Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tiles, Flash Carts, Emulators

So, last time I briefly discussed the change of font tiles from Japanese to English. Here's a little view of what has been done. On the left is a table of tiles that are used in the original CFC2. Actually, there are 3 of these tables, but this is the only interesting one

On the right is the new English version of the table. Now, we are free to use English text (both upper-case and lower-case) in the game. Also, as you may notice, the upper-case letters have been made skinnier. That allows us to put more text on the screen than with the full 8-pixel wide tiles. All the Japanese tiles are 8-pixels wide, but they can say more with one tile than the English alphabet allows. I have also added some 8-pixel letters that may (or may not) be used in the final version.

Somebody left a comment yesterday asking about the need for flash carts. The quick answer is that you can either use a flash cart or an emulator. Here's the news on each of those.

Years ago, a company called Bung made a cartridge for the NGPC that would allow you to upload a game to the cart and play it on your NGPC. If you have one of these, you're all set to play CFC2 English on your NGPC. If you don't, then there are a couple of other options.

1) Hope that someone else creates a new flash cart for the NGPC. I know that this sounds a bit wishful, but I actually have been in contact with at least 4 different individuals that had plans to do this. In fact, one of them made a working prototype cart, but never made the "linker" device that uploads from the PC to the cart. As far as I know, the first 3 people that desired to take on this project this have either given up or shelved the project indefinitely. I am, however, in contact with one guy that we can call our "final hope" that is currently working on the project. He wants to make a flash cart that will hook up to the PC via USB. He also intends to make it hold multiple games and be able to switch among them.

2) Run it on an emulator. Well, you might think that it's silly to play a portable game like CFC2 on an emulator. I mean, who wants to play a handheld game on their PC, right? Well, as it turns out, I also work on a NGPC emulator called RACE! (Rather A Cardfighter Emulator!). RACE! runs on the PC, but it also runs on other systems such as GP32, GP2X, Gizmondo, DreamCast, and NintendoDS. It runs CFC2 at full-speed on all those platforms except NintendoDS. Lately, I've been doing some work on the NintendoDS version to try to speed it up. I really haven't gotten it to run all that much faster, but I'll continue to tweak it here and there. CFC2 doesn't really need to run at full-speed, anyway since it's all turn-based. If I could get it to about two-thirds speed, I think that would be good for portable CFC2 English on the DS. The other option would be to run RACE! on the PSP, but I don't own a PSP and I don't know much about the development scene there. It should be a simple thing to port to PSP, though.

Well, that's it for today's update. If you're interested in this project or have any questions, please leave a comment. I think you can do it easily without logging in or anything. As you can see, I'll try to answer and expand on the topic. It's also good for me to get an idea about what sorts of things people are interested in.


Burns said...

I'm ecstatic that you're working on this translation as I'm a huge fan of the NGPC.

Also, are those USB to PC flashcarts still being worked on? I'd love to play CFC2, as well as homebrew games, on my actual NGPC since no other handheld can match it's clicky clickity click click mini stick. Could you give an update on the status of the flashcarts?

Thanks again for working on this translation, I can't wait. And if you really do get done with it by Christmas, Best Christmas Present Ever!

Anonymous said...

Is there a chance that you'd come out with a FONT file for the Card Fighter fonts?
For easier Custom Card editing. :D

Flavor said...

Lazers: I haven't ever made a font file, but I may be able to provide a rip of the tiles to someone that can do the font. Actually, I think it would be much easier to just hack the game to output your cardname and text over some other common card. That's what I did for and then I sent screenshots to Trev-MUN and he fixed up the artwork.