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Author Topic: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)  (Read 68610 times)

Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2015, 05:34:54 am »
I bookmarked the link to this tutorial ages ago.
http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=viewthread&t=27054
I wonder if a simple brightness gradient would do for text boxes? We're only going from dark to light blue and the font is already at maximum brightness (white).
Nope, a brightness adjustment wouldn't work because text would be affected as well. The GBA ports simply change the box background color during h-blank.

Is there a reason a variable width font never been implemented into FFIV other than its sheer difficulty doing so. I guess with the huge popularity of the game and fans still to this day who struggle with squishy tiles etc, it might be an near impossible task if you're not an rom hacking guru. I always felt that FFIV and even VI were games that desperately needed it, the latter at least contained one for the main text.
There are no VWF hacks because those would require an almost entire rewrite of the menu code. You could still cut corners and use tricks like prerendered strings, but you'd also need VRAM resource reallocation to make text use a full 0-1023 tile range.

It just occured to me that the PlayStation port did have one, (might be what you were thinking about) so I guess it's not an impossibility.
That port pretty much hacks into the original SNES code and replaces rendering of layer 3 with something remangled to look like a VWF, but it's just using sprites to achieve a different spacing. The spacing code is kinda horrible and still limited to a fixed number of characters per line.
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KillerBob

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2015, 08:03:22 am »
There are no VWF hacks because those would require an almost entire rewrite of the menu code. You could still cut corners and use tricks like prerendered strings, but you'd also need VRAM resource reallocation to make text use a full 0-1023 tile range.
That port pretty much hacks into the original SNES code and replaces rendering of layer 3 with something remangled to look like a VWF, but it's just using sprites to achieve a different spacing. The spacing code is kinda horrible and still limited to a fixed number of characters per line.
I see, how disappointing. The ugly formatting in the port suddenly makes a lot of sense after your description.

PlayStation port:


Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2015, 08:26:05 am »
I think they formatted dialog like that because VWF was a last minute hack. IIRC, the game can out twice as many characters as the original per line, but it's never used.
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Gedankenschild

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2015, 11:50:43 am »
I wouldn't call J2E's fan translation "lauded" exactly, especially now with Tomato going through FF4 on Legends of Localization. (And even then there's still some things he doesn't mention or hasn't gotten to yet, like Cure somehow being warped from something like "Care" into "Keal.") I think most people just used it because it was the only retranslation available at the time and had better grammar than the official version.

Tomato actually made a post about this. He does get feedback sticking up for the fan translation (for some reason).

http://legendsoflocalization.com/reader-feedback-ffivs-fan-translation/

Nope, a brightness adjustment wouldn't work because text would be affected as well. The GBA ports simply change the box background color during h-blank.

Damn! >:(

There are no VWF hacks because those would require an almost entire rewrite of the menu code. You could still cut corners and use tricks like prerendered strings, but you'd also need VRAM resource reallocation to make text use a full 0-1023 tile range.

Come to think of it, the majority of SNES translations (official and unofficial) seem to limit the VWF to text boxes (and item descriptions at times).
I guess that explains it (and the need to copy all item names into VRAM, instead of just the alphabet).

KillerBob

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2015, 11:02:14 am »
Come to think of it, the majority of SNES translations (official and unofficial) seem to limit the VWF to text boxes (and item descriptions at times).
I guess that explains it (and the need to copy all item names into VRAM, instead of just the alphabet).
Makes a lot more sense to me now. Thank you guys for explaining the issue to a novice.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 11:15:13 am by KillerBob »

justin3009

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2015, 07:36:12 pm »
VWF was mainly strictly text boxes because many other areas of it being used would lag the game DRAMATICALLY.

There's the Finnish patch of Chrono Trigger that adds a VWF to the main menu, but by doing that, it causes the menu and such to be horrifically laggy.  It's because the stuff gets refreshed on updates when scrolling so it causes some horrible issues (Which is where pre-rendered strings REALLY come in handy).

Even still, it's possible to add a VWF anywhere really if it can be coded to fit properly, but if it's something that updates frequently, you're in for some trouble.
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TheZunar123

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2015, 07:58:09 pm »
I'm sure you have a lot of experience with that, Justin. :P (*cough* Phantasia)
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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2015, 10:27:51 pm »
Even still, it's possible to add a VWF anywhere really if it can be coded to fit properly, but if it's something that updates frequently, you're in for some trouble.
Nah, prerendered strings pretty much take care of any lag, at worst you'd have to add double buffering for scrolling lists. FF4 should definitively work with a VWF since it can transfer to VRAM during menu transitions; scrolling isn't an issue either - backgrounds are barely repopulated at runtime, and even in that case the best it does is update 20 tiles in a row.
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Gedankenschild

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2015, 12:12:18 am »
@justin3009
I was looking at the VWF thread you started (years ago) rather recently. Bookmarked it, that might come in handy... :)

Am I correct that prerendered strings basically means saving item names, etc. in ROM, ready for display, so you only need to copy stuff straight into VRAM?
I think I read that in byuu's proportional font guide.

