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Old 2014-10-29, 19:01
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Battler Battler is offline
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Using LBA 2 as a Visual Novel engine...

First, what is a Visual Novel? It's a novel that is "played" (read) on a computer, generally drawn in anime/manga style (but can really be drawn in any style you wish), with background images, sound effects, and optionally voices.

Now that we know the LBA 2 scene format, it should be possible to use the LBA 2 engine as a Visual Novel engine. Why LBA 2 and not LBA 1, one might ask. Well here's why:
1. LBA 2 has a neat SCREEN.HQR file where all background images (and their palettes) go, while LBA 1 doesn't (I think LBA 1 is limited to the few images already present in RESS.HQR which makes it inappropriate for Visual Novels);
2. LBA 2 uses the Smacker format for the movies, for which the RAD Game Tools can be used, while LBA 1 uses the more confusing .FLA format and FLASAMP.HQR for audio;
3. LBA 2 uses higher quality formats for samples and voices;
4. LBA 2 uses .WAV for non-CD Audio music, while LBA 1 uses MIDI.

Now, the only Scene commands we'd need for a Visual Novel would pretty much be, display background image, display text, play voice, play movie, show credits (for the end), set/clear flag, and whatever is used to display text choices.

Granted, there are better, more adapt engines for Visual Novels, designed specifically for that purpose. But it would be fun to try to see if it can really be achieved on the LBA 2 engine.

A few questions remain:
1. Is it possible to have text choices while a background image is displayed? Or does the engine only allow them in the middle of actual gameplay (which wouldn't be used for a Visual Novel)?
2. How would saving be handled? In a traditional Visual Novel, you should be able to pretty much save at any point, but I'm not sure if the LBA 2 engine allows saving while a background image is being displayed.
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