Archive for the ‘Coding’ Category

Keeping with the times.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Hello folks! It’s Graph, creator of Touhou Mecha. Over the summer I did a bit of drawing for other peoples’ game/VN projects, but since those games are still in development it’ll take a bit of time before those ventures bear fruit.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing my work on Touhou Mecha. I’ve decided to make a few key changes before starting on Chapter 2 proper:

1. Convert Touhou Mecha to widescreen resolution, or something close to it. Seen here:

New 1024x576 resolution

For reference, here’s what it looked like before. It’s just 224 extra pixels, but the elbow room gained ain’t trivial! Now we don’t have to crowd the sprites together quite so much, other than the intentional ones like the elevator scene shown a couple of posts down.

Previous 800x600 resolution

2. Upgrade the game engine to Ren’py version 6.14. The DirectX compatibility seems to make it a bit more efficient than the previous 6.12, mostly by way of making my laptop fan run one speed quieter.

3. A rewrite of the first half of Chapter 1, based on some feedback I’ve gotten on Touhou Mecha’s first release. It’s more focused, going over the story so far so that you don’t have to dig up the webcomic to get what’s going on (it’s not like I want people to do that, at this point. Gives me more freedom to straight-up retcon that old thing). Also, the third-person narration that was present at the beginning has been replaced with a new battle scene!

Fairy mecha

The Chapter 1 re-release will also contain the TM Database mentioned in the previous post, and possibly other extras. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but I’m hoping for a November or early December release for this one. See you all again soon!

Packed-in Touhou Mecha!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Elevator ride

We’ve made a quick update for Touhou Mecha Chapter 1– Touhou Mecha version 1.1.

The main reason for this update is because we recently discovered an image compression technique used by developers in the Ren’py community called JCC compression. Basically, it lets us use JPG images instead of PNGs while keeping the ability to use transparent pixels, something the JPG format isn’t normally very good at.

Windows download (43.3 MB): here
Multiplatform download (54.3 MB): here

The size of the Windows download was reduced from 83.8 MB to 43.3 MB!

Of course, there’s traces of JPG artifacts if you look closely while playing the VN now, but I think it’s barely noticable, especially when sprites start moving about. If this change goes over well enough, we’d like to make the compression technique the standard for the VN package. If the demand is high enough we may release an uncompressed version when the final Chapter is released.

Info, previews and downloads now have their own sections under “Pages” on the right-hand side of this blog. The full changelist for the Touhou Mecha releases is on the new Downloads page.

We’ve also made another preview video of Chapter 1, this time focusing on the intro sequence. As before, the framerate and picture quality of the videos aren’t as high as they are in-game, so be sure to pick up the VN itself as well!

Intro trailer

Introduction to Ren’Py

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Hello, programmer SleepKirby here.

I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that Eastern Starlight Romance runs on the Ren’Py engine, but perhaps it would be interesting to show what’s involved in coding a basic Ren’Py game.  Ren’Py is a visual novel engine, based on the programming language Python. One of its strongest points is that it’s easy to make a basic visual novel with it.

Here’s a simple example.  The code for a line of dialogue looks like this:

ma "Not bad, Alice. I didn't think you were that devious."

The part in quotes is the dialogue.  “ma” indicates that Marisa is speaking.  ma is a Character object, and it’s a shortcut so that we don’t have to type the full name “Marisa” every time Marisa speaks.

Here’s where the Character object is defined:

define ma = Character('Marisa', color="#FCEC7C")

With this code, the speaker’s name is shown as Marisa.  Using Character objects, we can also customize the dialogue box based on who’s speaking.  In this case, we make Marisa’s name show up as the color FCEC7C.  That happens to be a shade of yellow.

That’s Graph’s new Alice and Mystia, by the way!

In the future, I may make more posts about Ren’Py.  My main purpose here isn’t to advertise Ren’Py (though I do recommend trying it out); it’s to give examples of the inner workings that make a visual novel come together.