Talk:Animal Crossing (NES game)

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Revision as of 05:44, 10 December 2009 by Tepples (talk | contribs) (Random thoughts: reply)
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Random thoughts

  • When possible, use ROM space instead of RAM space. For instance, NPC-written letters are always based off of one of the game's pre-written templates, with the only differences being the occasional catchphrase, number, name, etc. By just storing the template ID and the template's needed variables, you could shrink almost any NPC-written letter down to 16 bytes or so worth of SRAM data. You could also apply a similar approach to NPC homes, which happen to offer very little in the way of player customization.
  • Likewise, you might get better results when compressing letters if you use a clever dictionary-compression scheme rather than standard huffman-encoding. For instance, the values $00-$BF could be something like a list of 200 common words, while the values $C0-CF could point to different lists of common words (with the next byte or two determining the word). Values $D0-FF could be used similarly to other townsfolk, ingame items/locations, numbers, punctuation marks, and so on. Spacing between words and basic capitalization could be automated. The only downside I see to this approach is that it relies on the player knowing how to spell (in English, no less). (And I have no idea if it would be more efficient than huffman anyway.)
  • Decreasing the number of players from 4 to 2 would put you right next to the 8KB memory limit.
  • In the acre that serves as the town dump, X & Y coordinates for most objects would be unneeded.

-- 05:05, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

A couple issues:
  • Sure, word-based Huffman coding is more efficient than letter-based. That's why I planned to use "Huffword" coding in an e-book reader for NES, at least until it was discovered that a DVD player's built-in emulator was incompatible with my VWF engine. The problem with lossless compression is that you can never guarantee the ratio unless the incoming data had internal fragmentation. It's good for the safe deposit box at the post office, where the player won't notice if a letter happens to be bigger than another. But in letters in the player's inventory, you have to allow for the largest letter, and that would be a letter written by a player who can't spell. The "ink" metaphor for storage space loses believability once a bonus for good spelling enters the equation.
  • Controller ports do not determine number of players in a strictly alternating game like AC. Part of the game involves writing letters not only to NPCs but also to other players. Even Zelda had 3 players, and the files didn't interact. If I did cut players, I'd have to compensate for the lack of player-to-player letter writing by making the AC clone into the hub of a more expansive RPG, a little like Shenmue.
  • And in the DS and Wii games, the town dump isn't an acre; it's a box inside the post office, stored as a list of items. They already don't have coordinates. --Tepples 05:44, 10 December 2009 (UTC)