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[Release] VNDS Clone

HENkaku is a native Homebrew Enabler for the PS Vita and PS TV. It lets you run homebrews on the PS Vita
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MyLegGuy
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 10:40 pm
Location: United States

[Release] VNDS Clone

Post by MyLegGuy » Sat May 05, 2018 2:35 am

v2.6.4 is out! (5/15/18 8:00 PM)
Game Converter v1.1 is out! (5/10/17)

Note - This is a thread for info about Higurashi-Vita's ability to play VNDS games. This is not a separate application. When you install it, it'll still appear as the Higurashi bubble.
About
What is VNDS?
---
VNDS was a homebrew visual novel engine for the Nintendo DS. Some games were ported to its simple scripting language, allowing people to play some visual novels on their DS. Examples of games ported to VNDS are Umineko, Higurashi, and Fate/Stay Night. There is also an Android version of VNDS that supports higher resolution graphics.

What is this?
---
Higurashi-Vita, my homebrew visual novel engine, can now also run VNDS games in addition to what it can already do. This thread is for the discussion of that feature. A game converter is still required for reasons I can't really control, see the FAQ for specifics. I have tried to fully implement everything. Still, I've hardly tested any games, so if you run into any problems please post and I'll try and fix it as soon as possible. This can run games with high resolution graphics intended for Android devices, DS games will work too.
Setup (Without FFmpeg) (Text Tutorial)
The script converter should work for all Windows users. Linux and MacOS users will need to run the program with Mono.
1. Get a game in the VNDS format. This usually involves downloading a converter for a certain game, but if you are a bad boy then you may have downloaded a game already in the VNDS format. If its file extension is .novel, I think it's just a ZIP file you have to extract first.
1.5. Check if your game has any .aac audio. If it does, you'll need to follow the tutorial for using FFmpeg with this.
2. Download the game converter and extract the ZIP file.
3. Run the script converter.
4. Select the root folder of your VNDS game. If you're on Windows, you can use the GUI file picker. If you're using Mono, you'll just need to copy and paste the folder path.
5. Start the conversion.
5.5. If the program is skipping .AAC sound files, you need FFmpeg. There's another tutorial I made on this thread for how to do that.
6. Wait
7. The converted game will be in the same parent folder as your source game, with "-converted" added to the end. For example, if my source game was at C:\Games\higurashi\ then the converted game would be at C:\Games\higurashi-converted\.
8. Copy the converted game to your PS Vita inside the folder ux0:data/HIGURASHI/Games/.
Setup (Without FFmpeg) (Video Tutorial)
Setup (WITH FFmpeg) (Text tutorial)


1. Get a game in the VNDS format. This usually involves downloading a converter for a certain game, but if you are a bad boy then you may have downloaded a game already in the VNDS format.
2. Download the game converter and extract the ZIP file.
3. Download FFmpeg. Read on for how to do this. There are instructions for both Windows and Linux.

Installing FFmpeg (Windows)
3.1. (Windows) - Head to https://www.ffmpeg.org/download.html
3.2. (Windows) - Click the big Windows logo under "Get the packages"
3.3 (Windows) - Click "Windows Builds." You're now on a page where you can select a version, architecture, and linking option.
3.4 (Windows) - The version you choose doesn't really matter, I choose 4.0. For architecture, choose "Windows 32-bit." For linking, choose "Static."
3.5 (Windows) - At the bottom of the page, click "Download Build." Extract the zip file. (Right click -> Extract All)
3.6 (Windows) - Inside the FFmpeg extracted files, go into the "bin" folder.
3.7 (Windows) - Copy all the exe files from the "bin" folder to the same folder as the VNDS game converter.

Installing FFmpeg (Linux)
3.1 (Linux) - Installing FFmpeg is different depending on your distro. For Debian, I was able to just use "sudo apt-get install ffmpeg". If that doesn't work, you'll just need to google how to install it on your particular disto.

4. Run the script converter. The script converter should say that FFmpeg is detected. On the Windows GUI, look at the bottom of the Window. For Linux, look at the first line the terminal outputs. If it doesn't say that FFmpeg is detected, abort mission.
5. Select the root folder of your VNDS game. If you're on Windows, you can use the GUI file picker. If you're using Mono, you'll just need to copy and paste the folder path.
6. Start the conversion.
6.5. The program should not say that it's skipping AAC files. At very least, it'll try to run FFmpeg. If it's working, you'll get like 5 lines of output per sound file. If it's not working, it'll say that "ffmpeg" is an unknown command, or something like that.
6. Wait. This could take a while depending on how many sound files you have and how fast your computer is. It took me like 6 minutes to do just above 2000 sound files on my SSD. It took like an hour to do Umineko's 17,000+ sound files on my normal HDD.
7. The converted game will be in the same parent folder as your source game, with "-converted" added to the end. For example, if my source game was at C:\Games\higurashi\ then the converted game would be at C:\Games\higurashi-converted\.
8. Copy the converted game to your PS Vita inside the folder ux0:data/HIGURASHI/Games/.
Setup (WITH FFmpeg) (Video Tutorial)
Controls & Settings
Controls
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X - Advance text
O - Hide textbox
Triangle - Open settings ( You can save the game from here. )
Square (Hold) - Fast forward
Start - Open textlog
Select - Toggle auto mode

Settings
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(To access some of these settings, you'll need to have a VNDS game loaded.)
Auto Mode Speed - How many milliseconds the program waits before advancing
Overclock CPU - Colored green if it's on. Stuff will load faster.
BGM Volume & SE Volume - 4 is max, 0 is disabled.
Font Size - After changing the setting with left and right buttons, press "Test" to reload the font with that new size so it looks good again. I think 32 is the default font size.
Textbox - "Full" makes text start at the side of the screen. "Small" makes text start at the start of the background.
Text Speed - How many characters are displayed per frame.
Message Box Alpha - How dark the black filter over the art is. 255 is solid black and will keep you from seeing the graphics. 125 is nice.
Bust Location - Does nothing.
Clear at bottom - If the text will clear and start from the top when it hits the bottom of the screen. The original VNDS would just push all the old text up when it reached the bottom of the screen.
VNDS Warnings - If you want to be warned when images files aren't found.
Known Bugs
* The sound command can't stop all currently playing sounds or play a sound multiple times with one line. Will probably implement eventually™.
* WAV files will be ignored.
* Colored text not yet supported. The markup for it will be hidden though.
FAQ
Q:
Why do I need a game converter? I hate you.
A:
1. libvita2d isn't great at loading and displaying weird images. This problem actually killed a different attempt at this same project. Specifically, a PNG with a bit depth of 1 (or was it 2) will make the program completely crash, a JPEG with a bit depth of 8 won't be displayed correctly, and certain PNG images will crash the program when loaded apparently because of their dimensions.
2. Some games use .aac audio, which I think I can't add support for because it's a copyrighted format. Therefor it needs to be converted to a different format.
3. Some games store their assets in zip files. I can't be bothered to support loading assets from zip files.
4. Nobody actually asked this question, I made it up.
Screenshots

Higurashi When They Cry with high(er) resolution graphics intended for Android. This screenshot is slightly outdated, smoother image scaling is now used.
Image
Umineko. There is a setting to make the text start where the background starts. In this screenshot, it's off. In the Higurashi screenshot, it's on.
Image
Download:
https://github.com/MyLegGuy/Higurashi-Vita/releases
Game Converter Download
https://github.com/MyLegGuy/VNDSVitaConverter/releases
FFmpeg (optional):
https://www.ffmpeg.org/download.html
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