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Mixel

Posted Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:11 pm

I don’t think there are any visual novels on the Amiga? It’s a real shame the Amiga didn’t take off in Japan or we’d have a lot of VNs, I’d imagine? The Amiga seems like the perfect hardware for it - even now!

(I mumbled about this on Twitter.. idk if anyone saw, or knew what I was talking about..)

Same applies to Twine, it’d be amazing if someone made some sort of Amiga twine interpreter that removed the css and made it more Amiga-ish.. using Twine isn’t too different to how we used to make Amigaguides.. but for games. There are thousands of twine games and most of them could easily run on the Amiga if there was a way to view them?

I’m making a couple of visual novel prototypes now, for modern hardware - but I’m using my EHB palette and doing it in Amiga PAL lowres a) because I love the style and working within limitations and b) so I can hopefully one day port anything I do to the Amiga without any loss in quality. I might even use mod music if I can remember how to use Octamed. 😅
D23C56E7-83E7-4083-8B40-8E01789241B2.png
19F26352-4BA7-4729-A5FA-0EFB1DFFBF6C.png
This game is actually a modern day paranormal college slice of life type thing, the character input parts make it look like medieval fantasy or something.

Also just like to say I hope everyone’s keeping well still in these strange times. Being in isolation has be a bit stir crazy, I’m sort of being productive but in a completely scattershot way where I’m getting a tiny bit of a million things done but finding it hard to concentrate on any one thing. 😕 All the best to your families.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:23 pm

Are those graphics of your own creation? They're GORGEOUS! I'd love to see more.

As for narrative games on the Amiga, there are a *ton* but you have to go way back, pre 1990 for most.

Just look up Infocom games. Towards the end of Infocom, before Activision acquired all of the copyrights, they even started to make interactive "text games" but with graphics. See:

Journey - with incredible artwork by an amazing artist
Shogun (tightly tied to the book by the same name, and a game many consider obtuse unless you happen to be a PhD in Shogun, the novel)

And there are several more, some of which came from your homeland of the UK. Have you heard of Level 9? They made several great book-ish games.

Or, do you mean more a "choose your own adventure" type of game?

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Mixel

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:58 am

Thank you so much! Yep the graphics are all me.. (the font too, I can’t decide if it’s legible enough!) I use a combination of Pixaki on iPad, Aseprite on windows/Mac and a bit of PPaint & DPaint when I need certain types of dithering and gradient tools. (Still blows my mind how the old apps do various things that the modern ones don’t so easily..) it’s early days yet but I’ll keep posting as I get further along development.

I’ve made a few design choices specifically to ease potential porting Amiga-ward, not just colour count/resolution but by having a Large fixed text box at the bottom the scene graphics can be reasonably easily plonked into something like GRAC or GRAAL or some other Amos thing that would make it possible for someone as crap at coding as I am. 😂

Oh wow yeah Its great to be reminded about the infocom adventures.. I vaguely remember being VERY confused by Zork as a kid, haha. Twine games are usually a lot like that, but Twine is so easy to program that there a tons and tons of fresh games coming out constantly.

Oh yes! I recently saw someone posting about Curse of Rabenstein? That looks beautiful. I think seeing that a few months back might have subconsciously poked me in the direction of considering an Amiga port as a possibility.

& thanks for the recommendations! I don’t think I’ve ever seen/played Journey! I’ll give that a try. 😁 I hadn’t heard of level 9 either, not played a single one of their games - so nice to have new old stuff to try!

Visual Novels mechanically (from the programming /logic side at least) work a bit more like the old Fighting Fantasy & choose your own adventure books.. where the emphasis is frequently on story/ character/ emotional choices rather than our western adventures usual puzzle solving*. They often don’t have things like an inventory at all. It’s really common for them to have loads of different endings/outcomes, both positive and negative, and they usually have a picture gallery where you collect images of key moments as you mine the game’s content by making different decisions.

*there are some big exceptions to this, there are puzzle VNs too.. but they still feel like VNs? Hard to explain.

One of the biggest subgenres is dating games, and I’d love to know if the Amiga ever got anything like that. Those can be really heartfelt, weird or funny.. (there are a lot of hentai/porn ones too but that’s beside the point. 😂)

The Phoenix Wright games about solving crimes and interrogating witnesses is one big franchise.. But there are some VNs that have very little interaction at all, they’re so, so wordy and just like novels with pictures presented in a particular way.