KingMike

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2015, 01:00:25 am »
Prerendered basically means storing all the item, etc. names as graphics in the ROM.
The other problem with VWF in general in tilemap-based menu engines (aside from lack of available tiles and lag) is making sure that if only part of the text on screen is updated at one time, that the VWF won't spill over and overwrite the tiles used for the non-updated part of the screen.
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Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2015, 02:33:21 pm »
Hmm... if you don't mind me asking, but would a VWF be beneficial in FF4? I'm not 100% sure I know what a VWF is, but I assume that make for a bigger (vertically wide?) font?

Seeing as the J2e translation was noted as using one, I went ahead and tried it out. The font it's in using in the texboxes just seems super huge compared to FF4us's vanilla font (which imo was already big).

If you're looking for a different font because you're trying to make it look more like the WSC edition (or just don't like FF4's font in general) I've got some screens up on my Slick thread of a font I've been working on. It's neither VWF nor is it the font from FF4WSC (hell Idk if it was ever in english),  but if you're interested I would be wiling to share it with you.

Bear in mind it has a LOT of squish tiles to it, but that's just for squeezing as much text into battle messages/item descriptions/names of spells and enemies/Items/menus. But it's also a much skinnier font, it technically almost never looks "squished" in that sense.

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Gedankenschild

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2015, 06:03:24 pm »
Hmm... if you don't mind me asking, but would a VWF be beneficial in FF4? I'm not 100% sure I know what a VWF is, but I assume that make for a bigger (vertically wide?) font?

Seeing as the J2e translation was noted as using one, I went ahead and tried it out. The font it's in using in the texboxes just seems super huge compared to FF4us's vanilla font (which imo was already big).

If you're looking for a different font because you're trying to make it look more like the WSC edition (or just don't like FF4's font in general) I've got some screens up on my Slick thread of a font I've been working on. It's neither VWF nor is it the font from FF4WSC (hell Idk if it was ever in english),  but if you're interested I would be wiling to share it with you.

Bear in mind it has a LOT of squish tiles to it, but that's just for squeezing as much text into battle messages/item descriptions/names of spells and enemies/Items/menus. But it's also a much skinnier font, it technically almost never looks "squished" in that sense.

I think pretty much every game benefits from a VWF. It looks more polished, more professional and you can fit a lot more text into the same space.
J2e didn't use a VWF, they simply added an additional row of tiles, allowing for bigger letters vertically.
A VWF places every letter exactly where the last one ended, as opposed to having a new letter start every tile (8 pixels). In a sense the entire text becomes one giant set of squish tiles, created on the fly.

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2015, 01:45:14 pm »
Quote
I think pretty much every game benefits from a VWF. It looks more polished, more professional and you can fit a lot more text into the same space.
J2e didn't use a VWF, they simply added an additional row of tiles, allowing for bigger letters vertically.
A VWF places every letter exactly where the last one ended, as opposed to having a new letter start every tile (8 pixels). In a sense the entire text becomes one giant set of squish tiles, created on the fly.

Ohhhhhhhh.  :o In that case don't mind my idotic assumption from the previous post haha.  I can definitely see why you'd like to go with a VWF now that I know what one is.

I always wondered how some games accomplished the leltter-to-letter printing. compared to the tile-to-tile style of earlier FF's.
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justin3009

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2015, 05:04:44 pm »
It's doable on most SNES games (I'd rather not say all and jump the gun there) as long as there's enough room in VRAM to house everything needed.  FFIV would probably benefit greatly from having one.
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JCE3000GT

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2015, 07:07:07 pm »
Am I in the minority that FFIV doesn't really need VWF?  It might be a little too far from the original feel.  I would have to see and use it first hand to be convinced.  Guess I'm a stick in the mud?  LOL


I do think these updated graphics are brilliant. 

SunGodPortal

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2015, 07:56:41 pm »
Quote
Am I in the minority that FFIV doesn't really need VWF?  It might be a little too far from the original feel.  I would have to see and use it first hand to be convinced.  Guess I'm a stick in the mud?  LOL

I think it would look nice but don't see it being as necessary as the other improvements here. This was never one of those games where the text bugged me. The script is another issue though...
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Synnae

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2015, 11:04:37 pm »
This is looking amazing! FFIV is my second favorite game in the series (only behind FFV), so I'm really excited for this. ^^

Please, keep up the good job!

JCE3000GT

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2015, 11:53:55 pm »
I think it would look nice but don't see it being as necessary as the other improvements here. This was never one of those games where the text bugged me. The script is another issue though...

I agree with the script but I doubt there would of been room for all the stuff they took out now seeing it added back in on the Final Fantasy IV DS.  Too bad they didn't have the Final Fantasy VI or even Final Fantasy V engine in 1990/1991 for Final Fantasy IV...

chillyfeez

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2015, 12:21:13 am »
Yeah, even with VWF, the real problem with dialogue in FFIV is the amount of space in ROM devoted to it. I mean, I guess if you're employing VWF, you can probably get away with using all those unused -kana tiles for squishies that wouldn't look out of place as they might if you weren't using VWF, but what a nightmare that would be to type out. And even so, how much space could you hope to gain in doing something like that?
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Gemini

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Re: Final Fantasy IV Graphics Update (SNES)
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2015, 07:44:36 am »
VWF doubles or triples screen space in most cases, so it's always a good idea to have one around. On top of that, the project is visually updating the game - a VWF seems like the most logic consequence to make it feel fully modernized.

Text storage isn't exactly an issue, you can pretty much allocate twice as many banks as the original did and reference them with 24 bit pointers.
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