulate, each with slightly different graphics and music arrangements, but this port I'm simply basing on the TI-84+CSE constraints. I've included vector graphics display with 8-bit color as well as sound output through the I/O link port, using one of the simpler arrangements from the original game (this can be enabled through the options menu).

The demo available here contains the entire first segment of the game up until the opening credits, which should be the length of the free demo of the PC version. This includes 9 background music tracks (out of 18 total) and 16 different CG images, as well as 3 different endings. Just send the app to your TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, and off you go!

Obligatory screenshots:



Also, here's a video DJ Omnimaga made with direct sound recording:
As said on Omni, this looks absolutely fantastic and I can't wait for more!

Are you inputting the image data in by hand, or are you converting sprites from the original games?
tifreak8x wrote:
As said on Omni, this looks absolutely fantastic and I can't wait for more!

Are you inputting the image data in by hand, or are you converting sprites from the original games?

I ripped the image data from the original game and wrote a converter for it. However, I did have make a number of modifications by hand to remove extraneous elements from the images (for example, they all had lines, then polygons, then the lines again, and it makes things a lot smaller to remove most of the lines and simply add borders to the polygons instead).
This is indeed impressive work both from a user and technical standpoint. Although I'm not familiar with the existing game/anime/visual novel, it looks fun enough, and since I have no particular emotional investment in the plot or spoilers, I'll definitely give it a try. I think you might have created the first 2D vector game for any of the calculators, as far as I know, which is a great achievement in and of itself. So what's next for this? Tweaks and bug-fixes, more plot, or both?
KermMartian wrote:
This is indeed impressive work both from a user and technical standpoint. Although I'm not familiar with the existing game/anime/visual novel, it looks fun enough, and since I have no particular emotional investment in the plot or spoilers, I'll definitely give it a try. I think you might have created the first 2D vector game for any of the calculators, as far as I know, which is a great achievement in and of itself. So what's next for this? Tweaks and bug-fixes, more plot, or both?


I would say both, since the more plot I add, the more need there is for saved game support. Razz The current demo was short enough that I was able to put that off.
That makes perfect sense. Wink Also, since I'm at a conference and can't throw this on hardware yet, does this music have the PCM-like features we were discussing on IRC, or is it typical 1-bit, 4-channel calculator MOD music?
KermMartian wrote:
That makes perfect sense. Wink Also, since I'm at a conference and can't throw this on hardware yet, does this music have the PCM-like features we were discussing on IRC, or is it typical 1-bit, 4-channel calculator MOD music?

Yep, it has volume enveloping and everything.
If you don't have any immediate plans to release a standalone player and converter around that core code, I would be extremely interested in collaborating with you on that. Smile
I've now released Version 0.2! This adds the second scenario to the game, as well as savegame support (plus fixing a few things). I've also included a new build of the original demo scenario with the current engine. You can download it here.
calc84maniac wrote:
I've now released Version 0.2! This adds the second scenario to the game, as well as savegame support (plus fixing a few things). I've also included a new build of the original demo scenario with the current engine. You can download it here.
Huzzah! I'm glad you continue to work on this, and I swear I'll try it on my real calculator instead of just jsTIfied one of these days to see how it feels on the hardware (and how the music stands!). My invitation to collaborate on a music player stands, should you care to consider.
KermMartian wrote:
Huzzah! I'm glad you continue to work on this, and I swear I'll try it on my real calculator instead of just jsTIfied one of these days to see how it feels on the hardware (and how the music stands!). My invitation to collaborate on a music player stands, should you care to consider.

Alright, I'll certainly keep that in mind.

Meanwhile, I've just uploaded a gameplay video of my own (with the improved text sound effects):
was the bug fixed that it sometimes deleted itself after other programs have been installed on the calculator?
FrozenFire49 wrote:
was the bug fixed that it sometimes deleted itself after other programs have been installed on the calculator?

I wasn't aware that was a thing. This is on a real calculator and not an emulator, right?
Watched the whole video, fantastic work! How large is it all together?
tifreak8x wrote:
Watched the whole video, fantastic work! How large is it all together?


Currently it's 10 app pages (or just 6 app pages for the demo scenario only).
calc84maniac wrote:
tifreak8x wrote:
Watched the whole video, fantastic work! How large is it all together?


Currently it's 10 app pages (or just 6 app pages for the demo scenario only).
I guess the vast majority of that is vector information? How many total vector scenes are there, and how much data in bytes and polygons does each comprise, on average?
Yea, on real calculators. Happened to me twice already on v0.1
KermMartian wrote:
calc84maniac wrote:
tifreak8x wrote:
Watched the whole video, fantastic work! How large is it all together?


Currently it's 10 app pages (or just 6 app pages for the demo scenario only).
I guess the vast majority of that is vector information? How many total vector scenes are there, and how much data in bytes and polygons does each comprise, on average?


I'm not entirely sure on "scenes" because a number of scenes are pieced together from multiple vector images, but currently I have 38 vector images at about 90.3KB total, so I suppose that would be a bit over half of the space. I guess the text also takes up quite a bit as well, plus the music.
FrozenFire49 wrote:
Yea, on real calculators. Happened to me twice already on v0.1

Hmm okay, I've just confirmed this glitch by sending the Pacman app and running it, after which it said "Defragmenting..." and then both of my Steins;Gate 8-bit apps were gone. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong with the app format...

Edit: Maybe my problem was that I assumed that simply signing the app with the 010F key with Rabbitsign would be enough, but it seems that didn't change the specified key in the header to 010F... I'll need to do some testing.

Edit2: It's looking like this fixed it. I guess I'll try to push out another release later today.
calc84maniac wrote:
I'm not entirely sure on "scenes" because a number of scenes are pieced together from multiple vector images, but currently I have 38 vector images at about 90.3KB total, so I suppose that would be a bit over half of the space. I guess the text also takes up quite a bit as well, plus the music.
Impressive, thanks for sharing. That's still much, much less than even a single 16-bit image would take (and only slightly over what an 8-bit fullscreen image would take), so I think the win using vectorized art here gets you is quite clear.
  
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