Here are some example screens from the funniest VN I’ve played, Hatoful Boyfriend, where you’re a human who goes to a school for, and dates (mostly) pigeons..
C2E9A5D5-3164-43D4-A298-470C558C6C6F.jpeg
2EBF0966-66EA-422C-8094-76F8B62E83B7.jpeg
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In most of these games you’re building up your friendship meter (in some games not a visible stat) with characters so you get different interactions, dialogue and story branches. This format also works really well for horror games!

In Japan VNs really seemed to take off about the same time as the lucasarts adventures in the west. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a point and click 3rd person adventure game like “ours” from japan, I think that’s when we went down different paths.. Which I find super interesting! VNs are still massively popular, and really successful ones get anime and manga adaptations occasionally.

Oh man sorry for the rambling infodump. 😂 I’m finding the whole subject really fun at the moment.

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BloodyCactus
Lexington VA
Website

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:19 am

I find the text font too small. I can read it but its effort and word recogition. Remeber the text is part of your graphic novel medium, your not doing 4 colour pictures, dont do 4 pixel high fonts :) Look at the word "meet" the "mee" is indistinguisable blob of pixels on the lower strokes of the e and start of the m.

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McTrinsic

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:53 am

I think ‚Passangers in the Wind‘ could come close to what you ask for.
http://hol.abime.net/4790
That also has a sequel.

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Mixel

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:28 am

BloodyCactus wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:19 am
I find the text font too small. I can read it but its effort and word recogition. Remeber the text is part of your graphic novel medium, your not doing 4 colour pictures, dont do 4 pixel high fonts :) Look at the word "meet" the "mee" is indistinguisable blob of pixels on the lower strokes of the e and start of the m.
Thanks a lot for that. :D I'm fond of 6px square as it allows for more lines, but could definitely try 8px. Or I can maybe make it clearer by shifting some pixels around. (and making the lower-case letters bigger)
Screenshot 2020-04-10 at 17.04.58.png

I edited it! It's clearer now I think? :D
McTrinsic wrote: I think ‚Passangers in the Wind‘ could come close to what you ask for.
http://hol.abime.net/4790
That also has a sequel.
Oh wow! Thanks! I stand corrected - that looks exactly like what I'm talking about. Never heard of it, but looks very French, in a good way! It makes sense that the European country with the strongest tradition of "serious" comics would be one to do VNs on the Amiga. So cool. :D I'll try them!

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McTrinsic

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:14 am

I found another one:
Quest for the Time Bird.
http://hol.abime.net/2264

You could try the ‚adventure - clicker‘ - category on HOL.
http://hol.abime.net/hol_search.php?N_r ... ategory=11


By the way - your drafts look awesome. Really like that style. The text readability will always be an issue in these resolutions.

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Mixel

Posted Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:10 pm

McTrinsic wrote: I found another one:
Quest for the Time Bird.
http://hol.abime.net/2264

You could try the ‚adventure - clicker‘ - category on HOL.
http://hol.abime.net/hol_search.php?N_r ... ategory=11
:D I'll have a look. I recognise a few of those - and some a could likely fit under the VN umbrella in retrospect. Woah, some of these are a good reminder of how strange old games could get.
By the way - your drafts look awesome. Really like that style. The text readability will always be an issue in these resolutions.
Thankyou! I'll keep chipping away at it.. :)

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Mixel

Posted Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:02 pm

I.. think it probably makes sense to keep posting about this project in here even though the title was more general.. It’s ongoing!

I feel like one of the only things keeping me fully sane atm is being able to do pixelart around the house. I won’t have full Amiga access until lockdown is over so the iPad is proving super useful for this.

Here are a couple more characters.
9E35BBFF-8C7E-4FFB-A55E-1DA071E6F794.jpeg
Now this is a total non sequitur, but does anyone know if it’s possible/easy to convert Atari ST style bleep bloop music (or even C64 .sid?) files to .mod? I’m thinking about the potential music for this project and using chip tunes could save a bit of space and hopefully time too, and I’m enjoying working within limitations, and fear I’d throw the kitchen sink at sample based tracks and make a mess of it. I know a number of older Amiga games that sound just like their ST counterparts... I dunno how they did it though.

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McTrinsic

Posted Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:11 am

That pixel art look AWESOME!

Keep it up!!

... can‘t help you with the music files, though, sorry.
I would have assumed the usual suspects would be helpful, such as OctaMED...





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