Area-X is the latest visual novel from the creator of X-Note. Despite the similarities in name, the two aren’t connected story-wise. Area-X is more of a spiritual sequel, stylistically similar but with an entirely new story. There’s an extended X-Note cameo in the beginning, but that’s about it.Continue reading
By rare exception, not an EVN review this week, but rather a recently translated VN of Japanese origins. It’s a doujin release at least, so budget wise it should be comparable to the commercial EVNs is usually talk about. Oh, and apparently the author of Spice & Wolf wrote the script.Continue reading
When you look at the vndb page for Senior Year, you see an interesting release history — it has been re-released under a different name twice. The most recent version, Alta, Texas even jumped up from freeware to a $10 commercial release. I was intrigued by the prospect of a 2006 freeware VN being good enough (albeit with some added polish) to still hold up well enough to justify a non-free remake. I went back to the root and started with the 2006 original: Senior Year.Continue reading
Aside from the usual list of bugfixes, NVList 3.3 adds some usability features to the build system. The resource optimizer is no longer a separate window, but will instead integrate into the build system window itself. You’ll also get a warning now when trying to close the window while a build task is still running.
My favorite new feature is the support for tiling textures. Marking an an image as tiling causes it to repeat for UV coordinates outside the
[0.0-1.0) range. These UV coordinates can be set using a new
setUV method for image drawables. The most obvious use for tiling is an animated fog effect (Days of the Divine uses it in that way), but I’m looking forward to more creative uses in the future.
The improvements on the Android side are a lot more noticeable. JNG images are finally supported on Android as well, bringing with them a significant reduction in file size over PNG. By far the biggest change however is the addition of a new OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering back-end for devices with the required hardware support (almost everything supports GLES 2.0 these days). On older hardware, the old rendering back-end will still be used. The GLES 2.0 renderer fully supports bitmap tweens and shaders, closing the gap between desktop and mobile almost entirely.
2013/06/21 — 3.3 (r101) enhancements: – Added support for tiling textures, see ch11-resources.xml for more details. – Images now let you specify a custom UV-range to control the texture offset. – Added a fast mode to the texture composite function that skips alpha blending. – skipScene() is now cancelable by pressing the text continue key. – Improved analytics responsible for generating preloader.bin, handles multiple image loads generated from a single line better. – Better error messages in case of syntax errors in loaded modules. – Closing Build.jar will now show a warning if a build task is still running. – The resource optimizer window has been integrated into its parent window. – Android: Resource optimizer will only be re-run when necessary. – Android: Added prefs-default-android.ini which allows preference overrides to be used for an Android port. – Android: Added a GLES 2.0 rendering backend with support for bitmaptweens and shaders. – Android: Support for JNG images. bugfixes: – setScale() erroneously stopped accepting non-positive values. – Running in Java 7 could under specific circumstances result in an IllegalArgumentException. – Newline characters in text commands weren’t being handled properly. – Built-in word count incorrectly counted punctuation as words. – Changed the rendering implementation of TriangleGrid to avoid a potential GC in the middle of rendering. – Retrieving the pixels for certain texture types didn’t work. – Fixed a possible OutOfMemory exception when using the skip mode on Java 7 continuously for very long stretches of time. – Android: Will not try to download an XAPK if no valid LVL key is specified.
I haven’t had time to do much testing, so expect some glitches and brokenness.
* 2013/06/14 — v1.5.0 – Added basic support for UmiTweak Chiru